Double Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,302 | Reviews: 254 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by flayedandskinned:
4.54/5 rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a standard glass.
Pours a beautiful, deep, almost glowing amber with vibrant highlights of scarlet throughout the body as sunlight strikes the glass. A 2 fingers tall, fluffy, light tan head quickly forms. For the beer's high ABV, the head lasts a surprising amount of time. As the head slowing recedes, it leaves little to no lacing behind.
Immediately you're struck by the rich coconut that I'm learning to expect of Firestone Walker's barrel aged beer. Underneath this huge, woodsy coconut aroma are some subtle underlying notes of vanilla and cherry. As the beer starts to warm, some of the original DBA notes start to surface; rich toffee, caramel as well as a streak of orange marmalade from the delicate, lightly floral hops. For 12.5% ABV, the alcohol is hidden extraordinarily well.
Very similar to the aroma; immediately as you take your first sip, you are hit with that trademark Firestone barrel character of sweet coconut. Behind the barrel, there are subtle floral, grassy hop undertones. Like in the original DBA, the hops are very orange marmalade like. Before the slightly bitter off dry finish, your palate is kissed with a flash of fig that quickly transitions to a lightly chewy, sweet backbone of toffee and caramel malt. Huge lingering notes of more orange marmalade and sweet breads. There is a gigantic barrel character in the finish; rich coconut, vanilla, almonds and a moderate tannin presence. As the beer warms, a light alcohol presence surfaces.
Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. For it's ABV, it is very drinkable and very light.
As usual, Firestone knocks it out of the park with this beer. They took their flagship beer, DBA(Double Barrel Ale), doubled the recipe and aged in a mix of neutral oak and mixed spirit barrels. What comes out of these barrels, is a bit of an anomaly; Im not sure how Firestone managed to take a 12.5% 'Imperial Special Bitter' and still have it drink like a heavy ESB, with out it even verging into English Barleywine territory. This beer isn't their most complex Barrel Aged beer, but it certainly drinks the easiest. The low profile malts really allow the barrels to shine. I can't say I've had something quite like this. Bravo, Firestone.
Serving type: bottle
08-24-2013 21:11:37 | More by flayedandskinned
More User Reviews:
3.76/5 rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a deep red colour, amber tinged. Head is off-white, large bubbles. Decent lacing. But a bit thin. Paradoxically though, it looks heavy overall.
Smells like oak. Vanilla, coconut, even bourbon. Smells sweet, kind of cupcake-esque, with a big bourbon hit. Yeah, cupcakes with bourbon. There's an idea. Let's talk, Firestone Walker.
Taste is coconutty. Vanilla, as well, lots of sweetness. American oak, notes of butter, with cake batter, chestnut, coconut, sweet bourbon maybe. Touch of corporeality. Not a huge amount of beer character, just tastes of sweetness with huge bourbon ageing. I like all the characters, but yeah I'd like more nuance. Just tastes like delicious barrel ageing with the beer removed.
Smooth, heavy, has a slight nip of alcohol on the back. Not bad.
Very tasty. But rating it as a beer I'm a bit torn. It's nice, but is there really much beer character left here?
Serving type: bottle
08-01-2014 04:40:20 | More by laituegonflable
3.95/5 rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
22oz bomber purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Brought back to Sydney where I shared it with Sam.
Beautiful reddish-amber colour, very clear and bright in the body. Some slightly sudsy streaking lace. Body is thick and fine, and holds wonderfully slim streams of carbonation. Looks pretty wonderful.
Nose is incredible. Oaky, bright but leavened with a sweetness that keeps it grounded and tethered. The lightness comes from the hops, which are heady, but still tied to a slightly English earthiness—they give a denseness to the beer. Really beautiful stuff.
Taste is similarly good—here, though it has a sweetness that really takes it beyond anything resembling an ESB. That's fine, but the bitterness has a hard time keeping things together. There's a oakiness towards the back that smooths over all of the oddities, but it's hard to deny that all of the weight doesn't necessarily work.
Feel is very smooth and clean, but with a slick, marble-like sweetness always providing a bit of weight.
Overall. This is nice stuff. As part of the big, intense blended anniversary ales, it's clearly a integral part. But on it's own, it's a little bit of an oddity.
Serving type: bottle
07-26-2014 05:09:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.39/5 rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
a wonderful showcase of the bourbon barrel here. different than all the stouts and thick sticky blends they do, this is a lighter (in color and in roastiness) malt bill than a lot of their big barreled beers. i think it lets the wood and the bourbon flavors really present themselves well. english sort of grain profile to this, sweet and sappy, caramel like, and full bodied. the beer looks about right for what it claims to be, toffee colored beer with bronzed amber edges. not much head from the tap, or at least it settles down pretty quickly. tons and tons of sweet vanilla on the nose, this has very obviously spent a great deal of time resting on bourbon. a sturdy char on the barrel too helps to add depth and mellow what i cant believe isnt hot alcohol. its so well hidden here. there is even some hops in the finish of this one, more than just the requisite english bittering hops, i get a dried straw and corn husk character from them, in addition to just enough bitterness to balance some of the left over sugars in the finish of this. complex and woody, this is a great example of firestone walkers ability to barrel age beers. tons of the whiskey character comes through, and i like the coppery sweet caramel malt. a real treat to drink, it warms up well, and i think its different than what we usually expect from barleywine.
Serving type: on-tap
07-21-2014 16:35:59 | More by StonedTrippin
Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.