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Double Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,444 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,444
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 173
Gots: 693 | FT: 74
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 06-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,444 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goliveidaho
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boxed 22 oz bottle. Poured gently into a snifter. Light headed, dark rich coloration. A bouquet of scents rising from the surface. Toffee, coconut, nuts...almonds and just plain peanuts. The booze circling out of the glass like smoke from a cabin in the woods. The mouth feel, butter pecan ice cream melting slowly in a porcelain bowl. Coconut spreads across the mouth, the booze warms the tongue, imaginary nuts, shelled and crushed , delicately rise to the surface. Orange toffee desert surfaces at the finish of the swallow. You can sure taste the barrel, the aging process, the phenolics, smokey ...the ester fruity...it has it all. So nice to sip close ones eyes and enjoy. Thank you Adam Firestone, Matt Brynildson and David Walker. Cheers!

Goliveidaho, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love DBA, Unfiltered DBA even better! So when I heard about Double Unfiltered DBA it was a must have!

Poured a amber color with a small dirty white head. Nose was caramel, hops, brown sugar, floral notes. Taste for DBA always has a wine like texture, very smooth and velvety. Brown sugar, caramel, wood, vanilla and the ABV is well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth.This beer is so smooth and easy that is nuts. Drinkability is phenom! I had 3 at 10% with no problem.
The 2 BA's below reviewed the beer as standard DBA and the reviews are incorrect.

barleywinefiend, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark tangerine color with moderate carbonation. About 1/2" of off white head forms, which has good retention and decent lacing. Overall a decent looking barleywine.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, some very fruity layers underneath that I would not call akin to dark fruits (fig, dark raisin, etc.) but more like dried white grape and caramelized pear. Great barrel presence as well; oak with a rich vinous wine tone to it as well. Excellent.

Taste: Toffee sweetness and toasted caramel up front, with golden raisin fruitiness and coconut following. Oak and wine barrel character round things out. All in all very similar to the smell. Again, excellent.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with about the perfect level of carbonation. Does not come close to drinking to the ABV; not much of a hint of alcohol as you drink this. Overall, another superb barrel aged offering from Firestone Walker. In my mind, just about on par if not better than Abacus. Glad I have a 2013 sitting around to drink as well.

zhanson88, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of Hatzilla
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reserve Series No. 001, bottled 6/15/12

A - Slightly hazy amber pour with minimal head and scant lacing.

S - Toffee, oak, cherries, bourbon, vanilla, butterscotch, caramel...extremely complex.

T - More toffee, oak, bourbon and butterscotch. Also tastes like marshmallows with some alcohol burn in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth, creamy and a little thin bodied with low carbonation but very drinkable for the strength.

O - A complex, highly drinkable barleywine/strong ale. This was bottled 365 days ago, so I imagine some heat has come off this guy now. Very tasty and worth a try for you barrel-aged fiends. Go grab one if you can. Cheers!

Hatzilla, Jun 16, 2013
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

$7.25 for a 10 snifter
Sampled 20AUG12

[A] Amber brown with medium depth and a thin tan colored cap on top. Retention is shortly lived, leaving only a crescent shaped collar and an island of film.

[S] Dominantly caramel and toffee-forward upfront fades into mild figs and raisins and butterscotch. Bourbon barrel introduces a subtle counterpoint. Marvelously done.

[T] Big and bold malty flavors with rendered sugary flavors of caramel and buttery toffee dominating. Dark fruits of raisin and dates add complexity and, to take it another step further, the bourbon and barrel flavors bring it all together.

The flavor does, however, take a hit purely on the the completely average mouthfeel alone. This beer deserves better than this. (Note: This, nor the mouthfeel isnt an issue from a bottle serving.)

[M] A more syrupy texture would have benefited this beer immensely. The carbonation is just a tad too aggressive. Body is between full and medium full otherwise.

[O] Fantastic. As far as FW offerings go, and in my opinion of course, Double DBA is a more complete beer than say 14, 15 or Abacus - and every bit as good as Parabola.

FeDUBBELFIST, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of mdagnew
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle bought online from the Brewdog shop... 2012 vintage

Poured a deep coppery brown colour. Creamy head with some coppery tinges poured quite thick and rocky then faded to nice light ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any carbonation... some light frothy lacing...

Aroma - Lots of toasted coconut and vanilla upfront, bourbon booziness, spicy piney hops, peppery, herbal notes, caramel / toffee sweetness, some burnt sugar notes, spicy dark fruits (raisins, oranges, some light figs), strong resinous notes, some saltiness, toasted bread, biscuity malts, woody, some faint leathery traces, grassy...

Taste - Again lots of vanilla oakiness and rich dark fruits, spicy hops to the fore followed by lots of toffee and caramel malt sweetness, sweet coconut, earthy notes, spicy fruits (bitter oranges (strong marmalade hints), some figs, raisins), dark muscovado sugar traces, burnt sugar, yeasty traces, herbal, some anise, toasted bread, alcohol is noticeable..

M&D - Quite sharp initially then mellows to quite a syrupy smoothness. Medium bodied... At 12% you certainly notice the alcohol - definitely one for sharing

Overall - My first brew from Firestone Walker and i wasn't disappointed. An excellent barleywine and one of the best American brews i've had... Definitely recommended although at £18 or so a bottle not something a could afford too often !!

mdagnew, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of Smokee
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a Chimay chalice. The color is orangish brown. A thin head that lingers with fine bubbles throughout. Malty scent. Excellent mouthfeel. Tastes of toffee, banana, medium on the malty scale, and oak. Moderate booze burn on swallowing.

Very enjoyable and drinkable

Smokee, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of CloudStrife
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

10oz pour into a goblet.

A: Pours a hazy brown with a touch of orange. Minimal head from the pour that doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Initial aroma of booze and fermented malts. Great oak characteristic. Dark fruits permeate the brew. Very enticing.

T: Such a finely crafted beer. Has the barley wine flavors one would expect with an extra dose of oak and booze. Dark fruits and malts similiar to the aroma.

M: Smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Full bodied with somewhat low carbonation. For being such a high ABV it's not too hot.

Overall a really good barleywine I would recommend in a heartbeat. Barrel qualities really shine. A must have for any fan of barley wines or oak aging.

CloudStrife, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: amber brown with orange accents; off-white head vanished quickly leaving a bubbly collar

S: candi sugar, toffee, some bourbon

T: super beer - reminded me of the scotch ale/old ale/barleywine styles; sweet malt toffee, some drier notes from the barrels; nice woody flavors wrapped around boozy dark fruits

M: creamy, little bitter on the drying finish; medium body

O: probably a great cigar beer, has a nice smokiness and strong character; again, I'd have pegged it for an old ale or scotch ale - warms well, finishes great, wonderful aftertaste - glad I got my hands on one

Greywulfken, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of CK319
4.44/5  rDev +4%

CK319, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of kdahnke123
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage poured into a snifter.
A - A slightly hazy, carmel color with minimal head.
S - A wonderful carmel smell with plenty of oak and a little coconut.
T - Carmel and alcohol up front with a rich malty middle and just a hint of hops on the end.
M - Smooth, a little on the thin side with minimal carbonation.
O - A very good example of a barley wine. Should age very well.

kdahnke123, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Igotmypistola
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft. 10 oz - 8$

Warm summer night. Firestone tap takeover. Eff it. Bourbon time.

pours beautiful golden red. little head retention. smell is undeniably bourbon. Ohh! Tastes like it too. sweet, sweet Carmel, vanilla bourbon. the taste is the high point on this one. deeep and rich. lingers on and on. coats the mouth forever. the mouthfeel is fantastic, not too heavy, medium body. I wouldn't really want it heavier. Makes the abv deceptive. and at 12.5% I'm in for it.

Overall a fantastic brew. Amazing drinkability. Not too heavy or overpowering that you'd get burnt out on it. I love it:)

Igotmypistola, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Double Double Barrel Ale opens to a malty, yeasty nose that smells initially more like the inside of a bakery than a beer: rising wheat dough, floury baguette, even touches of marble rye. These are slowly followed by a thick runnel of molasses, caramel, and wildflower honey, as well as a bevy of fruit esters, including berry, orange, apricot, and cherry, all of these present in Jolly Rancher candy-like strength. There’s a good hint of rosewater around the edges, joined by sweet pink grapefruit and a touch of pine resin. Good hints of oak, bourbon, and vanilla give away the barrel aging, but do not overpower the beer; rather, they blend nicely with the sweet fruits and thick breads. As a whole, the nose is very nice, bending toward the sugary side, but with enough bread and whiskey to avoid overpowering sweetness, and the aromas are full-bodied and potent.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a malty, yeasty hit of brown bread, caramel, toast crust, biscuit, bread dough, and chewy whole wheat bread, but this is tempered almost immediately by oak, vanilla, and whiskey from the barrel aging, adding a sexy alcoholic vibe to the breads. Fruit esters and sugars kick in next, bringing apricot, cherry, orange, and berry flavors, as well as molasses, honey, and brown sugar. Thick rosewater and pink grapefruit come from the hops, as well as touches of pine resin and hints of lemon. Hold the beer on the tongue long enough and the sugars will die off, revealing a good whiskey barrel belly. The aftertaste is slightly over-heavy on the whiskey notes, but a few touches of sugar and bread do remain, and the beer lingers on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

As a whole, this is excellent beer. The barrel aging brings a fantastic oak and vanilla tone to what was obviously already a well-crafted brew, and the flavors mingle together deliciously. The whiskey flavors do tend to overpower the latter half of the mouthful, and the aftertaste is almost completely dominated by bourbon, making the high 12% ABV leave one’s breath feeling as if it could tarnish silver. But even here, this works well with the beer, and the next sip brings fresh berry and sugar notes to blend marvelously with the whiskey vapors. Recommended.

jondeelee, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of weonfire
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at the Local Option in Chicago, IL in a 12oz snifter

A - Golden brown, white fluffy head

S - Coconut, Vanilla, toffe, bourbon and aged fruit.

T - Sweet coconut, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, more aged fruit, bourbon, chocolate and just a just a booze on the finish

M - super frothy, creamy, obviously full body, but slightly less carbonated.

O - Awesome. The coconut and vanilla made this very different from other American Strong Ales I've had. I loved it. and I normally HATE coconut. Vanilla and bourbon also combine with a very good mouth- to make a very good brew.

weonfire, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of yamar68
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to quirkzoo for this one!

Pours a murky copper body with bits of sediment, a half finger of off-white head that retains well and leaves a spotty set of lacing.

Toasted biscuit, caramel, french toast, molasses, very warm and inviting, bittersweet, corn bread, brown sugar, faint milk chocolate - beautiful.

More of the same... tons of vanilla, pale toffee, some caramel sweetness, organic wood notes, completely balanced in every way, smooth malts and subdued hops.

Surprisingly drinkable. Smooth.

A delight.

yamar68, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Ommegang tulip. Bottled date is hard to read... xx/14/12.
Pours a deep muddy amber brown, no head, but oily lacing lingers on the glass. Smells really nice...boozey toffee, sugar, coconut, a bit of vanilla, and hops. Taste is great! Really nice boozey sweet toffee and toasted coconut, hints of vanilla. Such a tastey beer! Its slightly astringent/harsh, but it is 12%abv...
overall, this is quite an amazing beer..if you can even call it a beer at this point. Of course, id recoomend it. In fact, id love to find out how this would age. Id imagine this to be amazing in 3-5 years...

DrinkSlurm, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of RutgersEng
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was bottled 6/12 and cellared for two years, and poured into a tall pint glass.

The beer was an opaque yellow with an orange hue and with a lot of cloudy particles inside. There was no head and some lacing along the sides of the glass.

The smell was what you'd expect from a barrel aged barley wine. Some vanilla, a little oak and a bit of bourbon on the nose.

The taste was what was expected of one of the base beers of Firestone Walker's anniversary ales. It was sweet with a hint of vanilla and toffee balanced by the grains. The alcohol was buried so deep that it didn't give a burn on the back of the throat and I had to read the label again to make sure that it was really 12%. The beer had the FW character, but for some reason the taste of bourbon or whiskey was prevalent, although without the whiskey burn.

I really enjoyed this beer. It was a reminder of any of the anniversary ales that I have enjoyed. It wasn't as sweet and flavorful as SUCABA, but for a barley wine it would hold its own against any others out there. This beer knows how to treat you right.

RutgersEng, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Founders shaker pint glass.

My vote would be to call this a "Quadruple Barrel Ale", as "Double Double" sounds either redundant or too close to a Jeopardy! bonus. This stuff pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises vanilla, light oak, light molasses, fig, brown sugar, a touch of wheated bourbon, maple syrup, and sweet toffee. Yup, malts are the name of the game here, and they're out in full regalia. The taste follows very closely in lock-step, but the fig seems to have dropped out a bit, and the oak has gotten bulkier. Still, an awesome complexity reigns. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine brew, one that comes across similarly t a mild oloroso or muscatel sherry. Gotta say, I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well this sat with me...

TMoney2591, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

22oz bottle. Split with my brother.

A - Pours cherry wood color with a one finger khaki head. Head retention is decent at best and lacing is minimal...

S - Lots of Bourbon on the nose with caramel, oak, and vanilla in the mix. While it smells a little hot, lots of delicious sweetness makes its way through. Very enticing...

T - Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruits. Oak, vanilla, and smooth Bourbon on the finish. Vanilla is present throughout and becomes more prominate as the beer warms. Bourbon comes across alot smoother than the nose led on. Delicious...

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation...

O - Another exceptional barrel aged beer from FW. Had this back to back with a Parabola and it held up very well. Definitely something I will be looking to try again...


comfortablynumb1, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a ruddy, redwood color into my DFH glass. A nice tinted head fades fairly quickly but leaves bits of chewy lacing on the sides of the glass. The carbonation dies rather quickly. Not much to look at here, but that's the case with most Strong Ales.

S- Butterscotch, toffee, vanilla beans, dried figs, raisins, candy corn, and caramel. Picking up a nice bourbon note that blends well with all this sweetness. Roasted nuts, biscotti dipped in caramel, licorice, and deep amber honey. This has an amazing depth that just keeps getting better as it warms.

T- Tastes like the Brulee part of the Creme Brulee... nice burnt sugar with a sweet creaminess! Vanilla bean float, caramel candy corn, yogurt raisins, and almond biscotti dipped in bourbon! Really nice depth of dried figs, sweet/burnt brown sugar, and booze! Outstanding!

M- Starts off sweet and slick before letting the bourbon burn come thru. Really nice sweet caramel/marshmallow notes that blend with the roasted nuts and deep, dark dried fruit! No real carbonation... kinda slick and oily on the tongue.

O- This is fantastic! It really comes alive and shows it's worth as it warms. I'll just call this an English Barleywine and leave it at that! Tons of vanilla/toffee/caramel/candy corn!!! I keep trying to think how this Strong Ale could be better... but I can't! Really glad I have more of this to age and let develop and come into it's own!

Thickfreakness, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of maximum12
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Siggy125 for this bottle as part of a trade that meant I must have been really good this past year...never met a bottle of FW I didn't like. Bet this won't be the first. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is dark, dark red with hardly a breath of carbonation. Bourbon spreads from the open mouth of the bottle like the best Glade Plug-In ever. Underneath that boozy blanket is a bit of caramel, fruit basket. You had me at bourbon.

Double Double Barrel Ale burns all the way down; as if the brewer not only aged this in the barrels, but they weren't really empty when they splashed a little beer into them. Hard-core whiskey leaves scorched-earth behind. Past that storefront is caramel/toffee & a big swig of sweetness, malt & vanilla. Bare ground pepper right in the end, before the barrel takes over again. Couldn't drink more than a tub full of this, really. OK, maybe two.

This is sexy boozy. The barrel is brings some heat & the base beer slinks up against it like it's a cold night. And it is. Excellent beer that's warming my toes. Kickin' off my slippers. Ahhh.

maximum12, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of BierJager89
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Ruby Red with a creamy brown head.

S: Earthy, malty nose with dark fruit notes.

T: Vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, bourbon, full bodied, smooth, 12% alcohol only detectable through warming/burning in the chest, maybe a slight hint in taste.

M: Full bodied, somewhat harsh carbonation/alcohol astringency.

O: Really good, but I'd take most of the other barrel aged FW beers over this, if not all.

BierJager89, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of sleuthdog
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tut2528 for sharing this at our tasting
Poured into FFF tulip glass

Appearance: Poured an orange brown rust color with almost no head to speak of.

Smell: I am picking up on sweet character tied with oak and bourbon in the background. This one is hard for me to describe but unique for sure. I think I get alcohol soaked raisin or figs and some vanilla. Interesting to say the least.

Taste: Wow this one is not what I expected. I get sweetness and the trademark Firestone Walker barell program in that vanilla, bourbon and oak stand out in an unbelievable way. There are some dark fruits and some nuttiness present.

Mouthfeel: This is a velvety smooth beer for the abv. No carbonation and I actually wish there was some more present to cut some of the sweetness. The alcohol does have a warming and somewhat burn on the gums.

Overall: This is one hell of a beer but one that I believe should be shared. I really enjoyed this beer and it surprised me at how good it is.

sleuthdog, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of popery
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, warm shade of amber. Small, light beige head, which dissipates to nothing. Filtered. The aroma is dominated by rich caramel and toffee malt flavors. There's some apricot, coconut, sugar cane, almonds and cotton candy. The taste is sweet and luxurious. It's pretty much a delicious barleywine with light barrel notes. I'm mostly getting vanilla and a light woodiness from the barrel-aging. There's some fairly subtle bourbon in the background, but it meshes into the other notes quite nicely. Some booze in the aroma, but it mostly just warms up the palate once you take a sip. The mouthfeel is smooth and thick, but it never got cloying for me. This is one of the best barrel-aged beers that I've had from FW, probably my second favorite after Sticky Monkey (? - one of the barleywines that was used in a recent FW anniversary beer). It does a particularly good job of showing FW's light touch with barrel-aging. Great stuff.

popery, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of barnzy78
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared with a friend. Pours brownish-red topped with a thin, beige head. Aromas are huge with bourbon, more bourbon, brown sugar, oak, booze, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Tastes are just as full - vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee, buttery, brown sugar, caramel, cotton candy, sweeeet but not cloyingly. Mouth-feel is creamy, smooth, and medium-to-full bodied. Overall, very nice treat, but for the price I'd probably never get it again.

barnzy78, Oct 29, 2012
Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.