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Double Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale

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1,153 Ratings
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Ratings: 1153
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.2%

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)
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Ratings: 1,153 | Reviews: 243 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sukwonee


4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a growler of this from Total Wine (32 oz = $17.50, what a deal!)

A: Apple juice color with 2 finger head. Good amount of lacing.

S: Caramel, dark fruits, malt, oak, vanilla

T: Tastes great. It's subtle-r than FW's other barrel aged offerings like Parabola and Abacus, but this one if great. Huge vanilla and caramel, bourbon coming through as well as oak. Brown sugar. Nice. Tad bit sweeter than my liking, but it was probably necessary to hide the alcohol. It's boozy, but not too boozy.

M: A Tad bit too much carbonation. I wish it was a bit flatter. Slight alcohol burn. Medium thickness and syrupiness.

O: I liked it a lot. FW has definitely mastered their skills in barrel aging. Highly recommended. I think this beer could benefit from aging.

Serving type: growler

08-04-2012 01:56:09 | More by sukwonee
Photo of Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 650ml bottle into a Smutty Big beer tulip. 2012 vintage. Cellar temp.

Appearance- Clearer amber with quick bubbly off-white head that left no lacing. Looks to be well carbonated.

Smell- Rich caramel, stone fruits, mild booze, oaky vanilla and tobacco. Fairly typical barrel aged barleywine aromas.

Taste- Much of the nose, but oak is quite prevalent by now. Big caramel and cherry and plums, vanilla, tobacco. No booze taste.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated which perturbs me slightly. Other than that, Medium-full body, medium heat at the back of the throat, but over all pretty easy to drink. I would like less carbonation.

Overall- A nice BBA Barleywine. Too carbonated but overall, nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 21:36:08 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of neurobot01


4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 bomber into a snifter. Served at fridge temp, allowed to warm ~30 mins.

Appearance: Unexpectedly light; I guess I was expecting something more like §ucaba, but this looks more like unfiltered apple cider. Cloudy reddish brown. Basically nonexistent head.

Smell: Now the smell is a lot more like §ucaba—caramel, vanilla, barrel, whipped cream. Maybe it's just because I've got apple cider in my brain now, but I also pick up a lot of bright apple notes. Smells really delicious.

Taste: Follows the nose. Toffee, some coconut, vanilla. I also get the sweet, slightly tart or bitter apple that I picked up in the aroma. A little alcohol burn, but really in the background compared to fresh barrel-aged offerings.

Feel: Fairly syrupy, but brightly carbonated at the same time. I would actually prefer a little lower carb, thought I guess it fits the slightly brighter, apple-y flavor pretty well.

Overall: Mighty fine brew. Haven't had this fresh, but I'm guessing the age did it well in mellowing out the alcohol presence and letting some of the other flavors come to the fore. Not sure where I'd rank this against FW's other widely-available Proprietor's Vintage beers, but not sure I'd care—it's delicious!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 00:52:19 | More by neurobot01
Photo of Bedrocker


4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber with a small off-white head that sticks around.

S: Smells like bourbon and vanilla, primarily. There's some coconut in there as well as some fruits I can't identify.

T: Follows the nose (especially the oak), with added notes of toffee, caramel, and toasted almonds. Excellent. Finishes with a little bit of hoppiness, but not too much. Oak and vanilla flavors stick around for the finish. Very well-balanced.

M: Thick and full bodied, with just the right amount of carbonation. Little bit of alcohol on the back end.

O: A very well done barleywine. Firestone really knows how to barrel-age beers, and alongside Sucaba and Parabola this holds up very well. Not as deliciously sweet as Sucaba, but this is still an outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 05:33:24 | More by Bedrocker
Photo of 01001111


4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Caramel with a brilliant red tone that comes through when held up to the sunlight.

S: Toffee, toasted coconut, vanilla, and a very faint, saison-like funk.

T: Following from the smell, an initial hit of toffee and light vanilla followed by a subtle sour apple flavor and finishing with the taste of a strong, English bitter mixed with a bit of bourbon.

M: Syrupy but not cloying.

O: A great beer that transforms from a barleywine to a bitter in your mouth.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 00:24:32 | More by 01001111
Photo of ricknelson


4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Firestone's Double Double DBA came in 3rd in my recent beer tasting of Firestone Walker's top beers. Out of the seven BA guys we had at the tasting, Double Double DBA got a 5 from one taster for look, smell, taste, mouthfeel and overall. It scored and average of 4.19 from all the judges.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 23:09:01 | More by ricknelson
Photo of bball208

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Couldn't believe I was able to find this at a bar for $19, so I got a whole bottle to myself and had a very good night.

It poured a beautiful dark caramel color, with faint traces of beautiful frothy white bubbles. No head, just an outline of white around the glass.
The smell was intense. It was sex. This explodes with toasted coconut, vanilla, and oak. It's like backwoods bastard on crack. Couldn't believe the aroma I was getting. Perfect.

The expectation on the taste was raised very high due to the incredible nose I got on this, and the flavors exceeded those expectations. Coconut, caramel, oak, vanilla, booze, just a sweet beer. I can still remember the taste even a week after having it.

Overall, if you've had founders backwoods bastard, and sweet repute, this is almost like a hybrid between those two flavors. Insanely good.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 22:43:09 | More by bball208
Photo of brureview


4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a light apricot color in a snifter. 1/2F head.

The aroma wafted from the glass: a very strong toffee aroma.

Mouth Feel: very carbonated, which transitions well into the taste.

The taste is rich toffee, with some butterscotch(?). The strong alcoholic finish works well with the taste- there is a very pronounced alcoholic bitterness accompanied by a smoothness in the palate.

overall: an excellent beer. Worth cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:11:35 | More by brureview
Photo of rlee1390


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy deep amber, almost brown, not much carbonation or head.

S-Oak, bourbon, caramel, toffee. Some grassy notes

T-Very malt forward. Oak and bourbon as well. Caramel and toffee. Slight bitterness.

M-Medium in body, slight carbonation.

O-A good beer, nothing special. Age improved it some.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 00:43:10 | More by rlee1390
Photo of TheCuriograph

New York

4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on my 2013 for a few months. An unseasonably cold night like tonight seemed the perfect time to pour it. Bomber into a snifter:

A – Refractive, amber brown with a slight head and reasonable amount of lacing. Nice clarity.

S – Strong vanilla and toffee, with an enticing mélange of plum, raisin, lemon zest, and oak and pipe tobacco. Not as robust as something like the BCBBW, but nicely forthright. Rich but unadorned.

T – Caramel and toffee, coffee and figs. A little lemon tartness, but mostly stewed fruit and vanilla bourbon notes. Also, just a hint of bitterness in the back end. Like every other Reserve Series ale I’ve tried, the barrel-aging has accented a strong, flavorful base in a way that adds some pleasing hotness and decadent bourbon notes without overwhelming.

M – Stings just the right amount, with a heavy, sticky feel that lingers on the tongue and cheeks.

O - This is a bloody treat. With this, Sucaba, and Parabola (and to a lesser extent, Velvet Merkin), I’m coming to the conclusion that FW is incapable of a subpar barrel-aged beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 01:03:55 | More by TheCuriograph
Photo of kdahnke123


4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 22:26:24 | More by kdahnke123
Photo of Kramerbarthomer


4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

Yet another amazing brew from FW. A hazy dark orange hue gives way to bourbony, sweet overtones through the nose. As the beer warms, the sweetness overwhelmes as strong hints of marshmallow take over.

Truly another world class brew. I will have to try this side by side with Sucaba to determine which is my favorie.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 05:19:31 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barely pours a head at all, even with a heartily aggressive pour. A few bubbles aggregate again the glass walls, no real appreciable lacing either. There’s a strong, bright glow to the orange to light brown hued liquid, needed given the high level of particulate floating about inside (bottle stood up for weeks), plenty of widely dispersed bubbles as well, looks like a lot of activity in the glass. The nose is balanced and does not betray excessive alcohol presence, a good underlying roastiness stiffens its nostril presence so it’s not overly sugary, still no lack of molasses, caramelized brown sugar, butterscotch, at the same time you get green apple, fig, golden raisin, spiced orange peel and a heavy floral musk, you get more lightly metallic earthiness at it warms, easy as she goes. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied and likewise smooth and flows effortlessly, not looking to make a huge display of itself. More leafy herbal qualities here, bready like challah bread or breakfast rolls. Fruitier with apricot, peach, cherry mixed in with the fig, raisin, date base. Chocolate truffle, toffee, butterscotch, cream soda give it the desired appeal, no sugar bomb. The carbonation could be considered mildly on the high side for the style, not obvious but rock steady and adds to its overall freshness. More for those who want a food friendly version of the style than an experience unto itself. (Proprietor's Reserve Series #002, 2013)

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 23:01:02 | More by farrago
Photo of zhanson88


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 04:34:24 | More by zhanson88
Photo of Goliveidaho


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 21:47:39 | More by Goliveidaho
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with a cap that is sealed with a paper, much like the wax dip you will see on some beers. Marked clearly with a the vintage number "2013" on the label, and I believe this is a late-year release, so this bottle should be just a month or two past bottling. Poured into a large 20oz brandy snifter.

Appearance - An aggressive pour yields a sudsy three-fourths finger head with large, soapy-looking bubbles the color of raw cane sugar--maybe off-white is a simpler description. The body underneath is a caramel light brown with faint tones of maple syrup. What head there is fades away quickly and leaves almost zero lacing.

Smell - Heavy notes of graham cracker and booze, with more subtle elements of burnt caramel and toasted bread, along with some pleasant vanilla, toasted coconut, molasses, oak and aggressive esters from the high alcohol.

Taste - Caramel and coconut with vanilla and a nice bite from the alcohol. As it warms more fruity tones from dates and figs come through, as well as nice pleasant notes of molasses and a little bit of nuttiness, like almond extract or marzipan.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and viscous, with a hint of cloying element to it, even though it's not overly-sweet. Carbonation is very low, which allows me to cap the bottle and save the second half for the following night without any appreciable loss of mouthfleel. I almost preferred it a little better on the second day, as the subtle loss of carbonation allowed the flavors to shine even more.

Overall, a wonderful beer that is light years better than the base beer from which it is made. While I'm not really a fan of Double Barrel Ale at all, this one is fantastic. I'd like to get my hands on a second bottle and sit on it for awhile to see how it develops with time, but it is really good fresh as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 00:49:00 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of BierJager89


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 18:47:50 | More by BierJager89
Photo of spoony


3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml bottle (2013 edition says the box) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a thin head that fades immediately to a collar of nearly white foam. The collar soon disappears leaving pink-tinted amber brew that is still and clear in the glass.

S-I smell a lot of rich, sweet toffee and caramel. There is also some fruity sweetness, but I cannot quite identify what kind of fruit...maybe golden raisin? Anyway, the booze heat is moderate and I get a faint suggestion of bourbony-vanilla.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely with more caramel than toffee this time around and a bigger dose of vanilla. Otherwise, there is still the same high level of sweetness (light-brown sugar, mostly), sweet golden raising, and moderate amount of boozy warmth.

M-The feel is medium body for the style and drinkable despite the booze and sweetness. This is no chugging beer, but it drinks easily.

O-This is a tasty beer and it made for a nice accompaniment to my Boxing Day meal of Christmas leftovers. Compared against the best Barleywines, this brew might be a little simple, but if I come across another bottle I would consider aging for a bit to see if the booze and sweetness mellow and develop more complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 21:57:21 | More by spoony
Photo of kylelenk


4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed both Batch no. 1 and 2 in a snifter

A- A thick, creamy, viscous copper pour with a blunt white head that leaves a little froth around the edges.

S- Right out of a sweet bakery. A fresh batch of caramel and angel food cake. Light scented bourbon and oak.

T- Very sweet up front with quite an absence of hops. Not as powerful as a barley wine and fits more with the description of a barrel aged bitter. Very thick caramel, burnt sugar, bourbon, and toffee taste.

M- Low carbonation and a very easy drinker. Hides the 12% well.

Easy to find and a very solid offering from FW. While it won't carry quite the allure of others from the program, DDBA isn't one worth passing over.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 04:30:59 | More by kylelenk
Photo of ocelot2500


4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch No. 001, Bottled on: 06/15/2012

Pours a hazy garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, bourbon, oak, and caramel.

Tastes of sweet malts with some bourbon notes. Lead off with soft caramel and toasted bread notes leading into some oak and vanilla notes. This then leads into some creamy dark fruits with cherries, figs, and dates. Has a bit of a cream sherry type feel to it. An earthy bitterness comes through and rounds things out a bit. Ends with a bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty, but it needs a bit more bitterness to round it out. I might've sat on it too long.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 03:18:35 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of lordofstarside


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber to a snifter, 2013 vintage, batch 002

Pours a cloudy amber with a half finger of beige colored foam. Moderate carbonation stemming from the sides and center. Lots of suspended yeast float around, little retention and lacing. This honestly isn't a great looking beer

Smells of roasted toffee, caramel, oak, bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits and alcohol. All comes together pretty well and manages to be fairly complex. Very reminiscent of sucaba, very easy on the nose

Taste is close with the nose- strong toasted toffee, oak, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, and alcohol. There's quite a bit going on here but still needs some work coming together, should really improve with some age

Feel is smooth and creamy, thick and rich. Alcohol is concealed well, this would be really drinkable if it wasn't my third beer already today. Going to have to take this guy slow

Overall really good, can't wait to see this develop over the years

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 23:56:32 | More by lordofstarside
Photo of rodlavers


4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage split three ways with dad and brother. Been saving this for a special occasion and we're close enough to Thanksgiving.

Caramel toffee color, no real head at all, some decent legs, a bit of sediment, fairly transparent for a beer with 18 months on it.

Rich aromas of toffee, vanilla, molasses, almond, caramel, bourbon and oak. Fantastically complex but well-balanced. Flavors are very similar indeed, but more pronounced with a distinct syrupy sweetness that is not as present I the aroma.

Feel is smooth but probably more carbonated when fresh. Smooth texture, thick and syrupy.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, much much better than just DBA. The bourbon and oak here are superb. Tastes great with age on it. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 23:30:30 | More by rodlavers
Photo of Labeorphile


4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Split a 22 oz bomber with my little brother at a family gathering. Poured into two pint glasses. Great dark cream soda look with a 2 finger head that lingered for a while.

Smell was buttery, maybe some vanilla, but to me it smelled a lot like blue cheese. Not sure what combination of compounds it was, but most of the nose was blue cheese, which was okay but a little off-putting.

However, the taste was amazing. I've never had a beer quite like it. Much more of the bourbon and butterscotch in the taste and incredibly drinkable, given the high abv. Carbonation was low which was good because this beer would have seemed strange if it was fizzy.

Overall a great beer that I wish I hadn't shared. :)

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 18:15:09 | More by Labeorphile
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Dave for breaking this one out. Pours a mahogany hue with no head; just a thin band around the shoulders. Nose expresses ethanol, toffee and buttery notes. Taste consistent with nose - buttery and malty. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an easy carbonation and a slight oiliness. Overall, I'm very impressed with this brew. I didn't really know what to expect, but I found this quite enjoyable - not something I would recommend for extended cellaring, however.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 23:31:22 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An excellent sipper. Smooth, easy drinking. Gets even better as it warms. Although the barrel smells and tastes are fairly forward, they don't overwhelm to make it too boozy. For a 12 percenter, this goes down so smoothly and easy. Tons of complex caramel and sugary tastes. Beautifully crafted. Just a delight to drink. Can't wait to consume my bottle being aged as we speak. Yum.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2013 00:55:03 | More by Beer-A-Lot
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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,153 ratings.