1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: 73
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,444 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheEarl
2.93/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I split a bottle of the 2012 Double DBA, poured into a tulip glass, on 8/3/2012.

Appearance: DDBA pours a dark red/brown with a slight and lacey head. There is very little visible carbonation.

Smell: DDBA’s aroma is initially of strong toffee, followed by apple and almond, finishing with almost overwhelming vanilla from the barrel.

Taste: As with the aroma, DDBA’s taste is nearly overpowered by the toffee sweetness from the malts and the aggressive vanilla character from the oak. While these are pleasant flavors, I didn’t find the taste well balanced. The sweetness was simply too aggressive.

Mouthfeel: DDBA is medium/full bodied, quite sticky, and fairly viscous. There is a slight amount of alcohol heat on the finish. For me, the feel of this beer is probably its best characteristic.

Overall: I was disappointed by DDBA. It is certainly a good beer but, it is not a great beer, and I would not buy it again. In this style (barrel aged strong ales), I find Fremont’s Bourbon Barrel Abominable Ale to be infinitely better balanced and more complex.

TheEarl, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of StarRaptor
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

StarRaptor, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of gshak
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to grab a couple of bombers of the first double DBA release. Let's see how this goes:

Poured about 3 oz from bottle at fridge temperature into a triple karmeliet snifter, and allowed to warm up for about 10 mins:
A - Orange/light brown with minimal head and zero lacing. Not much to look at, but I wasn't paying for the appearance either...
S - coconut, vanilla, delicate bourbon, toffee, brown sugar, and slight fruity tartness...the smell reminds me of a very decadent dessert.
T - slight saltiness, yielding rightaway to rich, sweet, toffee-like, brown sugary, rum-soaked raisin breadiness that finishes tart, and very abruptly at that. The mouth demands another sip to replace the one that just went down. There is some oak and a slight hop near the end to balance out the sweetness.
M - medium bodied, but chewy indicating that this is one flavorful beer.
O - A most excellent beer that will likely age gracefully into a more complex and rewarding fine liquid. At 12%, this one drinks remarkably easy and very filling. Drink it responsibly at home, with good company.

gshak, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of paulromeroii
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

paulromeroii, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of 2beerdogs
4/5  rDev -6.3%

2beerdogs, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of ystazi
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

ystazi, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of LotsofLupulin
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

LotsofLupulin, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of TeamUgly
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

TeamUgly, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of notchucknorris
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's.

A: Pours a dark caramel color with no head.

S: Firestone really knows how to do the barrel aging thing. Fantastic smells of toasted coconut, bourbon, caramel, honey and maybe a hint of oak.

T: I wasn't sure about how this one would taste because I'm really not a fan of DBA. But this is pretty good stuff. Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla and caramel with some hints of dark fruit and just a hint of hop resin. A drying finish leaves a warming hint of booze. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but holds up to the bourbon and high alcohol pretty well. Really glad I got to try this.

notchucknorris, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of darkmoon66
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

darkmoon66, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of pandatron
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

pandatron, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Kevlee722, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
3.5/5  rDev -18%

mhaugo, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of Deltrus
3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Glass coffee mug (have nothing better)

Appearance: Dark almond color with a slight hue of dark ruby.

Smell: Not very existent, however when freshly poured, the smell blossoms into something more lively, though still lacking. Smell is a sweet tangy smell of bourbon barrels, lacking the smell of hops. If smelled side-to-side, the smell is more of an oak scent and loses its burn of the bourbon barrels.

Taste: Opens with toffee however quickly after swallowing, an overpowering flavor of bourbon takes over and completely diminishes any of the beer's initial flavor. The flavors that Firestone talks about on the box of vanilla and almonds were hardly detectable, if at all there.

Mouthfeel: Smooth unlike bourbon, which is the flavor it leaves the mouth with, thus giving a unique drinking experience. The burn that straight bourbon would give is toned down heavily thus providing a pleasant mouthfeel, however it doesn't last too long.

Overall: My friend and I got this beer for $20 and it feels like we paid little for a bottle bourbon, but it is not actually bourbon. It is an intriguingly flavored beer but it is still a bourbon-flavored beer and if you like bourbon or the taste in general (the after-burn), this is the beer for you, if not, it might be hard to enjoy, because of the strong bourbon smell and flavor.

Deltrus, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Rollzroyce21, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

skunk242, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

MarkyMOD, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of rudy0908
4/5  rDev -6.3%

rudy0908, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of ArrogantB
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $14.99 Picked this up off the strength of all teh Anniversary beers, Parabola, and Abacus. I figured it would not let me down but I was mistaken. Dark amber color, scant head. Aroma is booze and oak and more booze, meh. Flavor is just real boozy with notes of oak barrels. It really lacks the toasted coconut character I enjoy in their barrel aged beers. For me (and my friend who split it with me) this was a real letdown. I'm just glad I only bought the one bottle.

ArrogantB, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Kopfschuss, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Arbitrator
3.05/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: This pours a clear, light copper body capped with a finger of off-white head that vanishes quickly.

S: Green apples, bourbon, vanilla, oak; it has an estery nose that initially reminds me of the stone fruit qualities tripel. Alcohol heat that vanishes after a few minutes (or I become used to it).

T: The taste is a letdown. I enjoy the fruity apricot-apple qualities of the base (?) beer, but it lacks the character to stand up to the barrels. The initial taste holds up well, but it devolves into thin oak-tannin juice in the finish. Very bourbon-forward, coupled with substantial heat.

M: This is fairly hot, in part because it's thin. I find it imbalanced and overly tannic, especially in the finish. The aftertaste is nice; I think the astringency helps it to clean up well, at the expense of, well, astringency.

O: I didn't find the this very remarkable for $14. It's a shade above 'meh.' I just got one and I'll stop there.

Arbitrator, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

sukwonee, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of denver10
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel amber with a slight cream colored head. Aroma provides a healthy hit of booze, barrel, some honey, caramel, honey. Flavor follows suit and the booze and barrel strut their stuff in the get go, some honey and toffee that leads to a vanilla caramel in the finish. Fuller bodied, slight activity. Overall, I quite enjoyed this one a lot though it would have benefited from a lessening of the heat.

denver10, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Rconn006
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Rconn006, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Horbar
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Horbar, Aug 03, 2012
Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.