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Double Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

314 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 314
Hads: 1,880
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 22.12%
Wants: 223
Gots: 897 | FT: 114
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 06-16-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 314 | Hads: 1,880
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great complexity and variety of amber shades. Sunset cherry and ruby highlights. Appealing off-white head and everlasting effervescence. Toffee and butterscotch could be interpreted as some vanilla, coconut, oak, orange. Full body flavor, slick, and good amount of carb. Get some buttered corn, some coarse wood grain, vinous and light char. Rich toffee malts and the slightest of hop twang.

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Photo of scotorum
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Clear copper with a two inch thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Grain spirits.

t: Bourbon or rum up front with a fine smoothness, followed by a significant hop bite, and throat burn on swallow. Boozy finish.

m: Full and very smooth with wonderful body. Some carbonation tingle.

o; A top flight barrel aged Imperial bitter with an amazing mouthfeel and flavor to burn. Could well be the best out there in its style.

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Photo of Radome
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage, poured from a bomber bottle into a globe glass.

L - Medium amber color with some orange when held up to light. Just the slightest haziness. Off-white head is initially thick and active but fades to a thin sheet and big lacing on the edge of the glass. Light "legs" on the glass when it is swirled.

S - Amazing aroma of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, bourbon. No hops or yeast contributors to the nose, but alcohol definitely comes through.

T - Malt and barrel flavors totally dominate. The malt is sweet, biscuit- and graham cracker-like. From the other flavors, this appears to have been aged in bourbon barrels, getting a sweet, toffee, caramel and vanilla-infused character. Some sweet alcohol in the lingering finish.

F - Thick, mouthcoating body. Plenty of hops bitterness in the mid-palate, despite lack of obvious hops flavors or aromas. Low, smooth carbonation. Mild alcohol burn, but surprisingly low for such a high ABV.

O - Very sweet and sticky, but the flavors and aromas are so amazing that it's easy to forgive its lack of balance.

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Photo of MistahBeah
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Ruby brown with a half an inch of khaki colored head which dissipates rather quickly into a film on the surface. Good amount of sediment throughout.

Aroma: Very fruity. Tropical notes of coconut and pineapple and citrusy lime. Honey and baked crackers. Bourbon, vanilla and sweet toffee and caramel.

Taste: Impressed with the amount of fruitiness interlaced throughout the sweet caramel/toffee flavors. At times enhancing or balancing the sweet side. Picking up coconut, vanilla, lime, Graham crackers, bourbon. Lots going on and all of it is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied with a complex dry finish.

Overall: A knockout. Could have been overly sweet but it dries right out in the finish. More fruit than I would have thought which enhances the flavor. Complex and delicious.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of nice caramelized malt with nice toffee notes and light residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by caramelized malt with some toffee notes, light biscuit notes and just the right amount of residual sugar. Body is about average with good carbonation and light warming alcohol. This beer is super well-balanced with just the right amount of complexity and great drinkability.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy dark ruby red color with thin lacing, minimal carbonation, and very viscous looking.

S - Bourbon, toasted caramel, toffee, vanilla, and oak.

T - Lots of toasted toffee, vanilla, caramel, oak, and bourbon from start to finish. Alcohol effervescence is prominent along with alcohol warming, light citrus bitterness at the very end and lingering alcohol warmth.

M - Thick, full body, sticky, carbonation is silky smooth.

O - Very boozy and complex.

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Photo of Mgm54
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2013 release, so roughly 1.5 years of age on it. It drank exquisitely, with almost the perfect amount of bourbon flavor and smell backed by a solid malt backbone. Highly recommended seeking this beer out.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- Color is bight caramel with dark red hues. Pours only a very thin head that quickly dissaptes to outer ridges of the glass.

Aroma- Lots of malt sweetness with toffee aromas and a little bit of bourbon sweetness as well.

Taste- Mild bourbon sweetness up front with coconut, vanilla, and toffee showing up. Some oak and herbal hop are subtle, but provide a perfect balance to the sweet flavors.

Feel- Very smooth, mild carbonation, and no cloying malts whatsoever. No alcohol presence as well.

Overall- Definitely a world class beer. The bourbon presence is subtle, but the flavors imparted (vanila, coconut,etc) blend perfectly with the toffee malts and oak. Perfectly balanced, all the flavors enhance each other, and the finish is smooth and clean. Its a shame this will no longer be bottled.

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Photo of Sandalwood
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013, one year old. Pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a small off white head. The odor is barrel like, coconut, bourbon, dark fruits, fig, dates, raisin, whiskey, slight citrus lemon. The taste is coconut, bourbon, dried fruits, fig, plum, raisin, barrel like, apricot, malty, sugar, slightly honey, barely any alcohol taste, a lot of different notes as warms up, not bitter at all.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike. 2012 vintage. Dark amber-orange pour with a quickly fading two finger beige head with decent lacing. The nose is bold and complex with tons of buttery toffee and caramel along with hints of oak, vanilla, coconut, and subtle dark fruits. The taste mirrors the nose with huge caramel and molasses up front along with hints of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, toasted coconut, booze, tobacco, and oak. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and smooth, but warming finish. It gets crazy drinkable as it warms. Overall, this is a bold and flavorful beer that just kept improving as I drank it.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Somehow this one gets lost in the hubbub over Sucaba. To be fair, I've had bottles that weren't so good, others that were fantastic. When it prime form, this thing screams brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, and even coconut (a note that FW seems particularly adept at coaxing out of their barrel-aged brews, and which I adore). Apparently on hiatus for a while now, but I have a feeling it'll pop back up, as it's too good banish forever.

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Photo of TheyCallMeYukon
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: Has a hazy orange glow with some copper tones. Poured totally opaque which is always welcome in a barrel aged beer. Topped beautifully with a creamy copper/orange head which dissipated to nothing very quickly.
Aroma: Smells of dark ripe fruits (figs & Dates), Bourbon whiskey, and slightly sweet from lightly toasted malt.
Taste: Taste mirrors the aroma with some alcohol burn coming in from the 12% and the lighter body of this brew. It has a semi-cloying sweetness that I didn't expect from it. The up front on this beer is smooth and amazing, but the finish sticks in the back of the throat and is a little rough.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation upfront that seemed to fade very quickly which is why I'm assuming the rough alcohol burn lingered a little too long on the end.
Overall: I liked it and thought it was fairly impressive, not very familiar with the style but I enjoyed it. My only wish is for a little more carbonation and aging to get the back end a little smoother.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into a Firestone Walker 6 oz. brandy snifter

Appearance: A lovely ruby, orange colored beer, clear, shiny, head disappeared fairly quickly, little to no bubbles, a really nice looking beer.

Aroma: Big coconut, candy, toffee aromas on the nose, toasted coconut, macaroons, vanilla, caramel, very sweet aromas, not getting any alcohol on the nose, smells great.

Taste: Like the nose, big toasted coconut, macaroons, toffee, candy, vanilla, sweet malts, there is a bitterness that gives way to all these different sweet flavors, some alcohol burn on the back end, taste really good.

Mouthfeel: medium mouthfeel, dry finish, not a big syrupy beer.

Overall: I love this beer, FW has the best barrel aged program in the country, too bad this is discontinued, not as smooth as Sucaba, but I think this has a rougher profile than Sucaba, really good, worth $16.99 per bottle, where ever I find it, I am buying and saving it, a must try.

Just finished tasting a two-year old bottle and I would say that this is much better fresh. After two years, the barrel flavors have subsided, there's a slight bitterness that is more prevalent. I prefer this beer fresh or within a year, it's not bad, still world class but it loses some of its punch over time.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%

On tap at Pangea Sacramento. Looks a smooth textured copper to ruby to medium dark brown.
Rich smell of plum, apricot, toffee and butterscotch.. Taste is semi sweet cocoa, toffee, plums, fermented fruit, butterscotch, almond/marzapam and getting lots of bourbon on the finish. Heavy mouthfeel with a sweet, smooth texture and plenty body. Laced the glass like rings at every sip..serve with desserts, vanilla ice cream, flambés, winter dishes, such as roasted kabocha or butternut squash, pumpkin pie; upmost rich-dishes such as anything browned or buttered or candied!!!

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Photo of KYGunner
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%

Smells like a Barleywine should with nice dark fruits, chocolate, toffee and caramel but the maple and molasses I catch are strong on the nose.

This starts with a smooth light sweetness, maple, toffee, caramel and a honey dipped candy flavor. It ends with stronger toffee and caramel sweetness. FW does nothing but impress and this is right along with their best.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Bottle from Bert's
Pours a touch hazy reddish amber color with a decent sized tightly bubbled tan head that shows moderate retention. Aromas of caramel, brown and caramelized sugar with lots of juicy pitted fruit. Vanilla with a hint of woodiness. The flavor is sweet sugary malt with hints of oak and vanilla and a somewhat overly present alcohol heat. Hints of pitted fruits and a light smoked toffee round the flavor out. Thick body light carbonation, sticky syrupy with an alcohol burn. Very flavorful but shows all of the12% abv. could use a bit of time to mellow but I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another given half a chance.

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Photo of stortore
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 22 ounce bottle into snifter.

Pours a hazy, medium amber color, small head, no real lacing. Smells terrific. Lots of bourbon and malts, oak, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, hint of cherry. Taste continues the strong, but not dominant, bourbon, stronger malts than the nose. Also vanilla, caramel, oak. Slightly boozy. Really good. Smooth, rich, full bodied.

Gonna miss this beer. So well blended and flavorful. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of richj1970
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours a rich golden brown with some slight red tones. One finger off white head that settled immediately and almost no lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee. Plum, dates, and cherries. A hint of bourbon and charred oak.

T: Rich toffee, butterscotch, and caramel. Dark fruity Flavors with plum, dates, and cherries. Subtle bourbon and oak flavors at the end.

M: Full bodied with a sweet finish. Fairly lightly carbonated.

O: Outstanding English style barley wine. Sad to see this one go, but at least I have a 2014 bottle yet to enjoy!

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone usually kills it on any of their special releases, no exception here. So smooth, the body's like liquid silk. Caramel and toffee. Just an outstanding barleywine, and not that far behind Sucuba.

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Photo of Ngntjp
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Going into this knowing that we don't particularly love bourbon barrel aged beers, I was stunned. This was such a pleasure to drink, as each sip becomes more and more complex with the temperature of our glasses rising. Beautiful color, nose, taste, and mouthfeel. Overall this is one I expected to be indifferent to, but came out absolutely loving. Should've bought more!

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a tulip glass. 2013 vintage.

A- Pours a deep amber, the year of aging has settled out a lot of yeast and the initial pours are quite clear, had about a quarter of a finger of off white head that dissipated quickly.

S- Lots of toasted coconut with a bit of marshmallow in there, vanilla, bit of oak, not too much alcohol, and dried dark fruits of date and raisin.

T- Similar to nose, mostly toasted coconut, marshmallow and vanilla with some oak and alcohol on the end. The age has made this beer really smooth. I thought for a second that I was getting a slight English hop note on the finish but I could be wrong.

M- On the lighter side of heavy, slightly syrupy.

O- English Barleywines and Old Ales are one of my favorite styles and when the are barrel aged I usually find them to be amazing and that is the case with this one. I really enjoyed how smooth it was and it really had the same huge toasted coconut and marshmallow that I get from two of my favorites Kuhnhenn BB4D and BCBBW. I hope to trade for more of this in the future.

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Photo of Roguer
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Caramel/muted orange translucent ale, some floaties if you look hard enough and let it settle. Head is slow to form, but is strong (if small), pale, with nice, oily retention.

Lovely aroma, full of vanilla, toffee, light caramel, earth, tobacco, tannin, a hint of citric acid, and of course bourbon - very smooth and mild, though.

Unbelievably smooth flavor, with the bourbon ending up a perfect complement. Very mild on the oak presence, but vanilla, bourbon, and toffee are present in spades. A tiny bit of slightly tart grape presence; barely noticeable caramel; a dry, earthy hop presence (extremely mild and smooth). Everything is perfectly blended together for one delicious overall package.

Very smooth mouthfeel; very little sting, but not quite syrupy; smooth and silky. Medium feel, but it's definitely a sipper. Alcohol heat is almost completely hidden.

This is a delicious beer, well worth cracking for a special occasion or a long, slow evening.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%

On tap at the FW Tasting Room – Paso Robles
Served in a FW Tasting snifter glass – 08/16/2014

A: Double DBA pours a dark and muddled caramel amber color with some reddish brown tint to it. The carbonation invokes about a quarter inch of dark khaki froth with some sufficient staying power. Light broken tracks of tan lace cling onto my glass after every sip.

S: Smells like rich toffee nougat laced with toasted coconut and vanilla spice. This is not distinctively Bourbon forward to me but I do get some of that aged oak presence. Really this has a big caramel malt sweetness accompanied with a dried fruit medley, doughy breads, and a touch of earthy hops surfacing. Some mild alcohol presence as well. Smells warm and inviting with some nice barreling attributes.

T: Taste bares no surprises as the buttery rich toffee malts carry over. Sweet breads with coconut flesh, brown sugar, toasted oak, and some subtle Bourbon vanilla spice all come together. The beer is big and rich yet never gets sickly so. Maintains a nice frothy consistency throughout and there is a lower level of hop bitterness that brings in some nice earthy mineral qualities to round out the other flavors. Finishes with a warming alcohol spiced kick. A lovely sipper for sure.

M: Heavy and filling at times however with a nice upper level of frothy carbonation that lends a nice creamy texture to the beer. Finishes with a bit of a drying lift and some warming alcohol effects.

D: Double DBA is another great barrel aged offering in the Firestone-Walker lineup. While the final blend doesn’t scream Bourbon to me I just can’t get enough of that coconut. I think that balance is the real testament to the brew masters as I appreciate the fact that this doesn’t pummel you over the head with the spirits like a truncheon yielding bobby. A bit sweeter than others so best to take some time with this one or share with friends. Shame they are discontinuing bottles.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Poured hard into my Lucifer snifter.

Sight: Lovely hazy, burnished orange with a stark white head. This recedes into a light film on top, delicate speckles of lace.

Smell: Oh God, the malt! Sweet bready, malty, raisin goodness. Just the slightest hint of hop.

Taste: More Heaven in a glass. Sipped while chilled, it offers a great caramel note, playing in concert with a sugary malt and like its aroma, dark fig/raisin characteristic of balanced English style Barleywines. Booze is well hidden for 12%- to me, a great hallmark of well-crafted barleywine. As it warms, the hops are a bit more apparent, but the other flavors still take control. I MAY consider this a "malt bomb."

Mouthfeel: Delicate carbonation, slick oily feel on the tongue. Very pleasing. Smooth, almost to a fault.

Overall: Fantastic offering by FW. And a new "nomenclature" for me: Imperial Special Bitter. Call it what you want, I'll call it malty magnificence.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Thanks so much to Benny (styleisking) for snagging me this before it's gone for good.

It's a heavily clouded brown with lighter brown in its outer edges but no highlights to speak of in terms of color. The head is a tan cap that settles nicely to roughly half a finger's height and sticks some moderate to slightly heavier spotting and thin webbing sparsely.
This is a malty beast to be sure. It does manage to show off its English nature in its own way, more particularly in the flavor than the aroma. Otherwise there's a lot of sweetness while refraining from cloying. There's lots of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, and maybe even a hint of something like marshmallow flashing in there. Vanilla comes clearly through the barrel, which adds plenty of spirituous heat and wood to complement. It comes off as a touch heavy at times, but I'm surprised this monster can be kept in check at all. Earth runs into the middle and on through as it finishes with lots of dark fruits.
It's smooth as good bourbon with a steady carbonation to it. It comes on creamy and eases dry without losing the smoothness, while just a bit of crispness gently nips. It never loses smoothness, and the heat just sort of slides in and into the finish.

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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 314 ratings.