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Double Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale

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1,149 Ratings
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Ratings: 1149
Reviews: 242
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: 1,149 | Reviews: 242 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2013 00:02:23 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of mhksuccess


4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

had last night at a tasting thanks to YOITSARCH for bringing
it pour a nice color very little head
this bottle was 2012 version so had a year of age on it which did it wonderfully
the heat mellow out a bit and the flavors definitely came out
think maybe another year and this would be ripe wish he had another bottle for next year lol
anyway it is drinking really nice and still has a hint of heat but overall
this is a great bottle

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 20:38:07 | More by mhksuccess
Photo of timc100


4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2013 vintage

A: Murky copper with a orange/gold hue. Typical BA head - a vigorous pour yielded a substantial big bubble light beige head. It quickly is reduced to a small ring around the glass.

S: Huge, delicious, typical FW. Rich caramel, toasted coconut, vanilla and toffee all blend together. There is a great organic woody oak flavor as well that smooths out the sweetness. There are subtle notes of light-skinned berries, cocoa powder, and mild alcohol.

T: Very rich caramel and toffee, coconut and vanilla sweetness outline the experience. At the back end there are notes of light cocoa and smooth toasted oak.

P: Incredibly smooth. Medium-full body with very soft, velvety carbonation that's almost unnoticeable but still there, definitely not flat. It allows all the flavors to present themselves. Perfect, really.

O: An absolute knock out. So well balanced, appropriately rich, and obviously blended with care and intelligence. The alcohol is barely noticeable, but it will be interesting to see what age does to it.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 23:45:48 | More by timc100
Photo of LaneMeyer


3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 poured from a bottle into a teku.

A - Deep red amber, very little head.

S - Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cotton candy, raisin bread, hint of nutmeg, alcohol.

T - Caramel, burnt toffee, slightly bitter (not as bitter as one might think being a "special bitter"), raisin, bready, cinnamon, little bit of candy apple, nutmeg, sweet syrup.

M - Not as carbonated as I'd like, feels flat/watery.

O - Really sweet. A tasty beer, a little less bitter than I'd prefer being an "Imperial Special Bitter." Really not carbonated enough. I'd like to put it down for a year and see how it matures.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 06:45:43 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has been some time since I have written a full review. The beer I am drinking now has inspired me to return to the art of the beer review. I had a bottle of this when it was released...eh? Few times has aging a beer resulted in such beneficial returns. The appearance is a lovely garnet color, and rather clear. Some lacing is left by the rather light tan head. Aroma is interesting, the barrel has faded almost completely and what is left is a port like quality. Kind of fig like dried fruit thing. The flavor pops. Smooth. There is still barrel in the flavor. Fruity, caramel, toffee, all of the great flavors you would expect from an English strong ale. Oh wait this is an American strong ale? Who listed it as such? The surprise of this beer is that it is soft, balanced, and meshes with itself. Not cloying, not sweet, really great. This beer is full on the palate, it does not burn, it is not cloying. Remember this ale is around a year old now.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 03:08:15 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Double DBA pours a dark caramel ruby color with a small but thick ecru head. A bit of webbed lace sticks down the side of the glass.

The aroma has a bit of the English Bitter aroma to it. Peat, roasted malt, raisin, brown suar, earthy notes and a bit of booze hit my nose.

The flavor has a lot of sweet caramel and brown sugar up front. Vanilla, woody and earth notes, peat, caramel malt, and a touch of alcohol compose the flavor. The taste does not change over the course of the sip but has a nice complexity to it. There is a charred brown sugar flavor that overlays the whole flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich, with a smooth and creamy carbonation. There is a bit of fusel alcohol flavor. It is sticky on the lips.

This is a very good beer; I can see why Firestone uses it for their anniversary beers. The alcohol flavor would fade with proper aging, and there is a good amount of flavor, smoothness, and depth of character to the beer itself.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 00:41:07 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of Igotmypistola


4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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:)

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2013 05:16:38 | More by Igotmypistola
Photo of SweetBrown


3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The auburn color of this local beer fooled me! The light taste of the dark pour was surprising once it hit my palette. I expected a bitter and hoppy brew but was instead met with a light refreshing taste that complimented my oysters very nicely. You want to know how surprising? I reacted to the taste the same way I acted when Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon got together. I was like SAY WHAT!
Yum yum all the way around!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2013 02:27:04 | More by SweetBrown
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz boxed bottle purchased at Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY. Hard to nail down what this style really is. It's a double version of their English Pale Ale, so they list it as a barrel-aged imperial bitter, or something like that. It tastes like an boozy English barleywine or old ale to me.

Pours a golden brown into my tulip. Heads foams up nicely, and lasts a decent amount of time.

Smells very malty, and very sweet. Lots of brown sugar, and alcohol.

Tastes great, but gets a bit cloying and tiresome if you're trying to down the bomber yourself. Tons of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bit of tobacco. Lots of bourbon flavor comes through as the beer warms up- it becomes the dominant flavor the longer you drink it, making it slightly fatiguing. The sweetness of the bourbon is welcome for about 12 oz, then becomes cloying. I'm not saying it tastes bad- it's just bit too much of too much. Would be much better to share.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Alcohol is very noticeable. The beer has low carbonation.

Probably the least of the Proprietor's Reserve series I've tried by FW, and this is evinced by the fact it sits on the shelves much longer than Parabola, Sucaba, the anniversary ales, and Velvet Merkin. That being said, it's still a worthy candidate for a nice warming, winter drink with friends. Be careful, it'll sneak up on you quick.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 02:03:02 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of Hatzilla


4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 04:47:53 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of davey101


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

2012 vintage, No. 001. 22 oz bomber into a Founders 15th anny glass.

A - Pours a dark red body that is somewhat clear save for a great deal of floaties in the last pour. Really not much of a head to speak of. An initial fingers worth of tan foam fades away quickly to some thin edging. Minimal lacing.

S - The aroma reminds me a lot of Founders Boltcutter. Just a lightly hopped barrel aged barleywine/DIPA hybrid sort of thing. Rich caramel, toffee, biscuits and figs go right into some quasi-grapefruit/piney hops. Vanilla, oak, and brown sugar briefly on the end before it all gets consumed by a wall of ethanol.

T - The taste is very similar to the nose. Toffee and caramel central with some faded hops and a really nice barrel presence of butterscotch, oak, and vanilla. The alcohol is very noticeable but in a somewhat masochistic fashion. It impedes drinkability but half way into the beer I find myself enjoying its smooth burn. The finish really is fantastic. Mouth feel is a bit thin with low carbonation which suits the beer well enough.

O - I did not expect the beer to feel this massive. The booze is incredibly noticeable. Like a barrel aged old ale with a huge fruit presence but not as heavy. I wasn't totally sold initially but I really warmed up to it. Its very unique against the masses of BA barley wines out on the market. BA Imperial Bitter...go figure!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 05:09:24 | More by davey101
Photo of RhyminBelmont


4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the map room in chicago
10oz in a mini-snifter

This will not be a full depth review. Smells thick,slightly sweet,boozy warm. taste is delicious bourbon and caramel, something like a barrel aged ipa. Sticky, super boozy, but in an appetizing way. Finishing a little hot for my taste, but it's working. Kind of struggling to hide the alcohol, reminds me of Old Stock in that way. This is much better. I'd say the strong notes are more refined than that.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2013 02:02:19 | More by RhyminBelmont
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Reserve #001 bottle. Translucent red-copper color; sparkling clear; small but durable off-white head.

Aroma: Big, rich and complex with some evidence of higher ABV. Surprisingly fruity! Hints of oak, caramel, raisins, brown sugar and bourbon.

Taste: Rich, complex and lasting. Bourbon whiskey-oak tones over a very fine barley wine. Has 12% ABV but drinks more like 8%.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but with some alcohol heat. Excellent for 12% ABV!

O: Exceptional. Perfect for sipping. An ESB transformed into something else altogether.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 14:06:35 | More by chinchill
Photo of bpasquini


4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: dark ruby in color, similar to sucaba, a little more carbonation leaving a small half finger head

S: similar to sucaba and parabola, very sweet smelling, vanilla and bourbon predominately, some tart fruit also

T: slight bourbon presence, vanilla, and a little caramelized sugar, tasted a little coconut, and very little earthy hops as well, can tell they aged this in the same barrels as sucaba and parabola, very good flavor to it, would say it is sweeter than parabola, gets a little boozy as it warms

M: feels thick but smooth, almost identical to sucaba, very easy to drink considering %12 ABV

O: very good beer, recommend trying if you can find it, Sucaba and Parabola are better but this still compares to them, a little cheaper than sucaba and parabola, but still very good

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 05:49:44 | More by bpasquini
Photo of weonfire


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2013 01:56:00 | More by weonfire
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my mother and father in law for this most excellent Christmas gift.

Appearance. Pours a deep, hazy burnt orange with almost a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Rich oak and vanilla, bourbon and sweet caramel malts, some brown sugar and a bit of woody spice.

Taste. Caramel, vanilla, barrel wood and bourbon with a little chocolate and coconut.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation and some nice smooth boozy warmth.

Overall. A nice big but smooth sipper that actually goes down quite easy.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 02:58:21 | More by Rutager
Photo of scottfrie


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

22oz bottle into snifter. Batch 1.

A: Pours a deep caramel color with a couple fingers of light tan soft head that faded to faint film leaving spotty lace down the glass.
S: Caramel, raisins, toffee, toast, and light vanilla. Boozy.
T: More toast and roast, toasted grains, toffee, boozy barrel, piny hops, and earthy spice. Solid bitterness in the finish with a hint of milk chocolate. The aftertaste is warming, boozy and spicy with hints of vanilla and leather.
M: Full body, thick and slick mouthfeel, bitter, warming, and low carbonation.
O: Very good complexity and flavor. A couple more months of age and I think this beer will be even more awesome.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 16:50:41 | More by scottfrie
Photo of shehateme


4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A ...amber /copper tiny head
S...vanilla ,bourbon carmelized sugar
T...ooo Firestone you've done it again .i don't know what bourbon barrels Firestone uses but they should be the standard for beer aging .Huge bourbon ,vanilla and sugar shine through the perfect boozyness
M...still not sure what mouthfeel is
O...the barrel program at Firestone is heads and tails above every other that I have tried ,and this is no exception this beer seems to sit on the shelves in my area ,and now I'm glad it does will make this a staple in my rotation .

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 23:11:16 | More by shehateme
Photo of jmaharaj


4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Translucent brown with a glint of red. Thin off white head that sizzles until it completely disappears. This is meant to be a thick boozy beer and it very much looks the part. Viscous and ominously serene this looks like its going to pack a punch. Big, big malts on the nose. Caramel and swollen raisins just below the boozy tingle. brown sugar and a hint of bourbon and cola. The taste is very much the same. Big, long and complex. Prickly alcohol heat up front that drops into the malts. Each flavor holds it own but they swirl well together. No detectable hop bitterness which is a little disappointing, but an imperial barrel aged bitter was always going to be about the malt. Mouth feel is wonderful, viscous with a light but aggressive carbonation.
Very nice beer. Perfect for sipping. Maybe not exactly suited if want you want is in fact a English pale, but very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 00:50:31 | More by jmaharaj
Photo of Tucquan


4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-09-05 in Norristown, PA at Capones (from tasting notes)

A - Brewed tea brown with a short tan head and light lace.

S - Very mild malt. Not much aroma but there were food odors present.

T - Rich, rich toffee and roasted malt, spice. Hop oil flavor but not overly-bitter. Rich aftertaste of dark cherry and alcohol.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Creamy, oily, thick.

O - Very enjoyable. LIked it as well or perhaps a bit more than the DBA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2013 18:24:48 | More by Tucquan
Photo of stephenjmoore


4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber body with some reddish tones. Head is a light tan, but does not last long, leaving a ring of bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel malt, toasted oak, almost a burnt sugar/ toffee aroma mixed in as well.

T- Lots of toasted oak barrel character to this one. Sweet caramel malts come through and leave some caramel/toffee flavors. A slight hint of a cider-like spice is there, but only briefly. For a big, malt-forward beer, this one is not overly sweet and not overly boozy.

M- A coating sipper, with a slight alcohol presence. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied.

O- It's an interesting beer that is subtle, but strong. Another example showing that Firestone Walker knows how to use barrels.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 20:45:31 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Capitol Beer and Tap Room in Sacramento, CA

Appearance - A semi-hazy, deep reddish copper, served up with a razor thin, off-white head. Too thin to properly judge retention.

Smell - Strong boozy quality. Bourbony. Vanilla. Hints of caramel. Sharp.

Taste - Thankfully, smoother on the tongue than in the nose. Bourbon qualities do dominate the profile, however, and comes across as oaky and vanilla sweetness. Subtle caramel near the finish, then more bourbon qualities punch through again in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low carbonation. Finishes bone dry.

Overall - Call it what you will, but there are barrel-aged brews out there that don't really do it for me. Often I find too much booziness will get in the way of more subtle, enjoyable qualities of a beer. This one is no exception. It's good, but this just isn't my cup of tea. Take away the bourbon flavors, and this beer barely has a leg to stand on it's own.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2013 04:21:37 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of beerbully

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Snifter from 22 oz.

A-Brownish, reddish copper hue. 1/2 inch head that dissipates rather quickly. Moderate lacing that immediately runs down side of glass.

S-Big Sweet Aroma, Cherries, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, butterscotch

T-Follows the nose, First sip produces a big blast of bourbon upfront. followed by slightly burning sweetness. Barrel aging is prominent. Picking up the vanilla, canidied dark fruits, Oak. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering for 12%. Blends nicely with the complex flavors. Flavor lingers long after taking a sip. Lingering sweetness quite noticeable as near the bottom of glass.

M-quite a bit more carbonation than I was expecting. warms the mouth, leaves a slight tingle on roof of mouth. Carbonation mellows as beer warms.

O-This does the trick. Big beer with complex flavors that holds the drinkers attention while sipping on a cold day. Drinks more like a spirit than beer. Continues to improve as it warms. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 22:05:27 | More by beerbully
Photo of crewfan16


4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle dated 06/14/12 poured into a goblet. I'm forgetting which trader got me this,but thanks again.

A- pours hazy mahogany orange color. Light khaki foam recedes quirky, not surprising for 12. Pretty looking beer.

S- get lots of vanilla sweetness and caramel and toffee. Definite bourbon barrel booziness. Just slight bit of fruity hop, but not much. Very complex, as I would expect from Firestone walker specialty brews

T- follows the nose. Barrel character is evident with the creamy vanilla and caramel. Lots of booze. Big malt backbone with just a hint of bittering hops on the finish. Nice complexity.

M- thick and sticky mouthfeel. Not cloyingly sweet. Carbonation is minimum, but seems correct for the style,

Overall, another very good beer from firestone walker. Without much style-wise to compare It to, it's hard to say how truly good this is.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 05:27:27 | More by crewfan16
Photo of dave73ok


4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle, dated 6-15-12.

a- Lovely color and clarity, poured nice, above average carbonation, but no issue.
s- Wow. Raisins, caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla.
t- Very complex flavor profile. The barrel effects are very evident, and add much to it. Not too hot, especially once it warmed a bit.
m- Full, thick.
o- This is a great beer. It'll probably put me to sleep, but that's ok!

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 02:17:57 | More by dave73ok
Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,149 ratings.