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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1614
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerManDan on 08-24-2002)
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Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MusicmanSD


4.7/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped the cap off the bomber and immediately smelled oaked barreling. A good sign...hehe...The appearance looks like Stone Pale Ale, a little darker hue, head is tall at first, but doesn't last too long. Probably about 5 minutes max. The smell is awesome. Great oaked characteristics and caramel backgrounds with awesome spice hints. The taste is just the same. It's like a carbonated, oaked version of Stone's pale ale. Very, very tasty! The mouthfeel is heavy and perfectly carbonated in my opinion. The drinkability you ask? I could drink this all day! A very fine offering that I hope gets to a wider market soon! One of my new favorite American beers. Leads me to wonder what an Oaked Arrogant Bastard might taste like...

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 04:03:27 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of drummstikk


4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Immediate rose, honeysuckle, and toast, followed by pleasant tartness, medium toasted bread, oak-derived vanillin, and dry floral hops. Esters are immediate and clear, but never overpowering, while caramel malts just tickle your tongue. Such a welcome respite from the onslaught of American Pale Ales! Finish is an aromatic maltiness any Brit expatriate would appreciate. Color is dark straw and brilliant clear. Body is medium to light, with oak esters and tannins providing a bit of balance to the malt-heavy brew. This beer is underestimated by hop-addled West-Coasters. Try DBA first, in the afternoon, in a garden, with the sun setting. Think on your wife, your loved ones. Think on your life. Amazing!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 00:54:08 | More by drummstikk
Photo of microbrew52


4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy thick dark brown. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt and burnt toffee aroma that's a bit sweet smelling with just enough roasted character. If you have the cask next to the keg you can really taste the difference. The oak works well with this beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is my first FW beer. I like the their use of multiple specialty grains as well as the barrel fermenting. It offers up an interesting tasting experience.

Serving type: cask

12-31-2009 04:33:30 | More by microbrew52
Photo of Jamie134


4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a British Pale Ale despite others believing it is an amber. Amber merely describes the color. Website says all imported malt and hops. The result is apparent in the taste. It is more of a low-key session beer, highly drinkable. The oak fermentation also contributes a smoothness and sweetness to the beer. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2005 17:32:27 | More by Jamie134
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a clear amber-gold color with a quick fading light tan head.

Sweet caramel malts dominate the aroma along with vanilla, and grapefruit, orange, and grassy hops.

The taste is much matches the aroma exactly. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, honey, grapefruit, orange, and grassy hops blend perfectly. Smooth and well-balanced finish.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This is a very nice English Pale Ale from Firestone Walker. Well-balanced, flavorful and so sessionable. I wish I had another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 22:47:33 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of TastyTaste


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zorro for the 12 ounces.

Appearance: Dark brown copper color, small head settles fast into nothing. A little off-white foam is left behind.

Smell: Sweet carmel malts, also toasted, very nice.

Taste: Also very pleasing. Bready, toasted malts, sweet carmel flavors, tea leaves and a sizable hop finish that is not overdone, but is prominant. Flavors all work well together. I don't get much of a woody flavor, though.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, but late prickly carbonation picks it up, saves the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very pleasing amber ale, one that is not afraid to showcase both malt and hops. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 19:08:12 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of CampusCrew


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had thisd in SLC at the bayou and I have never heard of it. As I was drinking t I was thinking a hoppy red ale. Suprised to see it was an English Pale.

appearance: nice beutiful red-amberish color

smell: strong hop aroma and citrus notes

taste: liek a solid IPA, but good pine/grapefruit flavor, very solid IPA along with all of their others. decent carmael sweetness.

mouthfeel: medium bodied, more balanced than torpedo and copeletey different flavor

drinkability: overall a decent PA, and I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 22:05:48 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish-brown. No head. Light bodied. Rim of lacing on sides of the glass.

Smell: Malts dominate. Caramel, biscuit, and cocoa hit my nose. This is somewhat reminiscent of a porter. It really smells delicious. The hops hint of apple peel.

Taste: DBA taste woody and herbal. It's a bit like a black tea with a cocoa aftertaste. This ale is very light and well balanced. It's malty with a refreshing hop backing.

Mouthfeel: Light and taste good when swished.

Drinkability: It's a really fine unique ale with a lot of character. If you like malts and beers that harken back to a more English flavor profile buy a six pack of this. You won't regret it. It's definitely a good night cap.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 06:43:15 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle without a freshness date pours a pretty clear, light amber color with a fluffy tan foam. Decent lacing and leaves a nice sheen.

Honey, caramel and toast on the nose. A nice complexity of malts, maybe some biscuit and special B. Wonderful citric and grassy hop notes really keep this a pleasant sniffer throughout the tasting.

This one is like an English malt bill meets American hops. Nice and very tasty. Caramel and toast are well balanced by some citric hoppy goodness. Clean and crisp - super easy to drink. Would make a terrific sessionable six-pack purchase, I really enjoyed it. Quite a nice pub/cask feel to the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 00:25:56 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of russwbeck


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really interesting because they take the pale ale and throw it through 60 gallon oak barrels to ferment--and are the only American brewery to do so. It's an English Pale Ale, or the Old World Pale to Pale 31's New World.

I asked about the difference in fermenting this in oak barrels and aging big beers in Bourbon. This process is so delicate it takes a lot of science to vet the barrels, it's a very intensive process because of the low ABV. When you're talking about big beers, like Parabola, there's much less of a process because the high ABV kills any possible pathogens. They get the barrels from Coopers in Missouri, and retire them after 4 months.

A: The beer looks a lot like Pale 31, but it's more brown. Head lacing and retention are very similar 4.5

S: Very malty aroma. The oak is present, but not dominant. Light hop qualities. 4

T: Really nice malty beer with definite hop quality. It's piney, but oaky. The taste is so clean it's very impressive. Not a lot going on, but what is happening is great 4.5

MF: Low carbonation, which is right along with the English style. Very drinkable. 4.5

Pairing: This was paired with buckwheat cavatelli, saffron-braised chicken with English peas. The buttery, salty food paired wonderfully with the subtle, malty beer. It really was like a deconstructed chicken pot pie with a really drinkable pale ale. 4.5

O: I much preferred this to the Pale 31. It was very drinkable and the amount of attention they pay to the beer shows. It's wonderful. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2012 01:18:24 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Franchise


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering picked up in California pours a copper color leaving a thick tan head frothy and strong. The aroma has a slight sour tinge, flour, caramel, honey, airy.

The taste is delicious, starts sweet with a caramel feel, moving to a soft hoppy, earthy, sour twinge. This is a real drinkable beer one that at 5% is easily a session quality not a lot going on that clean, refreshing, suttle oak, with a great fruity mild bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2008 16:58:43 | More by Franchise
Photo of JayS2629


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with great clarity, a descent white head that fades quickly, but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is bready, english malts, toast and faint orange hints with some herbal, tea like hops peeking through.

Carmamel, toffee, and toast with citrus tea and grassy hints in the finish. Very well balanced and refreshing.

Crisp, medium bodied, refreshing with a smooth finish.

Overall, a great tasting, great balanced, and well brewed beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 13:51:39 | More by JayS2629
Photo of jfvarela


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper amber color

Smell: Very mild - pale malts, caramel malts, slightly biscuity, slight coffee - vaguely English hops

Taste: Caramel and pale malts, toasted grains, lightly toasted biscuits, and coffee - dry, with minimal sweetness - minimal bitterness, too - some English hops
Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, very drinkable

Overall: Very Good

This is a very good English Pale Ale I've had. I enjoyed this beer very well

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 18:44:15 | More by jfvarela
Photo of chanokokoro


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

Pours a golden amber with a one and half finger off-white head. A bit of lacing is evident as the head slowly recedes. A pleasant aroma of subtle oak, light notes of vanilla, and hints of caramel. Very unique mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy on the edges that lends to a brew that is fairly medium bodied especially for a pale ale, however the carbonation is crisp and clean. Extremely smooth, coats the mouth. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, charred oak, herbs and flora, and bread crust can all be found in this brew. Subtle, but extremely complex. Frankly much more complex than countless brews with better ratings. This brew is a true triumph.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 01:19:39 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of jonnylieberman


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper/orange almost red color in the glass. Good initial head.

Smelled like a proper California ale.

The taste; Firestone either uses a whole lot of caramel malt, or else this ale goes through a decoction mash. Serious caramel flavor brilliantly balanced with good hop bitterness. Damn fine in my opinion.

Felt very nice in my mouth. Felt nicer going down the hatch

I could drink many of these. I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to try it. I think the packaging turned me off. No matter, for now I know!

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2004 09:05:19 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of claytri


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich amber with an off-white head. The beer has a pleasant aroma of balanced malt and hops. The beer has a biscuity malt flavor with a nice floral hop finish. The feel is medium and dry. I found this to be a very pleasant and drinkable beer. It was actually very reminiscent of a British Bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 23:10:58 | More by claytri
Photo of dfitch81


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BA classifies this as an American Amber/Red Ale, but it tastes more like an English Pale Ale (or maybe an ESB), which is how the brewers describe it.
Poured with a head about two fingers thick, average retention.
Smell, though not strong, is pleasant and tea-like. Taste is nicely subdued at first, with more of the tea-like flavor suggested by the smell. Juicy hops come out near the end - flavorful but not overwhelming. Nice, satisfying finish with no unpleasant aftertaste.
Overall a very satisfying beer, and one that I liked more the more I drank. Too bad it isn't a little cheaper - I feel slightly guilty spending $4.99...

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 02:09:40 | More by dfitch81
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During my visit in AZ a Total Wine and more opened. Nice. During a three week visit I get to taste a lot of awesome beers otherwise not available in Europe.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Comes out clear dark golden amber. nice two finger head leaving some nice lacing.

It's light on the nose but still loads of stuff going on. Floral notes, caramel malts and some nice hop aroma.

Flavors on this one are great. Loads of malty goodness, a little sweetness and a nice amount of hop.

More carbonation present than in your average English Pale Ale. A decent full body with a neutral finish.

I loved this one. It was just what I was looking for at the moment I drank it. Having had a ton of aggresive West Coast IPA's this one really presented me the variation I was craving. Low ABV makes this a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 00:17:50 | More by doopiedoopiedoo
Photo of Zorro


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear brown ale, dark for a pale ale.

Smell is very malty with some perfume and sweetness, and some hops. Faint wood and vanilla scent from the French Oak barrels they make this stuff in.

Taste sweet malt and bitter hops fight each other to a draw leaving a pleasant range of flavors. Vanilla, oak, caramel, malt, tea, citrus, all show up in the taste. Starts sweet and ends dry and woody.

Mouthfeel is full and a bit astringent.

Super drinkable, my favorite local brew, superior to SNA Pale Ale in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2004 04:14:11 | More by Zorro
Photo of jeffjfindley


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would like to preface this review by stating that I think it's absurd for "drinkablility" to accout for only 10% of the overall ranking of a beer on this site. No matter how "over the hop" it may be, the purpose of every beer is to be drunk. I think that appearance and smell could both stand a demotion in favor of the ultimate characteristic of a great beer. Having gotten that off my chest, here goes...

Appearance: Fantastic color, beautiful brown to orange, thin head, low bubble activity. A little better head retention and we'd go higher.

Smell: Smells great, but weak. I can detect the oakiness, but that's about all. This may be due to the fact that I had a Stone 10th anniversary IPA earlier.

Taste: A singing synergy of the elements of a great session beer. The malt, the hop, and the sweet soft water enjoy a wonderful polygamus marriage.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying, utterly unsticky.

Drinkability: In my opinion, there is not a better session beer in the world. Not an attention hog, but goes great with almost anything. Much better than the tires. If there is a more versatile beer in existence, please tell me about it. A great choice for when you're hanging with friends whose company you enjoy, but whose taste in beer could use some fine-tuning.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 02:09:59 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of tgbljb


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper color with modest white chunky head. Modest lacing. Smell is mainly of piney hops with a light maltiness in the background. Taste is a superb combination of malt and hops in an exquistite balance with neither dominating the other. Finish is good , but not up tho the promise of the taste with the hoppiness falling a bit short. All things considered, this was a great beer. I wish I had bought more than one.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2006 23:34:53 | More by tgbljb
Photo of IntriqKen


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pretty clear golden amber with a small head that unfortunately melts away to nothing.
Aromas of sweet toasted amber malts.
Flavor is sweet toasted amber malts balanced very well with citrus hops....finally giving way to the citrus malts to leave a clean and drying taste in the mouth.
Aftertaste is sweet and drying...
Makes a nice thirst quencher.
It's May, 2007 and I have to re-evaluate my review of this beer.
There is a tremendous amount of depth and flavor in it along with the barrel smokiness they are famous for that elluded me when I originally tried it. I'm finding it an excellent summer brew that is very sessionable and feel fortunate I have a store that sells all Firestone 6'r's at $5.99. This and their pale ale will probably be my go to beers this summer.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2006 23:52:50 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of mynie


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A grocery store staple here in the Valley...

Pours a dark rust with a decent but quickly dissapating head. Pretty, sparkly, and crystal clear.

Smells of wonderfully balanced caramel bread malt and light west coast hops. Very chewy and sweet, even if it's a bit subdued and sessiony.

Tastes like it smells. Big wonderbread malt up front, doughy and sweet, backed up by lightly bitter caramel malt and some single west coast hop that's a little graprefuity. Large complexity from a small beer, all you can really ask for in a session. n

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 07:04:17 | More by mynie
Photo of xhcadamx


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - light amber with a thin head that stayed on top of the beer for the entire duration. Nice lacing for the style.

S - C hop aromas with toasted malt and some sweetness.

T - Very flavorful! A little bit of C hops with toasted and carmel malts.

M - A little thin. I wish this beer had just a touch more body.

D - I love Session beers and this is definately one of them to keep.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 19:28:21 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright amber body, excellent clarity, topped by three fingers of fluffy white foam.

Big bakery/bread/yeast aroma, hint of candy sweetness, very inviting.

Big sweet malt beginning. Earthy herbal hops. So English I think I got a whiff of sulfur.

Full mouthfeel, almost chewy. Solidly drinkable.

A fine English pale ale. The lion beats the bear this time. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 05:22:16 | More by RonfromJersey
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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.