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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

707 Reviews

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Reviews: 707
Hads: 2,277
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.71%
Wants: 81
Gots: 288 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: BeerManDan on 08-24-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 707 | Hads: 2,277
Photo of Pardishcreel
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is an amber brown beer that is lighter not at all a dark brown.

The smell is strong with grains and devices you a little because that taste is much sweeter then the smell.

The taste at first was grainy with lots of under flavors I cant quite figure out starts out kind of bitter but the barley sugar is right there to smooth it out. The finish is a barley sweet that sits nicely on the tongue.

The drinkability is low though because for some reason this beer is really heavy for its style of brew.

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Photo of geokills
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always pleased to find a local brew of value and excellence. Found on many store shelves here in California, and from the tap at many central Californian eateries, this is a handsome ale that pours a caramel brown with light carbonation and a similarly light head that will in all odds fade before you are half way into your glass. Nevertheless, this brew aged in oak barrels grants the imbiber a soft mouthfeel, sweet and nutty flavour, with an ever so delicate hint of hops. If I were ever to call a beer well-balanced, this would be a prime candidate. Tasty, relatively light whilst paradoxically rich and extremely drinkable, this Firestone Double Barrel will oft be found in the fridge at my home, readily offered to beer drinkers of taste who seek refreshment above the average.

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Photo of au1sec
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine beverage! 12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date apparent to me. Not a hoppy brew...decent balance but definitely tilted toward the malty side. Pours a deep amber color, creamy head dissipates quickly and leaves a ring on the edge of the glass that laces slightly throughout. Thick mouthfeel, caramel malty...tastes very good. Some hops in the finish, but fairly subtle. I only planned on having a couple tonight, but I'm on my 4th of the sixer, and don't like the chances of the other two lasting very long. I'll be getting this again...disappointed I have passed it up in the past.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown to amber - color really looks nice. Some carbonation and just a little lacing. Smell is fairly regular ale, with maybe a hint of smoke coming through. Taste starts with strong ale flavors - some darker malts - but then the oak definitely brings through a very light vanilla but more smoke presence on the back end. Really nice beer for what they did in this ABV.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz stubby brown bottle, capped. Pours out a lovely crystal clear amber-brown with a nice head that seems to last. I am at a hotel so this beer is poured into an 8oz plastic cup.

Smell is very light and probably the weakest part of this beer. I just don't pick up much at all. Some light malt and very little hops come through. Taste really picks up. I love how dry this beer is. It really makes it so drinkable and you just want one more sip. Malt hits you first and continues well into the finish where the earthy hops take over. Sweet and biscuit malt come through nicely. Hops offer more bitterness than aroma but it rounds out this beer nicely. Toasty oak comes through and really rounds out this beer.

Really impressed with this beer and wish I could get it back east.

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Photo of BenHesk12
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Admittedly, I may have a bias towards the Firestone DBA because it was the first craft brew I ever drank, and I lived near the brewery for many years so fresh Firestone was always the choice at restaurants. Appears a classic pale ale coppery brown with a soft creamy head. Smell is average EPA but the oak really stands out. The mouth feel is soft and smooth. The flavor seems to combine a traditional english ale with a cali PA to make something memorable, especially if you like beers aged in oak. The guys at Firestone really created an outstanding beer out of a simple style with this one.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Village Tavern in Geneseo, NY.

Pours a clear brown, maybe a bit of orange. 1 inch head forms quickly. Little strings of lacing form down the glass.

Smells like grainy and bready with some strong caramel hints.

Tastes pretty similar, with some citrus zest, pine, toasted bread, caramel, light brown sugar, and oak. All flavors are light and non-overpowering, and mixed well. A little bit of hop bitterness at the end of each sip.

Medium to light body, excellent level of carbonation.

A great easy drinking session beer from Firestone Walker. I know some people dog on this beer, but I quite liked it.

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Photo of Sutardja
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at a sports bar before my dinner. The first thing I noticed about the beer was the subtle fruity aroma coming from it's translucent, amber body. The flavor combined a complementary balance of fruit and malty breadiness that was well balanced by the subtle hop character. The only problem was that these flavors weren't strong enough to keep the beer interesting to drink. Carbonation was medium, but suited the character of the beer. The careful balance of good flavors and the lack of any offensive flavors makes this beer extremely drinkable. I would definitely recommend it for a session beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Has a grainy nose with traces of fruit and treacle. Pours brilliant copper amber under a 1” white finely bubbled foam cap. Very lacy. Big, super creamy lightly toasted malt character, graham cracker, hint of caramel, traces of light fruit, dries on the finish with some grainy astringency. Medium to medium full body and slightly below medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Making my own sixer at Perfect Pour... Had read reviews and thought, "gee, I should add this one to my list." Didn't think much more of it until I pulled it from the fridge and poured it into a glass. Interesting clear amber with just a hint of (pink? copper?) color; small foamy head that left a hint of lacing along the way. Very slight malt and a hint of fruity hops in the nose, but the taste was extremely fresh and balanced. Nice, light carbonation and the malty body matched the subtle hops perfectly. No other (negative) flavors in the matrix; all in all, a very tasty, refreshing and exceedingly drinkable ale. I'd buy this again (in fact, I'll buy a full sixer this time). Great stuff.

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Photo of errantnight
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm tempted to up the score, because I think this beer is generally under-appreciated... but for me, this is as close as I can get to a session beer out here in SoCal that isn't loaded with hops.

It's beautiful. Crystal copper with a thin head that sticks around with attractive lacing.

Aroma is a ball of malt with just a tinge of pine and hoppy spice with some fruit esters around the corners. Super mild, however.

Flavor is a perfect balance of malt and hops. Smooth, silky textures reveal subtle toasts and mild roast flavors. Nothing here stands out, but those claiming this lacks complexity aren't paying it enough attention.

The mouthfeel on this is refined and truly exceptional. A solid medium body with a pleasant lift from a perfect carbonic level. It's not big, it's not thin... I "blame" some tannins from the barrel aging process, and this is backed up a bit by some dryness in the cheeks.

I can't claim that this gets me excited to sniff and savor like great IPAs, or has the complexity and richness of... well, of the truly great beers. But there's something Perfect here. I was turned off to this beer by a Los Angeles location with infected lines, but now it's a staple. Inexpensive, prevalent, low in alcohol, and tasty. Good stuff.

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Photo of abrand
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber sent to me by Flexabull. Thanks! Poured into a pint glass.

The Double Barrel Ale pours a hazy copper color with an off white creamy head that slowly fades. Not much retention. Not much going on in the nose other than a little bit of malt and sugar. No hops are noticed. Taste is refreshing with a light bitter finish. Plenty of malts to the quaff along with some fruits and grains. Some buttered bread is also present. Mouthfeel is refreshingly light bodied with a somewhat bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty solid. None of the characteristics are outstanding but overall a well rounded beer from a new brewery to me. Thanks again Flexabull.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very nice clear copper with a glowing gold undertone. Slightly off-white head, decent volume and durability. Some lacing. Moderate, fine carbonation.

Smell: Wow. For a "small" beer (5% ABV), this thing is booming. Very strong citrus/pineapple hop aroma with assertive green apple yeast esters. (Note: For some reason, the first of the six was far more powerful nosewise than was the others.) Didn't pick up much malt, but since this brewery is local, ours may be "fresher" than most.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth mouthfeel is the first thing I noticed; again, very good for a low ABV brew. The taste is mild and very typical of a West Coast pale ale with a nice balance of chewy malt and hop bite. Has hints of caramel toward the end and finishes dry and quite clean.

Drinkablity: Great taste, awesome aroma and mouthfeel, low ABV--you could drink these all day. In fact, I just might.

I have to admit, given that these arrived in the wave of hype surrounding "The Bachelor," I expected NOTHING from this beer and have avoided buying it for at least a year. My mistake. While perhaps not the advertised English ale, this is an extremely solid version of the WCPA style and is much better than I ever would have imagined. Great session brew.

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Photo of goatgoat
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been enjoying this brew for years. It was the first case I picked up upon returning to California (albeit a beer desert section of Cali, does such a thing exist? yes, yes it does).

Appearance is clear orange with copper depths and lemon edges. A few fingers of head forms but falls rather quickly. No lace to speak of. Aroma is very forward: lemon, black tea, and moist earth. An undercurrent of sweet malt gives a bit of body to the experience. No butter notes. Taste starts with a slightly bready, slightly caramel sweetness. Earthy character more prominent in the taste. A moderate bitterness that's well-balanced with the whole. Good body for the style, not too heavy with a surprising crispness. Carbonation is low for my American palette, but is probably over-boisterous by English standards.

An exceptionally drinkable session ale. It has enough complexity to warrant extended consideration but is friendly enough to share with macro-drinkers. I never get tired of this beer.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased at Stateline Liquors in Elkton, MD.

A- Clear reddish amber body. Poured with little to no head. Minimal carbonation.

S- Sweet taosted malts, toffee and vanilla. Slightly yeasty and hoppy.

T- Malty and bready beginning. A bit of oak. Very light hops in the finish.

M- Medium bodied. Lightly carbonated.

D- An extremely drinkable beer. Nicely balanced. No single overpowering taste. Light enough in body and alcohol to drink several of these in a sitting.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a Nonic Imperial pint glass (it seemed appropriate).

Appearance - Dark copper color. Great clarity. Moderate, off-white head. Big stickage. Nice.

Smell - Malt. Toasty.

Taste - Big malt flavor. Sweet. Toasty. Slightly bitter. Dry hop finish.

Mouth - Slick. Fizzy.

Overall - Why doesn't this beer have a higher BA rating? This beer reminds me, very much, of a quality English ESB. Highly chugable.

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Photo of bobsy
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BigBry for this one (and you're a lucky fella for having access to this). Nice amber pour, with a small off-white head which doesn't last too well. The appearance is loses something for the somewhat lackluster head, but its a small quibble, and made up for by the other aspects of this beer. Rich, malty caramel aroma and forest floor earthiness. Fruity, caramel flavours hit first as the malts dominate, before the hops make themselves felt wuth an earthy character. The crisp finish returns to fruitiness and light brown sugar. Just the perfect combination of flavours for a solid drink whenever, wherever brew. Nothing really challenges the palette, yet there's huge kudos for the soothing, drinkable and familiar flavours that this one brings to the table. Medium-light body and carbonation, but very smooth on the tongue. As I've already touched upon, there is huge drinkability here. The crisp finish and relatively light body really helps to make this a session beer that could disappear in a hurry.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled August 21st 2012.

A real nice pour brings a great dark copper red caramel body, crystal clear, hints of chestnut brown edges, a nice smorgasborg of colors. Head is off white, somewhat fluffy making three fingers, with some decent pinhead size consistency. A real classic looking pint.

Nose is filled with lots of wonderment. Toasty crispy malt backbone, with a sweet cinnamon. Hints of fruity esters. Caramel and strawberries. Real nice mix on the bouquet here, quite decent and impressive really digging this, and excited about what might come next.

Palate hits with a large but mellow tea herbal palate. Finishes clean with a light body and bringing the toast aromas found on the nose. Slightly grainy finish. Quenching. Mild sense of cream and a mellow oolong black tea like aftertaste, and lots leafy character.

Overall, from the nose to palate there is a little bit of minor disappointment but it's still a very solid beer.

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Photo of NODAK
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice nose on this one. Quite sweet, with a good amount of caramel coming out....perhaps a hint of that vanilla from the barrels. Good stuff.

The taste has an initial hop bite to it, giving way to a sweet chorus of caramel malts intermingling with just a hint of oak and biscuit and just a little vanilla as well too on the finish. It's all perceptible, and makes for a pretty interesting and well rounded EPA.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright orange color with about 1/4" of white head.

Fruity sweet smell with floral citrusy hops.

Malty sweetness with toffee followed by citrusy hops and a hint of pine.

A bit past medium body with nice crispness.

Excellent beer, a very good amber ale.

Tasted on 5/5/08.

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Photo of mxchap
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Overall: Solid easy to drink ale. This is American pub beer at its finest [4.25]
Look: Amber in color with a foamy head. Leaves behind chaotic lacing [4]
Smell: Floral and Herbal. Spicy. Toast. [4]
Taste: Follows the smell. Caramel malt asserts itself nicely. [4]
Feel: Spot on for a balanced english ale. Slightly creamy, nothing sticks out. Perfect carbonation. [5]

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Photo of younger35
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this in San Luis Obispo at Sandy's Deli. The little dude that was working there was hilarious. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a reddish orange with a decent sized one finger bright white head. The head recedes fairly slowly leaving a spotty cap, fairly thin collar and pretty much no lacing.
Smell- Some soft malty sweetness upfront gives way to just a kiss of soft floral hops. A bit of toffee shows a bit more as it warms and the lilac like hops really shine. Fairly soft nose but pleasant none-the-less.
Taste- Much like the nose this thing is just soft and flavorful and delicious! Nice malty backbone that is somewhat biscuity and doughy. A small amount of sweetness is present but just enough to add a soft toffee aspect. The hops are fairly aggressive as well for a Red Ale. Some ripe juicy pineapple is present towards the end with a light lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Nice big body with a full feel and light carbonation.
Drinkability- Very easy drinking, nice flavorful brew. The malt and hop are in very nice balance and I thoroughly enjoyed this. I wish I could find a nice mild red around here that is as easy drinking as this brew.

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Photo of tzieser
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: crystal clear amber in color with a fluffy white head that sticks to the sides of my pint glass for a long time. good carbonation.

s: sweet and malty aroma with little hop grassyness. standard english pale ale nose.

t: lots of malt flavor. notes of biscuits, toasted bread and vanilla (thanks to the oak barrel system). very complex flavor profile from start to finish.

o: might be the best american made english pale ale on the market. might be the most underrated beer Firestone-Walker puts out. great stuff.

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good session beer. I've had many beers and ales that are better than this one, but this is a good choice if there are no others! Kinda liked the old SLO Brew better, but the brewery as a whole is pretty good. A little more hops would have been a nice addition.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color with a thight tan head. the thin head fades slowly, leaving sparce lace.

This beer smells mildly of floral hops. I get a slight caramel sweet aroma. The aroma is pretty mild.

This beer tastes like it smells, with one exception. I get a slightly bready flavor as well.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It is highly carbonated. It leaves a flroal aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is mild and low in alcohol.

Overall: This is a good sessionable beer from a solid brewery. I am supprized that it took me so long to review it.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.