Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

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707 Reviews

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Reviews: 707
Hads: 2,276
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 81
Gots: 286 | 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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Reviews: 707 | Hads: 2,276
Photo of snilsen13
1.68/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Looks great, a nice dark amber. Very inviting, but its a trap.
This one smells like vomit.
Pinching my nose, it tastes mostly like sweet malts - caramel, etc., not too interesting. Add the vomit smell, it sucks.

Probably a bad batch, bottled 11/10/14, about 10 weeks ago.
Just reading others ratings and I find that I'm not alone. Maybe many bad batches but more likely just a crappy beer. Avoid.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pounder it formed a mediocre head that was eggshell white and left traces of lace. Brown body with medium to light carbonation.

A really odd tasting beer. I'm a category geek sometimes and I have no idea where this would fit in. It's kind of its own style so to speak. Has an odd woody backer that effects every pull. Roasted malts are somewhere between charred and roasted, creating a slightly bitter malt bill that is like drinking freshly cut dried kendling. Hops are a bit zippy although they have a tendancy to take a backseat with everything else going on. There is a sort of candied presence as well towards the beginning and lasts just for a brief second.

Notes: I really couldn't figure this one out. Not to say that complex and confusing can't be good, because it most definately can. This is just to much all over the map and the profiles are rather odd and don't blend well....Not for me.

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Photo of Overlord
2.11/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow. What a disappointment. I hear great things about the near mythical Firestone 10 (one of the White Whales here at, and was eager to try this. I actually gave it a whirl in San Luis Obispo, and yipes.

Not much carbonation, perhaps a one inch head. Taste was ... strange. I almost want to say it tasted as though it was flavored with wood chips. Some caramel/malt overtones, but nothing really to balance it out or add complexity. I see that many reviewers note some faint hops ... I detected none. A thin, strange tasting beer that wasn't my cup of tea.

It looked pretty with a nice amber color, though.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Jan 8, 2010
12 oz bottle, no freshness date.
Clear deep amber, thin half inch head that evaporates quickly. Zero retention and no lace.
Aroma is light and one dimensional. Even after heavy agitation the only aromas detected are caramel and bready malts.
Flavor is more complex, but not by much. Caramel sweetness with a clean hop finish.
Thin, watery and boring. While it is not on my buy again list, I wouldn't refuse one if given one

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Photo of GarrettB
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

When I arrived in San Diego, I saw Firestone everywhere, and assumed it was a company designed to push out as much beer as possible to as many venues as possible in a kind of cruel power and territory grab. How wrong I was. Firestone is a California establishment, but this beer was the nadir of my experience with them. The aroma brings apple and cinnamons to the nose, a little sweet and spice. But the flavor is a flop. Maybe I picked a bad batch, but this is an insipid brew. The carbonation is light, which does little to nothing to cover up a bland flavor, giving off a light touch of apple skins, and little else. Disappointing, but I know, with historical precision and all the benefits of hindsight, that this brew is a shocking exception in Firestone's line up.

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Photo of pintnhand
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think this beer is way overrated. I have had a few red ales but this one doesnt make my list. I think they took the beer too far on this one. The taste is almost puckering. The taste leaves a very heavy unpleasent feel. At first it starts smooth but as the taste evolves it becomes less enjoyable. An ok appearance. I would term it as harsh.

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Photo of Brevbin
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Received in a trade. Zero head. Smells nonexistent. Color is good. Tastes metallic with a slight oak notes. Mouthful is lacking. I must have gotten a bad/old bottle.

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Photo of maximum12
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Donated by my most excellent compadre John after a beer tasting that I was out of town for.

Pours ambers with little head & some serious running carbonation. Smells is almost invisible to the nose; the barest hint of wood & malt.

Taste is kind of funky. I get the malty amberishness, just a bit of sawdusty wood, lots of watery thinness.

Mouthfeel is thin. Drinkability? Not after this one. I may finish, I may shift to something more appealing.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coppery brown color into my nonic with an off-white head that froths up to a proper size then dies slowly, over many sips, to a thin ring, leaving behind no lacing.

Smells are quick and extremely hard to define - there's just a little malty honey, but there are some seriously metallic scents that I just can't quite figure out. I think they must come from the hops, or the oak barrels, or something related thereto. Maybe a bit grassy - yep, smells like a hay bale or my uncle's barn.

The taste is equally hard to define, but its' very thin, and what's available to taste is somewhat unpleasant. A kind of metallic, brash flavor, almost like asparagus or raw vegetables - very coppery and one-sided. Not very balanced at all.

Mouthfeel has a reasonable amount of carbonation at first, which quickly dissappears and becomes very watery. Very thin for an ale.

This is drinkable in mad gulps, but it's just not living up to my standards. I really wouldn't even want to drink this with a meal. I had it at a friend's recommendation but wouldn't recommend it to another friend.

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Photo of charlesw
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Oh, I'd call this some sort of a darkish orange. Quite light for an amber ale. It had a moderately tall (1") darkish head (deeper than cream) that has very nice lasting power - a very nice and durable lacing.
It smells like rice beer. Bleh. Cheap and alcoholy, weak and thin. Ew!
The taste is ok, I guess. It's probably better than the Casco Bay, but that doesn't say a whole lot (LOL). I mean, sure, it's got a bit of malt to it and it's lightly sweet, but there's a weird bite right in the middle of the palate that prevents it from being good. The aftertaste is fine - no complaints - a nice and easy, lingering finish that doesn't spike on anything.
It's definitely too thin in the mouth for me to fully enjoy it. Oh well!
I'd drink it as a light alternative to an amber - maybe for a hot afternoon at the beach or something. As such it would be fine. In any other context, well, bleh.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber with 1 finger of head that dissipates quickly leaving behind spotty lacing. Low carbonation and excellent clarity.

N: Bread and caramel primarily. There's really no hop aromas coming off of this at all save for hints of grapefruit.

T: Bread and grapefruit upfront followed with some caramel and toasted grains. Finishes with bread and grapefruit. Meh.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and clean.

O: I'm not impressed. This is a very mediocre EPA. The only good thing about this beer is how easy drinking it is.

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Photo of Direx
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Rusty, copper color. Head dissipates rapidly, tiny bubbly foam residue remains on glass after 5 minutes, but it's not much--very little on the surface of the brew itself.

S: Difficult to smell, really have to shove your face in the glass. No distinctive smell.

T: After I take a swig, I inhale very deeply to try to invigorate my taste buds (if that makes sense). I just... there isn't much taste at all, even after 4-5 swigs. Surprised this isn't a red lager. No residual taste after the beer is swallowed. This is a very boring beer.

M: Watery, light, crisp. Even my burps taste bland.

O: This lager (it's really a lager folks) is in dire need of ingredients. Quantity, quality, needs them both. This glass tastes empty and devoid of flavor. Nothing complex, little character.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle (Courtesy of Presario): Poured a deep amber color with a medium head without much retention. Aroma of bitter hops is clearly evident. Taste is a bit one-dimensional with some bitter hops and caramel malt and a thin body. Seems to be lacking character to make it truly interesting.

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Photo of Exner83
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm gonna have to agree with brother Jason Alström - It'd be hard to drink more than one of these.

I found it so smokey oaky--like a forest in my mouth! Finish is an acrid, arboreal dryness. I guess I'm a bare-bones malt and hops kinda guy, 'cause I haven't had this much fragrant wood in my mouth since... (insert terribly off-color gay porn reference here.) It's just NOT my thing. I want malt, people!

God forgive me for thinking a beer should taste like malted barley. Anyway, if you feel sucking on raw tree bark has run its course for you, put the branch down, and pick this up!

(And to think I washed this down with a shot of Grand Marnier. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!)

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep amber color with a two finger head of off white head. The foamy looking head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a caramel and toffee smells with some lighter notes of a grainy aroma. Along with these smells are some notes of a more bready nature as well as a little bit of a haylike smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a biscuit flavor with a light caramel sweetness. These flavors create a base for the taste with them remaining rather constant throughout. After the initial tastes, which are quite smooth, some tea and haylike flavors come to the tongue. These flavors, as well as a little bit of a grassy taste really take away from the smoothness of the flavor and add a somewhat off taste to the flavor profile. In the end, the mix of flavors that is left on the tongue, leaves one with a somewhat unpleasant tea and vegetal, bitter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. A thinner body and a higher carbonation would have likely been a bit better for the brew, helping minimize some of the more unpleasant flavors of the brew.

Overall – A bit too hay and grassy like for the style with a slightly off flavor profile that ends up creating a rather harsh taste. Not one I would recommend.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light brown with an almost offwhite head which subsided quickly leaving a little lace. The aroma was malty with a a healthy dose of fruity esters and reminded me of aromatic malt or some other mildly roasted malt. The initial taste was sweet with the hops playing a minor role in the flavor and bitterness. The majority of the flavor was of a clean blend of dry, roasted malts and sweeter pale malts with a touch of a citrussy and flowery hop flavor at the end. I think this is a little too close to the pale ale style for me while the brewery calls it an amber ale i like a little more malt complexity in my ambers than this one can provide. An average pale ale this brew makes a mediocre amber ale and the folks at Firestone should work on the recipe a little more.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I did not like this beer at all. From first sip to last gulp, all I tasted was a bitter no flavor beer. The bitterness was over powering to me. I'm not a big pale ale fan, but this brew really turn me off.

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Photo of wedgie9
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance - Pours a super light and clear amber color with a thin but long lasting off-white head.

Aroma - The primary aromas are of malts. Brown sugar and cereal also come through. As the beer warms, a slight peach smell starts to come through.

Taste - The taste is a little fruitier with the peach coming through. It is a little malty, but overall underwhelming. Not much complexity but a nice bitter finish.

Palate - Very clean and bright. The carbonation average, just as I would expect.

Overall - This is a solid session beer, but not much beyond that. It does not have any of the complexity that I look for in a truly special beer.

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Photo of climax
2.72/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This one poured an amber hue with a good sized head and tons of bubbles racing up from the depths of the glass.

Bright aroma, mostly made up of lemon zest, grass, a tinny twang and alcohol. Not as robust or balanced as I would have wished.

The taste has better flavor qualities than the nose, which was welcomed. Juicy orange, and a toasty backbone was really about it though. None too heavyweight.

The body is a a bit lacking. The feel was watery and there's wasn't much else in the feel to distract from that. Carbonation is low, and only a slight dryness keeps me wanting more.

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Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, purchased on the East Coast. (Unfortunately I have no idea how long this bottle sat on the shelf, or how long it took to get to Maryland before that.) Consumed from a Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a medium copper color, brilliant clarity. Thin bright head that dissipates quickly, leaving a minimum amount of lacing.

Some caramel notes on the nose, also some stale wet-paper oxidized aromas. Zero hop aroma. I'm not put off by this, especially knowing that this might be an old bottle, but at the same time there is little here to entice me to drink. If I knew for certain that this was relatively fresh I would be disappointed.

Nice malty flavor, some toffee and biscuit as well. Not caramelly enough for the style, could use more crystal malt. Gentle hop bitterness, not enough for an American Amber style but not completely lacking, either. Enough to keep this from being a malty beer, but that's about it. I was expecting a bigger hop presence.

Medium mouthfeel, carbonation is nice and adds a bit of zing to make up for the missing hop bite.

A very drinkable beer, but a bit disappointing compared to what I've heard. I hope to find a known-fresh sample at some point to compare to this one.

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Photo of StoutFox
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

When you read something along the lines of Double Barrel anything you really are expecting some level complexity and I found this to be a bit watery and didn't do it for me.

Aroma: dry hops, bit malty, sour
Taste: malty, but generally hoppy and a bit thin

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slight vanilla on the nose and not a whole lot else. Somewhat disappointing actually.

Beautiful dark copper color on this beer with a slightly off-white head that just creates the most sticky lacing. Its really something to behold.

Vanilla upfront, it has this kind of bourbonesque approach to it. The vanilla just grows and grows until it overtakes the aftertaste and that is all I can taste. Light in body and a smooth carbonation make this quite quaffable, but overall I don't really care for it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

650ml brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap acquired at a local Vons grocery store and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. Bottled 02/05/13. 5.0% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of okay cream, okay thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Average vibrance. Typical for the style. Nothing unique or special here. Quite average.

Sm: Biscuit malt and floral hops. Grassy character. That's about it. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Boring and simple. A mild strength aroma.

T: Floral hops, amber malts, and some grassy character. Pretty malty for a pale ale, but generally enjoyable. Pleasant, but simple, boring, and bland. There's nothing unique, special, or interesting here. It's balanced if only because there's so little happening.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Decent thickness. Okay presence on the palate. Average execution.

Dr: Meh. A pedestrian pale ale from Firestone Walker. I definitely wouldn't get it again. The price point needs work as well. Mundane and underwhelming. I'll easily finish this bomber, but it's just lacking in quality. Drinkable but forgettable.


01.12.15: Brief second impressions.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Beige colour. Creamy, nicely frothy. ~6 minute retention.

BODY: Clear copper of incredible vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

AROMA: Copper malts, floral hop character, cream. Grains. Marmalade. English malts. Crackery malts. Orange rind. A kiss of soapiness. Subtle spice. A hint of zest.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

TASTE: Copper malts. English malts. Cream. Mild floral character. Grains. Marmalade. Has an English character, sure. Some orange rind. For the most part, the taste is just a deeper exploration of the aroma - which would be great if there were more here.

TEXTURE: Buttery (but not in an off diacetyl kind of way), smooth, wet, and medium-bodied.

OVERALL: A downable copper ale with interesting English leanings, this unfortunately never amounts to much. Forgettable, but it'd easily blend in with the vast majority of the pub ales I've had in London. It's fine.


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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light copper color into my pint glass. 1 finger head that slowly recedes. So far decent lacing.

Having a REAL hard time detecting ANYTHING on the nose.

Interesting taste. Biscuity malts, with a hint of hops at the end. A lot of yeast too. The beer is crystal clear and I didn't see any sediment in the bottle. I'm not sure why the yeast is so hugely present.

Slightly crist mouthfeel, but I feel it's over carbonated.

Eh fairly drinkable. I bought a 6 pack (on sale) so I'll finish it, but truly a poor representation of the style. England is much more fond of her Bitters than Pales, so you'd be hard pressed to find a proper English Pale in the first place whilst over there, but this tastes nothing like what I remember drinking while in the UK. I guess it's worth a shot.

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Photo of jfmorey
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What can be said about a beer that is average in every sense of the word? Only disappointment when the bottle says "Passion for the Pale".

Poured into a stemware glass, the amber color was not bad. Smell was a little malty, no hops. The taste was mainly caramel malts with just enough bitterness, but no complexity. Carbonation seems low.

Was this bottle past its sell by date? Nothing to indicate that...

Just boring.

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