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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

712 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 712
Hads: 2,293
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.71%
Wants: 83
Gots: 295 | FT: 6
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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 712 | Hads: 2,293
Photo of breadwinner
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sort of an underappreciated brew, IMO, whose nuances are probably easily missed. My favorite part about this -- and I pick it up more in bottled versions than draught -- is the light vanilla note the Firestone Union oak barrels offer. It mixes so well with the toffee malt notes and really makes something unique. Quality brew that, frankly, doesn't have many analogues.

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Photo of Pencible
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear copper with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like rusty copper and earthy barley, with a little citrus.
T: It tasted like caramel and earthy barley malts, with a little copper hops. It had a clean, mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Thin body.
D: This was far from the modern IPAs. The scent was not very appealing. The taste was more sweet than bitter. The body was weak, but the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Drinkable, but not recommended.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very solid English style light ale. Nice roasty notes, sweet caramel balanced by slight hop presence and crispness. Enjoyed this one. Another solid FW offering.

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Photo of Chiefy770
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Reviewed on May 29th, 2015
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Poured a clean copper body. A short light tan head quickly collapsed and left a sparse amount of lacing.

Sweet, caramel heavy malts. Faint hint of floral hops. Subtle aroma all around.

Heavy hit of malts up front... caramel and bread, fairly dense. Floral hops cut through the malts, attempting to lighten things up. Floral hops finished semi-sweet with a nice lingering presence of caramel malts. Medium bodied. Moderate/high carbonation.

I was surprised with the density of this brew. The overall taste was familiar and underwhelming. Not a bad brew but not my favorite.

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Photo of ElJacobian
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I liked this way more than most people. It's definitely a shallower, weaker beer than most of Firestone Walker's others, but still decent in my opinion. It smells like toast, maybe a tiny hint of cantaloupe. I liked the aftertaste - nice balance of fruit, toasty malt, and the alcohol is completely hidden.

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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 ThisWangsChung
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. I'm disappointed in its rough texture and weak retention, and by the fact it doesn't leave behind any lacing. (3)

Smell: It's kind of hard to tell what the aroma is trying to accomplish. There's a definite influence of the cask-conditioned bitter here (I get some light ale esters and a touch - and boy, do I mean just a touch - of oak), to be fair. But I also pick up hints of diacetyl (small touches are not unwanted in the style) and cereal grain at first. The solution: let it open up in the glass. The bad notes go away, and the fruity esters appear a bit more vividly. Caramel and toasted bread notes tie it all together. Unfortunately, the whole aroma seems subdued in the wrong ways. (3)

Taste: The flavor, again, is subtle. I do like how there are actual ale esters next to the bready malt backbone, at least - notes of cherry, apricot, and peach appear initially. I swear I pick up notes of cereal grain lurking around throughout, though their presence doesn't ruin the beer. I'm not picking up any toasted oak or vanilla qualities. All in all, a boring ale. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Cereal grains seem to give a nice lightness, but it also makes the finish a little sweet. The latter is due to the low carbonation. Hey, it goes down easily. (3)

Overall: I've been waiting to try FW's flagship for a while now, and the end result is...meh. There's nothing special about this - I enjoy certain elements (like the presence of fruity esters), but it doesn't tie together to become any sort of world-beater. It's a solid gateway beer, and that's about it. I'll give this one a second chance if I find it on cask. (3)

2.9/5: ...yep, I'm still gonna stick with Pivo Pils

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Photo of JohnL9013
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Could just be that this isn't my style, but I'm not too keen on this beer. It tastes like a macro brew to me. Slightly skunky, a little bitter, and not much else by way of flavor. The mouthfeel is great, it's surprisingly smooth, but the taste is inexcusable. I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This unique beer has a foreboding appearance: a dark copper color body, with a dearth of carb bubbles, lying beneath a wispy cap of foam. There is an initial nose of plum; the palate, meanwhile, has its work cut out as this particular beer seems to have diverted from the expected English Pale Ale. There is a heavy layer of rye supplemented by the aforementioned plum. The balance and mouthfeel excels, however, It is firm, yet smooth on the tongue.
While it does not exceed the Firestone Jacks (Union, Double and Wookey), it does provide the consumer with a wild detour from the expected.

Another wonderful brew from this outstanding brewer. (I understand they also make tires - or something.)

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Photo of ARoman
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*Transferred from old notes - 1/12/2014*
12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Aromas of sour fruits - mostly apple and grape come to mind - start this one out with some faint yogurt smells sneaking through underneath. It’s a sparkling golden caramel coloring with a light, puffy white head that retains pretty well and leaves a nice lacing consisting of mostly micro-sized bubbles with some splotches of medium and small bubbles. It is mostly sour and yogurt-tart with moderate resin bitterness and a light, dull, sweet presence as well. The thin body contains a significant, but not overwhelming, amount of carbonation. It has a dry mouthfeel with some light peachy flavors as well as a toasted bread with butter taste. It finishes with a mostly toasty, resin finish, but after that fades, a cherry yogurt aftertaste is what lingers longest.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at The Hay Merchant, served in a 16 oz shaker pint. A deep amber brown with dense off white head and lace. What starts toward a straightforward amber ale finds a better balance with earthy hops and barrel wood adding complexity and offsetting much malty sweetness with a crisper, drier finish.

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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 MattSweatshirt
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a copper/amber with a thick fluffy off white head that has great retention.

Floral hops and some sweet caramel and slight toastiness.

Light hop bitterness. Earthy and bready and woody. Caramel, toast.

Light bodied and a litle dry.

Nice session ale.

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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 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 arvidkoval
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reddish copper color. Malt forward nose, a hint of hops. Malty sweet caramel, with a slight floral hop backing that really balances this out. A bready aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel. I didn't know what to expect from this one, wasn't really sure what it was, but it's damn good!

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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 scottfrie
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into imperial pint. Bottled 11/5/14.

A: Pours a clear medium amber with a huge, billowing, greasy and thick off-white head that took forever to slowly fade into a dense and oily film. Patches of chunky lace were left down the glass.
S: The nose is a pleasant mixture of bready biscuit scented malt mixed with spicy and earthy hops. There’s a touch of caramel and a touch of roast, and the hops impart a noble, earthy, and spicy quality. There’s a faint herbal quality as well.
T: Crisp grainy malt backbone with just a kiss of caramel sweetness up front, followed by balancing spicy and earthy hops. The finish has a lightly sticky sweetness, and the aftertaste is herbal, slightly leafy, and just barely bitter.
M: Medium-light body with soft and fluffy carbonation that creates a smooth and easy drinking mouthfeel.
O: Flavors are light overall, clean, and very easy to drink. As far as EPA's go, this is pretty solid.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 5% abv

Appearance- Cloudy and dark brown with a bit of a yellow tint to it. One finger head.

Smell- Sweet caramel malt, grainy.

Taste- Has a bready biscuit flavor followed by caramel malt sweetness, similar to the malt of an Oktoberfest. The finish is dry and bitter, yet still retains a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body, smooth with ample carbonation.

Overall- A good easy drinking beer that is on the sweet side. Very smooth and refreshing as well. Balance is also on point.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle dated 10/8/2014. Stemless glass 12/19/2014.

A- Dark but clear brown-caramel body with a two finger offwhite head, nice retention and head longevity. Good lacing that is splotchy and uneven.

S- Crisp crackers, grains, a bit of orange marmalade, toffee, earth. As expected given the English-influenced style.

F- Crackers, orange marmalade, earth, caramel, grainy sweetness and a bit of toasted malt. I could very well be convinced that oak is present, but it's subtle enough that I don't feel strongly about it. Overall flavour is toasted, sweet grains with earth and orange marmalade. Fairly solid although it's quite a bit sweeter than its English ancestors. Mild-moderate orange zest bitterness on the backend.

M- Medium-thin bodied, not watery, nice depth for a 5.00% ABV brew. Finish is orange zest bitterness in the setting of a fairly sweet grainy toasted malt-hued finish. Certainly quite drinkable.

O- Fairly average take on the English bitter/pale ale style. The name implies there is some contact with barrels, but I don't get a lot of the barrel influence here- nothing I would stake my palate on. Despite this, this is a decent English-style bitter although it is a bit on the sweeter side.

Final score: 3.61

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Photo of timontheroad
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a orangish-amber color, nice fluffy off-white one finger head that settled to a nice film after about five minutes. Very nice retention and lacing. Aroma is pretty muted, with just a touch of sweet malt notes, and some light wood tones. Taste was biscuity malt, just a touch of sweetness, and the same wood flavor as the smell. Mouthfeel was medium to kinda thick, pretty easy drinker. Overall, this one is ok, not great, just OK.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cherry amber with loose off white froth. 3.5
Toffee nose with earthy hops, some soap and a thread of orange rind - very English. 3.5
Big caramel backbone with some cardamom, pine sap, and dried leaf hops.
Waxy citrus finish and sherbet fizz linger. 3.5
Medium, round, clean. 3.75

-- An English premium bitter, and not a good one at that. This uses oaks barrels, and I can find an austere, vanilla thread if I look for it, but it’s not saving the beer. This maybe made sense in 1996, but it’s kinda dull and aimless now. 3.5

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Photo of jellikit
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Appearance: Orange. Clear. Thick, foamy head.
Smell: not much there.
Taste: light malt. Citrus hops that are mellow. Light earthy/woody notes followed by a pleasant citrus finish ending with a very light oak.
Mouthfeel: medium light carbonation. Medium body. Slightly on the sweet side. Thin.
Overall: good beer. Nothing over the top, but good.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours deep amber with a creamy light tan head that fades and laces well.

S: Caramel malt sweetness up front followed with a little light citrus and some earthiness.

T: Caramel toffee malt sweetness up front, some earthy woodsy notes, a little pine and citrus, orange and grapefruit, maybe even a bit floral on the finish, with a moderate bitterness throughout.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This one is from right in my backyard, but I can't say it's one of my favorites. Not bad by any means though.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: its a clear rich caramel amber color with a 2 finger off-white rocky head

s: clean crisp caramel malts, lemongrass, berries, wet cardboard, strawberries, and a fait earthy bitterness

t: sweet smooth caramel, some of those sweet berries i picked up in the nose, big big biscuity bready flavors. there is a very faint tea-leaf & pine bitterness in here at the very end. very very slight bitterness - very slight. finishes with more of the caramel sweetness

m: lighter side of medium. nice amount of carbonation

o: its a super easy drinker. sweet and crisp - maybe a bit too sweet though, almost tastes like corn. but as mentioned, its very easy to drink. i'd prefer a little more of the biscuity flavors in here to balance out the sweetness, but its ok. supremely average, and easy to drink

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.