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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,984 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,984
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 61
Gots: 166 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,984 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ikats
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, dark amber in color with fluffy white head. A thin cover remains throughout my session. Carbonation is fairly low. Aroma includes some toffee sweetness with some piney hops notes. There is slight hop bite as you first taste the ale, but it's the sweetness that stays with you on the lips. Medium-light body. I find it smooth and very drinkable (but then I rarely drink more than 2-3 beers at home).

On my most recent week-long Los Angeles visit, I was looking for a local six pack, so that I can have a bottle or two after work back in the hotel. I then recalled reading about Firestone Walker's Union system, and I was curious to try it. Nice pick. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One bottle made it back to NYC with me for this review. Now I am curious to try 100% barrel-aged DBA at their tasting room (as opposed to 20/80 mix of barrel- and stainless-aged ales that goes into the bottles). Maybe my next visit to California.

ikats, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of rtaps
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours an amber with about a 1/2inch head that dissipates quickly leave minimal lacing.

smell is i think the weakest part of the beer not picking out too much, hoppy bitterness and maybe a little oak in the back round

taste is very malty, think im picking up mild hints of vanilla. and some caramel. dry, and medium bodies with good carbonation

overall its a good EPA. Nothing thats going to blow you away, but solid enough to go back to anytime.

rtaps, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of bld81
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served in a pint glass:
Copper brown pour with minimal head but nice staying power and slight lacing. Amber malts and soft caramel on the nose, nothing memorable; the taste though is bready, flavorful, and malt dominant. Some bitterness lingers on the tongue, well carbonated and. It's a fine beer, just not remarkable.

bld81, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Double Barrel pours a straight amber with a small eggshell cap. The head falls quickly to a patchwork film and leaves bits of lace.

Toasted sweetbread dominates. Bitterness is well balanced and earthy, with a tea and pepper bite. The bitterness lingers through the finish, while the malts fade away. A medium-light and dry body could stand being a bit less tingly.

This is a pretty decent EPA overall. A little less tingle would be welcome.

Rayek, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper penny colored booze with one and half fingered of that good old dirty white head, a little lace...Smell of faint hop oils and some pale english malts. Solid hop wall to start leads to some lingering bitterness, a little aspen bark (yes I know what it tastes like), dirt and some basic malt. Medium bodied with a fuzzy carbonation. This pretty much sums up what an EPA tastes like.

JoeAmerican77, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of Murrhey
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a 32 oz schooner at Islands.

A: Light brown, thick head, sticky lacing. Clear but with good carbonation.

S: Hoppy, but not too bitter a smell, nice aroma.

T: Started bitter, finished crisp. Good flavor, but not tremendously complex.

M: Good consistency. My only complaint is that the bar served it too cold. The head actually froze in places. It was bizarre.

O: Good beer. I enjoyed it as a choice on tap. Not cheap though.

Murrhey, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of sprucetip
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes. Great clarity, very active, amber color, with a finger of bubbly off white head that fades gradually.

Grainy pale malt, a touch of sweetness, and a faint litter box like hop character. Not impressed.

Faintly sweet pale malt, and grainy like the nose. There is some mild hop bitterness, but not much in the way of hop flavor. Pretty bland.

Strong carbonation, thin/medium body, clean finish. Pretty benign.

It's may well be pretty much to style, on the far low end of the hop spectrum, for an English style pale ale. And it's surely an adequate lawn mower beer. But I'm underwhelmed, and won't likely be buying this beer in the future. Tastes and smells like beer. Nothing special.

sprucetip, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was copper amber. About an inch of head. Nice lacing on the top. Healthy amount of film on the sides of the glass.

Good smelling beer. Smelled of caramel malts mixed with citrus hops.

Initial taste was caramel malts, followed by amber malts. Slight bitterness at the end.

Medium body. Oily texture. Lively carbonated (4-of-5). Bitter taste on the tongue after.

I’ve had this many times, but this was the first time I rated it. About what I expected with my ratings. Out of the three main Firestone beers (DBA, Pale 31 and Union Jack), this was No. 3 on my list.

BucannonXC5, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

CharlesRiver, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of kawilliams81
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A- Dark amber with light tan 1 finger head. Some lacing.

S- Amber malts, toffee, maybe some nuttiness in there.

T- Sweet amber malts, light toffee/caramel taste. Some toasted bread in there as well. Light hop finish.

M- Light bodied with very creamy finish.

O- Not sure I would call this a pale ale, English or not. More of a amber ale IMO, but I really enjoyed this beer none the less.

kawilliams81, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Philousa
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber/brown in the glass with decent amount of white head. Caramel malt and toast in the nose. I got mostly caramel and nuttiness on the tongue with lingering malt bitterness. Some tangy yeast characteristics in there. Low viscosity, very drinkable. Appropriate amount of carbonation.

This is a drinkable, if unremarkable beer. I definitely don't agree with the English Pale Ale label, due to its appearance, flavor, and aroma. This is an amber. I'm not a huge fan of English ambers, which I would classify this as, so I'm not the most impartial reviewer here. Not my favorite, and I would reach for anything lighter that's on tap at the bar before going with Firestone Walker's DBA. Stick to Pale Ales, FW, it's your strength.

Philousa, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of lazy8
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in pint glass
A: Copper color with visible carbonation
S: Chocolate and a little caramel
T: Slight chocolate flavor with additional tase of malt with a bready taste
M: Medium carbonation, creamy but not heavy
Overall: This is a refreshing session beer with good carbonation and very little bite. The beer goes down easily and it has a much more refined taste that big brewer regulars.

lazy8, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of MEsoJD
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber body with a decent white head(fast dissipation). Minimal lacing.

S: Not very strong... A bread/biscuit malty smell, caramel, and earthy/floral hop hint.

T: There's some slight chocolate, those earthy hops, some fruit zest, and sweet caramel.

M: Smooth/creamy, low alcohol presence, medium/high carbonation, and dry finish.

O: Good beer.... but nothing more. I don't tend to favor pale ales but this was satisfying. I do believe that it's over hyped. I would tell others to give it a try, but I probably won't buy it very often.

MEsoJD, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: orange amber bodied beer with a white colored head.

Smell: Vinous grapes, toasted malt, and fruity.

Taste: White grapes, pears, and peaches. Its earthy and kind of vinous like an unfermented wine. Never tasted an English Pale Ale like this before. Its malty, but not sweet. Almost a bittersweet fruity note that dominates this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. Yeasty.

Overall: Not too excited about this beer. It was decent, but not what I was expecting. Not as much malty sweetness as I thought, also hoping for some barrel notes (its called double barrel ale after all). It seems like the yeast is more dominating of this beer than the malts.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of UnionMade
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first time seeing this, in Denver or otherwise. Thought I'd give it a try.
Deep amber color, on the brownish side, with a big poof of large bubbled, ivory head. Good head retention, laces nicely, with good clarity.
Smells mainly of mellowed, toasty malt. Some darker roasting in there, a hint of vanilla, with a good bit of apple-like ester. Mild hops, just a bit of a woody, floral scent. English feeling, and overall welcoming and familiar.
The flavor opens with a distinct maris otter malt flavor. Earthy and a bit grainy. Definitely some heavily kilned malt flavors, lending a slight bittersweetness. A touch of apple. This is almost a brown ale. Hops are light in both flavor and bitterness. Very woody and earthy. Finishes a little dry, with a wooden bitterness lingers long in the aftertaste. Very clean overall, but the woody flavors make me feel like I'm chewing on a twig after the second bottle. On the lighter side of medium bodied, with a satisfying level of carbonation. Not too soft, not too spritzy. Well made, and surprisingly authentic for a Burton ale copy (Marston's Pedigree would be my guess) , but nothing that stands out as exceptionally good.

UnionMade, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of cocogan
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visual: Copper with amber hues. Poured moderately- half finger head.

Nose: Toasted malt, a burst of bubbleicious gum, a touch floral, apple cider, light citrus.

Taste: Earth, pine, citrus rind, lightly buttered and heavily toasted after taste along with a little astringency.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that lightens up through drink finishing mildy wet.

Overall: A refreshing pale ale.

cocogan, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of jbakajust1
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into SN Imp Pint Glass

A - Pours a clear copper w/ a thick beige 1 finger head which fades to a thick cap and leaves some thick lace; lots of carb

S - Smells of chocolate and sweet malts, a tinge of metal that fades after the first minute or so, earthy, vanilla and oak, some light fruits, pear maybe, pecans, and white bread crust

T - Tastes much the same as the nose, hints of chocolate, bread, light floral and earthy hops, vanilla, very light biscuit and pecans

M - Light on the tongue, dry finish w/ slight bitterness, lightly tannic

O - Very good beer, much more malt forward than hops, balanced, light oak character, very drinkable.

jbakajust1, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer poured from bottle into a Nonic shaped glass

A - Beer poured with a white, one finger sized, white colored head; dissipates very quickly; well-carbonated; clear brown/orange colored body; thin in appearance; not much lacing formed; copper colored

S - Soapy smell; not much malt notes to this beer; little scent of alcohol; somewhat of a floral or herbal scented beer; really light smell profile, I even kept this out for a while to warm up; slight touch of caramel; hint of whiskey barrel and oak

T - Flavor profile has a few characteristics that stand out, like caramel and some fruit; not very impressed either with this beer; expected more flavor profile from a Firestone ale; bread malt flavor

M - Slightly watery; not very alive with carbonation or body; touch of bitter aftertaste, but has mostly a rinse/soap taste

D - Disappointed in this beer, I expected more out of a Firestone Brew; could have been more flavorful, but left my palate looking for even an ounce of flavor; I would pass if I had the chance to try this again

ferrari29, Sep 04, 2011
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.

JayS2629, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the International Beer Shop and kudos to bluebetty for coordinating this order. Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Poured a deep copper colour with a beige head of foam that was a finger and a half in depth. Turned into film and laced a touch.

Smell is very faint. Initial whiff of marmalade and bread came through. Nothing much after that, apart from some raspberry jam, even with a fair bit of agitation.

Taste is decently malty, not over the top, a little bit of a bready flavour comes in at the back to balance it out a fair bit.

Mouthfeel is creamy, a body that suits the style and the beer very well. Nice balance and it ensures that the maltines doesn't dominate the finish.

Solid English Pale Ale, well brewed, consistent and balanced. Yet to have a bad beer from Firestone Walker and the trend continues.

MrKennedy, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber chestnut color with a good sized, foamy, bubbly ecru head. Good retention leaving a thin ring of lace.

S - Caramel, toffee and biscuit malt are overpowering. Some herbal and tea like hop aroma but it is pretty well masked.

T - Similar to the nose. The malty flavors are very strong. Some of the hop flavors with a definite bitter aspect. That bitter and earthy aspect helps balance the sweet maltiness but it just doesn't quite work right.

M - Medium to light body with average carbonation. A touch on the thin side, but just average overall.

D - Easy to drink beer. Even though the malt flavors dominate, it isn't overly sweet. Pretty good sessionable type of beer but not something I'll look for again.

Notes: Meh, it has some typical English flavors but it isn't great. Malty flavors are a little on the strong side. Not overly sweet but the flavors are imbalanced. Ok sessionable beer but there are others I would pick first.

FreshHawk, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deep amber with a dense inch of beige foam. Clumpy and streaky lacing, good head retention. Malty and fruity aroma, earthy and lightly toasted, slightly herbal. Moderate bitterness with a biscuity malt sweetness, a little bready, caramel, earthy and slightly fruity, with a hint of spice in the finish. Low to medium bodied, moderate carbonation, decent texture. I enjoyed it. It was nicely balanced between malt and hops presence, making for easy drinking.

DrJay, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of bfields4
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber body. Thin white head. Decent lace.

Very bready aroma biscuity. Just a hint of floral hops.

More of the floral noble hops here. A nice english fruity yeast flavor. Finishes with a bready caramel malt.

Creamy medium carbonation. Solid easy drinking beer. Nothing spectacular, but a decent goto.

bfields4, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank alot of this on a recent trip out west. I'm a sucker for English Pale Ales.

Looks good in the glass. Dark Amber color with a decent head.

Rich & toasty taste, very balanced with a hint of caramel. The malt and hops work together perfectly, like a good symphony. Back end has just a slight hop bite. Craftsmanship and expertise in brewing this beer is obvious.

Sessionable at 5% - I couldn't get enough of it.

This would be a regular in my fridge if it were available in my area. A steal at $7.99 per six pack.

SunDevilBeer, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear red amber with moderate tan foamy head with great retention and nice lacing. Sweet caramel and slight floral aroma. Lightly hoppy and sweet flavors follow the aroma with a fairly clean finish. Smooth, light feel.

Easy drinking house ale with nothing dominating and flavor staying crisp throughout. A great beer to knock a few back with a great feel and smooth tasting.

Bfarr, Aug 17, 2011
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,984 ratings.