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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.

1,897 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,897
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 57
Gots: 135 | FT: 3
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: 1,897 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mpyle
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%

App - Rich golden color, great clarity. Pours a moderate sized white head with good retention.

Aroma - Strong pine tinted hop aroma, but otherwise quite clean.

Flav- a bit biscuity with the malt. Good citrus/pine hop flavors, but not as prominent as aroma. Bitterness quite gentle. Finishes fairly clean with trailing bitterness.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, and a bit creamy.

D'ability - Nice.

mpyle, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of kemoarps
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

this one of several six packs my parents greeted me with when I got home for Christmas. For someone who doesn't drink, my mom has decent instincts for beer.
It's a prettier pour than I expected, a rich amber (I can't escape images of the mosquito from Jurassic Park. don't ask). The head is deceptively soft, as it looked pretty liquidy initially, but settled into a pillowy creamier off white.
The smell is decent, but not so exceptional (although I've always had a bit of a weak nose, so I work with a handicap in this section). It's a little malty and almost a touch sweet, and this may just be me but it almost reminds me of a breadier take on a certain controlled substance that is found in abundance in the northern california region.
It's a reasonably tasty brew, slightly maltier than I expected with with almost a sappy quality, balanced by hints of caramel and vanilla. The malts aren't quite bready, not so soft and round, but not the dark burnt flavours of a toast, almost like a cracker or biscuit.
smooth on the tongue, with a mellow finish to it that gives it a good balanced feel.

Overall, as many others have noted, this is not a blow your socks off amazing beer, it's not what you should reach for if you're looking for a masterpiece. However it is also far superior to many other brews I've tasted, even those priced higher. It's a tasty cerveza, should serve as a reasonable common denominator that everyone can enjoy kind of thing. Not overly done, balanced is the term that I feel sums it up best.

for those who feel tl:dr - try it. Not exceptional, but definitely not a negative. Worthwhile and accessible.

kemoarps, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Served in a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Don't recall trying this in a bottle though not generally impressed in the distant past with tap versions. Pours a clean and clear copper amber in color, and sports a half inch of off white foam with average retention.

Light hops and some toasted, smoky malts on the nose, along with a hint of woodiness. Light caramel notes intermingle with some earthy hops. Notably more delicate than I recall on tap.

Taste is drier than expected and offers a bit of spice in the form of toasted bread with a light dusting of caramel jelly. Finish is somewhat brief yet you are then you are embraced by the bitter woodsy character which takes over and lingers after the swallow. Feel is lightly sweet and bready for the style and the beer offers a reasonable drink. Not overly complex yet not too sweet either. A well balance English Pale.

HalfFull, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, dark-copper with just the thinnest of off-white heads. No real lacing is left, but there is a lovely cloud of haze on the surface.
S - Sweet caramel and toasted biscuit malts with a hint of vanilla and some earthy, floral hops. Not the most intense of noses, but very nice and balanced and "English".
T - Definitely some more caramel and biscuits from the malts with more vanilla and oak from the barrel. Hop profile is once again earthy and just bitter enough that it balances the sweetness from the malts. Very well put together, the flavors harmonize nicely.
M - Medium-light bodied, nice and crisp and refreshing. Finishes nice and dry, with a substantial "woodiness" that is very nice.
D - Good drinkability, I could easily session these for a while.

jsanford, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours with a decent head, light and foamy. The beer itself is a red-copper color, almost brown in the deepest points. Smells of vanilla and earth/nut, and the beer tastes of vanilla as well, with an undertone of hops. The beer is round and bold in mouth, which is a nice change for a pale. They did a good job balancing the carbonation with the flavors. The beer is pretty enjoybale, and drinkable as well.

GarthDanielson, Dec 13, 2010
4.33/5  rDev +18%

12oz bottle into pint glass. From notes.
A: Pours a deep, grainy haze, that has a thick and malty body. The head, which is off white, holds very well through the course of the beer. The lacing is average for the style.
S: A nice and roasted aroma, this shows there is strong malt base on this brew. A bit of a faded hop nose.
T/M: The front of this brew is a nice and full mouthfeel, that is still on the lighter side and has a nice complexity to it. Although the hops are a little faded, I can see how they once would have shined through. The mouthfeel brings a nice lingering flavor of caramelized malts and a bit of candy.
D: This could be a regular session ale for myself, If I were not only limited to one bottle. Very enjoyable and would seek this one out.

GDBEERMAN, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of drummstikk
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%

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!

drummstikk, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Natural510
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%

12oz bottle, no dating.

Pours a darker bronze color with small amount of head, slight lacing.
Slight malty scent, otherwise not much there.
Flavor is mostly a caramel-cola malt, thin, with no hop balance or anything else to add body or complexity to the brew.
Body is fairly thin and watery, which would be acceptable for as a cask offering...but this is bottled.

Disappointed to be sure. I enjoy a fuller, more balanced English pale, but unfortunately, this is not one of them.

Natural510, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%

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.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

Had this on tap at the beautiful farmer's market in Los Angeles. Pours a copper orange colour with a finger of white head. Some mild lacing, though it was served in a plastic cup, so maybe that could have impacted the lacing a bit. Very malty, with bread and some caramel. There were noticable hops in the aroma, but not much bitterness in the taste. I didn't get any oak or whatever from teh barrel. I actually didn't know this was classified as an English Pale Ale until I went to enter my review, and that makes sense given my description.

kwjd, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of yesyouam
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale is a clear amber ale with a thin white head that fades. It has a tart aroma that's a little sweet with a resiny note of oak. It's medium bodied, crisp, dry and lively. It's well balanced-- a touch sweet and a little bitter. There are flavors of oak, melanoids and a hint of apple. The finish is tart. It's a smooth and refreshing ale.

yesyouam, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%

63rd review on BA
On tap into pint glass @ Lucille's BBQ in Rancho Cuc, CA

App- a pretty amber with some lively carbonation and a tame 1/2 in head that was not inclined to stick around for long.

Smell- A bit of earthly english malt, a faint citrus. I'm decided that I didn't get a lot of smell off of this because of all the lingering food smells in the air. It was a pretty heavy BBQ and smoky smell in there.

Taste- It was a nice drink before dinner. I wasn't looking for anything to WOW me or an A+ beer so this fit the bill nicely. I picked up a lemony hoppiness. Maybe a bit of grassy, wheatiness.

Mouth- It was a bit bitter on the finish but it was a nice feeling. Low/med carb.

Drink- Would be a good intro beer to the style for a newbie but wasnt that bad from my memory of the 1st one as well.

FosterJM, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of DoktorZee
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No obvious best before date.

A - moderate head that dissipates within a few minutes leaving some lacing. Light brown in color with moderate carbonation.

S - not overly strong nose on it; slight caramel malt with elements of copper. Nice fresh smell to it.

T - milder flavor than expected; rounded malty flavor with moderate and slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - heavy mouthfeel with mild carbonation; a bit surprising considering the muted flavor and average alcohol.

D - less drinkable than I would have guessed - wouldn't want to have too many in a big session.

Decent beer, but not great. Less satisfying than I was expecting.

DoktorZee, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of StoneTSR
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%

This beer was poured for me by the manager at Napenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, California. I sat outside, overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a gorgeous and sunny afternoon. My surroundings may have biased my opinion.

APPEARANCE: Bright, lively and almost an orange color. 12oz. bottle poured into a 10oz. glass so I had to lighten up on the pour. This may have led to their not being as much head as there otherwise would have, but still it had a solid quarter-inch with big, loosely held together bubbles.

SMELL: Not very strong, but with a hint of oakiness.

TASTE: Strong caramel flavor hits the palate right off the bat, but it isn't too sweet. Then it gets a bit strange. An almost sour flavor enters the picture only to be replaced by the return of the caramel. Then, the aftertaste seems to return to sour. Odd, but good.

MOUTHFEEL: Lively and bubbly throughout most of the sip until it smooths out just at the end.

OVERALL: At 5.0% the Double Barrel Ale makes for a fantastic session beer. It is not overpowering in any direction, but the minor oddity in the faint sour flavor keeps it interesting. It's easy drinking beer that would make for a solid sixer. Half a dozen of these would not take a huge toll on a beer drinker like myself, but also would not require much sacrifice in the flavor or body department.

StoneTSR, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +3%

A - Over an inch of medium size bubbles in a head with decent stamina. The boddy is that of an orangish-cherry.

S - Caramel roasted malts and nearly no hop presence.

T - Certainly has an English Ale flavor. There's a nice sour bitterness to this beer.

M - The feel is dry to start and finises with a mild wet feel making it fo down very easy.

~ This is a one and done type of beer if you ask me. Not something I could sit and drink three or four at a time. The flavor is robust and begs to be sampled slowly while the feel allows for faster consumption. Not bad.

cdkrenz, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

22oz bomber into an open-mouthed pint glass. This beer was sent to me as an extra in a trade.

The beer looks nice enough in the glass. Its got an amber color with some copper and orange highlights. The beer is clear, not cloudy, and the head quickly recedes to become just a film and a ring. Not the best appearance, but not just average due to the great color.

The beer smells like toffee and slightly toasted biscuits. The hoppiness that is present is very floral, adding just a touch of depth to the nose. There's just a touch of citrus there too, but it's pretty much sweet and toasted malt defining the boquet. No hint of the barrel - I'd love just a touch of oak and vanillin.

The taste is also very malt-forward with a nice toasted, biscuit quality and some toffee and caramel. There's a nice sweet fruit element as well, adding some notes of berries and perhaps a touch of grape. Some toast finishes things and makes the beer dry - Marris Otter and Munich make a nice malt base here. The hops just contribute a touch of depth and earthiness, plus a slight bitter edge that makes this a better English Pale Ale. I'd like a touch more hop presence, but this is pretty close to the upper eschelon of the style. It just falls short due to the lack of hops and overall complexity, but is pleasant and very drinkable.

Speaking of drinking Double Barrel Ale, the beer feels nice in my mouth. There's a medium body with nice carbonation. The beer finishes with some toast and a touch of bitterness. The finish is dry and makes me want more. It's very drinkable and inviting, but is just short of being a world-class. Certainly worth a try if you're into complex, sweet and toasty malt bills.

jampics2, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%

Poured a dark amber with brilliant orange and ruby highlights. One finger of loose white head that quickly receded, but still looked very nice in the tulip. Mild citrus aroma with a touch of grapefruit.

Moderate carbonation and a light, creamy mouthfeel. Lots of biscuit malt flavor up front with a touch of caramel, vanilla, and some lemony citrus. Slightly bitter, dry finish. Although I don't prefer the more biscuity styles, this beer was very clean, well-balanced, and easy-drinking. Not much "wow factor", but I would definitely enjoy this one again -- great craftsmanship.

grittybrews, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

poured from a 12 oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass. The body is a nice caramel coppery color, perfectly clear with little carbonation bubbles rising through it. The head is a thin finger of just off white yellow sand in it, dissipates quickly leaving thick lacing and a thin film to top it.

The scent is well balanced between malty parts and hops tones. I detect the sweetness right off the bat, a caramel honey combination which invites you in. The hops are there to provide a floral scent, no fruit but some fresh plants definitely.

The flavor picks up on the malt more in my opinion. I get a nice toasted flavor in there, like wood chips thrown over a fire just until they turn a nice brown on the bottom. Biscuit also comes to mind, a sweet chewy one with some caramel spread on it. The hops are almost nonexistent in this profile, very background and again the floral plantlike impartation hits me.

The mouthfeel is good for a 5%-er, creamy and a nice drinkable not too thick and not too soft feel. Goes down smooth while still giving you a full flavor and full body

dwilson01, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Soneast
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%

Pours a clear, amber-orange color, grows a half-inch thick, dense, cream colored head, with mediocre retention, dissipating rather quickly to a sudsy ring. Good lacing, though.

The aroma has a fair amount of hops, a touch of citrus but also some earthiness. Some rich English malt character is also evident in the way of biscuits and caramel.

The flavor is quite unique. Hop forward, grassy and earthy like a mossy log. Not much citrus character like in the nose. This is one of the grassiest beers I've ever had. Tastes like a freshly mowed lawn smells. A mildly sweet, biscuity malt presence toward the finish that is ultimately overwhelmed by grass.

I have a hard time getting over the grass. Wow is this grassy. Not sure if it's supposed to be grassy, I guess I can officially say that I don't like grassy hops. One more time: Grassy.

Soneast, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%

I received this one inadvertently in a trade, and really had no real interest in trying it, but figured what the hell. It was about as good as I expected. Pours a reddish-copper color, with a little off-white head. Somewhat sweet, bready and biscuity, with just a hint of hop. A rather pedestrian amber ale.

emmasdad, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of hoser
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%

Suddenly I am reminded of all the boring pale ales I had while in the United Kingdom and why I am still trying to suppress that trip from my memory. I see Firestone Walker is trying to just that and make boring English pale Ale. Congratulations you did just that but a higher ABV. A solid English Ale expect for the higher ABV, sorry won't be buying this again, this might be fun to have on cask.

hoser, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +9%

Cold pour into a pint glass.

Very nice clear bronze appearance. Head retained well, nice lace.
After my first taste I was ready to write this beer off. No way did it deserve its very respectable rating.
Then as it warmed, the flavors developed and it became a completely different beer.
Cold - bitter unpleasant orange peel. Warmed - complex malt hops balance worthy of the style.
In my opinion, drinking this beer cold is an injustice and I won't make that mistake again.

NWer, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
4.33/5  rDev +18%

Trying to catch up on my notes from the past 6 weeks or so... Reviewed from notes.
Got this from Whitebricke-- thanks Ted. Poured into standard pint glass.

Looks terrific. Seriously. Very nice color-- a light golden copper. Three finger white head with great lacing and retention.

Smells sweet. Nice grapefruit and citrus hop notes. Good bitterness. Dry finish. Very pleasant and easy-drinking.

Feels great. Medium body is spot on. Easy drinking doesn't even cover it-- this is fantastic. Extremely well-made and delicious.

AleWatcher, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

A- Pours a redish brown with a nice puffy white head, which goes down to about 1/2 an inch but leaves pretty lacing. A little clearer and this would be perfect. Nice.

S- a nice citrus and grassy/woody hops nose, but a lot of yeasty notes (like pouring your Wyeast in when homebrewing. Odd, but made up for by the hops and a nice carmel/malty finish.

T- nice malt carmel and flavors balanced by light woody hop flavors, but tastes a bit oxidized too, date is 5/24/10 so that should still hold up well.

M- Finishes easy on the pallet with a little heaviness which I like in my english style Pales.

D- overall it had some great qualities. I think it might just be a bit old and doesn't quite stand the test of time. Will probably have to come back and review a freshie at some point.

SeattleBeerBlog, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a brownish-orange almost clear color with a medium white head. Smells of roasted malts and some light hops. This is one of my "go-to" session beers considering it is readily available at most bars in my area. Very simple, yet complex at the same time. The taste is a 50-50 mixture of hops and malts. Neither one overpowers the other. I get a bit of caramel and flowers in the aftertaste. I like that a lot. The mouthfeel is crisp, but had a nice smooth texture for a session beer. AMAZING Drinkability.

DovaliHops, Aug 24, 2010
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,897 ratings.