Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

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2,024 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,024
Reviews: 667
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 62
Gots: 178 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerManDan on 08-24-2002)
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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of DovaliHops
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of mklinger
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass. A nice burnt orange color with a cream colored 1/2 inch head. Crystal clear with good carbonation composed of fairly large bubbles. Some but not a lot of lacing left behind.

Aroma is mostly caramel malts with just a bit of wood. Not much hop aroma.

Taste is really nice. Caramel sweetness, some earthy hop flavors and bitterness followed by a bit of oak at the end. This is a nicely balanced ESB-style beer.

Carbonation was excellent, good mouthfeel. A very pleasant beer.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Really, I haven't reviewed this before?

Appearance: Pours a slightly darker copper/amber color. Light off-white head turns to a film and leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: Nice, slightly roasted, malty aroma with a bit of caramel and florals.

Taste: A very flavorful beer with some more earthy caramel and floral flavors up front. Some hoppy bitterness comes in later, with a hint of butter at the finish. Has an aftertaste of slightly bitter caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and generally smooth. Quite a bit of carbonation, but it is pretty light.

Drinkability: Very drinkable with a good ABV.

I really enjoy this beer. It has a nice kick in the flavor department, with a good combination of almost heady malts with crisp hop flavors, yet done at a very moderate ABV. It is easy-to-find and affordable too.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Visiting southern California and had to try something local so I chose this at a little bar around the corner. Came out with a nice half inch head that lingered and laced pretty nicely. Deep red copper color. Smell was very malty and crisp. Taste full of barley and bready goodness. Mouthfeel is full and great drinkability.

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.

Photo of philbertk
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Double Barrel Ale--1999 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Amber Ale--Bright amber golden color with hints of red. Rich floral hop nose backed by light fruity biscuity roasted caramel ESB body. Nice rich earthy hop spice finish. Balanced and very flavorful. 6/29/1999.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Double Barrel Ale--2000 Release--12 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV--34 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) ESB--Clear rich bright copper amber color. Rich floral malty hop front. Toasted ESB body with doughy bisquit flavor and chalky texture. Mild sweet fruit flavors. Mild floral hop ESB bitter finish. Sampled 8/31/2000.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Firestone Double Barrel Ale--2005 Release--12 oz. Bottles. 5.20% ABV--32 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) ESB--Beer of the Month Club Selection April 2005. Mild lace head. Clear thin dark copper red amber color. Mild toasted hop front. Crisp tangy thin dry sweet toasted earthy caramel toffee bisquit body. Mild tangy hop spice citrus end. Mild ESB. Sampled 5/20/2005.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--DBA--Double Barrel Ale--Passion For The Pale--2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV--32 IBU's. (3.85 / 5.0) Pale Ale--Thin mild lace off white head. Clear rich bright amber color. No sediment. Mild floral hop sweet malt fruit ester front. Mild sweet doughy caramel fruit soft vanilla oak British malt body. Easy malty mild hop spice clean stank hint English Pale Ale end. Odd. Sampled 11/14/2009. $4.49 Each.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--DBA--Double Barrel Ale--Passion For The Pale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV. 32 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Malty English Pale Ale. Mild lace off white creamy thin head. Clear bright copper red amber color. Floral toasty ripe doughy hop sweet nose front. Toasted caramel mellow fruit biscuit thin textured malty crisp Pale body. Dry clean crisp balanced mild tangy hop malty NW-SW Pale end. Sampled 8/9/2010. 6- Pack $9.49.

Photo of JosiahS
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

g: Pint

a: Clear copper color, 1 finger soapy white head. Splashy lacing.

s: Citrus and floral hops up front. Slightly peppery. Caramel malt, light cracker. Lemon.

t: Very well-balanced. Perfect ratio of hops to malts. Consistent flavor throughout. Citrus, floral hops. Lemon up front then met quickly after by caramel malt creating a great blend. Finish is somewhat clean, not too much lingering flavor.

m: medium body and moderate carbonation

d: Great session beer. Lots of flavor, not too bitter.

Photo of levifunk
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - light golden color, very clear, off-white head

s - malts and a bit of pine hops.

t - full flavor, vanilla and malts balanced by a light hops. leaves a light bitter finish. getting some, but not much of the wood flavor. I would have expected more with the "double barrel" name.

m - lighter body. good carbonation.

overall - pretty decent pale. surprising to see a 5% pale with that much flavor. very drinkable.

Photo of livewire78
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange crossed with brown. Sounds ugly but I think it's pretty. Minimal head but there is some lacing left on the glass.

Smells of what?- hops? How am I smelling hops? They're faint but in there. Other smells of caramel and vanilla.

Starts out with the caramel malts followed by the toffee and ends up with a vanilla hoppiness.

Feels a little thin. I wish there was more carbonation in here. It feels a little flat for me.

This is one of those beers that you could drink a whole bunch of. Eventually, though you'd want something with a little more kick.

Photo of GarrettMD
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep orange with minimal head that fades to a few bubbles on the surface. Good amount of carbonation visible.

S - Smells mostly of light malts, some light fruits as well.

T - Very rich malt flavor, mostly caramel malts, slightly biscuity, same light fruits are there from the smell.

M - Very smooth, medium body, slightly grainy mouthfeel towards the end. Finish is still mostly rich malts with a hint of bittering hops.

D - Very good drinkability, very smooth in mouthfeel and flavor. Just have to keep going back for another sip. There wasn't anything overly complex about this beer.

Photo of klikger
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A - Medium to dark amber, with a little white head, and quality lacing

S - Essentially the smell of a good brewery right after brewing a batch. Malty - not complex, but smells really good

T - Fresh barley, lightly roasted, with a touch of yeast. A touch of caramel as it warms. The finish is some mildly bitter hops.

M - Heavier than it needs to be, i.e., it should have more taste. Adequate carbonation.

D - A couple is easy enough, but there's no compelling reason to session this.

A nicely crafted ale, this is not distinctive enough to buy on a regular basis. There are far more beers at this price point with far more flavor.

Photo of dgilks
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rounded and malty aroma with a shot of citrus to give it an edge.

Somewhat hazy copper colour with a small off-white head. Decent head retention.

Smooth and malty with notes of toffee, citrus and earthy hops. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Silky and smooth.

A tasty beer with just enough going on to keep me interested but a silky, smooth feel and flavour that would have me happy to drink this for a while.

Photo of Nhoddus
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours about a two finger head, with nice clear copper color, Nestles into an off white cap that lasts till the end. Very little visible carbonation. Just a bubble every once in a while. Smells of malt and slight caramel sweetness, a little bit of light fruit. Similar to smell, nice slightly sweet malty flavor with flowery tones and a slight smokey wood taste, maybe some wheat cracker with a little hop bitter finish at the end. Can tell the carbonation much better in the mouthfeel, light small silky bubbles that dance on the tongue, which is nice, with the body of it being a little heavier, you can feel it coat your mouth with it's flavor, but not too much so. I could go through quite a few of these throughout the night comfortably, with enough taste to enjoy it slowly, and not so heavy that you'd feel bloated or too bubbly.

I like this beer, it's not my favorite, but for the price at my local stores and what it brings to the table for it, I stock this regularly along with their Pale Ale and Union Jack for a pocket forgiving good beer that delivers.

Photo of zoolzoo
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks peacebone116!

A: Pours an orange/amber color, two finger white head, good retention. Dissipating into a white cap.

S: Very grainy malt presence, a little hop bite. It almost smells smoked, but not quite. Faint hints of apples and spice.

T: Grain returns, giving way to biscuity sweetness. Hop presence remains faint and hints at a bit of citrus here and there. Woody, almost smoked similar to the aroma.

M: Low end of medium, maybe a little thin. Well carbed. Not bad.

D: Good! A tasty and easy going beer. I would probably buy this again if it were local.

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

Consumed at numerous venues across SoCal last week.

A: This beer pours a clear copper color with a one finger of pristine white bubbly head. Head retains nicely and leaves minor spider web lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is predominantly caramel malts, minor biscuits notes, and hints of oak.

T: Taste starts rather sweet with the caramel malts. A woody, oak biscuit flavor fills out the middle. The finish is a oak, piney hop flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp clean body.

D: Goes down easily, mild kick, not too filling, not an over the top beer but a solid offering to sit with for a while.

Photo of spoons
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an Amber orange, perfectly clear with a thin white head.

Smells of grilled meats, teriyaki, and northern Wisconsin. Indeed, that is what this beer smells like.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost a bit watery. Tastes like a strange tea. This is not is not so great. Probably wont go searching for it.

Photo of californiakulak
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from my kegerator into a Firestone pint glass.

a. Dark copper, orange like color. Crystal clear with a small head. Head vanishes quickly.

s. Not much here. Sweett malt and faint hops.

t. Some vanilla, woody flavors. More malt than hops. Some toffee.

M. Light carbonation, medium bodied. Kind of watery.

d. Goes down quite easily. Could, and did, drink several pints per sitting.

Photo of Phelps
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks: Classic. Amber maple color, pellucid, with nary a bubble in sight. A grayish tan head quickly becomes a filmy ring, but leaves nice fat ant trails of lace.

Smells: grainy. Sourdough, apple juice, light oranges, dandelion, white grapes. Very light citrus. Maybe even some lager yeast.

Tastes: grain is more subdued, lending a nice apple sweetness. Subtle hops remind of clementines. Crisp, dry finish, only lightly bitter. Finishes so dry it's hard to tell there were any flavors there at all.

Feels: smooth. Medium carb, medium body. Not bad.

Drinks: middling. I'm not generally a fan of the style, but even if I was, DBA would be a completely skippable English pale.

Photo of flagmantho
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, rich amber color with a finger of ivory head. Body is clear and the effervescence is appealing.

Smell: the aroma isn't enticing me much. It seems very, very mild and what there is of it has an unrefined biscuity quality which I don't happen to like too much. There is a small hint of sweet caramel character, but it's not enough to save this one for me.

Taste: now I can tell what the smell was trying to convey. Big biscuit and caramel malt with some floral hops up front and earthy hops on the backend, followed by a mild but good bitterness. The floral hops and sweet caramel make the first part of the sip notably good; I feel like it goes downhill a bit from there.

Mouthfeel: medium body and relatively big carbonation make this a surprisingly creamy and enjoyable consistency. I like it.

Drinkability: well, parts of the flavor and experience aren't my favorite, but other parts make up: that first sweet sip and the delicious creaminess. Split the difference -- I'd have this again.

Photo of dtwhite
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I went to college in San Luis Obispo, so I pretty much grew up on Firestone beer, but I only learned to like this one recently.

Poured into the Firestone nonic glass. It's got a nice lightly coppery brown color, no haze. Not all that carbonated (mine was very cold, which probably exaggerates that), but still gets some minor lacing.

Not a lot of aroma. A little bit of caramel and smokiness, but doesn't give off a lot when cold.

Tastes very smooth. It's got a good balance of maltiness and light hoppiness. Not boozy tasting at all, and a low enough ABV that you can enjoy a few without going crazy.

Honestly, you can see why this beer is sort of Firestone's bread and butter. It's good, not alienating, and nice for session drinking. People used to the imperial stouts and whatnot will find it bland, most likely. Although I like almost all of Firestone's beers better, this one is still worthwhile.

Side notes: I asked the guy during the brewery tour what the significance of "double barrel" is... apparently it doesn't mean anything specifically; it's probably just supposed to sound cool like a double barrel shotgun or something. They do put it in barrels, though. Also, Firestone beer is supposed to be kept refrigerated at all times by vendors, and they only let that rule slide for Costco. I happened to get this beer from a variety pack at Costco (12 DBA + 6 Pale Ale + 6 Union Jack IPA for $22, buy now).

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle without a freshness date pours a pretty clear, light amber color with a fluffy tan foam. Decent lacing and leaves a nice sheen.

Honey, caramel and toast on the nose. A nice complexity of malts, maybe some biscuit and special B. Wonderful citric and grassy hop notes really keep this a pleasant sniffer throughout the tasting.

This one is like an English malt bill meets American hops. Nice and very tasty. Caramel and toast are well balanced by some citric hoppy goodness. Clean and crisp - super easy to drink. Would make a terrific sessionable six-pack purchase, I really enjoyed it. Quite a nice pub/cask feel to the beer.

Photo of crossovert
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, the date is 05/13/10. I hope that is the bottled on date.

It pours a clear amber with a nice fluffy white head that also has a bit of creaminess. It recedes fairly slowly leaving some decent lacing.

Smell is light, but pleasant. There is a good deal of English hop nose and some light caramel scents. There is also a hint of vanilla oak character. It is not bad smelling for a lower abv beer.

The flavor and mouthfeel are ultra smooth. Almost like it is casky. It has a nice oak flavor, a subtleness of hops, mineral water, and a nice bready malt underneath. This is a full-flavored sessionable beer. The English hop weird aftertaste is annoying but not enough to bring the flavor down too much.

This is something I don't always get interested in but this one is done up right and uniquely.

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.

Photo of treehugginslug
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good

S/T - Taste of nice malts and barley. Very similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager. Solid beer with tons of repurchasability.

M - Good mouth, nice balance of carbonation and flavor

D - High

Buy Again? Definitely
Recommend? Yes
Drink at party? Definitely

Overall - This beer is now on my list of solid beers that I will definitely come back to. Nothing that was over the top superperb, but drinkability is very high.

Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,024 ratings.