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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,092
Reviews: 680
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 68
Gots: 210 | 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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Ratings: 2,092 | Reviews: 680 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ehammond1
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Oceanside, CA

Clear orange and amber. Moderate white head that leaves fairly quickly. Minimal lacing down the glass, though still pretty.

I don't like the way this beer smells. Unfortunately, the main aroma I'm getting is that of an old, wet, somewhat moldy dishrag--otherwise known as "wet towel." I suppose there's some floral hoppy notes somewhere in there, but I wouldn't sign my name to that. As the beer has warmed I'm getting some sweet aroma of honey, so I'll bump it up a touch for that.

Fortunately, the beer tastes significantly better than it smells. Nearly the very definition of average. just a touch better. Floral hops, touch of sweetness, mild bitterness, easily drinkable. I don't mind it, but I don't love it either.

Medium mouthfeel.

A slightly better than average, relatively boring and simple English pale.

Photo of doughanson78
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Copper with slight orange and red hints. One finger head with bigger bubbles throughout. Vanished in a hurry. Very light lacing.

S: Light floral hoppiness. Kind of a fresh soapiness aroma. Very light caramel malts.

T: A vanilla caramel flavor throughout. Nice toffee. The faintest touch of floral hops. Very nice sweet aftertaste, with the vanilla/caramel/toffee. Huge improvement, as this beer was going south quick.

M: Kinda thin. Not a whole lot going on except the fizzy carbonation.

O: If your looking to experience the whole beer it's not all that. But if you really don't care about look/smell/mouthfeel then the taste is worth it.

Photo of draheim
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled 02/23/11 13:45) poured into a Duvel tulip.

Amber, 2-finger head.

Faint floral aroma, not much else.

Nice clean water taste. Hops & malt in subtle balance, neither dominant.

Reminds me vaguely of ESBs I've been drinking for years. Sessionable but never the main event. No real need to come back to this one again.

Photo of alamere
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass..

A - Beer looks good. Pours a small head and is carbonated on the low side, which is appropriate for this style in my opinion. Despite the low carb level and lack of foam, leaves lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet smelling, lacks the big hop presence of an american pale ale. Big toffee, carmel nose... really.. a lot different than the pales that I've been drinking recently.

T - Tastes REALLY good. I'm not sure what others were expecting when they tasted this but this is an extremely sessionable british style pale. A bit on the sweet side, and lighter on the hops than the american style pales. Still has that fuggle or Northern Brewer style bitterness that accents the big malt backbone of this ale.
Since I wasn't looking to taste "Barrel" I have absolutely no problem with this beer... in short, I'd rather taste this than "barrel".

M - Carbonation is lighter than normal, but I'm sure it's purposeful as English style pales generally are lighter in carb level. The big malt backbone adds to the smoothness of the sip.. and this beer evolves as it gets warmer.

O - This is not your standard pale. There are layers of flavor here that a normal beer does not possess. There is a toffee and malt backbone that really just makes the beer... and the hops have an almost chocolate quality. After that.. I think the yeast and malt and wood leave an original aftertaste. It's hard to find a fault in it... I'm unsure what others are tasting, but this is really what I'd hoped it would be when I purchased it. Not a ton of wood in the flavor, but.. certainly a great beer, worthy of me trying it and bluntly... I'd be surprised if I didn't purchase it again.

Photo of HugePlume
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Tawny copper color, with a light orange hue around the edges. A moderate pour yielded a loose half finger foamy head that was gone before you knew it. No lacing.

S- Not much nose, mostly just toffee malt, maybe a little booze. Could have been some oakiness but thats not what it came across as.

T- No hint of wood in this at all, its a very benign toffee malt with no hint of hop. Carbonation is light, but very effervescent, like a alka-seltzer tab that lifts some of the sweet malt off the tongue. Wet finish, but minimal aftertaste or bitterness,

M- Too watery, and again the fizzyy carbonation,

O- devastatingly average beer, with no hint of wood. I should probably be harder on this beer given the utter lack of woodiness but I'll leave it as-is. Its completely forgettable and lacking in any uniqueness,

Photo of Yagman3000
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH goblet.

Appears a brown orange with a finger head that subsides to a very thin creamy slick.

Smells boozy and malty. Not much hops encountered in this pale ale. A little surprised for a pale ake that more hops weren't detected.

Tastes a little woody and a bit of raisin. Some dry bready malt cones through.

Mouthfeel is nothing eventful and does t really change from beginning to end.

Overall a bit dissapointed in this. Very basic without and stand out characteristics. :(

Photo of Metalmonk
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly mundane looking beer, but nothing out of whack either. A soapy head lasts a good while, and the liquid is a glassy caramel color, very clean looking, if a bit "cream soda" in appearance...

Aroma is also so-so, again nothing offensive, but it doesn't offer much to the olfactory sense either. Watered down caramel and watered down hops maybe...that's about it. Moving on...

Things improve in the flavor, and even grow with a little patience. A nice grassy hops flavor overrides a typically "English" caramel-like malt flavor. A little buttery around the edges, a kiss of toffee too. Feel is soft but amply carbonated, just about right for a beer like this.

Yeah, this is fine for a beer this style, easy drinking and all that. I tend to like a little more heft and character generally, or just something with a more pronounced personality, but there's a place for beers like this, of course.

Photo of RJLarse
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of FW Double Barrel Ale in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper color. There is a moderate foamy off-white head on the beer and very few bubbles in the glass.

Smell is a mild caramel grain aroma.

Taste is also a light caramel and sweet bread flavor. There are some citrus notes but very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth.

Over all a drinkable pale ale and a good representation of the style. Much more malt flavor than the American counterpart.

Photo of rawfish
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Arrives at the table in a shaker glass with a thin cap of off white foam over a nice amber body. Some lacing but very wispy, not able to judge retention.

Bold caramel with a nice about of pine and lightly citrus hops, some wood notes. Nicely done English style hop profile.

Up front the beer's malt profile is a little thin, amber style with caramel malt and some grains to lighten it up. Wood notes come in sporadically with vanilla, oak and whiskey sweetness. Hop profile was stronger in the nose but pleasant with a decent amount of pine and a hint of citrus. Doesn't do enough to kill the sweetness though. Ends a bit sticky.

Under carbonated but smooth and thin. Could finish cleaner but the complexity of this flagship can easily be appreciated.

A nice sessionable English Pale with some wood complexity but nothing mind blowing, could be a bit more carbonated and less sweet. Has all the aspects of a good English Pale but the wood notes throw balance towards the malt side too heavily.

Photo of ckollias
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter.

A: Mahogany in color with a 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Strong caramel and decent hoppy aroma. Hint of malts vanilla are also present here.

T: Caramel taste with a generous sweetness and a slightly malt bitterness. Mild hoppy and vanilla background with a touch of toasted oak flavor.

M: Medium to light body and good carbonation

O: Pretty decent beer – not overly impressive or something I would have on hand all the time – but it was enjoyable and worth drinking.

Photo of megahurts4
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale

Appearance: dark red orange, medium-small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: nice grains, hop, and malt.

Taste: wet hops, grains, and a faint sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: light.

This has a nice aroma and a pleasant flavor. It is a tad on the watery side, but the flavor makes up for it.

Photo of hajenaD
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into pint

A: I really like the color of this beer, I held it up to my ceiling fan's light and was impressed by it's beautiful amber color with a burnt yellow color at the top.

S: Smelled great, general citrus scent with some pine scent to it

T: hit the spot, not to strong, but just right if you're in the mood for an amber ale!

M: light, smooth, flavor hits a little late for me, but when it does hit it's just what I was lookin for.

O: I'm really happy with this beer, it's exactly what I was looking for! I will grab this bad boy again and again in the future!

Photo of foles
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably underrated given the expectation for this beer to be a hop driven american ale. However this is an authentic english style offering from Firestone Walker. Nice malt, tea like hops on the nose and palate - seems like EKG. A rounded english profile, firmly bitter, maybe some esters in there. Maybe a bit too dry? Either way this wouldn't be out of place on cask in England.

Photo of karait95
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange amber color a little light body can be seen or at least it seams so, very clear for an ale, with a relative big head on top at least 3 fingers that dissipates somehow quickly not leaving much behind.

S: The smell is somehow more simpler than complexer some hops can be felt more than the malt or the barley .

T: The hops are predominant all over the flavor as with the smell the tasting of malt is hidden or overcome due to the bitter of the hops.

M: A little bitter since the begging and becoming more every second it spend in your mouth, with a good medium lasting a little dry with relatively high bitterness.

Photo of BucBasil
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from some quick notes taken at the restaurant.

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy amber or darkish orange color.

S: fresh fruits, incl. some apricot or berries and bready malt

T: Citrus, apricot, berries. bready to biscuity malt. Slight bittering hops, somewhat floral

O: A good straightforward drinkable balanced ale. Solid.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK, I have to admit that I had to do a re-take about 15% of the way into this glass. While at Belmont Station the bartender told m that the Firestone Double Barrel on cask was amazing and had to be tried. Having recently had a couple bottles of Double JACK… I mentally prepared myself for their great/fresh and bold DPA. When the glass came I was struck by the color of the beer which was at least three shades darker than the Double Jack’s that I enjoyed over the previous month…

After several sips and total confusion I innocently asked why the hops presence would be so muted since it was on cask…. DOH… I was drinking their Double Barrel English Pale Ale and NOT the Double Jack DPA. Oh well. After adjusting my expectations, I did enjoy the glass of beer.

Finger of very creamy light tan head tops a burgundy/amber colored beer with excellent clarity. A touch of lacing.

Aroma was of toffee, stone fruit and even some minerals.

Flavor was very bready with lots of toffee notes. Fruit was fairly prominent as well.

This beer was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Silky.

Seems spot on for an English Pale Ale.

Photo of colforbin73
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i must admit -- mr first FW beer was Union Jack, followed by Abacus, followed by Double Jack. So, it is kind of hard to gear down for this one, AND steeped in the cornucopia of amazing, exotic and experimental beers you can get out there....

it's hard to gauge this beer fairly as an English Pale Ale for me. PALE ALE has been defined as SN Pale for me. BASS ALE... is well... bass ale, and english beer you mix with Guinness sometimes... for me the disappointment is in the

1. lack of a fresh hop profile,
2. a lagerish type feel, not really Ale like
3. lack of sweetness and overall....

too dry for the style. yes, i just said i am somewhat limited on the style... and now i am saying it is too dry.

POURS a light mahogany color with a little one finger head, IF you pour aggressively. then the lager type feel hits... SMELL is mostly of yeast and some malt. it is a pleasant aroma. but not exciting.

TASTE again is yeast, and dry malt... like maybe the bitterness is drying out the malt? crisp and dry... not sweet and effervescent. MOUTHFEEL is light. OVERALL this beer would not win me over to this brewery.

but considering i am sold on most of their other beers... i would recommend this to fans of the Style.


Photo of MrTopher
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A copper/amber color, with a decent head that dissipates rather quickly. Lacing is nice and has some retention to the side of the glass.

S: Mostly toffee malts in the nose, some hops that have a citrus smell to them.

T: The carbonation is balanced in this beer making it really creamy and balanced. The balance of the hops and malts are ideal. Almost like fresh baked bread that is great and an easy drink.

M: Medium body but keeps it together and makes it very enjoyable.

O: I have been drinking this for I don’t know how long. Have had draft, cask, growler, bottle, this is just a great offering from FW. Its usually my go to beer when shopping at the market, because they always have it fresh and in stock.

Photo of trappistlover
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle). Pours a clear copper color with off-white head. Low carbonation. Aroma has grass, herbs, a little bit of bubblegum and toasted bread. Taste is sweet malts with some caramel notes. Light bittering hops on the end. Medium bodied with and watery texture. Finish is bitter. An ok beer, but not my cup of tea.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear light orange-brown with a 1 inch off-white head. Nice rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of malts and some fruity and floral hops. Taste is of roasty malts up front with some subdued fruity citrus zest hops. Because of this there is really no hop bitterness on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit flat with a creamy and slightly thick feel. Overall, this is a decent beer but nothing too special. I wouldn't seek this one out again.

Photo of ADZA
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark see through copper hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and a rim of clingy lacing,the smell is boiled candy,light toffee and some fruity hops,it has a light bodied averagely carbonated mouthfeel that has tastes of sweet caramel malts,boiled candy,fairy floss and is finished off with a fruit punch hopppy light bitterness but not bitter at all just bittersweet and overall this brew is alright without being great and probably wouldnt revisit anytime soon as there is too much better examples of this style out there.

Photo of dbossman
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, tea-colored hue with a quickly dissipating head--after a minute there is no head but the beer still bubbles heavily; lacing is minimal

S: Light lemon hops but a ton of biscuity toffee malts; very sweet and bready--simple but nice

T: A pleasant and balanced sweet malty and bready presence; this has so much biscuity, toasty bread flavors with a subtle toffee and caramel undertone; a touch of lemon and tea leaves shining through as the pleasant bitterness envelopes the flavors

F: Light to medium body; the beer clings to the inside of the cheeks; nice, even carbonation

D: This is a nice, session beer: bready and flavorful; nice, simple session beer, Firestone

Photo of hiku7
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle to a nonic pint glass.

The beer pours a mostly clear orange to copper with a thin white head, which quickly dissipates. This was disappointing because the picture on the bottle shows a solid frothy white head, though the color matched the picture.

The aroma was initially a mild fruitiness (not citrus, maybe berries) and emitted a pleasant yeasty smell as the beer warmed in the glass. The malt aroma was understated. A deep whiff also gave off a bit of an alcohol smell that is more often absent at this abv.

The taste was more malty than the smell suggested, primarily toasted and caramel malt, but also a surprising bit yeastyness coming through. Also a light fruitiness and even a hint of spiciness. The taste was well balanced on the back end by a moderate woody hop taste.

The beer was lightly carbonated, medium bodied, with a kind of doughiness, and had a dry finish.

Overall, a solid beer that I enjoyed, though it's not one I'd go out of my way to find.

Photo of Azurescens
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Mac & Jack's pint glass, reviewed on 4/15/11

A: Pours a clear golden amber with off white head with a good amount of lacing left around glass.

S: Sweet bready malt with a faint herbal grassy hop aroma.

T: Same malty bread taste from the smell, clean with some herbal hops to balance out the malt.

M: Average pale ale mouthfeel, light bodied, malt forward, crisp with good carbonation and finishes dry.

O: Decent pale ale, nothing to really complain about but nothing special either. Good drinkability, not something I will be buying in the near future, but I would definitely drink one if it is offered to me.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid beer to grab a sixer of.

Poured into my Firestone Pint. Very nice darker clear amber color. Thin white head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is just kinda malty. Not much else.

Taste is solid. Little bit of oak and smooth slightly malty flavor with a bit of hop bite in the finish. Nice.

Mouthfeel is good. On the dry side but a bit malty.

Overall a solid beer. I buy it often. A good beer to drink while I'm sittin on my balcony watchin my beer brew.

Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,092 ratings.