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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

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2,111 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,111
Reviews: 682
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 69
Gots: 216 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,111 | Reviews: 682
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of Bfarr
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of denver10
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, robust amber looking with a respectable head.

Smell is subtle but on the sweet, maltier side.

Taste....smooth and well balanced. Roastiness, toffee, bready with some hops present as there there is a little citrus flavor there, but no bitterness. Taste is distinct but low key.

Mouthfeel seems to be hovering betwee full and medium bodied and creamy. Really nice, imo.

Overall, one of my absolute favorite beers. It's a pretty simple beer but with some depth to that simplicity. My session beer of choice these days.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Boatshoes! Bomber into a Perfect Pint. 7/14/11 marked on the neck.

The beer is a perfectly clear, fiery copper. Insane walls of lace are left from the dense, but narrow head.

The aroma isn't exactly forceful but it is well balanced. Fresh bread, hot cross buns and a little bit of raisin come from the malts. Honey, wildflower, and lemon come from the hops.

The taste is very bready up front with a little but of honey and orange zest sprinkled on top. A kick of sweet, juicy hops comes at the end just before a small spike of balancing bitterness.

The carbonation is too high, but the finish is nice and dry and very clean.

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

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this extra! Neck dated 5/23/11. 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy medium amber with thin off-white head. Nose has some biscuit and caramel, classic English pale meets American pale. Palate is medium-light bodied with some thin caramel and that lovely biscuity dry flour thing.

A solid example of the Americanized English Pale Ale.

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

Rich and tasty amber ale. Quite attractive in the chalice with nice head and plenty of carbonation. Amber color, on the darker side. Toasty with long flavors of roasted malt. Bitterness is just right for the style, a pleasant hoppiness with that English watery refreshing quality.

Nice change from the American pale ale style. Very drinkable and interesting. Label says 5.1% ABV.

Photo of GilGarp
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Double Barrel has a nice coppery color with good clarity. The head is thick and slow-to-settle. A little bit of lace is left behind.

Aroma is mild, as an English pale usually is but I get a little biscuit malt and earthy British hops.

Flavor is enjoyable with good balance, leaning towards caramel-sweet. A little toasted malt adds to the depth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a really good American version of this English style. Served a little warmer from the hand pump would be awesome.

Photo of dcook11
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- An aggresive pour provides a thick, white, iceberg head about two and a half fingers deep. The beer itself is a dark honey/bronze color. Some small fine bubbles rise to the top of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing.

S- Pine, citrus, oak, caramal malt, a touch of tropical fruit. More pine/caramel forward as cold, but as it warms oak dominates.

T- More oak than in the smell. Piney/resiney hops.

M- Dry, light bodied.

O- A great sessionable beer for those who enjoy oak and hop character at a lower abv.

Photo of claytong
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - copper in color, nice little head. a nice color, enjoy epa's so much more than apa's.

smell - lots of roasted malts, pretty weak, brown sugar. grainy

taste - a lot stronger than the nose, roasted malts, smooth and not too strong. grains and minor hops. citrus and raisins. brown sugar and oak

mouthfeel - creamy, smooth, good body for the style. like it

session beer here. would love to drink this constantly in the summer

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

A- Poured from the tap at Lucky Devils on Hollywood Blvd. A 1 finger of proteinaceous beige foam was well retained as the beer sat and warmed. Some traces of lacing decorated the glass as the liquid volume went down. The body was an optically clear dark copper-amber with some slow bubbles rising from the depths.

S- Nose is mild, based on crackerlike toasted malts, laced with aromas of oak and a non-offensive mild metallic note. No real hop aroma. This sets the stage for a very drinkable beer.

T- This beer is bigger on the tongue than in the nose. Big toasted malts establish a canvas painted with toasted oak, hints of low alpha hops (just enough to balance the beer), and a barely perceptible nuance of fruity ester. Starts out malty, but finishes dry.

M- A medium body leveraged with a substantial but soft carbonation. A mild astringency from the oak aging is evident.

O- A very drinkable, nay, sessionable brew. I could drink these all day long!

Photo of Domingo
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color that’s headed toward bronze. Not much of a visual head, but it does leave a lace trail behind.
The nose and up-front flavor profile starts off with a biscuity sweetness, which turns into a bit of a toastiness. Some vanilla, too. Earthy hops appear in the middle and fade into a lingering caramel note. As it warms, the hops tend to come out more and the finish has less sweetness and more of a wood zing. A tiny bit of astringency creeps in here and there, but it’s not really much of a detraction.
Because this is only 5%, it’s easy drinking, and the lower carbonation helps, too.
I find that this can be a solid everyday brew or a meal pairing with equal success.
Plus, it’s fairly unique to have a wood aged brew that’s mild and drinkable.

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During my visit in AZ a Total Wine and more opened. Nice. During a three week visit I get to taste a lot of awesome beers otherwise not available in Europe.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Comes out clear dark golden amber. nice two finger head leaving some nice lacing.

It's light on the nose but still loads of stuff going on. Floral notes, caramel malts and some nice hop aroma.

Flavors on this one are great. Loads of malty goodness, a little sweetness and a nice amount of hop.

More carbonation present than in your average English Pale Ale. A decent full body with a neutral finish.

I loved this one. It was just what I was looking for at the moment I drank it. Having had a ton of aggresive West Coast IPA's this one really presented me the variation I was craving. Low ABV makes this a great session beer.

Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel aging hasn't done much to blur the clarity of this caramelly coloured beer. Its highlights look lively as its bronze tint glows brightly against the skin. It appears an entirely healthy beer save for the fact that the only way you'll find a head is by swirling (and even then you'll have to keep at it if you want it to stick around). Hence the lack of lacing.

The nose is a pleasant blend of clean oak, honeyed oats, sweet bready malts and fruity esters. So much for the idea of "terroir" - this Pacific coast beer seems remarkably similar to those from east of the Atlantic. It has a soft floral fragrance that is deepened substantially by notes of bruised dark fruit. Lots of honey, caramel and brown sugar perspire with warmth.

Lower carbonation allows flavours of creamy caramel and dry, clean oak wood to be appreciated. Toffee and brown sugar are also noted often, combining with the malts to make for a coffee cake-like flavoured beer that has the assertive bitterness of a long-steeped English breakfast tea. Fruity apricot, date and fig esters are also appreciated.

There's all kinds of sweet flavours - toffee, caramel, dried fruits - but an assertive hoppiness ensures that little sugar lingers. Instead, a crunchy maltiness endures, complimented by mellow oak and an herbal earthiness courtesy of those (quintessentially British) hops. It may be designed for sophisticated deliberation, but it's perfect for high-gear drinking.

Usually flagship brands equal flagship bland. But Firestone DBA, although much subtler than Firestone's special anniversary offerings, is still every bit as complex and enjoyable as those fantastic barrel-aged beers. And it's far more sessionable - this is the kind of beer most people would love to drink all night long - and I'm certainly one of them!

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

With a light amber, clean pour the head starts to rock up a bit. the white foam is slow to form solidly, or maybe I'm too quick to drink it.

A calm aroma, fit for the style. From a brewer who has some heavy hitters, this one isn't one of them. But that's not a bad thing.

For me, the thing I look for in an EPA is an herbal hop presence and/or some hard water feel to it. This one has little of the latter and a splattering of the former. An herbal hop character seems to have some florals to it. Bad? Nope, perhaps to style 100%, but what the hell.
Toasted biscuit and very light caramel make up the malt imput.

A very nice, easy drinking beer

Photo of kflorence
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imported from my ratebeer.com profile - FEB 23, 2008

Pours a dark amber color with particulates, not much head. Smells of hops and toasted malts, perhaps some nuts and a hint of some type of fruit in there as well. The taste is heavily dominated by the hops, but you can definitely taste the other flavors, especially the toasted malts. It’s pretty carbonated, perhaps overly so, and a bit thin. Overall it has a lot of flavor and depth, but is easily forgettable.

Photo of tdm168
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 6-pack my wife purchased while on vacation in CA.

Pours a light amber with little head, carbonation bubbles evident. The only thing I pick up in the nose is caramel malt. Taste is a little disappointing; malt mostly with a tiny hop bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and heavily carbonated.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark golden color with a thin off white head.

S: Some floral hops and a bit of caramel malt. The smell isn't as big as I was hoping for.

T: A bit of a letdown. Bready and malty upfront followed by some weak floral hops. It's not a bad beer, but not one I'd rush back for.

Photo of OStrungT
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color with a thight tan head. the thin head fades slowly, leaving sparce lace.

This beer smells mildly of floral hops. I get a slight caramel sweet aroma. The aroma is pretty mild.

This beer tastes like it smells, with one exception. I get a slightly bready flavor as well.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It is highly carbonated. It leaves a flroal aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is mild and low in alcohol.

Overall: This is a good sessionable beer from a solid brewery. I am supprized that it took me so long to review it.

Photo of jwhancher
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visited the Taproom a few weeks back where I picked up a 22 oz of this and flew it home in my luggage. Have been anticipating it but was disappointed to read some of the subpar reviews. Well, nothing like lowering expectations eh?

Pours a nice clear light amber to dark gold color. Has a nice fluffy white head that fades to a light froth. Carbonation seemed fine.

Very subtle aromas, but I get a real light smoky oak character. Some light toffee like malt character with a little dark chocolate. I get no hop aroma. Has a nice fresh baked bread aroma to it.

Tastes like it smells. Tastes a little bitter with no noticeable hop flavor. I think this is one solid English Pale Ale brew. Light & drinkable. Could drink this quite often - I just never see it around Philly. Overall, I think the overall charm of this one is in it's subtleness. Glad to have tried it.

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. :(

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,111 ratings.