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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
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: 217 | 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 gopens44
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a single at Wine and Beer Westpark for $2.10. Bottle dated 1/14/11

A - Thin layer of foam on top of a clear amber beer.

S - Smell reminds me a lot of Boston LAger. Mostly bitter with a maltyness to it as well.

T - More of what the nose bringeth. Malty and pleasantly bitter with a slight hint of cherries near the end

M - highly carbonated, thin bodied and plenty of bitter after taste.

This isn't a bad beer by any means, but it's not over the top with a ton of complex flavors. At 5.1%, these could be a good every day, few a day drinker. With the lack of complexity - I'd lean on something else if adventure is what you are seeking.

Photo of Retsinis
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper amber color, with an inch of foamy white head with some lacing, and little bubbles rising that can be seen from the bottom, almost like champagne.

The aroma's are of piney, honey, tinge of caramel, new french oak, some yeasty esters, toast.

The flavors in the taste some what match the aroma notes, light caramel, bread, herbal bitterness. As it warms, I get a tinge of what I would describe as menthol or metal.

Mouthfeel is crisp, light, smooth.

Easy drinker, well balanced, but not as complex as others for the price.

Photo of aaron12
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

lot's of sweet black tea flavor. i dig how much this tastes like a british bitter. To me it tastes more british than american, so it's good to see it rated as a EPA, though it's made in the U.S. smell is super sweet candy malt. pretty thick white head and a sweet syrupy mouth feel. once it warms in my glass a bit, it does feel a little thicker/heavier. over all i really enjoy this beer and would drink it again. it's nice to pay a low price for a "export tasting" beer.

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

A: Pours a bright, clear copper-orange color. The head has a faint coppery tint, with a moderately dense, fairly frothy texture. Retention is good, with some nice lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Some toasty, somewhat sweetish caramel malty tones. Hop aromas are leafy and herbal, almost to the point of being minty. Some lightly spicy and fruity English-style esters are also present.

T: A smooth, caramel sweetness is the primary malt flavor, but it is accompanied by noticeable toastiness. There's also a bit of buttery diacetyl, but it's well within range for an English pale ale. Hop bitterness is moderate, with spicy, herbal, and lightly minty flavor. A faint mineral character in the finish.

M: Medium-full body. A bit dextrinous. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium. Some gradually building dryness towards the finish. It drinks a bit heavier than 5.0% abv.

D: A pleasant, enjoyable pale ale. Not overly exciting, but it gets the job done. A pleasant combination of malt sweetness and spicy hop character provide good balance.

Photo of veinless
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep sap orange with brown and red hints. Head is white and coarse, and dissapted very quickly, leaving not much lace.

Smell is very sweet and malty, with the hops taking a backseat in this one. Some citrus hints of lemon and orange here, but its mostly grain to the nose.

Taste is blend of citrus evident in the aroma with grainy malt. A little bit watery in the taste, but the flavors that are there are very pronounced and nice. Aftertaste has some malt/fruit sweetness that is not very in tune with the rest of the beer, but a welcome change of pace.

Mouthfeel is watery as mentioned earlier, but decent overall. Drinkability is average for a pale ale, as there are others that offer enticing finishes and aftertastes. This offers neither, but is good in its own right.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/21/11

10/05/10 stamped on the bottle

Thanks to nrbw23

Slightly pale, burnt amber-brown color. Clarity is excellent. Poured half an inch of puffy, egg shell hued foam that thinned to patchy bubbles after several minutes. A decent amount of lace remains.

The aroma is pretty chill. There's good balance between hops & malt. Hops seem primarily grassy but there are hints of flora, pine & citrus (to a lesser degree). Notes of caramel & biscuit.

The hop attack is sharp & brief. Piney with earthy, vegetal notions & nips of pepper. Maybe a little orange peel buried in back. The malts seem to keep distance from the hops with caramel & toasted bread lurking underneath.

Medium body with a kind of watery mid-section. Carbonation is quite biting without being particularly fizzy. Some residual bitterness with a lingering grassy, herbal flavor.

Not bad at all. The carbonation was a bit more brazen than I prefer but I was able to swirl it to a more enjoyable level. In hindsight it would seem the carbonation was the cause for the disassociation of malt & hops.

Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pub glass. This brew appears a perfectly clear light amber color with 2 fingers of yellowish stained fluff. The cap retains quite well and is composed of rather large bubbles. A constant stream of bubbles rises to the surface in support of the head. Small patches of lace cling to the glassware after each sip.

The aroma of this brew is sweet caramel malt upfront, lightly toasted. Through the body and into the back is a mineral/metallic scent coupled with a bit of herbal and citrus hop scents. As this brew warms, it picks up some floral notes and a bit of sulfur.

The taste is a combination of herbal hops mixed with quite a bit of mineral flavoring. Light toasted malt flavor provides a bit of residual sweetness to counter the light bitterness of the herbal hops. As this brew warms, it picks up a light yeast note coupled with some grass notes.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. At times it seems a bit watery. The alcohol makes itself known in the finish with a bit of warmth. Overall not a bad brew, but it is completely forgettable.

Photo of dbmernin83
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy burnt amber, decent head, light lacing.

Crisp hop front immediately dances with a strong malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated, enhancing hop crispness.

A good hop profile for an English Pale yet still balanced. A beer I would come back to for a solid, decently flavored beer. When I think "ale", this is the type of beer I have in mind. Nothing special, just a good beer.

Photo of nrbw23
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a bright, clear, amber with an off-white head. Head has ok retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smells is of toasted malts, bready, a bit of burnt sugar, some floral hops.

T- Taste is toasted malts and sweet biscuit. Hops are fairly light in this one.

M- Medium in body and on the lighter side of medium in carbonation.

D- Pretty easy to drink. Just a bit on the boring side of things.

Photo of Fillpott
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into an American pint glass and again into an English-style pint glass. The glass style changed my perceptions slightly with regards to the aroma and taste, but it wasn't a serious difference. Here were my notes.

A-Copper in color and very clear. True to the style, but on the darker side.

S-Light hop aroma and a malt/oak-aged overtone. I let this warm a little, and that released some of the barrel-aged smell. It reminded me of what I get out of bourbon, a little.

T-Smooth, well balanced and easy to drink. I liked the faint oak flavor to the beer. It seemed a little thicker and with a hint of vanilla than a traditional EPA.

M-Again, it was thicker and chewier than most Pale Ales I've tried. There was a good balance of hops to malt, but there felt like there were some unfermentables that were adding to the depth of the beer.

D-Very drinkable and will likely become a staple in my fridge when I have people over. It is a craft beer that doesn't frighten away "average" American beer drinkers, in my opinion.

Photo of seand
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark amber with an off white head. Most of the head dissipates fairly quickly, but enough remains on the surface to leave pretty good lacing.

S: Light floral hops, with a note of citrus. Fresh and clean.

T: Medium sweetness, with a slightly bitter hoppy finish. The citrus notes are again quite apparent. Fairly well balanced, mild overall.

M: Medium body, slight chewiness, medium carbonation.

D: Clearly made to be drinkable.

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

A: poured a translucent amber brown with yellow highlights when held up to the light that had a thin frothy head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of orange tangerine citrus aromas upfront with caramel slight hop notes and a good sweetness presence from the malts.

T: the caramel flavor is more apparent on the palate but the hops come through more as well with citrusy accents and sweetness from the malts that did overpower the hop bite.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a mostly sweet but mild hoppy, citrusy, and oily finish.

D: pretty decent pale ale but wasn't as hoppy as I thought it would be but drank good.

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Citrusy hops, nice bouquet, orange, grapefruite, caramel sweetness.

L: Crystal clear orange-amber. Off-white head that dissipates.

T: Caramel sweetness with an underlying mild bitterness with just a touch of minerals. Finishes earthy and fairly clean.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Decent english pale ale, sounds strange but could have used a touch more hops.

Photo of beer2day
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange gold with very little head or lacing.

Big rich bready malt nose with a faint hint of citrus hops. Not overwhelming at all, but quite nice.

Hits with malty crispness. Chewy midway through with a bit of tart fruit. Actually fairly mild. Clean and crisp. Nice caramel taste in the finish.

Feel is slightly syrupy, but appropriate for the style.

Easy to drink a couple at a sitting.

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

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.

Photo of kemoarps
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of drummstikk
4.62/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of Natural510
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of kwjd
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of yesyouam
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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