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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.

1,942 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,942
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 60
Gots: 150 | FT: 2
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: 1,942 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srroos
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear red-amber with a short lived one finger head.

S: Malty and biscuity with some oak.

T: Nice and malty. Not as oaky as I would have hoped. Only slightly bitter with no noticeable hoppiness. I understand where the folks that relate this to Fat Tire come from, but it is certainly not the same.

MF: Good medium body. Not lots of carbonation, but not flat either.

D: Very drinkable and easy to enjoy. Good beer, commonly available, and inexpensive.

srroos, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: More brown than red amber, clear a smooth looking. Small bit of head, just about a finger, but quickly fades leaving some film.

S: Not much in the way of smell. Some roasted malt and maybe a touch of oak comes out. Hard to say what this will taste like.

T: Nice rich roasted malt and plenty of oak. I can taste a bit of Belgian strong dark ale in this, probably because of the aging. The flavor is pretty mild overall. Almost no hops that I can detect.

MF: Thin and smooth. Bit of a sweet aftertaste, not really sure where that's coming from.

D: I've had this on tap a few times, and always feel pretty much the same about it. It's really easy to drink and the flavor is a bit unique because of the barrel aging, but there's so many other good sessionable beers out there that I would probalby only resort to this if there was nothing better on tap. A solid brew, but nothing to jump out of your boots for.

rxdrewthejew, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a well put together ale with the perfect ruby tinged dark brown colour topped with a creamy white head. Nose is hoppy and almost brewery like. I like the complex hop notes in the finish coupled with a slight oakiness. At 5% this is a great drinking beer that is nuanced more than most of the style.

canucklehead, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of Vancer
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2007 secret santa – cartdan!! Thanks mucho!

Very nice start to this one – clear cola brown with some whipped topping of egg ivory. Sticky lace rings around the tulip glass.

Spicy notes in the aroma, and the quaff was a gentle pull of a caramel brown ale – not to rich, not to wimpy. Finishes with a woody and bready note.

Tasty and drinkable, this is a easy session brew.

Vancer, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained through liqourama on-line

Pours copper with 3+ fingers of tan head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Slight sweet malt, bready notes & that's it

T: Caramel & a bit of dryness up front. As this warms, hops take over; lemons, oranges & a bit of herbal hops as well. Finishes piney with toasted malt, & a bit more caramel sweetness, plus a kiss of grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, good balance

Drinks pretty easy, a solid, not great session ale

russpowell, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served probably a bit too warm... Pours slightly hazy dark orange color, far from red or amber. Plenty of off white head with great tracing forms. Aromas start off quite fruity with esters blending nicely with sprucy hops. Malt notes are the first item to qualify this as an amber as the toasty, caramel like aromas carry through. On the palate it is a rich malty brew with lots of character, very balanced. The finish is slightly drying and medium thin. Overall it is an enjoyable amber, but nothing noteworthy. I'm glad to try since it seems to have a loyal following, but like Fat Tire, sometimes it just doesn't deserve all the praise.

dreadnatty08, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thouroughly enjoyed after loosing a lot of money at Pour 24, New York New York Casino, Las Vegas. The beer seems to be a standard ESB, but with some American hops. The caramel flavors stand out along with slight buttery hints, and a big malt profile. The hops give some bitterness, spiciness, and citrus qualities, but also offer perfumy, pungent, pine character as well. The body seems a bit light for anything called 'double barrel'. I should not have expected a big beer. But the beer is nicely textured if you want a standard amber or ESB. All in all, a nice beer.

BEERchitect, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of hero27
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
5% abv

Clear amber, off-white head frosts the glass pretty well.
Floral hop aroma with some toffee, fruit, and soft touches of oak.
Sweet caramel & toffee malts lead into a light peppery hop finish.
Certainly an easy amber to drink, nothing that jumps out at you, but a solid beer from Firestone.

hero27, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber in colour, half finger white head on opening. It seemed there was ample carbonation on opening but that became subdued rather quickly. Minimal lacing. Nose is slightly hoppy, cantaloupe, peach. Lighlty hopped taste and mouthfeel, a bit thin - less than I expected - but seemed very drinkable. The initial impression was that this is a nicely balanced beer that is gently hopped, the flavour a bit restrained but a clean finish, perhaps a bit nutty, unsalted cashews. The label boasts of having used toasted oak barrels. I found that the barrel aging may have smoothed this brew to an agreeable balance making it an attractive mouthfull; alas, it went quite flat soon after and that took away from my overall scores.

ThatWineGuy, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a deep ruby red/tawny brown hue with slight transparency, head is white, soapy, and mostly diminishing, light lacing on the glass
S- Smooth and crisp aroma characterized by a blend of light caramel malts and floral hops, a touch of tea and oak in there too, underwhelming
T- Initial taste is roasted and caramel malts, but entirely too subtle compared to other ambers, followed by some light hops, nuts, and tea, the finish is slightly sweet and dry, no discernible alcohol presence
M- Light-bodied, thin and watery, not much texture going on at all
D- This is easy-to-drink at 5%abv, however there is nothing exciting or bold about the flavor; this definitely tastes more like a brown than an amber ale due to the watery mouthfeel and thinned out caramel malts, the Reserve was markedly better and I will not pick up this version again in the future.

Stoneman78, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of JBogan
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium brown with a light tan one finger head which left quickly.

A slightly malty aroma with a hint of toffee.

Again, malt and toffee come to the fore, with some caramel in there as well.

Very smooth, not much carbonation. Somewhat thick and full bodied.

An easy to drink beer. Not very complex but still quite tasty and worth a try.

JBogan, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of bradford
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a 12-pack bought at local market for $15
Looks okay, amber hue, brown and red when shifted into light
Can't detect much in the smell, lightly hopped, caramel, toffee
Taste is good, not much oak shows through, but if you really tried, you might find it
Mouthfeel is good, a rich, coating beer that doesn't have too much going on so as to ruin it
Drinkability is very high and it is easy to put several of these down
Like the posters around the Central Coast read, "It's what we drink around here"

bradford, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of terrapinchris
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer holds a special place in my memory for me, so I'm going to make it my first review here. In college I'd purchased six-packs of it, but my palate hadn't really developed to where I could say much about it. However, a few months ago, I had the pleasure of tasting it from a keg at my wedding (best man had purchased it for me). It definitely doesn't fit the profile of the many California brews that are overwhelmingly hopped. It pours a very deep amber, with a head that recedes quickly. The carbonation is very nearly what I would consider ideal for this type of beer. This had a hint of bitterness in the sip, but it seemed to warm in the mouth and finish with a chewy sweetness. The taste reminded me of a good Scottish ale, where the malts complement the bitterness in such a way that it avoids the sort of cloying sweetness that so many amber ales seem to fall prey to. All in all, an excellent beer for a session if you can find it on tap, Less so in the bottle.

terrapinchris, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Solomon420 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is big on malts/caramel. The taste is slighlty sweet and malty. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice amber ale, recommended.

Wasatch, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of geokills
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always pleased to find a local brew of value and excellence. Found on many store shelves here in California, and from the tap at many central Californian eateries, this is a handsome ale that pours a caramel brown with light carbonation and a similarly light head that will in all odds fade before you are half way into your glass. Nevertheless, this brew aged in oak barrels grants the imbiber a soft mouthfeel, sweet and nutty flavour, with an ever so delicate hint of hops. If I were ever to call a beer well-balanced, this would be a prime candidate. Tasty, relatively light whilst paradoxically rich and extremely drinkable, this Firestone Double Barrel will oft be found in the fridge at my home, readily offered to beer drinkers of taste who seek refreshment above the average.

geokills, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of Overlord
2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow. What a disappointment. I hear great things about the near mythical Firestone 10 (one of the White Whales here at Beeradvocate.com), and was eager to try this. I actually gave it a whirl in San Luis Obispo, and yipes.

Not much carbonation, perhaps a one inch head. Taste was ... strange. I almost want to say it tasted as though it was flavored with wood chips. Some caramel/malt overtones, but nothing really to balance it out or add complexity. I see that many reviewers note some faint hops ... I detected none. A thin, strange tasting beer that wasn't my cup of tea.

It looked pretty with a nice amber color, though.

Overlord, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review number 400,got this 22oz bomber from my brother-in-law on a recent visit from San Deigo.

Served into a nonic glass poured a clear,medium copper color with almost a 2'' off white creamy head with fair retention leaving rings of lace down the glass. Wisps of very tiny bubbles stringing to the surface,had to look very closely to see them.

Clean,sweet malty nose with nutty/toasty notes,fruity with lots of earthyness and moderate hop notes of spice with a perfumy touch.

The first taste i just noticed how nice the balance of the beer was.Complex maltiness not overpowering sweet/toasty/nutty/slightly roasty with a nice carmellness. Fruity and earthy with a good crisp moderate,hoppiness to match the maltiness hops were woody/herbal/spicy not as much spice as in the aroma.

Medium body leaning towards the lighter side,creamy,also had some grainyness with some astrigency at the finish. Easily drank the bomber,just don't think I would be able to drink all night. Very good Amber,well made nothing I would seek out,but would buy occasionaly if it was avalible in my area.

jcdiflorio, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of Floydster
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitcher at Baja Sharkeez in El Porto

Poured a much deeper brown than I though it would, had this beer several times previously out of bottle and did not notice this

Good amber and my parent's choice when drinking a beer

Widely available and available in six packs and 22 oz. bottles

Smells more like a brown an ale than a red, but has a smooth taste, not bitter at all

Goes down easy and highly drinkable, also a good summer beer

Floydster, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a little smoky and contains tea, caramelized malt and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of roasted malts, tea, caramel and a little citrus. The sweetness doesn't jump out at you in the beginning but gets a little stronger as you drink more of it. There's a good hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and a little hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, this is definitely a quality session beer that you can drink quite a bit of. It's flavorful enough to keep you satisfied in that regard. However, if you want a hard kick, you would want to look elsewhere. Overall, though, it's a good beer.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of nlmartin
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Imstillthegman for sending this beer my way. The beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a very pleasing effervescent amber coloration. The head is a nice creamy biege coloration with descent retention. Streaks of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer presents my nose with a nice oak floral caramel aroma.

Taste: The beer gives me the expected vanilla oak with toasted caramel maltyness. Floral hops combine well with a flash of smokeyness in the finish.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a lighter body. The carbonation is proper for this beer. I think this is an easy to drink beer. The Abv would lend this to sessionability. I would willingly have this on any occasion. Thanks again guy!

nlmartin, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of pintnhand
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think this beer is way overrated. I have had a few red ales but this one doesnt make my list. I think they took the beer too far on this one. The taste is almost puckering. The taste leaves a very heavy unpleasent feel. At first it starts smooth but as the taste evolves it becomes less enjoyable. An ok appearance. I would term it as harsh.

pintnhand, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of klewis
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Intriqken and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for this one

A: Pours a caramel color with a small frothy head. Light, porous lacing.

S: Faint malty smell with some floral hops in the back. Not much aroma overall.

T: Not much flavor overall, but tha barrel brewing is evident with a soft vanilla flavor and an dry, woody taste.

M: Light in body with light-moderate carbonation. A course and grainy texture.

D: The woody taste is definitely interesting, but I'm not so sure that I could take much of it. This one gets a "meh".

klewis, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of mynie
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A grocery store staple here in the Valley...

Pours a dark rust with a decent but quickly dissapating head. Pretty, sparkly, and crystal clear.

Smells of wonderfully balanced caramel bread malt and light west coast hops. Very chewy and sweet, even if it's a bit subdued and sessiony.

Tastes like it smells. Big wonderbread malt up front, doughy and sweet, backed up by lightly bitter caramel malt and some single west coast hop that's a little graprefuity. Large complexity from a small beer, all you can really ask for in a session. n

mynie, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of garymuchow
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the website it noted one of it's awards was for an "ordinary bitter" category, which I'm sure lends further confusion as to what this should be. But considering it uses both english hops and yeast it may be a closer bid.
Nonetheless...here goes.
Aroma is a really nice blend of hop and malt. Slightly toasty and grassy too. Sweet and somewhat earthy. Real pleasant.
Good looking beer too. Firm and somewhat dense head capping a classic amber of orange/brown. Clear with visible bubbles rising.
Flavor continues the trend of well blended ingredients. Nothing overpowers the other flavors and it's a rounded around a present yet soft bitterness. Toasty malt, grassy hops, mild dryness, touch of fruit, little sweetness up front, tasty bitter finish.
Quite soft in feel of both liquid and carbonation. Smooth drinking. On the richer side, but not too much.
I'm impressed. This is a well rounded ale that can be used for a variety of situations including food. Well done.
Thanks John.

garymuchow, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, purchased on the East Coast. (Unfortunately I have no idea how long this bottle sat on the shelf, or how long it took to get to Maryland before that.) Consumed from a Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a medium copper color, brilliant clarity. Thin bright head that dissipates quickly, leaving a minimum amount of lacing.

Some caramel notes on the nose, also some stale wet-paper oxidized aromas. Zero hop aroma. I'm not put off by this, especially knowing that this might be an old bottle, but at the same time there is little here to entice me to drink. If I knew for certain that this was relatively fresh I would be disappointed.

Nice malty flavor, some toffee and biscuit as well. Not caramelly enough for the style, could use more crystal malt. Gentle hop bitterness, not enough for an American Amber style but not completely lacking, either. Enough to keep this from being a malty beer, but that's about it. I was expecting a bigger hop presence.

Medium mouthfeel, carbonation is nice and adds a bit of zing to make up for the missing hop bite.

A very drinkable beer, but a bit disappointing compared to what I've heard. I hope to find a known-fresh sample at some point to compare to this one.

BrewDrinkRepeat, Jul 06, 2007
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.