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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,905 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,905
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 57
Gots: 138 | FT: 3
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: 1,905 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of malcontent
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber body sporting a thin layer of head with adequate lacing.

Slighty sugary malt nose with an unremarkable hop scent. Average in every way.

The standard flavor with justa little grainy mash aftertaste on the finish to sully an otherwise solid if unspectacular amber ale.

Mouthfeel is A-OK with a full body tempered by a crisp level of carbonation. Totally drinkable; a well-made, if safe, American amber ale.

malcontent, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of Phocion
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright but dark copper hue with a frothy finger of white head. Decent retention and appealing lacing around the glass.

Aroma is hoppier than expected for an amber. Nice bouquet of floral hops and a hint of grapefruit as well. Nicely balanced with a touch of dry roasted malts.

As with the aroma, the taste is excellently balanced. Strong hops for the style but balanced perfectly with a sweet maltiness, in particular brown sugar and caramel.

Very carbonated and crisp mouthfeel. Expertly balanced so it sits smoothly. If you're looking for a taste of hops but not quite ready for a PA, this is the perfect beer. Solid 4 all around, I'd definitely recommend this one.

Phocion, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep reddish amber colored body and is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan colored head. The aroma is quite light, in fact at first it seems indistinct except for a soft berry-like fruitiness and a touch of grassy hop notes. Upon closer inspection the aroma opens up with a touch more fruitiness; notes of berries as well as sweet plums, golden raisins, and even a light aromatic apple note. In addition a soft citrus-like hop character, becomes more prominent after I first recognizable it. A very nicely balanced aroma, that is perhaps a touch too light even for a nice session brew.

Up front the taste is sharp with hop notes and dry malt character. It moves to a soft fruitiness that lingers on in the finish. The fruitiness is lead by that berry note, perhaps even a touch of strawberry. This beer has a fairly light body, though it does have some heft to it, especially towards the finish where a touch of malt sweetness and the fruit notes are found. The note that lingers the longest after swallowing a sip is that of biscuits or soda crackers. In fact this note helps to dry things out and prepare you for another sip. This beer is nicely hoppy with notes that are at times herbal, a touch citrus-like (leaning towards sweet citrus fruit notes), definitely with a nice bitterness, and maybe, just maybe with a touch of grass-like character. A touch of tannic astringency might be what is left of the barrel character, but this is soft and barely perceptible. I can't help thinking that this is at the right level though.

This beer is very soft overall, it is really quite tasty and well balanced, but I do wish there was more to it. I have a feeling that this would be a killer beer if served in an unfiltered straight from the hand pump form. I will have to seek out such a beast at some point as I am intrigued at what heights this beer might be able to achieve.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Poured a crystal clear, lively amber color. Showed a medium sized ivory head.

Aroma was citrus and grass. Next up were caramel and wheat bread.

Taste was initially citrus. Then a biscuity flavor with just a bit of caramel. Very well balanced with a tilt towards hoppy. Very small hint of sweet fruit. Grassy at finish.

Medium in body. Medium carbonation. Refreshing, didn't seem at all drying. Just a bit grainy, texture-wise.

A very good everyday/session beer. Rich and full flavored. A little short on hops, but everything seems that way to me now. I will be having more of this, and at 5 ABV that is easy to do.

, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of the gracious hands of autumnaldave. Pours into my glass a brilliant amber color with hints of red and a small half inch of tight bubbly head. Aromas begin with nicely toasted, bready/biscuity malts with a touch of nutty caramel. Herbal hops lurk underneath with a touch of spiciness. Fairly nice, clean aroma.

First sip brings a smooth toasty, bready caramelized maltiness that has a touch of a nutty quality to it as well. Flows down with a mix of herbal hop notes that impart a nice spiciness midway through each sip. Mellow bitterness at the finish. A tasty amber ale if I do say so myself.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy with a nice burst of tight carbonation that races down with each sip. I really do enjoy the mouthfeel on this brew and it lends itself to easy drinking. Overall, a tasty solid amber ale that has a nice spicy kick to it. Quite drinkable and enjoyable at that. My first Firestone brew makes me want to check out more of their stuff.

orbitalr0x, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of BradBLR
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured a fairly dark brown with a slight hint of red. The head was just slightly off white and very thin. There was a good amount of lacing considering that the head was so thin. The smell was a toasted malt aroma with a slight hint of hops. There was a slight wood smell, but very very faint.

The taste was a sharp malt flavor with a hint of toasted malt essence. There was a nice hop bitterness at the end, but nothing too strong. The mouthfeel was ok, but the CO2 was too strong. The beer's thickness was fine.

A really nice beer to have on tap at a restaurant that does not have craft beers. A good standard in any book.

BradBLR, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Thin whitish head on a clear orange/amber body.
S- Light caramel malts. Hint of wood to it and maybe a bit smokey also. Very light hops in it also.
T- Pretty much follows the smell. Not so much wood in it but is kind of smokey. Light bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Kind of lighter flavors. Bit of a dry aftertaste.
M- Thin body with medium to high carbonation.
D- It is alright. Easy to drink. Nothing amazing. Just a good session beer.

BlindPig, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- crystal clear amber/reddish color. Head is an almost white, 3-finger foamy,very loose head with little staying power. Decent lacing.

Aroma-A sweet, malty aroma with hints of molassas. Maybe a hint of raisins? No hop aroma at all. I'm picking up something rather disagreeble to. Smells kind of grainy and slightly astringint.

Taste-Nice malt profile, with hints of toffee and caramel. A nice woody background. Good balance of bittering and floral hops (for the style), but not enough of either.

Mouthfeel-Kind of light bodied for an American red. Good carbonation, with a nice CO2 bite on the lips and tip of toungue.

Drinkability-Overall, it's not bad. I don't care for the thinnness, graininess and lack of hop character, but I wouldn't steer people away from this beer either.

theopholis, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of gonzo138
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice deep amber color with a thin white head that retains a little less well than was expected but did lace ok.

S- somewhat light, a sweet toasty malty smell with a very light hop aroma

T- nice clean malty sweetness at first then a nice citrusy hoppy bitterness that was mch more pronounced in taste as opposed to the smell

M- clean, crisp, nice carboantion, medium/light body

D- a nice and drinkable brew, goes down esily, low abv, smooth body, not too highly priced either as I recall, pretty good beer

gonzo138, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pretty clear golden amber with a small head that unfortunately melts away to nothing.
Aromas of sweet toasted amber malts.
Flavor is sweet toasted amber malts balanced very well with citrus hops....finally giving way to the citrus malts to leave a clean and drying taste in the mouth.
Aftertaste is sweet and drying...
Makes a nice thirst quencher.
---
It's May, 2007 and I have to re-evaluate my review of this beer.
There is a tremendous amount of depth and flavor in it along with the barrel smokiness they are famous for that elluded me when I originally tried it. I'm finding it an excellent summer brew that is very sessionable and feel fortunate I have a store that sells all Firestone 6'r's at $5.99. This and their pale ale will probably be my go to beers this summer.

IntriqKen, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. borrle

Pours a clear copper color with a ruby hue. Has a small eggshell head that fades. No real lacing to mention.

Mild herbal hop aroma over a light malt scent. A slight oak smell is also present as it warms.

Light caramel malt taste upfront followed by a light herbal hop flavor and bitterness. Finishes rather clean and dry with just a hint of malt.

Light body, plenty of carbonation.

Quite drinkable, but overall a rather plain jane amber. I had hoped to taste some oak flavor, which never really came through even as it approached room temperature.

MaltyGoodness, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a hazy copper color with medium off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly and left little lacing. Aroma was a faint, hoppy fruit smell, but it was difficult to get anything much. The flavor waqs mnore of the hoppy, apple-citrus fruit, but I could not pick up any of the oak barrel taste or aroma. Not a bad beer though, and I’m glad I tried one.

kimcgolf, Oct 14, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pind glass. The liquide is a deep cloudy orenge amber color, the carbonation is good. The head in one fat thumb, smooth small bubbles and faides to little lace.

The smell is faint, some hops over light malt.

The taste is better, malty with mild hops. The taste does not make a bold statement, it is mild, but good, nice with a meal.

The mouthfeel is thick sticky medium body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is good better if you need something low key. MK

MuenchenerKindl, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of Gasp100
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - poured your standard amber with off white head. Decent lacing down the glass.
S - I really like the smell of this one. Soft floral with light citrus notes (not grapefruity though).
T - A decent amount of biscuit maltiness, the hop was laid back and this tasted way closer to an ESB than an American Pale Ale.
M - The mouthfeel was smooth, but a little cloying.
D - I could see this as a decent session brew, but I was expecting something more crisp and citrusy than a rounded off bitter style. Still decent brew overall.

Gasp100, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of cerveza5150
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good session beer. I've had many beers and ales that are better than this one, but this is a good choice if there are no others! Kinda liked the old SLO Brew better, but the brewery as a whole is pretty good. A little more hops would have been a nice addition.

cerveza5150, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper color with modest white chunky head. Modest lacing. Smell is mainly of piney hops with a light maltiness in the background. Taste is a superb combination of malt and hops in an exquistite balance with neither dominating the other. Finish is good , but not up tho the promise of the taste with the hoppiness falling a bit short. All things considered, this was a great beer. I wish I had bought more than one.

tgbljb, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would like to preface this review by stating that I think it's absurd for "drinkablility" to accout for only 10% of the overall ranking of a beer on this site. No matter how "over the hop" it may be, the purpose of every beer is to be drunk. I think that appearance and smell could both stand a demotion in favor of the ultimate characteristic of a great beer. Having gotten that off my chest, here goes...

Appearance: Fantastic color, beautiful brown to orange, thin head, low bubble activity. A little better head retention and we'd go higher.

Smell: Smells great, but weak. I can detect the oakiness, but that's about all. This may be due to the fact that I had a Stone 10th anniversary IPA earlier.

Taste: A singing synergy of the elements of a great session beer. The malt, the hop, and the sweet soft water enjoy a wonderful polygamus marriage.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying, utterly unsticky.

Drinkability: In my opinion, there is not a better session beer in the world. Not an attention hog, but goes great with almost anything. Much better than the tires. If there is a more versatile beer in existence, please tell me about it. A great choice for when you're hanging with friends whose company you enjoy, but whose taste in beer could use some fine-tuning.

jeffjfindley, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pounder it formed a mediocre head that was eggshell white and left traces of lace. Brown body with medium to light carbonation.

A really odd tasting beer. I'm a category geek sometimes and I have no idea where this would fit in. It's kind of its own style so to speak. Has an odd woody backer that effects every pull. Roasted malts are somewhere between charred and roasted, creating a slightly bitter malt bill that is like drinking freshly cut dried kendling. Hops are a bit zippy although they have a tendancy to take a backseat with everything else going on. There is a sort of candied presence as well towards the beginning and lasts just for a brief second.

Notes: I really couldn't figure this one out. Not to say that complex and confusing can't be good, because it most definately can. This is just to much all over the map and the profiles are rather odd and don't blend well....Not for me.

DogFood11, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of benito
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber ales must be the middle child of the American craft brew industry. Ignored by folks who dote on darker, hoppier and stronger beers; similarly maligned by those who prefer light lagers. I bet it was amber ales that got me into drinking craft beer, and to this day, I still find well done amber ales (shamefully rare) to be as pleasurable as any style. Odell's Levity has long been (and remains) at the top of the heap in my mind, but Firestone Walker's Double Barrel Ale comes in a close second.

It's nice to see a more complex amber ale, and Firestone Walker's makes a case here that more breweries out to follow suit. Aged in oak, Double Barrel is complex and very accessible, a beautiful copper brew with a creamy head. The bouquet showcases the oak in favor of typical hop citrus, and it imparts a prominent honey flavor.

Overall, this is an amber that leans heavy toward the malt side of the spectrum; though I would have liked a slightly stronger hop presence, the oaky, earthy malt flavors are rich enough to keep this well-balanced. A very drinkable beer that would be a good offering to a craft beer tyro.

Recommended.

benito, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of MusicmanSD
4.7/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped the cap off the bomber and immediately smelled oaked barreling. A good sign...hehe...The appearance looks like Stone Pale Ale, a little darker hue, head is tall at first, but doesn't last too long. Probably about 5 minutes max. The smell is awesome. Great oaked characteristics and caramel backgrounds with awesome spice hints. The taste is just the same. It's like a carbonated, oaked version of Stone's pale ale. Very, very tasty! The mouthfeel is heavy and perfectly carbonated in my opinion. The drinkability you ask? I could drink this all day! A very fine offering that I hope gets to a wider market soon! One of my new favorite American beers. Leads me to wonder what an Oaked Arrogant Bastard might taste like...

MusicmanSD, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber-red ale with a finger-high, quickly dissipating white head. Brewed in the States with a nod to hoppier English ales.

The oak barrel brewing provides a woodsy, spice-like fragrance. The five blended malts give it a rich, full-bodied taste, while the English and Slovenian hops provide a snappy, crisp finish that gives way to dryness.

Mouthfeel goes from full and creamy to effervescent and dry. Pleasant, drinkable, and always a pleasure to see on the shelves in local supermarkets which mostly sell the usual macro-brews.

TheLiterati, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

4/23/2005 $6.99 6 pack 5.20% No best by date.

Appearnce:

Pours a startingly clear light brown with mild carbonation that yields a quarter inch white head that settles rapidly.

Aroma:

Has a nice malty character that lends it a sweetness, which when coupled with the mild hoppy spice is very inviting.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Mild nutty character dominates the mouth, which transitions into a sweet finish which then takes a surprisingly hoppy bitter turn at the very last instant. Very well balanced, and easy to quaff.

cbl2, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF
Pours an amber/copper color. No head and just sporadic, thin whispy lacing.
Smell is sweet and earthy. Also a faint hint of something medicinal(is that a word), that seems like it shouldn't be there.
Taste is malt heavy. Sweet and caramel. Mild hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice heavy, creamy feel to it.
Overall it's a nice drinkable session beer. Nothing ground breaking but good.

wcudwight, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Zorro.

A - 1 1/2" off-white head retains at 1/4". No doubt this is an amber ale as the beer is perfectly amber, clear and clean. Light lacing.

S - Big caramel. Spicy, grassy hops.

T - Biscuity, bready malts. Caramel. Buttery. Light but lingering spicy hops in the finish.

M - Just over thin bodied with high, lively carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Drinkability is good. I could guzzle a few of these. Thanks Zorro!

MUSHROOMCLOUD, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of brewcrew76
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper with a thin off white head.

S - Oak, caramel, biscuit, hint of citrus hops, somewhat wine like from the toasted oak.

T - Caramel, some sweetness balanced by a hint of bitterness, biscuit or bready and a bit of orange creme from the hops.

M - Medium body. Somewhat of a fizzy mouthfeel. Dryness lingers on the tongue.

D - Very nice but a little subtle in both aroma and flavor. The oak adds a nice dimension. A solid take on the american amber/red.

brewcrew76, Jun 22, 2006
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,905 ratings.