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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

1,947 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 60
Gots: 151 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,947 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of bgraney
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber color, minimal head, quickly dissolves.
Floral aroma, slight hop background
Highly carbonated, which blocks the flavor. The flavor that does come through is fruity.
Thin mouthfeel, not much lingering flavor.
A little bland for multiple pourings.

bgraney, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of deejaydan
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Imstillthegman and BIF 33 for the chance to try this one. Pours light copper, good dense head, it subsides for a bit. Lacing is moderate. Smell is faint, a slight grassy(?) aroma. Taste is slightly astringent, more english ale type than american ale in my book. Mouthfeel is good, but the astringency is there. Drinkable, well, yeah, seems sessionable, but there are better ones out there.

deejaydan, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of JayTheFinn
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a decent off white head. Malty smell and taste to this one. More so than expected. It's kinda caramel/vanilla like. Fairly full body. Nice and smooth. Goes down easy. This is a good stand alone session beer or I could definitely drink this one with a snack or even a meal.

JayTheFinn, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of MiScusi
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was totally surprised when I got a beer that was as malty and smooth as this one. The carbonation was fairly low (but not so low you'd think it was flat), the hops were very low, but still there just a bit.

There was just something about this beer I enjoyed. This was one of those amber ales that are on the more malty/full bodied side instead of having a generous amount of hops too, but regardless, it was solid.

MiScusi, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a clear deep amber. The white head has great retention. The nose has sweet malts, grains and some faint floral hops. Sweet malts are up front followed by a fruity middle that owes a lot to what I think is English-style yeast and the beer finishes with floral hops. The English character in the middle is definitely the highlight. Nothing wows me about this stuff, so I'll only buy more if I'm in a supermarket with no other good choices or if I'm really in the mood for some that tastes English, but I don't want to pay for Fuller's and the like.

goschool, May 27, 2006
Photo of mattdavis452
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The key to this beer is its balance - overall, it is very well-balanced (as you shall see, I use this phrase a bit more than normal in this post).

A - Nice amber color.

S - Smells well-balanced, fits well with its appearance

T - A little more on the bitter side, but does not even come close to approaching an IPA. Well done for this style of beer.

M - Not too light or heavy. Again, quite well-balanced.

D - One of my favorite session beers. Easy to drink, goes well with most any food (in my opinion), and relatively affordable. Not too shabby overall.

mattdavis452, May 12, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first of many beers received from beerrun13 in a huge trade. Big thanks to him for some great west coast brews I could never get here. Very nice amber color-quite the white head on top. Low aroma-sort of a nutty, sweet malt smell. Toasted malt flavors. Somewhat sweet. Slighly bitter in the finish. Decent enough mouthfeel. Above average drinkability but I dont find this as well done as their pale ale. I have a second bottle so will re-think my review when I have that.

lackenhauser, May 11, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a darker amber with a light tan head that didn't leave much lacing. Smells of toasted malts...honey and caramel come through. Strong malt flavor with very little hoppiness noticed. Medium to full body with smooth finish. A little heavy on the stomach...so I guess about two would be all for me.

Imstillthegman, May 10, 2006
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.