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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,608 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1608
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%

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)
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Ratings: 1,608 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JMad


3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a burnt orange color with a foamy off white head. The smell is light, I detected some toffee and earthy hops with a slight fruitiness. It tastes mostly of earthy hops with some lemon and caramel on the finish. It has a light/ medium body with moderate carbonation and a satisfying finish. This is a pretty solid beer but doesn't stand out too much from other English Pale Ales, I'd like to try some of their other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 00:14:21 | More by JMad
Photo of Infamous7100


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper/burnt orange. A decent half finger head with a bit of lacing. Clear in nature.
S: After some slight agitation, I am met with equally subtle notes of pine, citrus and malt. Perhaps a bit of caramel is present as well. Nothing overwhelming and a tad non-descript. Not off-putting either.
T: Extremely well balanced and follows the nose quite well. Perhaps a tad muted, but I am not sure what this brew is trying to be. It's very straightforward, yet not aggressive. The sweet caramel malts blend well with the hops to produce a flavor that's easily quaffable.
M: Medium carbonation with a light to medium body. This is a very smooth brew with a decent aftertaste that is both piney and sweet.
O: This brew has session written all over it due it's low ABV, light body and well balanced flavors. It's remarkably unremarkable, in a great way. Wouldn't mind having a few more.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 20:23:44 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of TMoney2591


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

"I have two guns: one for each of ya." Classic. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear rusty-bronze topped by a finger of lightly off-cream foam. The nose comprises mild biscuit, flowers, very light seaweed, and a kiss of honey. The taste brings in more of the same, with a slightly stronger and breadier malt backbone. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice and easygoing little brew, something I could easily see downing a sixer of every now and again whilst relaxing.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 03:09:11 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of kojevergas


2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

650ml brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap acquired at a local Vons grocery store and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. Bottled 02/05/13. 5.0% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of okay cream, okay thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Average vibrance. Typical for the style. Nothing unique or special here. Quite average.

Sm: Biscuit malt and floral hops. Grassy character. That's about it. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Boring and simple. A mild strength aroma.

T: Floral hops, amber malts, and some grassy character. Pretty malty for a pale ale, but generally enjoyable. Pleasant, but simple, boring, and bland. There's nothing unique, special, or interesting here. It's balanced if only because there's so little happening.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Decent thickness. Okay presence on the palate. Average execution.

Dr: Meh. A pedestrian pale ale from Firestone Walker. I definitely wouldn't get it again. The price point needs work as well. Mundane and underwhelming. I'll easily finish this bomber, but it's just lacking in quality. Drinkable but forgettable.


Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 00:04:37 | More by kojevergas
Photo of xnicknj


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint

Clear copper/amber color with a crop of beige head bubbled up on top. Fades slowly, leaving ringed lacing on the glass with some filmy retention.

Bready and malty in the nose with hoppy punctuation. Hints of citrus and pine with caramel, grain and toasted bread crust.

Mild bitterness, grapefruit and piny notes up front. Thicker malt backbone with bread crust, toasted grain and soft grassiness. Slightly citric and hoppy, finishing a little dry and crisp.

Medium body, decent carbonation, chewy and refreshing. Many of FW's offerings are on the aggressive, in-your-face side of the barometer, so this milder ale is a nice break, although it's still a bit plain for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 19:11:01 | More by xnicknj
Photo of spoony


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 333 ml bottle (bottle on January 24, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-An aggressive pour produces a very thin khaki colored head. The brew is deep amber in color with no visible carbonation. Clear.

S-The smell is sweet and fruity at first with a little whiff of biscuit and cracker. There is some buttery caramel, but nothing huge. No real distinct hop influence here.

T-The taste is like the smell, i.e., mild and vaguely sweet with some fruity notes, but lacking any real defining characteristics. There is a little hoppy twang on the finish.

M-The feel is smooth, with very light carb. The weight is medium to full body.

O-This is a pretty boring beer. From appearance to feel, there is nothing outstanding or noteworthy. I would say this was a decent session type beer, but it is surprisingly full-bodied, which hurts the drinkability factor. Put simply, there are better choices out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 23:25:32 | More by spoony
Photo of RattleheadKV2

New Mexico

4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served from 22oz bomber into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours an amber/ruby color with about 2 fingers of white head, that dissipates to a thin cap that carries on until the glass is empty.

Smell: Smells of sweet caramel and toffee, with a nice underlying biscuity malt toastiness.

Taste: Subtle sweet caramel and toffee tones, with a very nice bready counterpoint, as well as a faint touch of earthy English hops..

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied pale. Very drinkable as well as sessionable.

Overall: Very good high quality English style Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 04:51:52 | More by RattleheadKV2
Photo of goochpunch


4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Amber with lots of rising bubbles and a persistent creamy head. Smell is subtle caramel and toasty malts. Faint hops in there somewhere. I love the caramel flavors and breadiness of this beer. Hops are rather mild in character, but provide a fine bitter balance. I would like a little less toast in the flavor, however. Mouthfeel is excellent. Fluffy with soft bubbles and a not-too-heavy or thick body. This is a very English tasting pale. I really like it.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 02:06:34 | More by goochpunch
Photo of damndirtyape


3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap – pilsner glass at the Dolce Hayes Mansion bar.

Appearance: Deep copper-amber – clear. Off-white head upon pouring died back to a very thin skin. Plenty of lacing though.

Smell: Practically odorless at first. Not getting much of anything other than a hint of some floral hops. Once it fully warmed up some fruity (berry) sweetness would come through with a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Crisp hops up front, then quick malt and bitter finish. Some citrus at the end. Rather clean and simple in taste. Some lingering bitterness, but not a lot. Once fully warmed up the bitterness is muted and some of the barrel aging vanilla/woody notes comes through, assuming this beer goes through some barrel aging as per the name of the beer. If it doesn't, could have fooled me. Like a west coast hop take on an English Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation, spicy on the tongue. Some stickniness of hop oils on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: It’s allright. Went well with sliders at the bar while I worked, above average, but nothing really deep in flavor. Nice looking beer though. Drinkability is above average - not a lot of selection at the bar so it was easy to have another without noticing. It's more hoppy than a typical English Pale Ale, and it has more citrus bite than I was expecting for an English pale, but as I said in the taste comments above, it's like a West Coat take on an English Pale Ale and it works. Not amazing, but definitely above average and worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2013 00:34:38 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of kristenspaintings


3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This English IPA is relatively flavorless. It has a nice head and aroma, but it doesn’t possess any qualities that would make me seek it out. The way I understand the English IPA style is that it’s supposed to be very flavorful and pleasantly bitter, able to hold its own against spicy or very flavorful dishes. This beer is not very flavorful or bitter and if paired with food that’s full of flavor, it would politely step into the background.

I’m not saying I dislike this beer. I don’t. It’s okay and not disagreeable in any way but it’s not what I’ve come to expect from this style of beer.

However, their brewery sounds like it would be a fun tour.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 16:32:37 | More by kristenspaintings
Photo of MikePags

New York

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: nice rich amber color.
S: malty with a hint of hops
T: malty with enough hops and complexity to have 2-3 before you look up. Not a session beer though as it has a slightly undesirable aftertaste.
M: moderate to thick with nice carbonation and excellent head.
O:a high quality beer that keeps you coming back for more but not FW's best offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 01:19:14 | More by MikePags
Photo of Tchfunkta


3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a viscous 1" head and a slightly reddish copper amber color.
S- Very faint floral hops breaks through definite caramel.
T- Caramel, bakery, hops spice
M- moderately thick sweetness.
O- Caramel malts makes this not my cup of tea, however I would not object to being served one by any means.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 03:31:43 | More by Tchfunkta
Photo of FlyingBull


4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer in a 22 oz bomber purchased at a local grocery store that has a pretty good craft selection.

A: Nice medium to dark amber color, clear, with lots of carbonation. ~1" of pale white foam lasted most of the drink.

S: Slight candy and caramel sweetness under the toasted malt, faintly spicy and a little floral from the hops.

T: Nice balanced malt sweetness (which I really liked!), with lots of caramel and bread notes. I also picked up the spicyness of the hops with balanced the sweetness for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with plenty of carbonation that balances the malt sweetness nicely.

D: I I could lay under a tap and drink it all night.

I thought this beer was very easy to drink, great taste, and one that I enjoyed very much.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 19:34:19 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of champ103


4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear reddish/orange color. A dense two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Near perfect lacing. This is a looker.
S: Bread, caramel malt. A bit of honey sweetness. Floral, piny hops. The wood is most apparent in the nose. Very nice.
T: A nice malty sweetness. Caramel malt, bread and biscuit. Some faint fruity flavors going on with light apples. A light hoppness as well. Floral, gassy, piny, citrus flavors with a lingering dryness. Excellent balance, and very nice.
M/D: A medium body and near perfect carbonation. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. After the initial sweetness, this finishes with a dry bite. So easy and enjoyable to drink. All day with this.

I love this. The barrel treatment is so delicate, but works very well. Almost like a Burton Ale. Really, an excellent example of a Bitter or English Pale Ale. I would love to try this on cask. As is, still excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 00:23:04 | More by champ103
Photo of SolipsismalCat


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear copper with lots of bubbles and one-finger, off-white, frothy head that lasted a minute or two. Okay lacing.

S: Bread, caramel malt, and light citrus.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Biscuit, caramel malt, and light hops. Matches the nose pretty well.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: The head and lacing were disappointing, but this beer was very drinkable. Nice taste and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 02:46:17 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of rodlavers


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 11/27/12, poured into a snifter for review. Super light tan, nearly white, head tops out at about 2 fingers, but rather quickly recedes to a thin layer of white lace which sits as a top layer on the surface of the beer. There is some lacing on glass. The color of the beer is wood brown, with lots of red as well, nice and clear too. I have to say DBA looks fantastic.

Mostly bitter aromas up front, not much oak or wood or anything like that. I do get very light notes of vanilla, maybe some toffee or caramel and malt. It's pretty complex, but overall the aroma is not terribly enticing or energizing. Not bad, just not great.

The flavors in DBA are similar to the aromas, but much more complex, which results in a sweet blend of light vanilla, toffee, caramel and wood flavors of oak. It's nicely balanced, and certainly opens up as it warms up.

Feels smooth, but carbonated and textured. Very unique I'd say.

Overall, this beer is well-balanced but not forceful in aroma or flavor. It's a nice alternative, and like I said above, unique. Worth a try, for sure. Wonder how this compared to other Barrel Aged varieties by Firestone Walker. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 03:44:50 | More by rodlavers
Photo of hreb


3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours an perfectly transparent but extremely carbonated amber color with nearly no head. Aroma is slightly sweet and rich. Toffee, but neither hops nor barrels. Flavor brings out classic English bitter/ale flavors and a really nicely rounded touch of oak. Definitely crisp in the finish. Overall this is a superbly balanced ale and if you've got any affinity for English style ale this is a great choice -- if you can forgive the carbonation, which in the case of this 22 is too high for the style. I bet it would be something on cask though.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 05:02:39 | More by hreb
Photo of Auracom


3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. purchase from MSCM. All 12 oz. poured into a FFF Rastal on February 8th, 2013.

A -Fantastically clear, deep ruby amber coloring. Frothy soft white head. Good lacing. I could drink this one through a camera, that's for damn sure.

S - Bready, light oak, crystal sugar, stone fruit, very soft banana-like yeast.

T - White bread galore. Surprisingly unclean, almost danky hop notes. Light almond and honey.

M - Light-medium body, moderate carbonation, lightly dry finish. Very clean overall.

D - Not as good as I'd hoped. I wish there was a stronger pine or grapefruit note to offset the dominant bready malt character. I'm a bit surprised that the oak doesn't shine through so strongly.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 04:03:06 | More by Auracom
Photo of sweemzander


2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

(A)- Pours a deep amber color. Produced a nice cap of white froth. Good retention and good lacing left behind.

(S)- Quite the spicy array of piney hop and very very bitter smelling rye/carraway. Almost smells like sawdust too.

(T)- Similar to the smell in that combo of pine needle and spicy rye. Some subtle citrus behind a rather large caramel-like malt sweetness.

(M)- A solid carbonation level. A good balance, but perhaps too bold in how spicy it is showing with the rye. This only increases as it warms.

(O)- Its ok. In the sea of hoppy themed beers, this one gets lost in the tide for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 18:03:16 | More by sweemzander
Photo of WankelEngine


4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber caramel color which highlights some moderate carbonation. Smallish off-white head fades fairly quickly. Lacing is mild.

S: The aroma is equal parts biscuity malt and some mild herbal hops.

T: The biscuit malt flavor is a little more forward than in the aroma, but still a very balance flavor. Light caramel complements the breadiness, while some noble hop flavors provide their mild bitterness. Finish is very clean and crisp.

M: Smooth and easy drinking. Carbonation is low but it really works for this beer.

O: Actually a stunning beer. One of the easiest drinking beers I have ever had. Actually had to open another one while writing this because the first one disappeared so fast! Easier to throw back than BMC-lite, but with great flavor nonetheless. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 22:49:10 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of MusicaleMike


4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11-27-12

Poured into a pint glass. DBA is a crystal clear amber body with red tones throughout that shows off an abundant amount of carbonation. The peach-colored head starts at about two fingers and slowly recedes to a thin lace on top. Really an attractive beer, and were the head to stick around more, I'd give it a 5.

The aroma isn't bad, but certainly not very exciting. The predominant aroma is crisp and metallic, but there are wafts of vanilla, oak, husky malt, and a whiff of earthy hops. I do wish the aroma hops were a tad stronger.

Letting this beer warm to just below room temperature is a great idea, as the flavors here are too delicate to show through if it is too chilled. When it gets there, expect light flavors that deliver gentle, subtle complexity. Toasted oak and vanilla are undercurrents here, with a smooth bitterness up front that is followed by a sweet caramel maltiness in the finish and exhale. Very well balanced.

Carbonation is a bit much at the start, but settles down through the pint to create a smooth finish. Medium to light in body. Soft mouthfeel and almost a creamy finish. Excellent.

To me, DBA offers something different, and it is an exceptional beer. Very attractive beer with a subtle oak nature that really plays well on this style. However, the hops are taking only a balancing role here, and I personally think that they should dial up the English hops (maybe use Fuggle) at the end of the boil. That would make for a better English Pale. Though I can't argue with what their doing since they have won a ton of awards from this beer. Keep doin what you're doin guys!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 21:52:29 | More by MusicaleMike
Photo of jvillefan


3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A: It has a nice golden copper color with a white head.

S: It has a musty malt aroma to it that I am not a fan of. That is really all that is there

T: There is nothing special about this beer. It has heavy lager notes to it with minimal hop character.

M: There is a nice feel to it with great carbonation to it.

O: I would not get this beer again. There is nothing that is great about this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2013 01:33:30 | More by jvillefan
Photo of DrDemento456


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours very much like an IPA with a nice clear amber brown color and a 1/2 inch of sticky foam.

S - Smells of mild english malts, bread, toffee, and some sweet citrus hops.

T - Taste is very easy and clean with a biscuit hit, some citrus hops, and just a mild touch of herbal twang.

M - Light, refreshing, easy drinking ale.

Overall definitely overpaid at 4 dollars for the single but damn even for a simple English pale ale these guys make a tasty ale. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 06:38:15 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of olfolxholme


3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip pint glass

A - Bright golden orange. Nice clarity. 1 finger white head. Pretty good lacing. Decent head retention.

S - Doughy. Faint grassy hops. Some pale malt. Nice yeastiness.

T - A nice malt sweetness with some distant grassy hop notes. Enjoyable roastiness sneaks up when warm.

M - Nice full bodied mouthfeel.

O - On the one hand, this didn't wow me. On the other hand, of the English Pale Ales that I've had - this is probably the one I've enjoyed the most. So, take it from an American IPA/DIPA drinker - this was very pleasant and had a strong malt backbone that revealed itself as the beer continued to warm.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 03:12:19 | More by olfolxholme
Photo of barnzy78


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled on 12/26/12, pours amber in color with a frothy, off-white head, excellent clarity, nice lacing as the head fades. Aromas are breast malt, herbal hop, caramel, earthy. Tastes are a nice balance of earthy, herbal hops, caramel, brown sugar, mild, spicy finish with a hint of toasted oak. The carbonation is perfect and allows for palate coverage and optimum flavor profiles. Overall, ample bitterness with a nice malty sweetness and a clean finish - another well executed beer from Firestone-Walker.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 02:29:18 | More by barnzy78
Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,608 ratings.