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Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

712 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 712
Hads: 2,295
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.71%
Wants: 83
Gots: 295 | FT: 6
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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Double Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 712 | Hads: 2,295
Photo of benito
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.


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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.72/5  rDev +28.6%
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...

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Photo of TheLiterati
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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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.


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


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


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.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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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!

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of bgraney
3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of briman
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours crystal clear amber with about a half-inch caramel colored head. Average head retention....some lacing, but not a lot.

Aroma is caramel malt, with some notes of vanilla.

Taste is pretty mild, some caramel malt sweetness. Hops are there, and they come through with a hint of bitterness in the finish, but just aren't strong enough for me to really get a feel for their character. Finishes slightly sweet, with a hint of alcohol, and maybe a little bit of smoke thrown in.

Well balanced, with a medium body, & low carbonation. Pretty low-key beer, not really anything that makes you stand up and take notice....as an American Amber it seems tame, seems more like a mild English bitter. For my money, it's pretty much middle of the road.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zorro for the 12 ounces.

Appearance: Dark brown copper color, small head settles fast into nothing. A little off-white foam is left behind.

Smell: Sweet carmel malts, also toasted, very nice.

Taste: Also very pleasing. Bready, toasted malts, sweet carmel flavors, tea leaves and a sizable hop finish that is not overdone, but is prominant. Flavors all work well together. I don't get much of a woody flavor, though.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, but late prickly carbonation picks it up, saves the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very pleasing amber ale, one that is not afraid to showcase both malt and hops. Recommended.

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Photo of Rezzin
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This this absolutely beautiful to look at. Pours reddish copper with some orange hues that's absolutely crystal clear. The 1" head is a little lacking and it disappears quickly. If the head retention was better I'd score a 5.

S - Somewhat fruity with a sweet and somewhat sour maltiness. Hop aroma seems subdued.

T - Honey malt flavors up front and slight hop bitterness in the back but for the most part, it's really mild. Some breadiness. Just enough hops to balance things out somewhat but it's a tad low for my tastes but seems to be right on as far as style goes.

M - Smooth going in and thin going down with moderate carbonation

D - Perhaps not my favorite style but not bad. My wife liked this a lot more than I did.

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Photo of SethB2
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Red Robin in Yuba City.

Beer served in a liter sized mug. Deep transparent redish amber color with a very nice head on the mug. Smell was nothing great. Some hops and a slight amount of sweetness. Taste was similar. It reminded me of what a APA is when it misses the target. Mouthfeel was thin and watery to me. Drinkability isn't bad. It's a fairly non offensive brew, so throwing a few back wouldn't be too difficult.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep amber with some initial haze that clears up. A light tan head is somewhat small but is doing its best to hold a thin cover. Fades to nothing after a minute, leaving thin but noticeable lacing.

Aroma - slightly sweet grain, faint yeast.

Taste - sweet malty/floral start. Good balancing by the hops, gives the beer an English taste. Finish is balanced, tasty.

Mouthfeel - medium carbonation/body. On target.

Drinkability - easily sessionable, a tasty albeit common brew.

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Photo of cervecero
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at my local Vons in Southbay San Diego. Got home and poured this into a glass. The pour gave me about an inch of head, and the color was a reddish with a light caramel hue. It also had a sweet nutty aroma and went down very well. This reminds me alot of New Castle when I first had that. More flavor than the one and only, IMO better. Overall a good beer, I recommend it to other ale lovers.

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Photo of scottoale
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open a 12oz bottle and poured a reddish amber-copper hued ale with an inch of light tan head, which settled fairly quick. Little lace but looks inviting.

First smell from the bottle was a sweet, malty aroma, nice. From the glass a bit more earthy, caramel and malt, hint of hop and mild yeast.

Flavor is well balanced, not to sweet, not to bitter with a full body and clean finish, tasty.

In the mouth it's smooth and bubbley yet a bit heavy. It doesn't appear to be very carbonated until it hits your palete, kind of reminds me of hydrogen peroxide but not in taste.

Goes down ok but after 2 of these, I'm feeling a little bit full. Worth a try.

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Photo of KroMagnon
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

VERY little head - the beer itself, though, is a nice copper color with orange overtones. The aroma is full of malt, and is pleasant, although I expected more hoppy character to it. There is some toastiness as well as a nice full maltiness. The flavor is also dominated by maltiness, and has some of the same characte as the 'regular' pale ale, but this has more toastiness and seems to have a little bit more hop character. (both beers are not as hoppy as I expected but that's not necessarily a knock). The malt character seems both toasty, slightly caramelly, and also full-bodied as well (that kind of German, solid malt character that reminds you of sweet without actually being sweet). This was good, overall, and the malt character is delicious. Very drinkable - although not a hops showcase, that's OK.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coppery brown color into my nonic with an off-white head that froths up to a proper size then dies slowly, over many sips, to a thin ring, leaving behind no lacing.

Smells are quick and extremely hard to define - there's just a little malty honey, but there are some seriously metallic scents that I just can't quite figure out. I think they must come from the hops, or the oak barrels, or something related thereto. Maybe a bit grassy - yep, smells like a hay bale or my uncle's barn.

The taste is equally hard to define, but its' very thin, and what's available to taste is somewhat unpleasant. A kind of metallic, brash flavor, almost like asparagus or raw vegetables - very coppery and one-sided. Not very balanced at all.

Mouthfeel has a reasonable amount of carbonation at first, which quickly dissappears and becomes very watery. Very thin for an ale.

This is drinkable in mad gulps, but it's just not living up to my standards. I really wouldn't even want to drink this with a meal. I had it at a friend's recommendation but wouldn't recommend it to another friend.

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Photo of joecast
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

clear deep copper color. half inch foamy head leaves little lacing.

aroma is malty sweet with some floral notes. fairly light even after letting it warm.

not much residual sweetness. leaning towards malt, but a nice finishing bitterness. an easy drinker if you dont want to maul your tastebuds.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.