Double Barrel Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

2,023 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,023
Reviews: 667
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 62
Gots: 177 | FT: 5
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: 2,023 | Reviews: 667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LittleBreeze for this extra.

Pours a dark brown with red tints, see through. Head is ok, but goes quick leaving big bubbly ring around the glass with some lace. The nose is of malt and suprisingly more hops than I expected. Tastes like west coast and european or english hops with a huge malt backbone. This tastes like an amber/english pale hybrid to me. Kind of strange. Creaminess of malts, but clearly some range of hops in here as well. A little spicy, pepper kick on the finish, hop bitterness is there but is not too terribly strong on the finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty high, but the malt driven taste with the hops still strong makes this one not incredibly drinkable IMO. Good beer, but Ive defenitely had better.

Photo of Roguer
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful firm creamy head with excellent retention and sticky lines of lacing. Brew is a flat copper hue, transparent.

Dry earthy aroma, bitter, floral hint, bit of barrel.

Impressively smooth flavor: light crystal malt and bread, subdued hop flavor, wrapped in oak and vanilla. Bit of grass and earth.

Smoothness applies to the feel, as well, which is creamy with moderate sting.

I didn't know what to expect going into this, but this is s very easy drinking and satisfying beer. Very approachable, and tons of flavor for 5% ABV.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on tap at a Mexican Restaurant in Cambria, CA on 12/28/04. Pours a typical amber brown with slight reddish hints with a large, creamy head- much larger than seen on many ambers. Aroma is roasty malty, and the flavor follows through with a nice balance of hops at the end- not strong, but definetly present. Definitely drinkable- nothing outrageously wonderful, but pretty good. I had a chance to pick up a six pack on the way home, but passed, not because I didn't like it; there's plenty of good, similar amber ales around.

Photo of sweethome
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour is deep amber. Nice white head, but dissipated quickly. Some limited lacing.

Entry is sweet carmel maltiness. Some bittering midmouth, but a bit muted. Hits the ESB style pretty well. A bit of biscuit malt, rather significant fuitiness. Finish has just a bit too much lingering sweetness for me, but again, to style.

Fruitiness builds as the beer opens up. Perhaps a bit of yeast charachter too.

Mouthfeel is nice, well rounded and cleansed by a bit of bittering hops.

A nice representation of style and a beer I could enjoy a couple pints of with good pub conversation.

Photo of alamere
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass..

A - Beer looks good. Pours a small head and is carbonated on the low side, which is appropriate for this style in my opinion. Despite the low carb level and lack of foam, leaves lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet smelling, lacks the big hop presence of an american pale ale. Big toffee, carmel nose... really.. a lot different than the pales that I've been drinking recently.

T - Tastes REALLY good. I'm not sure what others were expecting when they tasted this but this is an extremely sessionable british style pale. A bit on the sweet side, and lighter on the hops than the american style pales. Still has that fuggle or Northern Brewer style bitterness that accents the big malt backbone of this ale.
Since I wasn't looking to taste "Barrel" I have absolutely no problem with this beer... in short, I'd rather taste this than "barrel".

M - Carbonation is lighter than normal, but I'm sure it's purposeful as English style pales generally are lighter in carb level. The big malt backbone adds to the smoothness of the sip.. and this beer evolves as it gets warmer.

O - This is not your standard pale. There are layers of flavor here that a normal beer does not possess. There is a toffee and malt backbone that really just makes the beer... and the hops have an almost chocolate quality. After that.. I think the yeast and malt and wood leave an original aftertaste. It's hard to find a fault in it... I'm unsure what others are tasting, but this is really what I'd hoped it would be when I purchased it. Not a ton of wood in the flavor, but.. certainly a great beer, worthy of me trying it and bluntly... I'd be surprised if I didn't purchase it again.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright, clear copper-orange color. The head has a faint coppery tint, with a moderately dense, fairly frothy texture. Retention is good, with some nice lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Some toasty, somewhat sweetish caramel malty tones. Hop aromas are leafy and herbal, almost to the point of being minty. Some lightly spicy and fruity English-style esters are also present.

T: A smooth, caramel sweetness is the primary malt flavor, but it is accompanied by noticeable toastiness. There's also a bit of buttery diacetyl, but it's well within range for an English pale ale. Hop bitterness is moderate, with spicy, herbal, and lightly minty flavor. A faint mineral character in the finish.

M: Medium-full body. A bit dextrinous. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium. Some gradually building dryness towards the finish. It drinks a bit heavier than 5.0% abv.

D: A pleasant, enjoyable pale ale. Not overly exciting, but it gets the job done. A pleasant combination of malt sweetness and spicy hop character provide good balance.

Photo of waltonc
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice looking filtered amber color with white head.
S: Not a very complex beer - I sniff and detect slightly sweet maltiness.
T: Very malty, faint hint of floral hops, maybe a pinch of honey.
M: Light/medium bodied with fairly high carbonation.
D: Very good every day drinking beer. I've had one of these each night for the past three nights and can't complain. A good cheap alternative to all the crazy expensive stuff for sale in California these days.

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, slight yeast, hint of alcohol, candy sugar, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an English Pale Ale, but is trending towards an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, citrus hops, slight pine, hint of pale malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and feel.

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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With a light amber, clean pour the head starts to rock up a bit. the white foam is slow to form solidly, or maybe I'm too quick to drink it.

A calm aroma, fit for the style. From a brewer who has some heavy hitters, this one isn't one of them. But that's not a bad thing.

For me, the thing I look for in an EPA is an herbal hop presence and/or some hard water feel to it. This one has little of the latter and a splattering of the former. An herbal hop character seems to have some florals to it. Bad? Nope, perhaps to style 100%, but what the hell.
Toasted biscuit and very light caramel make up the malt imput.

A very nice, easy drinking beer

Photo of livewire78
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange crossed with brown. Sounds ugly but I think it's pretty. Minimal head but there is some lacing left on the glass.

Smells of what?- hops? How am I smelling hops? They're faint but in there. Other smells of caramel and vanilla.

Starts out with the caramel malts followed by the toffee and ends up with a vanilla hoppiness.

Feels a little thin. I wish there was more carbonation in here. It feels a little flat for me.

This is one of those beers that you could drink a whole bunch of. Eventually, though you'd want something with a little more kick.

Photo of philbertk
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Double Barrel Ale--1999 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Amber Ale--Bright amber golden color with hints of red. Rich floral hop nose backed by light fruity biscuity roasted caramel ESB body. Nice rich earthy hop spice finish. Balanced and very flavorful. 6/29/1999.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Double Barrel Ale--2000 Release--12 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV--34 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) ESB--Clear rich bright copper amber color. Rich floral malty hop front. Toasted ESB body with doughy bisquit flavor and chalky texture. Mild sweet fruit flavors. Mild floral hop ESB bitter finish. Sampled 8/31/2000.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Firestone Double Barrel Ale--2005 Release--12 oz. Bottles. 5.20% ABV--32 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) ESB--Beer of the Month Club Selection April 2005. Mild lace head. Clear thin dark copper red amber color. Mild toasted hop front. Crisp tangy thin dry sweet toasted earthy caramel toffee bisquit body. Mild tangy hop spice citrus end. Mild ESB. Sampled 5/20/2005.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--DBA--Double Barrel Ale--Passion For The Pale--2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV--32 IBU's. (3.85 / 5.0) Pale Ale--Thin mild lace off white head. Clear rich bright amber color. No sediment. Mild floral hop sweet malt fruit ester front. Mild sweet doughy caramel fruit soft vanilla oak British malt body. Easy malty mild hop spice clean stank hint English Pale Ale end. Odd. Sampled 11/14/2009. $4.49 Each.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--DBA--Double Barrel Ale--Passion For The Pale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.00% ABV. 32 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Malty English Pale Ale. Mild lace off white creamy thin head. Clear bright copper red amber color. Floral toasty ripe doughy hop sweet nose front. Toasted caramel mellow fruit biscuit thin textured malty crisp Pale body. Dry clean crisp balanced mild tangy hop malty NW-SW Pale end. Sampled 8/9/2010. 6- Pack $9.49.

Photo of nomomentwasted
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Harry's Plaza Cafe in a 12oz pour. I've seen this beer around a lot, and having it be the best thing on tap there, decided to finally give it a shot.

Appearance: Very pretty dark brown-orange hue with little white crown of head and good lacing. Seems to look carbonated appropriately.

Smell: Some malty goodness, with some sweet toffee notes and some pale malt, all accentuated by a slight spicy hoppiness. Nothing too grand, but has some aroma for a pale ale.

Taste:A little roasted pale malts come in first with some very light and pleasant sweetness, and some nice bodied and balanced pale malt and spiced hop body. A lot of a flavor for a pale ale. Straight-forward and easy to drink, with a flavor profile that is very similar throughout the drink and tastes just as good the first sip as the last.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin for how good it tastes, and just a tad too tightly carbonated, but still leaves a nice aftertaste.

Drinkability: I was surprised how drinkable this was, I could've had quite a bit more and not flinched at the idea. Glass had to be paced, as I would've drank it much faster had I not made a conscious effor not to simply plow through it. Went excellently with my burnt ends Tri-Tip sandwich, which is also highly recommended if you're in the area. If you're looking for a nice session ale that goes great with some steak or a burger, and can be picked up by the case, DBA is a great little choice.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" tan head over chestnut brown liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Oak and caramel malt.

T: Oak and caramel malt and some nuttiness.

M: Thin viscosity and medium fine carbonation.

O: Good English Pale Ale compared to many, the mouth feel was lacking compared to most American craft beer; but is still head and shoulders above traditional English Ales.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Clear light orange amber. Good looking whitish head with excellent retention and some pretty nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Lightly fruity hoppiness and and little bit flowery. Slightly malty sweet. Smells good, not fantastic.

Taste: Very lightly fruity hops with mild bitterness. Grainy malt flavors with sweetness in the finish. This is a solid, understated beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth, almost creamy feeling beer. Nice.

Drinkability: Damn good. Could drink a bunch. Not an overly complex or mind blowing beer, but solid and good.

Photo of treehugginslug
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good

S/T - Taste of nice malts and barley. Very similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager. Solid beer with tons of repurchasability.

M - Good mouth, nice balance of carbonation and flavor

D - High

Buy Again? Definitely
Recommend? Yes
Drink at party? Definitely

Overall - This beer is now on my list of solid beers that I will definitely come back to. Nothing that was over the top superperb, but drinkability is very high.

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours copper color; looks more like honey. Slightly hazy. Finger width foamy head with nice amount of lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is weak, though. Not much there. Slightly bitter/hoppy smell but can't discern many fruit flavors. Smooth malty taste with mod bitterness at the end. Slightly hoppy. Hoppy aftertaste is very light. Maybe a slight citrus taste, but otherwise just malty. Not a bad beer, but not the best. Would drink again, but would buy the Pale 31 instead.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright coppery orange with maize colored accents. Exceedingly fine carbonation slowly rises to a light gold, orangish beige cap. The foam has a solidity about it that promotes a slow, somewhat rocky, descent and results in a decent showing in the lace department. Several concentric rings are seen at midglass when the beer is nearly gone.

The nose is hoppier than expected. I would never confuse it with an IPA, or even a hoppy APA, but it's nice to run across what appears to be a hop-dominant amber ale. There's still a toasted malt background keeping the aroma grounded. The spicy, herbal (probably English) hops are where the action is however.

I like Double Barrel. There's a moderately sweet, whole grain toast-like malt structure that is firm without being unyielding. It's still pretty hoppy, but is more balanced than anticipated after the sniff test. This beer reminds me of an English pale ale or an ESB, and a pretty good one at that. The flavor profile is clean and is anything but shy. I get the sense the brewers hit the flavor target they were shooting for.

The medium length finish manages to keep a fair amount of bitterness in contact with the taste buds after the beer is gone. Dry and bitter is as good a way to finish as any other. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, although I'm sure the active carbonation is somewhat responsible for that impression.

Firestone Double Barrel Ale is a good one. It has no real faults and is as well-constructed as any amber ale that I've had in a while. I could definitely make a session out of a few of these and I'm sure they would go well with a wide variety of foods. This isn't quite a head turner, but it is a delicious, satisfying ale.

Photo of Pahn
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to BA morningthief for giving me this bottle. Bottled on 1/4/12, drank 5/13/12.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2 inch fluffy offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving no lacing. Pours an almost translucent brownish orange, leaving a few streaks of lacing.

Smell: Effervescent. Bready malt, very slight East Kent Goldings aroma (we're at about the tail end of the beer's "drink by" time, according to the brewery, so not too surprising that the hops are muted). Nice oaky vanilla note comes out with time, along with a little more grassy hoppiness.

There isn't any one particular soaring note here, but the overall aroma is very pleasant.

Taste: Bready malt, faint oaky vanilla, minerally from the middle through to the finish, with re-emerging white bread notes at the end.

The oak influence is very interesting... it's a few steps above being "possibly placebo," but it's not very assertive. The flavor breakdown is: Fresh white bread malt in the foreground, hard water, then equally mild oily floral hops cutting through the middle of the beer and vanilla oak kind of underpinning the entirety of each sip.

These different elements make for a very quaffable beer (I hate that word 'quaffable', but that's what this beer is). Great, easy-drinking balance, neither bland nor bold.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry, pretty clean finish. Good but unremarkable.

Overall: Very well designed beer, where every element but the mouthfeel is greater than the sum of its parts. It's easy to drink a lot of beers like this. The flavor is unique and complex enough to keep you interested, but never overwhelming in any way.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: served on tap into a stange, dark orange amber colored with a short off white head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: caramel malt, light hops, pine, grapefruit, slightly sweet

T: great malt profile, caramel sweetness, British hop flavors, slightly sulfury hop quality

M: light to medium body with higher carbonation

O: reviewed from notes taken on 3/6/14, beer focused more on malt flavors than depth of hop flavors, still a very good beer

Photo of foles
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably underrated given the expectation for this beer to be a hop driven american ale. However this is an authentic english style offering from Firestone Walker. Nice malt, tea like hops on the nose and palate - seems like EKG. A rounded english profile, firmly bitter, maybe some esters in there. Maybe a bit too dry? Either way this wouldn't be out of place on cask in England.

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.

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.

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light brown and clear with very little head.

Distinct nutty, toasty nose with some cocoa mixed in for good measure. Hop aroma is absent.

Lemon, nutty quality along with some light toast and cocoa; much like the nose. Light bitterness balances the grain sweetness. A very enjoyable session-able beer. Strong enough to stand on its own, and subtle enough to not detract from the tastes of other foods.

Tongue coating and medium bodied. Light carbonation amplifies drink-ability, and makes this beer and very quaff-able one.

Photo of PatandDavid
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this one. Boy, I needed a brew this evening after work, and lo and behold, this was sitting in the fridge. Nothing extraordinary about it's looks: medium to dark amber, not cloudy per se, but not crystal clear either. About 1/2 inch of cream colored foam at the pour, since gone down. Aroma seems thick and syrupy, of toasty malts and quiet hops. Carbonated mouthfeel full of small, prickly bubbles. The mouthfeel is a plus...I appreciate the level of carbonation. Tastewise, I am picking up low malt (although it's made with 5!), slightly biscuity. The beer concentrates on the end taste/finish (which is fine with me). That one is all about some slight puckery citrus. I can't believe the carbonation in this one! Probably helps it not come across as syrupy. Would drink again. Not stupendous, but I like the mouthfeel.

Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,023 ratings.