Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
50 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
100% Barrel Fermented.

Added by Zorro on 04-11-2004

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 253
Photo of Samuel906
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was the second time I've had this, and the first time and the only time I've seen it outside of the Firestone brewery. Looks very similar to the normal DBA, but slightly lighter in color, with some mild sediment and lots of head. Smell is slightly more bready and yeasty than DBA, but disappointingly mellow. Taste is sweet, slight oak, a touch bitter, but very similar to the normal DBA. Very smooth. Overall, underwhelming.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

Just barely hazy light copper/dark amber hues. Not much head retention and minimal lacing at best. Very fruity on the nose, with a huge aroma reminding me of apples. The flavors really fell flat for me here. There is apple and then a lightly toasted malt, but nothing is very prominent and I'm having a really difficult time discerning more flavors. The mouthfeel is thin, and the carbonation is lightly slacking. The brew leaves behind a nondescript film over my palate. I'm a little disappointed with this one. What I tried at the brewery tastes very little like what others have described. It was my first beer of the day, so I know my palate was fresh and ready to discern flavors. I would easily try this again, but that'll have to wait until I can get to the brewery again.

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Photo of spicelab
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint from FW brewery [email protected] Robles. Reviewed from notes.

Deep amber. Little to no head. Steady bead.

Strong toffee and dark fruit malt character gives good aromas of plums and prunes, while a pronounced grainy element and a sweet floral edge round out a suitably English nose.

Melange of maltiness, with ginger nut biscuits in spades, alongside nutty and mild caramel notes. Faint floral hops. Nicely balanced.

Moderate but spot on carbonation provides a nice lifted vibrancy.

Quaffable session beer. Clean, crisp and hits the spot. An able exposition of English styles.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught at Firestone Walker's new taproom (not the tasting room) in Paso Robles on its grand opening day. They ran out by the time I returned on the night of its second day of operation. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, decent thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a hazy semitransparent copper-gold. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Very fresh orange peel, clove, citrusy notes, and clean malts. A mild strength aroma - but also a pleasant and fresh one.

T: Orange citrus fruit esters - very fresh and brilliant. Quite enjoyable and pleasant. Simple but very balanced. Some floral hops. Very well built for what they're going for. The orange peel is really incredible. There's a note here that's almost cidery. Refreshing.

Mf: Smooth, wet, crisp, and fresh. Adequately carbonated. Very pleasant. Near perfect thickness. Complements the flavours well by not intruding on them. No oak comes through.

Dr: Very drinkable. I'd definitely have it again. Refreshing and enjoyable. Great for what it's trying to do, but it fails to be great due to its relative lack of both complexity and subtlety. There's nothing unique here, but it's one of Firestone Walker's better beers.

High B-

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%

On tap at the FW Tasting Room – Paso Robles
Served in a FW Tasting snifter glass – 08/16/2014

A: Light caramel color body with a hint of sunburst orange to it and a semi murky look. Thin lip of khaki froth in the small taster glass. Retention is lacking here and there is not much by way of any stick either.

S: The aroma is full of earthy new oak with a steady flow of malty biscuit and toasted nuttiness. There is some very subtle vanilla spice there. Has some really nice oak character to it.

T: The flavor basically tastes like a freshly tapped DBA. I get bready baked pretzel with a little touch of spice, vanilla , and some earthy young oak. The beer has a lower amount of actual bitterness and the alcohol is well hidden throughout. Finishes dry and creamy. Very smooth and refreshing with some fresh oak flavors.

M: Moderate to lighter feel in body with a nice smooth texture. Low bitterness keeps things frothy and light on the palate. Finishes dry and lightly crisp. Pretty clean approach overall.

D: Unfiltered DBA is a very nice treat that offers up a fresher more flavorful experience than the standard DBA. Not incredibly complex or anything deviating to far from the standard DBA but still just as drinkable. A nice to try situation I just wish they would put this one out in the market.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with plenty of head.

S: Lots of bread from the malt with a decent amount of hops.

T: Lots of caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt, and a bit of hoppiness.

M: Nearly full bodied with lots of malt and a good amount of carbonation.

D: A good brew, but not something I'd like to have too many of.

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Photo of photomike
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up from the taproom at the Paso Robles brewery.

Pours a surprisingly mostly clear brown with a very nice tall fluffy beige head. Decent retention, a great looking beer.

The smell was pretty underwhelming. Light vanilla, oak and malt, but not very aromatic.

Taste is really surprising. Oak and caramel, toasty malts, but nowhere near as biscuity as its filtered brother. There isn't anywhere near as much flavor as I had hoped from this...not as full as I expected, I suppose. It was a bit watery, but outrageously smooth going down.

So smooth. Two days in the growler left this very lightly carbonated, but the taster I had in the taproom wasn't super carbonated either. Very crisp, not much of a mouthfeel left after it goes down your throat.

A good craft brew to share with those new to the scene (my dad and siblings loved it), but there wasn't enough complexity here to keep me super satisfied. Going down like water, I could have drunk this all day if I wanted to.

Certainly better than the filtered version, and I suppose it has its time or place, but I didn't really care for this one too much.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into an imperial pint glass (20 oz.) at Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2012 for $5.50. One finger of head when I got it. Beer color was caramel honey. Good retention on top, a bit foamier on the sides.

Smelled slight hops, dark fruits, light fig, wheat and toffee. Pretty light altogether.

Tasted much better than the smell. Oaky, smooth, toffee, caramel, dark fruits. Lots of other tastes as well, but all come together nicely.

Medium body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long and smooth finish, which kept wanting me to have more.

Just so much better than the regular DBA. I had another one of these later. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the ColLAboration beer fest at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to an oily film. No lacing on this one. Smell is very malty and fruity. Taste is of malt, fruit, and some woody flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer and I enjoyed this one much more than the regular Double Barrel Ale.

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Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in bubble pint glass at a FW brewers night. I just went and looked at my review for DBA and found that it doesn't reflect how I now view the brew.

This is a very clean, fresh, tasty version of the regular DBA. If you can tell the difference between the regular and cask versions of one your regular brews, that's what this is.

Well balanced between hops and malt, greatly drinkable and just all-around tasty. The cask/firkin version is a must try if you see it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Norse Bar. Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a thick collar, partial cap, and splotchy lacework. Hazed orange body.

S - Sharp oak, toasted grains, very low sweetness, fruity English yeast. There's some nebulous earthy hop character too. A bit rough - I can see why they blend this, as the oak really takes over.

T - The taste is much sweeter, with toffee, sugar cookie, oaky vanilla, fruity yeast, toasted grains. Better balance here between malts and oak. Fairly low hop bitterness, but enough to keep things from being cloying.

M - Medium body, zesty carbonation, oaky and tannic texture, no alcohol, and a dry finish.

D - Solid brew, albeit a bit too okay for my tastes, particularly in the aroma. I had no problem putting down a glass, but I wouldn't actively seek this out. Still, it's always neat to get more insight into Firestone Walker's blending process.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Firestone Taproom in Buellton.

Came poured as a dark brown-amber, almost not able to see through with much clarity, and with no head at all. I don't think the lack of head was the fault of the bartender pouring it because swirling to regenerate does absolutely nothing.

The smell is pretty subtle but malty, toasty. The taste is malty and balanced with hops. It was pretty similar to the regular Double Barrel but this one was indeed a bit smoother. Drinkability was a little better as well.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewery tasting room. A touch lighter amber than the regular double barrel, smooth malty aroma with some oak and spicy hops. The flavor has way more oak and some vanilla. Smooth and balanced feel in the mouth. The bartender said that this version is 100% the oak fermented portion that is blended into the normal version, and I think that the extra character and smoothness that this brings sets it above. It's too bad that they don't have the capacity to bottle this.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms in Hollywood. Served in a 20oz nonic.

Burnt umber liquid with rust highlights. Superlative retention of the thick beige head. Very good lacing.

Nuts, wheat bread dough, and mild hop aromatics.

Brown bread, a touch of banana, slight caramel, earthy hops, and well water on the palate. Light pepper on the finish. Excellent, though the hops could stand up for themselves a little more.

Slightly chalky mouthfeel; not quite medium-bodied...

Overall, just a touch flat tasting (though not flat bodied), almost like it is diluted with mineral water - but an excellent domestic rendition of a British classic...

 640 characters

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap at Firestone Walker Taproom, Paso Robles, CA

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige head that died down, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of biscuit malts and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of biscuit and pale malts along with notes of oaky vanilla.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink. The unfiltered nature imparts a little chewiness into the mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a half-pint at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 24 February 2013.

A: Very clear gold

S: Toffee malts and earthy dull hops. Very English.

T: Full, robust, and lightly creamy-sweet. Caramel malt and fresh, balancing hops.

M: Very sparkly/carbonated; prickly.

O: Great beer! Better than DBA or DDBA. Gentle, soft, and eminently drinkable.

 351 characters

Photo of jethrodium
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Firkin at Beer Revolution. Pours a cloudy bronze amber with a small fluffy, white head that has very good retention and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. The aroma is caramel malt, some earthiness, a decent amount of oak as well as some breadiness. The taste is biscuit, caramel, some earthiness, and a decent amount of oak. It has a bready finish with a light bitterness. Relatively dry. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Quite enjoyable. I liked this significantly better than the regular double barrel ale.

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Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark copper color with amber edges and a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with a touch of grassy hops and a subtle oak barrel presence. Hints of caramel, toffee, rye and biscuit followed by floral line notes and toasted oak.

Medium bodied and surprisingly hop forward with spicy, earthy bitterness that lingers over the sweeter notes and oak barrel into a slightly dry finish. Decent amount of dry bitterness with grassy pine flavor that's coutered by caramel malt, toffee and hazelnut. Sutle toasted oak presence that isn't as strong as the nose suggests.

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Photo of ThirdLap
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Sacramento Brewing February 16th 2009.

Pours a deep amber with a creamy off-white head. Tons of chunky lacing leaves a thick film covering the glass.

I get vanilla, breadiness, and a slight amount of hops on the nose. Seems to have a distinct vegetable-like characteristic to it.

Taste is mainly caramel, brown sugar, a slight and well-balanced hop and malt presence, and a bit of woodsy oakiness. Finish is smooth and clean.

As to be expected with a cask beer, carbonation is minimal. Body is light to medium. Very smooth on the tongue.

A solid offering from Firestone, although not as good on-cask as I had hoped.

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Photo of Krevee
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on 05/01/10
Poured from 2L Growler into a Bruery tulip

A - Poured a darker orange/amber color with quite a large head that lingered for quite a bit of time. And it also had lacing that lingered for quite a bit of time.

S - The smell was mostly caramel malts with some hops and a little bit of citrus.

T - The beer had a sweet taste to it with some caramel malt notes. It had a hoppy/bitter finish with notes of oak.

M - The mouthfeel was on the light/medium side of things with a good middle amount of carbonation. And the beer had a smooth feel as it went down my throat.

D - At 5% Abv this beer is sessionable and you can drink a few pints without feeling to buzzed which is nice. IMO it is a beer you sip, but is good and I prefer it over the standard double barrel ale.

 786 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1538th Review on BA
Draft to 6oz Snifter

@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles

App- A very pretty amber with some lively carbonation and a tame 1/2 in head that was not inclined to stick around for long. This when the head faded really looked like a spirit or a whiskey.

Smell- A bit of earthly english malt, a faint citrus. I get most of the toffee and oak on the aromas. It was quite pleasant and aromatic. The regular DBA seems a bit lost and more leaning towards a small DDBA.

Taste- I enjoyed this one better than the base and less than DDBA. This was a very good addition of the oak. The base malts sing a little bit more and there is more definition of the hops and a bit of vanilla as the last flavors to come up. A bit creamy and smooth.

Mouth- It was a bit bitter on the finish but it was a nice feeling especially with the oak residual flavors. A bit of a medium solid body with a good low/medium carbonation feel to it..

Drink- Like I said. DDBA>UDBA>DBA. Its the middle brother of the family. The silver medal if you will.

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Photo of leaddog
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler courtesy of Calgary's Oak and Vine (Inglewood location).

Appearance - Pours a rusty copper with a finger width of bubbly off-white head.

Smell - Biscuity malts, light oak aromas, earthy/floral hops, sweet aromas.

Taste - Biscuity malts upfront, followed along by the earthy/floral hops. Has a nice buttery flavour.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with lingering sweetness.

Overall - An enjoyable EPA that utilizes the malts to its full potential. The hops are present and support the malts.

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Photo of DaverCS
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is of citrus, pretty hop-forward, good malt backbone.

Taste is of smoky/roasted malt, light citrus, battle between rich and bright. Mildly hoppy. Alright.

It gets an 80/100.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From memory, on-tap at the Buellton Tap Room.

Appearance: A copper-colored beer if I ever have seen one. Very very slight head. Lacing is fizzy and transient but there.

Smell: Picked up the oak a lot more easily than I can in the filtered version. Caramel malts, sweet and slightly citric hops.

Taste: Has much more umph than the filtered version. Oak flavor remains. Caramel, bready yeast malt flavors. Hop bitterness on the back end which is predominately pine-y, but included some citric.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but smooth. A little astringent in that "I've been sitting in an oak barrel" sort of way.

Drinkability: Could drink them all day. As I said in my review of the taproom, the experience just left me wondering why they feel the need to filter Double Barrel Ale in the first place - this was not some remarkably strong or heavy duty beer. zorro's review below seems to indicate that this can't be bottled, which I don't understand at all, but maybe there's a reason for it. Still, nice to try, definitely.

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Photo of Moose90
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap, not at the Brewery

A — Pours a nice lightly hazy caramel hued brown into the glass. There is a khaki colored head that sits atop of the beer and leaves behind some nice and consistent lace.

S — Smells incredibly fresh, malty, and delicious. Chewy malts and grains balanced with an oak-like sweetness.

T — Malty, rich, chewy, delicious. Very malt focused and lightly oak driven, with some vanilla, and caramel character.

M — Medium bodied, long and lingering finish, just want to keep coming back for another sip.

O — So good, just a great highlight of DBA.

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Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.04 out of 5 based on 253 ratings.
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