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 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 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 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 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 mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

amber with a nice overall fluffy three finger head of lace then rose up above it before settling down to nothing in the end, with just a clear top and no side glass lace. Initially a bit of carbonation streaming up, however this died down rather quickly to be honest.

The aroma was full of grainy malt characters. Not as sweet as I have seen in others, but it had a nice citric hop presence as well. Some nice grassy tones as well. The flavor followed perfectly, really making this quite the hoppy little red ale. The first notes of grains coming through very clearly, but then melding seemlesly with a strong citrus and pine like hoppy punch. Some light notes of caramel coming through now and blendning it all together. The finsih is strong, nice and drawn out with a good amount of hoppiness and bitter flavors riddled throughout. Nice light bodied ale that stayed very well carbonated and had an excellent dry finish to 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 DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Surly Goat, and what a great way to reach beer review #2000, on the same visit I made place review #400! The orginal DBA already has a cult following in the area, and is one of the first craft options I even knew about not named Sam Adams. Now the unfiltered version, and now it's on to the beer:

It's an amber orange colored beer, one with pretty good head retention and more than a few strings of lace clinging to the glass. The nose is a little harder to get. You need to dig it up, but eventually the aromas of earth and woodsy characteristics arrive.

Now we're talking. The flavor comes out in spades, and it's very complex. Flavors of earth, caramel, minerals, oak, woody notes create a beer that is not only flavorful, but also very reefreshing and drinkable. It's medium bodied, somewhat clean, with a pleasant mineral woody and mineral combination in the aftertaste.

Between the original and unfiltered version, it's like night and day. There's so much more going on in the unfiltered DBA. This is one to be on the lookout for.

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Photo of Zorro
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A special offering only available at Firestone's 2 tap rooms. This stuff can't be bottled.

Pours a cloudy nut-brown brew.

Smell is a nutty malt smell with a strong smell of Oak.

The taste is VERY! Different from the filtered Double Barrel Ale.

The taste of this is very flavorful with a strong vanilla flavor. Lots of peach and apricot fruit flavors in this and a lovely butteryness. This is much superior to the bottled and filtered Double Barrel Ale.

Mouthfeel is very full and creamy, almost milky thick and pleasing.

Drinkability is exceptional!

I asked why this stuff can't be bottled and was told that it would go through a second fermentation and would ruin its taste because of the live yeast.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Blue Palms,

A: Pours a cloduy amber-orange, with a finger of white head, good lace.

S: Sweet malt, oak, sugar.

T: Tasty sugary, oaky malt upfront which was really inviting. Complex malt character with a light hop in the finish.

M: On the lighter-bodied side, very low carbonation.

D: A real nice beer from Firestone Walker, certainly better than the DBA, a fascinating beverage.

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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 barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a medium amber color, some cloudiness to it with a nice bit of carbonation. Small dirty white head to it. Nose is bready and malty. Taste is malty and very sikly smooth. Mouthfeel is very good, velvety, it has some wine like qualities as well. This beer is a pleasure to drink. I have finished half of the growler already and I am not full, tastes excellent, drinkability PERFECT!
3 Nov 08: Another great growler fill and still superb!

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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 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.

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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 elNopalero
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a roasty amber color. There’s a pleasant biscuit-malt aroma and a light toasty biscuit flavor rounded out by a gentle honey finish. I didn't pick up a major contrast between this and the regular DBA on tap, but in terms of nuances I felt this was very smooth, very drinkable, well-rounded and one of the treats from visiting their tasting room.

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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 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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Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at JJ Brewsky's yesterday for six dollars, have been patiently waiting to try this for years now after seeing here at Paso Robles a few times

A-Golden amber color, 1 1/4 inch foamy slightly off white head that lasted around five minutes, some lacing towards the top of the glass
S-Wood, both floral and piney hops, caramel, mild citrus, some sweet malt, bread, biscuit, whole grains, and
T-Floral hops at first that are pretty subtle, caramel and bruned bread in the middle, more bitterness in the finish to go along with a good amount of oak, warms up with some mild citrus but mostly hops mixed with wood which would seem a little weird but worked very well
M-Slightly dry and sweet, bready, and chewy, quite enjoyable mouthfeel, medium bodied, low level of carbonation, taste does not last too long but still good and fitting for its overall feel
D-I could drink several of these, very light overall, low ABV allows you to have even more, smooth and crisp, mine was served too cold but after warming in my hand, this stuff went down with minimal effort

This is a great beer, simple but awesome, much different than the standard version with a more noticeable oak and hop character, I already want more, recommended

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Photo of denver10
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy translucent yellow with an amber hue, a nice thickish off white head, and solid retention. Aroma offers some sweet bread and toffee, the oak from the barrels are present, and just a touch of some grass. Flavor is similar; malt is very influential with some sweet breadiness and some toffee, there is a nice dose of the oak barrels (much more so than in the regular DBA, that is for sure), a hint of a little sweet fruits, and slight hints of grass. A creamy, medium bodied. Overall, FW with another winner. Tons of great flavor packed into 5%...consider me impressed. Would happily drink again.

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Photo of nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at Monk's Kettle for a Firestone Walker event.

Pours a cloudy amber color with minimal head from the cask.

Aroma is really interesting. Caramel malt and citrus along with interesting oak and vanilla notes.

Flavor is very oaky, along with vanilla from the barrel and even some coconut milk. Caramel malt and nuttiness from the malt as well, along with some citrusy and tropical fruit hop notes.

Smooth on the palate with medium body and low carbonation.

Wow, what an improvement this is over regular DBA. Drinking this was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I couldn't help but down it quickly. This is a really killer English Pale Ale.

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Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed July 1st, 2012 at Firestone Walker Taproom, Paso Robles, CA.

Hazy copper/amber colored beer. For a head, this one sports only a fine little crown that sticks to the edges of the glass.

Restrained aroma: just a mild toffee.

Flavor: toffee and caramel and some sweet peach. Finishes with a tea-like flavor. Oak in the background. Zero bitterness. A little more complex and certainly more tasty than this description gets across.

Mouthfeel: a bit on the thin side and a little tingle on the tongue.

I could have a few of this one. Outstanding!

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Photo of DogFood11
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Buellton location. I started the evening with the pale ale and the second brew I got was the unfiltered double barrel ale. First sip and I was hooked. They poured it into a pounder glass and it formed a nice 2 finger head that fell to a solid cover.

Lots and lots of woody barrel aged goodness. Hops are still evident enough to keep this baby poppin'. After one serving I couldn't move on to anything else. It was my beer of choice for the evening. Much more complex than its regular version of double barrel. How so? Well the original version is good but it tends to be rather pedestrian and subtle. Maybe the unfiltered version is more for the beer geeks of the world as its a kicked up version of its sister beer. Just think double barrel with something extra. The extra is in the intesity of character. One of the best brews I've had in my life. I don't think this beer can improve. Perfect across the board.

Notes: Loved it fresh on tap. Probably closer to a wide open style like red/amber then a pale but thats splitting hairs. I was able to pick up a case of the 10th anniversary as well.

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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...

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