Rye Double DBA
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Rye Double DBARye Double DBA
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #19
Ranked #1,205
4.39 | pDev: 6.38%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Rye Double DBARye Double DBA
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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 94
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(2016 bottle, shared between 3 people... poured into shaker pints - - what we were given at restaurant)

Hazy, reddish amber liquid; little foam on pour, didn't last... toasty, thick melanoidin-crusty graininess; perfumy, vaguely solvent strong booze; hint of rich candy caramel... rye-wine: barleywine-like foundation; flowery essences, raisin and dried pear fruitiness, bit of red grape juice blend; caramel weaves nicely within fruity flavors, chewy-crusty bread and malt sits not far back... like drinking brandy - smooth, lightly slick, tapered; little carbonation, but fizz wasn't necessary... setting and glassware were naturally not quite appropriate, but the beer has a brash, vinous character that seemed to fit in well with the food and conversation

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Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to rawfish for handing this to me unprovoked in a dimly lit parking lot. I find the nicest people in dark places after drinking. 22 oz. both dated 2016 shared with my lovely wife.

The pour is murky amber. The nose runs hot & lovely: spices, rye, coconut, vanilla. Wonderful.

Rye Double DBA is hotter than that shower scene in Starship Troopers. Almost. Booming booziness up front is followed by a gorgeous shot of rye, spicy & sharp. Toffee, vanilla, balsa wood, light sweet bread. Full & a touch harsh, even at 2 ½ years of age. Oh so drinkable. Despite the obvious alcohol, this is a delight to swill.

Normally it bothers me when I can’t taste the base beer, but here, who cares? Another barrel aged triumph from Firestone Walker. Thanks again Kevin, you’re a gem!

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Rip Current 8-oz. beer glass
From: Barrelworks in Buellton, Calif.
Price: $29.99
Purchased: June 1, 2018
Consumed: June 22, 2018
Reviewed as: American Strong Ale
Misc.: 2016 release (bottled in May); Black foil wrapping on neck

Picked this up on a stop at Barrelworks on my way to the 2018 Firestone Invitational. Was psyched to see a 22-oz. Firestone bottle still for sale, but not for the $29.99 price. Later found out that was the original price, so not as mad about. One description I found online read, “Seeing Double? Folks, we introduce you to Rye Double DBA. What is this beast, you ask? Well it’s our Double DBA oaked for a second time in rye barrels. Clocking in at a whopping 15% abv, this beer is not for the faint of heart.” Was expecting good things from it.

Poured a copper/garnet surprisingly clear color with two fingers of frothy khaki-white head. Lots of fast-moving bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good spotty lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled toffee, caramel, butterscotch, leather, fig, raisin, dates, oak, maple syrup, brown sugar, rye whiskey, vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate and dark cocoa. (Smell - 4.50)

No hiding that 15 pct. on the taste. Damn. Got toffee, caramel, spicy rye whiskey, leather, fig, raisin, date, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, toasted oak, milk chocolate, coconut, plum, dark fruit, brownie batter and liquid fudge with nuts. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, boozy, warming finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Just a really good beer. Lovely. Can’t believe how boozy it is still two years later. (Overall - 4.25)

4.31 | 96 | A

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Photo of Avitra
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

As good a beer as any. very balanced. Not too sweet, not too hoppy. even the taste is a perfect combination of chocolate, vanilla on the one side, but also pineapple and peach on the other. 15% but definitely not too boozy. very drinkable. this is the kind of combination I am always looking for and which makes a top 10 beer.

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Photo of emyers
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 bottle poured into snifter.

Cloudy dark amber with a thin off white head

Nose: Rye whiskey, oak, fruity esters up front. Quite a bit of depth with bourbon-soaked raisin, vanilla.

Taste: Rye whiskey and caramel dominate. Finishes sweet with bready malt and alcohol heat.

Full-bodied, medium carbonation for the style

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Photo of Brolo75
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a deep rich amber color with an off white colored head, no retention, no lacing, very little carbonation, nice array of colors when held up to the light.

A: Deep aromas of toasted coconut, vanilla, bourbon, hit of spice and rye, caramel, burnt brown sugar, oak, lots of complexity and depth, alcohol does come through especially as the beer warmed, smells amazing.

T: Taste follows the nose with bourbon, oak, toasted coconut and marshmallows, caramel, burnt brown sugar, hit of rye and spice as well as a soft chocolate note, finish is hot, alcohol comes through adding an awesome warming feeling to the beer, tastes amazing.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, it's syrupy and thick.

O: Another world class barrel aged beer from Firestone Walker, lots of bourbon, oak, hint of rye, and some alcohol, an amazing beer to drink on a cold night as it warms the belly. For the ABV, 15%, it does drink smoother than I expected.

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Photo of gcasher
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with thin head
Smells sweet
Not getting the rye
Tastes of sweet caramel malt like a Brandywine. Packs a punch at 15%.
Thin fizzy body,

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As my 900th beer, I really wish I had taken notes on this beer. All I can say is that this was one of the most fantastic smelling and tasting beer I've had. The alcohol warmth was a bit much, but the overall marshmallow sweetness, oak, and bourbon, with just a hint of lovely rye spice was just incredible. Cheers!

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage; drank 7/20/16 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Semi-opaque dull orange rust appearance.

Minimal khaki head; no lace.

Oak, apricot & leather notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Apricot & oak flavors up front; faint dill pickle notes on the finish. Mild booze heat emerged as this warmed.

Too wood heavy, perhaps, but still nice.

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Photo of aoampm
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pour is an amber color just like a barleywine. A minuscule head tries to appear but it disappears immediately. Literally not head or lacing whatsoever. A tiny amount of carbonation.

Smells is superb. Caramel, tons of bourbon / whiskey, some sweet apple, plum raisin, and a nice oaky spice.

Taste is banging. The plum raisin is forefront with more boozy caramel whiskey flavors in the back. Some vanilla, brown sugar, and breaded malt is detectable.

Feel is very unique. The sheer lack of head and carbonation makes it drink like a mix of beer and wine. Hard to describe but I love it.

Overall this was an amazing beer. I love a good BA Barleywine and this really reminds me of that. I think the bottle I had really mellowed out due to the complete lack of head and almost no carbonation. Firestone kills it yet again!

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Photo of Zythophile
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: June 2016
Palate Contaminants: none

Okay, time to crack this one open.

Appearance is a slightly murky caramel color. A little bit of head that leaves some lacing as well.

Just like the color descriptor, the first smell I get is caramel. And lots of bourbon. It's sorta like a bourbon candy. A little apple as well, but maybe I'm just conflating everything with a Halloween carnival. The only knock is that alcohol is certainly detectable, even after ten months of cellaring.

This thing is rich. It's only a step down from a dram of Woodford Reserve, albeit obviously a rye. Sweet barrel, slightly smoky, moderately spicy. Plus a little bit of clover and some pecans. Some figs and dates. Scorched caramel is definitely still there. The one complaint I have is that the alcohol seems to be helping cover up even more flavors. I'll keep aging the other bottle for a little while longer.

The weight is good and moderate, and there's not a whole lot of carbonation. The aftertaste is more like a rye whiskey than a bourbon, in a reversal from the earlier order. For both the taste and the feel, the only thing dragging it down is the heat.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Do not know if I have ever had an imperial ESB. But wow is this delicious. Nice sweet, taste with a big bourbon finish. Works well with the rye though. Nice smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: poured light brown / clearing brown with a lot of lilting carbonated bubbles (like soda) that disappeared fast. Now it looks still with no carbonation, looks like whiskey. Big alcohol legs on his one....again looks like whiskey
S: huge whiskey, smoke and char with sugar sweetness to cut the booze.
T: smooth whisky and barrel, fairly sweet. This is so much different than any other beer. This is like the best sipping whiskey you could ever dream of. This does not taste like beer at all. This is really good if you like Barrel and whiskey like me, but this is so far from any other beer I've had.
F: so smooth and easy drinking. Crazy this is 15%! If it was thicker I'd give it a 5. But this is scary smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2016 vintage bottled in 5/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy medium ruby red/light copper color with a 1 finger foamy off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lacing eventually. Light spotty lacing on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining a thin cap. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, coconut, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apricot, and apple; with light notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, fudge, almond, molasses, butterscotch, and yeast/oak earthiness. A fair amount of booze in the aromas as it warms. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, rye whiskey barrel, and moderate fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, coconut, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apricot, and apple; with light notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, fudge, almond, molasses, butterscotch, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate rye whickey/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, coconut, brown bread, dark fruit, apricot, apple, light cocoa/fudge, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, rye whiskey barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt and rye whiskey/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from rye whiskey/oak spiciness, increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, fairly tannic, and lightly slick/syrupy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is fairly well hidden; pleasantly warming, and not too boozy. Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged English barleywine! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, rye whiskey barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Huge on the rye barrel presence, but still has impressive balance; and is not too tannic, drying, or boozy. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.91/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to eyebereej for this bottle! Handed to me on the way out of our epic tasting, and cracked open shortly thereafter. Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Hazy bronze to brown, and becomes more hazy after getting some of the yeast sediment in the bottom of bottle in the glass. A thin off-white head disappears quickly, and has minimal visible carbonation.

S: Big toffee, oak, and vanilla. Some liquor as well - it comes across as bourbon, but I’m honestly not sure if this is "Rye" in the sense of rye malts or a rye barrel. There's sweet malts, and a bit of dark fruits, and some fruity yeast esters.

T: Toffee, sweet malts, and rye whiskey. The big oakiness lends dryness and vanilla along with the woody tannins. Some fruity esters as well, with brown sugar sweetness and the lightly toasted malts. Mild spices and raisiny fruitiness. It finishes with malt sweetness, more brown sugar and whiskey.

M: Medium to heavy body, with low carbonation sensation. The alcohol is quite noticeable but stops short of detracting.

O: This rather drank like a barleywine. I'm a bit confused by the label - not only was a not certain which "Rye" the label was referring to, the label implied that was a Special Bitter. It shared no characteristics with an ESB while drinking, and getting on here I see that's not how it's listed. So the labeling could use some help. But it was a tasty enough beer for sure.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: much like regular DDBA, though a bit clearer and more burnt orange.

Smell: whisky, coconut, almond extract, orange blossom.

Taste: caramel, lightly toasted coconut, caramelized sugar, booze. Compared to regular DDBA, even the 2012 I had last night, I'd say the hops are a bit more muted.

Feel: light mouthfeel, with pretty active carbonation, and a dry finish.

Overall: very good, but not substantially different from regular DDBA, and probably not worth the high price. I'll probably let my other bottle sit for a year or two before revisiting.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is up there with any other beer Firestone has made. Loved the sweetness on this. The rye barrels do a lot more for this beer than the bourbon barrels did. Loved it.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

appearance: hazy amber with some foam sticking around the edges. Nice alcohol legs too.

aroma: big bourbon/ whiskey notes hit right away. Backed up by a nice body of oak and sweetness. If I dig a little bit I get a cherry aroma that reminds me of cola. A but of spice as well initially. Perhaps some paper oxidation from the lengthy aging. Complex.

taste: Much more full and mellow than the aroma, but still follows suit. Prickly booze/ rye at the front of the tongue, followed by caramel/ toffee and coconut.

mouthfeel: Medium plus. Not too full. Good carbonation to it. A little more viscosity would be nice.

Overall: a great beer! As it warms I get a ton of maple syrup coming through. But the 30$ pricetag is not worth it, in my opinion. I'd take 2 regular DDBA over this; price specifically. Still world class.

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Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Amber caramel with a light head that quickly dissipates.
Smell: Malt, light sweetness, caramel, vanilla, and oak.
Taste: Follows the nose well, but that unmistakable DBA flavor is deep in the background.
Feel: The perfect mouthfeel without being too viscous.
Overall: In the past I've been a little disappointed with Double DBA, but this has forever changed my mind.

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Photo of KevSal
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Double DBA 2014 aged for an additional 14 months in rye whiskey barrels, makin. it a whopping 15%, up from 12.

poured into a fw glencairn

looks amazing, immense dark orange hue. small ring of bubbles.
nose is big dba, malts, bourbon and rye whiskey, a bit subdued.
luckily it note only follows the nose but pops with flavor! big bourbon and vanilla, sweet malts, peppery rye finish. very flavorful!
feel is thick, big body and some alch, not as much as I was expecting honestly, most of the tingle is the rye
overall this is excellent! I wish the limit was higher on this guy. but being brewery only at a hefty $30 a bottle, I'm not sure it's worth the extra price tag over the already great regular dba, but it sure tasty!

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - dark brown mahogany clear color with a off white head that dissipates quick and therefore doesn't leave much lacing
S - HUGE caramel toffee vanilla, some Rye bite, bourbon, oak, figs, raisins, milk chocolate (mild), butterscotch, toasted coconut
T - big caramel, toffee, vanilla, then Rye whiskey, bourbon, oak, bites a little bit, nice alcohol flavor given the 15%abv, toasted coconut, mild butterscotch
M - big beer. Alc present but appropriate. Aftertaste is caramel, toffee, vanilla.
O - jesus. When I think about perfection this beer will now come to mind. It's insane. It's like listening to Rush, driving a capable Jeep through 3 feet of mud, or sex with a petite brunette with attributes, but in beer form...

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep auburn color with a very thin nicotine stain yellow head. The aroma is nice. The first thing you get is the perfume from the booze, but thus is followed by a fairly complex bouquet. Spice from rye, cola, toffee, a dirt smell which I'm assuming comes from the wood of the barrel, caramel. The flavor is fantastic. Not as much booze as the nose would have you believe. The bourbon flavor is most definitely present, but it is nicely balanced by the rye and the wood. The real star here is the mouthfeel. So thick and creamy you could spread it on toast.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cola dark brown with a soft hazy head. Smell is crystal malt roastiness, maple-caramel-nuttiness, capped off by robust rye barrel spice and vanilla. Taste is rich praline notes with a molasses boldness and rye spice. Very dessert-y, dense and rich, without being syrupy. Feel is smooth and dense, allowing the palate to savor the nuances for a good measure of time. Great beer, and a very nice variation of the regular Double DBA. A great showcase of rye barreling.

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Photo of stevoj
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from share on 7/30/16. Excellent way to cap the evening. Darker amber with a small ring of beige head. sweetish aroma of caramels and toffee, butterscotch vanilla. More flavor follows capped off with some boozy warmth. Was expecting some rye sourness, but its rye barrel aging, so even better.

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Photo of darktronica
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

650ml bottle from the FW Venice Propagator shop. Pours a transparent amber-orange, with fast-dissipating head that vanishes without leaving any lacing behind. The liquid itself has legs, though, a sign of its viscous mouthfeel and high ABV. Caramel, turbinado sugar, and vanilla on the very aromatic nose, with lighter notes of almond, candy gumdrops, and orange zest.

The flavor profile is quite similar, but with the addition of big barrel character. Like the other reviews noted, it's more suggestive of brandy than rye, along with a decadent sweetness of figs and dried jujube fruit. Plenty of oak, but not much in the way of rye spice, pepper, or other typical whiskey notes. This is a phenomenal dessert sipper, sweet without being cloying; the 15% ABV is very well disguised. I'm glad to have splurged on a second bottle, because it's going to sit down in the cellar for a grand occasion in the future.

I've been disappointed by many $30+ bottles in the past, but this is not one of them. This is glorious and well worth seeking out.

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Rye Double DBA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 94 ratings