Double Double Barrel Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale
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English Barleywine
Ranked #12
Ranked #675
4.32 | pDev: 8.8%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale
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Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 1,990 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dave. Thanks man!

2014 vintage

Copper crimson body with a half inch of soapy, khaki-hued head. Aromas of oak, vanilla, caramel, sweet bread. This beer has developed with age, akin to a strong English barleywine.

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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia, Mar 30, 2019
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2014 bottle served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Semi hazy amber color with light sediment in the glass with a mahogany tint to the glass. Orange tinted white head with a sticky head which initially rose roughly half a finger's length.

Smell: lighter butterscotch scent. Comes and goes and though great lacks that touch of potency to the nostrils.

Taste: Maltier than most English barleywines, still retains a nice light Woody finish with light feel of whiskey and light toffee.

Mouth: Medium carbonation but sticky beer with a mild bitter finish. I will tell you this, if you can smell with your mouth, there's a lot of body to the brew.

Overall: Good brew, took my time drinking this gem and wouldn't trade it for the world. I treat classics like this they way they should. Salud!

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BlurryVisi0n from New York, Mar 25, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage; drank 10/10/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Murky orange appearance.

Minimal khaki head; minimal lace.

Cream soda, mild caramel & oak notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream soda & oak flavors up front; caramel notes on the finish. No booze heat. Smooth, rich & tasty.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Mar 06, 2019
Photo of EMV
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition... poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Hazed mahogany pour. Thin fizzy white head leaves a thin rim of lacing.

S: Caramel and toffee... sugars and sweets... some fruity notes.

T/F: Sweet toasted grains... big time sugars... caramel and toffee... molassas and booze. Vanilla... lighter fruit and coconut. Warming... sticky on the tongue.

O: A big, big beer... the 2012 version aged fantastically and at 7 years was still super. One to sip on a cold winter night. Very solid effort.

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EMV from Pennsylvania, Feb 22, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap. So right off the bat the coloring is way too golden for a barleywine, but otherwise fine. The smell of this beer is incredible, vanilla, toffee, large wood notes, brown sugar, malts, caramel, cherry, all kinds of booze and I could swear a little gingerbread. The taste and body fall short of this glorious smell however, as they both feel so disconnected, with all of this various pieces fighting for space instead of creating a cohesive unit together. Perhaps some aging would help meld flavor together? Hopefully because that smell is too good to waste!

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REVZEB from Illinois, Dec 11, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into a teku

A- pours a deep amber brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has short retention

S- big malty notes of molasses, caramel, dried cherries & figs. Earthy tobacco & leather, undertones of bourbon barrel that adds a hint of vanilla, just a touch of oxidization

T- big malty sweetness up front with notes of caramel & toffee, molasses & brown sugar. Mid-palate brings out a bit of barrel character that adds some vanilla and a trace of toasted coconut. The finish is earthy & fruity, with notes of pipe tobacco, rum soaked raisins and dark cherries

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a somewhat chewy finish

O- as expected, big malty sweet notes throughout, complimented by some nice dark fruity notes

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Feb 19, 2018
Photo of NolaHopHead
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle. Pours murky medium brown, thin white head. Great woodsy Bourbon aroma. Sweet n toasty, boozy. Great lasting boozy finish. Outstanding brown ale.

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NolaHopHead from Louisiana, Aug 02, 2017
Photo of Zoomslowik
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage.

L- Dark amber color with some head that doesn't last. A few bubbles are visible.

S- Caramel and toffee. A little booze. Some vanilla.

T- Similar to the nose. Smooth and balanced. Caramel and toffee, just a little booze. Some vanilla.

F- It's fine. Smooth, medium thickness. Slight alcohol burn. Decent carb.

O- Solid and tasty. Good balance and easier to drink than you would expect at 12%.

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Zoomslowik from Illinois, Jun 22, 2017
Photo of Radcpa
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 ventage. Reddish amber appearance with a slight tan/white head that desipates quickly. Mild bourbon and fruity aroma. Mild bourbon and fruity taste without any alcohol aftertaste.

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Radcpa from Washington, Apr 06, 2017
Photo of Amorphousrock
1.76/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2012 vintage. Not sure if it wasn't cellared properly, but it was horrible. I brought it to a bottle share and we couldn't even finish it, it was so bad. I was told that the 2012 were in their prime right now, hope this was a fluke...

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Photo of socon67
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. Exceptional beer. Dark amber pour that smells of vanilla bean, caramel, and molasses. Mellowed flavor but very sweet. Easy drinking ale for what it is. Perfect for a cold winter day.

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socon67 from New York, Jan 08, 2017
Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage enjoyed on New Years Eve 2017. A lot of oak, vanilla, barrel in the nose with a complex taste with a lot of warmth in the finish from the alcohol.

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cjgator3 from Florida, Jan 01, 2017
Photo of RyanK252
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage on tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours deep red orange with a tan head that settles to a thin layer and leaves a few spots of light lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee,brown sugar, smooth bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, mild spice,and a little oak.

T: More of the same, caramel, toffee and brown sugar, toasted coconut, nice oak presence, smooth bourbon, and a little spice. Alcohol is well hidden over all.

M: Medium to full body, mild carbonation, with a very pleasant warmth on the finish.

O: Age has treated this one well. Not overly complex, but you don't have to go searching out obscure flavors. It puts all its cards on the table and they play beautifully together.

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RyanK252 from California, Dec 09, 2016
Photo of Jimmys
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage.

Booze, heat, loads of caramel. This thing smells really good and the flavor follows on all those notes. Reading reviews that this started a bit too hot, I am glad I got my hands on a vintage bottle. Kept in good conditions (box always help from light), this has aged very well and I would gladly stock another in my Cellar if I could find one. Another barrel aged gem from the pros at FWB.

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Jimmys from Pennsylvania, Nov 09, 2016
Photo of rand
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

650 mL 2012 bottle, poured into a snifter

Kind of a light-tan-leather color, the brew forms almost no head on an aggressive pour, although little specs of suds cascade down the glass as it twirls.

Big, bold nose, layered and complex as they come. Oaky, bourbony, with distinct notes of tobacco and maple. Orange zest and cocoa edge-out the bouquet.

The flavors are crazy-smooth on the palate, helped by extensive cellaring I'm sure. Any sharp, tannic-like astringency has been replaced by silky notes of caramel and rum and carob. The brew is chewy, and decadent, as desert-like flavors wash in mid-sip, suggesting creamy raisin-rum. Boozy toward the finish, but not hot, as the brew closes relatively clean and quickly.

This beer is good fresh, but a few moons in the cellar make it ridiculously drinkable. As I've mentioned many times, Firestone has some of the best barrel-aged brews, hands-down.

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rand from California, Aug 10, 2016
Photo of Zythophile
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 2013
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Appearance is a slightly opaque tannish brown with barely any head.

Smell is caramel, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and it's a little woody. I hardly get any alcohol.

Taste is sweet and savory, a beautiful combination. Sweet rye bread is the base, and you can tack on everything that was in the smell, but the cinnamon and cloves are diminished. The caramel has a nice scorched element to it. There's a spot of tea, too.

The last bottle I had was a few years ago, and I remember it being a bit thicker. A little swish brings out some carbonation, but well below the ideal. I don't get the alcohol until a little warmth after the last swallow.

I'm glad I have a couple more bottles.

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Zythophile from District of Columbia, Jun 26, 2016
Photo of Rihup
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 1000th review and I have been keeping this one for a while. 2012 vintage batch one and it didn't disappoint. Hints of bourbon, deep caramel notes, with a slight fig finish. Smooth as a babies butt. Glad I waited. Nom nom nom.

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Rihup from Illinois, Jun 21, 2016
Photo of TrojanRB
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage drank 6/2/16

Translucent brown red brick with two fingers of white head

Nose: Coffee, oak, brown sugar

Taste: Rum, plum, bourbon

Lightly carbonated, not overly sweet

Wonderfully balanced beer, has really improved with age. Fantastic,

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TrojanRB from California, Jun 03, 2016
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'13 Batch 2.
look: mostly clear dark amber. Nice reddish tan head and messy lacing.
smell: Rich malty caramel, toffee. Vanilla, and oak.
taste: More rich molasses port. Fantastic brew and 3 years has turned this into something special.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage at barrelworks

Aroma: toffee, Malt sweetness like malt syrup.

Really balanced! Toffee rum soaked dark fruits, Malts, a bit of tobacco

It gets a 94/100.

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DaverCS from Arizona, May 01, 2016
Photo of dannycohen62
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, poured in snifter
L - murky deep amber, very slight cream-colored ring of foam around the top.
S - caramel, burnt/brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, wood, bourbon
T - following nose, caramel notes, burnt sugar, oak, vanilla, light cinnamon
F - sweetness followed by a beautiful bitter finish, pleasantly dry, excellent balance
O - ages incredibly well, but having this vintage so long after fresh bottles it is hard to recall whether it has improved or not. This nearly 5 year old bottle has held up amazingly, and a prime example of a well-balanced but decadent English barleywine.

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dannycohen62 from Illinois, Mar 27, 2016
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks, Nick! Didn't think I would get a chance to try this. 2013 vintage.

Pours a murky brown color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. I don't like the soda-like texture, and its retention sucks. Let's face it, this isn't a good look - when the best descriptor I can think of is "it looks like a glass of something scooped out of a septic tank at Chipotle", you know it's a poor-looking brew.

It doesn't smell like a glass of something that came from a septic tank at Chipotle, thankfully! The textbook barrel character of Firestone Walker is featured here, in full force. Plenty of vanilla meshes with a powerful oak character, and even a touch of coconut. It has a fairly light base (malt and ester wise) when compared to something like Sucaba - I pick up caramel, toffee, brown sugar, apricot, cherry, and peach to go along with the bourbon. There are some additional tones of butter (like DBA) and banana fluttering around. Put simply, it has the depth I look for from a 12% behemoth, though the aromatic strength is a bit timid thanks to the lack of head.

Its flavor opens up with the malt backbone appearing - caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and the like. Stone fruits lurk around the fringes. This certainly isn't another Sucaba, as the whole thing tastes a bit brighter to me. Past the midpoint, the barrel practically explodes on the palate. I start getting tons of vanilla and oak, even a touch of coconut. The profile, unfortunately, doesn't strike me as being terribly deep, nor does it seem well balanced (the bourbon barrel qualities pummel the base). It's not pure tannin water, but it's not far off from that ideology - I really wished the malts were showcased more effectively.

This is quite light on the palate, thanks to how tannic it is. I almost get the sense the oak barrels are pulverizing the base beer as it traverses my palate. Drinkability is excellent, at least, though it does feel fairly harsh going down. Carbonation is medium-low, as expected from the style.

I'm not a big fan of the normal DBA. But an imperialized DBA put in bourbon barrels? It's an improvement...but not a huge one. It's damn good if you like FW's typical barrel characteristics, but me, I want more of a balance between the base and the barrels. On the plus side, it's very easy to down given its strength (and age, to be fair). You know, I'm beginning to think FW's barrel-aged brews not named Sucaba or Parabola are pure hype...

3.23/5: Sucaba does everything this beer does (did?), and far better at that

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage picked up at the Tin Bucket Christmas sale.

A clear mahogany with a dense, off-white head that falls off to a ring rapidly, this looks decent. The nose is nice. Opening with a blend of toffee, caramel, a soft vanilla and coconut character from the bourbon barrels, with the coconut character being surprisingly fleshy and meaty. Mild prune and some raisin are also present. The malt character is really good, with the complex, bready, mildly nutty character of British malts but caramelized to lend notes of toffee and butterscotch. The palate opens moderately sweet with toffee, butterscotch, caramel and brown sugar, all on a silky smooth body. Booze and the classic FW bourbon character - mostly coconut with a heady dose of vanilla - is present on the mid-palate. Sweet and boozy on the finish with lingering toffee, coconut and vanilla, this beer is medium-full in body, softly carbonated and delicious.

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Photo of fx20736
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Firestone double DBA Imperial special Bitter 2013

Given as a gift December 2014. Served in a Duvel tulip at cellar temp

Look: Rich Garnet and Amber with virtually no head 3.75

Smell: deep, read palms and oak with alcohol vapors 4.5

Taste: Rich, nutty malt, plums and warming alcohol 4.5

Feil: smooth, soft and ethereal 4.75

Overall: this is an exceptional barley wine style ill that is as good as bourbon
county barley. A fantastic beer! I wish I had more. 4.75

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fx20736 from New York, Jan 01, 2016
Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In our vacation of over abundance out west, it seemed likely great brews would find us. It is one of them.

It's light copper colored with fine head. The aroma is a mild but pronounced smell. Sortof hops but not overly so.

The taste is a malty dry. This is an easy drinking dry ale. Highly recommended for those times when such a lovely lighter brew will work.

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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1990 ratings