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Double Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale
1,976 Ratings
Double Double Barrel AleDouble Double Barrel Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 06-16-2009

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,976 |  Reviews: 339
Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Pours a murky dark brown color with almost no head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is boozey with some dark fruits, brown sugar, some spices and caramel. Earthy with some nice notes from the barrel. The tastes is earthy booze upfront with some sweet caramel. Vanilla and booze at the finish. Reminds me a bit of a Scotch Ale. Heavy mouthfeel. Pretty tasty slow sipper with a nice boozey, barrel aged flavor. Overall, another hit by Firestone Walker.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Gehrig13, enjoyed in a HF stem.

Pour: Murky caramel color, with a finger and a half of white soapy head. Head recedes for a nice film. Leaves little to no lacing

Smell: Big chewy raisins and figs up front. Lot of candied sugar, caramel and toffee. Sweet bourbon finish.

Taste: Follows the nose but the bourbon sweetness hit first. Chewy raisins and figs, lots of candied sugar and caramel. Finishes with bourbon and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth bourbon heat typical of most FW barrel aged beers. Not too hot. Nice. A definite sipper, and quite chewy.

Overall: I was more impressed with this than I was expecting. Quite good. I probably wouldn't get it over Sucaba or definitely Parabola, but I would have this again.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 8.5.12.

A - Pours a cloudy carmel brown with a small light tan head.

S - Carmel, booze, molasses, sweet dark fruits.

T - Just like the nose, carmel, molasses, sweet booze and fruit.

D - Decent carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Sweet and lots of barrel characteristics. Subtle bitter finish. A true winner.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle picked up locally and enjoyed from my FW prop series tulip.

a - opened the box, removed the bottle, took the funny wrapper off the bottle, popped the cap, and filled my glass. brew poured a barleywine looking caramel with a thin off cream colored bubbly head that bubbled away quickly.

s - some barrel woody booziness glazed on caramel and butterscotch. toffee and vanilla and butter pecan icecream.

t - pretty heavy booziness on top of the same toffee and butter pecan icecream that i picked up in the nose. much hotter than the nose leads you to believe, but at 12% what would one expect? rather sweet and kind of between a barley and an old ale.

m - very boozy. medium bodied, but tingly.

o - overall, not sure what an imperial special bitter should taste like, but i can tell you that this is pretty tasty. not the best FW barrel aged brew, but certainly feels like a component of the anniversary beers. more of a barleywine to me than anything else, but the extreme heat on this beer dominates. could probably use some time to mellow out a bit.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Dave for breaking this one out. Pours a mahogany hue with no head; just a thin band around the shoulders. Nose expresses ethanol, toffee and buttery notes. Taste consistent with nose - buttery and malty. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an easy carbonation and a slight oiliness. Overall, I'm very impressed with this brew. I didn't really know what to expect, but I found this quite enjoyable - not something I would recommend for extended cellaring, however.

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Photo of farrago
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barely pours a head at all, even with a heartily aggressive pour. A few bubbles aggregate again the glass walls, no real appreciable lacing either. There’s a strong, bright glow to the orange to light brown hued liquid, needed given the high level of particulate floating about inside (bottle stood up for weeks), plenty of widely dispersed bubbles as well, looks like a lot of activity in the glass. The nose is balanced and does not betray excessive alcohol presence, a good underlying roastiness stiffens its nostril presence so it’s not overly sugary, still no lack of molasses, caramelized brown sugar, butterscotch, at the same time you get green apple, fig, golden raisin, spiced orange peel and a heavy floral musk, you get more lightly metallic earthiness at it warms, easy as she goes. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied and likewise smooth and flows effortlessly, not looking to make a huge display of itself. More leafy herbal qualities here, bready like challah bread or breakfast rolls. Fruitier with apricot, peach, cherry mixed in with the fig, raisin, date base. Chocolate truffle, toffee, butterscotch, cream soda give it the desired appeal, no sugar bomb. The carbonation could be considered mildly on the high side for the style, not obvious but rock steady and adds to its overall freshness. More for those who want a food friendly version of the style than an experience unto itself. (Proprietor's Reserve Series #002, 2013)

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Photo of Oakenator
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Depends on the mood you're in - barley wine but the whiskey ends up being the hero on the nose and tongue. Looks a bit flat in the glass with little carbonation action but upon taste it is more present than expected - even better than the norm for this style. Nose has whiskey, honey and maybe some syrup. Flavor is strong with the same and as expected brings some heat on the back side.

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Photo of kamikazeokami
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RobinLee
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of toothirsty
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Swimsum
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery on 7/26/09 (working though a backlog of reviews).

Pours out a deep amber in color. Very thin white head emerges on the pour and quickly settles to ring around the glass. When held to light the sides highlight amber but the body is fairly cloudy and not much light come shining though. No lacing is left.

This one smells sweet (as in sugary). I asked about how they brewed this and was told they start with a ton of sugar. Well it definitely shows as there is a ton of residual sugar left in the smell. Also notes of vanilla and caramel. A lot of alcohol can be smelled in this as well.

As with the smell, tons of sweetness. Sort of taste like it was bourbon barrel aged but was told it was just the residual sugar. The vanilla and caramel comes out more in the taste than in the smell. This finishes with some alcohol heat and bitterness. However, this is still a very smooth tasting beer.

Nice and thick and sticky from the sugar. The alcohol causes a warming sensation as the beer is swallowed but thankfully isn't as present as the nose would lead one to believe.

This was a great beer. Pretty easy drinking but still a sipper. The alcohol heat is nice and mellow here yet present enough to remind you that it's a 10% beer. It really is like an "Imperial DBA"

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Photo of kylelenk
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed both Batch no. 1 and 2 in a snifter

A- A thick, creamy, viscous copper pour with a blunt white head that leaves a little froth around the edges.

S- Right out of a sweet bakery. A fresh batch of caramel and angel food cake. Light scented bourbon and oak.

T- Very sweet up front with quite an absence of hops. Not as powerful as a barley wine and fits more with the description of a barrel aged bitter. Very thick caramel, burnt sugar, bourbon, and toffee taste.

M- Low carbonation and a very easy drinker. Hides the 12% well.

Easy to find and a very solid offering from FW. While it won't carry quite the allure of others from the program, DDBA isn't one worth passing over.

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Photo of nollie77
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Professor_Yeesh
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AMCimpi
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of diehl07
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Scotchboy
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared with my brother, poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint glasses.

A: Dark golden amber with good clarity, faint lacing trails on the glass along with alcohol feet.

S: Tons here...honey, vanilla, oak and woody notes, fruity esters (English ale yeast?), berry notes, bready malts, caramel and toffee, almonds, toasted coconut, sweetness, bourbon, pleasant alcohol.

T: Intense...honey, pleasant vanilla sweetness, and oak are all prominent. Toasted almond, caramel, toffee, roasted coconut, all evolve on the palate...bourbon emerges as it warms to room temp. Finishes a bit hot.

MF: Sweet, a bit hot, lower carbonation, creamy medium-to-full body.

O: FW kills every BA beer they do. This thing is pretty awesome if you like the BA stuff. The alcohol is manageable right now, and in a few months this thing should drink amazing.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz, black wine seal enclosure, capped bottle, 2013 vintage. Thanks to doktorzee for extracting this from SoCal for me.

This beer pours a hazy, dark bronzed amber hue, with one hefty finger of bubbly, weakly frothy beige head, which leaves some spectral wave splash lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of acrid grainy whisky barrel staves, sweet toffee, caramel nougat, and treacle-tinted malt, some earthy, gritty vegetal essence, a bit of buttered biscuit, vanilla extract, brown sugar syrup, and some mildly bitter citrus cream and piney hops. The taste is more malt sweetness up front - caramel candy, biscuity toffee, molasses - followed by a prominent vanillan oakiness, a hint of cinnamon, mixed, understated black fruit, a tame sugary nuttiness, still mild citrus and pine notes, and a sort of red wine alcohol astringency.

The bubbles are pretty well stamped down, out for the count, the body a sturdy medium-full weight, and fairly squishy in its rampant smoothness - or is that just an awkward creaminess? It finishes still sweet, sure, but tempered enough by the wood, hops, and alcohol to make a serious go of this.

One tasty, complex, and strong version of the style, among the last that I'd suspect to come out of this brewing region, what with their predilection for West Coast hop-pimpin'. Robust, thick, and rather enjoyable, the big-ass ABV well ingrained and generally obfuscated. A nice warm-up for a night on the local arts and lit scene with international sex pundit Dan Savage, methinks.

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Photo of n2185
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: pours a clear copper with a finger of off-white head that almost completely disappears with no lacing.

S: caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon dominate. There are also notes of toffee, burnt sugar, and booze.

T: similar to the aroma, caramel, vanilla, oak, toffee, burnt sugar, and bourbon dominate. There are some sweet bread flavors as well before a moderately boozy finish.

M: thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being too sticky or watery.

O: a great beer overall. Lots of great bourbon notes.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch No. 001, Bottled on: 06/15/2012

Pours a hazy garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, bourbon, oak, and caramel.

Tastes of sweet malts with some bourbon notes. Lead off with soft caramel and toasted bread notes leading into some oak and vanilla notes. This then leads into some creamy dark fruits with cherries, figs, and dates. Has a bit of a cream sherry type feel to it. An earthy bitterness comes through and rounds things out a bit. Ends with a bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty, but it needs a bit more bitterness to round it out. I might've sat on it too long.

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Photo of nataku00
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a slightly hazy amber/brown with little to no head. Some light lacing as you swirl the glass, but also a bit of alcohol legs.

Nose opens with fruity esters, red apple, a bit of toasted malt and caramel, light orange, oak, vanilla.

Taste follows the nose, fruity esters and caramel open up, with more toasted malt, toasted coconut, orange peel, toffee. Barrel comes through near the finish, a light charred wood and vanilla.

Medium body with a touch of carbonation. Very warming beer due to the high abv, though not too pronounced in the taste.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage from Total Wine Palm Springs for $17

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

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

A: Double DBA pours a dark and muddled caramel amber color with some reddish brown tint to it. The carbonation invokes about a quarter inch of dark khaki froth with some sufficient staying power. Light broken tracks of tan lace cling onto my glass after every sip.

S: Smells like rich toffee nougat laced with toasted coconut and vanilla spice. This is not distinctively Bourbon forward to me but I do get some of that aged oak presence. Really this has a big caramel malt sweetness accompanied with a dried fruit medley, doughy breads, and a touch of earthy hops surfacing. Some mild alcohol presence as well. Smells warm and inviting with some nice barreling attributes.

T: Taste bares no surprises as the buttery rich toffee malts carry over. Sweet breads with coconut flesh, brown sugar, toasted oak, and some subtle Bourbon vanilla spice all come together. The beer is big and rich yet never gets sickly so. Maintains a nice frothy consistency throughout and there is a lower level of hop bitterness that brings in some nice earthy mineral qualities to round out the other flavors. Finishes with a warming alcohol spiced kick. A lovely sipper for sure.

M: Heavy and filling at times however with a nice upper level of frothy carbonation that lends a nice creamy texture to the beer. Finishes with a bit of a drying lift and some warming alcohol effects.

D: Double DBA is another great barrel aged offering in the Firestone-Walker lineup. While the final blend doesn’t scream Bourbon to me I just can’t get enough of that coconut. I think that balance is the real testament to the brew masters as I appreciate the fact that this doesn’t pummel you over the head with the spirits like a truncheon yielding bobby. A bit sweeter than others so best to take some time with this one or share with friends. Shame they are discontinuing bottles.

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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 1,976 ratings
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