Double Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 336 | Ratings: 1,965
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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Photo of Amorphousrock
1.76/5  rDev -58.7%
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 +0.9%
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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Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Photo of RyanK252
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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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Photo of Jimmys
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of rand
4.56/5  rDev +7%
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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Photo of Zythophile
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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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Photo of Rihup
5/5  rDev +17.4%
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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Photo of TrojanRB
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
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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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 +9.6%
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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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.23/5  rDev -24.2%
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 -4.2%
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 +6.3%
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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Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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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Photo of raynmoon
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage. Had this beer many times but never reviewed it.

Looks perfect. Deep, red, amber color, slight haze, but mostly clear with a tan colored head that is sticking around nicely.

Smell has lots of light fruitiness to it. Almost like an aged hoppy beer. It mixes in with the oak and vanilla nicely. A little coconut perhaps, but mostly fruits, like apricots, grapes and berries.

The taste is MUCH more oak and coconut. The fruitiness is almost undetectable. Almost no booze at all. Very complex.

on the heavier side of medium, not too mouth-coating.

Overall a great beer from Firestone, like always. The only improvement I could see would be implementing some of the candy-bourbon notes from Helldorado, perhaps some brandy influence. Maybe the new 2-year version will be like that.

Either way, awesome.

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Photo of svenness
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 Bottle

L: Chestnut, opaque, thin head
S: Bourbon, lots of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, raisin
T: Starts with some sweetness, followed by booze and finishes with strong barrel character
F: Full bodied, nice amount of sweetness, moderate alcohol heat, low carbonation
O: Not a huge barleywine drinker but will be seeking out more english style barleywines after enjoying his one.

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Photo of imstimpy
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The opening of a Vintage box always excites me. The box, the waxed cap, the bespoke label all add to the experience. This is a 2014 Vintage, poured into an Adelbert's Tulip glass.

The look is somewhere between an amber and a brown ale in color. The head is almost non-existent, with fine bubbles that lace at the edge of the glass and are locked into the body of the liquid.

The nose is caramel, toffee, a bit of oak, and dried fruit. It smells of a fine alcohol common of some ports and many barleywines.

The taste is delicious and sweet. It is light and hides the alcohol. Caramel and toffee, again, vanilla, dried fruit. The caramel and toffee are most prevalent when cold, with oak coming forward as it warms. There is something about the finish that doesn't sit right with me, like bitter apricots, maybe it is the malt?

The feel is clean, but coats the mouth with a light oily sensation. The carbonation is extremely light, near non-existent.

Overall, a very good beer that I am happy to have experienced. If you see it, buy it and age it.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage reviewed 1/1/15

L: Deep ruby-amber. Looks viscous from the start.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee, bourbon-soaked oak. Caramelized wort with faint grassy hops. A hefty dose of booze. A dry oaky character emerges more as this beer warms.

T: 4 Toasty, sweet and boozy, without being harsh. Certainly has the dextrinous malt taste of a hearty British ale. A bit nutty, with slight earthy hops balancing it out, and a faint taste of oak. Very sweet, but a bit lacking in depth.

F: Medium-full body, though a bit lighter than expected. Leaves a slick, oily sensation on the palate in the finish. Very little detectable heat from the alcohol; very moderate carbonation. I find the mouthfeel to be very appropriate for the style.

O: Not my favorite FW barrel-aged beer, but a pretty dope barleywine nonetheless. I would have liked to see a bit more balance, but heck, it's an English Barleywine: it's gonna be on the sweet side.

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Photo of gatornation
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured a dark copper brown color with a thin beige head , smells of fruit,oak malts and delicious bourbon taste is superb with mellow bourbon ,vanilla oak, and a faint berry , mouth fell is warm and tingly perfect BA so smooth each sip is to savor

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Photo of Tele
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle (6.14.14)
Consumed: 11.12.15

A: 4.5 Pours a clear, reddish-brown with. The light tan head lasts a couple minutes and leaves moderate lace behind.

S: 4.25 Smell is like a dialed back Abacus. There’s bourbon and vanilla, of course, but these elements are integrated into toffee, caramel, spice, and a bit of charred oak – pretty classic FW. Overall, it smells great, but there’s a very subtle soy sauce aroma that puts it just below other FW barrel aged beers.

T: 4.25 Like the nose, DDBA is really nice and well balanced. Less sweet than Stickee Monkee and good barrel flavor. There’s more berries and toffee with a light bitterness on the finish. Fortunately, the soy sauce aroma does not show up on the palate. More malt character also shows up on the finish with some roasty, coffee flavors.

M: 4.75 Mouthfeel is one of my favorite parts of this beer. It has really satisfying body and carbonation without being too heavy. Highly drinkable.

O: 4.25 Another excellent barrel aged beer from Firestone Walker. A little less in your face than some of their other beers, but it seems to lack some complexity too. Still really tasty and interesting even if its’ not quite up to the level of Abacus and Parabola.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh I will miss you! While my love for Barleywines falls short of my yearning for BBA Stouts. This beer really nailed everything I like about the style.

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Photo of rob99er
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best Barleywines I've had. I shared this with a friend over the weekend, both id us loved it. I have one left to age. It sucks they don't make this one anymore.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The 2014 vintage.. Holy smokes this is fan-freaking-tastic!!!!!! I have not been overly impressed with barleywines but this surpasses all expectations. The highlight is the supreme drinkability/smoothness of the bourbon barrel especially at 12%abv
L: pours darker golden with a small head that fades fast. In the glass it is dark ruby red, flirting with light rusty brown.
S: wow, just heavenly bourbon, smells so smooth.
T: oh man, just awesome. Smooth bourbon, nice brown sugar sweetness, also some melon sweetness.
F: velvet smooth, no booze, syrup feel.

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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 1,965 ratings.
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