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 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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Photo of floridadrift
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice ale with equal balance and great caramel, toffee, vanilla notes. It's held up since 2013 quite nicely and the mouth feel was very smooth. Barrel presence in the nose and lightly on the back-end. Dangerously drinkable with a great presentation of a big head that disappears into a stickiness on the glass.

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Photo of PlayitAgain
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage in a snifter. Wow, based on some of the reviews of this being "Sucaba Lite" I tempered my expectations quite a bit. I am completely blown away by what I'm drinking. Tastes like the birthday cake that I always wanted. It's a real shame this got discontinued. Firestone knows how to barrel age a beer, and the result here is a real treat.

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Photo of Robomunky
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy brown, thin white head with some lacing. A tad sweet, plenty of malt, no bitterness or booziness. So damn good, I wish I could drink it all the time.

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4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a rich Amber body with a short dark tan head. Nose really sweeps me off my feet with tons of rich malt and sexy sweet bourbon notes. Toffee Carmel and sweet malt are so imbrassive to the wonderful smell. With first sip you get honey comb sweet bourbon notes and toffee. Dark fruits and sugar cookies dance on the palate as well. This is a very malty brew but in such a good way. Rich and slightly spicy on the finish. Wow, I wish I had a cellar full of this one as this will undoubtedly age with charm.

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Photo of markgugs
3.14/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps a terrible keg, keg line, pour, not sure, but this looked like muddy water (literally), smelled like alcohol and brown sugar, tasted like whiskey and caramel, and those were the positives. Couldn't finish my 5 oz pour.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Whoa. Caramel apple and bourbon on the nose. Sweetness is prominent. Feel is silky. The alcohol is well hidden. Consumed with smoked baby back ribs. A beautiful pairing. Very very good.

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Photo of Marius
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am usually a sucker for bourbon barrel-aged barley wines, but this one blows most of them out of the water. Rich caramel, bourbon, vanilla and oak notes.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark rusty orange red with some light sediment and an off-white finger of airy bubbles that dissipate rapidly.

Tons of caramel, toffee, and candied molasses-like sweetness with a slight burn of bourbon.

The faint dark fruit aroma develops more in the flavor, the caramel and toffee sweetness is still very upfront. Toasted malts are bludgeoned by the many complexities of this beer, but still apparent. Bourbon gently washes away the sweetness and adds notes of vanilla and oak to overall flavor.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, big, chewy, sweet & toasty.

Overall, another world-class beer from a world-class brewery.

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Photo of Mattygross44
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best smoothest beers i have ever had! I bought 6 of these 3 being 2013 3 being 2014 and been sipping on 1 about every 3 days.. great experience!! Worth the money

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color with bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The nose consisted mostly of booze. The malts and any resemblance of a barleywine is largely muted.

Taste - In the front, I really detect the booze. Banana, nuts, vanilla, and oak linger in the background. Despite the heavy booze, all of the other notes are allowed to shine. A boozy warm finish occurs at the end.

Mouthfeel - There was an appropriate level of thickness with little carbonation.

Overall - This FW barleywine does not come close to Sucaba, but few beers do.

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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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