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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: 330 | Ratings: 1,943
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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Photo of edhizdeid
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Low carb, ruby color. This beer goes down way too easily for 12%. The alcohol is well hidden. The texture becomes a little syrupy as it warms up but this is a good thing as it brings forward the caramel notes.
A beer I was not familiar with but that I would encourage anybody in BA beers to look for.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've consumed three of the 2014 version. Bourbon and vanilla are the tastes I get most. I like it most warmed in a 6 oz snifter to 50 degrees. This is a lovely beerl

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Photo of tviz33
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage from Rattle N Hum in Manhattan. Served back to back with Schlafly's 2008 Oak Age Barleywine. Firestone outshines Schlafly here by far. This is a lovely beer.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

served on draft

appears a clear copper in color, no head. amazing aroma of vanilla, whiskey, and caramel. same flavors in the taste. body was thinner than I hoped.

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Photo of badgustav
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - clear and ruby brown, with a beige head that settles to a light foam

Aroma - sweet, malty, low to no hop bite. Hints of raisin and plum

Flavour - Rich, malty, caramel, notes of toffee and fig. Sweet, rich, with an underlying hint of alcohol

Feel - thick, rich, and lasting. Finishes on a sweet note.

This beer is wonderful, curious how it will age.

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Photo of mverity
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orangey amber with good legs, fair lacing and a thin collar persisting. Aroma is earthy and some citrus hop, lots of oakiness, caramel maltiness and vanilla. Taste is very much like the aroma: sweet toasty bread/caramel malt laced with spicy citrus, vanilla, wet earthy/floral hops. Light body that makes it crisp with the low carbonation.

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Photo of Tbub18
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lucky to have this one on tap--have an unopened bottle in my cellar. Really, really surprised by how good this was. Great caramel nose, booze was well hidden. This thing is only gonna get better with age. Really great stuff.

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Photo of Original_Gravity
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opened the 2012 this weekend, which was outstanding. Sipping on the 2013 on tap at a local watering hole at time of this posting, which is also fantastic. I highly recommend cellaring this for 2-3 years.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown. Shows definite ruby when held to the light with clarity increasing as the beer settles. Nice 1+ finger cream colored head. Some fine lacing left behind as the head dissipates.

Big toffee and caramel aroma. Some bourbon notes underneath. Sugar cane and sweet malt. Mildly boozy but less than a 12% abv might be expected to be.

Taste begins like the aroma, big toffee and caramel. Sweet caramel malt. Very smooth bourbon is noticeable but restrained. Candied dates, hints of butterscotch(not in a diacetyl way, though), and dark molasses. Mild alcohol at the end. Flavors blend together nicely.

Rich, sweet mouth feel going towards syrupy. Medium carbonation. Despite the thick mouth feel, the flavors don't linger.

The is another hit from FW. Big flavors that blend together and balance each other. Very smooth and even with the high abv it is very drinkable.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great complexity and variety of amber shades. Sunset cherry and ruby highlights. Appealing off-white head and everlasting effervescence. Toffee and butterscotch could be interpreted as some vanilla, coconut, oak, orange. Full body flavor, slick, and good amount of carb. Get some buttered corn, some coarse wood grain, vinous and light char. Rich toffee malts and the slightest of hop twang.

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Photo of scotorum
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Clear copper with a two inch thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Grain spirits.

t: Bourbon or rum up front with a fine smoothness, followed by a significant hop bite, and throat burn on swallow. Boozy finish.

m: Full and very smooth with wonderful body. Some carbonation tingle.

o; A top flight barrel aged Imperial bitter with an amazing mouthfeel and flavor to burn. Could well be the best out there in its style.

 548 characters

Photo of Radome
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage, poured from a bomber bottle into a globe glass.

L - Medium amber color with some orange when held up to light. Just the slightest haziness. Off-white head is initially thick and active but fades to a thin sheet and big lacing on the edge of the glass. Light "legs" on the glass when it is swirled.

S - Amazing aroma of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, bourbon. No hops or yeast contributors to the nose, but alcohol definitely comes through.

T - Malt and barrel flavors totally dominate. The malt is sweet, biscuit- and graham cracker-like. From the other flavors, this appears to have been aged in bourbon barrels, getting a sweet, toffee, caramel and vanilla-infused character. Some sweet alcohol in the lingering finish.

F - Thick, mouthcoating body. Plenty of hops bitterness in the mid-palate, despite lack of obvious hops flavors or aromas. Low, smooth carbonation. Mild alcohol burn, but surprisingly low for such a high ABV.

O - Very sweet and sticky, but the flavors and aromas are so amazing that it's easy to forgive its lack of balance.

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Photo of MistahBeah
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Ruby brown with a half an inch of khaki colored head which dissipates rather quickly into a film on the surface. Good amount of sediment throughout.

Aroma: Very fruity. Tropical notes of coconut and pineapple and citrusy lime. Honey and baked crackers. Bourbon, vanilla and sweet toffee and caramel.

Taste: Impressed with the amount of fruitiness interlaced throughout the sweet caramel/toffee flavors. At times enhancing or balancing the sweet side. Picking up coconut, vanilla, lime, Graham crackers, bourbon. Lots going on and all of it is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied with a complex dry finish.

Overall: A knockout. Could have been overly sweet but it dries right out in the finish. More fruit than I would have thought which enhances the flavor. Complex and delicious.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of nice caramelized malt with nice toffee notes and light residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by caramelized malt with some toffee notes, light biscuit notes and just the right amount of residual sugar. Body is about average with good carbonation and light warming alcohol. This beer is super well-balanced with just the right amount of complexity and great drinkability.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy dark ruby red color with thin lacing, minimal carbonation, and very viscous looking.

S - Bourbon, toasted caramel, toffee, vanilla, and oak.

T - Lots of toasted toffee, vanilla, caramel, oak, and bourbon from start to finish. Alcohol effervescence is prominent along with alcohol warming, light citrus bitterness at the very end and lingering alcohol warmth.

M - Thick, full body, sticky, carbonation is silky smooth.

O - Very boozy and complex.

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Photo of Mgm54
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2013 release, so roughly 1.5 years of age on it. It drank exquisitely, with almost the perfect amount of bourbon flavor and smell backed by a solid malt backbone. Highly recommended seeking this beer out.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Color is bight caramel with dark red hues. Pours only a very thin head that quickly dissaptes to outer ridges of the glass.

Aroma- Lots of malt sweetness with toffee aromas and a little bit of bourbon sweetness as well.

Taste- Mild bourbon sweetness up front with coconut, vanilla, and toffee showing up. Some oak and herbal hop are subtle, but provide a perfect balance to the sweet flavors.

Feel- Very smooth, mild carbonation, and no cloying malts whatsoever. No alcohol presence as well.

Overall- Definitely a world class beer. The bourbon presence is subtle, but the flavors imparted (vanila, coconut,etc) blend perfectly with the toffee malts and oak. Perfectly balanced, all the flavors enhance each other, and the finish is smooth and clean. Its a shame this will no longer be bottled.

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Photo of Sandalwood
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013, one year old. Pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a small off white head. The odor is barrel like, coconut, bourbon, dark fruits, fig, dates, raisin, whiskey, slight citrus lemon. The taste is coconut, bourbon, dried fruits, fig, plum, raisin, barrel like, apricot, malty, sugar, slightly honey, barely any alcohol taste, a lot of different notes as warms up, not bitter at all.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike. 2012 vintage. Dark amber-orange pour with a quickly fading two finger beige head with decent lacing. The nose is bold and complex with tons of buttery toffee and caramel along with hints of oak, vanilla, coconut, and subtle dark fruits. The taste mirrors the nose with huge caramel and molasses up front along with hints of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, toasted coconut, booze, tobacco, and oak. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and smooth, but warming finish. It gets crazy drinkable as it warms. Overall, this is a bold and flavorful beer that just kept improving as I drank it.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Somehow this one gets lost in the hubbub over Sucaba. To be fair, I've had bottles that weren't so good, others that were fantastic. When it prime form, this thing screams brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, and even coconut (a note that FW seems particularly adept at coaxing out of their barrel-aged brews, and which I adore). Apparently on hiatus for a while now, but I have a feeling it'll pop back up, as it's too good banish forever.

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Photo of TheyCallMeYukon
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

Appearance: Has a hazy orange glow with some copper tones. Poured totally opaque which is always welcome in a barrel aged beer. Topped beautifully with a creamy copper/orange head which dissipated to nothing very quickly.
Aroma: Smells of dark ripe fruits (figs & Dates), Bourbon whiskey, and slightly sweet from lightly toasted malt.
Taste: Taste mirrors the aroma with some alcohol burn coming in from the 12% and the lighter body of this brew. It has a semi-cloying sweetness that I didn't expect from it. The up front on this beer is smooth and amazing, but the finish sticks in the back of the throat and is a little rough.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation upfront that seemed to fade very quickly which is why I'm assuming the rough alcohol burn lingered a little too long on the end.
Overall: I liked it and thought it was fairly impressive, not very familiar with the style but I enjoyed it. My only wish is for a little more carbonation and aging to get the back end a little smoother.

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Double Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 1,943 ratings.
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