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Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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757 Reviews
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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale

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

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerManDan on 08-24-2002

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Reviews: 757 | Ratings: 2,482
Photo of goofyguy6782
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorite beers. If I'm having a hard time making up my mind on what I want to get, this is one beer that I can always rely on for all around good times. The first time I tried it was on tap at a Ducks game in Anaheim and I was first taken in by it's sweet smell. Then I took a sip and have been hooked ever since

This beer goes down smoothly and in a very welcome way, likes to linger on your tongue. I'd gladly recommend this beer to anyone looking to try craft beer.

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Photo of seedyone
4.84/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

05/14/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. This has to be one of the best beers I've ever had. It exudes confidence. Nothing showy but everything to write home about. If you're not familiar with bitters/ESBs, this would be great starting point. Mind you, it may just set the bar too high for the next one you try, so why bother? I'll take this all day long. I'm thinking about moving to the house next to where this is made.

Aug 2013. On cask at Rattle n Hum, NYC. What a wonderful surprise walking into my favorite place & seeing this. Only recently tried it for the first time on tap & we became fast friends. This time, it's like meeting that gal you flirted with last week & seeing her anew, but now, she's wearing her favorite dress & it's become yours too. You want to think it's just for you, but in reality, that's just the away she is...& just when you thought you'd found a near perfect match. At moments like this I wonder if I'm just easy to please...or if my karma for the week is paying off. All that know me will say it's neither, so I guess this is just one damn good beer, pure & simple.

Apr 2014 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Again & again. Nice to know some things don't change. Thank you Firestone Walker guys.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.72/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped the cap off the bomber and immediately smelled oaked barreling. A good sign...hehe...The appearance looks like Stone Pale Ale, a little darker hue, head is tall at first, but doesn't last too long. Probably about 5 minutes max. The smell is awesome. Great oaked characteristics and caramel backgrounds with awesome spice hints. The taste is just the same. It's like a carbonated, oaked version of Stone's pale ale. Very, very tasty! The mouthfeel is heavy and perfectly carbonated in my opinion. The drinkability you ask? I could drink this all day! A very fine offering that I hope gets to a wider market soon! One of my new favorite American beers. Leads me to wonder what an Oaked Arrogant Bastard might taste like...

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Photo of drummstikk
4.62/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Immediate rose, honeysuckle, and toast, followed by pleasant tartness, medium toasted bread, oak-derived vanillin, and dry floral hops. Esters are immediate and clear, but never overpowering, while caramel malts just tickle your tongue. Such a welcome respite from the onslaught of American Pale Ales! Finish is an aromatic maltiness any Brit expatriate would appreciate. Color is dark straw and brilliant clear. Body is medium to light, with oak esters and tannins providing a bit of balance to the malt-heavy brew. This beer is underestimated by hop-addled West-Coasters. Try DBA first, in the afternoon, in a garden, with the sun setting. Think on your wife, your loved ones. Think on your life. Amazing!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sort of an underappreciated brew, IMO, whose nuances are probably easily missed. My favorite part about this -- and I pick it up more in bottled versions than draught -- is the light vanilla note the Firestone Union oak barrels offer. It mixes so well with the toffee malt notes and really makes something unique. Nice noble hop contributions too, and really overall just a super clean beer that well reflects what English ale is all about.

(Bumping this up across the board, as I've come to especially appreciate this brew, the likes of which are almost non-existent these days. Great noble hop notes, captures the English ale yeast contribution to a tee, and the malt profile is delightful, toasty, lightly sweet, and just a bit of that intrigue from the Union barrels. Trying to start giving smaller beers their due -- may as well start here!)

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Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a JK beer -- DL likes it a lot!!!!! Very subtle , mild w/ a bit of a bitter bite at the end! (Try to say that 5x in a row after drinking 5 of these!). He wants to get it again.

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Photo of microbrew52
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy thick dark brown. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt and burnt toffee aroma that's a bit sweet smelling with just enough roasted character. If you have the cask next to the keg you can really taste the difference. The oak works well with this beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is my first FW beer. I like the their use of multiple specialty grains as well as the barrel fermenting. It offers up an interesting tasting experience.

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Photo of Jamie134
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a British Pale Ale despite others believing it is an amber. Amber merely describes the color. Website says all imported malt and hops. The result is apparent in the taste. It is more of a low-key session beer, highly drinkable. The oak fermentation also contributes a smoothness and sweetness to the beer. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a clear amber-gold color with a quick fading light tan head.

Sweet caramel malts dominate the aroma along with vanilla, and grapefruit, orange, and grassy hops.

The taste is much matches the aroma exactly. Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, honey, grapefruit, orange, and grassy hops blend perfectly. Smooth and well-balanced finish.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This is a very nice English Pale Ale from Firestone Walker. Well-balanced, flavorful and so sessionable. I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "Double Barrel Ale"
12 fl. oz. can, "CANNED ON 05/25/16" and sampled on 07-15-16.
From a mixed 12-pak for $18.99 @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE

As a fan of English ales, DBA used to be one of my go-to's. When I met David Walker at a Pennsylvania release party for Firestone-Walker, I mentioned that to him, and he questioningly noted "But you haven't had it before?", meaning it'd never been available in PA. For a moment I was confused by that myself, and then I remembered - I had to drive to State Line Liquors in Maryland to get it. Ha, I thought it was that good!!! (Of course State Line also had a huge range of other stuff I couldn't get at home anyway).

The fruitiness from the yeast is immediately there (berries, apple), but I like to let it warm up a little to allow the malt to come through more fully. It's grainy, caramelish, toffee-ish, subtly nutty, and even a slight touch chocolatey. To me, those two things make the beer, but there's also a touch of woody dryness that you get in the finish along with the floral and leafy hops. It's perfectly balanced in my opinion, as well as rounded (meaning that all of the components are there, presenting themselves clearly). It's remarkably drinkable, not going too full in flavor, but offering a very rich character overall. Really nicely done!

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Photo of allengarvin
4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bright gold colored, with a low but dense head atop it. Delightful aroma: good toasty malt mixed with floral hops--very British strong-pale-ale. The taste gives a nice bitterness upfront, giving way to solid malt and flowery, grassy hop taste. A little bit of yeasty fruitiness sneaks in as well. The body is substantial though not really very heavy--a beer than be quaffed in certain circumstances, but not one after the other. One of the best Firestones I've had. They've got the English ESB style down pat in this beer.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zorro for the 12 ounces.

Appearance: Dark brown copper color, small head settles fast into nothing. A little off-white foam is left behind.

Smell: Sweet carmel malts, also toasted, very nice.

Taste: Also very pleasing. Bready, toasted malts, sweet carmel flavors, tea leaves and a sizable hop finish that is not overdone, but is prominant. Flavors all work well together. I don't get much of a woody flavor, though.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, but late prickly carbonation picks it up, saves the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very pleasing amber ale, one that is not afraid to showcase both malt and hops. Recommended.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish-brown. No head. Light bodied. Rim of lacing on sides of the glass.

Smell: Malts dominate. Caramel, biscuit, and cocoa hit my nose. This is somewhat reminiscent of a porter. It really smells delicious. The hops hint of apple peel.

Taste: DBA taste woody and herbal. It's a bit like a black tea with a cocoa aftertaste. This ale is very light and well balanced. It's malty with a refreshing hop backing.

Mouthfeel: Light and taste good when swished.

Drinkability: It's a really fine unique ale with a lot of character. If you like malts and beers that harken back to a more English flavor profile buy a six pack of this. You won't regret it. It's definitely a good night cap.

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Photo of jfvarela
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper amber color

Smell: Very mild - pale malts, caramel malts, slightly biscuity, slight coffee - vaguely English hops

Taste: Caramel and pale malts, toasted grains, lightly toasted biscuits, and coffee - dry, with minimal sweetness - minimal bitterness, too - some English hops
Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, very drinkable

Overall: Very Good

This is a very good English Pale Ale I've had. I enjoyed this beer very well

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had thisd in SLC at the bayou and I have never heard of it. As I was drinking t I was thinking a hoppy red ale. Suprised to see it was an English Pale.

appearance: nice beutiful red-amberish color

smell: strong hop aroma and citrus notes

taste: liek a solid IPA, but good pine/grapefruit flavor, very solid IPA along with all of their others. decent carmael sweetness.

mouthfeel: medium bodied, more balanced than torpedo and copeletey different flavor

drinkability: overall a decent PA, and I would recommend.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really interesting because they take the pale ale and throw it through 60 gallon oak barrels to ferment--and are the only American brewery to do so. It's an English Pale Ale, or the Old World Pale to Pale 31's New World.

I asked about the difference in fermenting this in oak barrels and aging big beers in Bourbon. This process is so delicate it takes a lot of science to vet the barrels, it's a very intensive process because of the low ABV. When you're talking about big beers, like Parabola, there's much less of a process because the high ABV kills any possible pathogens. They get the barrels from Coopers in Missouri, and retire them after 4 months.

A: The beer looks a lot like Pale 31, but it's more brown. Head lacing and retention are very similar 4.5

S: Very malty aroma. The oak is present, but not dominant. Light hop qualities. 4

T: Really nice malty beer with definite hop quality. It's piney, but oaky. The taste is so clean it's very impressive. Not a lot going on, but what is happening is great 4.5

MF: Low carbonation, which is right along with the English style. Very drinkable. 4.5

Pairing: This was paired with buckwheat cavatelli, saffron-braised chicken with English peas. The buttery, salty food paired wonderfully with the subtle, malty beer. It really was like a deconstructed chicken pot pie with a really drinkable pale ale. 4.5

O: I much preferred this to the Pale 31. It was very drinkable and the amount of attention they pay to the beer shows. It's wonderful. 4.5

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle without a freshness date pours a pretty clear, light amber color with a fluffy tan foam. Decent lacing and leaves a nice sheen.

Honey, caramel and toast on the nose. A nice complexity of malts, maybe some biscuit and special B. Wonderful citric and grassy hop notes really keep this a pleasant sniffer throughout the tasting.

This one is like an English malt bill meets American hops. Nice and very tasty. Caramel and toast are well balanced by some citric hoppy goodness. Clean and crisp - super easy to drink. Would make a terrific sessionable six-pack purchase, I really enjoyed it. Quite a nice pub/cask feel to the beer.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber with brilliant orange and ruby highlights. One finger of loose white head that quickly receded, but still looked very nice in the tulip. Mild citrus aroma with a touch of grapefruit.

Moderate carbonation and a light, creamy mouthfeel. Lots of biscuit malt flavor up front with a touch of caramel, vanilla, and some lemony citrus. Slightly bitter, dry finish. Although I don't prefer the more biscuity styles, this beer was very clean, well-balanced, and easy-drinking. Not much "wow factor", but I would definitely enjoy this one again -- great craftsmanship.

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Photo of Franchise
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering picked up in California pours a copper color leaving a thick tan head frothy and strong. The aroma has a slight sour tinge, flour, caramel, honey, airy.

The taste is delicious, starts sweet with a caramel feel, moving to a soft hoppy, earthy, sour twinge. This is a real drinkable beer one that at 5% is easily a session quality not a lot going on that clean, refreshing, suttle oak, with a great fruity mild bitterness.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with great clarity, a descent white head that fades quickly, but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is bready, english malts, toast and faint orange hints with some herbal, tea like hops peeking through.

Carmamel, toffee, and toast with citrus tea and grassy hints in the finish. Very well balanced and refreshing.

Crisp, medium bodied, refreshing with a smooth finish.

Overall, a great tasting, great balanced, and well brewed beer.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

Pours a golden amber with a one and half finger off-white head. A bit of lacing is evident as the head slowly recedes. A pleasant aroma of subtle oak, light notes of vanilla, and hints of caramel. Very unique mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy on the edges that lends to a brew that is fairly medium bodied especially for a pale ale, however the carbonation is crisp and clean. Extremely smooth, coats the mouth. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, charred oak, herbs and flora, and bread crust can all be found in this brew. Subtle, but extremely complex. Frankly much more complex than countless brews with better ratings. This brew is a true triumph.

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Photo of fx20736
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Coppery red amber, stiff cumulus head. Aroma of freshly turned earth. Taste of nutty, earthy maltiness with a touch of cocoa like alkaline bitterness. Mouthfeel is frothy and effortless. This beer is superb.

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Photo of mynie
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A grocery store staple here in the Valley...

Pours a dark rust with a decent but quickly dissapating head. Pretty, sparkly, and crystal clear.

Smells of wonderfully balanced caramel bread malt and light west coast hops. Very chewy and sweet, even if it's a bit subdued and sessiony.

Tastes like it smells. Big wonderbread malt up front, doughy and sweet, backed up by lightly bitter caramel malt and some single west coast hop that's a little graprefuity. Large complexity from a small beer, all you can really ask for in a session. n

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During my visit in AZ a Total Wine and more opened. Nice. During a three week visit I get to taste a lot of awesome beers otherwise not available in Europe.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Comes out clear dark golden amber. nice two finger head leaving some nice lacing.

It's light on the nose but still loads of stuff going on. Floral notes, caramel malts and some nice hop aroma.

Flavors on this one are great. Loads of malty goodness, a little sweetness and a nice amount of hop.

More carbonation present than in your average English Pale Ale. A decent full body with a neutral finish.

I loved this one. It was just what I was looking for at the moment I drank it. Having had a ton of aggresive West Coast IPA's this one really presented me the variation I was craving. Low ABV makes this a great session beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trying to catch up on my notes from the past 6 weeks or so... Reviewed from notes.
Got this from Whitebricke-- thanks Ted. Poured into standard pint glass.

Looks terrific. Seriously. Very nice color-- a light golden copper. Three finger white head with great lacing and retention.

Smells sweet. Nice grapefruit and citrus hop notes. Good bitterness. Dry finish. Very pleasant and easy-drinking.

Feels great. Medium body is spot on. Easy drinking doesn't even cover it-- this is fantastic. Extremely well-made and delicious.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,482 ratings.
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