Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
755 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
755
Ratings:
2,479
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.65%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
374
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 755 | Ratings: 2,479
Photo of claytri
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich amber with an off-white head. The beer has a pleasant aroma of balanced malt and hops. The beer has a biscuity malt flavor with a nice floral hop finish. The feel is medium and dry. I found this to be a very pleasant and drinkable beer. It was actually very reminiscent of a British Bitter.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper/orange almost red color in the glass. Good initial head.

Smelled like a proper California ale.

The taste; Firestone either uses a whole lot of caramel malt, or else this ale goes through a decoction mash. Serious caramel flavor brilliantly balanced with good hop bitterness. Damn fine in my opinion.

Felt very nice in my mouth. Felt nicer going down the hatch

I could drink many of these. I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to try it. I think the packaging turned me off. No matter, for now I know!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear, bright amber body with thin, creamy, white cap. Spotty lacing is left along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, melted butter, bready yeast, and oak. It's hard to explain, but the smell of DBA is just very unique and very enjoyable. Maybe I'm just a homer.

Taste: Similar to the smell, with warm buttery bread and caramel jumping out first and mildly hoppy finish. Oak can be found throughout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a crisp, clean finish. Carbonation produces a minor nip, and is pretty low for the style. Light-medium body.

Drinkability: My go-to amber (even though it's actually an English pale ale). The flavor is simple and delicious, and the body is light enough to allow you to drink as many as you'd like. I think FW really excels in this category with all of their beers.

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Photo of dfitch81
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BA classifies this as an American Amber/Red Ale, but it tastes more like an English Pale Ale (or maybe an ESB), which is how the brewers describe it.
Poured with a head about two fingers thick, average retention.
Smell, though not strong, is pleasant and tea-like. Taste is nicely subdued at first, with more of the tea-like flavor suggested by the smell. Juicy hops come out near the end - flavorful but not overwhelming. Nice, satisfying finish with no unpleasant aftertaste.
Overall a very satisfying beer, and one that I liked more the more I drank. Too bad it isn't a little cheaper - I feel slightly guilty spending $4.99...

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Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass. From notes.
A: Pours a deep, grainy haze, that has a thick and malty body. The head, which is off white, holds very well through the course of the beer. The lacing is average for the style.
S: A nice and roasted aroma, this shows there is strong malt base on this brew. A bit of a faded hop nose.
T/M: The front of this brew is a nice and full mouthfeel, that is still on the lighter side and has a nice complexity to it. Although the hops are a little faded, I can see how they once would have shined through. The mouthfeel brings a nice lingering flavor of caramelized malts and a bit of candy.
D: This could be a regular session ale for myself, If I were not only limited to one bottle. Very enjoyable and would seek this one out.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - light amber with a thin head that stayed on top of the beer for the entire duration. Nice lacing for the style.

S - C hop aromas with toasted malt and some sweetness.

T - Very flavorful! A little bit of C hops with toasted and carmel malts.

M - A little thin. I wish this beer had just a touch more body.

D - I love Session beers and this is definately one of them to keep.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear brown ale, dark for a pale ale.

Smell is very malty with some perfume and sweetness, and some hops. Faint wood and vanilla scent from the French Oak barrels they make this stuff in.

Taste sweet malt and bitter hops fight each other to a draw leaving a pleasant range of flavors. Vanilla, oak, caramel, malt, tea, citrus, all show up in the taste. Starts sweet and ends dry and woody.

Mouthfeel is full and a bit astringent.

Super drinkable, my favorite local brew, superior to SNA Pale Ale in my opinion.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper color with modest white chunky head. Modest lacing. Smell is mainly of piney hops with a light maltiness in the background. Taste is a superb combination of malt and hops in an exquistite balance with neither dominating the other. Finish is good , but not up tho the promise of the taste with the hoppiness falling a bit short. All things considered, this was a great beer. I wish I had bought more than one.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this from the bottle and on tap at the brewery.

The filtered (regular) DBA has a crisper flavor than the unfiltered version. There’s a nice and toasty malt flavor to this honey-blonde looking beer, with some sweet nutty flavor and a touch of honey on the finish. Simply put, it’s a delight to drink.

(9/2011) One of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries. Of course, I could say that about any number of their beers.

Gave this one a vigorous pour into a tall Moonlight Ale pint glass. I immediately get an inch of foam. Big, billowy bubbles topping a wonderful caramel brown colored beverage.

Looks great, smells great too. I get a mellow caramel roast on the nose and full flavors from first taste. Warm, pleasant mouthfeel. Muted hints of oak/barrel-aging—but ever-so slightly, which should be expected since this beer isn’t aged, merely resting for a brief nap. Very mild, pleasant, some well-worn leather and light malts. Overall just a well-rounded, smooth, incredibly balanced beer. Not big, hoppy, or otherwise extreme—just excellent.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright amber body, excellent clarity, topped by three fingers of fluffy white foam.

Big bakery/bread/yeast aroma, hint of candy sweetness, very inviting.

Big sweet malt beginning. Earthy herbal hops. So English I think I got a whiff of sulfur.

Full mouthfeel, almost chewy. Solidly drinkable.

A fine English pale ale. The lion beats the bear this time. Give it a try.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.29/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: A very clear copper/mahogany colored body with a light tan head that recedes to a spit-bubble film. Random splotches of lacing that look like dragons and weird animals. Like looking at clouds, your imagination goes through the roof.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and toffee, wrapped in an oak casing.

Taste: Rarely do I mention mouthfeel in the taste attribute, but this is so damn smooth! Ok, toasted malts, oak wood, toffee. Slight hop bitterness like black tea. So balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, dry.

Overall: Absolutely my kind of beer. Balanced, loads of flavor, decent ABV. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pretty clear golden amber with a small head that unfortunately melts away to nothing.
Aromas of sweet toasted amber malts.
Flavor is sweet toasted amber malts balanced very well with citrus hops....finally giving way to the citrus malts to leave a clean and drying taste in the mouth.
Aftertaste is sweet and drying...
Makes a nice thirst quencher.
---
It's May, 2007 and I have to re-evaluate my review of this beer.
There is a tremendous amount of depth and flavor in it along with the barrel smokiness they are famous for that elluded me when I originally tried it. I'm finding it an excellent summer brew that is very sessionable and feel fortunate I have a store that sells all Firestone 6'r's at $5.99. This and their pale ale will probably be my go to beers this summer.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear reddish/orange color. A dense two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Near perfect lacing. This is a looker.
S: Bread, caramel malt. A bit of honey sweetness. Floral, piny hops. The wood is most apparent in the nose. Very nice.
T: A nice malty sweetness. Caramel malt, bread and biscuit. Some faint fruity flavors going on with light apples. A light hoppness as well. Floral, gassy, piny, citrus flavors with a lingering dryness. Excellent balance, and very nice.
M/D: A medium body and near perfect carbonation. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. After the initial sweetness, this finishes with a dry bite. So easy and enjoyable to drink. All day with this.

I love this. The barrel treatment is so delicate, but works very well. Almost like a Burton Ale. Really, an excellent example of a Bitter or English Pale Ale. I would love to try this on cask. As is, still excellent.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would like to preface this review by stating that I think it's absurd for "drinkablility" to accout for only 10% of the overall ranking of a beer on this site. No matter how "over the hop" it may be, the purpose of every beer is to be drunk. I think that appearance and smell could both stand a demotion in favor of the ultimate characteristic of a great beer. Having gotten that off my chest, here goes...

Appearance: Fantastic color, beautiful brown to orange, thin head, low bubble activity. A little better head retention and we'd go higher.

Smell: Smells great, but weak. I can detect the oakiness, but that's about all. This may be due to the fact that I had a Stone 10th anniversary IPA earlier.

Taste: A singing synergy of the elements of a great session beer. The malt, the hop, and the sweet soft water enjoy a wonderful polygamus marriage.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying, utterly unsticky.

Drinkability: In my opinion, there is not a better session beer in the world. Not an attention hog, but goes great with almost anything. Much better than the tires. If there is a more versatile beer in existence, please tell me about it. A great choice for when you're hanging with friends whose company you enjoy, but whose taste in beer could use some fine-tuning.

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Photo of mempath
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours nice and heady, with good chunky lacing...deep-bright clear amber/orange marmalade. head diminishes pretty quickly, but maintains a good 1/4 inch as the lacing itself gfades out a bit, too.

nice malty character jumps out without being overbearing...some caramel and even light molasses. finally some yeasty bready notes arrive.

wow. better than i expected. no, this isn't amber in a Nugget Nectar way...but it's got a nice balance and delay factor going on...the malts are out front followed by a nice, LOW level but everpresent hoppy-sourness. i almost think this is an english pale swingin' its arms...between that and a traditional IPA (and a little more)...very interesting and glad my brother got me the 6-pack (part of a nice birthday haul).

mouthfeel helps reveal a nice hoppy finish in the back of the mouth and roof...not thin nor thick...very sessionable...sort of a less thin yuengling lager with a little more snap. at 5% ABV you can enjoy quite a few of these in a sitting.

noting that as it warms a bit on this overcast but warming spring day, the hop presence continues to assert. nothing suggesting dry-hopped explosions at all, but nice for an amber ale. recommended!

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Photo of socon67
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours copper with some lacing. White foam on the top. Lively carbonation. Decent clarity.

S - Scents of english malt, caramel, and oily hops are present. I thought this was an IPA based on the spicy hops scent.

T - Very good balance that has a sweet caramel flavor initally, and then goes to a raspy hop finish. Plenty of flavor.

M - Very smooth for the complexity, an easy drinker. What is especially impressive is the subtle feel of the hops, which makes this even more sessionable.

O - Great take on the style, and I was glad to try this one.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Unfiltered and racked straight from the fermenter. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a murky coppery amber, with quite the finger of foamy brite-white head on it. Retains with froth around the edges, leaving a strong smattering of lacing behind. The aroma is EXTREMELY fresh and floral, with a tangy smelling backing of citrus and sweet breadiness giving this a nice sharpness. Full flavors here in the nose but this retains a great feeling mellowness to it from the oak and vanilla. This was really fantastic smelling here on cask.

The taste is just so sweet and mellow in the mouth, with notes of bread, vanilla, and slight oaky character. A slight tingle of hop activity leaves a considerable amount of dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a super easy and creamy feel to it. I'm finding that there is a good bit of greenish oaky tannic quality to this but heck, that makes it go down that much easier.

Mellow yet robust and drinking like a glass of water, yeah, I'd say that this being served on cask helped. I could have drank this all night if there weren't bigger and better things ahead.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Yard House, LA. Boston shaker.

A: deep amber-red. 1 finger white head, quickly fades to a thin ring. Ample visible carb. Very good lacing.

S: a little weak, actually. Some mild floral/citrus, with some layers of toasted malt.

T: malty and slightly citrusy/woodsy/herbal arrival and mid-palate. Fairly woodsy and earthy, malty middle. A darker character pale ale. I love it. It's like a less bitter Burning River, minus the Northern Brewer hops. Somewhat like anchor steam.

M: heavier side of midweight. Well carbonated, not overly so. Very clean finish, with a touch of lingering floral hop.

O: This beer REALLY does it for me. Exceptional balance, depth of character and complexity. Given its similarity to Burning River, which I consider local, I don't know that I'd buy this regularly even if it were available to me. But if I lived anywhere else, this would be a staple. I think FW is incapable of making bad beer.

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Photo of cyraxx
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Double Barrel Ale pours a nice reddish amber color with a small bit of white head. The smell is lightly hopped with East Kent Goldings and has a good amount of caramel malt aroma. The taste is full of caramel malt, a touch of toffee, a slight hop character, and some toasty base malt flavor. Like all fine English beers, there is just enough carbonation to feel it prickle on your tongue and it has a light body to round things out. At first taste I wasn't pleased, but as I drank more I really began to like it. I could have drank a lot more than just the bomber I bought, and now that I'm back on the East Coast I wish I would have.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank alot of this on a recent trip out west. I'm a sucker for English Pale Ales.

Looks good in the glass. Dark Amber color with a decent head.

Rich & toasty taste, very balanced with a hint of caramel. The malt and hops work together perfectly, like a good symphony. Back end has just a slight hop bite. Craftsmanship and expertise in brewing this beer is obvious.

Sessionable at 5% - I couldn't get enough of it.

This would be a regular in my fridge if it were available in my area. A steal at $7.99 per six pack.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Orange amber color. Very clear. After a ultra aggressive pour, one and a half fingers of off-white head. Head is really dense with average retention. Lots of lacing.

4.0 S: A bit of citrus and a lot of some really nice smelling, unidentifiable fruit. Fresh and clean, awesome.

4.5 T: WOW! This is the best amber ale I've ever had. The wood barrel comes through in the taste, but isn't overwhelming like in OAB. The taste isn't all that unique, but it's perfectly balanced. The hop profile is very good. Just a bit of bitterness, but a lot of herbal and slightly citrusy flavor. The malts are very smooth with no unwanted flavors. A little more bitterness would have pushed this beer to perfect.

3.5 M: Medium body. Creamy, but undercarbonated.

4.5 D: I could drink this all night.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very solid English style light ale. Nice roasty notes, sweet caramel balanced by slight hop presence and crispness. Enjoyed this one. Another solid FW offering.

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Photo of noeldundas
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

beautiful copper gold. like liquid pennies. light head with good lacing, english.

i get orange on the nose, with malt and brown sugar, reminds me of fruit cake, or some other pudding. oak is subtle from this large pint glass.

unexpectedly light and drinkable mouthfeel, malty with vanilla, and again, subtle oak, not what I thought. clean and crisp finish. though todd alstrom nailed the sodium bicarbonate edge that it has.

The drinkability is perfect for me. I was worried and thought it would be big and sweet and oaky. Nope. It's wonderful. Built with purpose. I would not hesitate to drink this all night... unless I had to drive.

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Photo of charlzm
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 06/06/08 on cask at The Daily Pint, Santa Monica CA.

Slight hazy medium amber hue with an outrageously smooth and creamy two fingered tan head.

Aroma is juicy and full of toffee, caramel and butterscotch.

Flavor is likewise juicy and refreshing. Some hop flavors, but mainly a toffee and caramel malt character. A bit of hop bitterness at the end.

Being on cask does wonders for this beer, which is already perfectly fine bottled or on a standard tap already. I could have done another pint or two fo this one, but with so many other taps to explore...

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Photo of beermemarge
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a glass. Not a strong head of foam. Dark copper in color. Low carbonation. Tasted vanilla and oak flavors. Flavor over hops not terribly strong. Dry finish, not a strong after taste. First time with this brewer and really enjoyed it.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,479 ratings.
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