Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
775 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
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:
775
Ratings:
2,732
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
11.44%
 
 
Wants:
101
Gots:
478
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 775 | Ratings: 2,732
Photo of snilsen13
1.68/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Looks great, a nice dark amber. Very inviting, but its a trap.
This one smells like vomit.
Pinching my nose, it tastes mostly like sweet malts - caramel, etc., not too interesting. Add the vomit smell, it sucks.

Probably a bad batch, bottled 11/10/14, about 10 weeks ago.
Just reading others ratings and I find that I'm not alone. Maybe many bad batches but more likely just a crappy beer. Avoid.

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Photo of q33jeff
1.83/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

**
07/16/16
bottle to tulip glass (dated 3/2/16)

LOOK: amber color, medium white head.
AROMA: skunk
TASTE: Mostly Malty. Something Funky. not good. Maybe this is just a bad bottle, but this not enjoyable and not what I would expect from Firestone Walker.
FEEL: Medium body. Below average carbonation.

Yuck.

**

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Photo of DogFood11
1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pounder it formed a mediocre head that was eggshell white and left traces of lace. Brown body with medium to light carbonation.

A really odd tasting beer. I'm a category geek sometimes and I have no idea where this would fit in. It's kind of its own style so to speak. Has an odd woody backer that effects every pull. Roasted malts are somewhere between charred and roasted, creating a slightly bitter malt bill that is like drinking freshly cut dried kendling. Hops are a bit zippy although they have a tendancy to take a backseat with everything else going on. There is a sort of candied presence as well towards the beginning and lasts just for a brief second.

Notes: I really couldn't figure this one out. Not to say that complex and confusing can't be good, because it most definately can. This is just to much all over the map and the profiles are rather odd and don't blend well....Not for me.

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Photo of Overlord
2.11/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow. What a disappointment. I hear great things about the near mythical Firestone 10 (one of the White Whales here at Beeradvocate.com), and was eager to try this. I actually gave it a whirl in San Luis Obispo, and yipes.

Not much carbonation, perhaps a one inch head. Taste was ... strange. I almost want to say it tasted as though it was flavored with wood chips. Some caramel/malt overtones, but nothing really to balance it out or add complexity. I see that many reviewers note some faint hops ... I detected none. A thin, strange tasting beer that wasn't my cup of tea.

It looked pretty with a nice amber color, though.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Jan 8, 2010
12 oz bottle, no freshness date.
Clear deep amber, thin half inch head that evaporates quickly. Zero retention and no lace.
Aroma is light and one dimensional. Even after heavy agitation the only aromas detected are caramel and bready malts.
Flavor is more complex, but not by much. Caramel sweetness with a clean hop finish.
Thin, watery and boring. While it is not on my buy again list, I wouldn't refuse one if given one

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Photo of GarrettB
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

When I arrived in San Diego, I saw Firestone everywhere, and assumed it was a company designed to push out as much beer as possible to as many venues as possible in a kind of cruel power and territory grab. How wrong I was. Firestone is a California establishment, but this beer was the nadir of my experience with them. The aroma brings apple and cinnamons to the nose, a little sweet and spice. But the flavor is a flop. Maybe I picked a bad batch, but this is an insipid brew. The carbonation is light, which does little to nothing to cover up a bland flavor, giving off a light touch of apple skins, and little else. Disappointing, but I know, with historical precision and all the benefits of hindsight, that this brew is a shocking exception in Firestone's line up.

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Photo of pintnhand
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think this beer is way overrated. I have had a few red ales but this one doesnt make my list. I think they took the beer too far on this one. The taste is almost puckering. The taste leaves a very heavy unpleasent feel. At first it starts smooth but as the taste evolves it becomes less enjoyable. An ok appearance. I would term it as harsh.

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Photo of Brevbin
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Received in a trade. Zero head. Smells nonexistent. Color is good. Tastes metallic with a slight oak notes. Mouthful is lacking. I must have gotten a bad/old bottle.

 165 characters

Photo of maximum12
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Donated by my most excellent compadre John after a beer tasting that I was out of town for.

Pours ambers with little head & some serious running carbonation. Smells is almost invisible to the nose; the barest hint of wood & malt.

Taste is kind of funky. I get the malty amberishness, just a bit of sawdusty wood, lots of watery thinness.

Mouthfeel is thin. Drinkability? Not after this one. I may finish, I may shift to something more appealing.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coppery brown color into my nonic with an off-white head that froths up to a proper size then dies slowly, over many sips, to a thin ring, leaving behind no lacing.

Smells are quick and extremely hard to define - there's just a little malty honey, but there are some seriously metallic scents that I just can't quite figure out. I think they must come from the hops, or the oak barrels, or something related thereto. Maybe a bit grassy - yep, smells like a hay bale or my uncle's barn.

The taste is equally hard to define, but its' very thin, and what's available to taste is somewhat unpleasant. A kind of metallic, brash flavor, almost like asparagus or raw vegetables - very coppery and one-sided. Not very balanced at all.

Mouthfeel has a reasonable amount of carbonation at first, which quickly dissappears and becomes very watery. Very thin for an ale.

This is drinkable in mad gulps, but it's just not living up to my standards. I really wouldn't even want to drink this with a meal. I had it at a friend's recommendation but wouldn't recommend it to another friend.

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Photo of charlesw
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Oh, I'd call this some sort of a darkish orange. Quite light for an amber ale. It had a moderately tall (1") darkish head (deeper than cream) that has very nice lasting power - a very nice and durable lacing.
It smells like rice beer. Bleh. Cheap and alcoholy, weak and thin. Ew!
The taste is ok, I guess. It's probably better than the Casco Bay, but that doesn't say a whole lot (LOL). I mean, sure, it's got a bit of malt to it and it's lightly sweet, but there's a weird bite right in the middle of the palate that prevents it from being good. The aftertaste is fine - no complaints - a nice and easy, lingering finish that doesn't spike on anything.
It's definitely too thin in the mouth for me to fully enjoy it. Oh well!
I'd drink it as a light alternative to an amber - maybe for a hot afternoon at the beach or something. As such it would be fine. In any other context, well, bleh.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber with 1 finger of head that dissipates quickly leaving behind spotty lacing. Low carbonation and excellent clarity.

N: Bread and caramel primarily. There's really no hop aromas coming off of this at all save for hints of grapefruit.

T: Bread and grapefruit upfront followed with some caramel and toasted grains. Finishes with bread and grapefruit. Meh.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and clean.

O: I'm not impressed. This is a very mediocre EPA. The only good thing about this beer is how easy drinking it is.

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Photo of Direx
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Rusty, copper color. Head dissipates rapidly, tiny bubbly foam residue remains on glass after 5 minutes, but it's not much--very little on the surface of the brew itself.

S: Difficult to smell, really have to shove your face in the glass. No distinctive smell.

T: After I take a swig, I inhale very deeply to try to invigorate my taste buds (if that makes sense). I just... there isn't much taste at all, even after 4-5 swigs. Surprised this isn't a red lager. No residual taste after the beer is swallowed. This is a very boring beer.

M: Watery, light, crisp. Even my burps taste bland.

O: This lager (it's really a lager folks) is in dire need of ingredients. Quantity, quality, needs them both. This glass tastes empty and devoid of flavor. Nothing complex, little character.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle (Courtesy of Presario): Poured a deep amber color with a medium head without much retention. Aroma of bitter hops is clearly evident. Taste is a bit one-dimensional with some bitter hops and caramel malt and a thin body. Seems to be lacking character to make it truly interesting.

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Photo of Exner83
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm gonna have to agree with brother Jason Alström - It'd be hard to drink more than one of these.

I found it so smokey oaky--like a forest in my mouth! Finish is an acrid, arboreal dryness. I guess I'm a bare-bones malt and hops kinda guy, 'cause I haven't had this much fragrant wood in my mouth since... (insert terribly off-color gay porn reference here.) It's just NOT my thing. I want malt, people!

God forgive me for thinking a beer should taste like malted barley. Anyway, if you feel sucking on raw tree bark has run its course for you, put the branch down, and pick this up!

(And to think I washed this down with a shot of Grand Marnier. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!)

 675 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep amber color with a two finger head of off white head. The foamy looking head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a caramel and toffee smells with some lighter notes of a grainy aroma. Along with these smells are some notes of a more bready nature as well as a little bit of a haylike smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a biscuit flavor with a light caramel sweetness. These flavors create a base for the taste with them remaining rather constant throughout. After the initial tastes, which are quite smooth, some tea and haylike flavors come to the tongue. These flavors, as well as a little bit of a grassy taste really take away from the smoothness of the flavor and add a somewhat off taste to the flavor profile. In the end, the mix of flavors that is left on the tongue, leaves one with a somewhat unpleasant tea and vegetal, bitter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. A thinner body and a higher carbonation would have likely been a bit better for the brew, helping minimize some of the more unpleasant flavors of the brew.

Overall – A bit too hay and grassy like for the style with a slightly off flavor profile that ends up creating a rather harsh taste. Not one I would recommend.

 1,534 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light brown with an almost offwhite head which subsided quickly leaving a little lace. The aroma was malty with a a healthy dose of fruity esters and reminded me of aromatic malt or some other mildly roasted malt. The initial taste was sweet with the hops playing a minor role in the flavor and bitterness. The majority of the flavor was of a clean blend of dry, roasted malts and sweeter pale malts with a touch of a citrussy and flowery hop flavor at the end. I think this is a little too close to the pale ale style for me while the brewery calls it an amber ale i like a little more malt complexity in my ambers than this one can provide. An average pale ale this brew makes a mediocre amber ale and the folks at Firestone should work on the recipe a little more.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I did not like this beer at all. From first sip to last gulp, all I tasted was a bitter no flavor beer. The bitterness was over powering to me. I'm not a big pale ale fan, but this brew really turn me off.

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Photo of andrewh995
2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This review may not be relevant as I had this 6 months past the bottled on date. I really did not like this at all. It had very little flavor and the flavor it had was not good in my opinion. I hope to try a more recent bottle because the reviews I'm seeing are going right against what I tried.

 297 characters

Photo of wedgie9
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance - Pours a super light and clear amber color with a thin but long lasting off-white head.

Aroma - The primary aromas are of malts. Brown sugar and cereal also come through. As the beer warms, a slight peach smell starts to come through.

Taste - The taste is a little fruitier with the peach coming through. It is a little malty, but overall underwhelming. Not much complexity but a nice bitter finish.

Palate - Very clean and bright. The carbonation average, just as I would expect.

Overall - This is a solid session beer, but not much beyond that. It does not have any of the complexity that I look for in a truly special beer.

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Photo of climax
2.72/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This one poured an amber hue with a good sized head and tons of bubbles racing up from the depths of the glass.

Bright aroma, mostly made up of lemon zest, grass, a tinny twang and alcohol. Not as robust or balanced as I would have wished.

The taste has better flavor qualities than the nose, which was welcomed. Juicy orange, and a toasty backbone was really about it though. None too heavyweight.

The body is a a bit lacking. The feel was watery and there's wasn't much else in the feel to distract from that. Carbonation is low, and only a slight dryness keeps me wanting more.

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Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, purchased on the East Coast. (Unfortunately I have no idea how long this bottle sat on the shelf, or how long it took to get to Maryland before that.) Consumed from a Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a medium copper color, brilliant clarity. Thin bright head that dissipates quickly, leaving a minimum amount of lacing.

Some caramel notes on the nose, also some stale wet-paper oxidized aromas. Zero hop aroma. I'm not put off by this, especially knowing that this might be an old bottle, but at the same time there is little here to entice me to drink. If I knew for certain that this was relatively fresh I would be disappointed.

Nice malty flavor, some toffee and biscuit as well. Not caramelly enough for the style, could use more crystal malt. Gentle hop bitterness, not enough for an American Amber style but not completely lacking, either. Enough to keep this from being a malty beer, but that's about it. I was expecting a bigger hop presence.

Medium mouthfeel, carbonation is nice and adds a bit of zing to make up for the missing hop bite.

A very drinkable beer, but a bit disappointing compared to what I've heard. I hope to find a known-fresh sample at some point to compare to this one.

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Photo of JAFoley
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A - Vigorous pour makes half a finger of bubbly off-white head over slightly hazy pale amber body. Not a lot of retention and no lacing.

S - Malts, apricot and caramel and biscuit.

T - Slightly bitter and fruity upfront. Somewhat astringent. Malts are earthy and subdued.

M - Medium/light body with moderate/high carbonation. Body is somewhat thin and watery. Mixed with large bubbly carbonation makes for a slightly soda-like mouthfeel.

O - Not bad and not great. The mouthfeel really doesn't work for me. It's too thin and too bubbly. This could possibly be a good session beer. Flavors are ok, but fairly one note. I'd have no problem drinking it if offered one, but I don't plan to pick this up again.

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Photo of StoutFox
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

When you read something along the lines of Double Barrel anything you really are expecting some level complexity and I found this to be a bit watery and didn't do it for me.

Aroma: dry hops, bit malty, sour
Taste: malty, but generally hoppy and a bit thin

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slight vanilla on the nose and not a whole lot else. Somewhat disappointing actually.

Beautiful dark copper color on this beer with a slightly off-white head that just creates the most sticky lacing. Its really something to behold.

Vanilla upfront, it has this kind of bourbonesque approach to it. The vanilla just grows and grows until it overtakes the aftertaste and that is all I can taste. Light in body and a smooth carbonation make this quite quaffable, but overall I don't really care for it.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.67 out of 5 based on 2,732 ratings.
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