Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

776 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: 776 | Ratings: 2,739
Photo of karait95
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange amber color a little light body can be seen or at least it seams so, very clear for an ale, with a relative big head on top at least 3 fingers that dissipates somehow quickly not leaving much behind.

S: The smell is somehow more simpler than complexer some hops can be felt more than the malt or the barley .

T: The hops are predominant all over the flavor as with the smell the tasting of malt is hidden or overcome due to the bitter of the hops.

M: A little bitter since the begging and becoming more every second it spend in your mouth, with a good medium lasting a little dry with relatively high bitterness.

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Photo of rtaps
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours an amber with about a 1/2inch head that dissipates quickly leave minimal lacing.

smell is i think the weakest part of the beer not picking out too much, hoppy bitterness and maybe a little oak in the back round

taste is very malty, think im picking up mild hints of vanilla. and some caramel. dry, and medium bodies with good carbonation

overall its a good EPA. Nothing thats going to blow you away, but solid enough to go back to anytime.

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Photo of pjwilson
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an English style amber, not American one bit. well it's made here in pasa robles, CA. But still i really, really liked this one for an English style beer....and I;m not a big fan of the style because i usually get let down. Not here. This beer screams drink at cellar temp...not too cold for this one.
a: amber. but really nice
smell: that English yeast smell...and some good malts backing it up..nice
taste: for once that English yeast taste is in the beer but doesn't overpower. It blends with the English hops and smooth malty taste. Very smooth thought..the yeast provides more flavor than the hops on this one. but like I said there is a good balance.
mouthfeel: nice drinkability: good. this has session beer all over it....
I wish this were cheaper as it would make an excellent fall back sessioner. This compares to Bass but is better.

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Photo of StoutFox
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

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 Chiefy770
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Reviewed on May 29th, 2015
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Poured a clean copper body. A short light tan head quickly collapsed and left a sparse amount of lacing.

Sweet, caramel heavy malts. Faint hint of floral hops. Subtle aroma all around.

Heavy hit of malts up front... caramel and bread, fairly dense. Floral hops cut through the malts, attempting to lighten things up. Floral hops finished semi-sweet with a nice lingering presence of caramel malts. Medium bodied. Moderate/high carbonation.

I was surprised with the density of this brew. The overall taste was familiar and underwhelming. Not a bad brew but not my favorite.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ive had this brew quite a few times on-tap as well as out of a bottle. it never really fails to serve. decent pour with very short lived head. subtle scent. nice flavor. great baseball brew. pair this up with a couple slices of pizza or a burger and some dogs and you have a winning combo. nowhere near the top shelf but i know that i can always depend on dba to come through for me.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a clear amber with hints of ruby and a huge four finger creamy white head that falls very slowly and in large pockets leaving very sticky webbed lacing.

S: Fairly muted on the nose, do pick up some faint caramel malt and a hint of grain along with a faint hint of wood. For the style of English pale this is pretty spot on, just wish it were a little more pronounced.

T: The grain is very pronounced here, along with the yeast and a backdrop of wood this is a very earthy beer and yet very clean on the palate. Again a great food beer. These guys really seem to know pale ales.

M: Light, crisp and clean with a dry finish. Perfect food beer!

D: Super drinkable with the abv being only 5% and the mouthfeel being so clean.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a foamy off white head with some nice streaming bubbles.

Smells of barley, malt and hops, or the bones of beer. There is a bit of a woody, maybe sweet smoky smell in there as well.

Taste is sweet caramel with a touch of that woody smoke flavor. Getting some hops across the back of the tongue towards the finish.

Mouth feel is fairly light with a bit of a snap on the finish.

Overall this is a nicely brewed beer. The difference is the bit of barrel aging that they give this beer. It does impart a difference into the flavor that makes for a different kind of beer.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

g: Pint

a: Clear copper color, 1 finger soapy white head. Splashy lacing.

s: Citrus and floral hops up front. Slightly peppery. Caramel malt, light cracker. Lemon.

t: Very well-balanced. Perfect ratio of hops to malts. Consistent flavor throughout. Citrus, floral hops. Lemon up front then met quickly after by caramel malt creating a great blend. Finish is somewhat clean, not too much lingering flavor.

m: medium body and moderate carbonation

d: Great session beer. Lots of flavor, not too bitter.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Received from AndySR15

This beer pours a medium amber color, and it started with two fingers worth of head, but it quickly dissapated leaving a thin blanket of head for most of the beer. The nose isn't overpower, but I did get scents of toasted malt and caramel, and an ever so modest "grain" scent coming in as well. The flavor profile is quite well balanced between the sweet malt and a slight touch of bittering hops with secondary notes of oak, vanilla, bitter tea, and maybe even a little pine. The mouthfeel is a little watery for my liking with low carbonation, but the drinkability is really nice and sessionable at only 5%.

Pretty good session beer, but doesn't cross into the above average range.

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Photo of wedgie9
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
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 Riff
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a glass. Deep, amber color with a thick white foam head, 2-3 fingers deep. Smell was very malty up front, not much else afterwards. Taste is again malt forwards, earthy, with a little bit of caramel following at the end. Finish is clean and fades out quickly. Medium carbonation and a fairly light body. Overall a good English pale ale, certainly a pleasant drinker for the warmer months.

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Photo of JAFoley
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
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 utfiero
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color- rosy light walnut. Medium head.

Aroma- lager-like sharpness with hint of corn syrup.

Taste- Starts with a mild yet rich malt balanced by gentle earthy grain notes and subtle cane sugar sweetness finishing with a lingering but subdued hint of hops and grain.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted March 2013.

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Photo of Aenema
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear copper with a thick, off-white head.
Smell - Floral hoppy notes dominate.
Taste - Biscuity & caramel malts with a honey sweetness and floral hops. Flavors are not persistent.
Mouthfeel - Rather highly carbonated, light body with a smooth, slick feel. Thin feel.
Drinkability - Sessionable, but not a beer I would want multiples of.

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Photo of foles
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably underrated given the expectation for this beer to be a hop driven american ale. However this is an authentic english style offering from Firestone Walker. Nice malt, tea like hops on the nose and palate - seems like EKG. A rounded english profile, firmly bitter, maybe some esters in there. Maybe a bit too dry? Either way this wouldn't be out of place on cask in England.

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Photo of dcook11
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- An aggresive pour provides a thick, white, iceberg head about two and a half fingers deep. The beer itself is a dark honey/bronze color. Some small fine bubbles rise to the top of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing.

S- Pine, citrus, oak, caramal malt, a touch of tropical fruit. More pine/caramel forward as cold, but as it warms oak dominates.

T- More oak than in the smell. Piney/resiney hops.

M- Dry, light bodied.

O- A great sessionable beer for those who enjoy oak and hop character at a lower abv.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a nice dark amber with good foam and decent lacing. Smells of hops, malt, biscuit. Taste is a nice malty hops with a biscuit like flavor and mild bite. Finish is very clean and little sweet and refreshing. Really like this beer, very nice flavor balance and refreshing in summer or fall.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i must admit -- mr first FW beer was Union Jack, followed by Abacus, followed by Double Jack. So, it is kind of hard to gear down for this one, AND steeped in the cornucopia of amazing, exotic and experimental beers you can get out there....

it's hard to gauge this beer fairly as an English Pale Ale for me. PALE ALE has been defined as SN Pale for me. BASS ALE... is well... bass ale, and english beer you mix with Guinness sometimes... for me the disappointment is in the

1. lack of a fresh hop profile,
2. a lagerish type feel, not really Ale like
3. lack of sweetness and overall....

too dry for the style. yes, i just said i am somewhat limited on the style... and now i am saying it is too dry.

POURS a light mahogany color with a little one finger head, IF you pour aggressively. then the lager type feel hits... SMELL is mostly of yeast and some malt. it is a pleasant aroma. but not exciting.

TASTE again is yeast, and dry malt... like maybe the bitterness is drying out the malt? crisp and dry... not sweet and effervescent. MOUTHFEEL is light. OVERALL this beer would not win me over to this brewery.

but considering i am sold on most of their other beers... i would recommend this to fans of the Style.


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Photo of DM1293
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste - The hops are the first thing to hit you and then they immediately dissipate, leaving a lingering finish on the palate. There's no bitter aftertaste, so this Ale is all Bite and no Bark. Interestingly, as I got halfway through, the ale seemed to ease up on the sweet hoppy taste and pulled back into more of a malt taste.

Overall - Its a crisp refreshing brew thats strong, but very smooth and easy drinking. I wish there was a little more flavor to it, but its otherwise solid.

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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 SethB2
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Red Robin in Yuba City.

Beer served in a liter sized mug. Deep transparent redish amber color with a very nice head on the mug. Smell was nothing great. Some hops and a slight amount of sweetness. Taste was similar. It reminded me of what a APA is when it misses the target. Mouthfeel was thin and watery to me. Drinkability isn't bad. It's a fairly non offensive brew, so throwing a few back wouldn't be too difficult.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle. Pours a deep golden brown and makes a thin white head. Lots of cereal malt character in the nose, not much in the way of hops. Flavor is spicy and sharp, slightly bitter and has a syrupy-sweet malt character. Leaves a creamy coating in the mouth. Rather drinkable, overall above average for the style. I really wish the typical macro brew tasted like this.

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Photo of andrewh995
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

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Photo of ikats
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, dark amber in color with fluffy white head. A thin cover remains throughout my session. Carbonation is fairly low. Aroma includes some toffee sweetness with some piney hops notes. There is slight hop bite as you first taste the ale, but it's the sweetness that stays with you on the lips. Medium-light body. I find it smooth and very drinkable (but then I rarely drink more than 2-3 beers at home).

On my most recent week-long Los Angeles visit, I was looking for a local six pack, so that I can have a bottle or two after work back in the hotel. I then recalled reading about Firestone Walker's Union system, and I was curious to try it. Nice pick. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One bottle made it back to NYC with me for this review. Now I am curious to try 100% barrel-aged DBA at their tasting room (as opposed to 20/80 mix of barrel- and stainless-aged ales that goes into the bottles). Maybe my next visit to California.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,739 ratings.
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