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 ABabbidge
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle. Bottled about 7 months ago.

L: Dark amber color. Thin lacing.

S: Some faint caramel malt. Not very strong.

T: Malty with caramel and bready flavors. Finished slightly sweet with a hint of smokiness.

F: Moderate body and carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel with some crispness from the carbonation.

O: Forgot to check the bottling date before I bought this, not sure how freshness impacted the flavor of this brew. Still pretty tasty. Not a ton of flavor but what is there is good.

 510 characters

Photo of akolb
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of sweet biscuity malt. Taste has pleasant bread and caramel with a spicy oppy finish. Earthy and smooth. This is an underrated beer in my opinion. Not your hoppy American version, but a subtly sweet and smooth beer that I could drink again and again.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber with a nice creamy head.

Smells of floral and earthy hops backed by heavy malty bread with notes of caramel.

Taste is smooth and creamy tasting largely of malty sweet toasted bread with notes of caramel. It also has a dryness with earthy, bitter hops.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into tulip.

Pours a deep, clear amber with one finger of creamy off-white head that leaves spiky volcanic rock lace as it recedes.

Smells of toffee, roasted nuts, sliced apple, brown bread and earthy green hops.

Tastes of crusty brown bread, more nutty toffee, browning apple, bitter citrus and more leafy bitter hops.

Feels mild and solid. Medium bodied with perky carbonation. Finishes off-dry.

Verdict: Recommended. Tasty and easy to put away.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can with a canned on date of 6/15/16; into an English pint glass.
Appearance - pours a clean amber with little bubbles; medium, thick white head that dies to a thin, bubbly layer rather quickly. Lacing is lousy.
Smell - some mild Hawaiian bread and caramel.
Taste - rye, biscuit, Hawaiian bread and a hint of sweet caramel.
Feel - light, mild and rather dull to be honest.
Overall - easy enough to sit back and have one, but pretty mediocre really.

 462 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a short soapy khaki colored head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is bready and has a light metallic note. Some brown sugar and toffee.

The aroma has a toffee sweetness to go along with a bready malt. Some tea and metallic flavors. The hops provide some offsetting bitterness but don't provide much flavor.

Moderate feel with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate with enough bitterness to balance.

Not too sweet and good balance. Good representation of the style.

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Photo of MFMB
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep Amber orange. Smells of malt,breads and cracker. Malt bomb with a grainy feel. A bit of woody hop bite but very limited at that. Medium body, a tad bit oily. Ok beer, nothing special like I'm use to with FW.

 220 characters

Photo of mklmcgrew
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

L: Pours a pretty copper/amber, with a substantial head and which quickly dissipated to light lacing.

S: Lots of bread, malt and caramel.

T: The malts and caramel come through in the flavor, with a bit of hops and bitterness at the end.

F: Medium bodied, which was surprising for such a dark amber beer. I thought it might be heavier. Medium/Light on the carbonation.

O: Decent beer. Not my favorite style, but a good alternative that would go well with a full meal.

 514 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single can, a refugee from the sixers that they comprise up here in good ol' Alberta. Fuck - no indication as to what the hell 'double barrel ale' means on the can's label, of course.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with one measly finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and faintly creamy dirty white head, which leaves a bit of random ocean upswell lace around the glass as it quickly subsides.

It smells almost like an above-average ESB - semi-sweet, grainy caramel malt, a twinge of biscuity toffee, muddled dark orchard fruit, an ethereal woodsiness, and generic leafy, weedy, and floral noble hop bitters. The taste is bready and biscuity caramel malt, hard toffee, a touch of campfire smoke, laid-back black stone fruit notes, and more tame leafy, earthy, and plain floral hoppiness.

The bubbles are decently active in their attempt at quotidian frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, those noble hops not of the sort to take too much of an undeserved tithe here. It finishes on the sweet side, all biscuity malt this, and wannabe barrel essences that.

Yeah, I suppose that I was to assume that some sort of wood treatment was applied here, and also to be less than surprised at how it was eventually rendered. Anyways, for an English ale produced in Cali, this does indeed turn out quite all right, double barrels or whatever.

 1,390 characters

Photo of q33jeff
1.83/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

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.



 326 characters

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!

 1,339 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 03-09-16

Pours dark amber burnt orange with a frothy off-white foam head. Smells like biscuity caramel honey malt, some oak, mild chocolate, vanilla, lemony orange citrus, with floral earthy grass and woody pine. Tastes like biscuity crackery dark honey toffee caramel malt, toasty oak, floral earthy herbs, dank woody grass and pine, with some mild zesty orange citrus notes. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a real nice English pale ale.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks goes out to the commander of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of bready malts. Taste is bready malts, hops are present but in the background, some caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

 313 characters

Photo of Suds
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

An amber beer from a twelve ounce can, this one has a full white head. The aroma is lightly malty...biscuit and bread, with a hint of hops. The taste is balanced, with a nice malt undertone and earthy, lightly fruity British hop flavors. Lightly hoppy, bitter finish. Dirnkable and enjoyable. This is a straightforward and enjoyable beer.

 343 characters

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 dcscientist
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice California-style English pale, very similar to others I've had from breweries in that state. Nothing super original, just a solid beer. Went great with a shrimp dish. Somewhat malty, with a bit of hops to balance it. I'd try more adventurous beers from this brewery next.

 291 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; amber in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: earthy, toffee, floral;

T: caramel from start to finish; earthy in the background; light bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: easy drinking; pairs really well with a wide variety of foods;

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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 zshaft
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

looks nice amber in a snifter with minimal head. nose is malt forward with earthy scents prevelant. taste is earthy and floral up front giving way to some elderberry or some other berry I cant quite make. finishes with some aromatic bitters and fairly clean. im not a big fan of earthy hops but this beer is not to bad. fairlybalanced and sessionable this is anice offering from a quality brewery. would not seek out but worth a try.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a small cap

S: Some woody maltiness with a hint of caramel start things off, followed by some earthy hops to compliment the woody tone of the malt. Some light fruit notes also push through

T: Follows the nose. The woody maltiness is the major factor again, along with a moderate caramel sweetness and some earthy hops. The fruitiness comes out as an undertone around mid-palate. Finishes with a light sweetness and an overall dry tone

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid English pale with a good balance and great drinkability. Definitely more malt-forward than our American-styled pale ales, but that is a nice change every once in a while. One of the better American-brewed English pales that you'll find on this side of the pond

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Photo of Gajo74
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprised to see this listed as retired because apparently it has made a comeback. That, or I picked up something that has been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.
It poured a copper color with a modest lace that soon dissipated entirely.
Some interesting things in the aroma. Apples, honey malt, nutty, floral and whiskey barrels.
On the tongue it tasted like apple skins followed by a dry tea leave like finish. The mild to moderate hops bitterness kicks in shortly thereafter and leaves an aftertaste. This is eventually smoothed over and some sweetness returns towards the end. The body is medium.
I admit I'm not a big connoisseur of the style and that the ESB style is not yet one of my favorites. I thought this one was O.K. but compared to some of the other gems I've had from Firestone Walker, it ranks below. However, I would reevaluate it once I get more ESB experience under my belt.

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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 Bunman3
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, this is a very accessible, "old-school" brew. If hops are your thing, this will lack the bitterness you crave. It looks, tastes and smells much like an ESB, with a tendency to sweeter malt and a bit of off-putting chalkiness. It's inoffensive and easy to drink.

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Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the can into a tumbler-style pint glass. Body is clear coppery-amber with a good ecru-colored head on top that recedes to leave lots of foamy lacing. Visible carbonation in the form of slow-rising bubbles that fortify the head.

S: Not a lot in the nose - a bit of toasted malt and a hint of generic fruitiness is about it.

T: This drinks like a good Amber Ale or maybe even an ESB. Toasted malt foundation along with some toffee/caramel malt and basic fruity sweetness. Hint of bitterness at the finish provides modest balance and keeps this one from being too sweet, though there is some lingering fruity sweetness on the palate in the aftertaste.

M: Medium in heft. Good modest creaminess to the feel.

O: Good, though I'm not sure I'd call it an English Pale Ale. Nice changeup from my normal hoppy beers and a good Spring offering.

 857 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear light copper color with a generous off white head. Aromas were subtle but clear yeast, bread, and caramel. Taste was roasty and bitter with a nice mix of malt and floral hops. Clean finish.

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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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