DBA (Double Barrel Ale) | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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DBA (Double Barrel Ale)DBA (Double Barrel Ale)
2,798 Ratings
DBA (Double Barrel Ale)DBA (Double 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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Ratings: 2,798 |  Reviews: 791
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright coppery orange with maize colored accents. Exceedingly fine carbonation slowly rises to a light gold, orangish beige cap. The foam has a solidity about it that promotes a slow, somewhat rocky, descent and results in a decent showing in the lace department. Several concentric rings are seen at midglass when the beer is nearly gone.

The nose is hoppier than expected. I would never confuse it with an IPA, or even a hoppy APA, but it's nice to run across what appears to be a hop-dominant amber ale. There's still a toasted malt background keeping the aroma grounded. The spicy, herbal (probably English) hops are where the action is however.

I like Double Barrel. There's a moderately sweet, whole grain toast-like malt structure that is firm without being unyielding. It's still pretty hoppy, but is more balanced than anticipated after the sniff test. This beer reminds me of an English pale ale or an ESB, and a pretty good one at that. The flavor profile is clean and is anything but shy. I get the sense the brewers hit the flavor target they were shooting for.

The medium length finish manages to keep a fair amount of bitterness in contact with the taste buds after the beer is gone. Dry and bitter is as good a way to finish as any other. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, although I'm sure the active carbonation is somewhat responsible for that impression.

Firestone Double Barrel Ale is a good one. It has no real faults and is as well-constructed as any amber ale that I've had in a while. I could definitely make a session out of a few of these and I'm sure they would go well with a wide variety of foods. This isn't quite a head turner, but it is a delicious, satisfying ale.

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

Pours a light amber, almost gold with a tan head that is creamy but recedes into a thin collar and minimal lace. Frikkin clear.

Slight grains and hop aroma, not too prominent.

Firm slightly roasted malt profile, and a very nice grapefruit hop presence. Overall rather balanced and smooth tasting. Finishes a little sweet, as an amber should, with grains at the exhale. Very solid.

Lighter bodied, quite drinkable. A good standby that is available everywhere, a good crossover beer as well.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small, off-white/tan filmy head dies fast over a clear, dark amber beer. There are some swoops of lacing. The nose has chocolate and milk. It's slightly grainsy. Nice. Milk chocolate up front, followed by a full-flavored, drakly malty middle. The finish shows bitter chocolate and some not-quite-sweet fruitiness. Bitter aftertaste with crackers. It's good. Quite chocolatey. A nice, full session.

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Photo of mntlover
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a light tan head of bubbles that falls quickly, some spotty lace left behind.
Aroma is lightly malty with some light fruitiness and hints of spice and a touch of vanilla.
Taste is like the smell malty some caramel and light frruit mixed with some floral and spicey hops. Overall the aroma and flavor seems more English in nature then an American Amber.
Mouthfeel is little lighter then a good amber but still pleasent.
Drinkability is ok not on par with the best amber ales but still not bad, if you like malt with some nice English like flavors could be for you.

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Photo of aquaderek
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I started drinking this beer once I moved to santa barbara. I usually buy this stuff at costco, and it is one of my go to beers and keep always stocked for dinner and company. Although like most beers, tastes much better and fresher on tap. It pours from the bottle a nice reddish brown color with a little laced head. On this particular beer, I am picking up a little skunkiness, but normally I would smell some sweetness, and hops. The taste I think is unique from the smokiness by the oak barrel. I love the heavy mouthfeel. Good beer, I have drunken many, but I usually have maybe one or two in a sitting.

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Photo of Billolick
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

app: clear reddish amber, white head, some lacing

Aroma: just a little yeast and malt

Taste: Balanced, bready malts , some snappy, peppery hops

Mouthfeel. nothing special,

Drinkability: yeah its drinkable, nothing too exciting, middle of the road, moderatly decent take on a dull and bland style.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The body is the color I imagine how blood would look on a bronze sword, although less opaque. Maybe on a rainy day or something.
Aroma: Light, nice malty aroma.
Taste: The beer tastes British. Firm, but approachable maltiness, mild bitterness, very integrated.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and body.
This is a great mild session beer, interesting, yet not intrusive.

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

12oz bottle from a Beers of the World mix box that I got for Christmas from an acquaintance. Thanks Scott!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the clear, burnished copper brew. Head fades but never quite disappears, and lacing is average to good. Aroma is lightly of grain husks, with a touch of fruitiness. Taste is hearty medium malts, with a citrusy close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, with the latter possibly even more so. This seems quite sessionable, and a nice brew.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on tap at a Mexican Restaurant in Cambria, CA on 12/28/04. Pours a typical amber brown with slight reddish hints with a large, creamy head- much larger than seen on many ambers. Aroma is roasty malty, and the flavor follows through with a nice balance of hops at the end- not strong, but definetly present. Definitely drinkable- nothing outrageously wonderful, but pretty good. I had a chance to pick up a six pack on the way home, but passed, not because I didn't like it; there's plenty of good, similar amber ales around.

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Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a one-fingered off-white head that fades slowly and leaves traces of lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cloudy amber color. Nose is slightly malty. Starts with some sweet undertones and finishes with a even mix of hops and malt. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle.

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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 IceAce
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium bronze body topped with two fingers of antique lace colored foam...due largely to my aggressive pour into a .5 litre Euro glass. Lacing is magnificent with the pattern covering approx 80% and clarity of the body is outstanding

Aroma: Heavy malt dominates the nose with a lighter backing from the oak barrel aging system and the yeast

Taste: The malt in the foretaste seems to magnify over the first five seconds, enveloping the tongue with malted goodness. The taste almost completely disappears and there is a second or so pause until the sweetness of the hops take over for the finish

Mouthfeel: Sturdy mouthfeel of a quality amber. The malty goodness belies a heavy presence that is nicely balanced with a zesty dose of CO²

Drinkability: The oak barrel brewing system adds a nice complexity to this amber; not as much as to overtake the taste, but merely to compliment it. This is a fine example of an English-style ale brewed in california

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Photo of GClarkage
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/07/04- Purchased at a Safeway grocery store.

Appearance- Pours with a nice head and halfway decent lacing. A reddish-amber coloring.

Smell- Lots of malt and sweet caramel. Didn't sense and hops really.

Taste- A clone of the scent. Sweetish carmel and malt tastes. Maybe a touch of hops too.

Mouthfeel- a bit over carbonated for me. Kind of felt full after this beer.

Drinkability- Maybe good for one or two. A good beer that I would have again.

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Photo of MattThomas
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale. Poured a great head. Not much nose in to the beer, though. I guess I expected something larger in the flavor of the beer, having five or six malts and double oak barreled. It does have a nice feel to the mouth. Quality medium weight (what I would expect for a Amber Ale). It is absolutely quaffable. There is enough going on, but light enough to enjoy.

Definitely not the best Amber Ale on the market, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this one. Boy, I needed a brew this evening after work, and lo and behold, this was sitting in the fridge. Nothing extraordinary about it's looks: medium to dark amber, not cloudy per se, but not crystal clear either. About 1/2 inch of cream colored foam at the pour, since gone down. Aroma seems thick and syrupy, of toasty malts and quiet hops. Carbonated mouthfeel full of small, prickly bubbles. The mouthfeel is a plus...I appreciate the level of carbonation. Tastewise, I am picking up low malt (although it's made with 5!), slightly biscuity. The beer concentrates on the end taste/finish (which is fine with me). That one is all about some slight puckery citrus. I can't believe the carbonation in this one! Probably helps it not come across as syrupy. Would drink again. Not stupendous, but I like the mouthfeel.

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Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper/amber with an ample fluffy head that settles almost into a creaminess leaving a thin sheet of lace,mild aromas of some toasted malt and caramel pretty soft on the nostrils.Caramel taste up front is the first thing I notice with biscuity malt backbone seems to have a little minty spice in the finish wich is nice,a pretty sweet tasting brew with not much hop presence.I think a decent session style ale but it might get a little to sweet after a few.

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Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper / amber color with a 1.5" head. Some light lacing developed. The aroma was of caramel and lighlty roasted malts. The flavor was strong on the caramel tones and was very light on the bitterness. There was a mild roasted character to this.

The mouthfeel smooth with a light crispness at the start, and had a smooth short caramel finish. I found this to be nicely drinkable and quite an enjoyable session beer.

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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 UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

This ale poured a clear, amber-red color with creamy, off-white foam that persisted a little while but eventually settled and left some lace. The smell was malty and yeasty with a light, fruity sweetness and a touch of caramel. The taste was lightly fruity and malty with a good touch of hop bitterness, and a bit of oakiness as well. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry and hoppy with a slight astringency. The body was medium with medium carbonation. There was a lingering hoppiness in the aftertaste. This was a decent amber/red ale.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce bottle, it pours a nice-looking deep orange with a fairly thick head. The smell is mostly summer fruit, with just a bit of hops. The taste is pleasant but not really remarkable in any way. It's just a bit on the sweet side; perhaps another helping of hops would improve it a bit. It's quite drinkable and would probably be a good choice when looking to move friends out of macros and into ales.

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Photo of Todd
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a rich amber colored beer, bright with a thin wispy lace. Appealing notes of caramel in the nose, with a very faint vanilla. Thick-ish, even mouthfeel that slowly coats the palate, slight sodium bicarbonate edge, crisp carbonation and a dominant malty profile of rustic bread crust, caramel, vanilla and a light, tea-like citric hop character that provides a nice balance. Notes of wood and earthy herbal flavors. Hint of berries and light sourness. Finish is a bit leafy and rough with a dry cracker flavor and touch of smoke.

The oak barrel system isn't overpowering, making this a very decent and complex offering with some interesting subtleties. Thanks to UnlceJimbo for the sample.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
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 Bierguy5
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the bottle pours a clear dark amber color with an off white foamy head. The head stayed for a little while, and there was a decent amount of lace on the glass. Nice roasty smell combined with a touch of smoke. Taste first of caramel malt that has been toasted, with some slight hop bitterness. The end was slightly smoky and earthy, with a dry finish. Seemed a bit thin, and overcarbonated. Overall, not bad. Certainly a good idea, I could have gone for a bit more of an oak flavor, but I would not pass this one up.

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Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Thanks to UncleJimbo for the sample.

Appearance: A definite pssst when I popped the cap, fast to foam with a light crackle of carbonation. One finger of foam stays intact over the clear mahogany colored brew.

Smell: Slight candy and caramel sweetness under the toasted malt, faintly floral from the hops and quite clean as well.

Taste: Clean malt sweetness, lots of caramel and bread. The hop character melts in the malt and struggles to break its hold. Finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Hard crispness rolls off the palate with a medium body.

Drinkability: I could only drink one, maybe two of these in a sitting … seems heavy for some reason.

Notes: A tasty brew, pale ale? Amber ale? Does it really matter? Either way it was enjoyable.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very nice clear copper with a glowing gold undertone. Slightly off-white head, decent volume and durability. Some lacing. Moderate, fine carbonation.

Smell: Wow. For a "small" beer (5% ABV), this thing is booming. Very strong citrus/pineapple hop aroma with assertive green apple yeast esters. (Note: For some reason, the first of the six was far more powerful nosewise than was the others.) Didn't pick up much malt, but since this brewery is local, ours may be "fresher" than most.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth mouthfeel is the first thing I noticed; again, very good for a low ABV brew. The taste is mild and very typical of a West Coast pale ale with a nice balance of chewy malt and hop bite. Has hints of caramel toward the end and finishes dry and quite clean.

Drinkablity: Great taste, awesome aroma and mouthfeel, low ABV--you could drink these all day. In fact, I just might.

I have to admit, given that these arrived in the wave of hype surrounding "The Bachelor," I expected NOTHING from this beer and have avoided buying it for at least a year. My mistake. While perhaps not the advertised English ale, this is an extremely solid version of the WCPA style and is much better than I ever would have imagined. Great session brew.

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DBA (Double Barrel Ale) from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,798 ratings