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 Act25
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unsure why an English Pale Ale, or ESB, when one could drink an APA?
But it's a good English Ale.
Try 1 at most.
Otherwise like this brewer.

A: Beautiful brown-orange with a 1 finger white head but not enough lacing retention.

S: Mostly malt with bits of candied caramel and toffee, followed by hoppy aromas - floral, grassy, fall, and not citrus.

T: Follows smell but the best part - All of earthy malt to match up with candied caramel sweetness, and then grassy, fall earth hops in the background. Has a very nice varnish, beer hall, old wood finish.

M: Light carbonated, good weight, medium bodied, and cedary finish. Nice.

O: grew on me as it warms, a better ESB? Try 1.

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Photo of ccg
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark, cloudy orange. Finger and a half of dense foam.
Smell is sweet, caramely malt. Surprisingly sweet smelling.
I can taste a hint of hops, but it's mostly sweet, caramel malt flavor with some earthy and citrus notes. It's not what I was expecting, but it's interesting and different.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium carbonation and thickness.
Overall, I'm not really sure what to make of this one. I don't think I've had a beer quite like it before. The flavors are not the boldest, but they are pretty well balanced.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange / copper color. Quite fizzy at first. A 2 finger head into a pub glass. Head recedes quickly. Some lacing continues, but not very active overall.

Very rich and aromatic. Sweet, fruity, buttery, caramel small. Smells a bit tart and floral.

Upfront hop bite that's medium -not overpowering. Rich / sweet caramel quickly kicks in. Soon after the rush of sweetness, there are some tart fruit flavors (apple, grape, mango). There are also flavors of toffee and butterscotch. At the end when everything start to die down, you get some nutty and charred wood flavor combinations. There is a smoky aftertaste that you are left with.

Low end of the medium mouthfeel. A bit on the slick side. Still a bit flat.

Very flavorful, but I would have liked the carbonation to stick around longer. Barrel aged beers are typically lower on carbonation, but it still would have picked up a few more points with me if it was higher. Great beer though. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with this one. This one was bottled in 2013 ... found it in a liquor store with quite a bit of dust on it.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep amber with a very mild white foam head, hazy. Aroma is malty and sweet. Taste is sweet, hops are there but do not achieve balance. Medium body with low carbonation. Good beer, a little bit expensive in Mexico so not worth it.

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Photo of stevoj
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Grunt fill from Alberstons. Pours out a hazy amber with small fluffy head. Malt dominates the aroma, and kicks it up a notch in taste. Toffee, caramel, very mild bitterness. Unfiltered characteristics a nice addition.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Looks a little hefty, good appearance, darker than yellow, good head retention, decent lacing, no appreciable aroma comes out just a little mute.

Taste, wood and malt. English style. Minimal hops, especially when comparing their pale w/ ipa. Remains consistent, decently drinkable, but not going out of my way to reacquire this. Definitely not an American or West Coast Pale ale. If you're a burton guy, check it out I guess.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle dated 4/21/15 poured into a pint glass
A: Orange with a lingering one-finger head kept afloat by lots of tiny bubbles
S: Freshly ground grain, fermenting malt, a bit herbal/earthy
T: Matches the nose, definitely malt-forward yet dry with an herbal/earthy finish
M: Light-bodied, dry, light carbonation
O: This looks and smells great and while it's a bit simple it fits the style well

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Photo of tbryan5
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Half finger white head resting on a red-brown Amber color beer.

S- Sweet malt overlaying a slightly woody aroma. Some fruit as well. Peachy?

T- Huge and prevalent malt and definitely more earthy, woodiness. Slight hop bitterness on the end as well

M- Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

D- A full bodied beer. And very tasty although you couldn't drink too many in a sitting without getting full.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy golden amber, with a moderate, somewhat coarse white head, faint carbonation, and thin, scattered lacing.

Aroma: A bit tangy and tart, with notes of caramel and lightly toasted malt. Some herbal and floral hops are present.

Taste: Begins with slightly sweet caramel malts, followed by mildly earthy hops. As the taste progresses, the balance of hops and malt is largely maintained, with the result being pleasant and drinkable. No hints of alcohol are present. Finishes with mild roasted and sweet caramel and slight earthy hops in good balance.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, rather soft to the taste.

Drinkability/notes: Nicely done, free of offensive Fuggles hops often found in this style, very pleasant and drinkable.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber, sealed with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of larryi86
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear reddish/deep amber with a two finger white head

S- Toasted malts, hints of caramel malts, some oak, faint fruitiness, floral.

T- Toasted malts, nutty, some oak, toffee, faint vanilla, caramel malts, slight earthy/floral hops. Nicely balanced.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A nicely done English style ale, easy to drink. Past the 120 day mark Firestone says to drink it by, but it still taste and worth picked up. Miss this beer's big brother, but at least this is easier to find.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice chestnut colored body with a very thin slightly off-white head. Aroma is mainly toasted bread and caramel. Flavor brings through caramel along with hints of toasty oak. The feel is medium bodies and very smooth, medium carbonation. This is a solid take on an English pale ale.

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Photo of GarrettB
2.26/5  rDev -38.6%
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 WellRested518
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt copper with a one finger head. Mild lacing with good retention. The smell starts with a degrading hop tea and finishes with caramel and a slight touch of oak. Upon the sip I get similar results with phenomenal balance. Earthy/spicy hops pop up in between waves of sweet the sweet malt body. This beer has a mouthfeel that is full and lowly carbonated without being cloying... it's actually quite crisp and creamy.

This bottle had some time on it that probably didn't work in terms of aroma. I feel that if it were fresh it could be very good.

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Photo of mjurney
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color, clear. Lots of carbonation. Thick rocky head.

Herbal, earthy, semi-sweet malts, faint fruit.

Medium-roasted malts, toffee, woody, hint of nuttiness. Hop bitterness is moderate, mostly herbal-spicy, a bit earthy. Finish is dry. Medium bodied, refreshing, highly drinkable.

It's an outstanding English-style Pale Ale.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served in a Teku.

Pours a very orange copper with a small amount of white head. Nose is earthy with some oak. Taste is outstanding and a bit roasted with bread, caramel, oak. It is very crisp with a good amount of carbonation. This beer really impressed me and was not at all what I was expecting from a "pale ale." It is very crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass

Pours a dark orange with an off white head, decent amount of carbonation streaming off the bottom, clear, some lacing. Aroma is of earth, toast, biscuits, slight caramel, toffee, and oak. Tastes of bread, toast, slight roasted flavor, some caramel, toffee, and oak. Getting a hint of bitterness near the end, finishes dry, soft, easy drinking, leans towards grainy, earthy flavor. Definitely more malty than it is hoppy. Medium bodied with a dry finish. Double Barrel Ale is very tasty and easy drinking, a beer I reach for when I don't want lots of hops or a high ABV, not light, it has flavor.

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Photo of Strat58cat
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Double Barrel Ale is an excellent, medium-bodied ale. There's nothing resembling an IPA here. I've never been to the U.K. of my ancestors, but for Californian taste buds this one comes across as a proper old school ale.

Poured into a beer glass, DBA surprises, with its color verging on mahogany. It's darker than an amber IPA, although much lighter than a stout. Head forms up nicely and retains, leaving lacing, showing the quality malt.

The aroma is old school. There's no citrus or pine here at all. I believe they may be using English hops and the result is an earthy, dark quality to the aroma that nicely complements the powerful bouquet of the malt with it's toast and roasted notes.

The taste is as advertised. It's a deep flavor of the roasted malt - predominantly toast. This ale may lack the complexity of character that we find, for example, in Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Octoberfest, where the roasty notes merge with caramel. Yet, the dry, toasted flavor of Double Barrel Ale is highly enjoyable. The hop bitterness is subdued and almost undetectable, simply balancing the malt for a clean finish. The problem is that it's a little bit boring. It's good though.

The feel of this ale is a strong point. DBA feels substantial. The feel of substance complements the earthy aroma and the roasted flavor.

The whole perhaps is greater than the sum of the parts. No single quality of Double Barrel Ale is sublime, but each quality of the experience aligns with and complements every other quality. This is a highly enjoyable ale, and a great change of pace from IPAs.

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L- Vivid orange body, highly carbonated head and body.
S- Vanilla, malts, wood, some spices.
T- Bread, grassy, bubbly, vanilla, spices and malts. Light bitter aftertaste.
F- Slightly fizzy, light, easy drink.
O- Good beer, everything feels a bit muted but still holds up very well.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

The Double Barrel Ale is another solid offering by Firestone. It poured a clear copper with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent had waifs of bourbon/whiskey. The taste was an easy drinking ale that had hints of bourbon and oak. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall quite nice.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - chestnut brown with some red tints, a creamy egg shell colored head. Not much head retention to speak of.

S - Malt forward in the nose, nutty, vanilla, grains.

T - Malts present in a big way, a hint of hop bitterness shows up, but I am left wanting more hop presence to balance this out a bit more. Low to medium bodied - the finish is a bit acidic.

O - Solid brew that is worth a try, but I don't think this one is going to blow anyone away.

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

Clear medium copper color. Nice head and lacing. Aroma of earthy hops and water conditioners to simulate the British waters. Very nice flavor with good balance. Nice example.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I’ve been trying more and more of Firestone and they seem to have a pretty decent spread of brews. This next one is 5.0% ABV and is nice Double Barrel Ale (DBA).

Look-It pours a thick head with a crystal clear amber color with orange copper hues and plenty of carbonation. The head billows into thick creamy foam that has the consistency of lemon merengue pie. The lacking is sticky and plentiful.

Smell-This hop-forward beer first gives you an aroma of roasty malts and then vanilla and spices. The smell is light.

Taste-It has a pleasant flavor with vanilla and light caramel. I also get sort of a bread pudding with raisins from this beauty.

Mouthfeel-It feels medium-bodied with a creamy moist center and a sweet but slightly dry finish. It is quite nice.

Overall-I think that this is a relaxing beer that has a lot to offer, but the flavors and aromas are slightly muted. It is easy to pick up on these flavors, but you best pay attention. Cheers!

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Deep amber color and clear. Medium white head with good retention. Toasted malt aroma with earthy hops. Light biscuit and toffee in the flavor. Slight bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied but not as smooth as other examples of the style.

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Photo of willic
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What can I say, Firestone Walker ROCKS! Can they make a bad beer??? This is not my typical beer, but light, fun, complex... I love the crisp oakiness!

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Photo of obywan59
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 3/2/15

Clear and light amber in color with a 2 finger off white head that leaves little lacing.

The aroma is of toasted malt with spice. From the glass, I get some oak with light vanilla. From the bottle, vanilla is prominent.

Taste is dry/tart with oak and vanilla. Light caramel. A bit of spice here, and a moderate earthiness.

Medium full in body with light carbonation. Leaves a pleasantly sticky film. Slightly drying.

An excellent beer, especially considering that I prefer sweeter beers. Well rounded and rather full bodied. Perhaps better suited for cooler seasons, but impressive, nonetheless.

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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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