Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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83
good
755 Reviews
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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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:
755
Ratings:
2,479
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.65%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
373
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 755 | Ratings: 2,479
Photo of nomomentwasted
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Harry's Plaza Cafe in a 12oz pour. I've seen this beer around a lot, and having it be the best thing on tap there, decided to finally give it a shot.

Appearance: Very pretty dark brown-orange hue with little white crown of head and good lacing. Seems to look carbonated appropriately.

Smell: Some malty goodness, with some sweet toffee notes and some pale malt, all accentuated by a slight spicy hoppiness. Nothing too grand, but has some aroma for a pale ale.

Taste:A little roasted pale malts come in first with some very light and pleasant sweetness, and some nice bodied and balanced pale malt and spiced hop body. A lot of a flavor for a pale ale. Straight-forward and easy to drink, with a flavor profile that is very similar throughout the drink and tastes just as good the first sip as the last.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin for how good it tastes, and just a tad too tightly carbonated, but still leaves a nice aftertaste.

Drinkability: I was surprised how drinkable this was, I could've had quite a bit more and not flinched at the idea. Glass had to be paced, as I would've drank it much faster had I not made a conscious effor not to simply plow through it. Went excellently with my burnt ends Tri-Tip sandwich, which is also highly recommended if you're in the area. If you're looking for a nice session ale that goes great with some steak or a burger, and can be picked up by the case, DBA is a great little choice.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Clear light orange amber. Good looking whitish head with excellent retention and some pretty nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Lightly fruity hoppiness and and little bit flowery. Slightly malty sweet. Smells good, not fantastic.

Taste: Very lightly fruity hops with mild bitterness. Grainy malt flavors with sweetness in the finish. This is a solid, understated beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth, almost creamy feeling beer. Nice.

Drinkability: Damn good. Could drink a bunch. Not an overly complex or mind blowing beer, but solid and good.

 583 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful firm creamy head with excellent retention and sticky lines of lacing. Brew is a flat copper hue, transparent.

Dry earthy aroma, bitter, floral hint, bit of barrel.

Impressively smooth flavor: light crystal malt and bread, subdued hop flavor, wrapped in oak and vanilla. Bit of grass and earth.

Smoothness applies to the feel, as well, which is creamy with moderate sting.

I didn't know what to expect going into this, but this is s very easy drinking and satisfying beer. Very approachable, and tons of flavor for 5% ABV.

 535 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty pale ale, looks a little darker than expected, smells pretty average but tastes great, no bitterness and the sweetness is finely balanced, a very good pale.

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Photo of treehugginslug
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good

S/T - Taste of nice malts and barley. Very similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager. Solid beer with tons of repurchasability.

M - Good mouth, nice balance of carbonation and flavor

D - High

Buy Again? Definitely
Recommend? Yes
Drink at party? Definitely

Overall - This beer is now on my list of solid beers that I will definitely come back to. Nothing that was over the top superperb, but drinkability is very high.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours copper color; looks more like honey. Slightly hazy. Finger width foamy head with nice amount of lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is weak, though. Not much there. Slightly bitter/hoppy smell but can't discern many fruit flavors. Smooth malty taste with mod bitterness at the end. Slightly hoppy. Hoppy aftertaste is very light. Maybe a slight citrus taste, but otherwise just malty. Not a bad beer, but not the best. Would drink again, but would buy the Pale 31 instead.

 485 characters

Photo of irrevjim
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from a can to a beer tulip
look; transparent bronze, 1" off white head that reduces to a covering that stays, moderate lacing
smell; yeasty salty bread, roasty malt, some sugar
taste; roasted caramel, bitter with a sugar kick, rye bread
feel; medium bodied, moderate carbonation, maybe more than needed
overall; tasty full flavored ESBish ale

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LittleBreeze for this extra.

Pours a dark brown with red tints, see through. Head is ok, but goes quick leaving big bubbly ring around the glass with some lace. The nose is of malt and suprisingly more hops than I expected. Tastes like west coast and european or english hops with a huge malt backbone. This tastes like an amber/english pale hybrid to me. Kind of strange. Creaminess of malts, but clearly some range of hops in here as well. A little spicy, pepper kick on the finish, hop bitterness is there but is not too terribly strong on the finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty high, but the malt driven taste with the hops still strong makes this one not incredibly drinkable IMO. Good beer, but Ive defenitely had better.

 782 characters

Photo of bradford
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a 12-pack bought at local market for $15
Looks okay, amber hue, brown and red when shifted into light
Can't detect much in the smell, lightly hopped, caramel, toffee
Taste is good, not much oak shows through, but if you really tried, you might find it
Mouthfeel is good, a rich, coating beer that doesn't have too much going on so as to ruin it
Drinkability is very high and it is easy to put several of these down
Like the posters around the Central Coast read, "It's what we drink around here"

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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 levifunk
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - light golden color, very clear, off-white head

s - malts and a bit of pine hops.

t - full flavor, vanilla and malts balanced by a light hops. leaves a light bitter finish. getting some, but not much of the wood flavor. I would have expected more with the "double barrel" name.

m - lighter body. good carbonation.

overall - pretty decent pale. surprising to see a 5% pale with that much flavor. very drinkable.

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Photo of alamere
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass..

A - Beer looks good. Pours a small head and is carbonated on the low side, which is appropriate for this style in my opinion. Despite the low carb level and lack of foam, leaves lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet smelling, lacks the big hop presence of an american pale ale. Big toffee, carmel nose... really.. a lot different than the pales that I've been drinking recently.

T - Tastes REALLY good. I'm not sure what others were expecting when they tasted this but this is an extremely sessionable british style pale. A bit on the sweet side, and lighter on the hops than the american style pales. Still has that fuggle or Northern Brewer style bitterness that accents the big malt backbone of this ale.
Since I wasn't looking to taste "Barrel" I have absolutely no problem with this beer... in short, I'd rather taste this than "barrel".

M - Carbonation is lighter than normal, but I'm sure it's purposeful as English style pales generally are lighter in carb level. The big malt backbone adds to the smoothness of the sip.. and this beer evolves as it gets warmer.

O - This is not your standard pale. There are layers of flavor here that a normal beer does not possess. There is a toffee and malt backbone that really just makes the beer... and the hops have an almost chocolate quality. After that.. I think the yeast and malt and wood leave an original aftertaste. It's hard to find a fault in it... I'm unsure what others are tasting, but this is really what I'd hoped it would be when I purchased it. Not a ton of wood in the flavor, but.. certainly a great beer, worthy of me trying it and bluntly... I'd be surprised if I didn't purchase it again.

 1,715 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright, clear copper-orange color. The head has a faint coppery tint, with a moderately dense, fairly frothy texture. Retention is good, with some nice lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Some toasty, somewhat sweetish caramel malty tones. Hop aromas are leafy and herbal, almost to the point of being minty. Some lightly spicy and fruity English-style esters are also present.

T: A smooth, caramel sweetness is the primary malt flavor, but it is accompanied by noticeable toastiness. There's also a bit of buttery diacetyl, but it's well within range for an English pale ale. Hop bitterness is moderate, with spicy, herbal, and lightly minty flavor. A faint mineral character in the finish.

M: Medium-full body. A bit dextrinous. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium. Some gradually building dryness towards the finish. It drinks a bit heavier than 5.0% abv.

D: A pleasant, enjoyable pale ale. Not overly exciting, but it gets the job done. A pleasant combination of malt sweetness and spicy hop character provide good balance.

 1,052 characters

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, slight yeast, hint of alcohol, candy sugar, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an English Pale Ale, but is trending towards an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, citrus hops, slight pine, hint of pale malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and feel.

 517 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thouroughly enjoyed after loosing a lot of money at Pour 24, New York New York Casino, Las Vegas. The beer seems to be a standard ESB, but with some American hops. The caramel flavors stand out along with slight buttery hints, and a big malt profile. The hops give some bitterness, spiciness, and citrus qualities, but also offer perfumy, pungent, pine character as well. The body seems a bit light for anything called 'double barrel'. I should not have expected a big beer. But the beer is nicely textured if you want a standard amber or ESB. All in all, a nice beer.

 568 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With a light amber, clean pour the head starts to rock up a bit. the white foam is slow to form solidly, or maybe I'm too quick to drink it.

A calm aroma, fit for the style. From a brewer who has some heavy hitters, this one isn't one of them. But that's not a bad thing.

For me, the thing I look for in an EPA is an herbal hop presence and/or some hard water feel to it. This one has little of the latter and a splattering of the former. An herbal hop character seems to have some florals to it. Bad? Nope, perhaps to style 100%, but what the hell.
Toasted biscuit and very light caramel make up the malt imput.

A very nice, easy drinking beer

 647 characters

Photo of livewire78
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange crossed with brown. Sounds ugly but I think it's pretty. Minimal head but there is some lacing left on the glass.

Smells of what?- hops? How am I smelling hops? They're faint but in there. Other smells of caramel and vanilla.

Starts out with the caramel malts followed by the toffee and ends up with a vanilla hoppiness.

Feels a little thin. I wish there was more carbonation in here. It feels a little flat for me.

This is one of those beers that you could drink a whole bunch of. Eventually, though you'd want something with a little more kick.

 570 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into imperial nonic.

A - Pours a mirky brown with a very thin off-white head.

S - Malty, very light hops, honey, semi-sweetness.

T - Light honey/sweetness, malty, no real citrus of hops.

M - Light bodied, very smooth, good carbonation.

D - Super easy to drink.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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 corby112
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received as an extra in a recent trade with EinWeizenbitte. Thanks again man!

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with light olden yellow edges and a one finger light yellowish beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.

Sweet biscuit/caramel malty aroma with subtle grassy earthy english hop notes along with a wooden/oak presnce. The barrel aging gives off some subtle vanilla as well.

Slightly hop forward medium body with some dry earthy pine needle bitterness that lingers throughout over a prominent malt backbone into a subtle dry finish. Sweet caramel, toffe, biscuity malt backbone provides excellent balance to the earthy bitterness. The oak presence from the aging is very subtle, yet there is a prominent smooth vanilla character. Slightly watered down but still very complex. It kind of tastes like abottled agressively hoppy English cask ale.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" tan head over chestnut brown liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Oak and caramel malt.

T: Oak and caramel malt and some nuttiness.

M: Thin viscosity and medium fine carbonation.

O: Good English Pale Ale compared to many, the mouth feel was lacking compared to most American craft beer; but is still head and shoulders above traditional English Ales.

 359 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 1,722 characters

Photo of Pahn
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to BA morningthief for giving me this bottle. Bottled on 1/4/12, drank 5/13/12.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2 inch fluffy offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving no lacing. Pours an almost translucent brownish orange, leaving a few streaks of lacing.

Smell: Effervescent. Bready malt, very slight East Kent Goldings aroma (we're at about the tail end of the beer's "drink by" time, according to the brewery, so not too surprising that the hops are muted). Nice oaky vanilla note comes out with time, along with a little more grassy hoppiness.

There isn't any one particular soaring note here, but the overall aroma is very pleasant.

Taste: Bready malt, faint oaky vanilla, minerally from the middle through to the finish, with re-emerging white bread notes at the end.

The oak influence is very interesting... it's a few steps above being "possibly placebo," but it's not very assertive. The flavor breakdown is: Fresh white bread malt in the foreground, hard water, then equally mild oily floral hops cutting through the middle of the beer and vanilla oak kind of underpinning the entirety of each sip.

These different elements make for a very quaffable beer (I hate that word 'quaffable', but that's what this beer is). Great, easy-drinking balance, neither bland nor bold.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry, pretty clean finish. Good but unremarkable.

Overall: Very well designed beer, where every element but the mouthfeel is greater than the sum of its parts. It's easy to drink a lot of beers like this. The flavor is unique and complex enough to keep you interested, but never overwhelming in any way.

 1,723 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Two fingers of head. Clear, copper colored body.
Smells has a nice dose of caramel and pine. Good.
Taste lets the malt come through nicely. Mildly sweet with just a bit of bitterness. A little citrus.
Texture is smooth, short of creamy. Really nice for a pale ale.
Drinkable and tasty.

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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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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,479 ratings.
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