Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
752 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
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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:
752
Ratings:
2,465
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.65%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
368
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 752 | Ratings: 2,465
Photo of eberkman
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a bottle at the Cheesecake Factory in Marina Del Rey, Calif.

Poured a copper-amber with a thin white head that left little lacing. Smelled primarily of caramel and spice notes with some fruitiness. Taste was also a blend of toasty caramel notes with a nice hopy finish. Mouthfeel was crisp and carbonated. Very sessionable -- drinkability was definitely this beer's strongest point.

 388 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Double Barrel Ale (DBA) poured from a 22 oz bomber. Ruby/Amber in color with a minimal head and lacing. Fine clarity.

Aroma is of floral and citrus hops. Sweet maltiness is also apparant.

Biscuity malt in the forefront with a nice hoppyness. Spicy hops are there adding a zing to the palate. Caramel and roasted malt flavors. Faint piney, grapefruity hops chime in at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lingering spice note from the hops.

Well balanced and fairly complex. I would definately enjoy this again if it was sold in this area.

 560 characters

Photo of demcorhip
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Lee's in Vegas. Thanks for the tip Hoser. Its a deep amber, almost coppery in colour. Half a finger of pale tan head formed on the pour then receded, and is already leaving some sticky webs of lace. Intricate patterns form then succumb to gravity, falling back into the collar from which they formed.

The nose reveals the oak barrel, woodiness and vanilla are very evident, and are drenched with the malty goodness of biscuit and toffee. I think i notice a floral quality, but the hops are definitely taking a backseat to other components here.

Interesting. The biscuit is more pronounced on the taste, with the hints of richer malts and the oak character still pronounced but taking on a secondary role. Not much hops here, the main element balancing the bicuit and toffee is the oak, with its woody character, and notes of vanilla.

Almost medium bodied, and the barrel did a nice job in providing a counterpoint to the malts. This ale is almost two dimensional, malts and barrel, but thanks to the evident craft the simplicity is harmonious, and works to make an interesting ale with some depth.

This is a pretty drinkable ale, almost sessionable, although the oak would start to annoy me after a bottle or two. This is an interesting brew that I am glad to have tried and would enjoy again. It would probably pair well with a mild cigar, something i may have to remember...

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Photo of birdypowder
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is highly drinkable yet complex. I kept finding new aromas and flavors every few sips, inviting me back to explore further this tasty well balanced ale.

Aroma:
Caramel greets you first, after which you are introduced to the much more shy personalities of citrus, vanilla and some floral hop notes.

Appearance:
Held to the light, Double Barrel Ale glows a radiant orange copper. When sitting patiently on its coaster away from the light DBA turns to star bright amber. Off-white head doesn't last too long and there is no lacing, however I believe my glass wasn't properly cleaned based on what other reviewers said about the head and lacing.

Taste:
Caramel sweetness, mild bitterness, a slight woody taste and hints of apricots. Aftertaste leaves a very mild bitterness just long enough to detect.

Mouthfeel/Body:
Medium bodied leaning towards fullness.

 870 characters

Photo of benito
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber ales must be the middle child of the American craft brew industry. Ignored by folks who dote on darker, hoppier and stronger beers; similarly maligned by those who prefer light lagers. I bet it was amber ales that got me into drinking craft beer, and to this day, I still find well done amber ales (shamefully rare) to be as pleasurable as any style. Odell's Levity has long been (and remains) at the top of the heap in my mind, but Firestone Walker's Double Barrel Ale comes in a close second.

It's nice to see a more complex amber ale, and Firestone Walker's makes a case here that more breweries out to follow suit. Aged in oak, Double Barrel is complex and very accessible, a beautiful copper brew with a creamy head. The bouquet showcases the oak in favor of typical hop citrus, and it imparts a prominent honey flavor.

Overall, this is an amber that leans heavy toward the malt side of the spectrum; though I would have liked a slightly stronger hop presence, the oaky, earthy malt flavors are rich enough to keep this well-balanced. A very drinkable beer that would be a good offering to a craft beer tyro.

Recommended.

 1,142 characters

Photo of onewetpaw
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep malty nose with some slight vanilla, that I assume is from oak. Very slight citrus note.

A- Brilliant deep amber. Scant head.

F- Rich malty flavor with some biscuit and cracker flavors. Light bitterness.

M- Full mouthfeel, especially given the modest ABV, Tannic drying after.

O- This is a very nice sessionable beer. The oak is there, but subtle. The maltiness is upfront, but the beer seems pretty dry overall and seems nice and drinkable.

 456 characters

Photo of KroMagnon
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

VERY little head - the beer itself, though, is a nice copper color with orange overtones. The aroma is full of malt, and is pleasant, although I expected more hoppy character to it. There is some toastiness as well as a nice full maltiness. The flavor is also dominated by maltiness, and has some of the same characte as the 'regular' pale ale, but this has more toastiness and seems to have a little bit more hop character. (both beers are not as hoppy as I expected but that's not necessarily a knock). The malt character seems both toasty, slightly caramelly, and also full-bodied as well (that kind of German, solid malt character that reminds you of sweet without actually being sweet). This was good, overall, and the malt character is delicious. Very drinkable - although not a hops showcase, that's OK.

 810 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at The Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a spot on amber with pretty good clarity. About 2 fingers worth of lightly tinted head that holds decently and leaves a fair bit of lacing.

S: Some toasty cereal grains, maybe a bit nutty. Pistachios? A bit of grassy and floral Euro hops. Pretty clean.

T/M: More of the lightly toasted cereal grains with that slight nutty edge. Bitterness is right on for the style and the hops lend more of the grassy, fieldy hop flavors. Body is medium light with crisp carbonation and a nice clean finish.

D: Right on for the style. Low ABV, drinks easy with a crisp clean finish.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a decent off white head. Malty smell and taste to this one. More so than expected. It's kinda caramel/vanilla like. Fairly full body. Nice and smooth. Goes down easy. This is a good stand alone session beer or I could definitely drink this one with a snack or even a meal.

 304 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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 jgasparine
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap at Lucky Devils on Hollywood Blvd. A 1 finger of proteinaceous beige foam was well retained as the beer sat and warmed. Some traces of lacing decorated the glass as the liquid volume went down. The body was an optically clear dark copper-amber with some slow bubbles rising from the depths.

S- Nose is mild, based on crackerlike toasted malts, laced with aromas of oak and a non-offensive mild metallic note. No real hop aroma. This sets the stage for a very drinkable beer.

T- This beer is bigger on the tongue than in the nose. Big toasted malts establish a canvas painted with toasted oak, hints of low alpha hops (just enough to balance the beer), and a barely perceptible nuance of fruity ester. Starts out malty, but finishes dry.

M- A medium body leveraged with a substantial but soft carbonation. A mild astringency from the oak aging is evident.

O- A very drinkable, nay, sessionable brew. I could drink these all day long!

 959 characters

Photo of Jedimaster1
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22oz Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: A nice golden-amber color. You can definitely see the oak coloring. Slight carbonation with a head that disappears quickly.

S: Smell of oak and hops can be slightly detected.

T: It tastes of a pale ale, but with a more oaky, malty flavor. It is slightly sweet with hops to balance it out. Oak can be detected in the aftertaste, though not overwhelming at all.

M: Carbonation and smooth ale.

D: This can easily be a good session beer. I drank the bomber in no time. Easy drinker and a good beer selection for a nice night of enjoying a beer.

Overall I was impressed by this brew. After reading the mix reviews here, I wasn't expecting much. But after spending time with it, I enjoyed its rather unique taste. As a result, I look forward to trying other Firestone brews. This beer is definitely worth a try/

 861 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but dark amber. Nice citric balance on the flavor. Kind of a pine aspect to it, but not a pine tar thing you get from a lot of IPAs. It's more like a fresh bud off a young pine deal. It's vibrant and fairly interesting. Feel is nice. Interesting bite to the carbonation. Overall a good drinker and a nice beer.

 324 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber/copper with a loose white head that sticks here and there.

Toasty with a noticeable biscuit character and plenty of light caramel sweetness all balanced by a snap of earthy hoppiness.
Nuances of vanilla and toast mingle in, but they're so subtle I don't know that I would notice them if I didn't know this was selectively fermented in barrels.

An interesting and quite flavorful amber/pale ale. One I pick up for everyday drinking anytime I'm in California.

 471 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of FW Double Barrel Ale in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper color. There is a moderate foamy off-white head on the beer and very few bubbles in the glass.

Smell is a mild caramel grain aroma.

Taste is also a light caramel and sweet bread flavor. There are some citrus notes but very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth.

Over all a drinkable pale ale and a good representation of the style. Much more malt flavor than the American counterpart.

 518 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice medium amber color. Very clear. 1 finger cream colored head. Leaves a moderate amount of sticky lacing behind.

Smooth caramel aroma. Toffee, leather, and a hint of flowers. Fresh bread.

Caramel and toffee on the tongue. Light, chewy malt. Hints of black pepper. Some sweetness, maybe brown sugar.

Nice medium body and mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Easy drinking. Smooth and well balanced.

Very nicely done beer of a style than is not as widely available as some.

 486 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap (review from 5/2015):
Pours copper with thick off-white head. Head cover surface thinly but completely decently into the pour. Light haziness, if any.

Nose is pretty much on point with British ales, noble type hops, herbal to lightly floral, and a copper hint I get with English Pale Ales. Average strength.

Taste is bitter from the get-go, earthy and actually a little spicy (hops bite, not "heat"). Caramel notes behind this, mainly acting as an accent. I don't really get that metallic/copper taste too strongly, which is nice. Carbonation is lively, lifting the feel of the beer so it is still refreshing despite the bittering agents. Ending is a tad woody, even a hint of pine, but only mildly drying.

I originally rated this a straight 3.75, and is not a style I appreciate often. I appreciate them more now, and this one hit me right today because of its feel and somewhat balanced taste.

 912 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Copper orange amber color, pours a small white head that doesn't stick around for too long, with little lacing.

S: Some fruity esters, bready notes, some caramel toffee notes and a fairly strong floral hop note.

T: Caramel, bread, cracker, a little bit of fruity esters, a nice floral hop and slight bitterness and a slight mineral note. A good tasting English style ale.

F: Fairly creamy mouthfeel, but still pretty easy drinking.

O: This is exactly what I look for in an English style ale.

 500 characters

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

Cold pour into a pint glass.

Very nice clear bronze appearance. Head retained well, nice lace.
After my first taste I was ready to write this beer off. No way did it deserve its very respectable rating.
Then as it warmed, the flavors developed and it became a completely different beer.
Cold - bitter unpleasant orange peel. Warmed - complex malt hops balance worthy of the style.
In my opinion, drinking this beer cold is an injustice and I won't make that mistake again.

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

Review number 400,got this 22oz bomber from my brother-in-law on a recent visit from San Deigo.

Served into a nonic glass poured a clear,medium copper color with almost a 2'' off white creamy head with fair retention leaving rings of lace down the glass. Wisps of very tiny bubbles stringing to the surface,had to look very closely to see them.

Clean,sweet malty nose with nutty/toasty notes,fruity with lots of earthyness and moderate hop notes of spice with a perfumy touch.

The first taste i just noticed how nice the balance of the beer was.Complex maltiness not overpowering sweet/toasty/nutty/slightly roasty with a nice carmellness. Fruity and earthy with a good crisp moderate,hoppiness to match the maltiness hops were woody/herbal/spicy not as much spice as in the aroma.

Medium body leaning towards the lighter side,creamy,also had some grainyness with some astrigency at the finish. Easily drank the bomber,just don't think I would be able to drink all night. Very good Amber,well made nothing I would seek out,but would buy occasionaly if it was avalible in my area.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very murky honey-golden. Good foam and excellent lacing.

Smell: Burnt vanilla, sort of like bourbon. Some vague woody notes as well. Very malty in my opinion.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very subdued flavors. Burnt vanilla and oak. Very faint floral hop flavors in this as well. I was not initially in love with the mouthfeel, and I found it a bit thin. However, as this warms, the oaky, resiny traits of this beer come out, and the fiery bourbon sensation grows.

Overall: A very good beer that gets better as you drink. Would make a great session.

 552 characters

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

The label is different than the picture here, should be the same thing 5.0% Firestone DBA (bomber).

Pours a lively light brownish copper color with a minimal off white head and lacing.

A bready caramel malt smell

Sweet caramel malt taste with a hint of oak flavor.

Medium to light bodied and slightly resiny with a tea finish.

The hint of oak or tea finish slows down the session.

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Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Citrusy hops, nice bouquet, orange, grapefruite, caramel sweetness.

L: Crystal clear orange-amber. Off-white head that dissipates.

T: Caramel sweetness with an underlying mild bitterness with just a touch of minerals. Finishes earthy and fairly clean.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Decent english pale ale, sounds strange but could have used a touch more hops.

 375 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Weibull for sending this my way!

Pours a reddish amber tone into a rinsed pint glass. Spotty lacing all around. Aroma of clean malty sweetness.

Flavor is mellow and malty, with light oak notes. Dry hops lend a low, earthy bitterness. Pretty easy drinking, not sure why anyone would have beef with this.

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

The beer pours a very nice tannish head that takes a while to dissipate but still leaves a film on the top of the beer and in the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear copper color that is fairly close to a deep amber. The beer looks really nice but bordering closer to an amber ale than an English pale ale, but it still looks pretty solid and nice.

The beer smell is pretty nice but is a little spicy. The beer smell has strong malt smells with a leafy hop note. The smell has various malt notes ranging from caramel, lightly toasted, and a little bit bready.

The taste is somewhat the same in regards to notes. The beer has lightly toasted and caramel malt flavor balanced by a light and crispy hop presence. The hop presence is a bit flowery, which gives the beer a pretty nice earthy note.

The mouthfeel is good. The beer is a little heavy and probably medium bodied because of the malt presence. The beer is smooth with a little carbonation to it but not much. Overall, the feel is pretty nice and refreshing.

Overall, a pretty good English Pale Ale and worth getting. It's said to see this beer getting dinged for being malty and meeting the criteria for the beer type.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 752 ratings.
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