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Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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758 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: 758 | Ratings: 2,493
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.

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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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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 TH28
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. 12/22/15 can date. Appearance: Light brown/Amber red, clear, off white foam head. Aroma: bready, toasty, vanilla. Hint of herbal hops. Taste: Toasted, bready maltiness, light vanilla, woody. Moderate herbal hop bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium with a light carbonation. Finish: Finishes toasty with a touch of lingering herbal bitterness. Overall: Really nice bitter. Maltiness is dominant and layered, with wonderful toasted bread aroma and flavor. Hoppiness strong enough to balance and keep it easy drinking. Oak adds a light vanilla complexity

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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.

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

L: copper color with a finger of white head
S: sweater hops and some malt to balance it out. But not much overall.
T: decent pale ale. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Fits the style.
F: thin, but again, fits the style. Easy drinking
O: a nice pale ale

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Photo of jmasher85
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a great offering but a perfectly nice one. It's a hop-forward pale ale with some nice lemongrass, grapefruit, and resin notes and a bitter, slightly sweet finish. If there's been some barrel aging on it, I didn't notice. Not as good as plenty of their other IPA offerings, but a good summer lawn beer.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a foamy off white head with some nice streaming bubbles.

Smells of barley, malt and hops, or the bones of beer. There is a bit of a woody, maybe sweet smoky smell in there as well.

Taste is sweet caramel with a touch of that woody smoke flavor. Getting some hops across the back of the tongue towards the finish.

Mouth feel is fairly light with a bit of a snap on the finish.

Overall this is a nicely brewed beer. The difference is the bit of barrel aging that they give this beer. It does impart a difference into the flavor that makes for a different kind of beer.

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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 Libeertarian
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First had this in California just over a year ago. I remember driving right by the brewhouse and being in too big of a hurry to stop at that time. Late that night though, at a diner in Pismo Beach, I ordered this on tap. From what I remember, greater with a burger and onion rings, an good beer. Time to see just how good (only this time from a bottle).

Slightly tarnished copper, mostly clear and bubbly, topped with foamy, fluffy, and chunky light yellow to tan head of great retention and decent lacing. As an English Pale Ale (albeit from the US West Coast), it is unsurprising that the smell is not too citric or piney, more so herbal, leafy, earthy, with a touch of caramel. Palate is tart and robust with biscuits but resinous and herbal throughout, more bitter, hop-spicy, and peppery towards the end. Just barely passes for an English, at least in my experience. Good though. Medium-bodied and packed with fine suds, near velvet in smoothness as it lingers, crisp and gulpy at the finish.

 1,001 characters

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

First had at Cat Cora's Kitchen, Salt Lake City International Airport, poured from 12-oz. bottle, stamped bottled on "12/07/2015," into tall, slender but thick-walled glass. Do not perceive any striking effects from the "patented oak-­‐barrel brewing system," but this is a very balanced, pleasing English-style ale.

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

Good English-style beer. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Stone Imp. Russian Stout tulip. Clear amber color with a lot of carbonation showing.. Big frothy bubbly white head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet malt and a little toffee, fairly well pronounced. Taste is more of the same with a little grassy hops bitterness thrown in. Good tasting malty beer. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with good carbonation. Overall a tasty, refreshing fairly light beer. Low abv. enough for a session beer.

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Photo of m3rkury
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight from the fridge it was one dimensional. As it warmed up some of the caramel aromas came out. This was reflected in the taste with a nice malt. There was bitterness, but none of the floral/citrus flavors or aromas I was expected. Overall fair.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Yard House, LA. Boston shaker.

A: deep amber-red. 1 finger white head, quickly fades to a thin ring. Ample visible carb. Very good lacing.

S: a little weak, actually. Some mild floral/citrus, with some layers of toasted malt.

T: malty and slightly citrusy/woodsy/herbal arrival and mid-palate. Fairly woodsy and earthy, malty middle. A darker character pale ale. I love it. It's like a less bitter Burning River, minus the Northern Brewer hops. Somewhat like anchor steam.

M: heavier side of midweight. Well carbonated, not overly so. Very clean finish, with a touch of lingering floral hop.

O: This beer REALLY does it for me. Exceptional balance, depth of character and complexity. Given its similarity to Burning River, which I consider local, I don't know that I'd buy this regularly even if it were available to me. But if I lived anywhere else, this would be a staple. I think FW is incapable of making bad beer.

 931 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a light dissipating foam.

Light sweet grass and hay on the nose.

Huge malty lager up front, some caramel and slightly bitter hops in the background.

Carbonation kicks up a touch in the mouth.

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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.

 683 characters

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.

 1,161 characters

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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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,493 ratings.
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