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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: 2,492
Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good, solid beer with a slight English element to its character.

Copper, it has a medium, pale tan head that shrinks steadily to a thin, permanent top. It leaves weak hints of lace.

The aroma is flowery and slightly earthy with a lot of breadcrust along with hints of caramel and grapefruit.

The taste is mild caramelly malt, bread, light citrus leaning slightly towards grapefruit, hints of pine, earthy leaves, and light fruitiness. It's somewhat mild and is a tad more grapefruity than I ideally prefer, but it is overall quite tasty, with good balance, and definite English qualities that I like. The sweetness and bitterness both last nicely, it also goes well with food and is very drinkable.

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

Bottle cracked at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA, and enjoyed w/ a pretzel. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A clear orange amber bodied beer, with a foamy, one-finger, slightly off-white head with average retention. Lacing is initially nice, with finger-like wisps rising from the white slick of foam laying atop the body, but disappears pretty quickly.

Aroma: Spicy grassy hops and some faint citrus are the dominant notes here, backed up by a pale, biscuity maltiness. A little simplistic but pleasant.

Taste: Very balanced. Malty, with lots of roasted notes, some nuttiness, a hint of buttery malt, and a few spicy phenols, but backed up by a healthy dose of balancing bitterness - a little rough, but not too bad - and a nice burst of orange zest and faint vegetalness. Stylistically, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fine-bubbled, full-bodied, and creamy. A good amount of carbonation as well, which melds with the hop bitterness and spicy phenols well.

Drinkability: I thought this one was pretty good, actually - a very interesting and balanced amber with a very reasonable alcohol level. Haven't yet had a bad beer from Firestone Walker - a very good beer from a very good brewery.

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Photo of apaltrineri
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very coppery amber/orange color out of the tap, with a small off-white head and some lacing for the first half of the pint. Admirable.

S - Sweet earthy malt aroma, with yeasty sweetness finishing it off nicely. Hint of tart apples.

T - Mmm, this ale is balanced so well it is almost buttery! Not too much sweetness, balanced with hops that assert the ale's complex character. Not a standout, but very solid.

M - Smooth, buttery and the hint of carbonation make this one of the most pleasant red ales had in recent memory.

D - Could polish off these babies all night! Definitely worth the hike out to northern California to find this brew.

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Photo of Foxtrot
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a very nice amber brown color with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly with some lacing

S - Smells of Oak barrels with the sweetness of caramel with some hops

T - Tasted as it smells. That it had lots of oak with some sweet malts, and a little earthy.

M - Decent on the mouth feel with a low carbonation.

D - I like this, really clean taste with dry oak finish.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronze-amber colour, with a thin head of white foam. Head dissipates pretty quickly, despite the steady carbonation. No lacing. Looks pretty tame.

Lighty toasted malt characters on the nose. Dark, a little sweet burnt sugar character. Although it's pretty weak, there's not a lot on it.

Taste is also pretty weak, a light roasted character on the front palate, and a light slightly sour character later on. Finishes with an earthy taste that leaves the palate feeling a bit rough. Pretty light mouthfeel too.

This is a pretty bland beer - there's nothing really wrong with it, but there's not a lot to it. Simple flavours. It's drinkable enough, but not very exciting.

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Photo of dfitch81
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BA classifies this as an American Amber/Red Ale, but it tastes more like an English Pale Ale (or maybe an ESB), which is how the brewers describe it.
Poured with a head about two fingers thick, average retention.
Smell, though not strong, is pleasant and tea-like. Taste is nicely subdued at first, with more of the tea-like flavor suggested by the smell. Juicy hops come out near the end - flavorful but not overwhelming. Nice, satisfying finish with no unpleasant aftertaste.
Overall a very satisfying beer, and one that I liked more the more I drank. Too bad it isn't a little cheaper - I feel slightly guilty spending $4.99...

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

Clear deep amber with a fair amount of cream colored head.
Aroma is spicy hops with a hint of cinnamon.
Taste is rich leathery hops with medium bitterness. Slighttest hint of grapefruit for a change. Well balanced with the sweet malts. Some iced (sweet) tea in the mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. A very fine English Pale Ale. Very sessionable beer. When the 22 ounce bottle was empty I wanted another. I could drink this beer all night. Hope to see more from Firestone in my area.
One of my go to beers at this time. I'm never dissapointed with this beer. A nice change from my usual Pale Ales or IPAs.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to pkeigs for sharing this one. Pours a mostly amber color with some slight haze. Off white head with ok retention that hid to the side of the glass. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is limited overall. Some grainy notes with a light kettle caramel backing. Some melanodian aromas. Some noticeable esters with more tropical fruits, plums, figs and pineapples. The yeast is surprisingly light with all the esters going on. Some astringency but I wonder if that is the woody aroma that others are getting.

The taste comes out more than the nose indicates. The malt comes out with a stronger caramel flavor with a light toasty flavor. A bit wispy, would have liked more depth. The esters back off a little compared to the nose, but still have some detectable fruity qualities. Some cherries, plums, figs and pineapple again. Also the yeast is smooth, helps with the drinkability. There is a boarder line peat notes on the backend. Some earthy hops are just barely detectable.

The body is moderate to light moderate. A bit wispy could use more body for sure. Interesting with the esters and the clean yeast flavors. To me this is closer to a Scottish than a US Red. The malt and hops just don't support.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Average looking amber coloured beer, small off white head. Lovelly aromas though, spicy,malty, fruity..floral. and woody.gorgeous. Mainlly malty ..semi sweet flavours, English leafy hop in the back and after taste, slightly toasty. Kinda thin on the palte..though thats not really a bad thing in this weather. Overall a nice English style plae ale..could be a good session if it lost 1% of its alcohol.

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Photo of sholland119
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A bit of a disappointment, really. I picked up a sixer while out of town on business. We do not get Firestone Walker products here.

Pours a clear amber with a little bit of white head and no lacing.

Smells mildly of grainy malt with a faint hint of bittersweet chocolate.

Taste is rather sweet but forgettable with little of the chocolate malt presence in the nose.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with good medium carbonation.

Drinkability is fine but I would choose another option if I had one. Not bad, not great.


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Photo of maximum12
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Donated by my most excellent compadre John after a beer tasting that I was out of town for.

Pours ambers with little head & some serious running carbonation. Smells is almost invisible to the nose; the barest hint of wood & malt.

Taste is kind of funky. I get the malty amberishness, just a bit of sawdusty wood, lots of watery thinness.

Mouthfeel is thin. Drinkability? Not after this one. I may finish, I may shift to something more appealing.

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Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First bottle, Average mouthfeel. Easy drinking,
An Amber? Not, an English Pale Ale, smells and tastes like one.
had again 3 1/3 years later and malty sugary taste, malty aroma. Need something hoppier. Good retained head of a quarter inch of white foam.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Andysr15 for the extra! Pours a light orange with a thin white head. A light amount of citrus hops on the nose. Decent hop flavor and very easy to drink. I get a slight bit of citrus hop bitterness on the tongue at first and it mellows pretty nicely with a sweet malty finish. Pretty good session brew.

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Photo of younger35
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this in San Luis Obispo at Sandy's Deli. The little dude that was working there was hilarious. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a reddish orange with a decent sized one finger bright white head. The head recedes fairly slowly leaving a spotty cap, fairly thin collar and pretty much no lacing.
Smell- Some soft malty sweetness upfront gives way to just a kiss of soft floral hops. A bit of toffee shows a bit more as it warms and the lilac like hops really shine. Fairly soft nose but pleasant none-the-less.
Taste- Much like the nose this thing is just soft and flavorful and delicious! Nice malty backbone that is somewhat biscuity and doughy. A small amount of sweetness is present but just enough to add a soft toffee aspect. The hops are fairly aggressive as well for a Red Ale. Some ripe juicy pineapple is present towards the end with a light lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Nice big body with a full feel and light carbonation.
Drinkability- Very easy drinking, nice flavorful brew. The malt and hop are in very nice balance and I thoroughly enjoyed this. I wish I could find a nice mild red around here that is as easy drinking as this brew.

 1,197 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber, poured into my trusty arrogant pint glass...

Clear copper, very light bubbles. Big frothy head made of big bubbles.

Aroma is light. Possibly a faint hint of fruit. Caramel for sure. Bread.

Unique flavor and luckily for me, I like it. Drank a few dogs lately. I taste tea. And something I want to compare to apple cider, but it isn't that. Not brimming with flavor, but nice. I'm trying to get a handle on the taste and the damn bomber is almost gone!

Refreshing, drinkable, sluggable. Very pale ale if you know what I mean.

If stouts or porters are referred to as coffee-beer, this puppy is definitely ice-tea-beer.

Overall: glad I tried it, went down oh too easy and I need to reach for another beer....

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Making my own sixer at Perfect Pour... Had read reviews and thought, "gee, I should add this one to my list." Didn't think much more of it until I pulled it from the fridge and poured it into a glass. Interesting clear amber with just a hint of (pink? copper?) color; small foamy head that left a hint of lacing along the way. Very slight malt and a hint of fruity hops in the nose, but the taste was extremely fresh and balanced. Nice, light carbonation and the malty body matched the subtle hops perfectly. No other (negative) flavors in the matrix; all in all, a very tasty, refreshing and exceedingly drinkable ale. I'd buy this again (in fact, I'll buy a full sixer this time). Great stuff.

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Photo of Brewlore
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light brown, which yielded a decent somewhat frothy white head that stuck around a wee bit before forming a nice lacing. Amber in color with subtle reddish hues coming through in the light.

The scent is mainly malts. Caramel malts come through. It's actually pretty light in terms of aroma. I could not detect much. A bit of a disappointment actually.

Thankfully the taste is not similar to the lackluster aroma. Big malts on this one with a nice bitter backup from the hops. Slightly fruity and woody (should have just said oaky). Fairly grainy as well but the spicy hops balance that out. The malt flavor is quite toasty too.

On the palate this brew feels very nice. Lively carbonation with a medium body.

With an ABV of 5% this is surely a beer that's very drinkable and wont get you to lopsided (so to speak). This is not a "holy crap you've gotta try this" type brew but it's a solid one.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i dident except much from this one when i poured it in to my glass, i wasent impresed with the color, or the faint sent it pordused but that all was quickley washed away when the first sip hit my lips. this has a hopy bite to it, way more than i thought would come from a 5% abv beer. all and all i would recomend this beer and will dirnk it agan if it ever crosses my path agan

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

Service Temperature, 40 degrees farenheit. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

Purchased at John's Market July 27th, 2008

Appearance, is amber & clear with a medium to mild white foamy head that quickly dies out leaving apparitions of lace inside the glass.
The nose on this beer is very mild with a mix of floral, some spice, and a dash of caramel.
Sipping this I detect some mild earthiness, mellow sweetness, and some mellow roasted-ness.
Mouthfeel is mild to medium but overall a decent drink.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ive had this brew quite a few times on-tap as well as out of a bottle. it never really fails to serve. decent pour with very short lived head. subtle scent. nice flavor. great baseball brew. pair this up with a couple slices of pizza or a burger and some dogs and you have a winning combo. nowhere near the top shelf but i know that i can always depend on dba to come through for me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber into a pint glass, picked up at the local Ralphs,

A: Pours amber with a small off-white head, looks like a typical pub pint.

S: Wood, oaky, caramel sweetness, molasses cookies, strong scent, lots of sugar.

T: Caramel and sugar form the main malt character with some pumpernickel bread, light toast. Has a definite mineral and carbonic acid character along with light lactic acidity I assume from the wood aging. Hops are grassy and herbal, a bit acrid at times, but do a good job to balance the malt.

M: Like the mouthfeel in this beer, light-bodied, can feel thin, but a like the mild acidity, gives an Old World flair to the ale.

D: Not a great beer, have had about 5 bombers of this beer in my life, some are malt bombs, some are drier, like the bottle I have here. Not a consistent beer, but brings something different every time you try it, quaffable, glad it exists, it is quite inexpensive. The bottle I'm having right now is probably the best I have had, tastes really fresh, would place it as an A-, but I'm trying to go overall with my experience with beer, so I have to rate it a little lower.

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

Appearance: It's a pretty deep reddish amber in color and a little hazy. Head is vanilla colored and about a finger and a half deep. It was quick to dissipate and left very little lacing on the glass. Very nice looking color nonetheless.

Smell: The nose is a bit of a disappointment. It's on the weak side of the spectrum. It is earthy, grainy, and features some spices and herbs. They're not strong enough to be identified, but are noteable enough to keep it above average. It is toasty and malty. Slightly sweet. Hops are not strong, but are present. They're mostly floral.

Taste: It is a little malty and sweet initially. Malts taste slightly toasted. It really has a strong earthy and grainy element to it. Perhaps a little spicy, but not much. Hops are clearly the headliner and show stealer. They're a little snappy and bitter, but I was not expecting the dramatic effect they'd have on the flavor. Don't get me wrong, it's not a strong hop bitterness, but rather a very interesting, lively component. It finishes a little sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one's light bodied and pretty smooth. Carbonation is active and makes it pretty crisp. It's pretty drinkable for what it is. I could easily drink more. But, I'd probably rather have something else if I had a choice. It's good, but not outstanding.

Double Barrel's a solid beer. I wasn't quite sure what to expect and am overall pretty pleased with it. The nose could stand some beefing up and the flavor profile could use a little more depth. But, it's a good beer as it is. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of brdc
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks wastrinkensie for this one. Large capped bottle.

It is a dark orange brew, with some nice red highlights, topped by a good sized white head that shows above average retention.
Aroma is hoppy, right from the start; not IPA hoppy, but more than your average amber ale hoppy, fruity and lively, along with some sweet malts, caramel and honey.
Medium bodied, refreshing but not light, with a well balanced taste, with sweet caramel tones and interspersing hoppy bitterness.
It is not a "wow" beer, but that is not what amber ales are supposed to be. It is a very weel crafted, tasty amber ale, well above the average and certainly worth a try. Significantly better than the score would lead you to believe, but it is probably because it lacks "wow" - if it had, it would not be an amber ale.

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Photo of BigBry
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle, label as pictured above. Brought back from a trip to Dallas, found in a gas station beside the hotel. Looks pretty interesting.
Amber brown color, with a short off white head. Not alot of retention or lace which doesn't last too well. Nice aroma, caramel malt, earthy, woodsy. Strong malt flavor, caramel, brown sugar, but not overly sweet. Earthy hops in the finish. I found it to be really well balanced. Very smooth and drinkable. Medium body and carbonation, crisp finish. This is another good one.

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

The Double Barrel ale poured a clear red with a single finger foam head that stayed for a little while. Not much in the way of lacing.

The smell was caramel and a subdued hop note. The first drink was a sharp slap to the face as it gave quite a bite. It mellowed after a few drinks and had a good caramel profile. It was sweet on the finish.

It didn't have much for feel in the mouth. It left a tad bit of bitterness but was here and gone. Overall I found it to be a fairly uneventful amber.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,492 ratings.
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