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 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!

 960 characters

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.

 255 characters

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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Photo of Nickholland
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

If you like bourbon then you will love this beer. I'm impressed. This is a really unique beer. For the amount of complexity it's relatively light. (5%alc) Beautiful copper color, good malty aroma, this is not a hop heads beer. Flavor is toffee/vanilla and bourbon. You really can taste the oak aging. Well done and will be buying again. Beer Adv really missed on this one in my opinion.

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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 fx20736
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Coppery red amber, stiff cumulus head. Aroma of freshly turned earth. Taste of nutty, earthy maltiness with a touch of cocoa like alkaline bitterness. Mouthfeel is frothy and effortless. This beer is superb.

 208 characters

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a one finger off white head. Aroma is caramel, toast, and floral, earthy hops. Taste is caramel, biscuit, floral, earthy, and delicious. Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp carbonation. Overall, a very, very good bitter/english pale ale. Every sip leaves me wanting more, although I probably like this beer more than most. Just excellent.

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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.

 1,190 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sort of an underappreciated brew, IMO, whose nuances are probably easily missed. My favorite part about this -- and I pick it up more in bottled versions than draught -- is the light vanilla note the Firestone Union oak barrels offer. It mixes so well with the toffee malt notes and really makes something unique. Nice noble hop contributions too, and really overall just a super clean beer that well reflects what English ale is all about.

(Bumping this up across the board, as I've come to especially appreciate this brew, the likes of which are almost non-existent these days. Great noble hop notes, captures the English ale yeast contribution to a tee, and the malt profile is delightful, toasty, lightly sweet, and just a bit of that intrigue from the Union barrels. Trying to start giving smaller beers their due -- may as well start here!)

 847 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear copper with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like rusty copper and earthy barley, with a little citrus.
T: It tasted like caramel and earthy barley malts, with a little copper hops. It had a clean, mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Thin body.
D: This was far from the modern IPAs. The scent was not very appealing. The taste was more sweet than bitter. The body was weak, but the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Drinkable, but not recommended.

 519 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very solid English style light ale. Nice roasty notes, sweet caramel balanced by slight hop presence and crispness. Enjoyed this one. Another solid FW offering.

 173 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Reviewed on May 29th, 2015
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Eyes
Poured a clean copper body. A short light tan head quickly collapsed and left a sparse amount of lacing.

Nose
Sweet, caramel heavy malts. Faint hint of floral hops. Subtle aroma all around.

Mouth
Heavy hit of malts up front... caramel and bread, fairly dense. Floral hops cut through the malts, attempting to lighten things up. Floral hops finished semi-sweet with a nice lingering presence of caramel malts. Medium bodied. Moderate/high carbonation.

Notes
I was surprised with the density of this brew. The overall taste was familiar and underwhelming. Not a bad brew but not my favorite.

 678 characters

Photo of ElJacobian
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I liked this way more than most people. It's definitely a shallower, weaker beer than most of Firestone Walker's others, but still decent in my opinion. It smells like toast, maybe a tiny hint of cantaloupe. I liked the aftertaste - nice balance of fruit, toasty malt, and the alcohol is completely hidden.

 306 characters

Photo of Brevbin
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Received in a trade. Zero head. Smells nonexistent. Color is good. Tastes metallic with a slight oak notes. Mouthful is lacking. I must have gotten a bad/old bottle.

 165 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. I'm disappointed in its rough texture and weak retention, and by the fact it doesn't leave behind any lacing. (3)

Smell: It's kind of hard to tell what the aroma is trying to accomplish. There's a definite influence of the cask-conditioned bitter here (I get some light ale esters and a touch - and boy, do I mean just a touch - of oak), to be fair. But I also pick up hints of diacetyl (small touches are not unwanted in the style) and cereal grain at first. The solution: let it open up in the glass. The bad notes go away, and the fruity esters appear a bit more vividly. Caramel and toasted bread notes tie it all together. Unfortunately, the whole aroma seems subdued in the wrong ways. (3)

Taste: The flavor, again, is subtle. I do like how there are actual ale esters next to the bready malt backbone, at least - notes of cherry, apricot, and peach appear initially. I swear I pick up notes of cereal grain lurking around throughout, though its presence doesn't ruin the beer. I'm not picking up any toasted oak or vanilla qualities. All in all, a boring ale. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Cereal grains seem to give a nice lightness, but it also makes the finish a little sweet. The latter is due to the low carbonation. Hey, it goes down easily. (3)

Overall: I've been waiting to try FW's flagship for a while now, and the end result is...meh. There's nothing special about this - I enjoy certain elements (like the presence of fruity esters), but it doesn't tie together to become any sort of world-beater. It's a solid gateway beer, and that's about it. I'll give this one a second chance if I find it on cask. (3)

2.9/5: ...yep, I'm still gonna stick with Pivo Pils

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Photo of JohnL9013
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Could just be that this isn't my style, but I'm not too keen on this beer. It tastes like a macro brew to me. Slightly skunky, a little bitter, and not much else by way of flavor. The mouthfeel is great, it's surprisingly smooth, but the taste is inexcusable. I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This unique beer has a foreboding appearance: a dark copper color body, with a dearth of carb bubbles, lying beneath a wispy cap of foam. There is an initial nose of plum; the palate, meanwhile, has its work cut out as this particular beer seems to have diverted from the expected English Pale Ale. There is a heavy layer of rye supplemented by the aforementioned plum. The balance and mouthfeel excels, however, It is firm, yet smooth on the tongue. Really more of a sessional IMHO.
While it does not exceed the Firestone Jacks (Union, Double and Wookey), it does provide the consumer with a wild detour from the expected.

Another wonderful brew from this outstanding brewer. (I understand they also make tires - or something.)

 729 characters

Photo of ARoman
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*Transferred from old notes - 1/12/2014*
12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Aromas of sour fruits - mostly apple and grape come to mind - start this one out with some faint yogurt smells sneaking through underneath. It’s a sparkling golden caramel coloring with a light, puffy white head that retains pretty well and leaves a nice lacing consisting of mostly micro-sized bubbles with some splotches of medium and small bubbles. It is mostly sour and yogurt-tart with moderate resin bitterness and a light, dull, sweet presence as well. The thin body contains a significant, but not overwhelming, amount of carbonation. It has a dry mouthfeel with some light peachy flavors as well as a toasted bread with butter taste. It finishes with a mostly toasty, resin finish, but after that fades, a cherry yogurt aftertaste is what lingers longest.

 840 characters

Photo of HipCzech
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at The Hay Merchant, served in a 16 oz shaker pint. A deep amber brown with dense off white head and lace. What starts toward a straightforward amber ale finds a better balance with earthy hops and barrel wood adding complexity and offsetting much malty sweetness with a crisper, drier finish.

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