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Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
758 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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:
758
Ratings:
2,492
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.65%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
375
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 758 | Ratings: 2,492
Photo of Aenema
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear copper with a thick, off-white head.
Smell - Floral hoppy notes dominate.
Taste - Biscuity & caramel malts with a honey sweetness and floral hops. Flavors are not persistent.
Mouthfeel - Rather highly carbonated, light body with a smooth, slick feel. Thin feel.
Drinkability - Sessionable, but not a beer I would want multiples of.

 359 characters

Photo of foles
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably underrated given the expectation for this beer to be a hop driven american ale. However this is an authentic english style offering from Firestone Walker. Nice malt, tea like hops on the nose and palate - seems like EKG. A rounded english profile, firmly bitter, maybe some esters in there. Maybe a bit too dry? Either way this wouldn't be out of place on cask in England.

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Photo of dcook11
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- An aggresive pour provides a thick, white, iceberg head about two and a half fingers deep. The beer itself is a dark honey/bronze color. Some small fine bubbles rise to the top of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing.

S- Pine, citrus, oak, caramal malt, a touch of tropical fruit. More pine/caramel forward as cold, but as it warms oak dominates.

T- More oak than in the smell. Piney/resiney hops.

M- Dry, light bodied.

O- A great sessionable beer for those who enjoy oak and hop character at a lower abv.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i must admit -- mr first FW beer was Union Jack, followed by Abacus, followed by Double Jack. So, it is kind of hard to gear down for this one, AND steeped in the cornucopia of amazing, exotic and experimental beers you can get out there....

it's hard to gauge this beer fairly as an English Pale Ale for me. PALE ALE has been defined as SN Pale for me. BASS ALE... is well... bass ale, and english beer you mix with Guinness sometimes... for me the disappointment is in the

1. lack of a fresh hop profile,
2. a lagerish type feel, not really Ale like
3. lack of sweetness and overall....

too dry for the style. yes, i just said i am somewhat limited on the style... and now i am saying it is too dry.

POURS a light mahogany color with a little one finger head, IF you pour aggressively. then the lager type feel hits... SMELL is mostly of yeast and some malt. it is a pleasant aroma. but not exciting.

TASTE again is yeast, and dry malt... like maybe the bitterness is drying out the malt? crisp and dry... not sweet and effervescent. MOUTHFEEL is light. OVERALL this beer would not win me over to this brewery.

but considering i am sold on most of their other beers... i would recommend this to fans of the Style.

cheers!

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Photo of DM1293
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste - The hops are the first thing to hit you and then they immediately dissipate, leaving a lingering finish on the palate. There's no bitter aftertaste, so this Ale is all Bite and no Bark. Interestingly, as I got halfway through, the ale seemed to ease up on the sweet hoppy taste and pulled back into more of a malt taste.

Overall - Its a crisp refreshing brew thats strong, but very smooth and easy drinking. I wish there was a little more flavor to it, but its otherwise solid.

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Photo of SethB2
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Red Robin in Yuba City.

Beer served in a liter sized mug. Deep transparent redish amber color with a very nice head on the mug. Smell was nothing great. Some hops and a slight amount of sweetness. Taste was similar. It reminded me of what a APA is when it misses the target. Mouthfeel was thin and watery to me. Drinkability isn't bad. It's a fairly non offensive brew, so throwing a few back wouldn't be too difficult.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle. Pours a deep golden brown and makes a thin white head. Lots of cereal malt character in the nose, not much in the way of hops. Flavor is spicy and sharp, slightly bitter and has a syrupy-sweet malt character. Leaves a creamy coating in the mouth. Rather drinkable, overall above average for the style. I really wish the typical macro brew tasted like this.

 384 characters

Photo of ikats
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, dark amber in color with fluffy white head. A thin cover remains throughout my session. Carbonation is fairly low. Aroma includes some toffee sweetness with some piney hops notes. There is slight hop bite as you first taste the ale, but it's the sweetness that stays with you on the lips. Medium-light body. I find it smooth and very drinkable (but then I rarely drink more than 2-3 beers at home).

On my most recent week-long Los Angeles visit, I was looking for a local six pack, so that I can have a bottle or two after work back in the hotel. I then recalled reading about Firestone Walker's Union system, and I was curious to try it. Nice pick. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One bottle made it back to NYC with me for this review. Now I am curious to try 100% barrel-aged DBA at their tasting room (as opposed to 20/80 mix of barrel- and stainless-aged ales that goes into the bottles). Maybe my next visit to California.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep orange with minimal head that fades to a few bubbles on the surface. Good amount of carbonation visible.

S - Smells mostly of light malts, some light fruits as well.

T - Very rich malt flavor, mostly caramel malts, slightly biscuity, same light fruits are there from the smell.

M - Very smooth, medium body, slightly grainy mouthfeel towards the end. Finish is still mostly rich malts with a hint of bittering hops.

D - Very good drinkability, very smooth in mouthfeel and flavor. Just have to keep going back for another sip. There wasn't anything overly complex about this beer.

 608 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a very clear light amber with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles racing to the surface. Very thick merague like head last for long time. Nice lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: Amber fruit and caramel with a hint of earthy English Hops, possibly EKG. Faint oakiness in the aroma profile.

Taste: Very mild to start with a light malty sweetness with hints of caramel, with a semi sweet chocolate like astringency. Could be the oak. Very clean bittering hops lends for a nice mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a dry finish. Nicely carbonated.

Drinkability/Notes: Definitely a nice session beer that weighs in at 5% abv. Has enough character to keep things interesting. Mild maltiness with just enought hop bitterness to balance the beer. Easy to drink. Definitely worth checking out but nothing too special. A decent every day drinker.

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Photo of beersarang
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, almost gold with a tan head that is creamy but recedes into a thin collar and minimal lace. Frikkin clear.

Slight grains and hop aroma, not too prominent.

Firm slightly roasted malt profile, and a very nice grapefruit hop presence. Overall rather balanced and smooth tasting. Finishes a little sweet, as an amber should, with grains at the exhale. Very solid.

Lighter bodied, quite drinkable. A good standby that is available everywhere, a good crossover beer as well.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would like to preface this review by stating that I think it's absurd for "drinkablility" to accout for only 10% of the overall ranking of a beer on this site. No matter how "over the hop" it may be, the purpose of every beer is to be drunk. I think that appearance and smell could both stand a demotion in favor of the ultimate characteristic of a great beer. Having gotten that off my chest, here goes...

Appearance: Fantastic color, beautiful brown to orange, thin head, low bubble activity. A little better head retention and we'd go higher.

Smell: Smells great, but weak. I can detect the oakiness, but that's about all. This may be due to the fact that I had a Stone 10th anniversary IPA earlier.

Taste: A singing synergy of the elements of a great session beer. The malt, the hop, and the sweet soft water enjoy a wonderful polygamus marriage.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying, utterly unsticky.

Drinkability: In my opinion, there is not a better session beer in the world. Not an attention hog, but goes great with almost anything. Much better than the tires. If there is a more versatile beer in existence, please tell me about it. A great choice for when you're hanging with friends whose company you enjoy, but whose taste in beer could use some fine-tuning.

 1,275 characters

Photo of jdhowe
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, bottled on 1/28/13. I'm hoping it's not too old.

A: Pours a deep orange, crystal clear, with 1.5 fingers of off-white (orangeish) head from a vigorous pour. Head quickly dissipates do a thin, bubbly layer with just a little lacing left on the glass, but plenty of stickiness on the side leaving lacing as I drink.

S: I would never guess this an English Pale Ale, but the malts do have that aroma to them now that I look for it. The nose is dominated by sweet, sticky malt character... very little hopping. Definitely fruity. Malt leading into alcohol, and something else clean that I cannot recognize, perhaps from the yeast.

T: The taste follows the nose, hitting strong with lots of malty sweetness. Finish is nice and smooth with bitterness lingering after the sip has finished, but not too evident in the character of the beer. Pretty nice. A little much alcohol shows up for a 5abv beer, but this taste is malt-dominated. Not quite as hoppy as I'd like (not just as a hop-head, but for the style), but otherwise very nice.

M: Interesting, because this beer is very carbonated (maybe a little too much), but still coats the mouth and lingers with its stickiness (again, maybe a little too much). That said, the mouthfeel isn't bad, and the beer drinks quite well. In fact, I find the lingering stickiness making me want another sip pretty much immediately, so I'm probably going to put this pint away fast enough that I'll be opening another brew shortly.

O: A good beer. Not a great beer, but I'm definitely not sad I'm drinking this. While I don't tend to like many English Pale Ales (based on a small sample space), I'm finding this interpretation of the style to be enjoyable. Maybe a little on the sweet side for its own good, and the hop bitterness is left wanting for its style. Perhaps this is just a consequence of the 4-month-old bottle... I may have to revisit this fresher.

 1,907 characters

Photo of Duster72
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear amber color with lots of ruby. One finger off-white head. Aroma is primarily malts with some carmel, fruits, and herbal hops. Taste is a relatively interesting blend of malts with some sweetness coming from fruits and carmel. Some oakiness and mild floral/herbal hops. Mouthfeel is on the light side which works well with the beer. Fine beer, nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Mustard
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best by" date. $5.99/6 pack from the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City. Enjoyed the double-barrel trademark book-ended by malt to the left and hops to the right.

Appearance: Pretty, maple-tinged ruddy-brown. Small, fine, short-lived head. Light lacing.

Aroma: Thick caramel malt.

Taste: Strong caramel back balanced (or perhaps underbalanced) by a mildly woody, floral hop-bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A whit thin. Light, fine carbonation.

Notes: A rare, malt-heavy APA. Enjoyable. A nice alternative to your standard hop-strong type.

 603 characters

Photo of merryjoulton
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Visiting southern California and had to try something local so I chose this at a little bar around the corner. Came out with a nice half inch head that lingered and laced pretty nicely. Deep red copper color. Smell was very malty and crisp. Taste full of barley and bready goodness. Mouthfeel is full and great drinkability.

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Photo of Jordan
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dissapointing experience in the least. Firestone "Double Barrel Ale" fails to reach its supposed high standards of artisanship. This brew is aged in 'Toasted Oak Barrels', and there is a definate woody flavor on the palate. However the thin body fails to accentuate the wood notes in a more pleasing way. This is good for change, but there remains much room for improvement.

 380 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

 343 characters

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

Not a JK beer -- DL likes it a lot!!!!! Very subtle , mild w/ a bit of a bitter bite at the end! (Try to say that 5x in a row after drinking 5 of these!). He wants to get it again.

 188 characters

Photo of mattbk
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, brown, weak carbonation.
S: Light earth, mild caramel, that's about it.
T: Similar to aroma, earth, caramel, fruity esters but not unpleasant. A bit watery. Maybe the slightest hint of oak, which I may not have picked up had I not known the name. This is a fine, but fairly uninteresting ale.
M: The carbonation is medium, medium/medium-light body. Good for style.
O: A solid English pale ale, contains the minimum necessary components, but a bit thin and low on most characteristics. Drinkable, but not at all interesting.

 536 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.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass. The body is a nice caramel coppery color, perfectly clear with little carbonation bubbles rising through it. The head is a thin finger of just off white yellow sand in it, dissipates quickly leaving thick lacing and a thin film to top it.

The scent is well balanced between malty parts and hops tones. I detect the sweetness right off the bat, a caramel honey combination which invites you in. The hops are there to provide a floral scent, no fruit but some fresh plants definitely.

The flavor picks up on the malt more in my opinion. I get a nice toasted flavor in there, like wood chips thrown over a fire just until they turn a nice brown on the bottom. Biscuit also comes to mind, a sweet chewy one with some caramel spread on it. The hops are almost nonexistent in this profile, very background and again the floral plantlike impartation hits me.

The mouthfeel is good for a 5%-er, creamy and a nice drinkable not too thick and not too soft feel. Goes down smooth while still giving you a full flavor and full body

 1,080 characters

Photo of Yagman3000
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH goblet.

Appears a brown orange with a finger head that subsides to a very thin creamy slick.

Smells boozy and malty. Not much hops encountered in this pale ale. A little surprised for a pale ake that more hops weren't detected.

Tastes a little woody and a bit of raisin. Some dry bready malt cones through.

Mouthfeel is nothing eventful and does t really change from beginning to end.

Overall a bit dissapointed in this. Very basic without and stand out characteristics. :(

 516 characters

Photo of T100Mark
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a Nonic Imperial pint glass (it seemed appropriate).

Appearance - Dark copper color. Great clarity. Moderate, off-white head. Big stickage. Nice.

Smell - Malt. Toasty.

Taste - Big malt flavor. Sweet. Toasty. Slightly bitter. Dry hop finish.

Mouth - Slick. Fizzy.

Overall - Why doesn't this beer have a higher BA rating? This beer reminds me, very much, of a quality English ESB. Highly chugable.

 434 characters

Photo of Azurescens
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Mac & Jack's pint glass, reviewed on 4/15/11

A: Pours a clear golden amber with off white head with a good amount of lacing left around glass.

S: Sweet bready malt with a faint herbal grassy hop aroma.

T: Same malty bread taste from the smell, clean with some herbal hops to balance out the malt.

M: Average pale ale mouthfeel, light bodied, malt forward, crisp with good carbonation and finishes dry.

O: Decent pale ale, nothing to really complain about but nothing special either. Good drinkability, not something I will be buying in the near future, but I would definitely drink one if it is offered to me.

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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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