Name: Double Barrel Ale
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Paso Robles, California
Style: English Pale Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5%
First Brewed: 1996
Attractive, bright copper in the glass, with an off-white head. Oak and vanilla are apparent on the nose. Rich, but clean on the palate, with citrusy hops and spicy, woody tannins.
I had no idea the names Firestone and Walker came from the founders. This is the first Firestone beer we have done on the list, and it won’t be the last. Their anniversary ale is on there… and as hard as that beer is to find, I am excited to pop that one open. That will be a special release we do, and it will get better with age. Anyway, today we are doing the Double Barrel Ale. I didn’t realize this one was actually aged in barrels. I also didn’t know you could age beer in a barrel and not get flavors from the wood. I am just learning all sorts of stuff with this one! I have had this before, but I don’t remember what it tastes like. We couldn’t get Firestone Walker in Indiana, so it has been in the last 6 months. Let’s see what this beer tastes like. Bottoms up!
In the Glass: It has a very nice penny color in the glass. The head is a light tan color, and it provides a nice lace. We are drinking this one right out of the fridge, and I wonder what this would taste like on draft. I also bet this would be a good beer served on cask.
Nose: It smells like a pale ale. Good thing… since this is an English pale ale. It isn’t as hoppy as some pales I have tried over the years, but it does have a subtle hoppiness to it that I like. If you don’t like, or haven’t tried an IPA, pale ales are a great place to start.
Flavor: That is a nice flavor. Our was bottled back in March, but that shouldn’t make a big difference. It has a nice biscuit like flavor to it, and while the tasting notes mention citrus, I am not getting much (or any) of that. What citrus I do get is on the burp. But nothing on the tongue. When swishing it around in my mouth, I pick up some piney notes that remind me of a standard west cost IPA. This is a really balanced beer, not overly hopped, and is very drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Cold, it’s weak. But as the beers starts to heat up a little, the mouthfeel is nice. It’s smooth, easy to drink, and you would never know it is 5% ABV. As you swallow, the mouthfeel really comes forward with a nice blanket feeling on your tongue.
Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t very hoppy. I am a hop head, after all. I want my palate to be destroyed. It’s not. This is a very balanced beer, and would pair well with a lot of different dishes. From seafood to steak, this is a dinner beer. People think wine is the only thing you can pair with food. Wrong! Beer, too.
I am a big fan of Firestone Walker. This one is easy to find, and isn’t very expensive… and I would highly recommend grabbing one to try it. Not one I would seek out the next time I am in the liquor store. But I am glad it was on the list. This is a great example of what this brewery is capable of. If you like pales, this beer is for you. Bottoms up!
Double Barrel Ale – The bottle says: “NA”
I really don’t know anything about the beer we are drinking today, so I’m just going to launch right in to what it’s like. The beer looks very orange in the glass. It’s not got much head, and there’s really no carbonation. It’s not really doing much but sitting there. It doesn’t look very thick, and it doesn’t really smell like much. I hope it’s got more to it than the smell and the look. Let’s find out.
Hmm. I’m not even sure what to say about the taste of this one. It has a good taste to it, but I’m not really sure how to describe it. It has a crisp flavor to it, not too hoppy, but a good flavor. It’s very balanced. There’s maybe a little bit of a cinnamon flavor, a little nutty…. But I’m reaching here. I really don’t know how to describe it. But I like it. Definitely one I would consider buying again, depending on the price.