Double Barrel AleJanuary 1, 2003 Paso Robles, CA
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Paso Robles, CA
In producing the Double Barrel Ale, the patented Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system links together 60-gallon oak barrels in rows (a “union”) of pairs. Inspired by the Burton Union system, once a staple of British beermaking in mid-19th century, the Firestone Walker brothers-in-law resurrected a unique fermentation process.
Alcohol by weight: 4
The power of suggestion, perhaps, but is there a whiff of smokiness at the first pour? Regardless, this rich copper-colored ale has a nice mix of faint roast, caramel and soft fruit in its nose, and the body sporting a sweet, caramelly front and a drier, toasty middle with notes of raisin and date. A slight bitterness on the finish affords it good depth. Maybe not quite full-bodied enough for the Sunday roast, so how about a Wednesday pork loin?
- Stephen Beaumont
Deep amber with a deliberating body. Hop, malt, and a rich, fermented ale character abound in aroma and flavor. Clean, balanced, expertly brewed. Hop flavors are not assertive, yet are evident throughout the rewarding drinking experience. Terrific body for a 5 percent alcohol beer. Consider yourself fortunate with a pint of DBA.
- Charlie Papazian
The copper red beer with a fluffy head uses five malts, English and Slovenian hops and an English ale yeast. The result is a beer with a very English aroma and palate of spicy, resiny hops, rich malt and sultana fruit. The malts dominate the palate but are underpinned by a gentle but persistent hop bitterness. Finally, the finish is dry, cleansing and well-balanced. Superb!
- Roger Protz
Author of four books, his writing on beer appears in many publications, and on-line at Stephen Beaumont's World of Beer, www.worldofbeer.com. Charles Finkel returns next issue.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.