Firestone “Double Barrel Ale (DBA)”
This English pale ale blends one batch that was brewed in traditional stainless steel, then adds 20% of a different batch that was aged in 60-gallon oak barrels (I would love to try this 100% oak brew). Aromas are like toasted bread, caramel drizzled biscuits, with distinctly English herbal hop notes. On the palate, bubbly carbonation plays off the tongue while caramel washes over roasted, bready malts. Herbal hops quickly rise, transitioning into flavors of red apple, oranges, and other fine earthy notes added from the oak. Malts soon taste like whole grains with a raw, husky quality. The finish is somewhat dry, leaving with a light touch of bitterness. There’s a proportionate bitter-sweetness which I find very agreeable. Mouthfeel is crisp yet smooth, soft on the edges with a lighthearted body.
Double Barrel is an everyday ale that drinks great, and is perfectly suitable for any occasion. I say this is a malt-forward ale, because it’s not that bitter, but it’s not that sweet either. So it ends up being a little sweet up front, fruity in the middle, then leaves with earth tones toward the finish. English pale ales have greater malt complexity than Americans, and I personally find the English hops to be a welcome shift from the typical citrus-focused varieties we’ve all grown accustomed to in the states. When you consider this in the context of the pale ale, this is a solid brew. Although this is unlikely to turn heads, I recommend it.
Paso Robles, California