Proprietor’s Vintage 2014 Double Double Barrel Ale by Firestone Walker

10574325_10101961969140080_8669463688062613703_n 10568898_10101961970711930_5434167109133143264_n 10913_10101961970108140_3879049272280645181_nRating: 5.45/5

Proprietor’s Vintage 2014 Double Double Barrel Ale by Firestone Walker is a 12% ABV World Class Imperial Special Bitter/English Barley Wine.

Label:
Since founding our brewery in 1996, we have specialized in the rare art of brewing beer in oak barrels. In the fall of 2006, we embarked on a program to barrel age a series of vintage strong ales that would later be used as components of a blended beer. That blend would become our first Anniversary Ale, “10”.

After the release of “10”, we released limited amounts of the component beers on draft only. Many of these beers gained a cult following that craft beer fans raved about and begged for us to put in bottle. Double DBA was one of these beers.

It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel-aged beers. Cut from a similar recipe each year, Double DBA changes and shows a different face across each vintage; a result of time spent aging in the barrel.

We present the 2014 vintage of Double DBA, a barrel-aged Imperial Special Bitter. Lush toffee and caramel malt flavors combine with light coconut, vanilla graham cracker American oak barrel nuances.

Double DBA is a one-of-a-kind sipping beer built to last and will reward careful aging for years to come.

Ideal Aging Temperature 45° F
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The final release of this beer has come. No longer will Firestone Walker brew this. Once this is gone it is gone. So definitely stop by the nearest store or online shop and get a couple of these. I had this beer about 2 years ago and since then I have not had a chance to pick it up again to do a re-review. When I heard this was the last time FW was going to make it, I had to get it before it is gone for good and bring it forward for a review. Not sure why they would retire a stronger version of their original flagship beer but they must have their reasons. Maybe some new oddity will come but until then, if you can get this one, definitely get it. For now, here is what you can expect, cheers!

2012 Review (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/double-double-barrel-ale-by-fire-stone-walker/)
*Beer rating for 2012 was set before I implemented the new rating system.

Aromas:
Bananas and toasted coconut cream pie,marshmallows, dulce de leche caramel, flan, oak, bourbon, graham cracker smores, brown sugar, toffee, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, plum, honey, maple, oak, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, chocolate, clove spice, coffee cake, almond joy, apple cinnamon toast, and butterscotch.

Flavors:
Lots of toasted Coconut macaroons, bananas, chocolate, coconut, dulce de leche, coconut cream pie, pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, honey, maple, rich oak, flan, toffee, dark fruits like raisins, plums, clove spice, coffee cake, brown sugar, almond joy, rye bread, apple cinnamon pie, butterscotch and hazelnut, graham crackers and marshmallow smores.

Aftertaste:
Vanilla, caramel, maple, oak, banana, marshmallow, coconut, brown sugar chocolate hints and butterscotch. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with some smoothness. Medium body with medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
A little more than just, perfect! This beer exceeds a good amount of expectations. This beer is freaking delicious. If you never believed the original Double Barrel Ale could be amplified to a higher atmosphere of flavor, then you will definitely be in for a surprise. The beer has so much . It is really sad to see this one go as this one is one I could easily enjoy just like the other awesome barrel-aged series from FW. Like I stated before, you should really get one or two before they are truly gone.

Anime Corner:
Yuffie Kisaragi and Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII were used in this pairing from the original Double DBA to pair with several aspects of the beer. Yuffie’s costume pairs greatly with the colors of the label. The crimson color of the beer is Vincent’s department. The duo represent the Double aspect while the guns he carries is the double barrels. Yuffie provides the complex sweetness of the beer represented by her love for the colorful jewels called Materia. Vincent’s dark past brings and compliments the beer with the Alcohol content. Together as a team, make this beer a sweet, smooth and delicious success. This may the final time I see Double DBA but damn what a ride it was. Hope to see you again some day…

Sources:
http://www.wallpaperfly.com/thumbnails/detail/20120314/brunettes%20final%20fantasy%20yuffie%20kisaragi%20vincent%201280×1024%20wallpaper_www.wallmay.com_74.jpg
http://the-koko-empire.deviantart.com/art/Stand-by-You-191556373
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/70/dd/7d/70dd7dd1a9bf58dac898deab7c9e4dd5.jpg

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

1477982_10101531821254890_1963810206_n 1472989_10101531821145110_108429905_n 1470280_10101531821185030_808038373_n 579314_10101531821195010_287334108_nRating: 5.79/5* (Just like last years version, more difficult to explain. Strategy guide included)

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.3% ABV Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale

Description: 
“We blended together 220 oak barrels and seven different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” – Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 30% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Sticky Monkey / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 25% of Final Blend
-English Barley Wine Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Double DBA / Aged in retired Firestone Union Barrels / 8% of Final Blend
-Double strength English Pale Ale

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 4% of Final Blend
-Blonde Barley Wine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend
-Black Rye India Pale Ale

XVII ABV: 13.3%
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This year’s batch is very special using. The strategy guide is even longer since they had winemakers assist with the project to get the right types of blends in constructing this beer. Holy shit is all I can say about the information of how much work and effort it took to make this. 

Aromas:
Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, port wine notes, dark cherry, raspberry, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, banana notes, marshmallow, rocky road ice cream, Mexican piloncillo, pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread chocolate pudding, flan, bourbon, rich brandy, candied apples, smoked wood, hint of tropics but very small and other complex fragrances. Crazy part is that it kept changing as the beer got warmer. 

Flavors:
Big Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond joy, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, Barley wine, rye bread, flan, hazelnut, pecan pie whiskey, brandy, bourbon, chocolate, rich chocolate chip cookies on rocky road ice cream with cherries, strawberries, hazelnut, ferro rocher chocolate, pecan pie, special oak wood, oatmeal, maple, peach notes, pear, anise, mint, rich rye bread, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, tropical notes as it got warmer, and lots of other complex flavors. Damn, I ran out of lives, gonna have to start at the last save point.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with like nice chocolate, port wine, maple syrupy notes, dark fruit oatmeal chocolate chips, marshmallows and oaky vanilla. Boozy notes here an there but everything plays well with the flavors

Overall:
Every year much more complex, much more exceptional. Does it beat out it’s predecessor XVI? Well, yes and no. By that I mean, let is age for a while. You see, the early XVI did not but damn, XVI 1 year later was doing complex virtuoso rock solos around my palette. Do not let that fool you though finding the complexities is difficult even if you have Tequila added like when XVI had PNC, “holy shit nice” is what I was tasting. Parabola by itself wins over all of them only because of the extra chocolate push into into the 6/5 range for extra credit for me. XVII was able to get super close to XVI 1 year later and actually beat the younger age one especially because of the Velvet Merkin complexities to have a hug back up. Magic maybe the bloodstream of the universe like Merkin is the bloodstream of this powerhouse beer. Longer strategy guide and all, this beer still kicking your ass .

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from the series Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipe is used in this pairing to show the hard work and dedication that was used to make this beer. Also, the colors of her armor are close to the colors of the beer label and box. Along with her companions, they represent the selections of individual beers that were selected in order to bring this beer blend into fruition. The colors may also be used to represent the dark fruit flavors, brandy, bourbon, chocolate and others. The Strength of the alcohol and the hard work are also represented by the Bushido code she follows as a samurai.

Double Double Barrel Ale by Fire Stone Walker

Rating: 5/5

Double Double Barrel Ale by Fire Stone Walker is a 12% ABV Imperial Special Bitter Barley Wine. It is twice the strength in terms of flavor and alcohol as the original DBA. The DBA is aged for about 10 months in real oak barrels with British yeast. This beer reminds me so much of rich toffee found in many barrel aged beers. However it is a dulce de leche type. Flavors range from dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, honey, maple, toasty coconut, toffee, almonds, oak, bourbon, apples, raisins, plums and toasted bread. It is more sweet than bitter really. The flavors and levels of masking and balances are good here. It is not as strong as the Barrel Aged Blockhead, but it is similar in flavor although this has other flavors not found in that beer. It has some minor quad aspects to it so that is why I like this as well. Barley wine and barrel aged beer lovers find this one and give it a try. It is a damn good and delicious beer 😛