Firestone Walker Double DBA

Firestone Walker is a California brewery that has been winning awards and putting out really high quality craft beers for a while now. They rival Stone for their quality, but they are not as easy to find on the East Coast. DBA stands for “Double Barrel Ale.” This does hit you like two barrels. It is a big beer – 12% ABV – in the English Barleywine style, though they call it an “Imperial Special Bitter.” I envisioned it more as a barrel aged Pale Ale, but it definitely had the assertiveness of a Barleywine. It is aged in oak barrels and carries a strong whiff of vanilla in the glass. It leans a bit toward the sweet side with a nice, silky medium body and a moderate amount of carbonation. The vanilla flavor is strong, but there are also notes of oak, toffee and maybe a little cherry. There is also a distinct boozy quality because of the high ABV. It drinks very smoothly and quickly, so watch out. I only drank half a 22 oz bottle and definitely had a little buzz going. More than that and you better not plan on operating any heavy machinery for a while. I give it four out of five proper pints.

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