Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Double Jack, Firestone Walker

After a bit of a hiatus from the blogosphere I've got a bit of a backlog of beer reviews that I'm going to start sifting through. I've been enjoying a lot of Imperial/Double IPA's in the last couple of months, Hoptimum (Sierra Nevada), Hopslam (Bell's), Oak-Aged Unearthly (Southern Tier), Maharaja (Avery) and Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA (Laughing Dog) - are a few that spring to mind. I'll  attempt to do a more diligent job of keeping this site updated going forward. As you may know, IPA's are not my preferred genre when it comes to beer selection but I do love me an Imperial IPA, anything around the 10% ABV (session beer as I like to refer to them as)! First up...

Double Jack Double IPA, Firetone Walker

This is part of a beer stash that a friend brought back from a trip to the West Coast. It's part of the "Proprietors Reserve Series" from acclaimed brewery Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA). From the label - this is described as a Double India Pale Ale, 9.5% ABV. 650ml bottle (1 pint, 6 fluid ounces). Retails for about $9. Bottling date is located on the neck of the bottle - this one is stamped 6/24/11 - yikes, this is pretty old for an Imperial IPA!

Pours a hazy orange with a crisp, white head.
Smells delicious - sweet, candi sugar? Taste is overwhelmingly boozy - mango, tropical fruit, caramel, toffee- but the booziness just overwhelms and overpowers this beer. This is a serious beer! I know it's listed as 9.5% ABV which is manageable but I have a feeling this one has refermented in the bottle. It tastes more like 12-14% ABV, it's so thick you could cut it with a chainsaw. Nice lacing though.

Honestly, I'd like to try a fresh bottle of this, I'm sure it would offer more complex flavours. To be fair, the site does recommend consuming the beer within 120 days of bottling date - this bottle being almost a year old is well beyond it's prime which is a shame. Like I said the alcohol is just dominating. Oh well. I do have a bottle of their much acclaimed Parabola RIS that I'm looking forward to trying, I'm guessing that will age a little better than this Double Jack!

More bollocks that may just interest me :
*Founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone (yes, he is related to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company) and David Walker.
*Located in Paso Robles ("The pass of the oaks") in Central California, population is around 30,000. City is known for it's hot springs and wineries.
* World beer champion mid-sized breweries 2004,2006 and 2010. Awarded "Mid-Size Brewery of the year" 2007 by the Brewer's Association.

More about the beer from the brewery. "Double Jack" Double IPA.

Double Jack IPA is our first ever Imperial IPA. It features a big malty middle to cloak the high alcohol and mouth puckering hop bitterness. Huge tangerine, grapefruit and juicy fruit aroma blossom over the herbal blue basil and malt earthiness of this aggressive beer. Best enjoyed in moderation.

Brew Notes :
style American Imperial IPA

  • abv
  • fermentation
    100% Stainless Steel Fermentation
  • malts
    Premium Two-Row (Metcalf & Kendall varieties), Munich, Simpson's Light Crystal
  • hops
    4+lbs/BBL: Bittering—Warrior, Columbus; Late Kettle—Cascade, Centennial; Dry Hops—Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe
  • availability
    CA, NV, OR, WA, AZ, CO, MO, Chicago, MA, NJ, NY, VA, PA, DC, MD
    22 oz bottle/draft

  • I so want this bike jersey! How cool is this?

    FW Bike Jersey

    More info about the brewery:
    Firestone Walker Brewing Compnay
    1400 Ramada Drive
    Paso Robles
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    (805) 225-5911


    1. Double Jack is a tasty beer in my book, but then again I'm a hop head and will take an IPA over something else most days of the week. Maybe there was too much of the IPA and not enough of the double/imperial for you? Either way, if you need another "sample" or other things from the left coast, just let me know. It can be arranged.

      1. Hi Kris,
        Thanks for the comment - I think it was a bit unfair of me to judge this beer since it was so old and obviously the hops had faded and it was way too "hot" to enjoy as intended. I'm guessing it's delicious fresh. I'll have to re-visit.
        How do you ship beer? Fedex? UPS? I thought that was illegal? Always wondered about that but I know many on BA ship it.....

    2. nice idea.. thanks for sharing..

    3. I always ship via fedex. Don't tell them you're shipping beer. Most of the time they won't ask, but have an answer ready in you mind anyway, just in case. I wrap each bottle individually in bubble wrap, put all the bottles in a garbage bag and seal. Then extra padding in the box. 4 business days PDX to MSP, about $28 for 25 lbs. Let me know if you want to trade.