Wookey Jack - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 3,119 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
4.08/5 rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
The origins of the name Wookey Jack are ambiguous. Some say that it's related to Phish, the favorite band of Firestone's head brewer, Matt Brynildson. Others think it's named for Wookey Hole, a village in England known for its dark caves and resident witch. I prefer to think it was inspired by this scene from Star Wars in which Chewbacca and R2D2 are playing holographic chess:
C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you.
Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.
C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
Regardless of what's in the name, we know what's in the beer: pale and black malt, rye, Midnight wheat, and a dash of Wookey dust (on this ingredient the brewery is also infuriatingly silent). German Magnum hops are added for bitterness; Citra and Amarillo for flavor and aroma. The brew is then double dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo.
Wookey is the third of Firestone Walker's Jacks, joining Union Jack (an American IPA) and Double Jack (a double IPA), and is the brewery's first black IPA. Poured into a snifter, it's as inky-black as the deep space Chewie travels through. Pour it hard and you'll get about an inch of sandy tan foam that's creamy and sticky, decorating the sides of the glass in beautiful, resinous webs.
Hops are massive in the nose, and it's a beautiful blend -- lots of pine needles, orange pith and lime peel. Just a hint of dank resin is offset by a subtle smoky note and a touch of dark chocolate. It's a very forest-like aroma, like a pine tree that grows oranges downwind of a campfire.
While there's no shortage of black IPAs on the market now, a black rye IPA is a different story -- and it's what makes Wookey Jack interesting. The spicy malt interacts with the hops well, playing off the bitterness -- 60 IBUs, if you wanted to know -- while adding its own playful bite. The front of the flavor is a blend of tangerine, pine resin, subtle tropical fruits and rye. The swallow is better-rounded, with swirls of cocoa and dark chocolate meeting the fruity hops. Smoky toast rises after the swallow, lingering in the mouth until the next sip ups the hops again.
Firestone chose to leave Wookey Jack unfiltered and unfined, meaning some small particulates are left floating in the beer. While this might affect the appearance of a standard IPA, for which clarity is key, in a black IPA it's moot, and in fact improves the body, giving it a silky, creamy texture.
Roasted malts have been applied with a deft hand in this brew. There's just enough to round out the edges of the flavor, but not so much that the hops are interrupted. The flavor doesn't pull your arms out of their sockets, but rather caresses you with a Wookiee-like growl. Ghaaa.
Serving type: bottle
05-31-2012 04:42:00 | More by Phelps
More User Reviews:
4.14/5 rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottled on 2/2/14
Pours near black with ruby highlights. and a 2 1/2 finger tannish head. that leaves copious lacing.
Aroma of coffee and milk chocolate with dried fruit, ripe citrus and peppery rye.
Coffee more than chocolate in the taste . The roast is more apparent here as well, it's rather smokey. Sweet roast malt and tart citric hops.
Medium to medium full in body. Syrupy and moderately crisp. Slightly warming and somewhat drying.
Another excellent offering from FW. Rich and creamy. Full of flavor and aroma.
Serving type: bottle
07-14-2014 05:22:21 | More by obywan59
5/5 rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
One day I walked into a pub, hankering for a burger, to go. The hostess took my order and told me I could have a seat at the bar while I waited, so I did. The bartender asked "What'll ya have?" and I said, I'd like a beer that's "Chewy". (I refer to my stouts, porters & other full-bodied brews as "beer that drinks like a meal"!). She said "Oh! You want the Wookey!" I said "Um....Sure!". (I didn't make the "Star Wars" connection until much later... it was pure coincidence that she perceived what I said, that way.)
She came back with a brandy snifter, filled with an opaque black liquid, topped with a thin brown head, poured off the tap, with an aroma of coffee and hops. Somehow, I knew this was going to be special.
And it was! Love at first sip! I'm no poet, but the rich flavor was it for me. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, I knew I had been ruined for all other beers! I had a second, which gave me the perfect buzz, while I ate my burger at the bar!
Other than Heddy Topper, which I've the privelege of getting my hands on, occasionally, Wookey Jack is, to me, the best beer in the world. I'll keep searching and I've got a long journey ahead, but my Chewy beer has set the bar high, for me.
Serving type: bottle
07-11-2014 23:51:47 | More by rratrarw
Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,119 ratings.