Wookey Jack - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Wookey JackWookey Jack

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

607 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 607
Hads: 4,225
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 2.83%
Wants: 292
Gots: 765 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 03-11-2012

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 607 | Hads: 4,225
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good drinking bomber, spot on black IPA solid offering. Very good, another solid FW offering. Black bodied, assertive carbonation. Above average mouthfeel. Solid hops, solid roast,anise. Rye spice adds some edge. Roast aroma.Significant grapefruit. (250 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small carbonation bubbles rise up in the beer during the entire drink down. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, citrus zest, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a roasty and hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great beer with a very nice balance between roast and hop aromas and flavors. (636 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1.5 finger off white head on a very dark body with some light getting through.

S: very hoppy with pine and grass predominantly with some tart citrus character as well. The roasted malts are very mild.

T: very nice roasted malt base which isn't too bitter or overwhelming for the hops. The hops are mostly pine and grassy, some floral which is different from the more earthy or citrus hopped black IPAs I am used too.

M: medium to full body and lighter side of medium carbonation. a touch dry late in the finish.

Overall: I like the hop character in combination with the malts. Neither dominate, both contribute nicely. (625 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brown (close to being jet black) in color. It poured with a half finger high tan head that hardly died down and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of spices (either from the hops or rye) and some hints of orange citrus.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of spices, which linger though the finish. The hops contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Although this is a Black Ale, there are only some hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bitterness leaves your mouth very dry.
O: While this beer is dark, it seems to taste more like an spicy IPA with rye because the roasted flavors are not that prominent. Nonetheless, it is rather easy to drink. (825 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a mini snifter. Pours dark brown with an off-white head. Nose carries a nice bit of roast and chocolate malt along with a bit of rye and some nice citrus and earthy-pine hop notes. Flavor is hoppy with a nice underlying bitterness and moderate malt sweetness. Good rye component as well as dark malt sweetness. Medium-full body with medium bitterness. Quite smooth. Very nice beer. (412 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Quite a pour, with a huge ecru head that settles down to size as the fudge brown liquid rises, showing off some tawny highlights; clumps of foam cling to the pint glass

Smell: Toasted rye bread, caramel, pine and wintergreen

Taste: Lots of roast, up front, with the caramel, spicy rye and piney hop elements assertive through the middle; the wintergreen flavor adds another dimension to the hops, after the swallow, with the bitterness building boldly into the finish; finishes very dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very bold flavored ABA; I would prefer a less harsh hop profile and a bit more malt as the flavors are battling with my tastebuds (692 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

at less than 6 bucks for a bomber and at over 8% abv, this is by far the best deal in the store, nevermind that its a fantastic beer! pours beautiful silky black color with a tall and lasting off white head. it lets zero light through and is shining like obsidian. the smell is a whole lot of west coast hops and some burnt malt. there is no chocolate or coffee in the smell or the taste, which i can usually find in a beer this black. just a nice smokey black ipa here, with the alcohol only becoming present when it warms up a little. it is smooth and warming in the mouth, full bodied, with average carbonation. it has a great bitter finish that plays counterpoint to the rich malt profile. this is a great beer and a great price, will definitely do this one again. (768 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The problem with "Black IPA" ...or, whatever- is that they really don't capture the essence of true hop dominance because the presence of roasted malt, chocolate and toffee usually rival the hops and try to balance the beer- big mistake. I want an American Black Ale to be an IPA first and not to be simply a hoppy Porter.

And like those dark and robust Porters, Wookey Jack pours with a deep and dark brown that fronts up against black. But its dark crimson highlights show a glimmer of translucence and a shade off of onyx. A frothy and airy head billows toward the top of the glass with a sandy-tan column. Long-lasting in its retention and lacing spider-webbing patterns on the glass show something akin to IPA above that of mere Porter.

Hops and roast greet the nose simultaneously but without the sweetness that usually accompany the malty scent. Instead, the coffee, charred wood, slight smoke, heavy toast and slight ash make me think about grilled citrus fruits as the hops contribute grapefruit, orange and lemon rinds to the overall scent. Free of esters and light grain spiciness keep the attention squarely on the hops and roast.

And to taste, its the charred hop character that captivates the taste buds. Grilled citrus fruit resonate on the early palate while burnt pine does so in the middle- just before a sinous bitterness in finish is exacerbated by deep hop bitterness that couples with the coffee-like bitterness from roasted grain. Its culmination seem to make the beer seem much more bitter that the 70 IBU plateau. Dry cocoa, burnt embers and a slight smoky chocolate character turn deeply carbonized with a tinge of ash to finish the beer's spicy wood taste.

Medium bodied, the beer's malt structures turn from creaminess to sharp and acidic as the carbonation falls off and leaves the hops and roast to contend for themselves. The ale suddenly dries out beautifully- again aided by resinous hop dryness, powdery ash and alcohol warmth. Just off of IPA, the ale finishes mostly dry with a linger of burning pine cones.

Make no mistake about it, Firestone Walker has worked really hard to ensure that Wookey Jack wouldn't succumb to just a hoppy Porter, they go in with a dedication to it being an IPA first and allowing the complex char to complement the grilled fruit aromas, heightened bitterness and roasty dryness with pin-point precision. (2,374 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out as a very dark brown, the head was a light tan color with a good retention and lacing. The smell of the beer is nicely balanced with the roasted malts and the hops. The taste of the beer has a great flavor to it. The malts are there and slightly roasted but not chocolaty at all, the rye gives of some light spice and the hops come in and bitter the beer nicely but not overwhelmingly. The mouthfeel is great, it's medium bodied with generous carbonation with a nice smooth feel to it. Overall it's damn good brew. Highly impressed, would totally drink this one again. (579 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of spicy rye malt notes with some dry hoppy notes with light resinous notes. Taste is also dominated by spicy rye notes with some resinous dry hoppy notes with light dry bitter notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Really nice mix between some spicy rye malt with solid hops punch. (436 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown verging on black, topped by a tall and sticky tan head. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass as the head falls.

Smell: A ton of citrus, primarily on the tropical fruit side of things with sweet mango, guava and pineapple notes. Roasted malt is barely noticed - if I tried this with a blindfold I'd probably think it was a standard IPA.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very tropical, citrusy, completely hop-forward. A touch of sweetness up-front, but ultimately dry and light-bodied. The finish brings out the roasted malt and earthy rye, along with a sticky resinous bitterness. The contrast between sweeter tropical fruit flavors, black malt and rye is unusual but works very well. (694 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz black foil capped bottle, from Tipsy's (great name) Liquor World in Denver's far-flung west side.

This beer pours a solid brown-tinged black, with pervasive red cola highlights, and a tower of puffy, foamy and rocky beige head, which leaves some broadly spaced layers of sudsy ringed lace around the glass as it swiftly abates.

It smells of musty citrus and moldy forest floor pine coverings, gamey roast, lightly charred wet wood, bittersweet coffee, toasted caramel malt, a muted rye spiciness, an oily nuttiness, and further earthy, leafy hops. The taste is big and nutty in its roasted caramel malt backbone, almost equally matched in intensity by the clammy citrus, pine and floral hops, a bit of smoldering woody ash, a flavour-free coffee-like bitterness, a hint of dry cocoa, subdued dark rye booze graininess, and more dank earth.

The bubbles are a bit finicky, but dismissed easily enough, the body a heady medium weight, generally smooth, as the early clamminess gets ironed out somehow, and maybe a tad creamy. It finishes a bit on the sweet side, the roasted caramel, black rye, fruity hops, and simmering alcohol all a potent combo.

Like any situation where promoting the best qualities of a product where one's bias towards the perceived inherent flaws make said description pointless, I shall slog through and endeavor. So, this is indeed what it claims to be - black (i.e. 'burnt'), big and hoppy (the base IPA), and rye-offset (the use of additional rye malts). Oh, and approaching Imperial in alcohol strength - the integration there is something I can duly sign off on. (1,598 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 44 Stone in Columbia, MO.

A - Poured a dark, dark brown color with a light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled strongly of rye aromas. There was a nice roasted malt presence and some spicy notes.

T - It tasted very roasty with spicy rye notes. A touch of pine and some sharp bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a really tasty rye black IPA. Another delicious offering from Firestone Walker. (529 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep cola color with one finger beige colored head atop.Great aromas of roast,earth,and pine resin,a littlbitter chocolate is there as well as the beer warmed a little.Big roast up front on the palate with earthiness and bitter chocolate,the piney hops hit hard in the finish.This is a big brash ABA,maybe the best I have had.Awesome (365 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

Almost black with a very dense, thick, khaki head. Really nice fruity hops to this. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple with a touch of pine. Some roast, but it’s restrained and luckily not really any chocolate. Mildly sweet on the palate, but a nice pine bitterness and plenty of fresh grapefruit flavor. There is some pineapple, but it’s not as intense as on the nose. A touch of roasted malt flavor to it, too. (443 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Whole Foods Venice last night for the release with David Walker.

A: Pours nearly black with a half-inch tan head which fades slowly and leaves spotty lace.

N: Lots of grapefruit and citrus with pleasantly floral tropical notes.

T: Dark grainy malts, some roast with faint char, tobacco, and oak notes. The rye lends a balanced spice to the hops and malt profile.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Finish is furry, not Chewie. Mildly bitter and semi-dry.

O: Fresh on tap is good. Would like to see how this is from the bottle. Should be a year-round offering. Pretty darn good. (588 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a black body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves good lace.

S - Pungent pine hops and chocolate with notes of espresso.

T - Dark, fruity malt up front with notes of chocolate and cherry. Some caramel and toffee in the middle with a finish of pine, grapefruit, and dark chocolate.

M - A moderately thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very, very nice. The combination of pungent hops and distinctly dark malt is superior to the anemic black ipas that only look dark. (565 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Fountainhead.

Figured I'd give this guy a try alongside some other tastiness at Fountainhead. It pours a dark ruby-highlighted black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, pine resin, grapefruit rind, and a kiss of molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, with the grapefruit really coming in stronger and being joined by what seems to be some lime zest. The result, though, comes across as clashing, with the roasty and hoppy factions unwilling to give ground or work together. It's not an altogether awful clash, but it's certainly bloody enough. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a generally solid black IPA, but one whose clashing flavors just don't fully do it for me. (810 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Churchkey in DC. Poured into a 4 oz snifter.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear dark brown color with a half finger of creamy off white head that leave some lacing.

Smell: Tons of rye spice with a sweet malty backbone. I'm getting some dark fruit and hops as well, but there is a lot of rye.

Taste: Tons of rye spice and citrus peel hops. The mix of flavors works extremely well. The hops kill the tongue. Nice malt background, reminds me of rye bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good beer that definitely stands out. There is as much rye in this one as any beer I've had. I would have another. (682 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep amber/brown in the glass, topped with 2 fingers of rich off-white head. This retains with a creamy ¾ finger of froth that rings the sides of the glass with sticky lace. The aroma smells fresh and leafy in the nose with notes of bright grapefruit and a zesty spiciness from the rye as it mixes in with that citrus. This even has a big of a leafy tobacco thing going on with it from the hops combining with those dark roasted malts across the back. Some cocoa sweetness hangs on the edges as well but this is overall pretty dry, bitter, and roasted feeling in the nose.

The taste has fresh grapefruit bitterness and a leafy feel up front that runs into a combination of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee character. The finish on this really shows the rye with a dry spicy doughiness that sticks and lingers with some leftover bitterness and pine from the hops. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a lively sharp creaminess that fills up the mouth and then more of a underlying slickness that leaves some oils back on the tongue. There is some alcohol present and while it isn’t overly distracting, it does really bring out the assertiveness of those flavors here.

This was a very good entry into the Black IPA category from Firestone that really packs a fierce nature on the palate thanks to that assertive mix of American hops, rye, and high ABV. This was just balanced enough to stay drinkable but I still enjoyed it very much. Sometimes it’s fun to just brutalize your mouth with flavor! (1,563 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice darker colored fluffy head that continues to rise to almost 2 fingers before slowly biding back with lots of lacing, very dark almost pitch black beer.

Nose dominates with hops, some citrus, tropical fruit, grapefruit, little earthy, with some fruity and spicy rye, with a bit of malts behind bringing a light caramel and fluffy nougat, hint of chocolate and roast.

Taste come more malt forward at first, fluffy caramel nougat again, little roast and chocolate, similar profile to the nose. Hops are not far behind, nice earthy spicy hops, not of pine, light citrus, fairly bitter with a light spicy rye character as well. A hint of booze warms the palette. Finish is drier but slightly sticky sweet, more warming booze, little rye and dark crystal almost roasty malts, more spicy pine hops.

Mouth is med to slightly fuller bodied, a bit rich, nice carb, bit of warming booze.

Overall nice, a lot going on with nice hops, dark malts, not too roasty or astringent, decent hops typical for the style, but no matter how good they are, all those flavors just don't seem like they should. (1,100 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/4/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, roasted malts, citrus and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a bitter combination of a strong hops presence and dark chocolate. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in to create a good balance. There are sweet flavors in the background of citrus and caramel. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style. (811 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Handsome dark brown in the Crooked Line narrow tulip. Beige head foams up nicely. Pleasantly sudsy mouthfeel. Aroma of pineapple and resin is appealing.

The hops overwhelm any malty flavors, so it's hard to tell if there is much roasted barley taste. Has some of the herbacious flavor of many other black IPAs, but returns to the candied mango. A little charcoal. Very bitter in the aftertaste. It just doesn't know when to quit. Fruity and piney at the same time.

This seems to hit the bullseye for this sort-of style, it's black and it's totally hops. Not getting a repeat visit from me. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's in San Diego. (651 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at Federal Taphouse served chilled in a tulip.

The color is black with a thin pale creamy head with tight bead and thick lace rings collect on the glass -retention is good. The smell is very aromatic with hop esters that are both tropical fruit and grapefruit with some pineapple and the nose has some light caramel sweetness also. The feel is pretty great with big tangy citrus and bitterness from the hops moderately high with light sweetness and mild spice texture with low alcohol in the feel.

The flavor hits the palate with lots of tropical fruitiness of grapefruit with a mild pineapple and tangerine effect from the hops with mild spice and some more citrus flavor as the dark rye moves in the fruitiness and slight caramel and dark fruit notes with a luscious lasting hop flavor which blends well with the rye foundation. Overall this is a great Imperial black rye the hop flavor is consistent with other FW beers -lots of flavor without overdoing the bitterness -I love that -a true pleasure to drink. (1,035 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/20/12

Pours a scarlet tinged mahogany with 3+ fingers of mocha colored head. Eoic lacing & good head retention

S: Pineyness & grapefruit, not as assertive I would've hoped

T: Follows the nose, plus roastyness up front & little bit baker's chocolate as well. Roasty bitterness & grapefruit as this warms, then pineyness kicks in & grapefruit acidity. Finishes roasty with mucho grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, good balance for the style, a bit of warming booze

This is good but not upper ecehelon, give me a Stone's itteration on this style any day, but pretty nice & very drinkable; the abv is well disguised. Will try this again if I can find a super fresh bottle. Had this on tap & this compares favorably to that if memory serves me... (771 characters)

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Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.