Wookey Jack - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Wookey JackWookey Jack

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,752 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,752
Reviews: 560
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 222
Gots: 511 | FT: 12
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 03-11-2012)
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Ratings: 3,752 | Reviews: 560 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-09-20 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque dark brown with a 2-finger tan head and great lacing.

S - LOTS of pine and dank earth. Sweet roasted malt. Light citrus and hop floral. Not getting coffee, or chocolate. Very nice. Not overly-strong.

T - Mmmm. Like a porter with some extra hops. There's a rich, deep-roasted/light-char malt presence but nowhere as strong as Parabola. The IPA-ness of the beer is evident. Some of the pine carries over from the smell and there's a bit of citrus and some hop bitterness that is evident but constrained. This beer is remarkably well-balanced. It dries nicely and finally in the aftertaste you discover a note of dark chocolate.

M - Lighter bodied than it looks. Call it light-medium body with light carbonation.

O - OK. This is one fine beer. It's as good or better than my previous favorite black IPA; Founders' El Diablo Del Noche. Gotta have more of this.

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,752 ratings.