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: 4,222
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 7.31%
Wants: 294
Gots: 759 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 607 | Hads: 4,222
Photo of joeseppy
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a generous two inch beige head that morphs into eternal darkness in my chalice. Lacing is scant. Hop influenced head is very impressive.

Aroma not very profound. Tones of citrus and pine mainly.

Here's where the horses run otta the gate. Beautiful rye spice pronounced with a charred grain with some smoke. Citrus emerges with piney tars evident. Maybe it's just my mind but I'm also picking up on cocoa powder in the back.

Creamy mouthfeel and finishes with a snap-very crisp. Hops do linger throughout.

I've had this on and off in the past few years but lately been craving back for this. A spectacular all year round craft. I'm sure black ales are tough but this has been nailed. Really can't say enough fine things. (747 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer. Thanks elliot!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: light black bodied beer with a massive off white head. Thick lacing cling to the glass.

Smell: Burnt malts, cocoa powder, pineapple, pine, grass, and grapefruit.

Taste: Hops start the beer off and give a moderate amount of bitterness that is balanced well with both the rye and malts! hops are citrus, pine, and grass. Little bit of roast and a little bit of chocolate. The rye adds a nice spicy taste to the beer.

Mouthfeel: on the light end of a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer drinks like its 5% great drinkablity. This beer is creamy.

Overall: I gotta say before wookey jack I thought that New Gluarus Black Top was the best Black IPA that I have ever drank. I also thought that it would be difficult to find a better Black IPA; Firestone Walker proved me wrong. The X factor for wookey jack that makes it better is the RYE. The rye adds this spiciness and great complexity that just works so well. Let not forget this is a very affordable bomber costing around 6 to 8 dollars. (1,106 characters)

Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled: 8.11.14. Drank 1.16.15. 22oz bomber poured into a 18oz Tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with three towering fingers worth of light fluffy head. When head to the light, highlights of maroon can be seen slightly within the body. Head dissipates slowly, leaving sticky lacing all the way down. Drop dead gorgeous in the glass.

S: The roasted malts blend with sharp piney hops to remind me of summer campfires in the North woods of Minnesota. Very calming and balanced. Some lemon rind to leave a clean aroma after the initial hit of smokey pine.

T: Burnt pine, caramel malts, tangy orange/grapefruit. Finished with a drying roasted grain flavor. Smokey, ashy... just keeps bringing to that campfire.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, similar to Founders Porter and Spiteful GDPP. Slight alcohol warmth, finishes with a drying pine sensation.

O: Fantastic stuff. Similar, but completely different then the other black IPAs. Unique and worth exploring... begins to blur the line between IPAs and Porters. (1,010 characters)

Photo of narwhal
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black pour from large format bottle - fantastic mixture of rye sourness & hops on both the aroma & taste - not a very heavy mouthfeel but really smooth. I would have wished for a tiny bit more bitterness, but I'm not complaining, this is fine beer. (255 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deepest black color with a thick one finger caramel head with medium retention and leaving a constant plate.
Delicious aroma full of tropical notes, pineapples, canned peaches, tangerines, passion fruit, mango and toasted malts.
Bold flavor with notes of citrusy hops, lots of spices, grapefruit, grape juice, rye, licorice, pine resin and finishing with roasted and burnt coffee beans. Very dry and bitter aftertaste with a long lasting burnt note.
Medium bordering full body with perfect carbonation. Alcohol of 8.3% could not be more hidden.
That is a superb Black Rye IPA. Original, bold in flavors and hops (80 IBUs) and still very drinkable. My taste buds are completely soaked. Recommendable. (699 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque, capped with 2+ fingers of tan foam. Excellent head retention with plenty of lacing. Pine and grapefruit aromas usually associated with hop bombs are present, and they mesh with dark, roasty malt aromas to produce a pineapple-like aroma. This is something I've encounted in other strong, hoppy beers, especially American Barleywines and Strong Ales. That pineapple is somewhat fleeting, though, as the aroma settles to a piney, resiny state. Bit of soapiness that's off-putting.

The flavor is all IPA - hop flavors are firmly in control. Apparent bitterness is less than, say, FW's own Union Jack IPA. Rye's dry, distinctive character is noticeable. Darker malt flavor notes are subdued by the overall hop-forward character. Pineapple, grapefruit notes. This is in DIPA territory in terms of ABV, but there's no intrusion of alcohol into the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is much like a top-tier IPA in terms of smoothness and oiliness.

I found this to be a well-done IPA in a dark suit. The addition of rye and dark malts add a nice twist. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a small white.

The smell is citrus hops, lemons and grapefruit.

The taste is tropical fruits and just a little bit bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall although it looks like a dark stout it is infact a hopy ipa, without much malt flavour at all. (308 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wookey Jack pours black with a creamy light tan head. Lots of netted lacing on the glass.

The aroma has lots of piney hops, Chocolate and bready rye notes are also present.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth and velvety with mild carbonation. The flavor is rich with chocolate, roasted malt, piney hops, a touch of citrus and some rye spice. It finishes mildly bitter, earthy and a little grassy. Once gone the chocolate and pine lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty beer with lots of rich flavor. Nicely balanced and easy to drink. (561 characters)

Photo of ssteakley
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

IPA...? Really, I'm thinking Stout but whatever, this is a fine beer! I have the fireplace going and Firestone fits right into this chilly night. The Rye is fine, why not Rye Stout?, don't worry, I'm going on a three brewery, three hour tour soon so perhaps I can figure this out? (280 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a near-black, with just a hint of brown showing where light manages to get through. A big creamy tan head hangs on a long time, eventually settling down in to a nice disk, leaving tight soapy lacing. The aroma is lighter, with light roasted malt and pine hops. The taste, though, kicks it into a higher gear with roasted malt, burnt sugar, and floral and fruit hops adding to the pine. The body is nice and smooth, with just a little bite from the hops on the finish. A great black ale. (492 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been wanting this one for a long time. Finally!

Served in a DFH snifter about the size of one of the continents that the dig up ingredients from.

A: Lots of mocha lacing here, with a dark, dark brown liquid below it. Pretty scary at this points...

S: Whoa pine! This totally one of those air freshener beers that is both hoppy and fruity at the same time. One comes across this profile every once in a while. If there's dark malt in here to offset the West Coast hop bomb, I REALLY want to try the base beer. Awesome stuff!

T: Ever so subtle chocolate (cocoa notes) underneath with a very strong citrusy, pine component. It's almost as if the malt attached itself to one of the hop sizzle cells. They are truly one in the same here... which is awesome!

M: Stupidly ridiculous lacing, not a sweet brew at all, and with quite a bit of fresh grapefruit-like bitterness.

O: I had a conversation with a friend tonight about this style and he said, "I'm still looking for that Black IPA to change my mind about the style." I'm thinking this might be the one... (1,065 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark bown, bordering on black body with chestnut hues beneath the dense, dark tan head which slowly dissolves to leave a scattered sticky lacing on its wake.

Awesome aromas of abundant pine hops with rye and other woody notes. Big pine and floral aromas, which appear to let in just a hint of sweet chocolate malt as the beer warms.

Palate coating, chewy hops highlight the flavor offering pine, woody and floral notes similar to the aroma. Re seed shows up as it warms a touch with a nice bread malt character as well.

Medium to generous carbonation with a full body of hops that coats the tongue long into the aftertaste.

A substantial beer that is quite delicious and one of the finer black ales I've had. Tons of character to please the senses and a great blend of rye and pine, just plain well done. (822 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Clear but very dark auburn liquid is topped by a lasting fat finger of desert sand foam. Soapy lacing, superior retention.

Complex aromatics suggest citrus and hay, smoke and wildflowers. The dry hopping contributes substantially here I think.

Clean toasty bitterness is overlaid with layers of grain. There is a certain freshness evident in the flavor profile, which brings to mind a well stocked home brew store. The roast levels vary but there is no astringency (owing to the use of "de-bittered" black patent?) to the malt bill. The wheat seems to offer a smooth gentle tartness that integrates well with the juicy citrus notes from the hops. Rye adds further balance throughout without dominating (as it often can). Finishes moderately dry with hints of Ovaltine.

Light-bodied, well carbonated, satisfying mouthfeel. The ABV adds a bit more body and flavor but is otherwise hidden.

Very drinkable example of the style - uniquely crafted and startlingly fresh-tasting. Stone's DDH Sumblimely Self Righteous Ale bests it, but FW has produced a solid contender for top-of-the-pack for the style. (1,172 characters)

Photo of mooseo
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml into Firestone Walker tulip.

A - Black with dark brown hues when held to the light. Head is small and light tan in color.

S - Grapefruit, sweet bread, pumpernickel, pine, hints of tropical fruit.

T - Big hoppy waves of grapefruit citrus and pine. Very resinous. A smooth, rye malt backbone is present. Finish is bitter with earthy hops and a slight breadiness.

M - Silky smooth, a little creamy, medium body. Dry finish, medium carbonation.

O - My new favorite black IPA. This stuff is delicious. The hop profile reminds me of Heady Topper, which is definitely a good thing. The rye malt blends in perfectly. Awesome. (628 characters)

Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 31 Aug, 2014

The beer pours into a Duvel glass with a light tan 1" head on the dark brown, almost black liquid. While the head recedes fairly soon, there are rings of lacing on the side facing a way from me with patches and large speckles of foam on the side where I'm sipping. Most of the surface remains covered with a thin layer of foam for quite a while.

The smell is more or less like dark chocolate with some cattiness from the hops mixed in and sometimes dominationg the smell.

The flavors are fairly complex, with dark chocolate from the roasted malt, some almost but not quite burnt character giving way to the catty flavor and then dryness from the hops.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and the finish begins in in the dark almost burnt chocolate of the dark malt and gradually fades into a nice dryness that invites another sip.

Overally this is a nicely drinkable beer and one that has a great deal of balance from the ingredients playing together nicely. The malt could taste burnt but does not, the hops could have a stronger catty character but don't linger long enough to become unpleasant. On the this is a good example of the style which I'll be happy to have again in the future. (1,215 characters)

Photo of riored4v
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a tulip. 2 finger tan head. Pitch black body. Didn't notice any transparency.

Aroma was grapefruit and citrus. Some chocolate and signs of ABV present. Fair amount of spiceyness. Slight biscuity aroma as well.

Taste was great. Lots of hop flavor up front of grapefruit and orange. Some resiny, pine flavor as well. Hop flavor was quickly followed by a bready malt backbone. Light roasty flavor with some chocolate notes. Slight spicey flavor lets your know there is definitely Rye in it. Finish is more spiceyness, slightly grainy, some piney, resiney and grapefruit notes as well. Bitterness lingers slightly as it coats the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium body, medium carb and a slightly sticky finish. No real signs of ABV.. atleast not as much as noticed in the nose.

Overall another great beer from FW. Great balance anf flavors. Glad I bought more. (868 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown. Almost black before showing some light on it. Deep red hues at edges. Head is a light tan, creamy, and drops to a smooth cap after a minute or two. Nice sheets of lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malts. Hints of chocolate malt. Some milk chocolate and cocoa as well. Nice backing spiciness from the rye. It's minimal, but it's there. Slightly burnt. Caramel with a huge punch of citrus from the hops. Grapefruit flesh and some orange. Tons of citrus. Crazy depth and balance.

Taste: Hops up front. Grapefruit flesh and rind with a building pithy bitterness. Nice resinous and oily pine. Malts are sweet and roasty. Caramel, hints of old coffee, and some dustings of cocoa. Milk chocolate sweetness plays through a spiciness from the rye. Slight peppery flavor in the back. Mild char. Rye spiciness builds as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation on a medium body that moves toward full. Slight dryness on the swallow. ABV is hidden. Sticky and oily.

Overall: A damn fine take on the style. Loaded with the right balance of black and IPA. Huge citrus. Even at 2 months old it's got great depth. Rye is deftly handled and adds a nice element. (1,216 characters)

Photo of match1112
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks go out to pelican5 for sending this to me in a bif!

a: think pumpernickel bread. dark brown almost black with some plum highlights around the edges.
finger and a half of sand colored creamy head. slowly settles into a frothy ring leaving spotty lacing.

s: pine, spice and a little citrus twang with a hint of bready malt in the background.

t: starts and finishes with a pine forward presence. a solid rye bread flavor rounds out the body very nicely.

m: creamy full body. nice level of carbonation. a little dry and spicy on the finish.

o: really enjoy this beer. wish there was more rye presence, but none the less very solid offering. (653 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with a small chocolate-brown head. Leaves behind a little bit of lacing.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose. What's there is some roasted barley malt, piney hops and some general earthiness.

T: More roasty than usual for an American Black Ale, but that's balanced nicely with citrusy and piney hops. Then, lingering on the palate in the aftertaste I get some roasted coffee beans. A touch of rye spiciness is there as well, giving this a slightly different taste than you usually get with an ABA - I'm not really getting any chocolate, for instance, but still I'm liking the malt profile.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is modest. Finishes semi-dry.

O: Good stuff. Closer to the "hoppy Porter" territory than most ABAs, but I'm good with that. (807 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is a lovely jet black color, hints of brown and burgundy when held to the light. A nice big caramel colored head rest atop the beer, very soapy and sticky that yields some fantastic lacing and has pretty decent retention but leaves a nice amount of soapy film behind. The aroma is spot on, dank earthy hops, slight pine, lots of grassiness, almost like pot, just super dank and weedy, bright cuts cuts it well, and is finished with some spice and bitter coffee from the malts and rye. Big hit of bitter hops on the tongue straight away, lots of grassiness and dirtiness, juicy citrus and some sappy pine, nice rye flavors, a bit of unpleasant cola flavors but what really impressed me was a wonderful lingering coffee flavor that sits perfectly on the tongue. The body is spot on, medium carbonation, wonderful smoothness, coats the mouth very well, amply dry but not overpowering.

Verdict: Fantastic Black IPA, especially for being their first widely available beer of this style. The flavors are dank, bitter and balanced well, with a great body which makes for a great drinking experience, this is definitely one of the better black IPAs out there. (1,162 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nice dark brown color with some nice golden caramel edges. There is a nice creamy ecru colored head that is about 1 inch tall and is pretty sticky leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma starts off with some delicious citrus hop notes mixed in with some nice slight dank pine notes. Definitely some hop forward notes in the nose. There is some nice roasty malt on the back end of the nose that slightly balances the brew. The roast is nice and grainy with some slight notes of chocolate.

The flavor starts off with some nice earthy grain and some slight chocolatey and sweet roast malt notes. Then a quick fresh rush of herbal and grassy citrus hops comes up giving the brew some wonderful life and brightness. There is also a nice slight piney note that goes along well with the other hop notes and are blended perfectly with the malt notes. Amazing brew with great balance between the roast and the malty grain notes really shine as the brew warm with some nice spice form the rye showing up with the grassy and herbal dank hop notes. Mouthfeel is nice and light-medium with some creamy notes and good carbonation.

Overall, this is a great take on the Black Ale style. Very good hop profile matched up nearly perfectly with the great rye malt profile and the awesome roasted notes. (1,358 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wookey Jack into a brandy snifter; no bottle date stamped.

Yup, this bad-boy is jet black. Tall khaki crown of two fingers plus. Tier lacing, in full effect. The head falls about as fast as the minute hand on a clock moves.

Pine forward hop nose with tart wedges of grapefruit, a barrow of kilned rye grains, pulpy orange juice, and vanilla bean. Hoppy, with a solid, but merely supportive, malt backbone.

Juicy grapefruit, leafy hop cone oils, pine needles, and a spicy rye malt buttress. Lively hop bitterness and a mildly sweet and spicy malt makes for incredible balance. There’s a lovely wet-hop flavor; hardly resinous, dank, that sort of thing. This is actually a very refreshing brew. A pretty big-medium body with a rich, tight effervescence. Absolutely solid mouthfeel.

Reeeeally enjoying my bomber of Wookey Jack. You would, too. Boom-shaka-laka. (863 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly jet black in colour, 1.5 fingers of tan head, good retention and lots of tight lacing on the glass. Smell is initially citrus and fruity hops with a secondary of roasted malt, a little bit of smoke and some spicy rye malts, as it warms and settles there is also a bit of pine but a nice mix of hops and spicy malts. Taste is spicy rye malts followed by pine and citrus, grapefruit and even a bit of melon, moderate bitterness mid palate with a bit of roast and smoke flavours. Light-medium carbonation, full body and lightly oily. A great black IPA that is spicy, complex and hoppy, perfect bomber to sit down and sip for an hour or so, will certainly revisit this. (672 characters)

Photo of cooler4life
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Happy Columbus Day 2012

A: Poured a midnight black with little to no head to mention. Some rather large bubbles hang around the perimeter. Carbonation appears perfect, with just the right amount of fizz.

S: Dull pine, spicy grapefruit, earthly peat, floral bouquet, roasted malt, milk chocolate.

T: Layers upon layers of flavor. Oily hops, dark espresso, tea leaves, citrus, honeycomb, and hints of sea barnacle assault my palate.

M: Smoother than cocoa butter. I'll leave it at that.

O: Standout beer. One of the best black ales I have had. The flavor for this style is superb along with a perfect mouthfeel jets this one to the top. FW keeps the good times coming. (671 characters)

Photo of LCB_Hostage
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 22 oz bomber into an imperial pint glass.

A: Deep dark black with a thick, creamy 2" head that lingers for several minutes. Seriously frothy lacing that lasts and lasts.
S: An intoxicating blend of boozy malt and piney bitter hops
T: A sweet malty lead that is quickly cut by a complex blend of hops. No one hop characteristic stands out, but it balances the malt perfectly.
M: Creamier than I would expect from an IPA, but a solid level of carbonation brings the bitterness to the fore.
O: An outstanding beer. The first black rye-based IPA I've had that actually used the rye to great effect. It offers a nice, crisp dry character and a richness that truly makes this beer unique. (698 characters)

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