Wookey Jack | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Wookey JackWookey Jack

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barleywinefiend on 03-11-2012

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Reviews: 697 | Ratings: 4,598
Photo of SawDog505
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, bottle on 12/14/12 finally fairly fresh. Side note when they first released it to New Hampshire it was already 4 months and it did blow me away. Pours a really dark brown, with a one inch head, that leaves nice webs if lace. Smell is pine, hints of chocolate, some coffee notes, some citrus, and some cut grass. Taste is very similar lots citrus and chocolate, blended well. Body is medium, plenty of life, not dry, and easy drinking. This is really solid, especially when the hops are fresh and the center of attention. Going to have a Sublimely Self Righteous after and see which is better.

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Photo of barter
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Pours like coffee with a thin tan head. Nose is slightly hoppy but with a sweetness to it.

To me this is what a Black IPA should be. Hoppy but very complex with delicious roasted malt flavors and a crisp IPA finish. The rye is what puts this over the top from good to great. I am a fan of RyPAs and Cascadian Dark Ales, so to me this is best of both worlds. The 8.3% is buried in flavor.

First time I had it was on tap at 1702 in Tucson and I continue to buy bombers. Not a huge Firestone Walker fan overall, but this and the Merkin are good beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black with thick tan head and lace ring. Citric, almost grapelike hop aroma with some hints of roasted malt. Real smooth, easy to drink, caught me by surprise on that, not a hop bomb but the piney, citrusy even grapefruit hops reall kick in and are balanced by some roasted malts and a touch of sweetness that I can only describe as bitter chocolate. The malts lead to a pleasant dry finish, not overly crisp or bitter and this is a very quality sipper and great example of this style (as this style seems easy to botch, apparently).

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to SammyJaxxxx for this bottle. This is one of my favorite styles, and I have been wanting to try this for some time, so it was a great and unexpected extra.

Right off the bat, this is a beautiful beer. It's dark as night, and effortlessly produces a rich head that sticks around for a bit. Aromas are spot on for a CDA -- tropical fruit, pine, and tons of roast. It tastes every bit as great as it smells, and the bomber is gone before I know it. Another quality beer from FW.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The only black IPA/black ale I've enjoyed. I'd buy this again.

Pours pitch black and creates a fleeting soapy head.

The nose has a lot of resiny hops...not as floral/citrusy as a "normal" IPA... but I like it.

There is a lot of hop bitterness which dominates the taste with the hint of mint to give it some lightness. Enjoyable construct. This has some heft to the mouthfeel, which makes it a sipping kind of ale.

If all black IPAs had these fundamentals, I'd enjoy the style more often.

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Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown with a small light tan head leaving very intricate lace.

Smell is cat pee and skuny hops, a little bakers chocolate, which grows as it warms

Taste is big hops, herbal and morso citrus flavor with a big bitter finish. Taste is rich and malty, dark chocolate. Alcohol is a bit to prominent.

Mouthfeel is malty, off dry, med+

Drinkability is pretty good, it's on the big side, more DCDA. Alcohol is spicy and drying, it gets a little tiring after a while.

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Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark mahogany red/brown with a thick, chunky head; clots of lacing along the pint glass. The nose is all bright, floral hops; spicy and citrusy. The taste reinforces the hop presence with a relatively thin malt note; strong hop bitterness. The feel is also fairly light, slightly over-carbonated; crisp, clean, and dry.

The rye and hops really standout with the aroma and taste. But the balance seems off. The malt characteristics seem fairly weak and the mouthfeel thin and watery. Still, if hops are your thing, this is one to check out.

Re-review update (10-06-2013): had another bottle and found the body to be much better, more fitting for a dark ale. Also, the taste seemed better, more malty. Hop aroma and flavor characteristics remain strong per my initial review. So, I've bumped up both taste and mouthfeel by .50 from my previous rating and bumped up my overall by .50.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a tulip

A- Pours extremely dark, Almost pitch black in the glass. A one finger of a lingering off tan colored head. Visible alcohol legs.

S- Super fresh citrus, oranges, lemon, mango and pine. A slight roasted malt and a warming spiciness.

T- A slight bitterness comes up at first. A wave of a fresh hop profile. There is a ton of pine in this beer. There is also an array of fresh citrus flavors. There is a lot of lime and orange and pineapple and grapefruit. Nice fresh hop flavor. There is a spiciness from the rye and a nice bit of roasteyness from the malts that are very well balanced and work tremendously well with the hops.

M- A spicy and bitter brew but very well balanced. A dry roasty finish. Not too strong. A good size and nice carbonation.

O- This is an amazing brew. Luckily my bottle is super fresh. A big and perfectly balanced ale. The best black ale I have ever had by a nice margin.

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Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
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

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Photo of Chadhowie
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wookey Jack is awesome. Who would have thought that Firestone would produce such a legit beer. This is very well one of the to Firestone beers around and worth trying. The flavor is bold and hardcore. A very rich and complex beer as well and good on tap as well in the bottle.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We crack our grumbler and pour a brew of the deepest chocolate amber. It holds a brief one finger head of soapy tan bubbles. This leaves spots and jabs of lacing down the sides of the glasses, with a foamy ring circumferentially to crown. Carbonation appears mild, while a chill haze permeates the liquid. No sediment is noted. The aroma is surprisingly fruity. Notes of fusel booze, strawberry, big pink bubblegum esters, floral and citric hops, and tangy sweet pineapple all mix off the bat for a refreshing pop. To balance is fresh dill, caramel and pale malts, chalky coffee roast, and a zesty soured bite of yeast. Our first impression is that the malts are much more present in the flavoring than in the nose, curbing some of that sweet and tart fruitiness with puckering bitterness. As we sip, both pale and roasted coffee malts are apparent. Waxy lipstick-like flavors, along with some puckering but juicy citric hops, bubblegum essence, chalky yeast, sweet booze, lemon rind, and butter-flashed figgy syrups mix and bring us to the peak. Here, we get a pale muskiness, plum and honeycrisp apple sweetness, and a sweeter, balancing side to the caramel malty base. The finish is a wash of bitterness and pucker, with huge citric hop bite, medicinal phenols, booze fumes, tannic dryness, and the thick roast of raw coffee. The aftertaste breathes of citric hop cone and stem, bittered minerals, herbal bitterness, booze, more charred malts, and the drying, tannic astringency of black tea. The body is on the full side, and the carbonation is light to medium. There is nice slurp, pop, cream, smack, and froth to each sip, with a nice coating and initial pucker. This drips down to wetness, but the mouth is left with a final drying bite on the breath. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips a bit more slowly.

Overall, what we liked best about this beverage was its boldness, and nice mix of flavoring. The nose painted the picture of something curiously sweet and fruity, which was nicely intriguing. The flavoring, however, was a departure from this, with big hoppy bitterness, and drying pucker by the end of the sip. This made for a nice contrast, and kept you guessing throughout. This bitterness might get to some who may not be expecting such a bite on such a sweet-seeming beer, but this guy remains drinkable, and is a tasty treat.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours blacl with nice beige head. Took an aggressive pour. Aroma of pine and citrus, pretty much all hops. Mouthfeel is thicker than I expected from the nose. Flavor of pine, toasted or burnt wood, smokey roasted malt. Sime spice on the end I assume from the rye. Bitter finish with the strong hops lasting. One of my favorite for the style.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Misajet90
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I started getting into rye beers after I had Ruthless Rye IPA. This beer is head and shoulders better than that. Regardless of if you like rye beers or not it's worth it to give this beer a try.

The beer pours nice and dark and it has a very nice smell to it. All that aside the taste is great, I haven't had a bunch of rye beers but out of all the ones I have had so far this one is the best.

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Photo of Amalak
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A/S. It has a deep black/brown color, with a nice foamy tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing behind. Very nice hop scent to it.

T/M. It has a beautiful hoppy taste mixed with citrus. It is very smooth. Has a bit of a pepper taste to it underneath. Nice and smooth with some carbonation.

O. It is very well balanced and nicely spiced and flavorful.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, $7.99, big pour into a nonic pint.

A – Two-finger head, rocky, slow to dissipate, healthy lacing all throughout the drink.

S – Huge flowery aroma, like a bouquet of knock out roses. Daughter came and sat in my life and said I smelled like mangos.

T – A little sweet, a little peppery, nice hoppiness but not overwhelming. Some light roast malt. Finished with some bitter/peppery hops.

MF – Minerally, mildly sharp, unassuming carbonation.

O – Can’t stop thinking about the huge bouquet of an aroma this beer presents from start to finish. This beer has made me reconsider my tendency to avoid rye beers.

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Photo of philbe311
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Three fingers worth of slightly cascading active light brown colored head comprised of loads of huge chunky bubbles... Excellent retention the ultimately yields to a full rich layer of lacing... The color is a rich deep dark brown with a very distinctive ruby red hue... A good bit of light leaks in around the edges... Mostly still - just a couple of stray bubbles can be seen at the bottom of the glass the seem to disappear into an abyss never to be seen again... Loads of lacing cling to the side of the glass...

S - A unique mix of insanely fresh hops... It's like I'm sticking my nose into a bag of hops I plan on using for home brewing... There is a very light spicy rye component... Fairly one dimensional, but a rock solid very pleasing one dimension...

T - Much more complexity arrives on the palate... The spicy rye component is dialed up more than a notch or two and adds a wonderful depth... It still takes a back seat to the stellar mix of fresh hops... A bit of dark fruit lies beneath the surface... A very light malty sweetness linger as well...

M - Medium bodied... Sturdy... Clean... Crisp... Even and consistent... Brisk carbonation... Goes down very easy...

D - Oh yeah, that's good... On of the best American Black Ales that I've encountered... I have nothing bad to say about this brew which is another outstanding example of Firestone Walker craftsmanship... All that, but I love the name...

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A stunning American Black Ale! Bottle picked up at the brewery in November. Pours a murky dark auburn that's approaching black, with a surprisingly light coloured head.

Knock-out aroma of pure "west-coast" hops. Wish I could name the specific hop medley, but no simple terms like pine/citrus/mango even begin to give this credit - it's none of those standards while presenting the best of all of them and perfectly balanced with its chocolate malt supporting cast.

The flavour is also hop-forward, with dark roasted malts fleshing out the body and rye notes most evident during the bitter finish. The 8.3% ABV is very well hidden - I hadn't read the bottle and had no idea until logging in to BA - with only a hint of alcohol warmth near the end.

Very sad to only have one bottle. Highly, highly recommend!

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well, that's pretty outstanding - deep, dark brown/black. The head's frothy, darker tan than most and is sticking with each and every drink, ring by ring by ring, all the way down the glass.

Grapefruit and earthy on the nose, but with some deeper malts behind the fore.

Spicy, prickly, green and citrus hops are first to reach the tongue, followed by the rye, which rounds out in the mouth nicely, earthy, grainy and seemingly deeper tones than that offered elsewhere. It then closes with the malts settling quietly, roasted and sweet.

Soft, well-balanced carbonation, popping the tongue to begin and then closing sticky, wrapping to tongue to maintain presence.

That's a great beer - there are a lot of new rye-based and black IPAs coming out on the market, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one this good. Oddly though, my affection for it may not mirror that of other beers I've ranked this highly - can't tell you why. The brewery? The style? No telling, just don't feel it.

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Photo of WSGosset
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This is a good looking beer. It is deep black, but not quite opaque. Pours with a tight one-finger head, not to mention nice lacing. Good retention.
S: Hoppy with a hint of bitter chocolate.
T: Nice balance between hops and malt, but you can definitely tell it is an IPA. As the beer warms it smooths out quite a bit, with the malt character coming to the front and the hops becoming more apparent as part of the aftertaste.
M: Smooth, medium weight.
O: I'm really impressed both by the overall balance of this beer, as well as by the way in which the taste evolves over the course of a pint.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on ??/06/12
(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dense black body with a sandy light brown creamy head with bubbles on top and a microbubble collection right below the head.

S- The full green woody hops come though eve during the pour with a earthy malt aroma to follow. There is a some cat pee notes that grow in the hops as the beer opens.

T- The slightly dry green woody hops have a slight mint quality to them with an earthy pungent dark hops finish. There is a big pungent hops flavor that lingers but not any bitterness with it. The finish also has a slight salty note to it that adds some interesting depth.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The big hops flavor is dark and pungent with some nice malt support. This beer is full of flavor but is very drinkable and the lack of bitterness in the finish is really nice.

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Photo of Chas58
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled at Central Liquors in Flemington NJ into my Firestone Walker Nonic Pint Glass

Appearance - Pours an inky black that screams Porter, but with a much thinner head. The head does extend an inch high and leaves lacing along the edges, it does dissipate very quickly. A tan colored head builds and dissipates a beautiful aroma.

Smell - the first hint that this might be something special, and a little mind blowing is the aroma. I get huge hints of grapefruit and citrus and pine. A beautiful mixture, but without the maltiness or caramel one would expect based on the inky black beer sitting in the glass. the aroma is very reminiscent of Double Jack, but with a slight bit more potency. The aroma is fantastic, and lasts throughout the glass. The aroma that Firestone Walker gets from its hopping is truly one of the great skills of craftsmanship.
Taste - The first taste is spectacular it contains the wonderful citrusy and piney taste that was apparent in the nose, but with a very rich and complex maltiness. The hops are clearly upfront and the maltiness and bite are in the back of the taste.

Mouthfeel - this comes across with substantial carbonation and a strong hoppiness and a residual coating reminiscent of a porter or even some sweet stouts. Unlike most Double IPA's this has a sweet stickiness that does remain. It is very nicely balanced with the heavy hopping.

Overall - This is a spectacular beer, not for the faint of heart as it is very hoppy, and very complex, although in my opinion well balanced as are most Firestone Walker beers. This is a beer that will impress you with the pour, impress you with the aroma, and impress you with the taste. This beer will make you go out and find another. Try this, you will be pleased.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a bottle of this for 8 bucks from Halftime beverage. Looking forward to it since I love any beer I tried from them!

A - Like a deep dark porter this one is a pitch lack shade of darkness. Head is just a 1/4 inch but seems to have kick ass lacing and the lace ring itself stays around for a bit.

S - Initial smells from the bottle are rye forward with mildly bittering pine/citrus hop zest and some Porter like roasts in the mix.

T - A bit harsh at first but I will be damned even with the drying factor of rye this beer is exceptionally smooth. Bold ashy roast clash with bittering pine eventually rounding to a citrus zest. The finish itself is kind of dry with bittering pine and mild rye tones. Not bad.

M - Medium, bitter, kind of chewy.

Overall next to RyePA from Founders this one takes a pretty good take on a dry rye beer. I think if it was just a Black IPA I would love it more but don't take my review too harshly since I hate rye beers in general.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful black pour with 2 fingers of off white head and excellent lacing. smells of pine trees, caramel, roasted grains. lots of hoppy scent. the flavor is piney bitterness up front, a slight sweet ruby grapefruiness, despite being a dark ale, it is very very sweet and hoppy. the rye just adds to an exquisitely sweet flavor profile. medium body, high carbonation with a nice stickyness and creamy feel on the lips. this is an excellent beer of any profile.. whether you stick it in as an ipa, a rye ale, a black ale.. it is fantastic for all of the above.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says 11/09/12

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 3/4 inch tan head that bears great retention time before slowly meandering down to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and full tufts of surface foam. Solid, semi-thick lacing.

S- Sharp, grassy hop bouquet that's rounded out well by the rye malt. Very pleasant actually. The hops are wonderfully floral and citrusy.

T- That's what I'm talkin' about. Flood of glorious hop bitterness that''s perfectly in contrasting unison with the rye malt. It's not quite as bitter as Union Jack, though. Much more enjoyable. There are tropical fruit notes but they're distorted, in a good way, through the semi-roasty malts. Also some light spice.

M- Delicately creamy and robust. Medium carbonation is on point.

O- Such a great beer on so many levels. I'm having trouble finding a single flaw.

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Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 4,598 ratings.
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