Wookey Jack | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

697 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 697 | Ratings: 4,598
Photo of ricknelson
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Firestone's Wookey Jack came in 8th in my recent 8 beer tasting of Firestone Walker's top beers. Out of the seven BA guys we had at the tasting; Wookey Jack got the poorest reviews with an average review score of 3.78. Unfortunately this beer was about 2 years old and was too old to properly judge. It should have been a lot fresher in all fairness.

 350 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
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 Jeffsta1
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Great color, inspiring, dark. Pale tan head, mixed texture.

Mild smell. Nothing offputting, perhaps a bit light.

Flavor is verry bitter: hops, bitter malt, orange and orange rind.

Mouthfeel is quite good: not overly rich, but still satisfying. Carbonation is spot-on.

Finish is not intense, long, bitter & orange.

Don't re-buy - there are many better options.

 364 characters

Photo of KajII
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque black with a creamy khaki colored head and possesses notes of dark roasted malts, citrus hops, coffee, a decent woody smokiness and a touch of Rye. This is a nice dark roasty brew with a hint of Rye, a somewhat Hoppy backbone, a smooth drinkability and a slight alcohol warming at the end. Needless to say it is delicious...

 378 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Surprising. Not walk in on your best friend and girlfriend "surprising," but a lil off the beaten path. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, this bad boy flies around for a while; but then like John Daly, it ends up being pretty par for the course. A lil dark, a lil hoppy, a lil boom boom in the zoom zoom, and a lil too bitter in the end.

Raul doesn't mind popping it, but like my fish oils every morning, it won't be a daily thang.

 437 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1238th Review on BA
Bottle to HF Stem

2012 Bottle
Purchased a single bomber for $5.99 from El Cerrito Liquor

App- A few different colors of brown in the glass. Lighter edges of a light brown crimson with a deeper brown in the center. A huge 3 finger khaki head that receding quickly but left great sticky cling.

Smell- A less black IPA vs just a regular IPA. Nice to smell that they tried to keep as much of the base IPA as possible. A nice thick Rye note with deep pungent malts and grainy booze.

Taste- A big roasty note with a semi balanced citrus note. A ton of Rye on the finish of this one. The black IPA takes a back seat to a pretty malty beer with some good flavor pockets. Not as smooth as some but with a large ABV I wasnt expecting that.

Mouth- A full medium body with a little bit of a dry finish. A bit spicy & malty with lots of Rye.

Drink- It was good but I wanted more. I wanted to be blown away. Had some good flavors but was a bit bigger than I anticipated it being. I did like the Rye forward approach but just needed to be a bit better.

 1,068 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown nearly pitch black color with a one finger tan colored head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a nice level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is a blend of hoppy smells and more roasted smells as would be expected for a black IPA. The roasted smells are largely of a coffee and toasted malt aroma with the hop being predominantly of a pine and earthy smell. While these are the bulk aromas other aromas of grapefruit and chocolate find their way to the nose as well giving a rather robust and dark smelling brew.

Taste – The taste begins much heavier of lightly roasted malt and a rye flavor more than of anything else. Upfront there is only a lighter presence of a grapefruit citrus hop, but as the flavors advance this changes, with flavor of pine hop increasing in strength throughout the taste. A light chocolate flavor seems to come and go in the taste, being taken over in the end by an earthy hop flavor as well as some roasted coffee flavors. The roasted coffee gets quite potent toward the end, overshadowing the rest of the flavors, to leave a rather coffee bitter and moderately hoppy roasted flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew was on the average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that was on the average side as well. A slightly thicker body may have been slightly better for the roasted flavors of the brew, but even so, the feel was quite all right.

Overall – A pretty decent black IPA, but nothing too outstanding in my mind. It ended with a bit too much coffee bitterness, which took away from much of the nice hop undertones that were present. It was worth the try, but not one I would go back to with any real occasion.

 1,814 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 from the COOP... Poured into my HotD goblet... great tannish head dies quickly ... nice leopard lacing.. the brew is deeep dark brown...

Nose shows skunky and citrus hoppiness.... LOVE IT ... tropical fruits with plenty of dark malt.

The "rye" leaves no flavor... maybe something on the palate... "pretty slick" for such a big ABV... glistening dark malt with fruity hoppiness... mango and melon... pithy citrus comes out on the finish...

Body is bubbly while still approachable... Tough to put down, but I am still a fan.


 547 characters

Photo of k8kruk
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Really dark black-brown and basically opaque. Some warm tan head that lingers with significant lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like pine sap, citrus and warm spices.

T: Nice bitterness, balanced with toasty notes. Resin, grapefruit peel, coffee grounds and carbon with a lingering, tannic bitterness after you've swallowed.

M: Silky and thick.

O: Very easy to drink, especially given how dark and very bitter it is. Nicely balanced. Worth trying if you're a fan of bitter hops.

 492 characters

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

 692 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BO May 2012, opened July 2012

A - Towering off-white head with a mixed, but mostly creamy, bubble structure. Awesome retention and lace. Black with cola brown highlights. This is about as good as it gets for a black IPA.

S - Nice, relatively bright nose. Damp herbal hop, black pepper, nug, sweet grains.

T - Nice rye bite, touch of honey, roast, sharp woody bitterness.

M - Smooth, medium/light body. Par carbonation. Dry backend.

O - Nice roast with a deep woody bitterness.

 481 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Almost fooled me with the blank bottled on date on the label, but I found a date of 5/2/12 stamped on the neck.

A: Tan two and a half finger head with decent retention and tight, tight bubbles. Looks extremely deep brown to me but I’m pretty color blind, so what do I know? Letting the bubbles die down reveals a slick oily appearance.

S: Smelled the hops from a foot and half away as I was pouring. Heavy grapefruit with a very evident rye note. A whiff of bubble gum and pepper too.

T: Way more rye in the flavor that I anticipated. Very overpowering. There is some of the grapefruit there but it’s holding on for its dear life.

M: Lightly fizzy carb, medium oily body. No alcohol present, but drinkability not as high as I’d like thanks to the somewhat dry and acrid finish and aftertaste.

O: Disappointed to be honest. Burnt malt + spicy rye + bitter hops is just too much for my taste. It did grow on me and become less abrasive as I went on, but still not one of my favorite FW brews.

 1,036 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a stark black with half an inch of a fluffy tan head. There's decent head retention and a touch of lacing. Resiny, piney hops cut through the beer's sweet, chocolaty body in both the taste and aroma. The beer drinks smoothly mixing a sweet and velvety black IPA body with earthy, resinous hops. The beer reminds me of Maine beer co's Zoe (a dark-ish amber), but has a heavy, dry, and lingering bitterness in comparison. There is also a touch of an unexpected smokiness... possibly my imagination. I would have liked a heavier body, the beer seems a bit thin.
Overall, this beer is tasty for the price, but I'll probably only have it once.

 654 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a soft black color with brown hues around the edges. Good clarity and a soft off white head.

The nose is light overall. Some hints of malt and bready undertones. A light toast and maybe a hint of rye on the side. Some hoppy notes with more of a piney and earthy herbal characteristic. No real yeast notes, very clean.

The taste comes out a bit more versus the nose. More malty flavors with a light astringent roast note. Again a hint of rye but could be a softer malt accent. The hops also come out a bit more with more of pine and wintergreen-esk like flavor which lingers into the finish. Again no yeast off notes and very clean overall.

The body is moderate to light. Some astirngency in the finish but blends well with the hoppy herbal. piney notes. Some carbonic bite as well. Would like to see a bit more complexity but an easy drinking beer for sure

 865 characters

Photo of EQueezy
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

great take on a black ipa. not as roasty, hoppy as others in this style, but the rye really gives this a nice sweet aromatic flavor.

a - black, med head.

s - nice med roast notes, slight sweet rye aroma

t - great. good clean, semi bitter pull with a sweet (but not too sweet) rye finish. excellent taste.

m - great body. goes down almost as easy as other ipas; just a notch heavier in body than a classic ipa, but not as heavy as a porter or heavier ale.

o - will def buy this again. quite a unique taste and one of the few black ipas i've found on the shelf.

 564 characters

Photo of Libationguy
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown/black with tan head. Medium- head retention.

Rye bread, clove, black licorice, candied orange peel. There is a strong artificial alcohol perfume note in this beer for me.

Deep resin quality, citrus, pine, bitter chocolate, coffee, ruby red grapefruit, marbled bread and an underlying sense of earth.

Medium-bodied with a tacky feel on the back of the palate. There is a fairly strong sense of alcoholic heat on the finish.

The beer is pretty heavy on the resin side.

 481 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: 22oz bottle

S: Wet mint, moss, semi-sweet chocolate. Some fresh pine. Hints of blood orange, clean charcoal, raisin.

T: Pretty much straight-up IPA at first, juicy blood orange, fresh pine. After a second, a touch of clean charcoal comes through. Middle is heaps of barely sweetened caramel as well as more clean dark roasted charcoal and some chocolate. Decent levels of lemon/pine oiliness. Hints at rye spiciness, which is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden, adding just a touch of dryness to a very balanced brew in terms of the sweet-bitter axis. Fairly thin. Finish has decent cocoa and lingers with dry, smooth charcoal and pine/blood orange.

Notes: Overall a nicely balanced brew that, for me, doesn't quite coordinate the roast and hoppiness but is very drinkable, reasonably refined, and nicely hoppy.

 830 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Which one is Wookey Jack: the contentious lion or the pugilist bear? Perhaps Wookey Jack is someone or something else entirely, which owes them money.

The brownish head of this dark liquid forms large bubbles which pop like they came from sparkling wine. Nonetheless, a decent finger of head formed upon the pour and remained for a minute until resolving itself into a map of the Caribbean islands.

The first whiff is a blast of the citra and amarillo hops. Quite pleasant. By now, not particularly novel coming from a black abyss.

The malt character plays well with the bright hops. There is an earthy spiciness, which on the occasional sip veers toward the astringent.

It would be odd for these steady brewers to release a sloppy or thoughtless beer, and they have not done so here. It bears the Firestone mark of quality well.

 835 characters

Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark brown. almost black color with faint mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Sweet floral aroma with spicy rye, malt, earthy and citrus hops.  Subtle roast but the rye character adds another dimension. Some grassy pine and slight citrus but the nose is dominated by spicy rye and dark malts.  

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a nice balance of resinous, earthy hops, sweet and roasted malt and spicy rye.  Again, the rye adds complexity with level of spicy swetness that counters the piny hops and roasted notes. Grassy and piny hops followed by spicy rye with roasted and sweet malts underneath.  Hints of chocolate, toast, coffee and oatmeal lingering into a dry finish with subtle heat.

 836 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a touch lighter than black coffee with mahogany highlights. Forms a two finger high creamy toasted marshmallow head, and an attractive ring of lacing. Good retention.

Hops dominate the aroma with a blast of grapefruit that is floral and pungent with a pine accompaniment. No malt discernible on the nose but ends with a slight coffee.

Bright hop notes are set off right from the start that allow a hint of nutty malt complete with a bit of coffee and ash. The bitterness and acidity from the dark malt play nicely with the Cascade hop character. One dimensional, the dark malt plays almost no part, even as the beer warms.

Creamy with a touch of prickly carbonation. Sticky malt offsets the drying hops with a medium body. Alcohol is well hidden.

Bright hops are the center piece of this beer adding aroma and bitterness. Smooth even mouthfeel with a well hidden alcohol shows the FW craft. I didn't get much of the dark malt and felt it was rather pointless to brew this as a black ipa if the malt just gets buried under.

 1,032 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/19/12
Poured into tulip

Appearance: Color is dark and I'd call it black without any light penetrating. The pour produced a two finger light brown-tan head and there is some moderate lacing.

Smell: Pine hops at the forefront with a bit of chocolate malt and some roasted qualities. An earthy presence is noted and absolutely no alcohol is detected.

Taste: A bittering pine hop with some grapefruit first. The rye with some spiciness is also noted front to mid palate. This is quickly followed by the roasted and chocolate and the finish is a mild coffee like taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium and pretty smooth actually. Just the right amount of carbonation to tickle the tongue.

Overall: These black IPA's play to my palate perfectly in that they bring together the best of a stout/porter and an IPA. When I'm neither in the mood for a stout or an IPA this fits the bill to perfection and this one with the rye adds another intriguing layer to consider and keep it interesting.

 990 characters

Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decent Bottled IPA with a punch

I was walking through the wine section in Costco when Precious pointed out some bottles of IPA. She and everyone else know that I love IPA. I'll try anything once so I got this along with some other beers. It came in a 22 oz. bottle. It looked like a wine bottle. I almost walked right past this thing of beauty.

You get a shock when you pour it out. It's almost like a dark beer but with a reddish tint. I wondered why somebody would be selling a stout in a bottled marked IPA. Don't they know anything about beer? It turns out they do know quite a bit. This is an ambitious take on a darkened IPA. It doesn't have that awesome IPA smell. Sometimes I think I like IPAs just because of the smell. You know what I'm talking about.

The taste is bitter and strong but not too much. After a couple of sips and sniffs it only gets better. At the end I really enjoyed this. The only problem is that it has a high alcohol content which I can't handle. I usually get tipsy after one 12 oz. Mich Ultra. One bottle of Wookey Jack contributed to a good, much needed Sunday afternoon nappy.

 1,131 characters

Photo of Oscar_The_Rauch
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium globe glass.

A: Very dark brown with a tan colored head.

N: A mix of pine scented hops, spicy rye, and some dark roasted malt with a note of milk chocolate and cookie dough.

T: Confirms nose with a full-bodied mouthfeel and displays good balance for the style. Long lingering finish with all flavors integrated well.

O: Black IPAs are not a popular choice for me, but I certainly have tried a fair amount of them. This one stands out for its balance and integration of flavors. When you have dark malt, big hoppy aromas and bitterness, as well as some dry, spicy rye it can be difficult to keep everything in check. You can see how this could become a "tug o' war" event on your palate with each flavor fighting to overpower the others. However, this beer was not the case. Everyone played well in the sandbox.

 841 characters

Photo of zshaft
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours nice black into snifter with minimal head. nose is some toffee and coffee with pine and typical black malt. seems like im gonna be drinking a pine tree. mouthfeel is medium. I remember this being more flavorful in the past. this almost seems watered down. I get a bunch of pine and quick fruity hops followed by some roasty malt. this is a great beer with nice subtile flavors throughout the palate. nothing overpowers but it all makes for a nice drinking experience. although I remember it having more pop. it's still a nice beer. for the style its top notch.

 583 characters

Photo of MrBoz21
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown-copper-black with thick tan head that retains. and leaves nice lacing.

Nice citrus hops with pine. Rye malt, roast.

Taste: Nice rye crispness with a roasty back bone. Lots of bitter, resiny hops that stay in throat.

Mouth: Dry and astringent. A stout-like slickness.

Overall: Nice beer with good balance and complexity. Its a bit astringent and has more roast than I like for style.

 404 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.