Wookey Jack | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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698 Reviews
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Wookey JackWookey Jack
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
698
Ratings:
4,601
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.75%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
980
For Trade:
15
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Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 4,601
Photo of bmwats
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black or dark brown. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown white head. Thick residue and some spotty, persistent lacing.

S: Sourdough bread, oregano, and clove.

T: Roasted, peaty malt. A little molasses, black licorice, coffee, and plenty of unsweetened dark chocolate. Something of a woody character also.

M: Not heavy, but full flavored. Dry pungent finish. Woody and peaty.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, foamy head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is bready with some savory spice. Peaty and roasted malt, with some sweet and bitter notes. Great combination and balance. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark with an outstanding head that disapates like a stout. Very nice look but the smell is kind of weak for an IPA. The taste is nice. I think I'm enjoying the rye, hop blend of this style. While I've only had two of this style with Terrapin Rye PA the other, I feel there is a trade off. Maybe the rye downplays certain aspect like smell and downplays the hoppiness but it does blend well overall. It's fairly smooth and drinkable. Because the hop presence is a tad lower I think the tongue burn out is less which makes this a very easy beer to drink. I enjoy this, but wish I could get it in a six pack rather than a bomber. I would get this again however.

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

Neighbor bought a bottle of Wookey Jack from downstate Illinois. The beer was excellent. It poured a dark chocolate with slightly off-white/tan head that left a very nice lace. The scent included some hops, but was prominently roast. The taste was a roast chocolatety goodness that I didnt want to stop. There was enough hops to smooth the astringent coffee undertones. The mouthfeel was a medium to full bodied beer with smooth carbonation. Overall...one of my favorites!!!

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Photo of dalahodson
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice carmel red color full head with a dirty cream color there is light lacing on the glass. Mouth feel is smooth carmel with a nice bitter bite. Taste of carmel malts, biscuits dark fruits and full of great hops. Over all a full body easy drinking brew.

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Photo of acidicbassist
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Big fan of the black IPA; first time having the Wookey Jack.

A - Dark "stoutish" colour with a suprising light, 3/4" head

S - The citrusy, floral hops overpower the senses in quite an enjoyable way

T - Wonderful hoppy flavour with a crisp spice throughout

M - It definitely has a nice bite to it from start to finish, however, I think I would prefer a thicker, creamier texture

Overall, a fantastic beer. The taste is amazing, and I could enjoy this quite often. The only thing I really dislike, is that it seems to be "thinner" than I would expect from a black IPA, hence, great beer!

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Photo of prototypic
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wookey Jack is a very dark mahogany color. It’s not quite opaque. Backlighting reveals some burgundy and garnet highlights at the edges. Nice color though. It’s capped with a tan head that stands about a finger and a half tall. It’s rather quick to recede to a surface covering. Holds there for a while. It left a thick, sticky web of lace trailing down the glass. Good lookin’ stuff.

If the nose is any indication, this is going to be good. It kicks off with a nice citric hop scent. Grapefruit, orange, and pine are the most notable scents. It definitely has a spicy side to it. There’s no questioning the rye’s presence. The malt base is a nice mix of chocolate, roasted, and light caramel. It smells a little sweet, but it doesn’t seem like milk chocolate. That aspect is more cocoa-ish. There’s an interesting burnt or charred scent that smells like espresso. Alcohol is blended very well. I’m not getting much. Smells really good.

The flavor is even a little better. Wow! This is great stuff! The malt base is an effective combo of chocolate, caramel, and roasted varieties. The chocolate variety is bittersweet and dark with a touch of cocoa. It does have a charred coffee flavor. Tastes like espresso. Rye imparts a nice spicy flavor that works really well with the citric hop flavors that follow. Grapefruit and orange flavors are very tasty. To a lesser degree, there is a little pine. It is a little bitter, but the malts stabilize it pretty well. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. Finishes with a mix of malty, hoppy, and spicy flavors. Excellent!

Wookey Jack has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Feels a little thin. Carbonation is light and restrained. Bubbles are soft. For what it’s worth, it definitely goes down easily and quickly.

Firestone Walker did a great job with Wookey Jack. Its greatest assets is its ability to showcase delicious hop flavors and spicy rye at the same great. The dark malt flavors complement those flavors extremely well. If you haven’t tried, seek a bottle out. You’ll be glad you did.

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Photo of wogreen
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A - thick black cloud with a foamy brown head
S - faint hint of hops
T - smooth creamy flavor, nearly stout-like though with a bit more hopped up flavor
M - thick, creamy
O - A fine balance between a stout and pale ale makes this a beer that seems almost sessionable despite the 8.3% ABV

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle (with a born on date of 8/9/2013), into a tulip.
Appearance - black, though against the light it shows some mahagony. Thick, fluffy tan head that recedes to a thin head that stays! Plenty of sticky tan lacing!
Smell - wow, didn't expect this to be such a hop punch in the face! Wonderful citrus hops, grapefruit! I'd be surprised if you find any black ale that smells better, and you probably won't find many DIPA's that do either!
Taste - there's so much going on with this beer! Hop forward, but momentarily gives way to some roasted coffee, a touch of rye bread, but citrus hops are noticeable throughout. Very complex on the palate, very well done!
Feel - not as complex as the taste; lacks some of the rye, roasted barley and malts. Lots of hops...which certainly isn't a bad thing!
Overall - somewhat pricey, but I'll seek out again and again!

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Photo of hopsputin
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: pitch black like motor oil with a really nice and creamy looking off white heat, bout 2.5 fingers

s: dank pungent hops and toasted malt. sweet citrus blends nicely with the slight bitter roast aroma. orange, mango, maybe some pineapple. there is a slight spice too, i'm assuming the rye

t: oh yes. delicious roasted and toasted malt, with a sweet citrus flavor following it up. there is some bitterness that hits towards the end. i'm also picking up dark chocolate, and dough. the rye/spice is present in the background, and works well so that it is not the dominant flavor. real clean

m: medium with solid carbonation

o: i'm a sucker for these black ales, and this one hits the spot. its refreshing, yet also decadent. i still prefer Hop in The Dark to this, but Wookey Jack is definitely worth the buy and actually available.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this recently. Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle. Bottling date is "04/26/13," and this was consumed on "06/24/13," so nearly 2 months later. That's actually fresher than I've usually found it, believe it or not. Black IPAs do not typically age well in my experience, but this one should be doing fine - especially considering FW's impeccable standards. Review is from my notes.

Pours a jet black color unlike any dark IPA I've seen to date. Very oily and thickened in the pour, and completes itself with a creamy frothy head at the top that is about 3-4 fingers tall. The head never seems to fully dissipate, and when it does, it leaves behind shrapnel-like bits of foam and sugar scattered all about on the glass in a totally playfully messy manner. Carbonation seems really good on this, and the hoppy resins seem full fledged based on the appearance alone. World class, even considering the style at hand.

The aroma is combination of dank, pungent hoppiness, as well as a surprisingly caramel-like toasted flavor from the malts. Rather than knock the senses with a roasted, dark character, it instead takes a backseat from the floral hops, which provide pine, orange peel, grapefruit, mint, a smidgen of anise, as well as bittered, earthy sensations. Afterwards, the caramel, slightly sugary but tamed flavor creeps in to give this the impression of a pine-mint-caramel combo that is actually very breezy and not sweet or dessert-like at all. The rye crackles underneath in a slightly spicy, pungent manner, but it's by far the most subtle flavor in the concoction. Really amazing stuff - seeks balance in midst of the diverse flavors.

The flavor is just as good as the aroma, bringing out a little bit more of the caramel, and especially the floral hop flavors overall. At first, there's the immediate bitterness, often melding into pine needles, citrus peel, less of the mint, although it's still there, and maybe a little bit of grapefruit. Then, the caramel, slightly leathery profile takes over and the malt washes the senses with a silky, creamy sensation that is flavorful but not heavy or too hearty. The rye provides a bit more of a bite here, and I believe these later factors cover up the relatively high ABV - which may provide a touch of sweetness, although there's no heat on this. Very well carbonated - the extra bubbles bring forward a lot of these dank hoppy nuances and creamy malts. This is fabulous... Hardly any complaints.

This sets the bar for how these beers should be made. Nothing too roasted or malty and not a hop bomb by any means. Everything melds together and does so without weighing you down. I wouldn't expect anything lesser from these guys. If you aren't so much into black IPAs, give this a whirl. The caramel melds so well with the pine and orange peel, and its complexity yet ability to shift flavors over the course of time makes it easy to drink. At less than $6 a bottle, I will definitely be buying the next one that I find fresh.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Burley Oak tulip (bottled on 2/18/13)

A: A nice very dark brown that has thick strong coffee cream color head that stays for a bit, lots of big bubbles in the head and a nice lacing.

S: Straightforward sweet citrus smell, with a hint of rye and pine co-mingling in there towards the back.

T: It is a straight up roasty black IPA, with the rye coming in and mellowing out the hops. A bit of the citrus pine comes through but fades quickly. There is a nice rye tail that finishes with a malty pine aftertaste. However, the hops have faded quite a bit it seems and the malt bill doesn't hold up to back it up. I think this might actually be a combination of the rye that from other similar beers of this style (that I had fresh), seems to dull the hops, even fresh.

M: There is an even carbonation whose coarseness quickly peters out and is crisp no longer but just feels like bubbles .

O: I was expecting a lot more here, but perhaps I waited too long to try this (4 months). I really like black IPAs and this one didn't do it for me. It was bland and a sub-par black IPA. I will try again with a fresh one later but this is a miss from FW for me.

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Photo of bambam2517
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a nice rush of creamy cocoa bubbles forming a strong, lasting lace ring. On the nose is piney, coriander hops and rye malt sweetness, hint of smoke. Taste is an excellent blend of bitter and malty flavors, complexity is high. Dark chocolate, juniper berries, grill smoke, rye bread come to mind. Mouthfeel is among the best i've had, begins so soft and creamy then the flavors run wild on the palate, finishing with a sudden perfectly bitter dry finish. Extremely well crafted!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wookey Jack opens to a hoppy aroma, pink grapefruit, lemon oil, and mint mixing with lesser touches of pine resin, dandelion stem, and grapefruit rind. A good measure of orange, berry, cherry, apricot, and peach fruit esters add healthy doses of sugar, playing nicely off of the citrus-centric hops. The sugars extend into heaps of brown sugar and candi sugar, adding a crystallized super sweet rim around the edge. Small chunks of toast crust and biscuit add some earthiness, as does a very, very faint edge of ash. As a whole, the nose is very nice, though the “black” part of “black IPA” is hardly noticeable here, and the peppery rye is largely subsumed beneath the massive quantities of hops and sugars. The nose is still excellent, however, speaking to a well-made IPA that boasts a wide variety of hop aromas.

On the tongue, the first notes are of hops, which bring pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind, as well as lemon oil, eucalyptus, pine, mint, and lesser notes of dandelion stem, the flavors mainly geared toward minty and citrusy. These are met almost immediately by a wave of ash and rye, as if thick brown rye bread had been deeply toasted and sprinkled with fresh-cracked pepper. The blackness here is excellent, reminiscent of fine breads, but also containing heavy ash, bits of tobacco, black malt, and semi-burnt molasses. These black, ashy notes are strong enough that they largely take over the beer, which is impressive, given the strength of the hops. In subsequent sips, the exact same process repeats itself: an initial blast of hops, then, as the beer is held on the tongue, the black ashy flavors take over. The hops aren’t overwhelmed here, but mix with the ash (as well as the few orange-oil-and-berry fruit esters that manage to make their way through the black morass) to form a lemon-lime overtone that adds a refreshing citrusy relief to the blackness. The aftertaste is a continuation of the heavy ashy notes, with lingering bits of citrusy hops, and at least the ashy notes stay on the tongue for a very long time. Mouthfeel is a full medium to medium-full, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing up on the tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent black rye IPA, and one of the few on the market where the black, ashy notes mix well with the hops; too often they clash horribly. Well worth trying.

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Photo of gr0g
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of dbossman
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a sudsy, bubbly tan colored head--good retention and okay lacing

S: Lots of rye and piney hops up front; there's a subtle chocolatey malt undertone--but mostly hop resins and spicy rye

T: More hop forward up front than aromas indicated but then the spicy dark rye work their way in; mmmm

F: Medium body; oily and sticky; just what I want in an IBA

O: A real solid Black IPA; hoppy, spicy, a decent malt backbone, good stuff

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

22 oz into tulip pint
A- Coca-cola color on the pour with a thick creamy light tan head that doesn't want to go anywhere-I'm excited
S- Chocolate Chip Power Bar, toasted malt with a sweet hoppy rye backbone
T- Oohh. Aahh. Thats good. It's unexpectedly refreshing. Lighter than I thought it would be. Not lighter as in lacking flavor, just in body. Very unique. Brownie points for being something different. It just tastes like someone brewed exactly what they wanted to. Very mellowed hops
M- IPA mouthfeel; refreshing, big bubble, light (enough) bodied, but the roastey toasty-ness coats the tongue
This is a very good beer I would drink any time. I appreciate what it is. Is there bigger better beers... of coarse. But this beer is delicious and enjoyable, and for that I give it credit.

(Firestone Walker, I had written you off. I am sorry, I didn't mean it, I know good things happen there. The Costco pack does not do you justice (obviously...))

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from the bottle into a globed glass. Bottled on 4/26/13

A-Poured black with a big creamy/fluffy mocha colored head that left lots of dense splashy lace

S- Big fragrant grapefruit, piney, and floral hops. Some chocolate and roasted malt notes. Big wood like notes.

T- Massive grapefruit notes, just like biting right into a fresh grapefruit or freshly squeezed juice. Some woody, earthy, and piney notes. Big roasted/charred malt character,

M- Very creamy and smooth, medium to fuller bodied, soft carbonation,finishes dry. Everything is spot on for the mouthfeel of this beer.

O- The grapefruit notes on this beer are so incredibly juicy and pungent. Nice malt backbone on this Black IPA. This is definitely at the very top of style for me, really tasty stuff.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark, with reddish tints on the edges. The head is maybe a finger's width, off-white, and has long retention and a lot of lacing.

S: Toffee, alcoholic phenols, a spiciness, and some slight woody hops. Really not a ton of aroma coming off of this beer.

T: The taste is definitely a kick in the mouth. Sweet malts, toffee, and lots of spicy rye start this beer out. The rye melds nicely with the herbal, woody hops to take the beer through to the end. Despite all the sweet flavor, the beer is remarkably dry. The aftertaste is that f a pleasant burnt sugar.

M: Heavy body, almost chewy, but also a lot of carbonation to cut through the body. the beer is also slightly sticky in the throat.

O: Really a solid beer. It's a big beer, but I would expect nothing less from a black rye IPA. I am amazed at how well all the flavors are playing together.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of ElderBeagle
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: super dark mahogany, good 1.5 finger tan head

S: very roasty, coffee, burnt sugar, slightly smokey.

T: very complex flavor in this beer. Big roasted malt flavor, smoke, and even a bit of wood (oak?). Also a hint of sweet caramel and then I taste the hop bite near the end of the tongue.

M: full body for this guy and good amount of carbonation. But surprisingly smooth.

O: this is a great beer overall. Big complex flavor profile but not aggressive, still easy to drink. The only knock for me is the smokey flavor as I am not a fan of smokey beers. But otherwise I was glad I tried this, good big complex brew.

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Photo of far333
3.59/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep mahogany colored and opaque. A beige thick head settles out quickly. Low aroma of citrusy hops. Flavors of citrusy hops, morphing to orange rind pith, mix of pine and rye spice. Good balance of hops and malt, leaning more towards the hops, but good presence for the roasty dark malt. Rich and full mouthfeel, creamy, finishes a bit tannic. Good beer overall.

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Photo of AndyP612
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured to Darkness stem.

A- Dark. Black color with a light brown head that dissipates quickly. Looks very much so at home in the trusty Darkness glass I usually use to review at home.

S- Hops with rye highlights but predominately hop forward. Good, hearty nose one this ale seemingly on the sweeter side with the nose.

T- Nice hop bite towards the front. The rye balances things out toward the middle and ends in lovely rich malt. Extremely well balances with nothing coming out as the star. The three acts are definitely present Hops, Rye and Malt in this ale.

M- Extremely drinkable at 8.3% abv and the layers work very well with one another. Medium bodied with the malt staying with you after the sip slightly longer than the hops.

O- This is by far the best Black IPA I have had to memory because there is evidence that it is, in actuality is an IPA. I have become quite sick of ale claiming to be BIPAs and are really just black ale with no hops detectable in the nose or the palate. Would buy again. Cheers.

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Photo of stephens101
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A near pitch-black brew with a fantastic, rich, dark brown head. The herbal hops flow freely out of this one. Some dark fruity notes and faint caramel are noticed. Nothing out of the ordinary or complex with the aroma, just right on target. Caramel and bitter chocolates to the tongue and this one goes down smooth as hell. An herbal hop envelope helps provide a pleasant and non-threatening counterpoint to the sweetness. Some rye graniness and plum is noticed later. Medium-bodied at the most and the alcohol provides warmth but no harshness. Fabulous is end of the story.

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Photo of smooth_aleing
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, Firestone Walker doesn't disappoint. Poured from a bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

Pours a deep, jet black with a thick, frothy, cream-hued head that stands at two fingers. Settles down to nice lacing, with a generous layer of head.

The smell is immediately of rye, which I love. Notes of pine, roasted malts. Nice earthy, meaty nose.

First taste notes are rye and hops, followed by lingering notes of toasted barley and hops. Sme lingering bitterness provides good balance.

Mouthfeel is nice, a good creamy feel with nice carbonation.

Overall, very nice. Definitely would drink this one again, and the balance of rye and hops is spot-on.

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Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 4,601 ratings.
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