The Double (and triple, or Imperial) IPA style is becoming more and more common out here on the West Coast of the U.S.A. Most of the big breweries have done or are doing limited editions of their tried-and-true IPA’s, and for good reason. While some commercial examples of the style are turning out to have little to offer except extreme bitterness, some gems stand out from the rest of the crowd, and Firestone-Walker’s Double Jack is one shining example of what the Imperial IPA can be.Appearance – Dark straw colored liquid, with a white effervescent head, which laced gorgeously throughout the drink. Clarity is perfect for the IPA style.
Aroma – Gorgeous pine resin and citrus aroma, with slight floral/herbal notes. Really strong aroma, hinting that this beer is going to be nothing short of fantastic.
Mouthfeel – A perfect balance of rich, sweet malt and bitter, acrid hops which makes for both a rich and refreshing drink.
Taste – Lots of malt…lots and lots. But this is perhaps overshadowed by the tremendous hop blast that greets your tongue upon first sip, powers through what would otherwise be a cloying mouthfeel, and lingers long through the finish. It really is one of the most successful hop bombs ever brewed, in my opinion.
Overall – At 9.5% abv, this beer is a wonderful evening beer to share with friends…or not. It’s nowhere near the strongest beer on the shelf, but is a wonderful hop experience. I truly hope I can snag this beer again. Watch out as this was technically one of their winter offerings, so stores which have had this on the shelf awhile might be carrying less-than-fresh bottles. There is a bottle on date, and Firestone Walker recommends that since their beer is not pasteurized, you should enjoy it within 120 days of the bottling date.