One Sip: Firestone Walker Double Jack Double IPA | Bleader

One Sip: Firestone Walker Double Jack Double IPA


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

1 comment

I couldn't have picked a better week to review Firestone Walker's Double Jack: at the Chicago Beer Society's Night of the Living Ales on March 5, it won the Golden Tut, awarded by the cellar staff and the professional brewers in attendance to the beer that "best exemplifies the overall cask ale experience." Firestone Walker is a new entrant to the Chicago beer market: in January the brewery began distributing a handful of its beers here, all from its high-end Proprietors Reserve Series. I've seen bottles of Double Jack and Walker's Reserve Robust Porter on shelves, and I was lucky enough to catch the Firestone 14 Anniversary Ale on tap at the Map Room. According to marketing manager Jamie Smith, their Abacus barleywine is coming in March, and the Parabola Russian imperial stout is due in June.

Double Jack has a loose, fluffy bone-colored head that recedes quickly, leaving almost no lacing. Give the beer a good deep snort like it deserves and you'll get a floral scent, a little like jasmine tea, followed by a bit of tangerine and lots of white grapefruit rind. The smell is flat-out invigorating—if aromatherapists aren't looking into these ingredients, they're squandering a huge potential market. On the taste front, what you smell is what you get, at least as far as the hops go. The flavor is loaded with grapefruit bitterness, and actually makes you salivate a little—a mighty refreshing feeling that I reckon will make this beer even more wonderful come summer. The bitterness is balanced against massive but not particularly chewy caramel malts that remind me of an airy toasted biscuit drizzled with honey. Double Jack is amazingly clean, crisp, and easy to drink considering its 9.5 percent alcohol content, and it definitely has me looking forward to the arrival of more Firestone Walker beers in Chicago.