It’s been said that when it comes to consistently produced beers the ales of Firestone Walker are among the most reliable. From their Union Jack India Pale Ale to their Velvet Merlin it is often difficult to find someone who has anything negative to say about this brewery.
Today this writer would like to focus on another beer that has arrived in the market (this past few weeks) and it seems fitting with the Northwest buzzing about IPAs that discuss another India Pale Ale, Firestone Walker’s Double Jack Double India Pale.
Historically this beer style has remained uniquely American. Inspired by the idea that you can never have too many hops in a glass, the Imperial (or Double) India Pale Ale has been a much appreciated category of IPA. Assuming that you respect guidelines regarding what constitutes an Imperial or Double IPA versus your ‘garden variety’ India Pale Ale, the Brewers Association has this following words of wisdom.
Imperial or Double India Pale Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Alcohol content is medium-high to high and notably evident. They range from deep golden to medium copper in color. The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high malt character. Hop character should be fresh and lively and should not be harsh in quality. The use of large amounts of hops may cause a degree of appropriate hop haze. Imperial or Double India Pale Ales have medium-high to full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived. The intention of this style of beer is to exhibit the fresh and bright character of hops. Oxidative character and aged character should not be present.
Firestone Walker Double Jack Double India Pale Ale pours with a pale orange an initial frothy, white, foamy head; that leaves behind a cobweb of lace inside the glass as the ‘head’ disappears. Giving the glass a good swirl for measure one detects pineapple, vanilla along with some pine. There is a noticeable soap-like floral aroma as well, but nothing to be offended by.
Taking our first sip you are greeted by pineapple citrus before sweet caramel and biscuit arrive midway through the taste. As I finish swallowing, a minor hint of oak is recalled before the beer finishes with a grassy bitterness along with some minor sweet character. Overall the beer has a medium heft as it rests on the tongue and there is some expected stickiness.
The Double Jack recipe takes its inspiration of our two-time Great American Beer Festival gold medal winning Union Jack. Using more of the same ingredients that comprise Union Jack gives Double Jack the familiar flavor of its little brother with more malt flavor, hop impact and slightly higher alcohol. This beer rewards drinking in moderation and sharing with friends.
You Should Try This. Firestone has done it again in regards to producing a well demonstrated bottle of Double India Pale Ale. Word to the wise, at 9.50% Alcohol by Volume it might be best to have this with a friend. We can’t help but ponder grilled or ‘gamey’ meats, like a nice buffalo steak resting over charcoal. For the dairy enthusiasts you might think of something pungent or spicey (like pepperjack).
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.