Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Paso Robles, CA
Double Jack Double IPA – 9.5% ABV
$9.99 for 22 oz.
This was purchased yesterday at The Blue Dog Pub, Lansdale, PA.
Double Jack poured a dark amber with an ample, foamy head one inch high. The head faded to a lattice of bubbles on the surface of the beer. There were a few bubbles rising inside the glass.
While looking at the beer, the aroma continued to waft in my direction and it was all hops. Consequently, I didn’t need to consider the aroma any further. It contains tons of hops: fruity hops, piney hops, fresh hops… you get the idea. It smells really hoppy. The aroma is also fresh and clean. There is a sizeable malt aroma, but it does take a back seat to those hops.
The first sip almost knocked my socks off. The flavors of the hops, malt and a nice alcohol bite made for a pretty powerful taste. You’ll taste the hop flavors first and they range from a nice fruitiness all the way to the mouth-tightening bitter type all within the first sip. After the initial hops flavors, the maltiness comes into play. The malt has more of the bread-like qualities, so it’s not sweet, but it’s certainly present. The finish comes back to the bitterness of the hops with a nice alcohol bite that warms the tongue. A resinous aftertaste permeates the mouth afterward, along with some residual heat from the alcohol.
At first, the flavors are a bit harsh, but it mellows to a pleasant smoothness around the middle of each sip. This beer is not at all for the faint-hearted. A wonderful bite and bitterness are very prominent here.
The mouth feel is full bodied for a double IPA, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. The drinkability is surprisingly good. Even though the ABV is 9.5%, I could easily have a couple of these. And I would definitely purchase it again.
I’m very happy that Firestone Walker has been able to bring their product to Pennsylvania. This was my first brew from them and it’s a great way to start. I look forward to trying more of their beer.
Overall – A-