Wookey Jack

Firestone Walker: Wookey Jack (USA: Black IPA: 8.3% ABV)

Visual: Black. Massive froth tight bubbled beige head.

Nose: Massive hop bitterness. Wholemeal crackers. Grapefruit. Curry powder. Smoke. Pineapple. Bitter coffee remains.

Body: Toasted. Smoke. Huge hop bitterness. Peppery. Smooth texture. Sweet grapefruit, lime and pineapple. Slight tartness. Chocolate liquore undertones. Gooseberry. Paprika. Apricot. Cadburys cream egg,

Finish: Bitter chocolate. Rye crackers. Peppery and spices. Very bitter hops. Raw cocoa. Gooseberry and peach syrup. Apricot. Chilli seeds. Very dry. Slightly earthy.

Conclusion: A rustic citrus black IPA. Those are the slightly odd mix of words that come to mind as I drink this.

There is that rustic, rough, earth edged note that feels very old school British Burton IPAs which, when mixed with that rye cracker taste and roasted black IPA elements makes for a very down to earth feel. Then, oh then, there is the other side of it, the big sweet citrus grapefruit hops that I could smell even as I had barely half cracked the cap off the bottle. Sweet and sharp fruit flavours mixing with a creamy and smooth texture.

So how do two such different beers live together in the same glass? One moment you breath in smoke and massive hop bitterness, the next sharp tantalizing pineapple, then a mix of the two together. The body sweet and smooth, then spicy and rough flavoured. It really is an old world IPA, with new world rye drinks, NZ tartness and USA fruity hops.

It is a less extravagant beer than say, sublimely self righteous ale, that beer is the young punk with all the good tunes, this is the wise old man leaning back on his chair, tough as nails and with all the good tales. Both are great and very different.

So yes, up there with the very best Black IPAs and a stand alone beer as an example of a great mix of different beer styles pedigrees. Exceptional.

Background: Firestone walker, woo, I’ve got hold of some bottles of their beers now. Including this, a rye black IPA. So far my experience of Firestone Walker hoppy beers have been excellent, so I was looking forwards to settling down with this one. This one was drunk while relaxing late at night with The Pixies playing in the background.

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