Firestone Walker – Wookey Jack

I’m at the Whole Foods in Venice for the official release of Firestone Walker Wookey Jack, a black IPA made with rye, Amarillo hops, and “wookey dust”. I will be sure to ask Mr. Walker for a description of what wookey dust actually consists of and, since I’m in Venice, if it is vegan.
Wookey Jack is Firestone Walker’s first foray into hoppy dark beers. Made with rich dark malts, rye, and a dash “wookey dust”. The beer is then double dry hopped with Amarillo and Citra hops. They claim that even though it is black if “but if you close your eyes and taste it, you’ll say it’s a true IPA.” As with most Firestone Walker beers, this beer should see a pretty wide bottle release at most vendors around town as well as a limited draft release.
Working up to the main event with a bit of Solace, a nice light “summertime” wheat beer.
20120424-183501.jpgThe beer pours a dark black with a little bit of off white head and a fair amount of lace. The aroma is very hoppy with strong citrus and pine notes and just a hint of maltiness. The mouthful is nice and full bodied with an average amount of carbonation. The flavor starts out with a roasted malt flavor that jumps to a strong bitter hop with a piney note. The finish is malty with a lingering bitterness.
Overall I would say this is a very good representation of the style and definitely in my top 5 black IPAs. It doesn’t have quite as much malt as I would like, but it brings a great IPA flavor. Sadly I could not get a better description of what “wookey dust” is from David Walker other than “pure magic.” But he did say the name is a reference to the head brewers love of Phish.

Right now, there are only 15 kegs of Wookey Jack in the LA area (wasn’t able to get the where out of them) and it is started as a limited bottle release which will move to a full year round distribution. If you’re interested in trying this beer, head on down to Whole Foods Venice where it is currently on tap at the tasting bar or most other Whole Foods where you should be able to find it in bottles for $6.

Name Wookey Jack
Brewery Firestone Walker
Style Black IPA
ABV 8.5%
Availability Bottle and Limited Draft
Rating 4 out of 5

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