Today I found a great article by Paste Magazine: a blind taste-test of 115 American Double/Imperial IPAs. In the top 5 was a beer I had in the fridge, but had yet to try. California’s Firestone Walker, an overall outstanding brewery, managed to get their Double Jack DIPA ranked #5 out of over a hundred similarly-styled beers.
I had just picked up a single bottle of this earlier in the week at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, so hey, time to make my own opinion on this beer, and share it with the zero people who care about my opinion on beer! Hooray!
How exciting, too, because Firestone Walker is one of those breweries that everybody seems to love, like Lagunitas, or Boulevard, or Coors (ha?). And I’ve had a few beers from them – Easy Jack and Union Jack are both tasty brews, and I have a bottle of their Helldorado barleywine aging in my kitchen.
Unfortunately, Double Jack just isn’t my favorite type of DIPA. The one I had was as fresh as one can expect a West Coast beer to be in Boston, and poured into a Trillium tulip (I currently don’t have any Trillium beers in the house, much to my dismay). There was a narrow head that stuck around a bit, and it smelled… well, it smelled like malty beer.
And it tasted like malty beer. It was fairly bitter, but also malt-sweet. I didn’t get any real nose or flavor of pine, or citrus, or fruit, or anything other than malt. Maybe this individual bottle wasn’t representative of the beer itself, but generally speaking, while it was tasty enough, it was fairly boring as DIPAs go.
Now, of the Paste Magazine list, I’ve had a few recently besides Double Jack, which was ranked #5. I’ve had #6 Lagunitas Sucks, which might have made itself my go-to beer (FREAKING DELICIOUS). I brought back a bomber of #9 3 Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf from Indiana, and it was extraordinary. I’ve had #10 Sip of Sunshine – once – on tap, and #16 Heady Topper and #18 Pliny the Elder. All of these beers tasted way, way, way better than Double Jack.
So, I’m disappointed. Again, maybe this bottle wasn’t indicative, or maybe Double Jack is just a type of DIPA I don’t dig, but I doubt I’ll buy another one. Maybe someday I’ll be on the West Coast, see Double Jack on tap, and discover that it’s a magical beer when fresh… never can tell.
But for now, Billy Dee says “Buy a Sucks instead, it’s the same price and availability.”