Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA: 9.5% Alcohol and the Perfect 25th Birthday Drink


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Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA from Paso Robles, CA

Serving style: On tap, in a chalice

Location: Spritzenhaus in Greenpoint

Cost: $8

ABV: 9.5%

Appearance: Oof, what a beautiful beer. It’s bright orange, practically glowing in the glass. The photo on the left doesn’t really do it justice. The Double Jack is much lighter, almost clear, with hints of red inside the orange. My beer didn’t have much head, but after reading some more information about this brew and learning that it tends to have quite the frothy top, that seems to be a mistake by the bartender. Though, she was really nice and in the process of dealing with a very large, very drunk man who glared at me multiple times throughout the night, so I’ll let this slide.

Aroma: Fruity! A little piney, as well. Overall, the scent is quite pungent. My guess is that’s due to such a high alcohol content. Really though, it smells magnificent. If anyone from Firestone Walker is reading this, feel free to turn the Double Jack into a scented candle or something, and send it to me.

Taste: Following the potent aroma, this IPA unsurprisingly carries a lot of flavor with a lot happening: berry, hoppy, grapefruit-y, bready. Because there is so much going on inside the brew, it masks the bitterness that tends to come with IPAs. And for being 9.5 percent ABV, my chalice full was, really, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Not nearly as heavy as I expected, especially with such full flavor. But the Double Jack’s intense array of tastes makes it a bit syrupy, which also probably comes back to its ABV. There’s a nice, average amount of carbonation, and it finishes smooth with a bit of hop residue. And even though the alcohol is hidden for most of the drink, it comes out at the end, leaving a warm presence in your mouth.

Overall Experience: Delicious, just delicious. My girlfriend bought me this beer on my birthday, and it was the perfect choice for turning 25. I guess if I have to be picky, it was a bit too fruity for my liking–I could probably only have one or two before I’d need to switch it up–but with an ABV of 9.5%, the brewers at Firestone Walker probably don’t have much of a choice. They need to hide the alcohol somehow!