Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Double Jack Double India Pale Ale


My whole life has consisted of failure to appreciate the true depth of human stupidity. Most people are stupid, and they are both pretentious and unaware how transparent they are. Many of them spend time telling me “how it is” when they are so off-base that the disconnect from reality is onerous. But I digress: hipsters captured the beer industry and are posing at having knowledge while making bad beers.

Double Jack is one such bad beer. Monkey see, monkey do: hipsters realized that bitter beers with citrusy flavors were a signal our bloated and over-rated press corps was using to recognize quality, so they started making beers like Double Jack which signal all the right stuff but, because they are assembled of signals, have no internal structure or consistency and end up with the flavor of random junk. This beer immediately hits you with a strong grapefruit sensation, under which you will note a thin beer of anonymous flavor. The bitterness remains present, probably delivering rave reviews from idiots, but unlike a good beer, where all of the flavors work together toward some direction, it remains separate here. That may be a metaphor for this beer.

It is as if someone went through the reviews on Beer Advocate and highlighted all the key descriptive terms, then added those as features to an otherwise generic beer. None of the mild integration of yeast is here that you might find in a good beer, nor is there any overall flavor. Instead, there is bitterness, a yeasty backlash, a watery beer taste, then a slightly soapy beer flavor, and finally, the realization that this brew is surging with sugar and acid which means your post-party tacos are going to be a digestive challenge. It is not terrible like a mainstream American beer, but awful like lost potential: with someone who had a working brain, this could have been a great beer with these ingredients. Instead it is overpriced hype for hipsters to pass their time before smoking American Spirits among the ruins of their civilization. At 9.4% alcohol by volume, it at least allows a person to get decently tipsy on a bottle, but that does not make up for the wasted opportunity to not have drunk this beer, and to have purchased another one instead.

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5 thoughts on “Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Double Jack Double India Pale Ale”

  1. OliveFox says:

    Never had this one, but Firestone’s stout (velvet something) is more of the same. Messy, unorganized…boldly uninteresting, if I may. American “craft” beers have always had this problem though. Style over substance. Pleading for beer drinkers to notice how “unique” and “singular” their brand is.

    Reeks of desperation. I’ll take a “boring” Gaffel, Reissdorf, or any sort of classic Pils over this type of fraudulent hop worship aimed at the “sports bar intellectual.”


    Hey Brett, how come you never reviewed this thrash album?

    the accused martha splatterhead – 1986

  3. Daniel Maarat says:

    Your palette is not developed enough to bitter. This beer does not have nearly enough bittering hops to cover up the excessive residual sugars due to the gradual inefficiency of yeast at higher alcohol levels.

    The real problem is that many of these “craft” breweries, including many large ones, are not very good technical brewers and are operating on a delusion. They are essentially making American hop soda to try to emulate the fruity flavors of slightly oxidized cask ale. This doesn’t work and too often their double IPAs have way too much residual sickeningly sweet pale malt sugars without enough bittering hops as they spent all the money on aroma hops. The difference in quality between bottle conditioning breweries like Bells, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada and crap like Stone or Lagunitas is ridiculous. For lagers, Victory kicks the shit out of whatever swill is being pissed out by your local “craft” brewer. Industrial brewing is fucking hard, people go to school and toil away in apprenticeships for years to learn to do it. Making hop soda in your basement that tastes slightly better than DMS hell corn soda Rolling Rock doesn’t fucking cut it. This is not making macaroni pictures in kindergarten. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is better than Double Jack for a fucking reason.

    1. Ambient Dzogchen says:

      “They are essentially making American hop soda to try to emulate the fruity flavors of slightly oxidized cask ale.”

      Hmph. I’ve been digging hella IPAs, but if your claim is true… What slightly oxidized cask ale do you recommend? (I’m limited to stuff available on the West Coast of U.S.A.)

  4. Scott says:

    If you want a really awesome Beer seek out Erdinger Light from Germany.

    Heavenly Bier.

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