Voorheesville, NY: Thacher Park Picnic with Firestone Walker Wookey and Double Jack

When the guys at Hoosick Street Beverage posted they had some Wookey Jack I beelined it there to pick some up. I’m a huge fan of pretty much every beer I’ve had from FW so for them to come out with a new Black IPA you know I had to snag it. I grabbed a Double Jack while I was there since I hadn’t had that yet, either.

Got home, grabbed the cooler, glasses, blankets, the pooch and we were on our way. Stopped at Nino’s for some of their goddamn delicious subs and as we headed to Thacher Park.

We cracked open the Wookey Jack first. I’m trying to get Elise into IPAs and a black IPA is a good start since it has a lot of that maltiness that she’s used to with the stouts and porters. This beer was no different. I’ve had hoppier Black IPAs but this was pretty laid back. Slightly sweet, the malts were more present with hops taking a back seat. Some bitter in the finish but nothing crazy. Some intense lacing on the glass. A very good and extremely well balanced Black IPA.

We kicked the Wookey while eating and playing with Kuma and introducing him to passers-by and eventually broke out the Double Jack. My first time with this beer, but my expectations were set a little low as Jay had told me previously that, while it was good, it wasn’t as good as the Union Jack. I couldn’t disagree more.

The first thing I want to point out on this beer is the color; it’s incredible looking. And that’s huge for me because I could really give two shits about what a beer looks like. I don’t care if it’s cloudy or has floaters or any of that bullshit because honestly, that doesn’t affect how good the beer is for me. So for me to look at this beer and have the color really stand out I was impressed. It looked like liquid gold with a tiny bit of amber. Incredible.

The beer was very reminiscent of Dreadnaught for me. Similar citrus fruit on the nose and taste but without the mango and other tropical flavors. You can tell there’s some alcohol here but it’s not extremely obvious. Much more bitter on the tongue than the nose, with some very slight maltiness/sweetness on the backend. Overall this was a world-class DIPA for me, coming in a just a notch or two below Dreadnaught.

Stone Brewing Co. – 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Review

This was pretty interesting. We reviewed this on Jay’s Beer Review back in September and I enjoyed it immensely. I immediately went out and snagged a bottle for myself with the intention of drinking it then, but ended up completely disregarding the bottle’s recommendation and letting it sit for months in my cedar beer storage closet. The bottle date was August 2011 and JD and I enjoyed this last week, making this about 8 months old.

It was a completely different beer. Hasn’t changed much visually, but absolutely no hops in the nose nor in the taste. Still some lingering bitterness, shit ton of malty, chocolatey molasses flavor with a ton of alcohol present. This was much, much closer to a RIS to me than a Black IPA. Really interesting how it’s changed. This was a very good beer, but Stone makes some really kickass stouts already so I’d say stick with what is says on the bottle: Enjoy Fresh.