IF THE CONDUCT of Firestone Walker’s Union Jack IPA was that of an exemplary grenadier, the Double Jack is that of a weathered cavalryman. Its color is a touch darker (both are classed at 8 SRM, but the latter seems a bit bronzed, almost as if barrel-aged), its carbonation a touch lower, and the sprightly zip of the Union Jack is here pared back to allow for a little more must, sweetness, and hop resin to settle onto the palate.
Unlike some other notable DIPAs (e.g. Double Crooked Tree), the Double Jack does not merely double-down on the single IPA recipe. And though it does have a larger recipe by mass its variety of ingredients is fewer. However, given that Union Jack was nearly a whole platoon worth of hops and grain there is still plenty left over for the Double. Try six hop varieties and three separate dry-hopping stages.
Far from waging total war, though, Double Jack shows a great sense of balance between its 100 IBUs (which now seems a benchmark for DIPAs), a pronounced midsection of kilned malts, and defined yet not strident alcohol warmth in the finish. Amarillo pineapple is strong early on the palate, then transitioning to piney American C-hops over toffee and a satisfying honey texture in the body. The finish is unexpectedly light—not exactly dry but certainly slimmer than the midsection—and is aided somewhat by a little slickness from the 9.5% ABV. The beer altogether is on the sweeter side of DIPAs, and one wonders how its smoothness might respond to a month spent in oak barrels. As is—Double Jack sets a dignified example to other West Coast DIPAs of how to fire a mighty hop salvo while still maintaining the decorum of a gentleman. Salute.
Served: 12 oz bottle