The Pear Blossom Festival found me wandering around downtown today with my daughter and somewhat underwhelmed by the beers represented at the beer and wine tent and dodging the n-teenth Elephant Ear cart. Fortunately, the good folk at Jackson Creek Pizza have the right combination of kid-friendliness and a good (if limited) tap lineup. Today the mystery handle yielded a brew from Firestone Walker Brewing Company, the hard-to-find Firestone Walker Double Jack Imperial IPA.
Firestone Walker Double Jack Imperial IPA poured crystal clear from the tap, honey-hued with a sticky white head and vigorously carbonated body. The nose was full of nectarine and mango... slightly less sweet than Russian River’s standard-setting Pliny the Elder, but eerily similar.
The similarities didn’t stop at the nose, as Firestone Walker Double Jack opened with bold flavors of nectarine, peach, and papaya sweetness in the front that settled into a very dry, light body in the fade with a touch of bitterness. I hate to compare, but other than being slightly less integrated and smooth this ale was 90% to being a Pliny the Elder Clone.
Similarities aside (although in this case it’s a compliment), Firestone Double Jack Imperial IPA achieves perfection in offering a hard-to-put-down drinkability with a head swooning 9.5% ABV. The tropical fruitiness of the beer is dry enough to never be cloying, and it was hard to resist ordering a second pint.