Friday, April 1, 2011

Double IPAs — Alaskan Brewing vs. Firestone Walker

Alaskan Brewing
Imperial IPA

ABV 8.5%

Slightly hazy reddish copper.
Sweet wood and whiskey with some floral notes.
Sweet and simple with a bit of woodiness.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Mild bitterness early building to harsh, woody bitterness. Acidic.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Firestone Walker
Double Jack

ABV 9.5%

Clear golden.
Aroma: Spicy, citrus hops.
Flavor: Full bodied. Big, sweet and malty with equally big citrus hops.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Sweet malts, mild citrus bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Fantastic

Blow by Blow
Imperial IPAs continue to take up a lot of space on store shelves, so it is our duty to battle them for the benefit of all you hopheads out there. These two in particular were itching for a fight, so we poured a bit of each and let them settle it in the glass.

If this battle were about looks alone, the Alaskan would have won handily. It had a gorgeous hue of vibrant reddish copper that was so compelling that we were tempted to take the beer down to Home Depot and have them mix up a batch of Alaskan Imperial IPA paint for us. The Double Jack, on the other hand was a fairly bland golden hue — not inspiring at all.

What the Double Jack lacked in color it more than made up for in aroma. It was just bursting with juicy citrus hops. Neither of us wanted to give up the glass. Each sniff kind of made our eyes roll back in our head. The Alaskan was nowhere near as special. As a matter of fact, in comparison to the Double Jack it seemed to barely have any hops in the nose at all, choosing instead to focus on a sweet, malty and woody aroma.

Once the Double Jack took the upper hand it never gave the Alaskan a chance, ultimately landing an uppercut that knocked the Alaskan clean out of its XTRATUFS.
Game over. Lights out.

The Alaskan is a decent beer, it just got steamrolled by one of the best IPAs we've ever had the privilege of drinking. If you like huge, malty, hoppy Imperial IPAs go get some Double Jack immediately. There may still be some left on store shelves in the Seattle area.

Winner by unanimous decision: Firestone Walker


  1. Haven't had the Alaskan, but I agree about the Double Jack. Fabulous.

  2. Yeah, unfortunately I only bought one. Bummer.