I had heard that Ale House had recently expanded their beer collection, so I stopped by with a friend to see what they offered. We asked about available draught beer, and our server pointed to a familiar line-up of decent but common beers. We ordered one, and it was fine, but then we noticed a keg of something just sitting mysteriously next to the bar.

“What’s that?” We asked.

“Double Jack,” said our server, not acknowledging this much more interesting beer that was clearly also on tap and that she’d neglected to mention.

Glad we asked. Double Jack is an exceptional beer.

Made by Firestone Walker out of California, Double Jack has a clear and pleasant hoppiness without the intensely bitter flavor of some over-hopped American craft beers. There was a slight citrusy sourness to the beer, which I find is usually a sign that the brew will go well with food.

Like a good Assam tea, Double Jack delivers a malty back-flavor that makes it very satisfying to sip all by itself.

And you should sip…but not too much. Double Jack has a 9.5 ABV (alcohol by volume) compared to an ABV of about 4-6 for most beers. We had just one. That was enough, and I think it’s a sign of a good beer when just was is so satisfying that you don’t need to chase it with another.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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