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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,688
Reviews: 1,250
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 415
Gots: 961 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,688 | Reviews: 1,250
Reviews by MacDomer:
Photo of MacDomer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PretzelCity for this one.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice, fairly clear honey color with a nice off white crown, and sticky, sticky, sticky. Smells great. Like a light DIPA - it's nice and pungent, with some good sweetness. The taste is full with delicious C hops with a nice tropical profile supported by some lightly toasted caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is right for an IPA, but with the DIPA flavors, it's a nice change and feels light. Very smooth, very creamy. This is good stuff. I might not trade for it, but next time I'm out in California, I'll bring a sixer back with me. Actually, maybe I will trade for it...it's damn good!

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey with a large splash of orange juice. The head is polished ivory in color and features loads of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. As those bubbles burst, they leave a delicate array of lace-like lace all over the upper reaches of the glass. A classic look.

And an outstanding nose! There goes any thought that Union Jack is an English IPA. So why the name? The hop bill (Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus) is 100% American and the sheer amount of hoppiness is AIPA all the way. Talk about a fantastically bright, perfectly pungent, fresh hop-like nose. Prediction: this is going to be great beer.

That was way too easy. As expected, Union Jack is full-to-bursting with C-hop goodness. Can't forget the Simcoe (S-hop), since they give the flavor profile a distinctly tropical vibe that adds yet another dimension. Killer hop bill. Absolutely killer. It's also nice to see that the brewery didn't allow the little green cones to outpace their malt support.

There's just enough of a barely toasted, caramel maltiness (think SN Celebration Ale) to let the drinker know that hops aren't the only ingredient that's allowed to provide flavor. The good thing is that the caramel doesn't get in the way of the grapefruit, bitter orange and pineapple explosion. 72 IBUs seems about right, but they're a friendly 72.

The mouthfeel stays well within the bounds of the IPA style. Any bigger and it wouldn't work as well. It's as smooth as glass and is lightly creamy in the bargain. Soft-edged carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has another winner with Union Jack India Pale Ale. Forget the British flag, though. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever and is proud of it. I could (and would) drink this stuff by the case if it was available locally.

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have wanted to try this for awhile,glad to get my hands on it.Poured into a standard pint glass a clear medium to full on golden with a thinner but well retained white head.Citric and pine in the nose,I mean just great hop definition,a bit of sweet alcohol as well.The mouthfeel is just a tad thin and prickly but it doesnt take away from the drinkibility really,just me nit picking really.Well balanced with big resiny and citric hop intertwining with a hefty sweet doughy malt base,yeah the hops win out but the malt base holds firm.A great Cali IPA the hops are huge but its not totally unbalanced.

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a delicious-looking clear but heavy orange body with a nice, retentive white head that even left some lacing on the inside of my pint glass.

Smell - The rich, orange-flavored hops are big and heavy. I can pick up a solid sweetish malt base but it's the orange and to some extent pine hops that lead this beautiful bouquet.

Taste - This one is full of flavor. The hops make a magnificent transition from nose to tongue bringing out a massive array of huge hop flavors without being too bitter or harsh and the sweetness from the malts is a perfect compliment.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied ale that is bitter but not punishingly so and just enough carbonation to keep you interested.

Drinkability - This is both big and quaffable at the same time. The balance is superb yet the hopheads will relish the flavors. This is a winner for sure.

Photo of tectactoe
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Wowcoolman for hooking me up with some nice Firestone Walker wants, including this one. Union Jack pours with very nice clarity; it's kind of got a median amber color, but ranges from bright, golden yellow to deeper, ruby-brown depending on the intensity of the light shining through it at the moment. The three-finger, off-white cream cap is slow to sink and leaves sick lacing all the way down. Fantastic looking beer.

"Pungent" is probably the best word to describe the aroma of the hop bill in Union Jack. Loads and loads of dank hop oils; weedy, spicy, earthy, herbal. The dank is equally matched with shining grapefruit and tangerine aromas - bitter, tangy, and raw. Despite what many other people say, I felt the malt presence in the aroma was quite high and noticeable; big-time toasted bread notes from start to finish. The bottling date was only about 7 weeks ago, so it's definitely not old.

The flavor follows through with what the nose was promising, although unfortunately I feel that it does so half-heartedly. There's a big, up-front smash of earthy, dirty, and pungent hops including light pine and oily resins. There's also a good bit of citrus peels, less discernible on the palate, however. Some light pepper seems to be sprinkled over everything, too. I mean, I like the taste, but for some reason it doesn't seem as "standoutish" as the aroma did.

Malts are a bit heavier on the palate, I'd say, displaying substantial amounts of sweet bread and toasted crackers. Hard to tell exactly what types of malts were used thanks to the large color gradient, but I'm not getting anything as dark as caramel malt in here. Warming brings out a slight booziness, even at only 7.5% ABV, that I'm somewhat hesitant but forced to identify it with nail polish remover. It never gets overwhelming, though, but it wouldn't be missed if it were gone.

Solid body for an IPA, medium, slick, and toying on the edge of being sticky. Carbonation was on-point, too. Much like Double Jack, I feel this is a bit overrated for what it is, albeit it's still marvelously crafted. They (obviously) have similar hop flavors, so perhaps this particular bill and schedule doesn't completely vibe with my palate. In any case, it was still a very enjoyable IPA.

Photo of MadScientist
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A brilliantly clear medium amber beer. The persistant off-white has cream and rocky bubbles that sticky, sort of climbing of the beer and up the glass. Leaves some light lacing as well.

S: A moderately-high citrus, pineapple and tropical fruit hop aroma dominates. There is a light toasty malt aroma with mild esters and a soft alcohol aroma. A slight grassiness from the dry hopping.

T: An assertive hops bitterness with some citrusy hops flavors that are showing their age. There is an interesting twist to the supportive malt flavor that I'm going to chalk up to Firestones Burton Method along with a slight toasted malt flavor. There is light ester, A slight grassy note and soft alcohol sweetness. The balance is definitely bitter with the bitterness lingering long past the dry finish.

M: A medium bodied beer with moderately high carbonation. There is some warmth and a very light prickle on the palate.

O: A strong IPA with an strong bitterness and just enough malt to keep it from going off the deep end. I have got to find a fresh bottle of this as the hops flavor is showing it's age.

Bottled on 04/10/12

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle from Einweizenbitte-a fantastic extra! Thanks for the opportunity.

A-Orange golden color with some chill haze. Nice white lacing that settlesafter a 2 inch head.
S-Grapefuit, tangerines, sweet citrus, a little bit of pine smell. Citrus is slightly sweet scent. Smells great
T-More pine in taste but upfront hops with citrus, lingering pine on back of tongue on swallow. A little bit harsh on back because of the pine resin flavor-too much chinook? Sweet malt is balanced while drinking with some mild toffee flavor
M-Med in mouth, good carbo, slightly oily and taste of resin on back of mouth
D-The back harshness drops this from a 4.5 to a 4 but overall very nice and I would drink another one.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Bright and clear brassy amber color, dense foam forms from a even, moderate pour and the lacing is absolutely amazing with rings all the way down the glass. Massive grapefruit aroma from the hops, slightly pungent and very aromatic. Full-bodied and very smooth. Heavy-handed hop character pounds the taste buds with flavor, bitterness comes in a with a moderate sharpness and lets the flavors unfold from citric zest to botanical to pungent citric rind. There is a thickness of malt underneath with a solid kernel of sweetness and toasted biscuit, but this is all more or less trumped by the hops. Small fume of alcohol with clean esters that throw a little bit of mango and papaya fruitiness in the mix.

This beer is bordering Double IPA territory, which is not a bad thing, though it is a pretty sizable American IPA and is an absolute must for all of the hopheads out there.

Photo of Dmann
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a excellent example of and AIPA that actually has some balance in flavor. Pour was golden with hints of orange and a great frothy head. Smell was hoppy and had a bit of sweet citrus in the background. Taste was great, and you could go through quite a few of these and not even know it since it is so smooth. Flavor had great citrus hoppiness up front with a nice solid toasted malt backbone for balance.

I give props to Firestone for not making just another hop bomber, but actually trying to create a bit of balance and subtlety with this brew. Great stuff!

Photo of NWer
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the bottom of a Samuel Smith's pint glass.
Beautiful clear golden with abundant head that held well before leaving behind a nice lace.
The smell was overpowering and unexpected. I don't remember such a powerful introduction from any beer before.
The flavors are very pronounced with the citrus feel you expect from a top notch West coast IPA.
This delivers.
In spades.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a nonic pint.

Lovely fokkin' pour, that is. Copper color with with a nice lasting head that slowly dissipates and leaves some trailing lacing.

The aroma is not tops but will do: citrus and spice, a little grass and a bit of bread and cracker as well.

The taste is big an bold. Orange, candied fruit are first to hit my palate followed by a slow, building, spicy bitter note that finishes dry and lasts forever. That aftertaste, phew, I'm gobsmacked.

I love the mouthfeel on this brew, medium smooth but with a tingly, bubbly bit that you can feel on the lips and tongue. Outstanding.

Overall, really glad i got to try this beer and wish it was available to me on a regular basis. An outstanding IPA.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date.

A - Pours orangey-brown with one finger of creamy tan head. Head fades quickly.

S - Mostly pine and citrus, with a bit of caramel malt.

T - Pine and pineapple hops up front, with some noticeable grapefruit as well. Hops give way to caramel malts, which seem to dominate the finish, though there is a small amount of lingering bitterness.

M - Medium-full mouthfeel with somewhat low carbonation level yielding some creaminess.

O - A very solid IPA. Would like to know how old it was, but there was a nice hop character, so seemed pretty fresh. Would have again.

Photo of Beaver13
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a clear golden orange with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet melon and peppery piney hops. A little on the subdued side for an IPA.

The flavor is sweet melon and peppery piney hops that have a good amount of resiny bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lowish carbonation.

Overall, a nice IPA. Very similar to Odell's IPA. Also, more balanced than the Double Jack (but not as good IMO).

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours clear lighter almond amber, dark eggshell head, fairly thin, but tightly knit and long lasting, leaving ample low sheeting and expansive lacing. Pungent hop juice nose, fruity and full of pineapple goodness. Hop saturated IPA, American in style all the way. More pineapple, resiny grapefruit notes as well, hop lovers rejoice...agressivly hopped and thoroughly deliciously crafted. A nice new addition to the neighborhood

Photo of ElSid
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California

#6

Freshness Date: None

A: A half inch of white foam tops off this hazy golden ale. The head slowly subsides coating the glass as it disappears.

S: Juicy grapefruit and pine trees with freshly baked sweet rolls. A wonderful nose which really activates the palate.

T: The hops leave a trail of clean, crisp, spicy bitterness throughout. Grapefruit and pine predominate but one can also detect elements of flowers, grass, and tropical fruit. The malt is of freshly baked sweet bread and honey, although they are a subdued companion to the hops.

M: Surprisingly creamy with the classic IPA linger and moderate prickling carbonation.

O: Another great California IPA. A must have for all the hopheads out there. More difficult to find than Racer or Stone but just as good and worth every penny.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours one fingers worth of a nice white head. Good lacing clings to the glass throughout with a some nice tight bubbles of head remaining. Georgeous clear coppery body.

Smells of lavender, citrus, pine and sweet caramel malts.

Tastes initialy of resinus piney and dank hops, then some sweet citrus and carmel, then some floral and yeasty notes. Quite complex and surprising.

Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Quite a firm bitterness and a sticky oily finish.

Overall this is a nice IPA. Good complexity, fairly drinkable and satisfying.

$3 a single.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Jayli for this one.

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, tan in color, high carbonation

Smell: big dose of pine hops, some citrus hops and toasted malt

Taste: sweet caramel and toasted malt in the beginning, spices and pine hops in the middle through the end. A touch of toffee shows itself at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, high carbonation, slightly sweet start with a moderately bitter middle and a less bitter end

Drinkability: A very good and nicely blended IPA that has hops but is not a hop bomb. The alcohol is well hidden. I could have two or three. I wish this was available down here.

Photo of badbeer
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange/copper color with a white head that retains well and leaves good lacing on the glass. Grapefruit, pine, biscuit, caramel and an astringent grassy-ness in the aroma. Taste is bitter with pine, grapefruit, light lemon citrus, and a bit of lightly toasted biscuits providing a bit of a malt background. Less than medium body, dry finish, and medium carbonation. A nice, drinkable IPA that I'd enjoy from time to time. Maybe future bottles will have a better aroma, but the taste and mouthfeel was good at least. Thanks to doubleo for the bottle.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a white head. Aroma is tons of citrus hops. Flavor is very hoppy but not too bitter. The predominant flavor is orange and other citrus fruits. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.
This is a beer that I could drink several of in one sitting, unlike some of the hoppier less-balanced versions of this style. This is a great beer.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to solomon420 & tpd975 for each throwing this brew in as an extra in recent trades.

Pours with a thin head. Amber in color. Big pine hops smell. Taste is mostly the pine plus citrus hop flavor. A bit bitter like a good IPA should be IMO but the mouthfeel is smooth. A quality West Coast IPA.

Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ O'Briens. Poured clear copper-gold with a short white head. Moderate lacing. For a straight IPA, this was fantastic. Sometimes, you get the DIPA that calls itself an IPA, but this is jsut a well-done, big-hop single IPA. Crisp, fresh pink grapefruit, pine needles, orange peel, and mango in the nose. Sharp mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. No stickiness in the finish. The aroma follows through nicely in the taste. Grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and that bite of resin. The caramel malt stays muted and does not turn this into a candied mess. Please sell more bottles of this in San Diego.

Photo of deebo
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint #2 at Brophys tavern in Carmel

A-a clear brew with a creamy white head that laces the pint glass. Color is a deep golden with copper tint

S-hop city. Aromas of those NW US hops especially grapefruit with some juicy tangerine. A biscuity malt aroma hidden in there as well.

T-much like the smell. Ample hops carried with a significant malt backbone

M-Big bodied with a fair level of carbonation. End note is aromatic hoppiness with a hint of bitterness

O-a solid beer. My first Firestone Walker and not disappointed. The epitome of a west coast IPA.

Photo of ironlung
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Honey-orange. Not much head. It's been my experence that you can pour this beer as hard as you'd like and never overflow your pint-glass.

S: Strong citrus. All kinds of grapefruit and sweeet orange. I can also detect a slight aroma of biscut malt.

T: A nice citrus flavor abounds. Light tingly bubbles tickle your tounge. This is dead-on for an IPA, nice and strong.

M: Great coating finishes with a nice citrus bouquet.

D: This is a top-notch IPA well hopped and high on the alcohol. The fact that I can usually find sixers for around seven bucks makes this beer a winner. Great job Firestone!

Photo of Franziskaner
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a fingernail thick layer of white head on top. Brussels lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is present and yet restrained. As I take a sip the citrus hop flavor assaults my tongue. There's saltine cracker and dry bitterness in the flavor as a result of the hop/malt balance. The mouth is moderately carbonated and crisp.

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy copper gold under a 2” sudsy, persistent, lacy off white foam cap.
S: Melon, citrus and biscuit
T: Starts melon and citrus riding on biscuit to graham cracker and concluding with a well balanced citrus zest bitter finish. The bitterness is not harsh.
M: Creamy, medium body and very fine, soft carbonation.
O: A very drinkable, go to American IPA.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,688 ratings.