Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 4,813 | Reviews: 1,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by StoneTSR:
4.43/5 rDev +4.5%
Reviewed from notes taken on 1/30/2012 that have been sitting on my computer since.
APPEARANCE: This might be the clearest craft beer I have ever seen. It’s like looking through glass…that has a lot of bubbles floating up through it. The head on the pint glass is about a half-inch thick, but settles into a coaster-thick cap rather quickly. The bubbles are very lively in this beer and they spring up from every part of the glass, not just the center or the sides. The lacing is decent, cathedral-like.
SMELL: The aroma on this one is gorgeous and strong. Every time I pour this beer at work I can smell it as soon as I pull the tap. This bomber is no exception, the bottom of the cap, a sniff into the bottle and the full pint glass all provide the same thing – a wonderful, piney, grassy and sweet, tropical fruit-like, hoppy smell indicative of a classic West Coast IPA.
TASTE: This beer is fresh and the first sip provides a big dose of bitter hoppiness. The grapefruit is strong with a solid grassiness to back it up. In fact, aside from Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter this may be the grassiest IPA I have tasted. The bitterness remains throughout the entire beer, but much like its SoCal brother, Stone Ruination, the Union Jack provides just enough malt to keep this beer on the far edge, close to too bitter, without ever slipping over it.
MOUTHFEEL: The sparkle is more of a tickle than a scrub of the palate and the palate of any IPA drinker will find that it does not resist at all. This is a pretty easy-drinking IPA. It is also a surprisingly light beer.
OVERALL: For some reason I never really gave this beer as much credit as I should have. I have tasted it in the past, but before moving to Colorado I could not get my hands on it unless I was travelling and I usually passed it up in favor of something more exotic. That all changed, however, when my manager and I tasted a lineup of Firestone-Walker beers last year. We needed an IPA on draft and we both, on the spot, decided that the Union Jack was our winner. Since then I have tasted it many times and thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes a lot for me to say this, but it now sits beside Modus Hoperandi (and Blind Pig when I am so fortunate) as my go-to IPA.
12-09-2012 05:56:21 | More by StoneTSR
More User Reviews:
4.28/5 rDev +0.9%
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.
09-23-2010 22:06:08 | More by oberon
4.5/5 rDev +6.1%
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.
08-21-2009 23:11:40 | More by RoyalT
3.88/5 rDev -8.5%
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.
05-24-2013 16:14:47 | More by tectactoe
3.75/5 rDev -11.6%
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
09-14-2012 17:45:46 | More by MadScientist
4.1/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
11-09-2008 22:16:01 | More by hopsleeroy
4.5/5 rDev +6.1%
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.
11-24-2009 02:42:11 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.18/5 rDev -1.4%
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!
01-22-2009 09:40:22 | More by Dmann
4.6/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
01-28-2011 22:47:02 | More by NWer
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,813 ratings.