Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,794 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,794
Reviews: 1,266
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 426
Gots: 1,049 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,794 | Reviews: 1,266
Photo of Padron4KM
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jan 8, 2010
12 oz bottle, no freshness date or bottled on date.
Clear burnt orange, half inch beige head. Nice retention sticky lace.
Ruby red grapefruit nose on top, earth and caramel underneath.
Flavors are pine and earth with some citrus and crystal malt layered in the middle, with a nice pine and citrus hop finish.
Alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear honey color with a small white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of citrus and pine hops. The aromas could be amped up a little.

Tastes of the hops up front with a decent malt backbone. Hops provide a citrus and pine bitterness with a spicy note. Malt adds a caramel sweetness on the back end to keep everything in check.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full with a light creamy quality to it.

Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Unfortunately I don't see a bottling date.

Appearance: Pours an amber and carrot orange color with a nice finger of oily looking head. The head retention isn't particularly wonderful. It disappears quite quickly and I'm left with just a few oily looking bubbles resting on the top. I gave the beer a few swirls in my snifter and it looks like the head retention is going to be quite nice. There aren't any thick sheets, but some nice thin streaks and some small dots are covering the glass. The beer is slightly effervescent, and I'm expecting the beer to have a nice low to medium amount of carbonation that gives the beer a nice smooth feeling.

Smell: The nose isn't a hop bomb. This is a well balanced IPA. A nice caramel malt sweetness comes through on the nose. It's hand in hand with some herbal earthy hop notes like pine, soil and grass. The citrus note that I'm picking up is a little bit of mango and grapefruit. Perhaps this is an older bottle, but I was hoping for a little more hop in the nose. Maybe it had it at one point.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose in that it's a well balanced IPA. Well, perhaps I'm biased in calling it biased. The hop profile is definitely here. But, it isn't completely overtaking the beer. There is a very nice malt presence here.

The first flavor that crosses the palate is sweet pale caramel malt. The malt backbone that's present is enough to handle a larger load of hops. I could see this being turned into an IIPA quite easily. There's quite a bit of bitterness from the hops, but nothing unusual for the style. The hop flavors then cross the palate. It's a mixture of earthy and citrus hops. The same lot found in the nose: mango, a little pine, some grass, and a little bit of grapefruit. The grapefruit flavor is much more prominent on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied beer, right down the center. The carbonation was actually a dash too high in my opinion. The more the beer warmed up and lost some of its carbonation it became better. It needed a little time for the mouthfeel to hit its prime.

Drinkability: A well put together beer from Firestone Walker. A nice malt backbone and a nice amount of hops. This was exactly the beer I was looking for on a Friday night.

Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this as an extra in a trade.
Pours a nice golden, orange hued color with a nice head. Already having good lacing as I type.
Strong hop smell but also a malty sweetness to go along with it. This is an incredibly balanced beer in my opinion. The hops hit you but not too harshly. Smooth transition to a slight bitterness at the end.
I was very pleased with this one. Granted I can't tell an age on it, but I give it high marks for being so well balanced!

Photo of jbowers56
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good amber colour with fluffy white head, about 1 finger to start with.

Nose is pure citrus hops. Grapefruit, a bit of pine (may be from my christmas tree though haha). Good stuff.

Unsure as to the condition of this, but it was not as hoppy as I expected from the nose. Actually, its quite hoppy. But it was not as bitter as I thought it might be. Much less bitter than say SN Torpedo. Good fruity citrus hops and caramel sweetness. Quite good indeed. Bitterness almost grows as you have more - something that I haven't experienced much with other beers as they have either been to bitter to keep sipping, or each sip has refreshed the palate. Interesting.

A slight chalkiness in the mouth feel which reduced drinkability. Nothing huge though.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another from augustgarage, and my first Firestone Walker. Thanks!!

A- Hazy nectarine with a thin, but creamy head. Immediate lacing.

S- Ugh... went in close for a sniff and actually inhaled the beer up my nose. Classy. I do get some citrus, grapefruit, and some faint pine.

T- Graprefruit wallop. Pine notes. A bit of floral hops as well. Serious malt to back it up.. but not overly sweet.. I can dig it! A little chalky/peppery in the finish, very nice.

M- Scathing hops for a single IPA. Crisp, great carbonation, entirely too easy to drink. Great balance, despite the solid and hefty hop bill.

D- High. I like this beer. It has me scratching my head as to what Double Jack must be like, as this is more a DIPA than a single. If you like hops, do not hesitate, this is a wonderfully crafted beer.

Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a full blown citrus hop.

The taste consisted of leafy and citrus hops, a grainy malt and a touch of caramel.

The mouthfeel was at the full side of the style.

Overall a very tasty, hop driven west coast IPA.

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

From notes. Clear, golden/amber, thick white head, good retention and lacing.

SMELL grapefruity and floral hop aroma, balanced expertly by rich malty base. Has staying power. Very inviting.

TASTE follows the nose. Rich malty base balanced by and dancing around strong but smooth fruity and floral hops. Very smooth and balanced and bold all at once.

FEEL med carbonation, mild warming,. rich full body and smooth texture, clean finish.

OVERALL Delicious, smooth easy drinking beer, especially for a big beer. My first FW, looking forward to more.

Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean and clear golden amber with about an inch of slightly off white head that dissipated very quickly and left more than moderate lacing.

A floral hop aroma, backed with some pine, hits the nose upfront. The malt that , by definition, must be in beer has no presence. Yup, you guessed it, the flavors are dominantly pine and flowers.

Body and drinkability are average for the style. Overall, while this is a very enjoyable beer, I've now had a couple and look forward to more, it's just your basic California IPA. Very tasty, worth having several of, but does not stand away from the pack.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

This pours a clear, golden, amber color. One fingers worth of lightly creamy, light tan colored foam sits on top. This recedes to a thin film that covers the surface. The lacing is in thick rings and quite sticky.

This has a nice big nose, full of fresh hop notes. Big amounts of floral and citrus presence. Lots of orange and grapefruit and a nice burst of pine. A mild earthiness and a nice balancing presence of caramel malts.

Hops are still out in front, but it's an IPA, so what else would you expect? They follow the pattern set forth by the smell. The hops outshine the caramel notes, but not in an overpowering way. This is fairly well balanced, not overly sweet or bitter.

This has anice medium, almost full, body going on. A good, solid, medium level of carbonation. Nice and smooth with a very light touch of creaminess.

As far as an IPA goes, which isn't my favorite style, this is pretty drinkable. I'd gladly drink it again, if given the chance.

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

On tap at Firestone Walker Taproom, 12/10. poured into the big FW 24 oz. mug.

Golden amber with a bit of chill haze, finger and a half of white head, slow dissipation, big lacing. A bit of spicy hops in the nose balanced with bready malts. The taste is pretty hop bomb but not overly spicy, with sweet and bready malts providing a nice balance for IPAs of this ABV. Nicely carbonated and very smooth. One big mug is good. Nice interpretation of the style.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent head fading into a light lace. Zero carbonation apparent. Displays aromas of fresh pine, citrus, and green herbs. Rich flavors of pine, fresh hops, ginger, and grapefruit. Nice texture, good balance with the alcohol in check. Overall a very good beer and one that does down nice and easily. Very fresh and bitter.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright shiny orange gold, with outstanding clarity. Later some haze will creep in. Level two finger table top of off-white foam. Enough lace that the glass is white more than clear.

Big orange nose, with some other citrus mixed around the edges. Pine finish. Very in your face fresh.

Big sticky sweet malt foundation rolls across the tongue. Juicy fruit, heavy with orange and apricot and with some grapefruit coasting along in the back, explodes in the mouth. Fruit and hop tingle dance across the tongue long after the swallow.

Sturdy mouthfeel. Incredible drinkability. Just want to gulp it down, but alas then there is no more.

Do not let the label fool you, though I love the fight poses between the British Lion and the California Bear. This is no Englsh IPA, but a full fledge West Coaster. And a damn good one as well.

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 Ryan011235
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/13/09

A - Hazy, moderate orange color. 1/2 inch head dissipates to a patch of large bubbles with mild retention. Light lacing.

S - Juicy & very appealing citrus aroma. Tangerine & orange notes with hints of grapefruit & pineapple. Faint doughy sweetness.

T - Closely follows the nose & that makes for an awesome taste. Floral upfront with a citrus spiciness on the finish. The only thing in the way of malt I'm picking are thin wisps of sweetness in the middle - kind of like sugar cookie dough.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fairly long finish that mirrors the taste of the beer. Not particularly bitter.

D - Choice drinkability. I could easily session with this one.

Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received in trade with Koopa. Thanks! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet. Bottle dated 2/24/09.

A - Pours a slightly dirty/yeasty pale orange with a finger of off white head with variable density. Head has good staying power...doesn't really disappear, recedes but is maintained throughout the glass. Some sticky lacing left behind.

S - Fruity and citrusy aromas. Pineapple, mango, oranges, a hint of grapefruit. Plenty of malt to balance this out too. Good caramelly, sugary and grainy smells.

T - Balanced towards the malty side. Sweet, sugary, toasty, caramel flavors. Solidly bitter, maybe slightly burnt tasting bitterness - some spicyness and earthy hop flavors and some citrus - grapefruit, some bitter orange.

M - Rather full bodied, maybe even a touch on the syrupy side. On the high side of the carbonation equation too. This seems to amplify the bitterness and the burnt/toasted flavors found in here.

D - A pretty drinkable IPA for a 7.5% beer. Alcohol isn't too apparent. Bitterness is a touch on the harsh side, otherwise the beer is a very smooth drinker. Pretty enjoyable, overall.

Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a nonic.

Tawny/sienna body with orange-tinged pale gold highlights. Some haze, which is a surprise for a filtered ale on cask. This is offset by the stiff sizable finger of shock white foam, thick lacing, and excellent retention.

Pleasant aromatics with challah, bitter orange zest, pine nettles, earth, and berries.

The malt, while mild, is up-front on the palate entry. The bitterness builds slowly and while citrus, pine, sage, earth, and some vague tropical notes (or maybe apricot?) reveal the hops - the malty sweetness never dissipates. In some ways, this reminds me of a weak barleywine.

The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, chewy, medium-bodied, yet somewhat delicate. The ABV seems to add body more than heat.

Overall, a little sweet for the style, and lacking the intensity or clarity of superior versions. Not sure this improved on cask vs. the bottle...

Photo of californiakulak
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Looked like the perfect IPA. Thick and creamy off white head. About one inch and vey long lasting. The lacing was beautiful as well. The beer was a dark gold color.

S. Oh the hops. Bright, citrusy, spicey hops. Wonderful aroma of pine and a little malt.

T. Absolutley great. The malt holds its own against the onslaught of hops. The taste is very citrusy like the smell. Grapfruit and orange flavors. Very oily tasting. Wonderful.

M. Bitter aftertaste. Excellent carbonation. Very dry.

D. At 7.5% abv you must be careful. I found myself drinking half the pint glass at a time. Its just that good. This is my favorite IPA in the world. This is my favorite beer in the world.

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

Here is my re-take on this fine IPA.

Pours a nice honey gold color with a decent 1 finger head. After a few minutes, head dissipated to a very fine ring around the edge of glass.

Aroma is of strong hops. Mostly C-hops with some light sweetness. Main components are cool herbal hops, grapefruit, light lemon, apricot and pine. This is a looking to be one good IPA.

This is a good IPA. No, its a great IPA. Firestone Walker really pulled out all the stops to make this monster of a beer. Begins with a good hop punch upfront with grapefruit, light pineapple, and various citrus flavors, then slowly gives way to a sweet caramel malts which really brings this tropical IPA into line. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel was superb. Like Sculpin, AleSmith IPA, and Blind Pig, it is big, full and viscous. Excellent in every respect.

Drinkability is damn dangerous. I couldn't believe that this was a 7.5 ABV beer. Its so good that Union Jack just replaced Torpedo as my IPA of choice!

Photo of Telix
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: It pours slightly opaque and honey-colored, with the color fading at the edges. A big fluffy head with different-sized bubbles forms and sticks around, and some lacing is evident as you drink it. There is steady carbonation rising up from the nucleation points in the glass.

S: A really nice nose on this - sweet honey, zesty herbs, with floral notes and candied fruit lurking underneath.

T: Surprisingly clashing with the nose in some ways - the initial candy/honey sweetness and floral notes quickly fade to a strong herbal, tea-like flavor, almost reminiscent of an iced tea. It's almost diluted or watery tasting. Some pepper comes up along with orange candy and cherries. As it warms, the diluted nature fades a tiny bit, but the beer never truly clicks in a cohesive manner. It finishes with some bitterness and zip, and manages to avoid the alkaline tongue of similar highly hopped beers. The tea-like core flavors never truly fade and are a bit off-putting.

M: Nice - thick, creamy, satisfying. Wish it could do more to offset the weird thin herbal mid-palate, though.

D: Pretty darn good, as I took care of my bomber pretty quickly - but I frequently do that as I quickly take sips to do my tasting notes. One bomber is enough for an evening, however, I think.

Photo of cptierney
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A friend of mine had a large blind taste testing event for IPAs and I believe this little gem took first place. I also heard it took first at GABF making it a serious brew.

Beautiful pour into an equally beautiful North Coast nonic pint glass. One finger of quickly receding head, that left substantial lacing over the top of the clear light amber liquid.

I am immediately impressed by the citrus smell that this beer carries with it. While there is a hint on some sweet malt odor to the beer, I find that the grapefruit actually twinges my nostrils a tiny bit.

Lovely mouthfeel. A well carbonated brew that is surprisingly thin and easy to quaff, really nice.

This a beer that is thoroughly consistent. Lacking the WOW factor of heavyweights such as Furious and Sculpin, this brew is really a sleeper. The moderate malt spine of this beer holds up to a nice balance of piney and aforementioned citrusy hops. A solid drinking buddy for sure.

Excellent drinkability. While there is a heavy hop bite to this West Coast IPA, it doesn't have the oily cumulative affect of some of its peers. I'm glad I opted for a sixer.

Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a white head, some retention, amazing lacing.

S: Great hop nose, pine, citrus rind, candied fruit, pineapple.

T: Very assertive bitterness, rind, candied pineapple, pine, warming alcohol.

M: Moderate body has some hop acidity with an off-dry finish.

D: Like hops?

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 GJ40
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle. No date on the bottle.

A golden ale with the slightest haze and a small white head. Aroma is piney and citrusy hops with a touch of toasted malt and yeast. Starts with a nice citrusy bitterness but then switches to a malty and yeasty flavor. The bitterness picks up over time and the malt continues to provide a nice foundation. There's good lacing left on the glass as it empties. The consistency is moderate with a low carbonation.

I'd been meaning to try this and after I heard it won best IPA at GABF, I figured it was time. I think it's a balanced and enjoyable IPA but I wouldn't put it in the top three.

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

Poured a deep orange colr with a white head and good carbonation. Nose is big grapefruit, orange peel. Taste is chewy, acidic, caramel malt perhaps, orange peel, pine, sweet and a big hop bite on the end. Mouthfeel is acidic, tasty and sweet. Drinkability is good as usual.

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,794 ratings.