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

1,217 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,894
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 3.54%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,096 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,217 | Hads: 5,894
Photo of ryrust5301
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A good looking beer to say the least. Golden orange color with a supple egg shell white head. Nice layering left on top for a little more flair to this already impressive beer. Lacing is very tiny and in small patches, but fades rather quickly.

Smell - Nose is superb, and smells similar to a lighter hopslam, which I consider to have the best nose of any IPA. This one is filled with hops and touches of orange peel, melon, and grapefruit. Sweet honey glaze seems to coat the nose as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Definitely a west coast IPA, and a freaking stud at that. Hops are beautifully crisp biting all the way till they fade into a honey kist grapefruit and melon backbone. What's great about this beer is that it's gripping, but not overpowering. It stays full of flavor but still rather light in my mouth, which is what I like in an IPA. I guess the feel could have a bit more weight and length to it, but I guess that might be being a bit harsh.

Drinkability - I could drink a million of these, and it's right up there with my most loved IPA's. This is only the second beer i've had from Firestone, and it won't be my last. Both have been phenomenal, so I plan on sampling everything else in their arsenal. (1,230 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to the threewisemen for the trade.

22oz bomber. 03/26/09 printed on the bottle, but hard to see. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

pale honey amber. clear. large off-white head, foamy, fades to creamy, thin but constant layer. wonderful lacing.

aroma: fresh pine, citrusy grapefruit, though more rind than fresh zest. touch of apple esters and mild to moderate caramel maltiness peek out from underneath.

taste: hops are fruitier than the aroma, with both fresh pine and citrus zest and rind, plus some citrus fruit. into apple and even some grape. the malty caramel base comes through for a bit, then back to piney resins, with bright and bold bitterness.

medium body, maybe lighter than expected, but smooth enough, with resins in finish. tingly, moderate carbonation integrates the flavors. (808 characters)

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

A--Light copper color with a quarter inch of head in my glass and no real lacing left behind.

S--Bright, west coast citrus hoppy goodness. Pineapple, watermelon, cantelope, apple skins. All the good stuff.

T--Taste follows suit with orange peels, pear, pineapple...lots of pine resin bitterness.

M--On the lighter side of medium bodied, could definitely use some improvement here

D--Nice IPA here that could be among the best if it had a little more body and stickiness. I enjoyed my bottle quickly and thoroughly (518 characters)

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

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a crisp orange with a nice frothy head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is decent amount of citrus and pine hops with sweet malts. The taste is a nice abundant amount of sticky pine hops with traces of citrus balanced nicely with caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied with a nice dry bitterness that leaves you craving the next sip. This is a very enjoyable IPA, I'd love to see their beers available here in NC. (493 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #6 of 8. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Golden orange. Semi-clear with a thin white head that reduces to a ring.

S- Lots of candied, caramel malts along with citrus, floral hops.

T- Pretty balanced as far as IPAs go. Getting some tropical notes from the citrus hops. This flavor was countered by a strong presence of caramel malts. Had a nice bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D- Refreshing and an easy drinker. Goes down quite well.

Overall, a nice offering from Firestone. May have been a little to balanced for my liking. (624 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this from the brewery in Paso Robles a few days ago. Unfortunately, a good six or seven ounces of Union Jack leaked from the growler on the drive from San Luis Obispo to Fresno. Long story short, don't store growlers on their side, AND this beer seemed to be lacking in carbonation because of the incident.

Poured into a standard pint glass. Split the remaining Union Jack with a couple of high school buddies.

Appearance: No head on the first pour, and just a tiny white film on the second pour. (I was able to have about a 1.3333 pints.) Clear copper body shows faint signs of carbonation - a few stray bubbles here and there. The tiny head still drags wispy lacing down the walls of the glass. Doesn't look nearly as appetizing as normal.

Smell: Herbal hops, pine, and caramel. Quite weak, but still good.

Taste: Oily herbal hops, moist pine bark, caramel, grapefruit, and toasted grains. Bitterness seems a bit lower than normal (for Union Jack), but that may just be me. Taste is nearly unaffected by the aforementioned mishap.

Mouthfeel: Resinous, oily, sticky, and kinda flat. Very hop-forward. I would almost call the body "heavy" just because of the robust hop oils; however, "just past medium" is probably a more accurate description of the body.

Drinkability: Still damn good. I'm sure I'll get this in a growler again and just be more careful of it. This Union Jack was tainted, yet it reminded me how beautiful that beer really is. (1,474 characters)

Photo of benclimbs
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours orangeish, and not very thick looking at all compared to similar styled ipas

Smell is a bit of caramel, with a touch of floral hops kind of Brit style both in the nose and taste

Taste is very dry, this is quite a dry ipa - hops are hardly any fruit , and mainly just the bitter kick...a very good ipa (308 characters)

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

from solomon420 via the mystery box-thanks!!

12 oz. bottle, no freshness, poured into my SN glass...

A-very lively 3 fingers of creamy foam...very sustainable. burnt orange body, almost golden, very ipa

S-very citrusy with some hops, spicy and peppery nose...very ipa

T-solid hop profile, bitter, lots of citrus with some buttery undertones...very ipa

M- slick and oily, a little low on carbonation

D-another superdrinkable ipa

my appreciation has grown so much in such a short time for ipas...i need to go back and review some again, possibly the Sweetwater...it deserves a better score from me! (603 characters)

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22fl oz bottle into my pint glass

Pours a pretty light amber color with a very fluffy and marsh mellow like off-white head. Huge bubbles scattered around all on top of the foam. Great head retention with soapy lacing all throughout the glass. Very terrific looking.

Very mild citrus smell with slight hints of floral notes in there and that nice biscuit/caramel malt smell coming through. Smells exactly like the style calls for it. Looking good so far.

Damn, well hops have faded quite a bit on this, as you can tell from the slightly mild bitter taste upfront with the caramel malt being dominant in this. Nothing more(unfortunately)

Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Sweet caramel malt in the aftertaste.

Well this f**king sucks to tell you the truth. I do not know how fresh the bottle is since the damn brewers like to put no date or make it a treasure hunt to find it and decode it. All in all I heard good things about this and I'm sure it would be good if it was fresher. But I have to call it like it is and speak the truth whether it be fresh or old. (1,086 characters)

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

Bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions.

Appearance: Standard tangelo orange body with a 1 finger white crown that has a bit of retenetion and some lacing.

Smell: Lemongrass, grapefruit citrus hops, a small floral note, etc.

Taste: A touch bitter without much else going on. Fairly blah. ; Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side for the style but not bad.

Drinkability: The thin mouthfeel helps it go down. (429 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oaky color with a nice beige head. Good lacing and retention. Nose has citrus, fruity hops and caramel malts. Taste not as impressive. Good malt structure, but the hops are a bit to mellow. Body is a bit thin, but well carbonated. Good IPA from Firestone. (264 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pale amber with whispy white head that laces well throughout the pint. Nose is rather rich with some grapefruit and black tea aromas. On the palate, the orange and grapefruit dominates with some herbal qualities as well, and a modest malt component in there to reign in the hops. Some malty tea flavors are noted. Finish is "juicy fruit" sweet and leaves a long, pleasant aftertaste. (389 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright, clear copper/orange color. Poured a 2 finger bubbly off-white head with fair retention to a half finger even skim. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Citrus and grapefruit with some light sweet fruits. Bready malts in the background too.

T: Consistent with smell with light fruit more decernable as pineapple and oranges. Resiny piney hops in the middle with slightly sweet crystal malt. Sharply bitter in the finish for balance. I like it a lot.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and coating with a bit of lingering bitterness. Disgueses the abv well.

D: I'll say. 'Nuf said. (591 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, golden straw body with a simply gorgeous, 2-finger, soapy, foamy white head. Pretty hazy, but that head is unbelieveable!

Lots of pine in the nose. Of course, your typical citrus is present and quite a bit of caramel too.

I'm detecting a big malt backbone in this. The finish is bitter. There are some hops, but the malt is much more prevalent. Maybe some seltzer too? Lots of caramel and bread.

Highly carbonated but still goes down way too easily on a nice summer's eve.

I like this. I'm not going to go out of my way to mail order it from CA again, but I'd surely take one as an extra any day! (606 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack from Whole Foods Market in Los Gatos, CA and was glad it was recommended to me by Brian there. It has a clear golden amber color with a modest white head of big bubbles that disipates to a mere ring quickly but leaves a healthy carpet of lace. The aroma is mild but pleasant pine hops and a vague hint of clean grain. The flavor brings a much more difinitive hop and it's got more of a citrus side. It's smooth with very fine tingly carbonation, crisp but fair bodied for the style. The hop dominance gives way to some malt sweetness and this settles into a very pleasing ipa. There's also a touch toasted oats and oak. This is one solid choice, definitely give this a try! (694 characters)

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

Thanks for this extra Solomon420!

A. Bottle served poured in to my Sam Adams shapped pint glass. Crisp bright golden body, thin white head some lasing.

S. Some mango, citris, faint honey biscuit malty.

T. Balanced hops and malt, citrus

M. Nice carbonation, refreshing bitterness.

D. I could drink a few of these, alcohol is not overpowering.

Thanks again Solomon420. (373 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a small hotel glass. It pours a golden-amber color and forms a 1 inch off-white head that leaves lacing around the edges. Minimal carbonation is noted and no sediment.

The aroma is primarily grapefruit with a slight caramel malty sweetness in the background.

The taste is again grapefruit although light and a note of pine and moss in the background.

This is a light/medium bodied beer that seemed kind of thin to me. There is good carbonation and it is fairly smooth and crisp. Minimal dryness at the finish.

This beer has good taste and is easy to drink although it could have been stiffer and would have been even more drinkable. (662 characters)

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

Poured a nice amber color with some decent head. Definite citrusy smell, accompanied with a citrusy flavor. Also prevalent in the taste is a nice amount of hops, and a bit of a creamy taste, but also a bitter finish.

Really good mouthfeel, and very drinkable. One of the better beverages I have tried during this California visit. (331 characters)

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

Thanks to Solomon420 for this awesome extra
I poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass it resulted in a finger worth of white head that turned into a sparse lace. The body of the brew was a clear golden orange in color.

Aromas of pine resin and citrus' filled my nose. That really is saying a lot today because of my allergies are acting up. The flavor was a well balanced for a west cost IPA; I was almost in complete shock. Good mouthfeel with great carbonation for your tongue.

I think if this was my local IPA it would be my go to brew. easy to drink and it taste like a good IPA should (591 characters)

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

Have had this beer previously in bottles, but this was the first time I ever had the pleasure of drinking it on tap. Part of the regular rotation at the excellent Rose and Crown pub in Palo Alto.

Like the bottled version, this beer pour an orange peach color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is impressive, consisting of a sweet, fruity, malty nose, that is aggressively undercut by a huge wave of hoppy bitterness. Flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, and what strikes me the most is just how well balanced this beer is. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is just excellent. There is no doubt, this would be my go to IPA of choice, were it only available on the East Coast. Just an all around excellent IPA.

Edit from 1/12. This beer is now available in the Baltimore area, and as mentioned, is now my IPA whenever I see it on the menu in town. It's a beer I order automatically when ever I see it in town. Thank God we now get FW beers now here in Bawlmore. (1,012 characters)

Photo of dfitch81
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of Firestone Walker's three perennial offerings, this is probably my favorite.

Pours a pleasing crystal-clear gold topped by a finger's width of head that never completely subsides. Laces nicely, too.

Smell is hops all around: fruity, floral and refreshing. Nose suggests some combination of Amarillos, Cascades, and Centennials. Taste backs up the nose's impressions - wonderful floral and citrus notes strike an excellent balance between sweet and bitter, and there is a nice herbal undertone (Chinooks?).

Mouthfeel is good, neither too thin nor too thick and with just the right amount of carbonation tickling the back of the tongue. Drinkability is likewise good, although the 7.5% ABV is a bit too high to qualify this beer for session status.

All around an excellent effort from Firestone Walker. I will certainly revisit this one. (842 characters)

Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this single bottle from Solomon420 as an extra in an awesome trade!

A: Pours a nicely amber color with lots of white head that reduces down to a nice finger of good bubbles and leaves lacing on the glass.

S: lots of citrusy hops and grapefruit with a minor caramel malt backing

T: Wow, this is really good. It's not a hop bomb, but there are lots of hops in there....backed by a solid, but minor amount of caramel sweet malt. the scale is tipped toward the hop flavor, but the solid amount of malt makes this really well balanced to me because I like that ratio. I really wouldn't want more malt though or this would fall under the "not a big fan" category.

M: Very full bodied and creamy for an IPA, which I am not too surprised by as the ABV is teetering on DIPA level.

D: Totally drinkable. The way the malt helps soften the hoppiness, it really helps make this beer go down easy. Not the least bit of alcohol flavor either. (936 characters)

Photo of ottovon
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this in a trade with davexisxrabid. thanks a lot.

A: a clear coppery orange. a small white head.

S: smells of citrusy hops, and sweet fruit like apricot or mango. can also smell some caramel from the malt.

T: tastes of citrus and pine. it is bitter in the finish. you get some of the sweetness from the malt along with some of the fruit flavors.

M: medium body with light carbonation. resiny from the hops.

D: i could drink a few of these. wish i had more.

drank on: 05.28.09 (487 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Student dropped this off for me before heading back home. Sweet!

A- Poured into pint glass. Deep clear amber color pouring a quater inch head before dying down leaving no real lacing. Lacing just slides down the glass.

S- Good bitter pine hop smell to this with a little malty biscuty ending the nose. Also, a hint of sweet citrus with this.

T- Nice bitter hop bite to this all the way through. The malts are covered up by the hops and even at the end don't really make any apperance. I taste an earthy tone to this as well....almost like a grassy note. As the beer warms up a little the malts come through a little better giving this a sweet aftertaste.

M- Good medium mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation but enough to enjoy this beer. Bitter hoppy oil resin coats the tounge and lets the taste linger after a sip. Beer just kind of sits in the mouth from lack of carbonation.

D- This was a very enjoyable IPA that I could drink again if someone was so nice enough to trade me a bottle. (1,000 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into snifter/ no freshness date

P: Hazy orangish copper with a 2 fingered white head that's semi-thick and frothy with small bubbles. Shows good retention and sinks to a halo on top while leaving some webbed lacing behind.

A: Deep, pungeant citrus hops that smell like grapefruit rind, pineapple, and tangerine. Also some piney hops with sweet, caramel malt underneath.

T: Flavors pretty much follow the nose. It's all about the hops, baby! Grapefruit rind, pineapple, sweet oranges/tangerines followed by some resinous pine. Creamy caramel underneath with lightly toasted sweet sugar-cookie like malt that is barely there to support the hop bill that finishes pleasantly dry. One of my favorites!

M: Medium-bodied, rich and creamy, with a sticky feel that I just love!

Notes: From what I understand, this is the same recipe as Green Flash West Coast IPA. But to me, Union Jack seems a little deeper and more pungeant. Don't ask me which one is better because they are both fantastic! This is one of the best IPA's out there, and the 7.5% ABV is hidden perfectly. Take notes Bud Light...this is what you call drinkability! (1,135 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.