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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,174 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4174
Reviews: 1096
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 08-14-2007)
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Ratings: 4,174 | Reviews: 1,096 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DIM


4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Clear pale golden; pours with a thick, sticky head.

s: Fairly muted, but still very appealing. Some pineapple, citrus, and tropical fruit balanced a little caramel and pale malt.

t: Not as pungent as I expected, less than fresh keg maybe? Good beer though. Pineapple and lemon zest share the spotlight with sweet bready pale malr.

m: Sticky with creamy carbonation.

o: Good beer for sure, but I expected more based on how much I loved Double Jack.

Serving type: growler

09-09-2013 01:07:44 | More by DIM
Photo of jaz58

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of IPA's and this is a classic.

Enjoyed in a clear pint glass.

A nice cloudy appearance. Reddish orange colour.

Great hints of citrus, lemon and grapefruit on the nose.

Clean hops with grapefruit finished with a good bitters. Not in your face.

A good mouthfeel. Balanced.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2013 22:20:58 | More by jaz58
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a growler (keg that was tapped tonight, right in front of me as I waited), poured into a beer temp pint glass.

A- Clean and clear golden- copper color, some gently rising bubbles. Every pour resulted in a massive milk-white colored head that would not quit and left the finest quality thick lacing.

S- Pine, fresh green grass, and lots of citrus hops. The aromas vary as the beer warms, just like they should in a top-notch IPA.

T-All those hop flavors are there, but hold the phone, here come the malts. The malt backbone delivers some sweet caramel and a touch of breadiness.

M-Oily, resinous, yet clean and crisp. Lots of body with a surprisingly mellow finish...for a moment...then the hop zest, not very bitter.

O-A real deal American IPA on the fuller side, yet drinkable, even at 7.5% abv.

Serving type: growler

03-23-2013 01:10:29 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of stephenjmoore


4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very transparent, deep golden body with a foamy white head that settles quickly. Lots of sticky lacing from the head.

S- Lots of pine and citrus aromas come through from the hops. Big pine, big citrus, hints of grapefruit and tropical fruits with hints of toast.

T- Big juicy grapefruit, lots of citrus, pine, toasted malts, great balance, potent hops, really nice.

M- Medium carbonation, with a hint of carbonation sting. Some stickiness to the body with a hoppy coating left behind.

O- One of the top single IPAs out there. Great flavors, great aroma, great balance and easy drinking.

Serving type: growler

03-09-2013 21:45:04 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the growler into a Duvel tulip. Body is clear honey-amber with a small whitish head. Some splotchy lace.

S: Nice - citrusy hops, slightly earthy hops, some pine and a touch of caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - caramel malt, pine resiny hops and some citrus. Finishes with some spiciness too.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff. A top-notch IPA.

Serving type: growler

06-08-2012 23:52:22 | More by Kendo
Photo of NT101

New York

4.98/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Citrus aroma prevalent upon opening the growler. Intensified with pour. Clear golden orange color. Good lacing, head maintained.

Balanced malt & hop bitter. Rivals Hop Stoopid as a favorite in the house. Apparently Firestone Walker has entered Western New York market.

Serving type: growler

04-14-2012 21:38:07 | More by NT101
Photo of inacht10

4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome
Note to self - this beer is awesome

Serving type: growler

03-02-2012 04:06:15 | More by inacht10
Photo of JoeBloe

New York

4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours clear gold with a touch of orange and puts up a nice 2-finger head that holds on tight and laces the glass beautifully, all the way down - aroma of citrus-ey hops with a little bread-ey malt - taste is very hop forward, with grapefruit and tropical fruits on the tip of the tongue balanced by light biscuit malt on the back -sort of a dry finish -'zesty' with the right amount of carbonation and just enough stickiness - very pleasant to drink -

I've had bottles of this stuff by the case-load, but this brew really shines in this fresh growler I'm drinking now - it's everything I want in an IPA - perfectly balanced in every respect - great stuff!!

Serving type: growler

01-25-2012 15:38:21 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of nassaubeercop

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a fresh filled growler from the local beer store into a pint glass.

A- Amber with two fingers of white sea foamy head which stayed viable while drinking. (I read several reviews which stated the head dissipated quickly, this was not the case (maybe the growler was the difference?)) As I drank and the level of beer in the glass went down, uneven rings of lace were left on the glass where the head had once been.

S- Piney hops, very pleasant.

T- Lots of bitter hops, some citrus notes. Just the right amount of bitterness.

M- Medium with some carbonation, nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

O- If you like hops you will enjoy this beer, if hops aint your thing then move along this beer is not for you.

Serving type: growler

08-18-2011 17:30:15 | More by nassaubeercop
Photo of Bfarr


4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber with great retention and lacing. Fresh orange blossom (almost) aroma. Strong citrus and pine hops with light sweetness. Creamy feel.

Sublimely drinkable. Slightly less hop bittering than I remember on cask but the flavor is there and I nearly polished off the growler myself

Serving type: growler

08-18-2011 01:52:32 | More by Bfarr
Photo of socon67

New York

3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours orange with a thin foam that laces extremely well. This looks really nice with a clear relfective hue. No visible carbonation.

S - Scents of citrus and pine give the feeling this will be a DIPA. Scent of hops is in the background.

T - Very hop foward. Flavors of orange and spice (nutmeg?) follow, and the finish is a bitter bite.

M - Raspy on the tongue, and pretty strong for an IPA. Well balanced though.

O - I like this a bunch as well as Double Jack. This seems a tad lighter, but with a similar punch. Definitely worth a try for those liking beefy IPA's.

Serving type: growler

08-07-2011 00:39:14 | More by socon67
Photo of alalvarez75

New York

4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium orange color.
Large white foamy head. Smell is citrus and floral.
A medium bodied IPA.
Hops are grapefruity and piney.
Slightly more fruity than bitter.
Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry.
Aftertaste is slightly bitter
Overall, excellent IPA

Serving type: growler

07-17-2011 04:40:16 | More by alalvarez75
Photo of ackleydg


3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice orange color. Moderate head.

Spicy hopness in the aroma, but I'm picking up some alcoholic fumes, which is surprising given it's just 7.5%.

Again, a spicy bite with the hops, which is why I picked this over the other IPAs on tap. Does not linger on the back end like a lot of others do. A hint of citrus.

Smooth mouthfeel, despite the slightly higher booze content.

Overall, not the best IPA I've ever had, but my growler will be empty shortly.

Serving type: growler

06-25-2011 00:45:50 | More by ackleydg
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Union Jack, growler filled at Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, NYC, $16.

Appearance: A rather assertive pour produces a massive head, very fluffy and white- picture a kitchen sink filled with soapy water and thick bubbles. One finger of head remains after settling, with great lacing to boot. Color is a clear and transparent amber, like commercial filtered honey.

Smell: You can smell the hops right away, as if they were sitting whole in your hand. Some sweetness too, caramel and liquid sugar (light syrup). Pine, detergent, ocean breeze. Grass/hemp. As it warms up, cat urine.

Taste: Follows nose, with a more pronounced sweet side and pininess (sap). Floral tones all over, some pomelo and bitter citrus. Low carbonation and syrupy finish hurts the taste, as compared to the beautiful nose. A bit astringent/medicinal, like drinking Witch Hazel or biting into a raw lemon. Oily residue at the end of the sip. Spicy hit on the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Very well rounded, despite the medium-low carbonation. Medium body, full flavor. A tad too thin at the end, but good nonetheless.

Overall: Super drinkable. ABV is not evident. Perfect for a pint or two, after that it might get a bit repetitive... a wonderful American IPA, though. Among the best indeed, and better than Double Jack!

Serving type: growler

06-20-2011 05:36:11 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of Dubber55

New York

3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After an aggressive pour into my Founders snifter, I get one and a half fingers of white head which sticks around for a while. Pours a light orange with some yellow highlights

Smells very floral and herbaceous. I smell fresh cut grass, pine, and grapefruit.

Tastes like pine, fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and toasted bread. There is some caramel in flavor as well. A little astringent on the finish. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel is medium with some light carbonation. Seems a little syrupy at times.

This beer seems pretty balanced. I generally like IPAs to be all about the hops. I prefer more citrus, mango, and pineapple in the hop profile. The astringent finish is kind of distracting. It's solid but, not my cup of tea

Serving type: growler

06-19-2011 23:55:52 | More by Dubber55
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: growler

10-06-2009 03:29:58 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

06-21-2009 16:42:43 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of shaebs99

New York

4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a growler of this from Solomon420. Thanks again!

Poured into a pint glass.
Smallish-medium sized whitish head with decent retention. Color is a golden honey.

Smell is mostly of west coast hops. A lot of grapefruit and pine aroma. I have a feeling this will be a delicious beer

By the second glass, the grapefruit beats out the pine. Not the best balanced IPA I have had, but something I enjoyed quite a bit.

A very good IPA and a nice hop fix. I can't be certain if I could have finished the growler (since I shared with a friend), but I would have liked to drink it all myself. I very enjoyable IPA and I am very glad to have had the chance to try it.

Serving type: growler

12-15-2007 06:10:03 | More by shaebs99
Photo of Brisket


4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Clear orangish color with 2 fingers of head and heavy lacing.

S- Strong hop aroma, mostly citrus. Bready yeast. Good hop background in the smell.

T- Similar to the smell wonderful taste citrus hop forward with a solid malt background.

O- One of the best. Firestone makes excellent beers.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2014 02:24:43 | More by Brisket
Photo of vickersspitfire


4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thick white fluffy head, billowy and very inviting accompanied by a thick wall of lacing. The body is clear and a light golden color. Overall it looks very pleasant and relaxing.
Apples, mild malts with strong hop background, I do pick up some hints of grapefruit and lemon zest.
The taste is crisp and floral with a nice combination of citrus fruit zest, hops, and mild malts as an undertone.
This is a medium bodied IPA with good carbonation and a very smooth alcohol warming that coats your mouth.

This is a great IPA and I enjoyed the smooth flavor, it goes down well and the alcohol is just where it should be, not too harsh and really warms up your tongue.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 04:48:09 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of sommersb


4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-06-2014
Freshness: Bottled on 01-17-14
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A: Semi-clear and golden appearance, capped by a good-sized white head. The head retention is very good and lacing is thick on the glass.

S: Fragrant hop aromas have floral and citrus characteristics, plus fruits like pineapple. A bit of malt sweetness come through in the nose as well.

T: Bold hop bitterness is my first impression, with citrus flavors such as grapefruit coming to mind. The flavors have some breadiness from malts as well to provide a little balance.

M: Crisp mouthfeel on a medium body, the finish is dry and bitter.

O: Superb example of an IPA, I enjoyed it a lot. Seems best with a meal as opposed to by itself, I'd add

Thanks to Craig for the try!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:03:46 | More by sommersb
Photo of jimmah120


3.79/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, about 3 months old (thanks for the date!!!)

Look is a clear IPA orange with a small soapy head that sticks to the glass. Smell is vegetal hops, sweet savory malt. This is what I'd call a balanced IPA: grassy hops (some might say onions and garlic) engulfed in sweet caramel malt, bitter and sweet, malty and salty.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 04:36:32 | More by jimmah120
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy white head, crests about one finger, good amount of larger bubbles, probably hampers retention, the lacing in turn is more frothy than sticky and sticks in gobs more than sustained streaks. The liquid is more of a bright sunset orange than gold, very good depth as well as brilliance, only a few bubbles visible. The nose is pure and focused, leans on a clean floral dimension, grapefruit and lemon pith, white pepper, there’s solid cocoa and chocolate grounding the nectarine, apricot, pineapple, star fruit scents, refrains from indulging in sweetness, more about punching through. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, has a firm feel and the carbonation has a steady prickle more than creaminess. Sweeter here as caramel joins the chocolaty maltiness, at the same time slightly more juiciness in the white to pink grapefruit, tangerine citrus. The fruit has a tropical profile, just not the slutty juiciness often associated with pineapple, papaya, guava to nectarine fruit. The pine notes as much cone as outright sap, restrained. All this said, it does crackle with a quiet energy, can play up bitterness while not seeming herbaceous or puckering. Styled for thoughtful enjoyment and grows on you with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 23:31:38 | More by farrago
Photo of Bone53


3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance: Golden amber with a one finger off white head

Smell: Funky syrupy hops and sweet malts

Taste: Resiny hops dominate with slight citrus flavors

Mouthfeel: Moderate bitterness. Goes down smooth

Overall: I finally found a Firestone Walker beer in PA! But unfortunately it was 10 months old and the hops were skunked. I taste potential but it's too old to be credible. Hopefully my next Firestone beer is fresh

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 07:50:52 | More by Bone53
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 01/28/14 marked on the label. Reviewing from notes after enjoying on 3/14/14. Poured into the Spiegelau IPA-specific glass.

Appearance - The body pours a jewel-like amber hue that makes it look like it could have a prehistoric mosquito stuck in it. Golden yellow highlights accent the edge of the glass, contouring the unique shape of the Spiegelau glass' ridges and bulbous bowl. Rushing to replenish a sudsy one-finger chiffon-colored head is a steady stream of dynamic carbonation bubbles. The foam begins to dissipate after a few minutes, with the middle sinking down like quicksand while the sides remain high to eventually leave healthy sheets of mottled lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Huge citrus is the primary aromatic profile of this IPA. White and pink grapefruit, lemon zest, citron and maybe even kumquat make for an overpoweringly bright smell. My nostrils might need shades for this one. Hiding in the background is a faint but depth-inducing note of sweeter tropical fruit--most likely mango. But before we go, there is a toasted grain sweetness from the malt bill, to give the hops a cracker to be spread upon.

Taste - The citrus is still on full display, with a dominant showing from grapefruit, lemon zest, orange and pineapple, but now the grain is a bit more prevalent, providing outstanding balance and more interest to the palate. Caramelized sweetness makes sure that the citrus and hops don't completely dry out my mouth, and it makes for a better all around beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate-to-high carbonation, with a semi-sweet finish that gives the impression of enhancing the body overall that makes it feel like drinking a fresh-squeezed hop.

Overall, just an outstanding American IPA. I've had it many times, but this might be the freshest I've had it (6 weeks) and felt compelled to write it up into a review. Also, I'm cleaning out my beer notebook... but I digress. If you're looking for an outstanding, classic example of the West Coast style of IPA, but like a little bread in your lupulin shake, you could do a LOT worse than Union Jack. It's one I will continue to buy and drink for as long as FW continues to make it so good.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 06:00:29 | More by LambicPentameter
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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,174 ratings.