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

5,790 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,790
Reviews: 1,266
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 424
Gots: 1,045 | 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: 5,790 | Reviews: 1,266
Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange aroma, thought it was Amarillo, rather commercial description: it was Simcoe bittering hops; Centennial, Cascade and Tomahawk for flavoring; aroma hops are described as a "blend of C's."

Orangey bubbly Caesar head. Hoppy for what I thought would be a British style IPA, after all the name. Very drinkable, and citrus flavour.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy but clear light orange with a 1 inch white head that fades to a thin cap. Nice rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of grapefruit juice, citrus zest, and some tropical fruit. Taste is of grapefruit juice and citrus zests with some tropical fruit flavors and a sweet malt taste coming in at the end. Mild hop bitterness on the palate quickly fades after each sip. Good carbonation makes for a crisp yet slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good IPA with some very nice fruit smells and flavors. A good choice when you're in the mood for a "fruity" IPA.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: thin head on a slightly hazy golden with slight amber hue body.

S: classic orange peel and grapefruit hop aroma. very nice degree of sweetness.

T: nice degree of malt presence. the hop variety is excellent. very complex and variable as its consumed. hop notes include floral, herbal, grapefruit, melon and pineapple. very nice.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a very nice beer. The hop character is excellent for a standard IPA. I could drink this all the time.

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear deep amber in color with no visible carbonation. There is a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: There is a moderate, pleasant aroma of piney hops in the nose.
T: There is a good amount of bitterness from the hops, but this is not overpowering due to a good balance with the underlying malts. There are some notes of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden. I would definitely have another of these.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, slightly darkened orange with a nice white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit, orange, and other citrus notes. Some malt sweetness far into the background.

T: Very similar to the smell. Lots of refreshing hop bitterness with a little bit of the sweet aroma working its way into the taste.

M: Medium-bodied with a little bit of chewiness.

D: Quite drinkable. A very nice IPA to quaff back all day.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy light amber color with a rocky head; decent retention and lacing

Smell: Toffee malt blends in with citrus smells

Taste: Opens with the toffee flavor from the aroma, but it doesn't take long for the bitterness to build; very citrusy, with plenty of grapefruit and other tropical fruit flavors (mango, papaya and a hint of pineapple); after the swallow, the fruitiness gets even stronger, though all the while there is some residual malt sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: More than just an AIPA, this is close to a DIPA; designed for those who want a low alcohol DIPA (although it tastes bigger), and that is worth a little chuckle

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

Aah, Union Jack- where have you been all my life? Your classy IPA taste would have won me over long ago with your bright citrus hop character and your supple malty-dry palate. Regardless, I'm glad that we are finally graced with this introduction.

Its bright golden color hints toward amber but ultimately shies just short. Capped with a dense blanket of ivory-white foam, its retention is long-lasting and its lace in spottily intricate.

Vividly aromatic, its large floral bouquet is chocked full of citrusy grapefruit, orange zest, and bright pine sap. Herbal, grassy and flowery- its scent is backed by a quick caramel, grain-derived graham cracker and nutty scent; all giving the hop fruit notes a riper and dripping juiciness.

And as that thin caramel and graham cracker, biscuit and crusty-sweetness glides across the early palate, a swift whack of hops come charging through- red grapefruit, ripe oranges, citrus peels, and lightly pithy bitterness sets in the middle portion of taste. Finishing resinous and deeply bitter, notions of fresh sawn pine, cut grass and exotic botanical flavors decorate the periphery of taste.

Its mid-light body is pleasantly sweet to texture early, but is also pleasantly fast-fleeting as the carbonation is quickly shed and the sweetness is foregone in favor of dry malt texture, resinous dryness, and moderate alcohol warmth. Spicy like ginger, the beer closes on a snappy and earthen bitter note that resonates in extended aftertaste.

Union Jack is the epitome of the "West Coast" IPA- it discloses a malty-sweet balance early on, but as the rug is swept from the taste buds, I'm left falling into an uncontrollable dry and bitter ride thereafter. There's a resistance to simply "tag along" but that resistance is, of course- futile.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

real nice big ipa. pours a lighter than the taste golden hay color with a big bad white foam head. smell is sweet hops, citrusy and in your face. falvor is fruity hops. im picking up grapefruit and clementine (jam). the mouthfeel is as good as an ipa can be, its creamy and expanding. it makes this beer. the hops just grows and grows as you hold it in, heavenly. medium bodied but it feels light, cloud nineish. perfect bitter carbonation and then enduring wet finish. the mouthfeel is the ticket here. great ipa, i like it better even than their doublejack. 7.5& too. magic

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a gold/amber color with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and floral hoppy notes is really enjoyable with light sweet undertones. Taste is also dominated by sweet notes with nice floral hoppy notes and some citrus undertones with limited bitterness. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well brewed with great drinkability factor and limited bitterness level.

Photo of Knapp85
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a really nice looking yellowish gold color with a white foamy head on top. The retention is good with a very impressive amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Them smell of the beer is very nice, fresh hop aromas with the subtle malt aroma in there as well. The taste of the beer is excellent. Easily one of the best IPA's on the market. Lots of beautiful citrus flavors in there with a very mellow malt presents. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very drinkable, Nicely carbonated and smooth. Overall... Awesome. This is something I'll be buying more of.

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

Appearance - Light amber, clear and bright. The head retains pretty well, lending a bit of creaminess to the body.

Smell - Fresh and floral. Citrus, pine and a touch of malt. Incredibly aromatic; the hop aroma practically bursts out of the bottle upon uncapping.

Taste & mouthfeel - Floral, resiny hops are at the forefront here, but the malt foundation is pretty substantial as well, providing a bit of bready sweetness with just a hint of pineapple. Medium-bodied and rather substantial, this is very quaffable nevertheless. Perhaps too quaffable for 7.5% ABV.

Notes - Another fine beer from a brewery that seems to be getting better and better.

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 mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well the first of my Firestone Walker evening. I have three of these setup for tonight, the first I have ever had from them, so I was naturally quite excited to give this a try. Being my preferred style I jumped right for this 7.5% IPA which I thought would compliment dinner very nicely. Poured out a very nice golden amber with a little bit of a haze to it, but nothing terribly dramatic. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass, which only served to reinforce the very nice head of foam which had formed at the top immediately upon pour. A nice three inches or so of white pillow like foam was on top now, settling down after a couple of minutes to just a thin film across the top which produced copious amounts of side glass lace on its way down. A nice typical IPA from what I could tell so far.

The aroma was classic hop bomb of an IPA from the first whiff. No, mention of the alcohol what so ever in this one from the aroma through. Lots of fresh citrus hop aromas coming right at you with a delicate balance of bitterness and a touch of sugar as well. Definitely some light sweet notes coming through on it, especially as it warmed up a touch. Very nice feel here, with a rich medium body that was full of carbonation, offering you a very nice creamy feel as it went down, but still staying light enough not to cause a problem with filling. Great flavors were all over this. It was to be honest on the lighter side of the style, but, it came off very well with a rich mixture of grapefruit and orange flavors that hit you off right from the start, but were mellowed down towards the middle to allow a much more balanced flavor to start to breakthrough. Hints of grain were in here now, mingling around and lots of malt sugar, really giving it a nice bit of sweetness and balancing out the hop bitterness very nicely. This was a very well balanced IPA, while still sticking to the classic west coast style all the way. Very cool indeed. The alcohol was so well hidden, this could have been 4% as it was nearly and completely undetectable. This was just an awesome session ale. I could have had this one all night to be honest.

Overall, I really thought this was great, and a very nice way to welcome me into the world of Firestone Walker. A fantastic west coast style IPA, that did not overdue anything, it came and did very well. I would love to get a hold of this again as I thought it was simply remarkable.

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

A pint at Henry's Tavern in the Pearl District of Portland.

This beer appears a clear medium copper hue, with one finger of filmy, creamy, off-white head, which renders some limestone rockface lace as it all sinks away. It smells of caramel, grapefruit, orange, and a bit of pine, all smushed into one spendifourus odor. The taste is bitter pine oil, grapefruit rind, and caramel/toffee. The carbonation is quite low, the body medium weight, and somewhat creamy. It finishes on an even keel between the hops and a sweet creamy malt.

A damned fine IPA, balanced, yet still intense.

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 womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a typical looking amber color with a rather fluffy and large white head and some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Plenty of citrusy hops in the nose. I pick up a lot of grapefruit and perhaps a bit of orange as well. Not really too much malt there, but a bit of breadiness.

T: The flavor is essentially a continuation of the nose. Plenty of sharp and juicy grapefruit with a bread-like malt flavor in the background. A mild, resinous bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation and a very crisp finish.

D: One of the best regular IPAs out there and a stand-by of mine. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled awesome! Grapefruit, mango and other tropical fruits with a touch of pine. Some caramel aromas.

T - It had a great piney bitterness on first sip. Nice tropical fruit flavors add some zip and bite. It has just enough sweet caramel and toffee to balance it out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied IPA with a clean finish.

O - This is a great IPA. Absolutely glad that Firestone Walker has come to Missouri. This will be a 'go-to IPA'.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a thin, white, bubbly head.

Smell: Pungent earthy, herbal pine needles and soggy grapefruit rinds blanket the lesser aroma of pale malt.

Taste: Pale malts along with a rather subdued caramel sweetness. Profuse hop flavors of citrus fruits and herbaceous pine thoughtfully deliver a nice pinch of medium-high bitterness. Finishes appropriately dry with a long, lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a tad bit oily in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Goes down surprisingly easy (and quickly) for being a 7.5% ABV. A solid, competent India Pale Ale.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour continues! This stop pours a clear straw topped by a finger of thick light cream-white foam. The nose comprises pineapple, light mango, lime zest, lemon zest, mandarin orange, and honey-dripped biscuits. The taste holds notes of pine needles, light pineapple, light orange zest, light banana peel, biscuit, and cracked wheat. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very tasty IPA. Straight up. 'Nuff said. Get some!

Photo of nickfl
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a Ightly hazy golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - A nice, hoppy aroma of pine and grapefruit with some toffee and thick malt in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with some pine and grapefruit. More pungent hops in the middle and a bit of sweaty onion character in the middle. Finishes with fairly strong bitterness, thick malt and more pungent pine and citrus hops.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - A very well made ipa. Great hop character and a thicker than aveage malt character that, despite it's intensity, doesn't get in the way of the hops.

Photo of oline73
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color with a finger of fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while and leaves some really nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Some sweet, light malt with very nice fruity notes. The hops show up and mix with the sweetness for a nice balance.

Taste: Light and hoppy, quite easy to drink given the abv. Just enough sweet malt to back up the hops. I'm getting juicy citrus fruit along with some citrus peel bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lots of tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: This is an extremely well done IPA. The balance is perfect and I really enjoy the hop profile. I would have more given the chance.

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

Acquired from fogdog courtesy of the 2009 Secret Bunny BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of piney hops. There's a mild sweetness of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA that is well-worth drinking for a whole evening.

Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy gold with 1 1/2 fingers of poofy eggshell white head. This shrinks down into a thin yet still sturdy looking layer of retention that throws a big ole' latticework of lace up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is exceedingly floral smelling with a piney edge to it and some tingling spice coming out as well. This is balanced out by a tangy mix of citrus and caramel in the background. Solid West Coast aroma here.

The taste is floral, resinous, and spicy hops that are perfectly balanced by a silky and juicy feeling backbone of grapefruit, caramel, and bread. Finishes with a nice dry lingering bitterness and some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an unbelievably smooth, creamy, and silky feel to the carbonation. I mean this stuff went down so easily and fast, I almost threw another in the fridge to make sure that I got a full handle on this for the review. Fantastic drinkibility on this one!

Wow! Talk about an underrated IPA! This was great stuff that I'm just not seeing enough talk about. Maybe if it had better distribution compared to some of Firestone Walker's other staple offerings? Anyway, I mightily enjoyed this and look forward to future bottles.

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

I've been waiting to try this one for a while, and finally got it thanks to a great trader womencantsail.

A: Pours into my giant oversized snifter with a light 1/2 finger head covering of nice fluffy head that fades slowly. It's a very clear pale orange color.

N: A very nice nose. Lots of fresh hop aromas, some fresh wet hops, chewy hops, some pine, a little citrus, and after that comes some nice light malt aromas.

T: A nice chewy bitter hop taste to start. Some pine and a little citrus. The piny flavors seem to increase as it goes. A little fresh wet hop earthy hops, but not much. Some nice lightly sweet malt flavors. A great chewy hop and some juicy hops. A hint of vanilla. Reminds me a lot of two headed.

M: Decent body but a little lighter, good carbonation.

F: Somewhat bitter and gets a little more bitter on the finish. Some pale bitterness and spicy hops. A little juicy hop flavor and some sweet juices lingering. Some malts stick with it too. The bitterness lingers for a long time. This is easily becoming one of my fav IPAs. I'm glad I got a 6-pack, and I'm thinking about putting this into my regular trading schedule. Thanks a ton Andrew.

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

Pours a clear amber with a creme head that falls quickly. Nose is a nice floral citrus mix. Real airy, but with good character. Flavor is nice. Great hop mix. Citrus and sweet (almost a bit too much on the backside) are consistent as is a nice mellow floral flavor. It's balanced, even though there is a full flavor. A bit of a hot touch from the alcohol, but it's minimal and doesn't matter much by the time you've processed everything. Feel has a slight bite on the carbonation and the liquid is good. Easy to drink and a nice IPA. Comes off as slightly more refined as other IPAs that try to muscle their way to the top.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,790 ratings.