Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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1,218 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 5,905
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 438
Gots: 1,103 | 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: 1,218 | Hads: 5,905
Photo of BuccoFan
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a quality beer. It's hard to fault it in any category, except that it doesn't really present a distinctive taste. It's hearty and yet smooth, but also a tad bit bland. (173 characters)

Photo of Maryobeerian
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I can't find anything lacking in this beer. Clear, warm honey color with very nice foam, lovely café latte color -- yum. Great nose -- biscuit with some mango -- which leads into a clean, balanced, full taste with some serious but not in your face hops, a bit of citrus. Carbonation just right -- light with a little velvet at the end. Totally balanced, nicely layered. What it's not to love?! (397 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 Dlish
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Interesting a American IPA, called Union Jack... but hey Walker is from England it makes sense. I'm a BIG Firestone fan so this is just for shitzz and giggles.

A- Golden chilled haze touches my glass, smell head, and a hint of malty redness.

S-Sweet malts flood the air, lots of hops, citrus and grapefruit, lots and lots of grapefruit. Not to much aroma.

T- Solid bight of hops gold into the honey golden malty flavor that coats the tongue. There is lemon, flowery grapefruit, lots of natural fruit bitters. It works well with the honey like malt back bone.I read the Bros review for this, I certially have always viewed it as an IPA but with the maltiness from the IPA I can see why that comes to mind.

M- Thick on the tongue fluid during the most.

O- Love me some Firestone, I love me some IPAs Solid beer and my second favorite of the 3 pales. (854 characters)

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

Served on tap:

A- Light copper color that you can see through. Quarter inch white head

S- smells of hops and citrus tones. There is also a slight pineapple scent that is great

T- Hop profile is excellent. Flavor is very citrusy upfront. Finish is of pineapple. Tasty

M- Very smooth; carbonation mixes quite well

O- Very unique tasting IPA. Tasty. definitely wouldn't mind revisiting this beer often (403 characters)

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

Poured from a bomber 22oz brown bottle with the made on date printed on the bottle into a pint glass and got 1 1/2 finger of head.

A: Pours a light golden color with 1 1/2 finger of white, rocky head that dissipates at a moderate rate but leaves the top of the glass covered until the end. Beautiful, sticky lace covers the glass.

S: I smell tropical fruits: mango, papaya, and pineapple along with citrus smells of tangerine and grapefruit.

T: This starts off with tropical fruits dancing on my tongue and goes to citrus flavors of tangerine, orange and grapefruit. It finishes with a piney taste.

M: The carbonation is perfect and it is not too thin. It goes down good. It is easy to drink this one too fast.

O: Highly recommended! Very tasty. Very drinkable. The complex flavors subtley come at me and/but are finished with a very powerful piney flavor that is understandable but also stop me from rating this beer a "5" in taste and overall. It is only that close. (973 characters)

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

Got this as an extra from largadeer. Thanks Chris

Into a Pizza Port pint. Great clear golden color. Some rising carbo. Bone colored head falls to a thin cap and a ring. Awesome candied grapefruity smell that I am an absolute sucker for. More of the same in the taste with a noticeable toasted maltiness. Mouthfeel a bit on the lighter side if it wasn't for the slight stickiness in the end. Carbonation a bit low, so maybe not the best with some foods. Absolutely sessionable even with 7.5%. Not really something that you have to think about to drink, just enjoy an easy-drinking beer. (586 characters)

Photo of jgap
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with an orange tinge and a brilliant white, frothy head that fades to a solid lace. Smell is citrusy hops with lots of grapefuit and some sticky pine. Taste is very hoppy but more malt backing than the smell led me to expect, still very hoppy though. Taste is immediately a caramel malt that quickly gives way to a building bitterness. Hops are peppery up front with a lingering pine aftertaste. This is a well balanced ipa, very drinkable. (452 characters)

Photo of hoppyhampy
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottling date is 4/22/10 so we are definitely towards the end of this one's shelf life. A nice inch and a half of head forms and leaves impressive lacing as it dissipates. Nice, bright, golden yellow-orange color. The nose has tangy pineapple and citrus hop qualities and a healthy dose of malty sweetness to it. A bit sweeter than I prefer but still well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied and medium-heavy. This is definitely a big beer. Pine and pineapple flavors tickle the tongue before a tidal wave of bitter hops rushes across the palate. Surprisingly lively hops for a relatively old bottle. Not very much carbonation but the hops are still crisp enough to overpower the majority of the malt with their resiny bitterness. Very drinkable for a beer that should probably be in the imperial/double class. (849 characters)

Photo of k3n
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

A: Clear, golden amber, with a persistent 1/4" head of packed, tiny off-white bubbles. Minimal lacing.

S: Fresh, citrusy hops. Delicious! Caramel jumping up to be noticed in the background, but mostly refeshing fruity hop aromas.

T: Follows the smell, with caramel subtly underlying the citrus, and a drying bitterness throughout.

M: Excellent. Hits all the right places. Bitterness lingers and invites another sip.

D: An excellent quaffer. (459 characters)

Photo of skivtjerry
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber color, brilliant filtered clarity, medium semi-sticky white head.

S: Grapefruit rinds, spruce, tangerine, a touch of mango and sweet crystal malt.

T: Like the smell, but more substantial. Firm crystal malt presence is overpowered by citrus and pine notes from the hops. Finishes clean with a bit of alcohol and tropical fruit.

M: Wonderful. Medium carbonation, bitter but no astringency, slight alcohol warming. More body than most comparable IPA's but it works. Hops and malt finish in perfect harmony with just enough bitterness.

O: Great IPA. No individual characteristics blow you out of the water but the whole package comes together perfectly. This would always be in my fridge if it was available in VT. (729 characters)

Photo of ThirdLap
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Bear Republic pint glass at the proper temperature range. Probably my third Union Jack ever. Bottled 20 days before sampling... sweet! And ya can't beat $7.99 for a sixer at BevMo.

A- Pours a light golden amber with a small, short lasting off-white head. After the ring disappears, little to no lacing remains as I finish the glass. Agitation returns little to nothing.

S - Awesome. This is very remniscient of the Elder, definitely a good thing. Crisp, clean citrusy goodness.

I just inhaled an noseful of it trying to get more stuff to write about. No seriously, I did.

T - Very good. It's a straightforward, no BS west coast IPA, and an excellent example of the style. As such, the hops tip the scale over malt ever so slightly, but the balance is still there. A solid bitter finish coats the mouth.

I had my first Union Jack of the night with a couple of mild Italian sausages coated with SNPA mustard. Solid combination, and highly recommended.

M - Perhaps the only downfall is a thinner than expected body. Carbonation is just right but I could use a little more oomph in such an otherwise very well balanced beer. Save for the slight bitterness, there is a very light, crisp finish.

D - I'll be lucky if I don't drink the whole damn sixer tonight.

Matt and the boys over at FW are gonna take over the world someday. The 'Passion for the Pale' really shows with this one . (1,400 characters)

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

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Appearance: Here’s to hoping this offering from Firestone fares better than DBA did. It pours a nice, crystal clear brass color that is typical of IPAs. Carbonation races up from the bottom of the glass, which helps greatly with the retention of the initial one-and-a-half fingers of cream-colored head. The beer leaves a fantastic lacing on the glass and there are no alcohol legs to speak of. Already this appears to be a much better beer than DBA, or than most IPAs.

Aroma: The aroma on this beer is a little light, and it takes some forceful whiffing to drag out and separate any distinct smells. What is there is quite nice, however: pine and citrusy, West-coast style hoppiness comes out in rinds, grapefruit, pineapple, and just a hint of mango. There is a nice, but hard to pick out note of a biscuity, bready sweetness from the malt.

Taste: This follows the nose in the most unfortunate of ways: lightness. There is absolutely nothing in the front of the taste; after a few seconds, a wall of bitter, rindy, zestiness comes in followed quickly by a slighty, juicy, fruity hop character that is not quite discernible as any fruit in particular. This is accompanied directly by a bready sweetness and then bookended by another wave of straight, flavorless bitterness. The overall impression is of lemon and grapefruit, if a fruit must be chosen. The finish is incredibly dry, like a red wine on the far end of the dryness spectrum. It is unique, but not necessarily good.

Mouthfeel: All good beers have a saving grace, no matter how disappointing they may be. For Union Jack, that is the mouthfeel. The carbonation hits just below the desirable mark, but the soaking wet, refreshing, slightly creamy mouthfeel makes up for it. The hops give a tremendous astringency, and the dryness of the finish pulls the beer together wonderfully. Very good stuff going on here; if only the rest of the beer could have lived up to it.

Overall: I really want to like Firestone’s beers, but sadly neither this nor DBA has impressed me thus far. Still, their pedigree guarantees I will not give up on them until I have given all their barrel-aged beers a shot. They just seem to be too one-note for me thus far, and for someone that praises complexity, that really hurts their scores. This beer is worth a try, but I would not seek it out again. 16/20 (2,382 characters)

Photo of philerman
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a bargain at $6.99 for a 6-pack at Safeway.

Poured into generic (likely purchased at Crate and Barrel) pint glass.

A: Nice coloring, not too much unlike the best known Philly area IPA's (Hop Devil, Dogfish 60).

S: Slightly piney, but nothing really off.

T: Pine stays with you a bit, some floral and caramel notes as well.

M: Nothing to complain about. Very drinkable and fully belies it 7.5% abv.

O: Nice surprise to find this at the price--almost makes up for the fact that I haven't been able to find any Russian River beers in AZ (I know, not distributed here). (577 characters)

Photo of jman42
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

12 ounce bottle...

A = Pale orange. Kind of cloudy. Minimal head, decent lacing.

S = Nice and hoppy. Some citrusy tones too, but the hops prevail.

T = Hoppy - typical of an IPA, but slightly bitter. Nothing super standouts - just a typical IPA.

M = Kind of a bitter aftertaste

O = Went back and downgraded my original score - the more I drank, the less impressed I was. (375 characters)

Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a stone pint glass.

A: Flawless. Orange-straw, not the least bit hazy and perfect carbonation.

S: Hops. Grapefruit, citrus, pine, earth, and tropical notes.

T: Matches the smell. Huge hop profile. So many different flavors that blend so well. True definition of a west coast IPA.

M: Full bodied with perfect level of carbonation. Bitterness lingers at a perfectly acceptable level for what seems like months.

O: One of my favorite AIPAs. Truly an amazing west coast IPA that is thankfully widely available on the east coast. Tried this for the first time about a year ago, first beer from the brewery actually, and was blown away. Since then, I've had every beer that they distribute out here. Classic beer, classic brewery. (756 characters)

Photo of Solomon420
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Firestone Taproom in Buellton, CA.
Might I add that their Firestone branded mustard was the dog's bollacks as well.

A: Nice amber-honey ish color. Nice head retention.
S: Grapefruit, freshly cut pine...very yummy.
T: All I can say is WOW, good stuff
M: Great and easy to drink
Overall: probably one of the best damn IPAs that I have tasted in a long time. Very easily becoming one of my favorites. I am lucky that Buellton is not too far from me so I can easily get fresh growlers any time. This beer stands up with the best of them (because it IS of the best) and would recommend this refreshing brew to anyone in the area. (641 characters)

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

Bomber into a crappy Marriott hotel-room glass (I really need to start packing a solid pint glass).

Tasty beer! A totally different flavor profile that a lot of the IPAs I've been drinking lately.

A: Standard clear gold

S: Hops rule the nose - sweet and tangy scent.

T: Great! Starts with a little carbonation that's quickly overpowered by lemony hops. Biscuity notes linger in the background.

M: Lovely, chewy, well-rounded.

O: Very solid brew, would definitely buy again. Didn't even notice the ABV until the bomber was empty... (537 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought from South Bay Liquor. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Small head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is nice and hoppy, with notes of grapefruit and malt underneath. Upon tasting it, hops hit you first with some citrus and resin, then the malts kick in with a nice caramel flavor. Aftertaste reminds me of pineapples and apples. Mouthfeel is a bit light, but lively. This is a pretty good IPA that's well balanced. (431 characters)

Photo of boogyman
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at local beer store, Malt & Vine. Taps of this around the area seem to be going quick so I had to try it.

A- Poured into a pint glass a hazy dark golden color. Small head that went away quickly. Lace sticks around very nicely.

S- Nice piney smell comes out right away. I love me some hops. Orange peel with some grapefruit.

T- Hops and pine all over the place and the nose mixes in with the slight fruity notes. Very tasty.

M- Very nice. Slightly bubbly and smooth. The pine and hops masks the alcohol nicely.

D- Can I have another? I could easily drink many of these.

Overall very pleased with this brew. Go get some. (633 characters)

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

On tap at O'Briens in SD tonight. Very clear golden amber color with a small white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Not sure if it left any lacing as I drank it kind of fast. That leads me to it's drinkability - for being supposedly 8%, you can't tell at all. It's highly drinkable and one of those IPAs you can just keep taking sips of until it quickly disappears. The aroma was a very light pine, and hints of citrus, and the taste was exactly that with some kind of grassy flavors as well. I've seen reviews from closer to when it was brewed talking about strong grapefruit flavors, so my guess is some of these mellowed and aged out. Maybe it was brewed with Amarillo late additions and dry hop and that's how they age. Also a toasty flavor rounding it out. Nice carbonation level and a medium body help make this a well balanced brew.

edit: It appears Firestone Walker will be adding this to their lineup, so maybe I had a fresh batch afterall. I read it will be bottled soon, which is quite exciting. (1,011 characters)

Photo of thatruth
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two-finger head, frothy-then-spiderweb lacing, both which dissipate averagely. light gold body with copper hues, average bubbles.

S: pears, dirty oranges, fig, hoppy-coriander.

T: beautifully bodied. Banana peel, figgy-hop onset. Coriander-like middle.
Musky orange afters. Pretty darn close to the smell.

M: the feeling you should get from a good IPA, just subtly, then rounds out as the aftertaste creeps in to make your mouth and palette a happy place, which is unusual for most people with IPAs it seems.

O: bought this as a morning brew for the arsenal-man city match this morning. Picked it up at Fred Meyer on Lakeway in Bellingham. Having had nothing to eat yet, I can say it's a pretty hearty, yet easy to drink beer. Would pair very nicely with braised or roasted chicken or pork chops. Great IPA. Don't know if I'd pick it up again personally, though. Kinda overrated if you ask me. but hey, diff'rent strokes! For 5.99 it was an enjoyable experience, to be sure.

**Label reads: "BOTTLED ON: 01/25/14 15:32" (1,032 characters)

Photo of mj001jk
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange color with white foam that forms a soapy surface fairly quickly with good lacing.

Fresh and crisp citrus nose with some tropical fruit and evergreen components, it is bright and alive and begs to be drunk. Don't we all...

Taste is balanced and on the light side, it is surprisingly light for such high ABV but some of the heat can be felt towards the finish. It is very well balanced with primarily the hops, light grains and very little malt character. It is almost like a smaller version of the Russian River IPA or Drake's IPA, but it certainly holds its own when you do not want to swim in an over-the-top hop monster.

Very nicely balanced, the citrus and tropical fruit linger on the palate alongside with hints of caramel and I beg for more! (766 characters)

Photo of Prostman81
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really blown away by this beer, and this was even after having a Hopslam prior to drinking this. A wonderfullly hoppy IPA, in fact, I'd almost say this is a DIPA in disguise. Huge aroma, huge flavor, but a substantial body that almost reminds me more of a typical east-coast IPA. Or maybe a body similar to Modus Hoperandi, now that I think of it. At any rate, an excellent balance on all fronts. This is the type of malt/hop flavor that I strive for in all my homebrewed IPAs. If this is distributed by you, and you haven't tried it yet, grab it and enjoy! (563 characters)

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

Thanks to PretzelCity for this one.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice, fairly clear honey color with a nice off white crown, and sticky, sticky, sticky. Smells great. Like a light DIPA - it's nice and pungent, with some good sweetness. The taste is full with delicious C hops with a nice tropical profile supported by some lightly toasted caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is right for an IPA, but with the DIPA flavors, it's a nice change and feels light. Very smooth, very creamy. This is good stuff. I might not trade for it, but next time I'm out in California, I'll bring a sixer back with me. Actually, maybe I will trade for it...it's damn good! (657 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.