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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,958 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,958
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 331
Gots: 515 | FT: 8
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,958 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade!

Pours orange amber with a thin white head that quickly descends to a vanishing patch.

The smell is grapefruity and orange-y. It has citrus with caramel and some pine. There's a great hop spiciness going on here.

The taste is of grapefruity and piney hops that give a nice spiciness, supported and rounded out by a caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bitterish dryness.

It has a smooth, pretty chewy, medium body.

The alcohol is very well hidden, with just a touch of a soft kick appropriate for the body. Dangerously drinkable, it is well-balanced while showcasing Pacific NW hops. Disappears way too quickly for a 7.5%'er! Great stuff - Thanks again John!

jwc215, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

DrunkinYogi, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -5.7%

MarkyMOD, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of smcolw
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good initial head, but I'm really impressed with the blanket of lace that remains long after the brew is gone. The color is a neutral gold. Crystal clear.

Prickly to the nose with white pepper and evergreen. Very clean and inviting. The hop is strongest but it is spot on in intensity.

Smooth initial feel to the body. Good carbonation. The flavor begins with a strong, nearly dry, pale malt. No grassiness at all. The bitterness is strong enough to punch through but it isn't extreme by any means. The aftertaste is actually a blend of the two--the hop features the white pepper bite noted in the smell.

Overall, this is perhaps the finest American Pale Ale I've ever tasted. It belongs to pantheon of great APAs--Sierra Nevada, Stone and Fresh Hop from Great Divide.

smcolw, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A full pour yields a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head in my 25cl tulip. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep copper / amber color and becomes a bright copper color when held up to the light. A nicely resinous hop character greets my nose as I go in for a draught of the aroma; a mix of ruby-red grapefruit, lychee, tangelo peel, apricot and a zesty herbal pine note that provides a bit of contrast. Not much in the way of malt comes through in the aroma, it plays more of a supporting role for the dominant hop character, but there are some biscuit-like malt notes if you really dig for them. I really like the smooth, fruity hop notes that are found in the nose, they make this beer quite inviting.

Lightly sweet, with a caramelized malt touch that really serves to accentuate certain aspects of the dominant hop flavors. Flavors of grapefruit, tart orange zest and lychee are accentuated by the sweetness, but there are also substantial hop flavors of pine, menthol and "herb" like flavors. There is a nice biting, though note overwhelming bitterness, that hits you as the beer first hits the tongue and lingers on into a very long finish, long after the beer has left my mouth. Speaking of the finish, towards the beginning of the finish some crushed malt flavors, biscuit-malt and saltine-cracker notes become noticeable. These last, though not a huge flavor player, do provide a nice boost of complexity to this beer. This is nice and drinkable, I wouldn't have guessed this was 7.5% abv as it drinks a bit lighter than that, still it has a chewy heft to it that really serves to carry the ample hop character.

It seems like I haven't had a nice, juicy, American example of an IPA in a while, this one definitely hits the spot & is a great example of the style. It is perhaps not quite as juicy and over the hop, I mean top, as I think it could be, but that is really nit-picking as this is a very hoppy brew.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors

Gueuzedude, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

beernads, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.7%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.33/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a Miller Lite glass at the 9-0 Bar in South Central Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half-finger pathetic head of fair cream, decent thickness, and awful retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow-copper.

Sm: Bittering hops. That's it. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Bittering hops are present on the climax over top a standard barley foundation. Poorly balanced but decently built.

Mf: Coarse, sharp, and wet. A touch watery (the kiss of death in my reviews).

Dr: The high ABV comes through far more than it should. It's watery and low quality. I won't have it again on draught, but I guess I'd try a bottle of it, hoping it were less watery.

kojevergas, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from a six-pack from BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a light orange, with a slow to form small white head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Pungent hops, mostly white grapefruit and citrus peel, light tangerine.

T: Lots of bitter melon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit upfront, with a bit of tropical fruit and caramel malt to end. Not my favourite hop profile, but very full-flavoured.

M: Crisp biting carbonation, with a lingering aftertaste, medium-bodied.

D: A pretty good IPA all-around, I won't have any problem finishing the sixer.

Halcyondays, May 03, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of 24 taps at the Greenroom, Flagstaff. My second beer, the name pulled me towards it, would it be like a UK IPA, being called Union Jack?

This is an all American IPA, hops to the fore!

The deep golden orange almost headless beer stared back at me, daring me to sniff and drink it. We locked horns and the battle began.

Hops attacked my nose, with hints of citrus fruits attempting to sneek through without a safety net, I laughed and took the hits without flinching.

Do your worst American hops, I'm ready for you. The taste was a hop blend which didn't have the bitterness some US IPA's have a habit of giving you, this was easy drinking compared to many. My delicate English palate wasn't offended in the slightest. I also noticed some caramel notes trying to get out of the glass, but the hops didn't allow anything else to have a say in the flavours and wouldn't let it become truely noticable.

Not a bad experience at all, I must be getting used to all these hops I keep coming up against on my US road trip.

BlackHaddock, May 25, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/11/07- Had on tap at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Light amber in hue with a soft, smaller creamy white head. Excellent lace markings.

Smell- Sweet fresh grapefruit nose. Malty goodness as well. This one is going to be sugary.

Taste- Hmmm, not a sugary as expected, but just about right. The toasted caramel candy malt fits well with the very large blast of grapefruit hoppiness. Alcohol is there, but this beer does a good job of hiding it.

Mouthfeel- Slightly creamy and smooth with a perfect sweet aftertaste. Carbonation is right where it should be. Wish there was just a touch more of hop bitterness that follows you home.

Drinkability- The winner in my mind at this years fest. Sadly, it didn't place in the top three. It was Firestone Walker's first attempt at making this brew. They just kegged it the day before and my friend was the first in line to try it. Hope they keep making this one as it's one of the better DIPA's I've had.

GClarkage, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -5.7%

imperialking, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -5.7%

oriolesfan4, May 14, 2013
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

InspectorBob, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My pour resulted in two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, ecru head with good retention. Nose had a very citrus-hop smell. Color was a medium-amber/light-gold. Mouthfeel had a slight graininess to it, like it might have been overly dry hopped and saturated as a result. The taste was very hoppy, grapefruit-like in its citrus/dry way. The finish was extremely dry and satisfying. I had purchased a six-pack of this beer while in Oxnard, CA and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

woodychandler, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of corby112
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting collar. Very good retention with rings and streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy floral hop aroma that's bursting with tropical and citrus fruit sweetness before being countered by subtle sweet malt backbone. Dank, oily and resinous with fresh buds and grassy pine followed by hints of grapefruit, mango, pineapple and orange peel. Slight caramel malt presence with toffee, biscuit and graham cracker. Very inviting.

Medium bodied with a perfect balance of dank, sticky hop bitterness, sweet citrus/tropical fruit notes and a sweet malt backbone. Dry, earthy bitterness up front with a spicy/grassy flavor along with pine needle and alpha acids. This is countered mid-palate by a juicy tropical and citrus hop flavor with notes of blood orange, grapefruit, pineapple and mango. The perfect amount of fruit sweetness without taking away from the bitterness. Decent malt backbone balancing things out without interfering with the hops. Subtle caramel sweetness along with toffee, bread, biscuit and graham cracker. A little heavier and a touch more malt than most west coast IPAs but its perfectly balanced without losing the delicious, complex hop flavor. Exemplary for the style.

corby112, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

drewone, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

orangesol, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep coppery amber colour with a filmy head of white. Looks pretty dark, and pretty filmy for an IPA. Lots of lacing at least. Decent, but not exciting.

Nose is very pleasant, but lacking some of the potency and sweet straight exciting complexity. Some lightly spicy pickled orange aromas, with a big malty caramel and butterscotch character
Not overdone, like diacetyl at least. Decent.

Taste is sharp and pleasantly hoppy. Pretty well done. Caramel is a bit too pronounced but it is killed by the pleasant, direct hoppiness. Feel is a little thin, but the carbonation is spot on.

Drinkable enough. Not a great IPA, but a decent one. I wanted something more, but this is good enough in its way.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to eagles22 for the extra. 12oz brown bottle with a date stamp of 6/6/11. Poured into a DFH shaped goblet. This brew appears a perfectly clear color of orange with 2 fingers worth of yellowish stained fluffy head that collapses and turns more white in color. A constant stream of carbonation rises to the surface in support of the head which lasts with slightly more than a film across the top throughout the entire duration. Thick patches of lace cling all about the glass in a webby pattern. This is a beautiful looking brew.

The aroma of this brew is a bright, fresh scent of hoppy goodness. It is floral, fruity, citrus-like, herbal and leafy with grassy characteristics. Some grapefruit-like strong scents, some pulp character as well. A very strong scent of fresh hoppy oils completely dominates the nose. As the brew warms up, it picks up a light spiced aspect from the alcohol which accents the fruity and floral aspects and it picks up a mild stinky cheese aspect very much similar to other big, bold ipas. There is hardly a malt inclusion to this brew's nose, it is all about the hops and it is fantastic.

The taste is more flavorful with hops than it is bitter. Don't get me wrong, it is modestly bitter but the hoppy oils and flavoring are all across the board and very enjoyable. Tastes of grapefruit pulp, rind and flesh comes together with spicy herbal, grassy and leafy notes. There are floral and fruity flavors which are a combination of the alcohol esters mixed with the hops. A very faint toasty malt backing is present with a flavor and not much residual sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is a wonderful example of fresh hop flavoring, very bright with hop characteristics in both flavor and aroma with a boundy of hop flavors without being brutally bitter. This is very easy drinking for more than 7% abv, it is nearly poundable. I fault this brew for being a little watery, but wow is it drinkable. It leaves an oily hop residue clinging inside the mouth that is very enjoyable long after a sip is taken. Fantastic stuff. For being more than a month old, this brew has such a remarkable fresh aspect that outdoes some other hoppy brews that I have had more fresh and don't taste this fresh. If you haven't had this, get out there and find it now.

stakem, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper to amber in color. The beer has a finger tall dense dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a light aroma of rich caramel malt sweetness and strong aromas of pine/resin and citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Moderate amounts of caramel malt sweetness. On top of the malt body there is a strong flavor of citrus/grapefruit hops as well as some lighter notes of pine/resin hops. There is a light amount of bitterness. Overall, the beer is very well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with moderate dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very enjoyable, easy to drink, and I would gladly have this one again. There is a really nice taste and smell for this beer.

dbrauneis, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LeftmindedRighty for the trade.

The immediate grapefruit and pineapple fruit flavors leave few doubts about the American origin of this brew, but the spicy finish gives a nod to the British past of the style. The malts are fairly light with just a hint of dry biscuit barley under the citrus. The appearance is a deep gold-orange with a tall white head a thick lacing. The body is also as light as any pale ale, making this almost too drinkable for the 7.5% strength. Overall this IPA is rich in flavor with strong bitterness, while still maintaining drinkability. I'd say this is the best IPA I've had in some time. It doesn't hit you over the head with hops yet is complex and interesting.

tempest, Aug 21, 2008
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.

barleywinefiend, Oct 06, 2009
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,958 ratings.