Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,775 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,775
Reviews: 1,263
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,039 | 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: 5,775 | Reviews: 1,263
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Oberon pint glass. It poured a clear amber color with a thin but bubbly white head to it. The head settled down after a minute and it left a modest amount of lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a good mix of malts and hops. Some nice citrusy hops come through and mix with a sweeter, malty, slightly caramely flavor. More malt forward then most West Coast IPA's, but I think it works well for it.

The taste also has a very nice mix of hoppy and malty flavors. A brighter, floral, citrusy, hoppy flavor comes through very nicely. The sweeter, malty flavors are also very present throughout the flavor. The sweeter malt really keeps things in relative balance for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a very nice IPA. I really liked the more malt forward and sweeter notes it added to the bright hoppiness. Very nice beer overall.

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

On-tap at Heroe's in Claremont, CA, on to the beer:

This is a good looking amber colore beer mixed with reddish and orange hues, and as a bonus leaves good lacing in the glass. Aroma is mildly hoppy. As for the taste, if you guessed hopy, you're correct. It's big upfront and piney, it softens up into tidbits of caramel and bread. Surprisingly refreshing and easy drinking.

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.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A wonderfully perfect sized pinhead holed bubbles throught an off white and foamy head. Body color is glowing crystal clear gold and amber red/brown. Some nice mix of slow rising carbonation as well. Impressive looking.

Great simple nose, of a pine like hop, small citrus, but also a real nice ripped grain and malt action. Solid.

Fantastic tasting beer. Palate fills thick and rich without getting cloying syrupy. Just a hint of stickiness, hop pine slightly then fills with a jammy apricot and hop grapefruit. Aftertaste brings a perfect blend of sugar sweetness and bitter.

A fantastic tasting IPA what more can I say.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer and much better than other Firestone Walker beers I've had from sixpacks. This beer alone is reason enough for me to try some of their other products as they come out- and not just the really hard to find ones like 10 or 11. Pours a dark golden with a thin head and spotty lacing. Smells citrusy, herbal, and a bit earthy. Nicely balanced. The taste is equally balanced between the hops and malt with some nice length to the flavors. Chewy malt with a touch of sweetness and nicely bitter earthy hops. Very good body, and a nice long finish. Delicious, I'm quite impressed with this offering. If it were available in my area it would o into my regular rotation.

Photo of corby112
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. I had high expectations having had a Double Jack last week.

Appearance - Clear amber body without a huge head. Off white head reduced to thin lacing.

Smell - Not an overwhelming aroma, really. The hops are there, but not like a DIPA. The faint aroma is fruity and citrusy. Some mango smell and grapefruit. More predominant is the caramel malt that smells very sweet.

Taste - Significantly better than the smell. The grapefruit is the strongest flavor, but the rest are tough to discern. No hop flavor is overwhelming. The malt is just sweet enough to feel like a DIPA, which is nice, but it doesn't taste overly sweet. Perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel - Just a tad bit syrupy. The body is maybe a bit too heavy for the style. Pretty low carbonation that perhaps adds to the syrupiness. I shouldn't complain, though, because most single IPAs feel to thin.

Overall - This might be my favorite single IPA. Shame I can't get it regularly. Feels like a DIPA but nice and easy to drink.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of Zorro
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle says 7.5% ABV so I assume the 8% was just taproom guesstimation.

Clear copper golden colored ale with a near white colored head, great clarity and good looks but not outstanding.

Smell is sweet but SHARPLY aromatic with the hops, Hops Shortage? Not in this beer! Strong scents of pine resin and tropical fruit with lots of citrus too. Firestone's typical oak barrel scents are in this but a bit hidden. Alcohol fumes carry fruity scents mostly apricot and plum. The hops in this hit you the moment you pop the cap.

The taste starts out sweet and spicy, at first the hop level seems a bit low but THAT changes in about two seconds. Strongly pine and citrus at the start. Nice balance very hoppy and fairly bitter but the sweetness is balanced just right here. Fair amount of tropical flavor here and it does remind me a little of FFF Dreadnaught in that way. You can feel the alcohol warmth in your chest and it releasing higher than average aromatic hop compounds in to your mouth. Vanilla, oak and faint mango and melon show up after your senses adapt to the hop levels. This is one of the AIPAs that pushes near or into DIPA land.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super easy to drink AIPA that is quite easy to mistake for a low alcohol beer. Enough flavor here that you would NOT be out of line drinking this like a Double IPA. I could easily give this a 5 in both taste and drinkability but I will only pick one and easy to drink is the stronger of the two great things about this beer. Possibly the best AIPA there is anywhere.

Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium gold with a 1.5 finger head and some lacing on the glass.

S: Grapefruit and a hint of pine. A swirl of the glass unfetters this aromatic beauty.

T: Bitter grapefruit with a medium bitter finish which lasts for a bit in the back of the mouth (I suppose that's where the beer last touched my mouth so it makes sense). Resiny and piny. I also get some spruce, or what I imagine spruce may or may not taste like (like I've even had spruce). This beer exemplifies a west coast ipa in that it is very hoppy and has a very small malt profile.

M: Light bodied, great carbonation, coats the mouth with a sticky texture.

D: I don't know what the availability of this will be, but I plan on sessioning this on a number of occasions in the future. In California the IPA market is flooded, but apparently FW isn't afraid to get their feet wet and they've suceeded in crafting a quality IPA which can stand up to the best of them.

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.

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.

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

Thanks to brianj555 for this bottle.

A: The IPA is a hazy tea color, somewhere on the spectrum between yellow and orange. The hazy is superficial, resulting in an ale that is tranlucent. A thick head on pour is nicely lacing around the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is piquant, thick with resiny citrus hops. Orange peel is prominent, as is grapefruit and some pine. Fantastic nose!

T: Great flavor. From the first sip, the strength of the hops is impressive. Citrus, especially orange peel, lemon and grapefruit, grabs my attention. Fruity hop flavors run rampant but never overshadow the malts. The caramel grains provide an excellent foundation. The hops, while vibrant, remain in check and prevent this from becoming a hop bomb.

M: The hops are lively but adequately restrained; they never destroy the palate.

D: Even at 7.5%, I could pound this beer all day long. Another great ale from Firestone Walker.

Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel coloring infused into pear cider. A bubbly layer of head is in trim figure. A slightly dulled complexion that is neither completely hazy nor completely clear. If this turns out to be half as good as it looks then I'll be pleased.

Huh - wow. What a fantastic hop filled aroma. A cocktail of pine and pineapple, with lemon and orange accompaniments. Even from across the table your nostrils will pick up on the bounty of alpha acids, hard at work scrubbing away at the toasted caramel malts.

And you don't even have a good idea of just how much alpha acid there is until you take a sip; the bitterness is at a level that should be choking, but isn't, and comes across somehow amicable. You might not even notice it, in the same way I didn't pick up on the 7.5% which is well buried under one of the tastiest flavour profiles I've ever tried.

Every taste opens a world of flavour! A lot of West Coast IPA's are citrus filled but this actually tastes like citrus - authentic, pulpy, freshly squeezed citrus juice. The flavour is quite literally like a squeezed lemon slice and incredibly similar to pulpy orange juice. So unbelievably tasty!

This damn well should be your flagship beer. There is a ton of good competition in this style category, especially from that part of the country, but Firestone's Union Jack is certainly among the top on my list of delicious, endlessly drinkable IPA's. Thanks fartingdog!

Photo of johnnnniee
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Harvest Market.
Pours a slightly hazy deep golden color with a smallish white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of grapefruit and pine resin with hints of green onion and a solid caramel maltiness to back it up. Solid caramel malty flavor with layers of pine and citrus on top and a moderate level of hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Nice old school IPA I enjoyed this for a change.

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

Poured on-tap at the Yardhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The beer was served in a pint glass, and poured a light brown color, with orage highlights and no head. Sweet, hoppy aroma, with light orange essence. Middle and rear tongue hops flavors, balanced of bitter and smooth. Cedar and sweet characteristics, also. The beer has a steady flow of carbonation that keeps the beer light despite it's creamy body. Hoppy green aftertaste and smooth finish make it very easy to drink.

Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a full blown citrus hop.

The taste consisted of leafy and citrus hops, a grainy malt and a touch of caramel.

The mouthfeel was at the full side of the style.

Overall a very tasty, hop driven west coast IPA.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on draft at mekong in Richmond, snifter.

dark copper color with a very nice head. smell is amazingly hoppy with piney hop goodness. taste is super fresh hops..piney..nice bitter finish. maybe the perfect normal IPA. almost full bodied but easy drinking.

overall just a world class IPA. never pass this up if its fresh!

Photo of Wasatch
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revist: 22 Apr 2015
12oz. Bottle
Bottled On: 02/17/15

Pours a very nice clean/clear, dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some islands and nice sticky lacing. The nose is pretty hoppy, with some malts thrown in, citrus, and some pines. The taste is hoppy, with some nice malt blend, with some citrus and pines. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a very tasty IPA, nice to see it here in UT.

Thanks goes out to murphjuice and Bitterbill for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear, dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is pretty hoppy, with some malts thrown in, citrus, and some pines. The taste is hoppy, with some nice maltyness, with some citrus and pines. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty IPA, a classic in the making.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/7/12
*From notes

-- I can't believe it took me this long to finally review FW's Union Jack. Shame on me. --

A: Hazy nectarine in color. A forceful pour yields a foamy three finger head. Quality lacing and collar follow.

S: Tight pine and generous West Coast fruit. Be sure to get this fresh to maximize your nasal enjoyment.

T: More pine and resin then a lot of West Coast AIPA's. It overwhelms the fore to mid, and the back is where the mild, chilled out fruit quality comes to relevance. Tasty stuff for sure.

M: More of a silky feel, less cream and body, more easy drinking. Would I like a bit more fluff? Sure, but it's not half bad as it is.

O: Not quite on the same level as Masala Mama or Sculpin, but damn close. Firestone Walker's Union Jack is another in a long line of delicious West Coast hop forward brews, and something that's always a pleasure to find cold in my fridge.

Recommended.

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

12oz bottle obtained as part of Growling at the Moon from Solomon420. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the clear golden amber brew. Head recedes gradually, with goodly amounts of lace. Aroma is dominantly citrus, with some pale malt undertones. Taste begins with light sweetness, which quickly gives way to the lemony hoppiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is quite good. A West Coast IPA that flirts with the limits, but doesn't go over the edge.

Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

Shiny golden pour, just a bit hazy. Small white head reduced to a bit of froth in minutes.
Sweet citrus and caramel on the nose, peach, faint melon, bit of mango, light pine. Sweet and really fruity.
Bitter-sweet citrus up front, lots of grapefruit and citrus peel, bit of lime, pineapple juice, touch of mango, maracuja. Spicy leafiness, kiwi seeds. Not the most complex fruity hops, but really intense and strong, tailor made to cover up the caramel malts (just a bit coming through) without missing out on the flavor-enhancing sweetness (nice hint of floral honey, actually). Pine and grassy bitter steam-roller in the end.
Lots of flavorful hops in the aftertaste, a bit tropical, citrus peel, a bit of pine, with hop bitterness stuck in the throat. Medium body, rather fizzy, almost a bit burpy.
Refreshing and so very tasty. Can't imagine how this is fresh from the tap. Great IPA.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz received as an extra with a very cool trader.. Weibull. Poured into my New Sam Adams funky glass.

1" head takes a while to die back leaving bunches of lace.. sorta looks crunchy. Brew is crystal clear golden.. very pretty.

Alot of grapefruit and pine hoppiness in the nose and little else.. very clean and very hoppy.. smells fresh.

Flavor is all about the hops .. citrus and pine cones.. a little sweet off the top but that all melts away quickly.. lite pale malts .. and a very nice bitter backbone... finishes with a lip-smacking grapefruit oil on my teeth and lips... wonderful. Mouthfeel is spot-on for the style.. carbonation is prickly but helps with the maltiness... this brew tastes like a big-boned IPA (verging on DIPA territory) and it is.. but everything is very well balanced.

I could drink these for quite a while.. A huge thanks goes out to Class Act Trader Weibull. Jason.. I owe you big!

Photo of WoodBrew
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the Union Jack IPA at the local watering hole...Tap House....and the beer is GOOD!!! The color was a clear golden copper with 1/2 finger thick white head tha laced all the way down the glass. The smell included bitter citrus with pine. The taste was initially bitter, but after a few swigs it mellowed out and was quite tasty. The mouthfeel was a medium body beer with good carbonation. The abv was present to start then tailed off. Overall this was a very good IPA and highly receommended.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of djmichaelk via trade. Thanks!
Bottled on 6/24/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Light amber colour - not cloudy at all, with one finger of bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Initial nose is well balanced with some bitter citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

T - A well balanced IPA with a significant malt sweetness and some citrus and piney hops. The hops are not overly bitter or flavourful but the bitterness does linger in the finish. Would love a little more hop punch in this one. The malt profile is somewhat more dominant on the palate than the hops are.

D - A good IPA. Not spectacular but one that I would drink again.

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,775 ratings.