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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.

1,261 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,261
Hads: 6,109
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 447
Gots: 1,267 | FT: 14
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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,261 | Hads: 6,109
Photo of lenbert
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my first experience with Firestone Walker and an amazing introduction this is! The moment that I pried open the cap I immediately smelled the aroma of hop intensity. A good two fingers of fluffy white head developed that left behind beautiful lacing. The color is a deep gold typical of top IPAs.

The taste is grapefruit hop goodness with a medium mouth feel. This is a fantastic IPA and one that i will seek out again!

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Photo of snilsen13
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What hop head doesn't love the smell on this beer? The flavor is super clean, but compared to a lot of others I'm just left wondering: what does this beer do for me besides deliver the essence of hops?

IPA had never been so one-dimensional before I tasted this. This beer is polarizing to me, because after drinking it, I am not reaching for another, but I can't deny that it was very very well made. So? I think its WAY over-rated.

The double jack, on the other hand, holds my interest.

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Photo of cvaypai
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andrew, womencantsail for this one!

Poured from bottle to globe style glass. Really cool bottle might I add.

Appearance - Poured with a 1 finger frothy white head, recedes rather quickly leaving a nice lacing down the side of the glass. Pours a beautiful amber orange with hints of brown.

Smell - This beer simply smells awesome. Tons of citrus right up front, comes as grapefruit mostly, chased by some earthy and grassy hops. A tiny bit of orange peel and pine can be discerned also. A little tiny bit of sweet caramel malt smelled on the back end.

Taste - This is an EXTREMELY clean beer, the bitterness is there but the least harsh I have ever experienced. The hops come right through right away and come as mild citrus and more earthy, though the pine and grapefruit can be found. The malt is there and evident as a bit of candy caramel sweetness on the end but makes the beer extremely tasty and surprisingly well rounded.

Mouthfeel - This is one of the smoothest IPA's I have had, the carbonation is right where it should be and the body is almost perfect for the style. This is a smooth beer.

Drinkability - I could drink plenty of these, the only problem being the distance. I sure wish I could get this beer here in Wisconsin more often.

A great IPA from firestone walker, my first from them.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Russian River Tulip

Appearance: Pours very crisp and clear. Beer is a light amber/gold yet you can see through the glass. Nice fluffy white head retained throughout drinking with lace all over the glass. Looks beautiful.

Smell: I pick up grapefruit and caramel. Earthy pine and even some pineapple and alcohol.

Taste: Grapefruit and orange citrus held together with a subtle malt backbone that still lets you know it is there. Maybe some honey tying the two together? Sweet toffee and caramel. Man this is great.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lots of resin that coats your mouth.

Overall: Wish this thing was readily available in GA! I highly recommend to everyone not just hop heads. Really like how this simple this beer drinks for a West Coast IPA. Could have a few of these any time.

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Photo of ElSid
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California


Freshness Date: None

A: A half inch of white foam tops off this hazy golden ale. The head slowly subsides coating the glass as it disappears.

S: Juicy grapefruit and pine trees with freshly baked sweet rolls. A wonderful nose which really activates the palate.

T: The hops leave a trail of clean, crisp, spicy bitterness throughout. Grapefruit and pine predominate but one can also detect elements of flowers, grass, and tropical fruit. The malt is of freshly baked sweet bread and honey, although they are a subdued companion to the hops.

M: Surprisingly creamy with the classic IPA linger and moderate prickling carbonation.

O: Another great California IPA. A must have for all the hopheads out there. More difficult to find than Racer or Stone but just as good and worth every penny.

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Photo of travduke
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Chris (GClarkage) for throwing me this in a trade, my first FW brew.

Appearance: Nice light amber body with a 1 finger white foam head with great retention. Awesome lacing.

Aroma: Citrus and pine hops right up front. Nice mild malt backbone to hold it together.

Taste: Yummy. The citric hops hit your taste buds first and then the bitter pine finishes it off.

Feel/Drink: Smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability is as good as it gets. Looks like I need to hunt this down again.

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Photo of Crossmd
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 42 degrees fahrenheit into a tulip glass.

Poured a slightly hazy muted orange with a one finger head and a vortex of tiny champagne bubbles rising underneath.

Smells of a slightly sour (or a hint of mildew?) orange with some slight breads in the background. Not well projected, subtle and round.

Taste is an aggressive attack of grapefruit hops and sharp orange. Gets slightly malty as it tries to clean up in the end, but don't try and really balance out the hops that clearly take center stage. Dries down slowly probably into a 20 second finish consisting of hop bitters dancing around a slightly bready core.

Mouthfeel is relatively heavy/oily, despite a considerable degree of effervescence. But cleans up relatively well and isn't especially cloying or coating.

Overall, a unique beer that's self assertive at best, aggressive(especially for non hop-heads) but with an excellent idea of what it does well. I will absolutely be buying this again.


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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Very clear golden in color with a fairly sparse head that does leave nice lacing as the pint progresses.

Nose is just a touch of citrus, not overwhelming; very pleasant. More of the same in the taste, with a nice biting finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

A tasty IPA that I will pick up again.

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Photo of heymikew
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A solid California IPA

Clear and golden, perfect bubbles
Great hop nose and then
A mouth explosion of tropical fruit with hint of lemon...resinous green buds...all harmoniously balanced. Its a heady temptress...watch out!

Refrigerator (in stock at all times) caliber.

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Photo of thomda11
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice, light copper with a thick head that slowly dissipates. The aroma is pleasant with pine and orange blended with a slightly sweet malt. The orange comes through more strongly as it warms up a bit. Right upfront is a distinct citrus and orange rind flavor, flowed by pine. The palate ends abruptly with a resinous bitterness and a hint of astringency. Not much in the way of malt, unfortunately. Mouth feel is a on the lighter-side--a bit watery. A Good IPA, but not great.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear light amber color with a moderate off white head leaving a decent amount of lacing.

S - Citrus and floral hops with a distant malty scent in the back ground.

T - Citrus and floral hops are balanced quite nicely, leaning more towards the citrus side. Biscuity malt hold the flavors together and creates a rather enjoyable west coast IPA.

M - Somewhat thin, but still feels pretty good.

D - This is a damn fine beer, but at 7.5% it works as fast as it goes down. That being said, I could still drink a ton of this stuff.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a transparent light orange with a small white head which eventually disappears.  Little to no lacing.

Nose is all citrus hops.  I'm mostly picking up clementines and some orange zest.  A touch of lemon zest, too.  Faint caramel malt in the background.

Upfront I get lemon zest and pink grapefruit.  It's actually has a strong citrus zest profile. Very faint malt in the background.  Finishes dry and bitter with more lemon zest and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is medium with decent carbonation.

A nice lemony IPA, if thats your thing.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass, A nice light, crystal clear light copper color with a 2 finger off white head. The smell is very west coast IPA with resiny and citrus hop aroma.

The taste is very well balanced. There is a definite citrus hop up front followed by smooth malt sweetness with some hints of fruit. The finish is very clean with hints of grapefruit and slight hints f grass. There is a lingering but pleasant hop bitterness. Even though it's unmistakably an IPA it's not what I would call a hop bomb. I will definitely be buying more of this.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light gold in color with a solid white head with moderate retention.

A blast of fresh pine needles, resin, with a splash of pink grapefruit and green apple. This beer is hops on display without a bit of self consciousness.

Very dry on the palate, with a hop bitterness. Attacks the senses with pine, citrus and resin.

Crisp,clean and mouthwatering in a medium+ bodied style. The finish stays with you for quite sometime.

A really nice example of its style. It would be hard to mistake it for something else.

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Photo of cfalls
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber, nice thick head.

Not very aromatic in any distinct way, so not sure what to expect when you take a sip.

Bready malts and citrusy piney hops. Slight sweetness.

Medium high carbonation.

Overall, really well balanced. Nothing stands out as amazing, but overall it's just what an IPA is meant to be like.

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Photo of appenzeller
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light red amber, excellent clarity. Thin head with a light pour. Aroma is hops all the way! Taste is a pure hop trip from start to finish, very bright and citrus like, smooth and subtle underlying breadiness and malts. This is a super selection for someone wanting a hops fix, a fine beer that I would have again when the hop bug bites.

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Photo of dougfur
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice orangy color, pretty clear, with nice modest head. It's a great looking beer, no complaints there. Smell is modest hoppiness with a touch of booze. The taste is a little better, but still, the hops just don't come through the way you'd expect in a well thought of west coast ipa. There's a bit of citrus and bit of skunkiness, but I can really taste the malt and yeast and there's a touch of booze to it, which I don't like. It has nice body. Overall, it's a perfectly fine beer. I enjoyed it, but was a bit dissapointed. The hops were just lacking in my opinion. With no freshness date on the bottle, it's possible I got an old one and I'll re-evaluate if I have it again and am more favorably impressed.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again Sloejams
L:No head what so ever to speak of. What head there was burned away immediately after pouring. Very transparent light jewel amber brown color.
S:Oh manw hat a great smell. Really big dry hopped aroma. Like dried out leaves. Very tiny hint of sweet candied dried out fruit. Not just one fruit, many dried out fruits.
T:Right up front it tricks you in to thinking it is going to be a sweet malty taste. Which it is right away. With in second it turns in to a deliscious leady hoppyness on the back. Nice dried out hops fall in there as well.
M:Fat round bubbles give you a nice warm feeling. Those fat bubbles some how turn in to tiny tight little bubbles going down your throat.
D:Great IPA. Nothing to extreme about this bad boy, which makes for your nice every day type of IPA.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours golden and clear with small lacing head, nose is very hoppy and citrusy with grapefruit. Taste of strong biting hops slight malt, and very smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

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Photo of SmashAdams
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell was grainy with piney, sweet hops and bubblegum. The taste was strong but sweet and smooth with a dry bitter finish. This beer is wonderfully delicious. yb

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Photo of tylerprince
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful clear golden amber with a one-finger head. The head gives way to an incredible, persistent lacing.

S: Pungent floral and citrus aromas, with a fair amount of pine. Not really smelling much in the way of malt.

T/M: Delicious. A smooth, crisp IPA (on the verge of DIPA) with a powerful floral and citrus taste, giving way to more citrus and finally to a mild toasty malt flavor. Just the slightest bit too much carbonation for my taste, and leaves quite a bit of alcohol on the palate. Pretty creamy mouthfeel, which was an interesting surprise.

O: A delicious, somewhat rare IPA. I've been meaning to try this one and was excited to see it on tap at the bar last night. A definite go-to IPA, competing for the title with the Stone IPA.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

4/10/2012 bottle date

Golden amber in color. Almost crystal clear. Two finger white head that held on for a while. Left behind some whispy lacing.

Big pine, grapefruit, and pineapplely hops. A nice hint of the base malt.

Big juicy and fruity hops up front. Lots of grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest. A little bit of a piney and earthy bitterness that subsides pretty quickly. A very light backbone that supports just enough without stealing the show. Very clean finish.

Medium-light body with an almost creamy carbonation.

This is a beer that I've been dying to try and I'm glad that I did. The aroma and the balance of taste were top notch.

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Photo of Copernicus
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 22oz. bottle into a Sam Adams custom glass.

A: It flowed an impressive toasted golden, almost copper-like with its fiery orange highlights. The head developed at two fingers of solid rocky foam. The retention was good as the foam dispersed into a thin membrane across the surface leaving thick, sticky lacing.

S: The first whiff is hop forward, but it's a light, almost delicate and mellow hop aroma of resin and pine, bordering on the floral. There may even be some juniper. This smells like gin, and that's a very good thing. The fruit is present but subtle, somewhat creamy and citrusy. Towards the end of the nose are some lingering notes suggesting honeysuckle, grass, apricot, whisky barrel, and vanilla.

T: After such a vernal and pastoral nose, the maltiness in the taste comes as a surprise. It secretes a lightly toasty and honey sweetness, but it's not at all cloying. The hop presence in the finish is slightly woodsy, and some spice begins to prickle through as it warms. Sensational.

M: This is built with a medium body and displays excellent carbonation for the style.

O: This exquisite IPA conjures up whisky and gin (my two favorite spirits) at the same time with the charred oak of a bourbon barrel and the botanical eccentricity of a craft gin. This is unlike any IPA I've ever had. It's a paragon of carefully calibrated balance and refreshing drinkability.

I would pair this with a stinky cheese with some dried apricots or some grilled peaches with prosciutto and sage drizzled in white balsamic vinegar.

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

UPDATE 3/9/09: I simply had to boost the taste, smell and drinkability scores. The bottle in front of me right now was bottled on 1/8/09, and it tastes mighty fresh.

A: Bright orange gold with a light tan head. The carbonation looks good and leaves some lush lacing.

S: I know that smell, it's the one I love. That West Coast oily, hoppy, coniferous IPA scent. Not all West Coast IPAs have this scent, but my favorites do....and grapefruit galore.

T: This is what I'm talking about: sweet malts, sweet citrus with a tang. Then it's all hops, goes bitter and finishes even more so. I'm not a hophead but I like this a lot.

M: Rolling around the mouth and on the tongue are heaps of them hop oils. Very nice. And the suds were as good as met the eye.

D: This is one potent IPA @ 7.5% ABV. I think I prefer mine below 7%, there is a little too much alcohol coming through here. But heck, no bones about it, this is an awesome IPA. Give me another...

2nd only to Pliny the Elder - I'd rather compare Union Jack to that than to Blind Pig. PtE is 8%, just above this one.

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Photo of ratedz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrTopher for sending this one my way!

Pours a clear golden orange color with about a fourth inch off-white head. A steady stream of bubbles shoot upwards from the bottom of the glass.

Sweet citrus notes dominate the nose. Pineapple and oranges are the most noticeable. A caramel-like sweetness is hiding in there too.

The taste is much more balanced than what I was expecting. After smelling the beer, I was prepared for a citrus hop-bomb explosion in my mouth. The citrus hops are definitely there, but after that quick, initial blast, a bready flavor comes into play to keep the hops in check. It finishes slightly bitter and piney, but again, nothing over the top.

Medium body and average carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing.

Very drinkable as I didn't find the 7.5% ABV to be noticeable. I was honestly surprised to see it was that strong after I'd consumed half the glass in a short amount of time. Definitely one I'll look forward to once FW arrives in Missouri.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,261 ratings.