Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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1,246 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,246
Hads: 6,046
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 440
Gots: 1,212 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,246 | Hads: 6,046
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 carrionricardo
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the one that should be in your fridge at all times.just a hand down excellent display of what a west coast ipa should be.very pinkey,citrus,grapefruit and even some orange rind flavors but very well balanced. I know why this beer wins awards every were it goes.a Lil advise try the big brother.double Jack.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, but not great.

Pours nicely, pretty head, fine, persistent. Transparent golden brown color.

Smells not too good, really. A little stale perhaps.

Taste is quite bitter. A manly-man's beer. Some apricots. Nothing great going on, but much better than the smell.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation, though some might prefer more.

Long, bitter, well integrated finish, good integrity.

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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 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 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 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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Photo of LennyOvies
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Tanned yellow body, rich creamy white head.
S- Citrus bomb with hops. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit.
T- Hoppy citrus mix. Orange, pineapple, grapefruit, malt, pine.
F- Light, easy drink.
O- This was an 8 month old bottle which, for an IPA, held up incredibly well. Would love to have this fresh.

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Photo of jbowers56
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good amber colour with fluffy white head, about 1 finger to start with.

Nose is pure citrus hops. Grapefruit, a bit of pine (may be from my christmas tree though haha). Good stuff.

Unsure as to the condition of this, but it was not as hoppy as I expected from the nose. Actually, its quite hoppy. But it was not as bitter as I thought it might be. Much less bitter than say SN Torpedo. Good fruity citrus hops and caramel sweetness. Quite good indeed. Bitterness almost grows as you have more - something that I haven't experienced much with other beers as they have either been to bitter to keep sipping, or each sip has refreshed the palate. Interesting.

A slight chalkiness in the mouth feel which reduced drinkability. Nothing huge though.

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

A- Nice clear amber color. No haze. 1/2 finger head dissipates quickly.

S- Nice hop aroma. Smells dry, some cut grass and pine.

T- Good hop forward taste. Grapefruit, pine, and some malt balance, but not overwhelming. Real good drinking beer.

M- Nice and crisp, dry IPA. For an American IPA it has a solid tongue burn, nothing to ruin the taste buds but a nice session beer for a hophead.

O- This is my first 6 pack, what have I been waiting for? Great IPA.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Yard House Santana Row. L: gold, shiny yellow. No head as pint glass was full from server. S: hard to tell as I like to have a full head on my beers to get the full smell. But from what I can smell, medium malts, bitter and piney hops. T: spicy hop profile which I really enjoy, bitter finish but not overly so, medium malt profile brings it all together nicely and adds touch of sweetness to pair with bitterness. F: perfect IMO. Nice, rich feel that almost coats the mouth. O: really impressed. Will be purchasing bottles of this.

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Photo of Avantyawn
3.34/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Ounce bottle, aggressively poured into pint glass

A: Finely filtered , very clean, clear orange. Frothy white head, with retention as the head goes down. I like my IPAs to not look so clean so points off for over manicured filtered look. It looks rather unextraordinary.

S: Fruity sweet smells, peach, mango, white grape juice with a touch of booze. It smells very potent, yet not altogether enticing. Potent but not masterful.

T: Burned malty grain, too much booze flavor for 7.5 unfortunately, sloshy sweet malts. I find that the alcohol flavor takes away from what should be a robust hop flavor here. I have to admit, I am underwhelmed by the taste of this beer.

M: The beer is filtered so finely that the mouthfeel is a bit vacant. It's a strong ale surely, but it drinks too quickly because it doesn't feel like there is much for your mouth and tastebuds to grab onto. Also, the carbonation is too low, and it ends up feeling thin AND syrupy at the same time, an odd and unattractive combo in my book. Almost like flat champagne...

O: Overall , this is not a bad beer per say, but it is underwhelming and with so many awesome IPA's out there this will not be a go to for me. The batch is fresh, brewed in June, so freshness is not the issue here. I feel the beer needs a bit more grit and balls, it is too smoothed over without enough drama to the flavor. It's odd because Double Jack is one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, so robust in hop aroma and flavor, and this just doesn't seem to come close on any level. Once again, not a horrible beer, but not even close to as good in flavor and taste as the Mission Street IPA they make for Trader Joe's! I think the APV is way too high for the flavor component here, the flavor is subtle, but with 7.5% you need a big flavor to distract the palette from the booze. When I drink this, I keep thinking of white grape juice and flat champagne...

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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 scootpolute
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle...

Appearance: golden/copper beer with a patchy cream off-white foam head that clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Not the crazy, 'HOP-FEST' I was expecting (maybe I haven't fully recovered from my cold/flu...what better medicine, eh?!!)...Very pronounced grapefruit hop aromas, spicy with background sweet malts and a faint bready grain aroma.

Taste: Smooth...hoppy kick, leads to a dull-numb taste?!

Mouthfeel is ultra-smooth and creamy with a malty thick full-body. The initial taste is an absolute hop assualt on the palate! A spicy, stinging and salty plethora of citric nuances literally overwhelm the senses. Earth, leaf and grass flavours pull-thru, then are followed by an alcohol presence and spiciness. The malt in this beer is definately present but gets its ass fiercly kicked by the hops. Malt includes some toasted, slightly bready and light honey flavours with an even malt sweetness...It hardly balances the beer, but does keep it somewhat control. Beer finishes with residual hop spice and malt sweetness, which tends to linger for some time.

O: A great beer for all the hop-heads out there...pretty smooth...good 'drinking' beer...could have many of these in a row without having regrets!!

For what it is, it's crafted to near perfection. A "Wow!" beer for sure. 7.5 % abv.

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

Bottled on 05-17-12 (This beer was tasted 77 days after in was bottled.)
Poured slowly into a standard pint glass.

A: It poured to about two fingers of dense, light khaki colored head. Over time the head disapated to single layer of bubbles, and it left some lacing. The brew is a golden orange color and very clear.

S: The aroma consists of a strong citrus hops and some sweet and bready malt hangs around in the background.

T: The taste is a good balance of citrus hops consisting of grapefruit a little orange peel, and a bready malt and yeast backbone does just enough to provide some balance.

M: This beer is very smooth and easy drinking with just enough carbonation to be entertaining. The body is on the lighter side of medium.

O: This is a nicely balanced IPA. It has a solid hops presence, but it is far from a hops bomb. It is a good, smooth, and easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass a hazy burnt orange color with very little head and very little lacing.

It smells like a standard west coast-style IPA: floral, citrus hops (with just a bit of pine but not much) and just the hint of biscuity malt.

Flavor followed the smell exactly: flowery grapefruit and orange rind with a sweet biscuit malt backbone. Quite pleasant and exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA --- might be the best tasting IPA I've had. A bit bitter in the back.

Could stand for just a bit more carbonation. It's more oily than I would expect from the crisp taste.

The 7.5% is well hidden. This is VERY drinkable, dangerously so. The alcohol sneaks up on you.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Barleywinefiend for this one. Been wanting to try this one.

Hazy bright golden. Nice 3-D stick and creamy lace that lasts all the way down. Robust oily hop aromas of fresh pine needles and citursy orange peel. Nice array of pine and citus hops coats the tongue with some nice slick malts that follow thru. Nice ample bitterness lingers, leaving some nice sweet malt flavors in it's wake. The drinkability is fantastic, 7.5% did you say? Danger, Danger Will Rogers. A hoplovers dream for sure, but this shows a nice bit of balence.

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Photo of ironlung
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Honey-orange. Not much head. It's been my experence that you can pour this beer as hard as you'd like and never overflow your pint-glass.

S: Strong citrus. All kinds of grapefruit and sweeet orange. I can also detect a slight aroma of biscut malt.

T: A nice citrus flavor abounds. Light tingly bubbles tickle your tounge. This is dead-on for an IPA, nice and strong.

M: Great coating finishes with a nice citrus bouquet.

D: This is a top-notch IPA well hopped and high on the alcohol. The fact that I can usually find sixers for around seven bucks makes this beer a winner. Great job Firestone!

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Photo of ElJacobian
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had the Double Jack before having this one, and it's a familiar but mellower taste. Great smell- the main difference is the tropical fruitiness doesn't hit you as hard as with the Double Jack. Very solid IPA though.

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap pint at the Yardhouse in Las Vegas. Clear copper color with persistent tan head that laced nicely on the way down. Delightful aroma of pine-grapefruit- floral that I could whiff all night. The taste is hops out the ass like chewing on grapefruit skin. Mouth is too bitter for me, surprising with the 7.5% ABV.

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Photo of StLThrash
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A - Slightly aggressive pour yielded a beautifully clear, copper with a 2 finger frothy head that lingered for some time. Each sip left a nice lacing ring on the glass. A beautiful pour!

S - Ahhhh... west coast IPA's and hop action! Lots of grapefruit, citrus, orange with major pine action. Exactly what I look for in a good IPA.

T & M - Nice and bitter hops up front, with a surprising malt kick to finish. Very smooth, drinkable and hides the alcohol very well. The ABV is inching close to DIPA territory and you wouldn't know it. Leaves you wanting more and more. I'm sure drinking a few would creep up on you pretty quick since it's so drinkable.

Overall - One of my favorite new IPA's. Up there with the best of them and will definitely be buying more. Highly recommended!

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

Had Union Jack on tap AT Union Jack's Glenside

A: pours a bright, clear, amber with a thick white head that leaves a nearly solid wall of lacing behind

S: grassy hop aromas dominate, smells really fresh

T: malts are the first thing I taste here; caramel biscuity sweetness is quickly followed by a very strong bitterness that lingers for a long time after the swallow. Again the hop flavors are earthy and grassy

M: good amount of carbonation and a good medium mouthfeel perfect for the style.

O: union jack is a very solid ipa that I could drink all day. I feel lucky to have found it on draft as I'm pretty sure bottles are not distributed here as of right now. I've heard (or rather, read) that some people say they prefer this to double jack. I wouldn't say that, as double jack is probably my absolute favorite dipa, but this is a very good beer nonetheless (as everything I've tried from firestone has been).

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,246 ratings.