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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.

1,246 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,246
Hads: 6,046
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 441
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.
View: Beers (87) | 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: 1,246 | Hads: 6,046
Photo of uvachief
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Solid 3 fingers of head. Light golden brown orange color. Smell the hops citrus and malts. Strangely light and smooth in the mouth. Very odd for an IPA. Taste hops, citrus (orange peel) and malt but no bitterness like most IPAs. Really drinkable. Head lingers. Hints of fruit. Maybe apricots? Very subtle. Solid clean IPA. Only Double Jack is better but that will knock you out. You can drink several of these without calling old significant others.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance: Crystal clear light amber with a big white head that faded into generous lacing.

Smell: Great! Like a lot of APAs - piney and floral hops.

Taste: Up front is massive hop bitterness, which is balanced well by the malt backbone. Residual bitterness is minor (maybe because my mouth is numb). Alcohol is very faint, even at 7.5%.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness and carbonation. No residual feel.

Overall: Great APA (close to DIPA territory)! Doesn’t differentiate itself too much from other hop bombs, but it nails everything and has enough of a malt backbone to keep from being strip-the-paint-off-the-walls bitter.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Great clarity. Burnt orange color. Dense, off-white head. Mondo stickage!

Smell - Big citrus nose. Herbal. Nice.

Taste - Big, crisp grapefruit flavor. There is a slightly toasty malt flavor in the background that keeps the hops in check.

Mouth - Oily. Crisp. Great carbonation.

Overall - Yes, this ale is yet another California hop bomb. There is more to this beer than just hops, however. There is just enough malt to keep things interesting. The beer smells good. The beer looks great. Union Jack does many things well.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge bitter resin aroma. Body is light straw clear with a white head. Lots of different citrus fruit flavors. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, maybe some passion fruit. Very juicy and very tasty.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: An opaque golden. A white one-finger head that dissipates to foam. Thick lacing.

S: Citrus, featuring grapefruit. Grassy hops.

T: A terrific rush of hops with grapefruit in the lead. Smooth, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt combo. Outstanding.

M: Medium with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: Although the born on date was almost 6 months, this one was very fresh-tasting. Glad I got to try my first FW brew. More on the way. Well done. Highly recommended.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

My first brew from these guys, had this on tap at a Yard House in Denver. Color was a little orange for an IPA, some copper. The construction was good, decent lacing, not a ton of head. I thought the taste though was rather pedestrian, not too hoppy, none of the pine or citrus you might get in some. Above average IPA, but I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of kellyej
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

A: Slightly hazy but still fairly clear; wispy head; yellow color
S: Peach, floral, grapefruit (rotten peach at the bottom of a shipping crate, but in a good way)
M: Medium, smooth through the middle, crisp finish
T: Balanced, well crafted taste; apricot, pine, fruit (fleshy part not skin), nice sweet spike to cut the hops

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

A: clear; honey colored; less than a one finger off white head that receded slowly to an uneven cap; nice lacing;

S: for the briefest moment, pine; then it's all tropical fruit; really beautiful;

T: up front, it's a combination of earthy and tropical fruit hops; by mid-palate, the tropical fruit takes over and with moderate bitterness, goes through the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: really really, good; everything about this beer is outstanding;

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Photo of jman42
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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.

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Photo of Brams17
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

One of the best all around IPA's out there in my opinion. Not overly bitter, but great hop flavor. This beer still has a nice malt body too. One of the beers that made me fall in love with hops.

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Photo of GinjaSlice
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Under expectations. Was one of the best looking beers with a very clear orange color and great lacing. Smell was great aswell but taste was lacking. My bottle was a little old so will have to try a fresher one and re review.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and bottled on date of 04/10/2014 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper 1 and 1/2 finger of head; perfect in my opinion as far as appearance in an American IPA

Smell: Citrus hops and pine notes

Taste: Complex hop profile that has a balance between citrus grapefruit notes and piney earthy tones

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and finishes dry

Overall: Sadly I did not see the bottled on date until after my purchase. I was worried, but this has held up really well and it is nothing short on hop flavor. This is a solid example of a west-coast style IPA. Im glad to see that it hasn't dropped off after a few months. Hopefully I can get my hands on some really fresh bottles in the near future.

UPDATE: Enjoying a Union jack from a can canned on 02/27/15 poured into a tulip glass.

Far superior than the last time I reviewed this. This is how I remember it was when I first had this on draft over a year ago. So much brighter in character than the 4 month old bottle. Fantastic IPA.

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Photo of seedyone
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

07/15/15 On tap at Coopers, Chelsea, NYC. Still big. Head is way small but there. Aroma is honest as it let's you know this has hops w/a capital H but won't make your eyes water or split you skull.

Ever stand next to a race horse? Big & powerful but managed. Well managed if it's a winner & this sure is.

01/08/14 From cask. I've been drinking this since the spring '13 & surprised I've left no notes. This is a superior drink. Big in every way. From the cask there is no head whatsoever but that doesn't matter. I don't like hops that are overbearingly applied so this exercise in restraint is just right. They are there, but whether it's the type or the technique the result is first class.

This is a must for any beer lover even if not an IPA fan. This will show what's possible in the right circumstances.

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Photo of travolta
3.14/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly filtered light copper in color with nice retention and a nice sized head. Lacing is something of note, even with a bad pour.

Nose: Papaya, mango, pineapple. A tiny bot of juicy fruit candy, apple, and lemon.

Taste: Crisp and bitter. Slightly chalky with orange rind. A nice clean finish with nothing really lingering.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank right out of the bottle while camping, so I'm giving it a 4 for appearance to be nice.
Smelled really nice, dank hoppiness and sweetness from malts.
Tastes really nice as well. Just a touch more hops than malt in this very balanced IPA.
Mouthfeel felt a bit thin for me.
Overall, a very tasty, very drinkable IPA, wish I could get it regularly in Vermont.

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Photo of RobLivingstone
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Delicious. This was a true surprise to me, I was expecting a run of the mill ipa, something you could forget quickly, not at all. This beer is surprisingly delicious, and is a great ipa, I recommend this beer all day. It's more savory than bitter so its not a hopnut kinda beer but as a bitter hop lover myself, this was a different, refreshing surprise. Well worth the try.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours a deep golden yellow with nice white head that fades and laces nicely

S: First thing I get is the malt sweetness, followed immediately by tropical and citrus hoppy goodness.

T: Big citrus hop kick, a little almost tropical fruit like notes in there, all well balanced by malt sweetness. There's a bit of grapefruit bitterness on the finish that hangs around.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, very refreshing

O: I spend so much time trying new stuff that brews like this from right in my back yard often get ignored. Drinking them for the first time in a while is like sitting down with an old friend. Very tasty brew that hits the spot.

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Photo of FFreak
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a two month-old 12 oz bottle into a willi glass. It's a clear gold with slight orange color and a one finger tight head and minimal lacing. Beautiful floral and citrus notes on the aroma with just a touch of dank. Taste is of citrus, particularly orange, and malty sweetness, followed by a hint of dank. Mouth is perfect for the style. Overall, this is a great IPA. I wish I could get it easier where I'm at.

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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 ThickNStout
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Bottled 5/22/14. Served in a goblet.

Pours a clear, pale-yet-rich gold with just over two fingers of dense off-white froth. Trails of bubbles rise to the surface, without disturbing the healthy layer of head that remains throughout. Large sheets of lace cling to the goblet as I drink.

Bright, inviting aromas of oranges, mild pine, fresh cut grass and hints of cracker. This is what an IPA should smell like.

Taste is full of bitter citrusy goodness. Oranges, grapefruit, lemony rind, pinesap, a peppery spice character, grass, vague melon, some cracker and bready malts and a whisper of alcohol lingering in the background. More malts than the nose suggested but it's a nice counterpoint to the hops, which are clearly in the driver's seat.

Medium body with crisp carbonation that keeps it lively on the tongue without seeming too much. The citrusy hop bitterness lasts well into the finish but leaves room for more oranges, pine and faint bread.

I can see why Union Jack is held in such high esteem. Even at two months old this is an outstanding IPA that I would love to try directly from the bright tank one day. This has all the bitterness I like in the style without sacrificing balance and it both looks and smells fantastic to boot. Glad to have finally tried this and will definitely have it again.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a nonic pint.

Lovely fokkin' pour, that is. Copper color with with a nice lasting head that slowly dissipates and leaves some trailing lacing.

The aroma is not tops but will do: citrus and spice, a little grass and a bit of bread and cracker as well.

The taste is big an bold. Orange, candied fruit are first to hit my palate followed by a slow, building, spicy bitter note that finishes dry and lasts forever. That aftertaste, phew, I'm gobsmacked.

I love the mouthfeel on this brew, medium smooth but with a tingly, bubbly bit that you can feel on the lips and tongue. Outstanding.

Overall, really glad i got to try this beer and wish it was available to me on a regular basis. An outstanding IPA.

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Photo of RickS95
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little to distinguish it from other beers of similar style. It's a peach-colored beer that is fairly translucent. I got no head from the pour, only after swirling it around did I see much in the way of bubbles. Bright white color, but not the usual make up. Very uniform bubbles, no thick peaks and valleys. Pretty good retention and a thin lace left behind.

The scent of a good IPA never grows old. Orange rind and pine. Nothing more is needed.

Taste is similar. More malty on the palate than in the nose. Again, orange rind and pine are front and center, though I'm picking up some grapefruit as well.

It's a really clean IPA. It doesn't go overboard with the hops, though it's plenty bitter. The bitter lasts well into the finish, but doesn't overpower the taste buds. Medium bodied, despite the highish ABV, it doesn't really approach Imperial levels. A wet, sloppy finish.

It's a really nice example of the style. They did a classic and didn't overdo anything. Proportions of malts and hops are ideal. Makes for a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Radome
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

A - Color is a burnished gold with lots of orange. It is extremely clear. Moderately fluffy and thick white head. Strong lacing. A very attractive beer.

S - Hops dominate the aroma, with a mix of earthy and citrusy notes. The citrus is mostly grapefruit, but with only a bit of harsh "cattiness". Light bready malt is barely detectable behind the hops.

T - The balance goes to hops, with the same earthy/citrusy flavors to match the aromas. The malt behind it is bready and biscuity and just a bit sweet. The strong hops flavors fade into a dry, clean finish.

M - Medium body. Smooth, creamy carbonation. Moderate alcohol presence. High hops bitterness.

O - The overall impression of this beer is clean, hoppy and crisp, with enough malt sweetness to keep it from melting your tongue. The alcohol is evident but not obnoxious. I don't understand the name, since the beer is clearly in the American tradition, not British, but when a beer is this good, who cares what they call it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 5/29/14 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of pine resin
Head average (4 cm), white, creamy with rocks, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing good – reticulum of mostly small bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear
Flavor begins with pine, ends quickly; no alcohol, no diacetyl; ends with astringency
Palate medium, slightly oily, soft carbonation

An OK IPA, maybe a hint of malt.

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

12oz bottle (bottled 5/29/2014) into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear honey color w/ a gorgeous fluffy white 1-finger head that leaves some nice patchy lacing.

Aroma is mostly citrus and pine, some nice delicate floral notes too. A hint of caramel malt and some resin.

Taste is bright and citrusy with an undertone of bready caramel malt. Hints of pineapple and spice in there too. Nice balance, good complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, luxurious. Leaves a nice lingering bitter aftertaste.

This is a good solid go-to IPA; few flaws at all. It's just a touch on the malty side, but even that seems to give it a certain sophistication compared to the all-out hop bombs that have gained prevalence.

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