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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1,217 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,891
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,092 | FT: 12
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: 1,217 | Hads: 5,891
Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy gold with 1 1/2 fingers of poofy eggshell white head. This shrinks down into a thin yet still sturdy looking layer of retention that throws a big ole' latticework of lace up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is exceedingly floral smelling with a piney edge to it and some tingling spice coming out as well. This is balanced out by a tangy mix of citrus and caramel in the background. Solid West Coast aroma here.

The taste is floral, resinous, and spicy hops that are perfectly balanced by a silky and juicy feeling backbone of grapefruit, caramel, and bread. Finishes with a nice dry lingering bitterness and some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an unbelievably smooth, creamy, and silky feel to the carbonation. I mean this stuff went down so easily and fast, I almost threw another in the fridge to make sure that I got a full handle on this for the review. Fantastic drinkibility on this one!

Wow! Talk about an underrated IPA! This was great stuff that I'm just not seeing enough talk about. Maybe if it had better distribution compared to some of Firestone Walker's other staple offerings? Anyway, I mightily enjoyed this and look forward to future bottles. (1,241 characters)

Photo of bifrostguard
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of far333
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear pale orange colored with a beige wispy head that rises up slightly and settles down quickly, leaving a ring of lacey bubbles around the top of the glass.

Bright and inviting aroma of citrusy hops, lots of lemon and tangerine, some hints of grapefruit rind.

Flavor is mouth puckering hoppy goodness right upfront. Some slightly sweet malt fruitiness rides beneath, but there is definitely a strong punch of orange rind, resiny pine bitter, and a lemon zest finish with a hot cinnamon linger.

Even mouthfeel, just a tad slick with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable and warming, great selection from barleywinefiend. Thanks! (633 characters)

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

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 12/15/08.

A - Poured a clear golden amber-toned body with modest amount of carbonation and almost one finger of white head that quickly receded to a patchy film but left nice lacing around the glass.

S - Aroma is big on citrus hops with hints of grapefruit and orange, while the malt is sweet and caramely. There's alsot a smidgen of alcohol in the nose.

T - Opens with a blast of juicy citrus hops complemented by plenty of sweet caramel malt. A piney hop character emerges in the backend that is supported by some biscuity malt.

M - Medium body with oily texture and pretty smooth, soft mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation on the tongue. Finish is definitely hoppy, depositing quite a lot of bitterness on the tongue.

D - This IPA has a lot of West Coast in it, especially the big citrusy flavor. I wouldn't rank it with the big boys like Pliny or Dorado, but it's solid and sure to please the hopheads. (953 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rayjay for the bottle.
Pours a slightly hazy orange/gold. Lots of sticky lacing and a wispy white head.
Smells very hoppy, lots of grassy, piney, almost wheaty notes.
Tastes mildly sweet, rich malts come through and linger through the finish. Hops compete well with the malt with lots of grass, pine and some juicy citrus as well.
Very smooth and mildly carbonated. This is very juicy and rich. (405 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to 0110x011 for this one in the LNBA BIF. One of my most wanted west coast beers!

A-Golden kissed copper with a thin, whispy off-white head, left minimal lace.

S-A west coast hop barrage. Sweet fruits with peaches, mango and citrus with a spicy piney kick too. Well supported by lightly roasted, caramel malt.

T-West coast hop kick in the teeth with all that fruit and spice swinging around bashing into each other. Malt backbone is there helping smooth things out but the hops that are the star of this show.

M-Medium-light body with nice long lasting hop bitterness.

D-Excellent, bargain priced, high quality, west coast IPA. This one is tough to beat for the cost. Glad I have another one of these waiting for enjoying. (736 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.05/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear golden orange with a thin head. Offers little retention and some random lacing.

Smell is citrusy sweet. Hops and sweet malts intermingle and are a bit confusing. Once you pick one to focus upon things improve, yet I found myself seeking a rather unfamiliar, and seemingly unnatural, odor. Surely just the combination is unfamiliar. Well agitated the beer is rather hoppy, yet this profile plays second fiddle overall.

Taste is similar to the nose; slightly sweet, slightly odd, yet oddly compelling. A viscous mouthfeel tells me that the malts and the hop oils are working together. Lots of orange citrus, and the hops are subdued and buried beneath, or perhaps contibuting to the buttery malts. A sneaky IPA that is probably trying to snatch my wallet. I won't let it happen! In the end the hops are ruined by the 'simple sugar' sweetness of the beer. I find this beer unbalanced and overly sweet for an IPA, particularly given the nature of the malt structure.

Oddly, I've had this on tap on one occassion prior and I recall a very different beer. This one actually reminds me of their IPA Nectar...

Edit....Had on tap again in May '09 and must restate that the draft is a better, and dare I say, a different beer. I'll take the draft. (1,296 characters)

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, and these were the results:

Nice fluffy one finger white head graced this slightly cloudy pale amber ale. Rings of lacing were left on the glass as the chugging commenced - nice!

The aroma was of a fruit forward chardonnay. Citrus and floral scents were immediately detectable, along with a sweeter malt characteristic and alcohol.

The taste was honestly, a bit of let down compared to the aroma. The sweeter characteristics were muted; I was not expecting that from this IPA; it was more of a hoppy citrus and slight grapefruit flavor, all in all, a little too much on the hops part that left the flavor unbalanced.

There is a lingering bitterness on the tounge that isn't like most other IPA's - instead of being pleasant, this one was a little too bitter. It did however, have nice carbonation that lightened it up a bit.

I wouldn't say this is a sessionable beer because at 7.5% abv, it might takes it toll on you if you choose to pound these away all night. It's a little heavy on the palate and the hoppy characteristics made it difficult for me to have more than just one. I would prefer their Double Barrel ale to this anyday. (1,180 characters)

Photo of JBogan
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking bright clear gold with a small white head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of hops, with a citrus bite

Tasted along the same lines as the smell. Piney hops are the first thing that you notice, but in the background there is that citrus edge. Not especially complex but enjoyable anyways. I like the fact that they didn't go over the top with the hops as some other beers seem to be. This one is nicely balanced.

Good mouthfeel. Slightly thin, but good carbonation to liven things up.

Another fine offering from Firestone. This one reminded me of their pale ale, but with a hoppier presence. Nicely done. (629 characters)

Photo of popery
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent IPA, just a notch below a DIPA. The beer looks quite good, a nice bright caramel with a sticky white head. The nose is ctiric and spciy with hops. From the moment, that this beer gets near your nose, you know that hops are going to be the main attraction here. The taste adds some nice hop pine flavors and malty sweetness. This beer has an excellent feel as a big and excellent IPA. It's thick and resinous. The carbonation is prickly and melds well with the sharply bitter hop notes. It's a fairly drinkable IPA, more for maintaining my interest than for my desire to drink a dozen of them. (613 characters)

Photo of sleazo
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pale bronze. Small head rises when agitated. Nice cap though.

S_big citric hops with tangerine shining through. Caramel malt is detectable as well.

T_nicely bitter throughout. Caramel sticky malt in the beginning. Black pepper notes. Vague fruitiness from the yeast. Agood dose of tangerine oil really comes out in the aftertaste.

M_syrupy but with an aggressive carbonation to make to make it succeed.

D_A well made IPA. (428 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This came as an extra from a recent trade with EinWeizenbitte. Thanks again, man!

Below is a summary of notes taken last Friday night.

Poured a clear yellow with a slightly off-white, creamy head that didn't stay long.

Smelled of grapefruits and various citrus flavors. Taste was slightly bitter throughout and much like the nose. Light bodied, medium flavored.

Highly drinkable and worth a try! (402 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle from Einweizenbitte-a fantastic extra! Thanks for the opportunity.

A-Orange golden color with some chill haze. Nice white lacing that settlesafter a 2 inch head.
S-Grapefuit, tangerines, sweet citrus, a little bit of pine smell. Citrus is slightly sweet scent. Smells great
T-More pine in taste but upfront hops with citrus, lingering pine on back of tongue on swallow. A little bit harsh on back because of the pine resin flavor-too much chinook? Sweet malt is balanced while drinking with some mild toffee flavor
M-Med in mouth, good carbo, slightly oily and taste of resin on back of mouth
D-The back harshness drops this from a 4.5 to a 4 but overall very nice and I would drink another one. (710 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks out to largadeer for a couple of bottles of this IPA.

This is a nice beer. One of the handful of IPAs I've tried that are clean, crips, without any of the fancy footwork that have come to accompany some of this class. Drinkability is off the charts; I'll finish this one in about half the time it typically takes me to down a brew. The beer is very nicely balanced &, were this in my area, I could easily see it becoming a staple both for myself & my "non-craft" friends who would appreciate its approachability. (521 characters)

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

12oz bottle

thanks Soloman420!

Pours a beautiful shade of orange with a small, sticky white head that notches down the entire glass. This beers absolutely screams quality. Crisp, fresh, clean hop aromas and flavors, peppery spice, bright citrus grassy-ness and a subtle note of carrot as well. Very well balance by a solid malty backbone. No alcohol burn but dangerously drinkable for 7.5%. Dare i say even sessionable? I highly recommend this beer to any IPA fan/hophead, or just someone in search of a beer that will wow them in appearance and just overall quality. (569 characters)

Photo of mj001jk
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange color with white foam that forms a soapy surface fairly quickly with good lacing.

Fresh and crisp citrus nose with some tropical fruit and evergreen components, it is bright and alive and begs to be drunk. Don't we all...

Taste is balanced and on the light side, it is surprisingly light for such high ABV but some of the heat can be felt towards the finish. It is very well balanced with primarily the hops, light grains and very little malt character. It is almost like a smaller version of the Russian River IPA or Drake's IPA, but it certainly holds its own when you do not want to swim in an over-the-top hop monster.

Very nicely balanced, the citrus and tropical fruit linger on the palate alongside with hints of caramel and I beg for more! (766 characters)

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

The body of this beer almost glows as light shoots through it making it a orange with honey tone. Head is off white and stands at an inch and a half but fades fast leaving a bit of lace. Nose has a consistant hop based feel with some citrus and woodsy feel. Enters the mouth with crisp big citrus blast. Hops are bursting with juicy orange rind and grapefruit pulp tones. Malt gives some balance but still leaves the hops on the forfront. Mouthfeel is bathed in crisp lushious hops, oh so juicy. This is a very drinkable beer, and quite refreshing. 7.5% hides well. A real sleeper of an IPA. (591 characters)

Photo of leif86
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Clear copper body with an offwhite head that doesn't last very long but departs some good lacing.

S: Definite piney aroma, and some fruit too, from the hops. A liittle malty (caramel)

T: Piney, a little ester, some maltiness and then BAM... grapefruit at the end.

M: Nice and sticky. Not too much like I'd associate with the Dogfish IPAs. This is done right.

D: I've been neglecting this review because I've been enjoying just sipping on this nice brew. It's simple, nothing blows you away but I want to keep going back for more. (536 characters)

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

A-Golden color...whisp of a head...exactly how I like it.

S-Outstanding...hops lend several dimensions....#1-sweet fruits (ripe peaches, nectarines, plums, oranges and grapefuit)...#2-some tropical fruits as well (pinneaple, papaya)....#3- a nice piney element is also noticable. Meanwhile this also has a toasted caramel like maltiness....it all blends wonderfully...

T-Good bitterness but also some real nice hop flavors...the pine notes lead the way followed by the juicy citrus...grapefruit emerges as the dominant fruit...malts are hidden and not noticeable in the taste.

M-Definitely a regular IPA in feel....never feels "big" or "heavy"...A real nice splash of unsweetened grapefruit bitterness on the finish of this one..

D-High quality IPA. Many layers to the aroma and taste...relatively complex for the style...well done...

Thanks to the wolfman for the extra treat.. (883 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared at a brew tasting.

A - Golden light head, dissipates moderately leaving a decent trail of lacing.

S - Alcohol, malts, and flowers.

T - Malts, flowers, and alcohol.

M - Tangy and sweet. Needs more bittering hops.

D - Good, but there is little balance in the beer and could age a little longer. (304 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (709 characters)

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

thanks to barleywinefiend for this via trade!

A - nice amber orange color, absolutely crystal clear, nice white head
S - light citric hop / bitter hop notes, caramel malts
T - yup, all about the american IPA citric hops here.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated
D - quaffed quite nicely over dinner. Not so over the top to be distracting, nice enough to be complimentary and easy to have a couple of. (403 characters)

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. (916 characters)

Photo of Silenus89
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A. Clear amber in color with a minimal head that recedes

S. Grapefruit and pine hops, malt backbone to it

T. Good balance of pine hops and grapfruit with that nice malt backbone appearing. Perhaps a hint of honey

MF. Good carbonation to it. Smooth and nice bitter finish

D. Very drinkable. this is a fine IPA i will be getting again perhaps a staple along side Stone IPA (413 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden pale amber color with a big foamy white head that resists fading, a bunch of lacing in it's wake. The smell is aggressive and intensely floral and piny. The mouth feel follows, medium bodied with a hugely tangy piny hop character. Full flavored, the piny west coast hop is the main player and the hop lingers really well. The 7.5% ABV is well hidden, but this is by far a hugely sturdy IPA that is seriously "bringing it". Highly recommended. (457 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.