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: 5,885
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 436
Gots: 1,090 | 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: 5,885
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at The Perfect Pour (Columbia, Md.)

Gold/amber pour, slightly hazy. Modest head, tremendous hop aroma I love and expect in a proud American pale.

A certain sweetness and clarity to the taste of this, decent texture that I like (just a touch slick and gooey), tons of flavor in each sip, robust pine and hop flavors.

A solid, solid American pale, well above average and well crafted as most everything is at Firestone. A classic name, but also a classic brew. (484 characters)

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

A: snifter. orange-red copper in color with an off-white head. mild retention level. decent lacing.

S: big hoppy nose with some citrus and pine, very earthy. apples from the malts, some crystal malts in there.

T: nice well-balanced hop flavors all over this with a huge malt backbone. hops are more earthy with a slight fruitiness, while the malts are sweet yet subtle and accompany the malts very well.

M: medium-bodied. nice bite but mellows out really well. good carbonation level, that can be viewed as a little higher than normal.

D: I enjoyed this very much. Great IPA and very drinkable. (599 characters)

Photo of dqderrick
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Samuel Adams New Glass

Appearance - 4
Pours with 1/4 inch head. Head sticks around. Color is a nice clean gold color with a hint of red warmth.

Smell - 3.5
Slight hops smell... Chinook? I'm not really pulling much from the smell.

Taste - 4.5
Great IPA taste. Just enough hops to give it a kick but leaves me wanting more... and more. Nice, subtle sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Low carbonation feel; very smooth. Makes it hard to not keep the sips coming at regular intervals. Smooth.

Drinkability - 4.5
I could drink a 6-pack with little regret. Lends itself to the bitter side of IPA's but just a tad. Great beer to keep in stock in the fridge for your more discerning friends.

Comments - Great beer to always have on hand.
Keep this one coming. The price makes it easy to buy.

12oz bottle purchased at Pizza Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad, CA on Friday, September 19, 2008. Consumed on Saturday, September 20, 2008. (944 characters)

Photo of corey0212
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a few of these in a trade with barleywinefiend, and I'm sad to seem 'em go.

Pours a clear, bright coppery orange, one-finger white head fades relatively quickly, leaves behind patchy lacing. Smell is citrus-heavy, lots of juicy bitter grapefruit, tangerine, and a sweet caramel backdrop. Lot more pine flavor than you'd expect from the nose, big grapefruit flavor, soft tangerine notes....this just screams "IPA". Slightly sticky mouthfeel, nice lingering bitterness, nothing overpowering. This is just a very classically done American IPA, and if I were a left-coaster, I'd be drinking lots of this. Really tasty. (619 characters)

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled on 06/04/08) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a copper color with a tint of orange.

S: A big wallop of citrus and hops. The pungent smell lets you know that this is going to be a good one.

T: Bursting with citrus in the form of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple. Absolutely delicious. Very well balanced with the malts as well.

M: This brew coats the mouth with creamy hop oils.

D: A great IPA (possibly nearing the DIPA boundary). One of the best readily available IPA's out there. (533 characters)

Photo of drunkmonk
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (545 characters)

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

Cheers to solomon420 & tpd975 for each throwing this brew in as an extra in recent trades.

Pours with a thin head. Amber in color. Big pine hops smell. Taste is mostly the pine plus citrus hop flavor. A bit bitter like a good IPA should be IMO but the mouthfeel is smooth. A quality West Coast IPA. (300 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to BrewerB for giving me a chance to sample this beer. This is also the last beer from the package he sent, though I am still holding onto one of the Plinys to share with a friend.

A: Pours a clear light golden copper amber and topped with a frothy one inch white head. Head lingers for a bit but quickly fades into a thin cap and leaves behind minimal lace.

S: Juicy grapefruit with lots of fresh nuttiness and pine resin and sweet caramel maltiness. Well balanced and fresh. Fresh is good.

T/MF: Grapefruit orange zest with a woody coupling of pine and nuts, good amount of caramel maltiness as well. Really enjoy the balance this beer displays, toasty fresh and very juicy. Medium bodied and finishes pretty clean for an IPA, I almost think there is more malt bitterness in this beer than hop bitterness. Hop character is far more pronounced than the bitterness which is also very nice to see.

D: Very tasty, alcohol is hidden very well, taste is very fresh and balanced and rather refreshing for an IPA. Very good. (1,035 characters)

Photo of chrisafari
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: is clean hops, citrus, pine and subtle roasted malt.

Pours super-clear amber brown with small off-white head.

Flavor: begins with nice citrus and roasted malt. Finishes with a dry hoppiness.

I was disappointed with double barrel ale, so I was a little reluctant to try another beer from Firestone Walker. But, this beer proved me wrong. A good American India Pale Ale. (381 characters)

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

Body was murky, and had a dark golden color. Half an inch of white foam for a head. No carbonation to be seen in the murk. Thick sheetlike lace running down side.

A very nice floral hops aroma wafted up from the brew. Sweet malt aromas were mixed in an almost perfect balance. One of the finest smelling I have seen in the style.

A very bitter blend of light orange and thick biscuit flavors. A very mild pine presence in the back of the mouth. Nice blend, but less hop flavors than aroma indicates.

An average thickness. Beer clung on the edges, but carbonation was a bit weak.

A very nice brew. Great with a plate of buffalo wings. This one is a should try if you like the style. Worth trying to taste if it's not in your area. (734 characters)

Photo of 0110x011
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a minimal head and thin, stringy lacing. Citrus and pine on the nose, backed by caramel and some toasty breadyness. Hops hit first (as they should), with tangerine, lemon, and pine, followed suit by the caramel and bread from the malts. Very well balanced, a nice hop profile that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Finishes a bit dry for my taste, but drinkability is high. Damn tasty; this one will definitely be added to my regular rotation. (465 characters)

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. (702 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strange name for an AIPA, cheers to Wasatch for this one!

Pours an effervescent honey with 1 finger of beige head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Piney & citrussy

T: Grapefruit, breadyness & tangerines up front. leafy hops & pineyness dominate as this warms, plus just a whisper of booze, honey malts & apricots. Finishes piney with a touch of breadyness, earthy hops & pineapple

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, plus great balance

Drinks easy for the style & ABV, a good AIPA that verges on the edge of greatness (529 characters)

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

Appearance: This one pours a very clear, amber color. The head is vanilla colored and stands a slight one finger tall. Retention was good though lacing was slight.

Smell: The nose is very hoppy and pretty impressive. The hop profile is excellent, whatever it is. There's plenty of pine oozing off of this one. Citrus grapefruit and mango are notable and add some sweetness. Malts (mostly caramel) are present and seem to provide some balance and support, as well as more sweetness. It lacks complexity, but more than makes up for it with quality. Really nice smelling beer.

Taste: Hops kick it off with a very piney, bitter flavor. There's a hint of some citric notes there. I'm no expert on hop identification, so you'll have to deal with the descriptions. Really nice hop flavor. Citrusy sweet grapefruit, mango and pineapple really bring it to life and add some zeal and sweetness. Caramel malts are nicely done here. They provide just enough balance without being overdone. It finishes sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a nice, smooth feel. Not quite creamy, but smooth nonetheless. Carbonation is well done. Drinkability is very high for me personally. This is a really nice IPA and 7.5% abv is well within my sessionability level.

Union Jack's a hell of a nice IPA. These west coast guys really know how to nail IPAs. Too bad Firestone isn't distributed in Ohio anymore. This would be a staple in my fridge if it were. Too damn bad.... (1,481 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a West Coast IPA and a good one at that.

Light Amber to dark gold in color with a really nice 2 ½ (or 3) finger head that had some nice substance. Some decent lacing. Beer had only the slightest haze and showed almost no carbonation. A good looking IPA.

Aroma was big on the citrus & grapefruit notes. Very fresh and pleasing. I also noticed that it maintained its punch while you drank the entire beer. Some others have their aroma fade quite quickly.

Big bold grapefruit hop flavor is showcased. However there is a nice balance and a subtle sweetness that counteracts the assertive hops. A nice spiciness is always just beneath the surface and always adding complexity to the flavor. As the beers warms slightly you can really detect a nice caramel flavor with some cracker notes and grain to go along with it. Lots going on here.

Medium mouth feel with respect to thickness, but big mouth feel based on flavor and hop bitterness. Slightly creamy and smooth.

Extremely drinkable in my book. One that leaves you wanting for more. Glad I did have 2 in my fridge. (1,084 characters)

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

Bottle from BrewerB in a trade - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: An orange-golden body with a rocky, rough-looking white head with great retention. The slightest amount of haze, though by and large it's a fairly clear brew. Minimal carbonation.
Lacing isn't great, but a few pockets and islands are left behind.

Aroma: Huge grapefruit, pineapple, orange zest notes, a lot of higher floral hop ester notes, and some lightly roasted caramal and simple, wholesome biscuity sweetness.

Taste: Bitterness, but lots of balancing, roasted sweetness and biscuity malt. Sweet grapefruit and orange zest, more floral notes, but also some lightly spicy and herbal hop overtones. Very smooth, nothing coarse or rough. Well made.

Mouthfeel: Small to medium bubbled, fluffy and even, medium thickness and medium bodied, with some nice hop oils to add to the smoothness.

Drinkability: Great balance in this one, truly. Has plenty of bitterness but plenty of great sweetness and some fine hop notes to even everything out. A great overall beer, and highly recommended. (1,093 characters)

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! (1,424 characters)

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

fartingdog sent me one of these recently. thanks dave!

12oz bottle. sampled august 4/08.

pours crystal clear deep golden orange with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. biscuit and bread. bit of cracker. powdery citrus hops. grapefruit, orange, tangerine. light alcohol. caramel. bit of honey.

taste is great. medium-high bitterness level. slightly resiny hops. grapefruit and pine. orange and a bit of apricot. biscuit and cracker. bit of rye bread. light caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is great. just under medium carbonation level. medium body. the hops give this one a nice drying finish too.

drinkability is great. great balance. nice malt and hop depth. a good example of the style. (756 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 FLUID OUNCE/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to errantnight for including this in our trade!

Poured a medium, orangey-amber with a two-finger, off white, bubbly, sea foam head that faded to a thin, resilient cap of froth. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was hoppy, yet not as potent as I anticipated. Citrusy, with grapefruit coming through strongest. Somewhat powdery and dry.

The taste was hoppy and very fruity. Some caramel malt sweetness came through up front before the hops took over. Spicy, citrusy hops. Tons of grapefruit flavor in the center. Orange peel was apparent as well, along with a touch of tropical fruitiness. The finish was clean, dry and bitter, with noticeable pine and grapefruit flavors.

The mouthfeel was on the thinner side for the style with a moderate amount of carbonation. Not as creamy or smooth as anticipated.

Drinkability was good. This was a well balanced, crisp and snappy IPA that had enough flavor to hold my interest, yet was light and clean enough to keep me coming back for more. The 7.5% ABV was also very well masked.

Overall, this beer was a bit of a disappointment. I expected more of everything (i.e. aroma, body and flavor) from this West Coast IPA. Maybe this is a hoppier version of a British IPA (as the label implies) versus a more typical example of an American IPA. (1,379 characters)

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

Big thanks to fartingdog for hooking us up with this one, enjoyed with biegaman and grub on the patio with some euchre.

Pours a slightly hazed orange, white white head forms, drops a ton of lace, solid ring. Smell is great, floral, grapefruit, oranges, caramel, bread, perfumy, lots of citrus goodness, very well rounded. Taste is even better, caramel, cake, sugar, jasmine, orange and tangerine, bit of yeast, some fruit, floral, nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very enjoyable, nice tight flavours, very balanced, definitely a good one. Thanks Dave! (598 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice bright golden amber color with a nice head that left a good amount of lacing. This brew is very clear.

S- Smells mostly of citrus and pine with plenty of earthy caramel malt as well. A nice balance while still being really hoppy. Smell is pretty bold.

T- This one follows the nose. Lots of citrus hops right up front. Nice sweet malt provides a wonderful sweet malty backbone. Full in flavor with great balance.

M- Medium in body, good carbonation and nice and crisp.

D- Very well balanced, could drink this all day long. (541 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks RblWthACoz for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard goblet. This beer pours a clean and clear honey brown with a sticky, white head that left lacing down the sides of the glass. This is a really pretty beer. The aroma is west coast hops with just a bit of citrus coming out, some spiciness and just a bit of pine. Also just a bit of grass. The taste is awesome. It's really a perfect balance of hops and the malt backbone. The hop bite is right up front with big piney hops and a slight kiss of orange. The sweet malt comes out at the very finish of the beer. This is really good. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, while having enough body to hold such a big taste. This is my first experience with Firestone and it makes me understand why this brewery gets such respect from Beer Geeks. (807 characters)

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

Pours a clear golden amber with 2+ fingers of frothy off-white head. Great retention and good sticky lacing. Smells of citrus, bread, caramel, and spicy hops and pine. Taste starts off with a nice refreshing citrus flavor of grapefruit and orange rind followed by a good caramel and bread backbone with a touch of peppercorn. Finish is lightly of spruce pine and floral hops. Medium in body but a little watery in the back end. Good carbonation. Smooth and citrusy with a solid malt flavor and a bit of bitterness in the finish. A very solid IPA that packs in lots of hop flavors but isn't as bitter as some others. The alcohol is well hidden and the flavors leave the beer quite irresistible. (693 characters)

Photo of johnd513
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to barleywinefiend for this one.
This one poured a nice clean golden color with little head that disappeared quickly. The nose is very hoppy on this one like any good IPA. The taste is citrus with some piny taste to it. A bit of a hot alcohol taste but very drinkable for an IPA. Definitely worth a try. (311 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance> lively, dark honey color, no head. decent lacing.
Smell> hops and citrus, nice.
Taste> Average AmIPA. Lacks complexity of some of it's competitors. Start to finish happens too fast: sip-hops-tiny hang-done.
Mouthfeel>Surprisingly creamy mouth for its style. I liked that.
Drinkabilty> so-so. I'd drink it again if someone handed me one, but I'd probably go for a different one if I was in the beer store. (431 characters)

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