1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,919 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,919
Reviews: 1,146
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 322
Gots: 504 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 08-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,919 | Reviews: 1,146 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Maria's in Chicago during a Firestone Walker tasting...

Arrives dank and hoppy with loads of citrus and pine on the nose... Nice aromas here with a big dose of those hops..

Long bitter citrusy hoppy flavors abound with this brew... It's eminently drinkable with a big load of hops that set me up for the tasting tonight...

I liked this brew so much more on tap than in the bottle... The bottle I reviewed must have been aged beyond its prime...

An awesome brew...

Tilley4, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ely2000k
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Some good head, good lacing as it goes down. Kinda is the color of Indian Summer. Appetizing.

S- Strong smell of hops, piney and sprucey smelling. Some faint hints of floral and slight citrus notes.

T- Starts malty, ends with a swift kick of hops. Great blend of malt and hops. Heavy hop head beer, which is right up my alley.

M- Full bodied, good carbonation. Goes down well despite the higher alcohol content.

O- I like it a lot. Great hoppy IPA.

ely2000k, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Union Jack pours a pale amber with great clarity and a dense the cap. The head slowly falls to a patchwork quilt and leaves a good amount of lace.

In a land of ever more over the top IPAs, Firestone's strikes me as one of the tamer members of the style. Pine, citrus and pepper dominate, with the pine winning out in the end. Malts take a back seat, but sneak through with a bit of toasted grain and sweetbread. The bitterness lingers through the finish. Alcohol adds a touch of warmth. A medium body is slightly puckering and has the right amount of fizz for my tastes.

Overall, this is a nice IPA. It has a nice hop profile and isn't over-the-top bitter.

Rayek, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single from Total Wine in Reno. At last I get one of these to myself, unshared by the unworthy at tastings! Poured into my Pier 1 cheap-o wine glass.

The (very tough to see) bottled on date seems to read 8/17/11, which would make this pretty fresh.

A. Crystal clear orange-copper. Some active bubbles, a very short, yet lacy, head that doesn't cover the entire beer.

S. Whole lotta malt going on here, sticky, sugar-laden crystal, slick and full. The hops come in strong too, in cleanup mode. Typical West Coast grapefruit and pine resin, in that order. There is a sharpness to the nose that makes me suspect alcohol... let this warm up and the hops really begin to shimmy.

T. Well, I needn't have worried. The hops genuinely assert themselves in the flavor; producing a bitter fruity blast that hath charms to sooth the wild malt. Loads of IBUs here, apparently this was dry hopped as many times as Gingrich has been married. End result is a mighty big, mighty tasty IPA that really, honestly, should be called a Double IPA. There is really nothing little about Union Jack. The sweet malt heft is there, the brightening booze is there, the aggressive hops are there. Let's quit raising the bar on the lowly IPA to absurd heights.

M / O. Sharp carbonation and big hop flavor makes this a sipper. It all works well, and if you'r e in the mood for a big pants West Coast IPA (DIPA...) grab a Union Jack. I'm pretty sure this is Dreadnaught's baby brother. Tasty stuff!

kkipple, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of iadler
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Map Room. Served in a tulip.

A- Pours a translucent sunset orange with a one finger head that leaves sheets of lacing behind. A very good looking beer.

S- Fresh citrus with oranges and lemons, floral hops. caramel malt and some pine.

T- Juicy citrus hops are big in the taste too with oranges and lemons. There is some tropical hop presence with pineapple and a hint of a mango. Pine and grass linger in the aftertaste with some caramel malt.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Finishes dry and bitter. The ABV is hidden very well.

O- A really good IPA that I've overlooked for quite some time. Firestone has impressed me a lot from what I've tried. A well balanced IPA to seek out.

iadler, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of McD0uche
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle of Union Jack into a pint glass:

A: A burnt orange color with good density. A strong, foamy head appeared about two fingers thick, with excellent retention. Very pronounced lacing with residual copper bubbles after the head subsides.

S: Strong, appealing hops and citrus notes.

T: Similar to the smell; hops and citrus notes define the flavor. Grapefruit, orange, maybe a hint of pine. Good malt flavor. A bitter aftertaste lingers. A touch sweet.

M: Melts on the tongue, with medium carbonation that helps radiate the flavor through the mouth. Ends on a dry note, which is outstanding, IMO.

O: This beer is downright spectacular. Top marks all around.

McD0uche, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Kadonny
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into a nonic pint glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A medium orange color with a one finger just off white head. Nice full sticky glass lacing.

S: Hops a plenty with citrus notes of orange, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit coupled with some nice pine notes. Caramel sweetness is picked up too.

T: Citrus starts off with orange, tangerine, pineapple, some grassy notes that leads into the hefty caramel sweetness. Heavier hops with pine flavors come in to take over the sweetness and finish the beer with decent bitterness. Flavor lingers.

M: Medium, full, prickly, coating, not much alcohol and nice carbonation. Real nice feeling beer with a nice bitter finish.

O: This is a top IPA, no questions asked. So damn good with the huge west coast style. I'd drink it anytime, anywhere.

So FW is finally coming to PA and this is the first time I have seen this on draft. Did is disappoint? No way, what a great, great, prototypical west coast IPA that stands with the best.

Kadonny, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden amber color with dense cap of white froth, good lacing. Scent is fruity and floral, citrus and splashes of pine before a sweet, biscuty malt backbone presents itself. taste leads with a clean and crisp sweet lemon flavor, solidly bitter with some pine resin notes, sweet and clean biscuity malt backbone. Medium bodied, lightly oily and smooth. A decent IPA, a touch sweet.

rfgetz, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of denver10
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange firey golden with a white head. Aroma is piney, some citrus and its rind, and a nice malt foundation that offers some bread and light toffee. Flavor follows suit. A crisp, medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, very good IPA. One to return to for sure.

denver10, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of NoHipTee
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delightful surprise. Taking a chance on this beer proved to be a pleasant experience. My only regret if not having bought a six pack.

Appearance is as expected. A moderately small head that has very little lacing.

Smell is citrus with pine hints.

Taste is a surprising hoppy bite with fruity tones. There is little bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel is smooth drinkable feel.

Overall a very good beer. Jumps straight into my top 5 IPAs.

NoHipTee, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of kzoobrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to FosterJM for the bottle. Cheers James!

Absolutely gorgeous beer. The body is a bright, glowing orange. Clean and clear body void of any sediment or haze. A fluffy bone white head is perched atop. Wonderful retention, the foam works its way back slowly leaving gobs lacing clinging to the walls of the glass. A moderate cap hangs around for the duration. This is what an IPA should look like.

The aroma gets right to the point, and the point seems to be the hops. Firestone Walker goes heavy on the citrus and I am not complaining. Grapefruit and tangerine in the forefront backed up by slight floral aromas. Soft warm maltiness is not easily noticed provides a nice compliment to the hop heavy front end.

The flavor begin and an extension of the aroma, very similar characteristics can be noted. The hop flavor leans more towards the sweet side of the citrus, slight pithy qualities lie just behind. There is a slight resiny bitterness, just enough to help keep the C hops in check. The back end is where the flavor begins to move away from the nose. The flavor is displaying more malt characteristics than the nose. Subtle bready malt and a touch of caramel provide a please back bone.

Medium bodied IPA. The carbonation is moderate, the texture is a but more creamy than expected. There is a little bit of chewiness there, this is not something I expect to find in an IPA but it works well. The finish is not bone dry, but is appropriately dry for the style. A pleasant citrus flavor lingers on the tongue.

Very impressive beer. Growing up in Michigan, cutting my craft teeth on Bell's, it can often be hard for me to admit to liking an IPA more than Two Hearted. Union Jack is making that a bit more difficult at the moment. These two beers have their similarities, it is not a surprise I enjoy both so much. The balance, the assertive citrus flavor from the hops and the absurd drinkability make both hard to beat. Luckily, or unfortunately, for me I do not have to choose between the two. When and if Firestone makes their way to The Great Beer State my decisions may be a bit more difficult. Tremendous beer, one to seek out.

kzoobrew, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of DCon
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 6-pack of this from Albertsons Grocery in Los Angeles, CA for $11.99. Grabbed one of the 12 FL OZ deep red bottles with a plain background & label and poured into my 0,4l New Belgium Oversized Snifter Glass. No freshness date on the bottle. (Enjoyed during Game 1 of the World Series- STL vs. TX.)

Aroma- Has a grassy and citrus hop aroma that is very nice! The may be some sweetness from the malt in the background but not sure, will have to get back to you on that one... A hint of alcohol is found but not worried about this either. Great American IPA aroma!

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that has good retention. Has a copper body thats clarity is perfectly clear. Thick lacing is left afterwards.

Flavor- Great amount of pine starts of this tasting and has a high amount of bitterness at the end. Very clean though. Doesn't ever overpower the mouth, just excites it for more.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Good bite throughout and a distinct citrus and hop taste left on the palate.

Overall Impression- Very impressed with this IPA! I'm a huge fan of the Double Jack by Firestone and am glad this one turns out similar except without all the ABV's. I would definitely go for this one again if available... Sucks we can't get many of these Firestone's in MO.

DCon, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Originally rated this 4.00 - 4.00 - 4.50 - 4.50 - 4.00 on Oct. 20, 2011.
Re-rated this - 4.25 - 4.25 - 4.50 - 4.50 - 4.25 on Sept. 26, 2013.

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at Blind Lady Ale House in San Diego, Calif. Color was orangeish apple juice. Came with more than inch of head that took awhile to come down. Lots of lacing early, that slowly dropped off. The film on the sides were spread out through the finish.

Smelled citrusy and piney, but not hoppy at all. Lemon, orange and grapefruit seemed to each have a say in the nose.

Tasted of smooth, citrus hops along with some sweet, floral hops. Surprisingly not too bitter.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Clean and crisp.

I’ve had this many times, but had yet to rate it. It seemed to be a bit high for my liking, but maybe that’s just me being a Firestone homer. Either way, a clean and crisp IPA that goes down smooth.

BucannonXC5, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown, stubby bottle that is capped. Pours out a golden yellow with a pillow fluffy white head that lasts. Not as many bubbles coming up to the top with this one. Smell is amazing! Tons of citrus and grassy hops coming through. Grapefruit and lemon are more up front.

Taste is all hops. Again, that dry drinkability comes through and leaves you wanting more. Lemon, orange, spice, moss and some real dank notes make this one very complex IPA.

Once again, I am very impressed with a FW beer. Precise and on point are the best way I can describe their brews.

CharlesRiver, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of kawilliams81
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A- Golden in color with creamy off-white head and a ton of lacing that stays on the glass.

S- Semi-sweet malts, pine resin, citrus and more floral hops.

T- Pine bitterness and sweet malts, followed by nice citrus notes.

M- Medium to light body, smooth with some creaminess to it. Lighter carbonation.

O- Awesome ipa! This is the first chance I have had to try this beer and this will be one of my few go to ipa's from there on out!

kawilliams81, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - sixer from ballard market. about 5 weeks old

appearance: served in tyranena pint - glowing orange body, frothy
white head with sticky lace

smell: fresh citrus, grassy, grapefruit zest

taste: the best substitute for two hearted that I can find - great IPA, reasonably priced and available in a sixer. Fresh citrus, sugary orange peel, grapefruit zest, pine resin, light bitterness, tropical fruit. real nice.

mouthfeel: medium-light body, well hopped and not overly bitter

overall: solid solid stuff

dirtylou, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of eclaycamp
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant clear orange amber with a small frothy head made up of complex tiny bubbles. Lacing sings as it sticks to the sides of the glass. This is what a beer, especially an IPA, should look like. The first whiff of Union Jack yields a tantalizingly complex aroma of fresh mango and tangy pineapple. This is accentuated by a light grassy pine somewhere off in the background. The first taste is sublime. Sweet candy malt hits the palate first, before being washed away by perfect bitterness. As the palate acclimates the beer becomes almost juicy, like you are biting into ripe piece of citrus, again I think of mango, pineapple, and grapefruit. Lots of that heavy-duty lupulin taste hangs out in the middle of the beer, the ones that only the really great IPAs seem to capture. Mouthfeel has medium carbonation, and isn’t watery at all, though it is almost slightly creamy. Despite the initial wave of sweetness up front, Union Jack leaves the palate dry and begging for more.

eclaycamp, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
2.33/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a Miller Lite glass at the 9-0 Bar in South Central Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half-finger pathetic head of fair cream, decent thickness, and awful retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow-copper.

Sm: Bittering hops. That's it. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Bittering hops are present on the climax over top a standard barley foundation. Poorly balanced but decently built.

Mf: Coarse, sharp, and wet. A touch watery (the kiss of death in my reviews).

Dr: The high ABV comes through far more than it should. It's watery and low quality. I won't have it again on draught, but I guess I'd try a bottle of it, hoping it were less watery.

kojevergas, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly clear golden amber beer with a good two finger shock white head reminiscent of sea foam on top. A decent amount of lacing sticks around as the head dissapates. The aroma is of big northwest hops that scream grapefruit citrus and pine. A small bread malt backbone to it rounds it out. One of the best smelling beers I've put my nose to.

A huge smacking of hops is the name of the game here. They are bold and intense in the grapefruit citrus and pine hop department. The touch of sweet from citrus hits the tongue first, followed by a hammer-like hit of bitterness from a combination of pine and grapefruit hops. The hops dance around the palate uninhibited, lingering in the finish and aftertaste. A bread-like malt is there briefly, adding balance and depth to the onslaught of hop flavor. A citrus undertone swirls around the bitterness and malts, creating an ultimately satisfying beer all around. A very small twinge of alcohol permeates the intensity of the other flavors, but it is so minute that it gets forgotten easily. The mouthfeel is almost creamy, but gritty, finishing bone-dry. This is a fantastic IPA, one that I would always have in my fridge when I start craving hops, or just a really well done IPA. Great stuff.

chodinheaven, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of HopHeadRyan
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clear golden amber with quickly fading head. Excellent lacing.

S - Beautiful pungent candied citrus, pine, and tropical notes

T - Matching the aroma spot on. A complex hop explosion. This tastes like "hop juice". Tangy, bitter, sweet, floral, citrus, a wonderful experience.

M - Medium bodied but more toward the light end. A slight creaminess balanced by effervescent carbonation.

Overall - The bitterness hangs around in a way that I'm not crazy about. Kind of a little too dry and astringent. Could be balanced a little more, but very very good. The 7.5 is hidden well for something that blurs the lines b/w a single and double ipa. Does not top my favorite AIPA though : )

One of my new favorites. I would happy to have this on hand at all times : ) Definitely try it. I would like to have it on-tap.

Cheers

HopHeadRyan, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Beasticles
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 6 pack of the Jack. First encounter with this brew.

A - Pours a crystal clear honey amber color with a 1.5 finger fluffy off-white head.

S - Smells strong with grapefruit, pineapple and pine (tree). Heavy on the citrus. Muy bien.

T - Just a bit of bready flavor up front, quickly overtaken by grapefruit and floral notes. Lingering bitterness that's not overpowering. Hoppy and crisp.

M - Feels light with next to zero stickiness.

O - You can certainly feel the 7.5% alcohol, but its buried well in a stampede of raging flavor. Wish it was around 5% so I could drink a billion at a time. Solid drank.

Beasticles, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Tucquan
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-08-09 at Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, VA

A - Almost clear, golden straw with a 1-finger, off-white head and excellent lacing.

S - Hop/fruit sweetness, floral, pine, caramel.

T - Pink grapefruit flesh, caramel, some pineapple, medium roasted grain, oak, spice and well-rounded grapefruit bitterness. Complex and balanced. Finishes sweet but then dries nicely with lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Resinous, prickly and oily.

O - A delicious brew. I like how the oak and spice play off the sweetness and bitterness. I'd be happy with this as a go to IPA in the home fridge. Good stuff.

Tucquan, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of Crossmd
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

94.

Crossmd, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of slentz
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Union Jack bottled 8/11. Reviewed with Kiddynamite920. Thanks brother! Bottle to Deschutes tulip.

A: Strong pour down the center of the glass produces two and a half finger pillowy off white bubbly head that slowly dissipates to a half finger head that stays a while. As the head recedes a nice lacing is left on the glass. Wow this looks awesome in the glass nice and clear golden color definitely a perfect score here. 5.0

S: Huge hop presence. Smell is of strong hops, malts, grassy, a little lemon. Sweetness... pineapple....brown sugar.... grapefruit ... a little granny smith apple coming through...a little musty even. 4.5

T: Crisp and very clean very nice bitterness that lasts through and through. Tons of hops, lots of citrus this is one damn fine IPA. I would say this is world class. 5.0

M: Mouthfeel is exceptional. Again this beer is awesome. Spot on carbonation...slick feeling of hops throughout...doesn't get much better than this. 5.0

O: Overall this beer is just plain awesome. Appearance is great, Smell is great, Taste is great, Mouthfeel is great. This is what an IPA should be day in and day out. 4.5

slentz, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of MrDonQuixote
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap:

A- Light copper color that you can see through. Quarter inch white head

S- smells of hops and citrus tones. There is also a slight pineapple scent that is great

T- Hop profile is excellent. Flavor is very citrusy upfront. Finish is of pineapple. Tasty

M- Very smooth; carbonation mixes quite well

O- Very unique tasting IPA. Tasty. definitely wouldn't mind revisiting this beer often

MrDonQuixote, Sep 24, 2011
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,919 ratings.