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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.

4,841 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,841
Reviews: 1,139
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 318
Gots: 476 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 4,841 | Reviews: 1,139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stigs


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

12oz bottle as an extra from BA user monsterzero...served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with almost half an inch of tight, creamy & forthy slightly off-white colored foam. the beer is clear, golden in color. leaves behind a thin wall of lace throughout most of the drink.

S - strong floral and piney hops...quite juicy and with a subtle spiciness. rounded out a bit by some light caramel malts, finishes with sweet hops, predominantly floral. very nice.

T - loads of piney and grassy hops, very up front and pungent, quite bitter. glided along underneath with some sweet caramel malts which come through very forcefully (yet nicely) every few sips. finishes with lingering pine bitterness and a light spice.

M - very thick and syrupy body for the style...carbonation is present but nicely playful in the background. very oily going down but finishes clean with a waining bitterness.

D - solid IPA, very well done if you are into piney and grassy hops. strong and assertive flavors but with a bit of balance. would go very well with some spicy Thai or Asian cuisine. well done here.

06-20-2010 03:41:30 | More by Stigs
Photo of metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

A: The beer is crystal clear deep amber in color with no visible carbonation. There is a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: There is a moderate, pleasant aroma of piney hops in the nose.
T: There is a good amount of bitterness from the hops, but this is not overpowering due to a good balance with the underlying malts. There are some notes of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden. I would definitely have another of these.

06-17-2010 23:33:14 | More by metter98
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

This is one top notch IPA with lots of hops and lots of balance in the finish . I hardly noticed the high ABV ( tastes like an IPA not a DIPA) as the beer was smooth and refined. The hops were west coast but not too piney . Like the DBA this is what FWB do best , a flavourful ale with lots of drinkability and complexity

06-15-2010 18:31:41 | More by canucklehead
Photo of beerdrifter


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Nice clear, orange-copper pour with a great fluffy off-white head and nice lacing. Huge floral nose with lots of fresh hops and caramel. The balance on this beer is incredible. Perfect mesh between bitter hops and sweet malts. Lots of citrusy grapefruit and sweet caramel with a perfect bitter hop tang. The mouthfeel is well balanced as well with a good mix of crisp dryness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Rediculously drinkable. This is another top notch beer from one of my favorite breweries. Never disappointed!

06-14-2010 16:50:27 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of brewerburgundy


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, bottled on date of 5/21/10.

This is a fine looking IPA. The body is deep copper even in the thin base of the Sam Adams glass and the soapy sudsy eggshell head has already left a nice ring of lace.

Aromas jump out of the bottle at you, an assurance that this beer will live up to the buzz. The smell leans towards the pine, mango, and weed side of the hop world. I immediately found peach as well, and some grapefruit deeper in. I may already agree that this is one of the finest and most under the radar American IPAs. Malt is apparent but so is its west coast dryness.

The flavor is about as impressive as the aroma. A hefty bitterness is accompanied by more of a grapefruit profile. This isn't to say that the pine isn't backing that grapefruit pith up real well and that I don't taste orange, peach, mango, papaya, and alcohol.

This is a dry IPA, I prefer them that way. The balance between some body, some carbonation, and alcohol/level of dryness is quite good.

I am so glad that Union Jack has lived up to my personal expectations. I think that I focus slightly more on aroma with IPA/DIPAs and this beer delivers. The 7.5% ABV is in the upper range for the style but doesn't really hurt drinkability because the aroma and flavor are so damn good. Take you time and enjoy it. You'll get your hop fix.

06-14-2010 06:07:33 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of velosuds


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Purchased for $5.39.

A-Poured a hazy golden-amber hue with a one finger off white head that receded quickly into a modest lace.

S-A very fragrant IPA. Piney and citrus hops, especially grapefruit are prominent and inviting.

T-Hoppy bitterness is very citric, especially grapefruit and lemony esters. There is also a pleasant, bready malt backbone providing a nice, but faint balance.

M-Very smooth and well balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-Very drinkable at 7.5% ABV. Alcohol content is not noticeable. A good IPA, but not remarkable. I would drink think this more if it were available in 12 oz. six packs.

06-13-2010 06:07:40 | More by velosuds
Photo of Parrotbeak


4.18/5  rDev -1.4%

Received as a generous extra from chswimmer.
Light amber with a thin white head that fades quickly, becoming patchy.
Smell is spicey, bready malts with some piney, floral hops. Hints of cinnamon,pineapple, peach, and mango.
Taste is malty up front, with some dry, piney hops following. Malts carry to the finish, which is slightly bitter from the hops. Some grassy notes in there as well.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a clean finish. Light body, with a moderate level of carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. The alcohol is well-concealed. Very well-rounded IPA.

06-12-2010 20:32:54 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of colts9016


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees

Appearance: A one finger frothy light tan head that has descent retention. The color of the beer medium amber color with orange copper highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear clear with a touch of haziness. There is some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: A good malty nose with toast, caramel, and yeast. There is a nice floral ester, pine, and grapefruit. In the background of the beer is some phenols and solvents.

Taste: A very ripe hop flavor. The hop flavor is floral bouquet, pine, lemon, grapefruit and orange. There is a very good malt base. The malt is toasty and caramel flavor. There are notes of yeast, phenols, and solvents.

The mouth feel of the beer is astringent, dry, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is one of the beers that I have tried from Firestone Walker. This is also, one of the better IPA's that I have tasted.

06-12-2010 02:41:55 | More by colts9016
Photo of womencantsail


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

A: The pour is a typical looking amber color with a rather fluffy and large white head and some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Plenty of citrusy hops in the nose. I pick up a lot of grapefruit and perhaps a bit of orange as well. Not really too much malt there, but a bit of breadiness.

T: The flavor is essentially a continuation of the nose. Plenty of sharp and juicy grapefruit with a bread-like malt flavor in the background. A mild, resinous bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation and a very crisp finish.

D: One of the best regular IPAs out there and a stand-by of mine. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

06-10-2010 15:53:20 | More by womencantsail
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

On tap at the East v West Coast IPA Challenge, Rattle N Hum, NYC.

Pours a pale lively tangerine with a rocky white head that leaves fine-tooled lace. Fresh orange juice and fuchsia blossom nose - big and bright. Light Seville orange malts struggle to appear past juicy orange whip and birch hops. Long aspirin finish. Medium and fizzy.

Opens and mellows as it warms - toasted granola malts step up and the bitterness fades.

This IPA does a couple of things I've never seen before: it gets a tightrope balance between sweet citrus and astringent bitterness. Then it totally morphs from a Cali IPA to almost an English one. If I had to find fault, it's a little too prickly.

Mercurial and well-constructed; I see why it keeps winning medals.

06-09-2010 22:13:13 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Walken


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%

Firestone Walker: Union Jack IPA (Bottled: 04/27/10) (Tasted 05/31/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Ever so slightly hazed, near brilliant copper colored beer pours into the glass with a small initial head that stays pretty squat, fading down into a film, with some great looking lacing, fluffy bubbles, mounted on a ring of foam around the edges of the glass, that stays intact to the bottom of the glass
Odor: Citrus hops on the nose, juicy grapefruit with hints of orange and juicy fruit gum (Thanks Centennial!)
Consistency: Solid, light end of medium bodied with a high flying but oh-so-mellow carbonation that merely massages the tongue. Hops add a great feel to this beer, oily, slightly fruity.
Taste: This is a hell of an IPA right here, there's no denying that. Hop flavors run all over the place, each of the dry hops come through and shine through. Simcoe and Chinook throw the yin and yang of rough and clean herbal hop bitterness, Amarillo throws orange sap and rind, C's throw the standard grapefruit flavor in the background to round things out. Malt is there for support and nothing else, clean biscuit and dark bread. Finish is off-dry with a load of hop oils holding their initial flavors on the tongue.

Glad this is available somewhat locally now, delicious IPA, exceptionally crafted beer overall! Get it!

05-31-2010 21:32:53 | More by Walken
Photo of MetalHopHead6


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%

Union Jack IPA is bready, balance, and funky.

It poured a little lighter in color than I like, pale amber, with a massive white head that left rings of thick sticky lace. Many IPAs are bitter but bland; Union Jack has a ton of complex flavor, with a bit of citrus and an abundance of earthy/grassy flavor followed by my favorite pale ale characteristic: funk. This had plenty of funk. The feel was thick, chewy, and bready.

After a very long hot weather bike ride, Union Jack IPA was a perfect relax-and-enjoy-the-world experience.

05-30-2010 21:21:41 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of tchenery


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Beer looks an amazing deep orange color. It has a nice lengthy head, which leaves lacing all down the glass.

It smells amazing. I could smell the beer from where I was sitting as I poured it without having to stick my nose in the glass. Pretty standard IPA smell, but just a LOT of it. Very floral, almost bubble-gummy.

It tastes amazing. It has a very smooth, silky start of malt that edges towards the bitter and hops and finishes very dry and crisp.

Amazing beer. I haven't had one from Firestone yet that wasn't though, so no surprises there.

05-28-2010 23:03:27 | More by tchenery
Photo of msubulldog25


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Pint glass (too frosty) poured at Rocco's Bar, Portland. Allowed to sit/warm for about ten minutes.

A: Clear pour with plenty of streaming carbonation cutting through a field of butterscotch/copper orange. Head is short, but epitomizes creamy whiteness; a million flecks of lace speckle the glass.

S: Powerful citrus, a blend of grapefruit and orange, marries with hearty evergreen - maybe a tad on the soapy/perfumed side. Takes some time to develop, but plenty strong once it does.

T: Like the nose, this flexes its muscles right away: pithy, almostly tingly, citrus zest; resinous and juicy needles; and under-coating of thick caramel and candied fruits.

M: A bit on the zesty side, yet not over-carbonated. Body carries some weight, medium-to-heavy feel, with a coating finish of bitter pith and pine.

D: Though categorized as a 'regular' American IPA, this toes a fine line toward being 'Imperial'. It's easy enough to drink one of, but midway through the second you may start to regret it. Or you'll feel so good you just don't care. Til tomorrow... Very worthy...

05-27-2010 00:46:08 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev -8%

One of 24 taps at the Greenroom, Flagstaff. My second beer, the name pulled me towards it, would it be like a UK IPA, being called Union Jack?

This is an all American IPA, hops to the fore!

The deep golden orange almost headless beer stared back at me, daring me to sniff and drink it. We locked horns and the battle began.

Hops attacked my nose, with hints of citrus fruits attempting to sneek through without a safety net, I laughed and took the hits without flinching.

Do your worst American hops, I'm ready for you. The taste was a hop blend which didn't have the bitterness some US IPA's have a habit of giving you, this was easy drinking compared to many. My delicate English palate wasn't offended in the slightest. I also noticed some caramel notes trying to get out of the glass, but the hops didn't allow anything else to have a say in the flavours and wouldn't let it become truely noticable.

Not a bad experience at all, I must be getting used to all these hops I keep coming up against on my US road trip.

05-25-2010 09:47:55 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of drabmuh


4.03/5  rDev -5%

Poured into a shaker pint. Beer is clear and yellow orange forms a thin white head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is slightly sweet and strongly piny hop. Smells pretty good.

Beer is medium bodied and slightly sweet up front from some malt. Lots of good pine hop character in the back of the palate and overall a highly drinkable beer. Its pretty good for an American IPA.

05-24-2010 04:02:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.65/5  rDev -13.9%

Thanks to Arbitrator for this generous extra.
12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a nice clear golden with a hint of orange and maybe the slightest haze to it. A nice two finger's worth of head that leaves a small cap on the beer and really nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A nice smell of citrus hops, some orange and maybe even a little bit of apricot. Some nice sweet malt in the background.

T- I was informed this one is not as fresh as it could be but I am giving it a go anyways. A pretty mellow hoppiness, mostly some orange and grassy notes. I think with the age, the hops become more subdued and the malt becomes more pronounced.

M- A nice medium body that has a good amount of carbonation. A little bit of a dry finish but not too bitter. Actually it has a nice smooth feel to it.

D- For being less than fresh, I still find this beer to be really good. Really good balance and good MF. I think I will be trading for some of this fresh to see how it is.

05-23-2010 02:24:05 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of dedrinker


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

I don't know about the English IPA reference - maybe just historical context, because this beer is west coast ipa all the way. If I tasted it blind I woulda sworn it was Lagunitas Maximus or somewhere round there.

Really sharp, clear amber/honey/golden color. Lots of floral tropical fruit hop flavors, with a little juicy sweet malt.

Medium-full body with a sticky hop finish. Damn, my bottle is empty already. Drinkability is alright by me.

05-22-2010 04:16:15 | More by dedrinker
Photo of DanOLeary


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

On tap at Simmzy's Manhattan Beach.

Aroma: Citrus notes contain a grainy characteristic that is almost earthy, but more closely represent ground orange peel mashed together with melanoidin malts. Lemon. Ginger? Not entirely hop focused on the nose but it offers a complex array if you're looking.

Appearance: Pale gold. Light brushed copper. Deep amber. Take your pick. Brilliant filtered clarity that I don't look for in an IPA but it's acceptable. Head holds well as pure white with good lacing along the glass.

Flavor: Huge hop bitterness upfront that briefly gives way to sweet caramel before the hops come back strongly in the middle with an earthy bite, and it's a big bite. Barely enough malt to support the hops here, but for the hop lover it's not unbalanced. Finish is burnt toast, caramel and would you believe more hops? Yes. Alcohol spice comes out in stages but is generally hidden by hop aroma and flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. The intensity of the hop flavor and bitterness will fill the palate with a sting and slightly tannic effect, adding to the mouthfeel but bringing a distinct drying effect in the finish.

Overall:  Since I've been on a bit of a hop kick lately this beer hits the mark square in the face. Huge hop bitterness and gorilla hop flavor. While the malt is only supportive enough to hold the IBU's on your palate, for the hop seeker this will satisfy. For others, it will be unbalanced. Carbonation adds a tingling effect that only slightly lifts the hop oils off your tongue. The barley presence comes off as an afterthought to the Humulus Lupulus.

05-20-2010 04:41:51 | More by DanOLeary
Photo of abrand


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. Credits to Flexabull for sending me this great brew.

The Union Jack IPA pours a bright golden orange with a very fluffy 2 finger head with great retention down the glass. Nose is west coast hop greatness. Lots of citrus and pines with the fantastic hop finish. Not much going on with aromas. Mouthfeel is much more malty than the nose. A great hop finish rounds out the sweet citrus and earthy notes up front. This is a much thicker IPA than most. Mouthfeel is chewy and full bodied. Drinkability is solid. This is one of my favorite IPA's especially with the drinkable ABV. Thanks again Flexabull, would love to get more of this in the future.

05-20-2010 03:33:47 | More by abrand
Photo of regspeir


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

12 oz bottle (via trade) poured into a Duvel tulip.
Aggressive pour yielded a light amber with a smallish one-finger white head. Head dissapates quickly but leaves behind a nice creamy lacing. Good carbonation is evident by sight and taste. Nose is a strong citrus (orange, grapefruit) and earthy pine with a sweet malt evident. Taste starts with some bitterness that is almost like orange zest quickly countered by a malty sweetness and a nice, refreshing orange aftertaste. This is well balanced and delicious. It features a medium consistency and only slightly oily mouthfeel. At 7.5% and this well balanced, sessionable it is. As with lots of left coast offereings, I just wish I had enough access to do so. If you are lucky enough, go for it!

05-19-2010 19:38:54 | More by regspeir
Photo of cavedave

New York

3.73/5  rDev -12%

Pours a dark, cloudy amberish orange, not much head, but a gentle swirl leaves some crazy lace arms.

Smell is full of tropical fruit and citrus, some nice floral hops, lotta sweet, both a candy sweet, and a light bready sweet, hints of tart yeast, and pithy bitter.

Taste is like the smell, a blast of tropical fruit and citrus, holding hands with neutral sweet, and going down the road to a finish that is sweet, but balanced by some nice lemon, and hints of pine and citrus bitter. Pretty juicy finish for an IPA, but tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, low carb., quite viscous, just a bit of a mediciny feel to the finish, but doesn't really detract.

Drinkability, rated for style, is just average. Many more drinkable options out there in this style.

Impression: Enjoyed trying this hoppy and sweet brew, probably won't get again, too many better out there.

05-18-2010 19:53:23 | More by cavedave
Photo of malthegal


3.93/5  rDev -7.3%

A - Good lacing, nice foamy white head. Golden amber in color

S - Caramel, pine, and oak hints.

T - Lots of lingering bitter aftertastes, nicely balanced with its initial sweetness.

M - Excellent carbonation, smooth, medium-bodied.

D - A very enjoyable drink, but would probably only have one per sitting due to its sweetness.

05-17-2010 03:42:56 | More by malthegal
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -13.9%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to realmpel for the hookup.

Orange pour. Small white head drops quickly. Some nice lacing on the glass, though.

Very sweet, perfume-y nose. Caramel and orange sweetness.

Flavor pretty much follows. Very sweet beer. Some toasty malt, then lots of sweetness. The citric (mostly orange) hop flavors seem to contribute more sweetness than bitterness. Really, the only bitterness is in the finish.

Medium bodied. Soft carbonation. Slick, oily texture. A little sweet and lacking in the flavor department, but an easy drinker nonetheless. Very underwhelming for a West Coast IPA, especially after I read comparisons to Two Hearted on the forum. Not even close.

05-17-2010 03:11:56 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a nice frothy off-white head that settled into a puffy cap. The aroma is of juicy hops, grapefruit with hints of tropical fruit. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Big grapefruit hop profile but not too bitter, hints of pine and tropical fruit along with a bready caramel malt add some sweetness to the beer. Good hop profile, made well. Moderate feel with active carbonation; great balance. It is a bit heavy but the malt probably helps offset any harsh hop bitterness so I am good with it. Quite a tasty AIPA, great hop flavor without any crazy bitterness. It is a bit big with higher ABV but I will just have to live with that.

05-14-2010 23:55:44 | More by Gmann
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,841 ratings.