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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.

4,955 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,955
Reviews: 1,148
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 331
Gots: 514 | 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
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Ratings: 4,955 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Donnie2112
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a pint glass

Looks. Translucent and pale, decent head retention and GORGEOUS draping lace!

Smells. Gorgeous, from three feet away I can smell aromas of citrus, pine and fresh mown grass. I could be wrong, but I'm nearly certain I detect some Simcoe on the nose and it's one of my favorites. Opening this beer is similar to the experience of opening the door to the hop fridge at the homebrew shop. It's so strong and about perfect.

Tastes. HOP FORWARD, to drink this beer casually is to not perceive a malt presence. On closer examination it's there, but it's essentially a delivery vessel for all of those hops, but it doesn't come off as unbalanced. Simply very very hop forward. This beer is a single IPA but it approaches some of the hard core doubles in levels of hoppiness. Flavors of grapefruit, lime, orange rind, bits of grassiness and a pine profile abound. I should like a tad more sweetness and a bit more of a clean straw like character from the malt.

Feels. Moderately carbonated, not particularly heavy on the palate, finishes with an oily hop astringence that hangs on the palate.

I can't stop sipping this beer, whoever decided that Firestone Walker should come to Alaska was a brilliant person. I wish I had tried their beers sooner, or had the opportunity to do so. What a brilliant beer and now I wish I had more then just this one bottle. GREAT STUFF!

Donnie2112, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Yard House in Irvine.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass. Bubbles rise frequently in the column, suggesting brisk carbonation.

S: Grapefruit citrus dominates, allowing faint pine foliage and toast to also be detected. The combination of aromas is clean and true to style, but could be more intense.

T: Begins off-dry, with juicy grapefruit clearly representing the hop aromatics. Acidity is remarkably restrained as citrus combines with rising bitterness to create an impression of grapefruit peel in the middle. As the intensity of bitterness peaks at an intermediate level some grainy pale malt makes its way to the surface. Bitterness lingers in the finish, with more grapefruit peel that is joined by more subtle herbaceous character.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate, with the feel of low carbonation. The feeling of fullness that follows is characteristic of a beer with a higher than average carbonation level.

D: Clean, smooth, and bursting with hop-forward flavor, this is one of a select few IPAs that exemplify the West Coast profile of sensory qualities. The obvious comparison is to Green Flash's West Coast IPA, although connections can also be drawn to Alesmith and even Stone IPA.

beagle75, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fist commercial brew in a while, been plowing through a lot of awesome home brew. I'm still trying to figure out the fascination with this brewery. After complete disappointment with their DBA, I wanted to give this one a shot.

Clear light coppery color in my pint glass. Not a huge head, but the bottle was fairly cold. Lacing is reasonable, but not blowing my socks off.

Shitload of hops in the nose. And apparently Shitload is a word, because Fire Fox isn't telling me that I spelled that word wrong. Awesome. Anyways, kind of a citrus piny smell. I'm almost positive that it is Simcoe. My first thought when I smelled this was "Stone" and their affinity for Simcoe in their IPAs.

Taste mirrors the smell, albeit a bit lighter. While apparently the hop monkey at Stone only knows how to throw Simcoe into the kettle, there is at least some sort of an attempt to balance it out here. But with that said, I'm getting a lot pine and a bit of grapefruit on the mouth. Overall it's honestly fairly watery for a 7.5% ABV IPA. That's it! Eureka! It tastes like a watery Ruination.

Mouthfeel is mediumish. Hoppy flavor is clining to the back of my throat, the way that sweet drinks tend to accumulate there.

Eh, it's no where near a drain pour, but probably one of the crappier IPAs that I've had. Velvet Merlin is the only thing I'd ever buy from Firestone again.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of bradleyp
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks you Bier Stein for this beer.

I bought the Union Jack and the Double Jack and had them side to side, and I then reviewed both.

A: Nice clear copper/light brown color. Not much head. The nice bubbles were looking so nice up the glass.

S: Very citrusy hoppy aroma.

T: Hops are very punget, and a nice bitter aftertaste.

M: I like how this beer wasn't too boozy, it went down very nicely.

D: I won't say this is a better beer than the Double Jack, but I will really like to drink this beer again many more times.

bradleyp, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of gkunkle
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a 1 finger white head. Smell is pretty cool, I am catching some citrus and great sweet fruit smell. This is one of the best smelling IPAs I've ever smelled. Starts with grapefruit hoppiness, and the finish obtains a little bit of malt. This is a really great exhibit of citrus hops. Mouthfeel good, could use a little more carbonation, but maybe it's just my bottle. Drinkability is really high. This is a great beer, only drawback is the 7.5 ABV.

gkunkle, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark gold/light copper. a lot of carbonation bubbles rise into a fluffy white head.

S: grapefruits and pine. and tons of sweetness. this thing has a serious malt backbone to compete with the american hopping.

T: big, tart hop flavor. almost meaty in it's body. more pine than citrus. sweet, tangy malts balance the forceful hop presence. a very well balanced representation of the AIPA.

M: moderately carbonated for such a solid body. works well with the bitterness.

D: a great representation of an AIPA. big bold hop flavors but balanced with just the right amount of sweet malts. pick one up.

Jimmys, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of weizenbob
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this 12 ounce bottle as an extra in a trade with Azurescens. Thanks Dan. This is IPA is bottle dated 8/17/10 so I expect the hops to have fallen off the table by now. The alcohol content is listed as a moderately high 7.5% ABV so perhaps the malt bill has held up. Let's see.

An aggressive pour into a goblet yields a frothy off-white two finger-high head. The beer is maize colored and quite clear. Head retention is very good and spotty lacing lines the sides of the goblet.

The instant the seal was cracked on the cap the aromatics of this beer began to manifest. Hops are fairly weak in the equation, but are noted none the less by a bit of grapefruit essence. Tropical fruits are noted as well as a healthy yeastiness. There is some tangerine and a mild caramel scent.

The taste is something else altogether. There an earthy maltiness up front with a rye-like grainy character. Fruit juices taste and feel literal, like somebody squeezed a fresh orange into this beer. There is a slight caramel sweetness attached to a very mellow alcohol note. As expected, the hops have long since clocked out with the exception of some mild lingering bitterness on the backend and aftertaste of this brew. It's something altogether different than an IPA at this point, but still enjoyable for what it is.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation seemed pretty active at first but is actually relatively low. The alcohol adds a smooth character that helps everything go down smoothly. This is what one should expect an IPA to feel like in the mouth.

As the bitterness has subsided and the alcohol mellowed, this six-month-old bottle of Union Jack is pretty easy drinking. There is a healthy malt base for this beer to stand on and the alcohol is well hidden in the taste. This is one I'll want to revisit fresh.


The Two-Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
It's not really fair to put an out of date IPA up against any beer so I'm going to forgo the Two-Schlitz scale for this review. This was a tasty brew but I'm sure it's much different when consumed fresh.

weizenbob, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of BucBasil
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, under the name "Blue Palms IPA"

A: Typical golden and clear. Head was slightly offwhite, 2 fingers, and with moderate retention.

S: Balanced, faint but solid overall aroma with fruity tones - light fruits and some citrus with the rind.

T: Very balanced. Not so in your face. Nice bready malt character with nutty notes and various fruity undertones. Prominent citrus notes with a hint of pine freshness in the back. Not too dry. Very solid beer.

Notes: Excellent beer and very drinkable while watching a game or hanging out with some buddies.

BucBasil, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright golden amber, thick head, great lacing.

Grapefruit hops on the nose with some malty sweetness and a touch of alcohol

Holy grapefruit bomb! A citrus hop 2 by 4 slaps the taste buds followed by a nice, sweet malt massage.

Full mouthfeel, not too heavy, but has a nice light filling creaminess.

This is one of my go-to IPAs. Availability plus deliciousness, keeps me coming back time after time. A staple in the diet of any hophead.

dbmernin83, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Medium orange color. Large white foamy head. Aroma is grapefruity and floral. A medium bodied IPA. Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. A nicely balanced IPA. Slightly more fruity than bitter. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Overall, decent IPA.

CuriousMonk, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Yardhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The beer was served in a pint glass, and poured a light brown color, with orage highlights and no head. Sweet, hoppy aroma, with light orange essence. Middle and rear tongue hops flavors, balanced of bitter and smooth. Cedar and sweet characteristics, also. The beer has a steady flow of carbonation that keeps the beer light despite it's creamy body. Hoppy green aftertaste and smooth finish make it very easy to drink.

GarthDanielson, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of NWer
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the bottom of a Samuel Smith's pint glass.
Beautiful clear golden with abundant head that held well before leaving behind a nice lace.
The smell was overpowering and unexpected. I don't remember such a powerful introduction from any beer before.
The flavors are very pronounced with the citrus feel you expect from a top notch West coast IPA.
This delivers.
In spades.

NWer, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal-clear light amber, with white foamy, creamy head on top that laces averagely.

Smells of pine, and some citrus, with noticeable mango at the tailend, very pleasant overall. There is some malty sweetness as well, giving it nice balance.

Taste is fantastic, with mango coming out strong with the resin and sweet malt. Little bit of orange is great too.

Mouthfeel is very, very silky smooth, with carbonation not very present, but still enough. Drinkability is great too, alcohol being unnoticeable. Nice tropical IPA makes you want more the more you drink.

madvermin, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of modernartblues
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from Notes

Poured into a Duvel Tulip, thanks to cduckett16 for the extra!

A: 2.5" creamy white head, nice carbonation as the bubbles fly up from the bottom, head retention is good as is lacing, standard golden amber body with no haze....very pretty

N: oh yes, love this one, oranges, pine, and other tropical fruits dominate....just love the blast of hopiness

T: oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, piney bitter finish, but balanced well with a touch of malt sweetness (is this the dreaded caramel malt backbone that buckeyenation always fears?)....overall though, really solid....

M: nice carbonation makes this one play across the palate nicely

D: excellent, see a sixer in my future

Though this isn't my absolute favorite IPA, it's def. worth seeking out.

modernartblues, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a golden amber color
S-citrus hops with some grapefruit. maybe it just wasnt as fresh as i wanted it
T-tastes a little stale and not as hoppy as i expected.
M-smooth with a lingering hop bitterness
D-not bad, especially consider abv and all

This may have been a bad bottle, but it was disapointing

brew3crew, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of JayQue
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Firestone Walker beer. If the expensive Firestone anniversary beer I bought is at least as good as this one, it is worth the price!!!

Pours a hazy dark gold/light copper color. Big frothy white head, very good head retention and thick lacing. A good looking beer.

Aroma is citrus hops and floral hops, pronounced, impressive, very nice.

Flavor is outstanding. The floral hops were more prominent in the nose that the taste. There is a nice mixture of powerful citrus hops with enough caramel malt to add richness in the taste. This is not balanced..it is a hop bomb with the malt just adding another dimension to an awesome beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. The malt adds to the richness. No hint of the alcohol.

Drinkability is very good. I shared the bomber, could have drank it all myself.

JayQue, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Neecee513
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

A: Amber; nice, beady head w/ good retention

S: Citrus hop, pleasant, sweet

T: Moderate bitterness

M: Moderate carbonation, smooth finish, not dry

D: I absolutely loved this beer!! Not over bitter, with a good malt backbone. Pleasant all around!

Neecee513, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of bosco7
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale color with a head that is sustained.

Grapefruit, pine, mango juice in the nose. Nice and dank.

Above average hop flavors here. Similar to Pliny the Elder in hop character (but not as overwhelmingly awesome). Pine, mango, and grapefruit. Bitterness is bracing but balanced with a sweet and very clean malt profile. Very nice

Mouthfeel is a little fuller than I was anticipating but it is definitely not cloying or sticky like some breweries make their IPAs. Overall a very fine beer with plenty of hop complexity that is very drinkable. I think this beer gives Pliny a run for the money. Highly recommended.

bosco7, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Union Jack has a brass colored body and an off-white head. The head is thick and tightly bubbled, and boasts great retention. The lacing is also very good, as it coats my glass in sheets.

The scent is dominated by citrus hops, with grapefruit being the dominant fruit. Underneath that lurks a little bit of a malt base.

Union Jack's flavor leans primarily on bright, citrus flavored hops, which is exactly what it should do. It features flavors of grapefruit, orange and some generic fruit notes in addition. The malt bill doesn't do much to balance out the hops, but it does allow for a little bit of a backbone, with lightly toasted caramel flavors.

Union Jack is probably on the full-bodied end of the spectrum.

Union Jack is a solid IPA overall, and I'm glad I got to try it on-tap instead of in a bottle.

Hojaminbag, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of bum732
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Bold citrus bouquet, orange, grapefruit, mango, classic west coast hops, slight dark breadiness.

L: Brilliant clear amber yellow, decent head that dissipates, good lacing.

T: Crisp citrusy hops with a firm soft bready sweet backbone. Medium-high bitterness finishing with a hoppy dryness. Very clean.

M: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation, alcohol slightly present.

A great, clean west coast IPA. Just really fantastic.

bum732, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of spree92
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. into Kilkenny pint glass.
First thing that hit my nose was apple. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the smallest carbonation bubbles I've seen in an IPA. Golden-amber with a beautiful, sticky head. Bitter, but not over-powering.
This is one of the better IPAs I have had in a while.

spree92, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Surly Darkness tulip.

Pours a frothy off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smells of citrus with malts as the backbone.

Taste is a nice mix of malts and hops. The hops doesn't have a super over pouring control over the sweet malts but more of a delicate balance in which the hops gradually wins over leaving a slight bitterness on the tongue and a tingling on the roof of the mouth.

Drinks very well. I wish I could have this on a regular basis as a nightly sipper when I'm watching tv or hanging out with the old lady. True there are better IPA's out there but this one is definitely up there with the best of them.

UMNbeerhunter, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Oberon pint glass. It poured a clear amber color with a thin but bubbly white head to it. The head settled down after a minute and it left a modest amount of lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a good mix of malts and hops. Some nice citrusy hops come through and mix with a sweeter, malty, slightly caramely flavor. More malt forward then most West Coast IPA's, but I think it works well for it.

The taste also has a very nice mix of hoppy and malty flavors. A brighter, floral, citrusy, hoppy flavor comes through very nicely. The sweeter, malty flavors are also very present throughout the flavor. The sweeter malt really keeps things in relative balance for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a very nice IPA. I really liked the more malt forward and sweeter notes it added to the bright hoppiness. Very nice beer overall.

billab914, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a wonderful ipa with a brisk quality but a distinct bitter orange marmalade malt quality that hides deep in the back ground. Pine and orange nose with nice balance. Intense hopped fresh taste from a fresh keg flavor. Nice white head with a clear golden color. An ipa that would be good fresh and a year old but not for those that expect a earthy resin like quality pine. Its a one dimensional in that aspect. Although very solid AIPA.

rtepiak, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Chizoad
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm definitely getting spoiled when I thought this was average when I first tasted it. It's not average in the least. Pretty outstanding offering, and was like an oasis in a desert of bad beer when I had a pint of it.

Typical IPA appearance. I just never find these to be outstanding looking beers. All you can really tell is that it's not necessarily bad. Clear amber with a nice cap of foam. The usual.

Very good and interesting aroma. Obvious malts, citrus hops, and as one friend pointed out, lychee in the nose.

The beer is bitter and sweet in just the right proportions. Extremely well balanced. Resin in the hops, but that citrus is present still.

Nice carbonation and medium body. Bitterness never clings, leading to a very drinkable IPA.

Chizoad, Jan 07, 2011
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,955 ratings.