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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,033 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,033
Reviews: 1,158
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 328
Gots: 548 | 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: 5,033 | Reviews: 1,158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

This pours a clear, golden, amber color. One fingers worth of lightly creamy, light tan colored foam sits on top. This recedes to a thin film that covers the surface. The lacing is in thick rings and quite sticky.

This has a nice big nose, full of fresh hop notes. Big amounts of floral and citrus presence. Lots of orange and grapefruit and a nice burst of pine. A mild earthiness and a nice balancing presence of caramel malts.

Hops are still out in front, but it's an IPA, so what else would you expect? They follow the pattern set forth by the smell. The hops outshine the caramel notes, but not in an overpowering way. This is fairly well balanced, not overly sweet or bitter.

This has anice medium, almost full, body going on. A good, solid, medium level of carbonation. Nice and smooth with a very light touch of creaminess.

As far as an IPA goes, which isn't my favorite style, this is pretty drinkable. I'd gladly drink it again, if given the chance.

coldmeat23, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of jdense
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Firestone Walker Taproom, 12/10. poured into the big FW 24 oz. mug.

Golden amber with a bit of chill haze, finger and a half of white head, slow dissipation, big lacing. A bit of spicy hops in the nose balanced with bready malts. The taste is pretty hop bomb but not overly spicy, with sweet and bready malts providing a nice balance for IPAs of this ABV. Nicely carbonated and very smooth. One big mug is good. Nice interpretation of the style.

jdense, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of cbarrett4
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent head fading into a light lace. Zero carbonation apparent. Displays aromas of fresh pine, citrus, and green herbs. Rich flavors of pine, fresh hops, ginger, and grapefruit. Nice texture, good balance with the alcohol in check. Overall a very good beer and one that does down nice and easily. Very fresh and bitter.

cbarrett4, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright shiny orange gold, with outstanding clarity. Later some haze will creep in. Level two finger table top of off-white foam. Enough lace that the glass is white more than clear.

Big orange nose, with some other citrus mixed around the edges. Pine finish. Very in your face fresh.

Big sticky sweet malt foundation rolls across the tongue. Juicy fruit, heavy with orange and apricot and with some grapefruit coasting along in the back, explodes in the mouth. Fruit and hop tingle dance across the tongue long after the swallow.

Sturdy mouthfeel. Incredible drinkability. Just want to gulp it down, but alas then there is no more.

Do not let the label fool you, though I love the fight poses between the British Lion and the California Bear. This is no Englsh IPA, but a full fledge West Coaster. And a damn good one as well.

RonfromJersey, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Bright and clear brassy amber color, dense foam forms from a even, moderate pour and the lacing is absolutely amazing with rings all the way down the glass. Massive grapefruit aroma from the hops, slightly pungent and very aromatic. Full-bodied and very smooth. Heavy-handed hop character pounds the taste buds with flavor, bitterness comes in a with a moderate sharpness and lets the flavors unfold from citric zest to botanical to pungent citric rind. There is a thickness of malt underneath with a solid kernel of sweetness and toasted biscuit, but this is all more or less trumped by the hops. Small fume of alcohol with clean esters that throw a little bit of mango and papaya fruitiness in the mix.

This beer is bordering Double IPA territory, which is not a bad thing, though it is a pretty sizable American IPA and is an absolute must for all of the hopheads out there.

BeerAdvocate, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of Ryan011235
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/13/09

A - Hazy, moderate orange color. 1/2 inch head dissipates to a patch of large bubbles with mild retention. Light lacing.

S - Juicy & very appealing citrus aroma. Tangerine & orange notes with hints of grapefruit & pineapple. Faint doughy sweetness.

T - Closely follows the nose & that makes for an awesome taste. Floral upfront with a citrus spiciness on the finish. The only thing in the way of malt I'm picking are thin wisps of sweetness in the middle - kind of like sugar cookie dough.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fairly long finish that mirrors the taste of the beer. Not particularly bitter.

D - Choice drinkability. I could easily session with this one.

Ryan011235, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received in trade with Koopa. Thanks! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet. Bottle dated 2/24/09.

A - Pours a slightly dirty/yeasty pale orange with a finger of off white head with variable density. Head has good staying power...doesn't really disappear, recedes but is maintained throughout the glass. Some sticky lacing left behind.

S - Fruity and citrusy aromas. Pineapple, mango, oranges, a hint of grapefruit. Plenty of malt to balance this out too. Good caramelly, sugary and grainy smells.

T - Balanced towards the malty side. Sweet, sugary, toasty, caramel flavors. Solidly bitter, maybe slightly burnt tasting bitterness - some spicyness and earthy hop flavors and some citrus - grapefruit, some bitter orange.

M - Rather full bodied, maybe even a touch on the syrupy side. On the high side of the carbonation equation too. This seems to amplify the bitterness and the burnt/toasted flavors found in here.

D - A pretty drinkable IPA for a 7.5% beer. Alcohol isn't too apparent. Bitterness is a touch on the harsh side, otherwise the beer is a very smooth drinker. Pretty enjoyable, overall.

portia99, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a nonic.

Tawny/sienna body with orange-tinged pale gold highlights. Some haze, which is a surprise for a filtered ale on cask. This is offset by the stiff sizable finger of shock white foam, thick lacing, and excellent retention.

Pleasant aromatics with challah, bitter orange zest, pine nettles, earth, and berries.

The malt, while mild, is up-front on the palate entry. The bitterness builds slowly and while citrus, pine, sage, earth, and some vague tropical notes (or maybe apricot?) reveal the hops - the malty sweetness never dissipates. In some ways, this reminds me of a weak barleywine.

The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, chewy, medium-bodied, yet somewhat delicate. The ABV seems to add body more than heat.

Overall, a little sweet for the style, and lacking the intensity or clarity of superior versions. Not sure this improved on cask vs. the bottle...

augustgarage, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of californiakulak
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Looked like the perfect IPA. Thick and creamy off white head. About one inch and vey long lasting. The lacing was beautiful as well. The beer was a dark gold color.

S. Oh the hops. Bright, citrusy, spicey hops. Wonderful aroma of pine and a little malt.

T. Absolutley great. The malt holds its own against the onslaught of hops. The taste is very citrusy like the smell. Grapfruit and orange flavors. Very oily tasting. Wonderful.

M. Bitter aftertaste. Excellent carbonation. Very dry.

D. At 7.5% abv you must be careful. I found myself drinking half the pint glass at a time. Its just that good. This is my favorite IPA in the world. This is my favorite beer in the world.

californiakulak, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Foxtrot
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here is my re-take on this fine IPA.

Pours a nice honey gold color with a decent 1 finger head. After a few minutes, head dissipated to a very fine ring around the edge of glass.

Aroma is of strong hops. Mostly C-hops with some light sweetness. Main components are cool herbal hops, grapefruit, light lemon, apricot and pine. This is a looking to be one good IPA.

This is a good IPA. No, its a great IPA. Firestone Walker really pulled out all the stops to make this monster of a beer. Begins with a good hop punch upfront with grapefruit, light pineapple, and various citrus flavors, then slowly gives way to a sweet caramel malts which really brings this tropical IPA into line. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel was superb. Like Sculpin, AleSmith IPA, and Blind Pig, it is big, full and viscous. Excellent in every respect.

Drinkability is damn dangerous. I couldn't believe that this was a 7.5 ABV beer. Its so good that Union Jack just replaced Torpedo as my IPA of choice!

Foxtrot, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Telix
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: It pours slightly opaque and honey-colored, with the color fading at the edges. A big fluffy head with different-sized bubbles forms and sticks around, and some lacing is evident as you drink it. There is steady carbonation rising up from the nucleation points in the glass.

S: A really nice nose on this - sweet honey, zesty herbs, with floral notes and candied fruit lurking underneath.

T: Surprisingly clashing with the nose in some ways - the initial candy/honey sweetness and floral notes quickly fade to a strong herbal, tea-like flavor, almost reminiscent of an iced tea. It's almost diluted or watery tasting. Some pepper comes up along with orange candy and cherries. As it warms, the diluted nature fades a tiny bit, but the beer never truly clicks in a cohesive manner. It finishes with some bitterness and zip, and manages to avoid the alkaline tongue of similar highly hopped beers. The tea-like core flavors never truly fade and are a bit off-putting.

M: Nice - thick, creamy, satisfying. Wish it could do more to offset the weird thin herbal mid-palate, though.

D: Pretty darn good, as I took care of my bomber pretty quickly - but I frequently do that as I quickly take sips to do my tasting notes. One bomber is enough for an evening, however, I think.

Telix, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of cptierney
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A friend of mine had a large blind taste testing event for IPAs and I believe this little gem took first place. I also heard it took first at GABF making it a serious brew.

Beautiful pour into an equally beautiful North Coast nonic pint glass. One finger of quickly receding head, that left substantial lacing over the top of the clear light amber liquid.

I am immediately impressed by the citrus smell that this beer carries with it. While there is a hint on some sweet malt odor to the beer, I find that the grapefruit actually twinges my nostrils a tiny bit.

Lovely mouthfeel. A well carbonated brew that is surprisingly thin and easy to quaff, really nice.

This a beer that is thoroughly consistent. Lacking the WOW factor of heavyweights such as Furious and Sculpin, this brew is really a sleeper. The moderate malt spine of this beer holds up to a nice balance of piney and aforementioned citrusy hops. A solid drinking buddy for sure.

Excellent drinkability. While there is a heavy hop bite to this West Coast IPA, it doesn't have the oily cumulative affect of some of its peers. I'm glad I opted for a sixer.

cptierney, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a white head, some retention, amazing lacing.

S: Great hop nose, pine, citrus rind, candied fruit, pineapple.

T: Very assertive bitterness, rind, candied pineapple, pine, warming alcohol.

M: Moderate body has some hop acidity with an off-dry finish.

D: Like hops?

Derek, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a white head. Aroma is tons of citrus hops. Flavor is very hoppy but not too bitter. The predominant flavor is orange and other citrus fruits. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.
This is a beer that I could drink several of in one sitting, unlike some of the hoppier less-balanced versions of this style. This is a great beer.

Mora2000, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle. No date on the bottle.

A golden ale with the slightest haze and a small white head. Aroma is piney and citrusy hops with a touch of toasted malt and yeast. Starts with a nice citrusy bitterness but then switches to a malty and yeasty flavor. The bitterness picks up over time and the malt continues to provide a nice foundation. There's good lacing left on the glass as it empties. The consistency is moderate with a low carbonation.

I'd been meaning to try this and after I heard it won best IPA at GABF, I figured it was time. I think it's a balanced and enjoyable IPA but I wouldn't put it in the top three.

GJ40, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange colr with a white head and good carbonation. Nose is big grapefruit, orange peel. Taste is chewy, acidic, caramel malt perhaps, orange peel, pine, sweet and a big hop bite on the end. Mouthfeel is acidic, tasty and sweet. Drinkability is good as usual.

barleywinefiend, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of KevinBrewer
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden-orange with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving spidery lacing. There is a slight chill haze that clears up as it warms.

Smells of dark, earthy, slightly resinous hops with a touch of melon. Just a hint of caramel in the background.

Tasty caramel malt blends well with earthy hops upon first sip. Hops brighten up and become citrusy/floral toward the middle. A grapefruity bitterness also shows up in the middle and lasts throughout. Warming alcohol, leafy hops, and citrus on the finish. Astrigent tea leaves in the aftertaste.

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel that coats your throat. Light carbonation and a sweet but bitter finish.

Very drinkable, complex and well-balanced IPA.

KevinBrewer, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, slightly darkened orange with a nice white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit, orange, and other citrus notes. Some malt sweetness far into the background.

T: Very similar to the smell. Lots of refreshing hop bitterness with a little bit of the sweet aroma working its way into the taste.

M: Medium-bodied with a little bit of chewiness.

D: Quite drinkable. A very nice IPA to quaff back all day.

Thorpe429, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of snaotheus
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a 22oz mug

Bright golden, big poofy head and beautiful lacing. Nice looking beer. Smells piney with lots of orangey citrus.

Taste is pine and citrus with a very pleasant hoppy bitter aftertaste. Thick with malt.

Thick and chewy mouthfeel, suits the beer very well. Quite drinkable. I'm very happy.

snaotheus, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear pale-amber body with golden hues. Moderate white cap, decent retention and sporadic lacing.

S: Grapefruit, fresh pine cones, light fresh flowers. Some light toasted malt and grains.

T: More of the characteristics from the nose. Vibrant hop character. Good citric-pine balance. Light malt body is a good palate for the bitterness of the hops.

M: Moderate body. Could use a little more carbonation. Somewhat rounded, resinous finish. I like it with a little more bite.

D: Overall the taste carries the day. A nice lively IPA.

callmemickey, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of boogyman
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at local beer store, Malt & Vine. Taps of this around the area seem to be going quick so I had to try it.

A- Poured into a pint glass a hazy dark golden color. Small head that went away quickly. Lace sticks around very nicely.

S- Nice piney smell comes out right away. I love me some hops. Orange peel with some grapefruit.

T- Hops and pine all over the place and the nose mixes in with the slight fruity notes. Very tasty.

M- Very nice. Slightly bubbly and smooth. The pine and hops masks the alcohol nicely.

D- Can I have another? I could easily drink many of these.

Overall very pleased with this brew. Go get some.

boogyman, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra from route66pubs. Thanks dude!

A- Pours a nice golden amber color with a thick white foam head that has some crazy retention.

S- Some nice light floral hops as well as some grapefruit and pine. A few notes of pale malt and grain are just barely noticeable.

T- Nice hoppy zing initially with citrus and pine bitterness. A nice hint of toasted malt and caramel sweetness ease the flavor into a decently balanced finish...but not too balanced. This is most certainly nice and hoppy :)

M- Medium body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Smooth feel and nice hoppy aftertaste.

D- Overall a great brew that I wish I could pick up regularly.

projectflam86, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap in downtown Santa Barbara, on State Street, poured into a 12oz mug.

Appearance: Traditional IPA look of golden-orange hue with decent head and lacing. Looks very appetizing, but not to say it's head-and-shoulders better than the competition.

Smell: Whew, what a hop bill! Smells very fresh and piny, with definite Cascade notes and potentially Simcoe as well. Slight, slight citrus undertones, but the top of the bill is certainly more pine and grass. Really full nose, with just a hint of malt sweetness of the back end.

Taste: Refreshingly bitter on the front end, and then hit with a wave of pine and citrus hops, that is blunted thereafter by a nice malt presence for a hoppy IPA. Taste finishes with more of a dank, wet hoppy taste that lingers nicely. Really, really sold.

Mouthfeel: Another winner in the terms of intensity. Wet, resinous, and much like Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point in the wetter, more-lingering dankness. Very solid bitterness as well, and just ultimately refreshing.

Drinkability: The only thing about that intense mouthfeel and taste is that it does drag down the drinkability just slightly, as I wouldn't want much more than a bomber of this, at the most. But still, a very, very tasty IPA that I'm a little surprised doesn't get a bit more buzz amongst hop lovers.

nomomentwasted, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pretty pedestrian looking IPA. LIght orange/golden with a huge frothy off white head. Nice aromas of citrus,spruce and over ripe apricot. Nice fresh fruity IPA this one, very sweet, lemon rind, oranges, apricots and lychee. Mouth watering really.palate was on the thin side which added to drinkability in this muggy weather here in Salem. Overall a good drinkable IPA in the "old style" mould of Bridgeport IPA.

Reidrover, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of FreightTrain
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This is a beautiful beer. The copper/amber color is topped by a very nice off-white, perfectly proportioned head that leaves loads of sticky lacing down the glass. Very attractive.

S- The smell is average. Citrusy, piney hop fragrance that's present but doesn't go much beyond that.

T- While this is hop forward, it's also well balanced. Sometimes "balanced" is code for "I felt short-changed by this IPA in the hop department", but in this case, this just a well-rounded, tasty beer. The malt is supportive and substantive without being sugary or intrusive. Nice bitterness in the finish.

M- Good level of carbonation, not quite as full as I want it to be, but suits the beer just fine.

D- A very nice IPA. Pairs well with food, but stands up very well on its own. Very well crafted.

FreightTrain, Aug 22, 2009
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,033 ratings.