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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,388 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,388
Reviews: 1,198
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 362
Gots: 731 | FT: 14
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: GClarkage on 08-14-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (80) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,388 | Reviews: 1,198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of McD0uche
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of Kadonny
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of denver10
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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, fantatic IPA one of my personal favorites. Definitely a Top 3 IPA.

Photo of NoHipTee
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of DCon
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.38/5  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.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.23/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of dirtylou
4.42/5  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

Photo of eclaycamp
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
2.32/5  rDev -45.2%
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.

***
01.07.15: Impressions from a bottle. Bottled 11/05/14. Reviewed live as an IPA. Note that the name of this beer per the label is "Union Jack IPA." 7.5% ABV

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Expectations are below average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Beige colour. Soft-looking. Supple. Creamy. Frothy. Full. Light lacing coats the glass as it recedes. Retention is excellent - about 7-8+ minutes.

BODY: Clear translucent transparent pale copper of average vibrance. Clean; no yeasty sediment or hop detritus is visible.

Overall, it looks like a pretty standard IPA. Has no stand-out characteristics. Certainly not unique or special.

AROMA: Rather plain, actually. Pale malts, floral hop character, some untoward tropical fruit character. Hints of resins and hop oils. Hop bitterness is obnoxiously untamed, and rather forward at the expense of balance. Hints of soapiness and detergent off-character don't do this any favours. Slightly bready, with notes of vague fruitcake and sweetbread. Really quite simple.

Aromatic intensity is average. It's a soft aroma which doesn't assault the drinker, but it's just so...derivative?

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable (to style).

TASTE/TEXTURE: Rampant obnoxious hop bitterness runs rampant throughout the flavour profile, made worse by the beer's dragging coarse scratchy rough feel, which grates against the palate. The texture is just irritating - and stale to boot. The simple taste is comprised of generic pale malts, some uninteresting tropical fruit notes, and mundane floral hop character. Fundamental imbalance (particularly between malt sweetness and hop bitterness) makes this brew hard to enjoy.

Has a shallow depth of flavour. Average flavour intensity and duration. Poor flavour amplitude. There isn't any real complexity/intricacy, nuance, or subtlety to speak of. The ingredients clash, the choices of hops are poor, and the malt backbone is inadequate. It's a bit of a mess, and has a chaotic unguided overall feel. I struggle to enjoy it.

Additionally, it's overcarbonated and unrefreshing. Not a gestalt build for an IPA by any means. It just never feels like a cohesive whole.

OVERALL: I continue to be perplexed by the hullabaloo surrounding Firestone Walker - at least in terms of their hoppy offerings. This is - at best - a forgettable IPA with no characteristics that would lead the discerning drinker to regard it as world-class. A good beer of any style requires balance, but Firestone Walker has opted to disregard that axiom in favour of assaulting the drinker with an obnoxious loud hop bitterness that will only please adherents to the childish notion that more substantial hop content, higher IBUs, and maximal perceived bitterness are characteristics indicative of quality. IPA brewing is not a dicksizing competition to see who can pack more hop essence into a liquid; it's a craft which requires careful attention to balance and subtlety. This beer industry equivalent of the Loudness War has to stop.

D+

Photo of chodinheaven
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of HopHeadRyan
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
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

Photo of Beasticles
4.32/5  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.

Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Crossmd
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of slentz
4.78/5  rDev +13%
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

Photo of MrDonQuixote
4.32/5  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

Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden copper with thin head but nice lacing
Smell is right in line with very good IPAs - citrus, pineapple, very subtle pine
taste - starts smooth, clean, and crisp, nice hop rush, but nowhere near in your face, finishes dry.
Mouthfeel is light to medium just like the rest of the beer, very good and sessionable.
Overall - I love Double Jack and this is a very good IPA as well. I would definitely recomend it, especially when you don't really want to tackle a Double IPA.

Photo of Godot
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright copper color with a white head. Thick curtains of lace hang on the glass. The smell is citrus and tropical fruit. This is a very hoppy beer. Pine and pineapple with a powdery dry malt finish. The alcohol rises at the end, cutting back a bit on drinkability. I would definitely buy another six pack (though it was a bit expensive).

Photo of richkrull
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer from my friend Crabbicuss.

Poured a cloudy copper color with about an inch of fluffy off-white head.

Smell is nice and hoppy with citrus notes as well.

Taste is similar to the smell. Very hoppy throughout with some citrus and pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium. Very smooth drinking IPA.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I'd love to drink it on a regular basis.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FeerBart for this one.

A: Pours a nice clear golden. The colors lean towards yellow and orange. There is about one finger of bone white head when poured into my tulip glass.

S: Smells mainly of citrus and flowers. There is a bit of pine in the nose, and I can also get a tiny bit of malt. It has a very inviting scent.

T: Starts off clean and crisp. There are some tropical fruit flavors and sweet malt. The bitterness in this beer is balanced nicely. I pick up the citrus and floral notes in the finish, with a surprisingly sweet finish. Lingering hop hops are left on the palate, but it doesn't stick around for long.

M: Light to Medium bodied beer. This IPA starts off really crisp and easy drinking, but there is a bit of heft there too. No sticky or chewyness to this brew.

O: I think this is a really wonderful IPA. It's smooth, simple, and delicious. It's an easy drinking beer that could quickly throw you into drunkenness at 7.5%.

Photo of CushyGig
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose was very sweet and fruity with notes of pineapple and mango. A slightly hazed yellow-orange beer. the head with thin but liked to produce a lot of lace. Flavors dry and citrusy but with a firm malt background and complimenting hoppiness rather than being cumbersome. Bitterness really only evident in the aftertaste where it rounds things out and reminds you that you are drinking an IPA. The beer has a very clean, crisp, slightly spicy freshness that is quite nice.

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,388 ratings.