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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

1,232 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,232
Hads: 5,982
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,167 | FT: 12
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: beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,232 | Hads: 5,982
Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

Shiny golden pour, just a bit hazy. Small white head reduced to a bit of froth in minutes.
Sweet citrus and caramel on the nose, peach, faint melon, bit of mango, light pine. Sweet and really fruity.
Bitter-sweet citrus up front, lots of grapefruit and citrus peel, bit of lime, pineapple juice, touch of mango, maracuja. Spicy leafiness, kiwi seeds. Not the most complex fruity hops, but really intense and strong, tailor made to cover up the caramel malts (just a bit coming through) without missing out on the flavor-enhancing sweetness (nice hint of floral honey, actually). Pine and grassy bitter steam-roller in the end.
Lots of flavorful hops in the aftertaste, a bit tropical, citrus peel, a bit of pine, with hop bitterness stuck in the throat. Medium body, rather fizzy, almost a bit burpy.
Refreshing and so very tasty. Can't imagine how this is fresh from the tap. Great IPA. (887 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply, the standard by which all other IPAs are judged for me. Sure, it's a touch big for the style, but it's aroma/flavor are razor sharp on point, deftly mixing tropical sweetness with a touch of piney bitterness for perfect balance. An archetype. (256 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pretty beer, a medium orange that's too thick to see through but holds lots of brightness, and some bubbling activity that remains gently consistent. The head is a tan one that settles to be very thick and strong but creamy, lots of rocky density to it, and its settling point is a full finger and very solid. Lacing is left all the way from the very top of the glass is bubbly netting and chunks, down to just about the very bottom.
Hops are potent in this aroma, and it displays one of the nicest bouquets I recall smelling in an IPA. It's an array of citrus, both flesh and zest without as much hard pith as some brewers are putting into their hoppy efforts. Some pine hits, too, and the balance from the right amount of caramel malts works really well.
Some tangerine, pine and marmalade hit the tongue up front, going leafier in the middle and transitioning into a very strong bitterness that is nonetheless far from overbearing. Malts are properly leveled to balance. There's a sort of earthy/rindy element to the bitterness at parts, and a flash of honey with some biscuits speaks again to the malts, only adding depth while allowing the bitterness to come off strongest.
IT's creamy smooth up front with a somehow soft but strong bite of crispness that carries from front to back. The medium body holds well the entire way through, and the consistent moderate carbonation keeps the smoothness and crispness from fading.
IT's nice to see that a classic can still hold its own in a market saturated with IPAs. While so many now have set the bar higher, this one still reaches it. (1,608 characters)

Photo of psychoticpilgrim
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

This one surprised me with how delicious it was! Had it from the tap at the actual brewery and boy did it move up on my list to a favorite. Great stuff! (152 characters)

Photo of PooblyKhan
4.75/5  rDev +12%

This is one of my go to IPA's. Great hop hit then it mellows with a sweet malt addition that really compliments the fruit notes. Tastes of peach, passion fruit and some mango with a hint of caramel. Freshness is key and it's located on the bottle, so always check. I love it!!! (277 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is orange amber with an puffy white head. Tropical and citric nose with a bit of sweetness. Flavor follows the nose, but less juiciness than the aroma promised. Hops dominate, but don't overpower. Body is medium/full with moderate carbonation and a nice creamy mouthfeell.

Overall, an excellent all-around IPA. (321 characters)

Photo of DoubleBarrelHopShot
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

A - Golden copper color. White persistent head. Brilliant and clear. Nice lacing
S - Strong pine/citrus hop aroma. Simcoe/Citra essence. Moderate malt notes underneath.
T - Bitter...as it should be. Very we'll balanced for an IPA. Great hop flavor, but not lingering. Malty sweetness leads to a crisp hop bitterness. Leaves a pleasing aftertaste.
M - Chewy. Not light in body. Cleans up nice with a dry finish.
O - Great example of an American IPA. Loads of hops that come across fresh and aromatic. Definitely a must in the fridge. On my short-list for IPAs. (562 characters)

Photo of ronniebruner
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Wow! I have never disagreed more with The bros. than on this beer! Usually they are gospel, but I am just not seeing it here with Firestone. It's an extremely average IPA with no memorable qualities. I bought a six pack and it took 2 months to finish them off. Even the Sierra Nevadas and Steinlagers went before the last Firestones. Anyways, i digress.... this beer is not necessarily bad, but then again, its not great. Think of the most average IPA you have ever had across the board and here ya go! (509 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Au Cheval in Chicago, IL. 16oz served in a shaker pint glass 10/19/2014.

A- Clear golden-copper body, one finger white head, rings upon rings of lacing. Looks like a prototypical IPA. [4.25]

S- Grainy malt, bright citrus, grapefruit and pine aromas. Smells delicious; the combination itself is not superbly complex but the aromatic hop contribution is simply excellent. Similar to that of Three Floyds' hoppy pale ales. Very aromatic and appealing. [4.25]

F- Delicious grapefruit, tangerines, oranges kick things off with a nice grainy pale malt sweetness, caramel to add some balance and complexity, finishing off with a nice mild pine bitterness. Nice complexity to this, with clean transitions and combinations of new and old flavours. As surprising as it is to judge, it seems to taste/drink better than it smells, which is saying quite a bit. [4.5]

M- Medium bodied, perfect in its substance and carbonation. Crisp, refreshing but with a nice dry pine bitterness on the backend as the citrus and grainy malts fade away into oblivion. Delicious and easy to drink. [4.25]

O- One of the best IPAs out there when I can find it on draught. Out of the bottle, this beer is decidedly less impressive but that's probably because the freshest bottles I can find are one month old. Firestone Walker really needs to figure out their distribution kinks in the Great Lakes region. [4.25] (1,394 characters)

Photo of Dyldey
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Perfect from start to finish. Pours nice and as soon as the you sip it the flavor explodes until it goes down and you are left with an incredibly clean aftertaste. Full body, hoppy to start with a quick escape. (210 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint pour on draft

A- Clear golden, with orange hues. White head hangs at about a quarter inch. With a little lacing.

S- Juicy citrus and pineapple. Light bread background throws in some balance.

T- More piney in hop flavor. Some pineapple, and the malt is a little more subdued than the aroma suggests.

M- Medium carbonation on a medium-light body. Finish is dry, and quite bitter.

O- Definitely like this one. I just wish the flavor was as juicy as the smell. Impeccable aroma for this one. (498 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Solid 3 fingers of head. Light golden brown orange color. Smell the hops citrus and malts. Strangely light and smooth in the mouth. Very odd for an IPA. Taste hops, citrus (orange peel) and malt but no bitterness like most IPAs. Really drinkable. Head lingers. Hints of fruit. Maybe apricots? Very subtle. Solid clean IPA. Only Double Jack is better but that will knock you out. You can drink several of these without calling old significant others. (460 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Appearance: Crystal clear light amber with a big white head that faded into generous lacing.

Smell: Great! Like a lot of APAs - piney and floral hops.

Taste: Up front is massive hop bitterness, which is balanced well by the malt backbone. Residual bitterness is minor (maybe because my mouth is numb). Alcohol is very faint, even at 7.5%.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness and carbonation. No residual feel.

Overall: Great APA (close to DIPA territory)! Doesn’t differentiate itself too much from other hop bombs, but it nails everything and has enough of a malt backbone to keep from being strip-the-paint-off-the-walls bitter. (628 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Great clarity. Burnt orange color. Dense, off-white head. Mondo stickage!

Smell - Big citrus nose. Herbal. Nice.

Taste - Big, crisp grapefruit flavor. There is a slightly toasty malt flavor in the background that keeps the hops in check.

Mouth - Oily. Crisp. Great carbonation.

Overall - Yes, this ale is yet another California hop bomb. There is more to this beer than just hops, however. There is just enough malt to keep things interesting. The beer smells good. The beer looks great. Union Jack does many things well. (594 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge bitter resin aroma. Body is light straw clear with a white head. Lots of different citrus fruit flavors. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, maybe some passion fruit. Very juicy and very tasty. (192 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: An opaque golden. A white one-finger head that dissipates to foam. Thick lacing.

S: Citrus, featuring grapefruit. Grassy hops.

T: A terrific rush of hops with grapefruit in the lead. Smooth, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt combo. Outstanding.

M: Medium with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: Although the born on date was almost 6 months, this one was very fresh-tasting. Glad I got to try my first FW brew. More on the way. Well done. Highly recommended. (518 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

My first brew from these guys, had this on tap at a Yard House in Denver. Color was a little orange for an IPA, some copper. The construction was good, decent lacing, not a ton of head. I thought the taste though was rather pedestrian, not too hoppy, none of the pine or citrus you might get in some. Above average IPA, but I was a little disappointed. (352 characters)

Photo of kellyej
4.75/5  rDev +12%

A: Slightly hazy but still fairly clear; wispy head; yellow color
S: Peach, floral, grapefruit (rotten peach at the bottom of a shipping crate, but in a good way)
M: Medium, smooth through the middle, crisp finish
T: Balanced, well crafted taste; apricot, pine, fruit (fleshy part not skin), nice sweet spike to cut the hops (327 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

A: clear; honey colored; less than a one finger off white head that receded slowly to an uneven cap; nice lacing;

S: for the briefest moment, pine; then it's all tropical fruit; really beautiful;

T: up front, it's a combination of earthy and tropical fruit hops; by mid-palate, the tropical fruit takes over and with moderate bitterness, goes through the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: really really, good; everything about this beer is outstanding; (473 characters)

Photo of jman42
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

12 ounce bottle...

A = Pale orange. Kind of cloudy. Minimal head, decent lacing.

S = Nice and hoppy. Some citrusy tones too, but the hops prevail.

T = Hoppy - typical of an IPA, but slightly bitter. Nothing super standouts - just a typical IPA.

M = Kind of a bitter aftertaste

O = Went back and downgraded my original score - the more I drank, the less impressed I was. (375 characters)

Photo of Brams17
4.75/5  rDev +12%

One of the best all around IPA's out there in my opinion. Not overly bitter, but great hop flavor. This beer still has a nice malt body too. One of the beers that made me fall in love with hops. (197 characters)

Photo of GinjaSlice
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

Under expectations. Was one of the best looking beers with a very clear orange color and great lacing. Smell was great aswell but taste was lacking. My bottle was a little old so will have to try a fresher one and re review. (224 characters)

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and bottled on date of 04/10/2014 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper 1 and 1/2 finger of head; perfect in my opinion as far as appearance in an American IPA

Smell: Citrus hops and pine notes

Taste: Complex hop profile that has a balance between citrus grapefruit notes and piney earthy tones

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and finishes dry

Overall: Sadly I did not see the bottled on date until after my purchase. I was worried, but this has held up really well and it is nothing short on hop flavor. This is a solid example of a west-coast style IPA. Im glad to see that it hasn't dropped off after a few months. Hopefully I can get my hands on some really fresh bottles in the near future.

UPDATE: Enjoying a Union jack from a can canned on 02/27/15 poured into a tulip glass.


Far superior than the last time I reviewed this. This is how I remember it was when I first had this on draft over a year ago. So much brighter in character than the 4 month old bottle. Fantastic IPA. (1,058 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

07/15/15 On tap at Coopers, Chelsea, NYC. Still big. Head is way small but there. Aroma is honest as it let's you know this has hops w/a capital H but won't make your eyes water or split you skull.

Ever stand next to a race horse? Big & powerful but managed. Well managed if it's a winner & this sure is.

01/08/14 From cask. I've been drinking this since the spring '13 & surprised I've left no notes. This is a superior drink. Big in every way. From the cask there is no head whatsoever but that doesn't matter. I don't like hops that are overbearingly applied so this exercise in restraint is just right. They are there, but whether it's the type or the technique the result is first class.

This is a must for any beer lover even if not an IPA fan. This will show what's possible in the right circumstances. (814 characters)

Photo of travolta
3.14/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly filtered light copper in color with nice retention and a nice sized head. Lacing is something of note, even with a bad pour.

Nose: Papaya, mango, pineapple. A tiny bot of juicy fruit candy, apple, and lemon.

Taste: Crisp and bitter. Slightly chalky with orange rind. A nice clean finish with nothing really lingering. (341 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.