Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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1,217 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,894
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 3.54%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,096 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,217 | Hads: 5,894
Photo of MinorThreat
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on the Rotating Tap at Maggie Smith's Irish Pub in Centennial Colorado

A-Slightly hazy copper with nice pillowy white head and great lacing.

S-Wow, tons of fresh citrus fruit, pineapple and pine tree. Only the slightest hint of cereal grain sweetness in the background.

T-The nose carries over nicely, citrus, grass, pine and pineapple. Beautifully balanced hops and malt sweetness. One of the best IPA's I have ever had, boarders on IIPA.

M-Light yet viscous, tons of hop oils coat the mouth but has enough Co2 to wash it away

O-One of if not the best IPA in my books, so glad it made it to Colorado. (614 characters)

Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Love is not a strong enough emotion for how I feel about this beer! Hot Damn! I'm ready to make a serious commitment to you Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA you beautiful bastard! I have not been too impressed with previous FW offerings, but this is damn near perfection! Pungent hops blast the nose, I'm thinking Cascade, not sure. Smells terrific! Pours orange copper with perfect head. Taste is out of this world! A rich tapestry of oily west coast hop flavor, grapefruit and pine balanced to perfection. At 7.7 it feels like a DIPA but it so well integrated and drinkable that it deserves it's own classification, maybe IPA+ This is a truly special beer! (657 characters)

Photo of munro78
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: awesome bottle... even all the way in buffalo
appearance: typical pale gold, good head retention and lace
smell: awesome hoppy, earthy, citrus, complex.. this is going to be good
taste: awesome hop goodness, dare I say pliny ish... notes of citrus and alcohol..complexity
mouthful: awesome fullness, not one thing overpowers yet balanced complex taste
overall: awesomeness.. best ipa i've had (406 characters)

Photo of Jrhockney
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the few IPAs that comes close to O'dells...just barely misses it. In the Bottle, I sometimes am tempted to put it at the same level as O'dells, because it has such a Brilliant Citrus/pine balance but it's still just SLIGHTLY too sweet for my normal preference unless I'm in the mood for a sweeter IPA. On tap, it very frequently suffers from being even sweeter and thus too sweet for a hopheads preference who will often go with Stone or O'dell because of it. The other downside is that its priced at least 1 or 2 dollars more than the average IPA. It deserves it, but still... (584 characters)

Photo of berebrando
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was recommended as a substitute for The Elder -which has recently become very difficult to find here in orange county. it's good, i like it and i'm very satisfied.

It is in a 22 oz bottle and the alcohol by volume is 7.5 per cent. I like seeing fighting animals on the label - bears and lions face off against union jack and, it would be my guess that, this beer prevails. Served in a pint glass.

It pours with a thick head that follows the beer to the bottom of the glass, leaving lace from top to bottom. its color is an amber orange, in this light. Slight carbonation disappears minutes after it's poured. Smells hoppy, like pine needles. No significant fruit scents to speak of.

It tastes great. It's well balanced and, again, the hops shine through. Big pine notes with some pine and orange on the back of the tongue. Great flavors, I could drink this every night. (882 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted April 2011 (from notes)

Poured into an IPA fest glass (Najs's Place, Redondo Beach, CA)

A - Late sunset though cloudy. No head or lacing

S - Oak, pineapple, mango, lemon grass and hints of candy like sweetness. really dry smelling

T - Citrus Hops very tropical, very sweet malt, yeast, earthy and grassy

M - Very light, low acidity, long finish

D - Goes down like water but tastes a million times better

Final thought - Wish I had this everyday (458 characters)

Photo of wallygatorca
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap at Dave and Busters San Diego.

I've had it before. Prob 12-15 times. Always enjoyed.

Good stuff...all time good. Top 5 IPA.

T Tap, pint

A disguised, clear, bit light, but character

S all the hops, kinda dirty and clean, but again, character, it's right.

T Great

M has a great grit spice to it

O grows on ya good. First time looking up reviews on it, but been around the block with this one and it's an old sparring bud. Will stand test of time. An easy recommend. (480 characters)

Photo of prg1976
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip, bottled on 8/16 (thank you for dating your bottles!)

Pours a clear amber color, with a smallish white head. Not much lacing.

Smell is sweet citrus hops. Love it.

Taste is sweet, but dry. Nicely hopped, citrusy. A touch of caramel.

Mouthfeel - good carbonation, not much alcohol present, so it's easy drinking.

Overall, an awesome IPA. I will definitely be getting more of this one. (407 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle I picked up in Vegas on a recent trip into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - golden orange-amber color with a tiny white head, a very light lacing sticks to the inside of the glass

S - pineapple, mango... all the citrusy hop flavors that I love are the first thing I notice. After a deeper smell I think I detect a sweet milky caramel background. This really hits all the desirable IPA flavors for me.

T - The citrusy hops dominate up front on this then give way to a lingering piney bitterness. a hint of a caramel like malty presence finds itself in the middle of my tongue.

M - Syrupy medium body with just the right amount of carbonation

D - Pretty easy drinking IPA that provides a lot of amazing flavor. If you want to stop and think about this one it has the depth but if you wanna just sit back, relax and enjoy your brew then it can fulfill that need too. I would pick this up again in a heartbeat. This is definitely one of the best single IPA's I've ever had. (999 characters)

Photo of SFGuy187
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new favorite go-to single IPA.

A: Pours a nice orange-yellow with excellent carbonation and head retention. Lacing is prominent on the glass.

S: Bouquet of pine and citrus ... well balanced on the nose and definitely a west-coat IPA.

T: A little bitter up front but well balanced by the malt character. Grapefruit, pine resin and assorted citrus. It's a delight.

M: This is a very aggressive single IPA but it drinks very well at 7.5%. Carbonation is strong and the balanced bitterness with the malts goes down well.

O: Dangerously drinkable. I've had a few sessions where I forgot this weighed in at 7.5%. My favorite representation of the west coast single IPA at the moment. (693 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on my trip to Arizona late last week. Beer reviewed 4/16.

A - The beer was poured from a brown 12oz bottle to a pint glass. Pours a brilliant bright amber color with huge 3 finger white head. Very good retention and unreal amounts lacing.

S - Wow! Caught me off guard with the intensity of the aroma for an AIPA - more like a DIPA. Absolutely huge hop aroma: grapefruit citrus with nice aromatic qualities. Slightly pungent. Good. Great even.

T/M - Just like the nose! Wow. The hop flavor explodes on the tongue with the medium bittered citrus flavors found in the nose. Heavier end of Medium bodied, if not full-bodied. Very smooth and creamy throughout. A nice citrus zest throughout allows for a fruity character to complement the malty sweetness, as does the biscuit sweetness to the bitterness. Very good. Alcohol is slightly detectable but not overpowering or dominant.

O - Easily one of the best IPAs I've had. I really wish it was distributed here in Colorado as it would find a home in the fridge. Similar to Bell's Two Hearted Ale in the sweetness and fruity character along with the hops. Very good and highly recommended.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle (1,375 characters)

Photo of ncarter5889
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great IPA, definitely one of my favorites. An initial blast of hops with a bitter, but smooth grapefruit aftertaste. Try the cans if you come across them, I prefer them over the bottles. (186 characters)

Photo of MrJolly
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: mild carbonation, like a drizzle upwards in autumn sunshine, yields a smal but dense head that seems to thicken and retain. The texture of the head becomes as a stout's--pillowy and smooth. It is very clear with a light yellow-orange hue.

Smell: The smell is not strong, but is certainly of citrus--grapefruit and lemon. There is also some malt in the nose--biscuity.

Taste: Here the grapefruit takes over. The bitter hits the middle of my tongue and spreads to the back corners. The alcohol is hardly there in the flavor, and the aftertaste is a small sweetness trying to sooth the angry sharp bitterness back to bed.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than liquor and delightfully slick. The carbonation does some work but doesn't keep the beer from staying liquid smooth.

Overall: A really magnificent IPA, and at 7.5 ABV, it packs a punch. Look out. Is it a British Invasion? Maybe an abduction? (899 characters)

Photo of mikedrinksbeer2
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours clear light amber, minimal head that leaves nice lacing.

S- piney hops mainly.

T- hop strong yet balanced smooth. Doesn't have bitter bite but still retains piney hop flavor.

M- smooth and wide across the mouth, pleasant.

O- A fantastic IPA, in my top five for style.

Had it on draft before, reviewed based on bottle. (332 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BarrytheBear for this! Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear golden with a finger of fluffy white foam that settles down to a thin layer after a minute or so.

Smell: Citrus explosion - grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, floral hops.

Taste: Wow, tastes just as the nose smells, but only better! Bitter grapefruit and hops and citrus sweetness of pineapple, mango and tangerines. The hoppy bite continues into a nice bitter and malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and very crisp and clean.

Drinkability: Wow, move over Sculpin, I think this might be my new favorite IPA. I need more of this ASAP! (665 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Union Jack IPA pours a remarkable sunny golden amber hue, with a nice haze to it and visible bubbles rising to the surface. There's a thin coating of suds, maybe about 1/8th of an inch. I would prefer a bit more of a head here, but I can't complain because the overall appearance is amazing.

The aroma is just about the most incredible combination of IPA scents gracing my nose in a while. On one hand there's a surface-level aspect of super sweetness - strawberry candy, grapefruit, kiwi, sweet cream, and the like. And then, those perfect earthy 'resinous' hops appear and tie it all together.

As for the flavor... wow! It's much stronger than I anticipated from the nose. It starts with a big tangy lemon burst, and then the sweeter fruit esters arrive, such as mango and papaya. It's more sugary than you'd imagine. The malts are in their rightful place however, with the hops fully dominant in the end. The finish is tart, bitter, and almost numbing. Very delightful mouthfeel there... it's almost 'plush.'

Overall this is one of the top tier American style IPAs on the market, and for only 7.5% alcohol it hits ever so nice and strong. I enjoyed this thoroughly. If you like a lot of sweet and zesty flavor...buy this immediately! (1,241 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured chilled in oversize glass

A: beautiful 2-finger head; buoyant carbonation; semiclear orange color
S: very strong bouquet, piney; lingers quite a while; hard to think of an IPA that lasts this long in the nose
T: I would swear this to be a double IPA, what with the strong, complex, concentrated flavor; very hoppy, bitter, sweet -- excellent on all fronts; the hops are on the bitter side (opposite to the smoothness of simcoe hops); my only complaint is that not enough bass notes come through

wonderful, solid IPA (524 characters)

Photo of azdback
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Very clear orange color. Two finger creamy white head. Lacing is beautiful.

Smell is of citrus hops, earthy malts, maybe a bit of Belgium yeast. Hint of alcohol. Little sweet.

The taste is much (as expected) like the smell. The hop punch is fantastic!! Very citrus, maybe blood orange or tangelo, pink grapefruit? It is nicely balanced though. Malty backbone is great. Not as much of the Belgium taste as the smell. Sweetness is there also.

Mouthfeel is great. Crisp, refreshing. Well carbonated.

I drink probably 2 to 3 six packs of this a week. So there is no way I don't give this a perfect score on drinkability. It's a pretty high ABV to have too many in a single night but if you do dare, you wont know it until the next morning.

Finishing this review up I must let everyone know this is my favorite everyday IPA on the market. My pallet has changed over the years but this one is winning now. Highly recommended!!! (974 characters)

Photo of hawkx8
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my top 5 favorite IPAs. I'm fortunate enough to love less then 2 hours from the brewery and let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to visit, do it. The brewery is gorgeous not to mention an awesome restaurant next door. They always have some sort of a special treat on draft. Overall, amazing beer. Amazing brewery. Keep it up Firestone. (349 characters)

Photo of rrski198
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep yellow to amber in color with lots of bubbles. Decent white head with some thick stickage.

S: Intense pine, creamy malt, biting scent of booze. Very impressive. As good as it gets.

T: Spicy bitterness with an outstanding sweet backbone to balance out the flavor. The bitterness is felt more in the mouth than on the tongue. Absolutely perfect.

M: Spicy and creamy. Bitterness is so well balanced by the malt that the flavor, not the bitterness of the hops, is prevalent. The beer is also luscious and thick.

O: WOW. I'm impressed. This is about as good as an IPA gets. Run, don't walk, to get this brew. (616 characters)

Photo of RockAZ
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Recently have had this beer in three different places and I am amazed at the change in two years. This, I swear, is the Double Jack IPA of a few years ago. Anyway, strong hop nose, fiery malts bring the sugar to the bitterness in a balanced way. Good mouth feel, excellent with many foods and leaves a good finish on the tongue. An excellent IPA even though I am convinced I have been served the Double Jack on a mislabeled keg,....

Nope, finally got a keg of it for my home and this is a very excellent IPA. Smooth mouthfeel, wonderful aroma, excellent head retention. A bit more bread yeast to it since I have had it alone with no other IPA's to influence the taste buds. I increased my ratings on this. (706 characters)

Photo of slentz
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
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 (1,128 characters)

Photo of mwa423
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a slightly hazy dark gold with a thin white head that quickly disappeared with little lacing.

S - Mix of light sweetness and lots of citrus/pine hops and a dirt like smell as well. Very well balanced aroma that is about perfect for an IPA.

T - Awesome flavor, perfect blend of citrusy hops at both the beginning and end of the taste. The middle is some light sweet maltiness.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich and thick. The hops leave a pleasant tingle on the tounge. Very drinkable and hard to keep in the glass.

Overall, I wish this was something I could get on a regular basis. Great IPA! (597 characters)

Photo of jeremy13586
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

4/10/2012 bottle date

Golden amber in color. Almost crystal clear. Two finger white head that held on for a while. Left behind some whispy lacing.

Big pine, grapefruit, and pineapplely hops. A nice hint of the base malt.

Big juicy and fruity hops up front. Lots of grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest. A little bit of a piney and earthy bitterness that subsides pretty quickly. A very light backbone that supports just enough without stealing the show. Very clean finish.

Medium-light body with an almost creamy carbonation.

This is a beer that I've been dying to try and I'm glad that I did. The aroma and the balance of taste were top notch. (647 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours hazy yellow color with finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing is moderate. Citrus, piney hoppy aroma. Aroma is great! Nice malty, slight citrus taste up front quickly followed by piney hops. The transition is decent but you can still taste where one begins and one ends. The taste is excellent, regardless. Bitter aftertaste but just a tad soapy and dry.. (373 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.