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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.

1,246 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,246
Hads: 6,041
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 441
Gots: 1,208 | FT: 13
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 (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,246 | Hads: 6,041
Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of Biggness
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very clear amber with a 1/2 finger white head with some lacing. The smell is nice and big mostly dominated by a grapefruit smell from the hops. This beer has a very nice malt base to it and a nice hop profile, its not gonna wow your socks off but it is a very solid well constructed beer. The initial flavor is a kinda bready malt flavor and its immediately followed by the citrusy hop flavor. The carbonation level seems a tad low on this beer and there is a slight dry after taste. An easy drinking beer, the alcohol is well disguised I would imagine this to be a session beer but its not even close :)

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Photo of silentjay
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crystal clear orangey copper with a nice almost white head that retains well and laces okay.

nice aroma. lots of pine, grass, and orangey citrus. good mix of hops. some soft malts in the background, maybe.

very piney again in flavor, and bitter. citrus zest and some unripened tropical fruit (pineapple) that adds some tartness. nice. pretty strong flavors that have this bordering on DIPA territory. malts are subtle, but caramelly sweet.

mouthfeel is about where it should be with a light/medium body and plenty of resin left behind on the finish.

drinks pretty well. a bit strong for the style (which i dont mind) but the alcohol is integrated well.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at 38 Degrees.

Poured into a big snifter.

Pours a nice glowing orange that is dark around the edges and lightens up to the center. A big 2 finger head that hangs around for a while until it falls to a 1/2" of white foam for the remainder of the beer. Very nice lacing on this one.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, citrus, hops, which is all covering up the sweet malt.

Taste is mostly of the grapefruit and citrus. This is not as bitter as most west coast IPA's, but incredible crisp. It's not a malt bomb by any means. Very well balanced.

Insanely drinkable even with it's relatively high ABV. Great on a hot day. Smooth and relatively light body with great carbonation.

One of my favorite IPA's. This is one of those beers that I take for granted since it's so accessible.

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Photo of rallison
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Z's Taphouse. As the previous review states, Firestone brews some house beers for select Santa Barbara County establishments. According to the bartender at Z's, the Z's IPA is done by Firestone, so this is consistent. Although I've heard rumor that SB Brewco does some of Z's brews, so there is a slight chance it could be from there. But hey, unless I hear different, I'll trust the "quick to reply that Z's IPA is from Firestone" bartender.

A: Very very nice. Great slightly cloudy dark caramel/red color with a sticky white head. The liquid itself also looks sticky.

S: Mmmm...definitely got some piney hops jumping out.

T: More piney hops. Caramel malt in the background. Actually, a decent amount of earthy caramel back there. Hops are relatively strong for a standard IPA I must say. Kind of reminds me of the Castle Rock IPA from the brewco to be honest. Definitely tilts toward the piney as opposed to the citrusy.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and semi-sticky with some resiny qualities. Good amount of body for an ipa. I like it.

D: It should be easy enough to down a few pints of this. This is definitely not a light body west coast ipa - there is more malt in this. But it's very well done; I wish I could get it more easily.

Very well done IPA. Recommended.

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scott (Smarcoly) for this bottle in a recent trade.

355mL bottle in a Deschutes snifter.

A- Pours a nice and hazy golden orange color with about a 1 finger white head that sticks around for a long time before dying down to a subtle foam. Great retention and fantastic lacing around the glass as I sip this one.

S- Big floral hop notes, with pine and citrus as well. A really nice malty sweetness is also present.

T- Not as bitter as I thought, which doesn't bother me. Nice grapefruit and citrus flavors throughout, with a very crisp malt backbone. Coming from the West Coast, this is a refreshing departure from others in it's style.

M- Very crisp, smooth, and refreshing, with just the right amount of carbonation. This would make a great hot summer day beer. Very drinkable considering it's ABV.

O- I was very impressed with this beer, mostly because it has a very different feel than most of the other West Coast IPAs I've had. I would love to be able to buy this instead of having to trade for it. Another great offering from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to HopHead84 for tossing this one is an extra giving me the chance to try another good California IPA.

It pours out that nice glowing orange with a fluffy off white head. Great looking IPA.

It smells mostly of citrus and pine with plenty of earthy caramel malt as well. A nice balance while still being really hoppy.

Taste is similar to the smell. A great citrus/pine hop burst then some balancing malt for an earthy and bitter finish.

Really smooth and easy drinking. Medium bodied and pleasant carbonation. No way does this seem like 7.50% ABV.

Another really good sessionable IPA from CA. A little high on the ABV but its hidden well.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a standard pint.
Bottled on 11/22/11*

A: Golden straw color in appearance, good finger and a half of white head and some pretty sick lacing down the glass. The star

S: Citrus notes on the hop action. Some dankness due to age but some tangerine, lemon, and some pine notes in the back.

T: Nice citrus blast of hop action in the front and almost continues in the back the same way. One way please....

M: Sticky on the palate, abv hidden well.. given the fact, nicely carbonated.

O: Stellar IPA. I close my eyes and see California....

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper to amber in color. The beer has a finger tall dense dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a light aroma of rich caramel malt sweetness and strong aromas of pine/resin and citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Moderate amounts of caramel malt sweetness. On top of the malt body there is a strong flavor of citrus/grapefruit hops as well as some lighter notes of pine/resin hops. There is a light amount of bitterness. Overall, the beer is very well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with moderate dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very enjoyable, easy to drink, and I would gladly have this one again. There is a really nice taste and smell for this beer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby8405 for the share of the fresh Union Jack.

A - Quite gold with a long-lived white head and lots of messy splattered lace.

S - Big citric hoppiness is readily apparent with additional notes of lime and evergreen. The malt is a little more caramel-y than I'd like.

T - Wow, nice assemblage of flavors, and unusually arranged on the palate. I am getting the rarely-perceived nuance of lime zest (as opposed to lemon, grapefruit, etc.) accentuated by evergreen notes of juniper bush. The hop is tempered by a sturdy malt that tastes less caramelized than it smells.

M - IPA. Good.

D - I mean, it is quite nice, but it is not a standout. SoCal IPAs that are better (off the top of the dome...) include Just Outstanding, AleSmith IPA, Green Flash IPA, Sculpin (obviously), and I'm sure more that I don't know or can't think of.

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Photo of AwYeh
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden copper color with loads of carbonation bubbles flowing up to support two fingers of frothy, towering head.

S: Peach and apricot, floral hops, nice caramel/biscuit malt backbone.

T: Caramel malts make up a pretty formidable base, with pine, citrus, and floral hop flavors complementing it well.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation; finish is a little sticky and dry.

O: Nice IPA from Firestone Walker, really enjoying the smell of this one. It will definitely be incorporated into the California IPA rotation.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass at the compound. Got this up in ny on a recent trip and it's super fresh.

Union jack, hazy sunset orange with a hint of amber and rising bubbles making for a milkshake of tannish foam about a half inch in stature. Faint spraypaint lace.

Smell is dry hopped with some 3c action.a big burst of citrus backed with pine and not to malty, but some caramel seeps in. not the most pungent ipa but it stacks up.

Jack livens things up in the taste department with some mango and some pine and some dry hoppin. Midway getting sweet malt with grapefruit, bubblegum and leafy hops and a trace of alcohol.

I like the feel on this, its aggressive in flavor yet the it's not all that harsh on the tounge, mouth etc. Just a mild bitterness. A lighter side of medium with medium carb, moderate spritz. Insanely drinkable, insanely good, I wish fw made it to pa. In the range of the first batch of torpedo, with more dry hopping.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- One finger bright white head that fades rapidly and leaves sticky lacing all over my DFH glass. Pours a clear golden orange with a ton of carbonation.

S- Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit, pineapple slices, mango and dank pine needles. Not really picking up much malt or yeast even as it warms up. This IPA is all about the pine and fruit, not much depth.

T- WOW! Really fruity and fresh! Grapefruit and pine sap, pineapple and caramel. Nicely bitter with an underlying sweetness. Very well balanced as I expect from one of the best brewers in the world.

M- Perfectly bitter and balanced with a nice malty sweetness. Really nice carbonation and crispness. Nice fruity aftertaste.

O- Thank goodness F.W. has finally made it's way to upstate NY!!! This a really good IPA. Wish it had more balance in the nose. Very drinkable and no sign of the alcohol.

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Photo of Durge
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack from Whole Foods Market in Los Gatos, CA and was glad it was recommended to me by Brian there. It has a clear golden amber color with a modest white head of big bubbles that disipates to a mere ring quickly but leaves a healthy carpet of lace. The aroma is mild but pleasant pine hops and a vague hint of clean grain. The flavor brings a much more difinitive hop and it's got more of a citrus side. It's smooth with very fine tingly carbonation, crisp but fair bodied for the style. The hop dominance gives way to some malt sweetness and this settles into a very pleasing ipa. There's also a touch toasted oats and oak. This is one solid choice, definitely give this a try!

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Photo of JWU
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- beautifully translucent gold/orange, with a finger of white head that laces fantastically.

S- Citric. Grapefruit and orange. Certainly a biscuity malt lies underneath.

T- Hop forward from the word go, and not just hop flavor, pronounced bitterness is there as well. Hop flavor is largely orange, with a hint of pink grapefruit. Bitterness is very much on the sides of the tongue. Malt is not overdone, which is very appreciated. Bitterness lingers well after the sip.

M- Medium bodied, more carbonation that is visible. Quite dry on the finish.

O- Very nicely done. Not my favorite, but I can certainly appreciate the West Coast roots, and the care which was taken to craft it.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass (too frosty) poured at Rocco's Bar, Portland. Allowed to sit/warm for about ten minutes.

A: Clear pour with plenty of streaming carbonation cutting through a field of butterscotch/copper orange. Head is short, but epitomizes creamy whiteness; a million flecks of lace speckle the glass.

S: Powerful citrus, a blend of grapefruit and orange, marries with hearty evergreen - maybe a tad on the soapy/perfumed side. Takes some time to develop, but plenty strong once it does.

T: Like the nose, this flexes its muscles right away: pithy, almostly tingly, citrus zest; resinous and juicy needles; and under-coating of thick caramel and candied fruits.

M: A bit on the zesty side, yet not over-carbonated. Body carries some weight, medium-to-heavy feel, with a coating finish of bitter pith and pine.

D: Though categorized as a 'regular' American IPA, this toes a fine line toward being 'Imperial'. It's easy enough to drink one of, but midway through the second you may start to regret it. Or you'll feel so good you just don't care. Til tomorrow... Very worthy...

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Photo of Florida9
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dull orange in color. Pours with a 1/2" of foamy white head that quickly reduces to a very rocky surface coating. Copious lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt, citrus, and spicy hops.

T: Mildly sweet caramel malt, grapefruit, pine, and some moderate bitterness. Finishes with a bitter bite.

M: Medium with appropriate carbonation.

D: Overall, a good IPA. Maybe a bit on the sweet side, but the hops are still the focus and I wouldn't consider this a flaw.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint. Served chilled...

A) Clean and clear golden amber. Not much head... Settles quickly to a collar. Decent lacing...

S) Lemon rind shavings, grass and some saltine cracker. A refreshing scent with a little sweet flower petal.

T) Near the nose... Good malt backbone with a slightly zesty finish that let's a little of the 7.5% ABV poke it's head out.

M) Solid medium body with softer carbonation. Dry finish that is bitter, but doesn't linger.

O) Very nice brew... I would like to try more from this brewery. Glad to recommend...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firestone- IPA

A- Caramel orange brown with a fluffy head, light lacing.
S- Sweet buttery malt and sugary pine hops.
T- Sweet sugary buttery shortbread malt, sweetened pine and citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange rind.
M- Thick malt and a sweet sweet hoppy body and finish.

Overall- Solid, sessionable. A highly recommended 1 if seen on tap.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is clear and amber with golden highlights. It is capped with an inch and a half of white head.

S - The aroma is full of citrus. I even get a little tropical fruit.

T - The taste is loaded with citrus, especially grapefruit. There is a mild pine finish.

M - It is medium bodied and very smooth.

O - I had this on tap and do not remember it being this good. Of course I tried a lot of beers that day. This is a smooth, easy drinking IPA. It is not the piney, bitter beer that I would have expected from the left coast.

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Photo of cbutova
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottles in MA, nice to see. Weird coincidence that Chico1985 review it on the same day.

A- Particle free light orange pour into a pint glass. Small white head forms with decent retention and a creamy texture. A few nice lace patches.

S- Aroma like a fresh pack of hops out of the home brew store. Good mix of citrus, orange peel and pine in an aroma you don't have to stress to pick up on.

T- Nice and hoppy again. Citrus zest, grapefruit, big pine, general fruit and earthy profile. Great pine citrus interplay. A caramel malt backbone and some bread.

MF- Creamy body that definitely has nice substance to it. Finishes with a nice bitterness.

Solid, straight up IPA. Great dynamic between citrus fruit flavors and earthy pine ones. West Coast but anyone can appreciate a beer like this.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, stamped 8/01/13

fairly clear golden color, bone-white head. fruity aroma - grapefruit, orange, melon - very pleasant. tastes is dominated by slightly bitter hops - fruity citrus flavors. mild malt. tasty. medium body and carbonation, a bit oily mouthfeel. overall a nice IPA with great flavors.

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Photo of NewGeneric
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one the other day with my father. Poured a gold color with white head that faded quickly and left good lacing. Smelled of citrus/pine hops and light malt. Tasted pretty much the same. Smooth, but slightly bitter/dry finish. Could easily drink more of this.

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Photo of regspeir
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle (via trade) poured into a Duvel tulip.
Aggressive pour yielded a light amber with a smallish one-finger white head. Head dissapates quickly but leaves behind a nice creamy lacing. Good carbonation is evident by sight and taste. Nose is a strong citrus (orange, grapefruit) and earthy pine with a sweet malt evident. Taste starts with some bitterness that is almost like orange zest quickly countered by a malty sweetness and a nice, refreshing orange aftertaste. This is well balanced and delicious. It features a medium consistency and only slightly oily mouthfeel. At 7.5% and this well balanced, sessionable it is. As with lots of left coast offereings, I just wish I had enough access to do so. If you are lucky enough, go for it!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10-25-12, drank on 3-19-13. Will have to try fresh some time but this is all I've got on the East Coast. Pours deep golden with a small fluffy head. Aroma is still fantastic. Sweet mango and grapefruit with candy sweetness. Flavor is pine and grapefruit, but the hops are obviously deadened. Still, this is an excellent IPA. Lingering sweet citrus on the palate. Medium slick mouthfeel, with medium to high carbonation. Really want some fresh now, though this is still very nice as is.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,246 ratings.