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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

5,454 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,454
Reviews: 1,211
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 381
Gots: 781 | 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 (76) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 5,454 | Reviews: 1,211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wtgannon
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of Wab
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of asingh0702
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of ChemBrew
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of cunadelocos
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of korene84
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of MikeCulli
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of chippo33
1.5/5  rDev -64.5%

Photo of Wml5009
1.5/5  rDev -64.5%

Photo of velmalikevelvet
1.93/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. chilled bottle, served in 4oz taster glasses.

A: Buttery gold (or, if you ask Carrie, "concentrated, stale mountain piss-colored"), minimal

S: Depending on the nose of the hoes, variously described as "Gewurztraminer", "citrusy" (x2), "apricots", and "bananas, maybe".

T: "Nothing up front, a big marble of bitter in the middle, and then extended breathing-out of the bitter", "no floral and almost no hoppiness", "spicy", "lots of volatile oils; you know, that stuff you scrape off the orange before you zest it".

M: "Thin spicy burning sharp", "light a match & breathe fire".

O: We did not enjoy drinking this beer.

(This was reviewed simultaneously by 5 people from the same bottle.)

Photo of CarolinaKevin
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of specksofdust
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of gafferjohn
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of IkeT33
2.24/5  rDev -47%

Photo of 2shanes
2.25/5  rDev -46.8%

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 pauldave1976
2.41/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Not the beer I thought it would be. Really excited to try but the hype was a little too much.

Photo of Ruben
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of julieg
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

Hoppy but not a lot of flavor

Photo of phishbone23
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of Safsel1
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of ccleslie88
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of markjarema11
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of JimiO
2.75/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A classic IPA... and a good benchmark to utilize in measuring other IPA's. Good color and clarity... very easy on the nose... good balance of hoppiness (for an IPA)... sits nice in the mouth.

I tasted it along with Firestones DBA... I preferred the DBA. I am not a big fan of IPA's... I prefer less Hop. But this is a good quality IPA.

Photo of Userme59
2.75/5  rDev -35%

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,454 ratings.