Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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1,217 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,891
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,092 | 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: 5,891
Photo of timholio
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was a British beer I had not heard of yet when I ordered it...its a CA brew. Anyway I was completely fooled and it compares well to a Fullers ESB but is milder and no 'fruity' undertone. Lots of citrus,piney, lovely hops not overpowering.

The 7.5% is surprising I would have thought it was lower. I would drink this again, even as a session beer. (363 characters)

Photo of jaz58
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of IPA's and this is a classic.

Enjoyed in a clear pint glass.

A nice cloudy appearance. Reddish orange colour.

Great hints of citrus, lemon and grapefruit on the nose.

Clean hops with grapefruit finished with a good bitters. Not in your face.

A good mouthfeel. Balanced. (290 characters)

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

Good initial head, but I'm really impressed with the blanket of lace that remains long after the brew is gone. The color is a neutral gold. Crystal clear.

Prickly to the nose with white pepper and evergreen. Very clean and inviting. The hop is strongest but it is spot on in intensity.

Smooth initial feel to the body. Good carbonation. The flavor begins with a strong, nearly dry, pale malt. No grassiness at all. The bitterness is strong enough to punch through but it isn't extreme by any means. The aftertaste is actually a blend of the two--the hop features the white pepper bite noted in the smell.

Overall, this is perhaps the finest American Pale Ale I've ever tasted. It belongs to pantheon of great APAs--Sierra Nevada, Stone and Fresh Hop from Great Divide. (772 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/20/12. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Nice and clear amber body. Sudsy two finger high off white head settles down to a thin cap and thick edging. Some nice lacing and retention.

S - Mango and peaches with a touch of bubblegum. A touch of bready malts but the aroma is totally dominated by sweet and juicy tropical fruit.

T - Yup, more juicy tropical fruits. Peach, mango, papaya, grapefruit, etc. Just a touch of crackery malt on the finish with a lingering bitterness. Medium but chewy mouth feel.

O - One of my favorite IPA's. Amazing tropical notes with just a touch of biscuits on the finish. So glad this is distributed in my area now. (673 characters)

Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Diomede for the bottle!

A - Light copper body with good clarity. Nice white head with great lacing.

S - Fresh Citrus Hops and a good malt aroma in the backround.

T - Awesome. Hops, citrus, malt, this is a tasty beverage.

M - Great feel to it. Fresh, balanced, so tasty.

D - All the way from CA to CT this beer is still very fresh tasting. Wish this was readily available on the east coast. What a great beer. (428 characters)

Photo of SFC21
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A - Nice golden body that starts with a one inch head that quickly dissipates. Coats the glass nicely on the way down.

S - Citrus hops - notes of grapefruit, orange and pineapple - along with some floral hop notes and caramel malts.

T - Delicious. Grapefruit rind bitterness jumps out at first but it is quickly met and perfectly balanced by the caramel malts. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Medium bodied with some creaminess.

O - This is my idea of a perfect IPA. The balance is ideal for my palette. The hops make their presence known without overwhelming the rest of the flavors or destroying the taste buds. This is going to become a permanent fixture in my rotation. Highly recommended. (743 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,244 characters)

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

8/11/07- Had on tap at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Light amber in hue with a soft, smaller creamy white head. Excellent lace markings.

Smell- Sweet fresh grapefruit nose. Malty goodness as well. This one is going to be sugary.

Taste- Hmmm, not a sugary as expected, but just about right. The toasted caramel candy malt fits well with the very large blast of grapefruit hoppiness. Alcohol is there, but this beer does a good job of hiding it.

Mouthfeel- Slightly creamy and smooth with a perfect sweet aftertaste. Carbonation is right where it should be. Wish there was just a touch more of hop bitterness that follows you home.

Drinkability- The winner in my mind at this years fest. Sadly, it didn't place in the top three. It was Firestone Walker's first attempt at making this brew. They just kegged it the day before and my friend was the first in line to try it. Hope they keep making this one as it's one of the better DIPA's I've had. (1,011 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wholeheartedly agree with the average reviews here. This brew is truly world class! I love everything about it; from its lovely golden color, to its amazing citric hop aroma, and for its delicious balance of hops flavor and malt backbone. Furthermore, it has a great feel that is so drinkable and leaves me wanting more. This is my 2nd Firestone Walker ( I had a Wookie Jack) and have loved both. (398 characters)

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

Had on tap at JJ Brewski's. Nice golden to amber color. Orange/grapefruit aroma. Nice tropical notes, including some orange from Amarillo hops, I presume. I really liked the citrusy, orange juice quality, balance with the C hops presence. Excellent. (249 characters)

Photo of Belekinbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours and golden honey brown with about a half inch head.

Smell is citrus, piney and slightly grassy

Taste is excellent- very well balanced- nice hoppy bitter taste- I think it leans toward a APA instead of an IPA- nice bitter after taste that fades slowly

Mouth feel is solid and crisp

Overall, I wish I could get this on the east coast, might be my go to pale ale. Would definatly have again- over and over! (413 characters)

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled on 06/04/08) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a copper color with a tint of orange.

S: A big wallop of citrus and hops. The pungent smell lets you know that this is going to be a good one.

T: Bursting with citrus in the form of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple. Absolutely delicious. Very well balanced with the malts as well.

M: This brew coats the mouth with creamy hop oils.

D: A great IPA (possibly nearing the DIPA boundary). One of the best readily available IPA's out there. (533 characters)

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

I came across this at a local Craft Pub in Thorndale Pa. The joint tends to be a bit overpriced, by craft standards, (e.g., when they first opened I walked in, saw Boulevard Tank 7 on tap, and ordered it. I had paid $7 for one at another spot a few weeks earlier, was surprised when the tab came in at $10 for that one.) in any event, I perused the beer list and saw that they had Union Jack for $5 a pint. I like IPA's and hadn't had this one. So...

It presented with a head about 3 inches. The taste was richer and somewhat less sharp then most of this variety. I think that it's actually one that a Belgian brew afficianado could appreciate. Personally, I like Belgian brews but am more of a British Isles descent beer drinker. However, this is very nice stuff, among the upper echelon of the IPA's that I've had, and there have been a few. Union Jack is hearty and flavorful without sacrificing what a hophead needs. If I had to pick a group of core beers, it would be one of them. (995 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel coloring infused into pear cider. A bubbly layer of head is in trim figure. A slightly dulled complexion that is neither completely hazy nor completely clear. If this turns out to be half as good as it looks then I'll be pleased.

Huh - wow. What a fantastic hop filled aroma. A cocktail of pine and pineapple, with lemon and orange accompaniments. Even from across the table your nostrils will pick up on the bounty of alpha acids, hard at work scrubbing away at the toasted caramel malts.

And you don't even have a good idea of just how much alpha acid there is until you take a sip; the bitterness is at a level that should be choking, but isn't, and comes across somehow amicable. You might not even notice it, in the same way I didn't pick up on the 7.5% which is well buried under one of the tastiest flavour profiles I've ever tried.

Every taste opens a world of flavour! A lot of West Coast IPA's are citrus filled but this actually tastes like citrus - authentic, pulpy, freshly squeezed citrus juice. The flavour is quite literally like a squeezed lemon slice and incredibly similar to pulpy orange juice. So unbelievably tasty!

This damn well should be your flagship beer. There is a ton of good competition in this style category, especially from that part of the country, but Firestone's Union Jack is certainly among the top on my list of delicious, endlessly drinkable IPA's. Thanks fartingdog! (1,424 characters)

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

I got this beer from IntriqKen because the Royals beat the Angels as part of the "my team is better than your team" beer bet.

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear orange color with a white head that left lots of lacing.

S - sweet citrus aroma, very nice.

T - great balance of citrus hop with just enough malt.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation and a crisp feel.

D - goes down easy, a very enjoyable brew. (435 characters)

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

L: Deep, clear gold with a two finger rocky head on top and great lacing.

A: The aroma is filled with citrus rind and other pungent citrus fruit notes. There is a little booziness mixed in, and some tropical fruity esters to add to the complexity. Very little in the way of malt aromatics, maybe a little bit of cracker character.

T/M: Smooth bitterness off the front that intensifies momentarily, only to fade off into a medley of citrus fruit, rind, and cascade hop spiciness. It has that classic Centennial/Cascade hop profile that is complimented by a arrangement of tropical fruit and pine. There is even some estery fruit that sneaks its way into the mix, and the malt give a nice crackery pilsner character leading to the dry finish of what is an otherwise smooth and full-bodied beer.

Overall: Exceptional, a classic hop profile with a unique twist. The flavor is very delicate and could have been ruined by any number of things, yet it stands perfectly balanced. Hardly a Single IPA, but I don't care what they call it, I just wish it made it to Montana. (1,066 characters)

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

Here is my re-take on this fine IPA.

Pours a nice honey gold color with a decent 1 finger head. After a few minutes, head dissipated to a very fine ring around the edge of glass.

Aroma is of strong hops. Mostly C-hops with some light sweetness. Main components are cool herbal hops, grapefruit, light lemon, apricot and pine. This is a looking to be one good IPA.

This is a good IPA. No, its a great IPA. Firestone Walker really pulled out all the stops to make this monster of a beer. Begins with a good hop punch upfront with grapefruit, light pineapple, and various citrus flavors, then slowly gives way to a sweet caramel malts which really brings this tropical IPA into line. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel was superb. Like Sculpin, AleSmith IPA, and Blind Pig, it is big, full and viscous. Excellent in every respect.

Drinkability is damn dangerous. I couldn't believe that this was a 7.5 ABV beer. Its so good that Union Jack just replaced Torpedo as my IPA of choice! (973 characters)

Photo of Retail1LO
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this both on draft and in bottle, but for the purpose of this review, I'm going off a bottle from the case I purchased at Kunda Beverage in KoP.

This is easily one of my top 3 IPA's. Might even be my favorite. The hops are absolutely amazing and provide one of the most refined fragrances and tastes in any class of beer, much less an IPA. If you're a hophead, this is a must have. (392 characters)

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

A: Pours a nice, clear, copper/orange color with fluffly one inch head that fades to puddles on top. Lacing down the sides. Looks like something I want to drink!

S: Smell is pungent with floral, pine, and grapefruit all with a sweet malt. Delicous

T: Just like the nose. Pine comes in strong with the grapefruit taking a seat but still in the mix as well as other tropical fruits., ends with a delicious semi-sweet caramel malt with some biscuit breadiness. Ends with a crisp bitter bite.

M: Great. Medium body with a medium to low carbonation that goes down creamy, easy, and slick.

O: I’ve heard good things about Union Jack and it did not disappoint. I’ll be drinking this again. (692 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 Gambrinus1184
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby 12-ounce bottle into a Relic Brewing Co. imperial pint glass.

A: Poured a slightly hazy, golden amber color with a tinge of orange. Excellent clarity otherwise with lazy carbonation that builds up to a three-finger head of frothy, dense, white foam that retains very well and leaves nice sheets of lacing.

S: Loads of fruity esters mixed around with floral and citrusy hops. Grapefruit and bitter orange rinds dominate the fruity, inviting nose.

T: Very juicy, fresh, citrusy malts hit up front with some toasted biscuit qualities before a hoppy, fruity dam bursts, unleashing hop resins over the palate. There is a very heavy hand of hops here; bordering DIPA territory. Excellent grapefruit and citrus flavors wash over in full bitterness before finishing dry and slightly sweet with a mild alcohol burn.

M: Smooth, sweet and relatively balanced medium mouthfeel, this brew finishes a bit creamy through the sharp pull of bitterness and puckering citrus flavors.

O: This is a very tasty American IPA and bordering on a DIPA with it's pretty well-masked 7.5% ABV and superbly jacked up IBUs. A full showcase of Northwestern hop varietals and California-mentality, hop-forward brewing makes Union Jack IPA a new contender for favorite, west-coast American IPA. Excellent! (1,297 characters)

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

Appearance - Lighter thasn I expected (comapring to other ipa's) straw color with one inch head after rather vigorous pour into a pint glass.
Smell - Nice pine and citrus smell, what I would expect with a west coast ipa.
Taste - I get the bitter taste of hops both upfront and at the end a taste that I like.
Mouthfeel - I would say medium body.
Overall - A fine tasting very refreshing hoppy beer. (398 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 BeerLover99
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: shiny, mild copper body, finger off-white head, sexy lacing

S: lemon peel, orange marmalade, big fresh pine, chalky floral

T: same as nose with long slow bitter oily finish

M: med body, firm oily mouth

O: YUM! Firestone just makes great beers.
Repeat buy. Hopheads and craft beer lovers
will both crave this gem.

DELICIOUS; MUST HAVE! (343 characters)

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

I had this beer a long time ago and didn't like it. However, I was unsure of whether this was due to the actual flavor or the fact that I had it really old. Here goes:

A: Great. Copper-colored with a huge head and great lacing. Also plenty of carbonation.

S: Great - a pine forest mixed with some grapefruit. Very sweet caramel malt as well. Can't wait to try it.

T: Follows the nose, which is great. Citrus, pine and biting grapefruit interspersed with sweet caramel malt. Fantastic - reminds me of Sculpin.

F: Perfect. Well-carbonated and rich.

O: Great beer. Much better than I remember it. Will remember to try Firestone Walker beers before the hop-flavor dissipates. (692 characters)

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