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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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1,229 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,229
Hads: 5,973
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,160 | 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: 1,229 | Hads: 5,973
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a deep bright copper, forms a billowing head off whitebeige coloredwith a dimpled biscuit appearance floating well above the rim of my Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Aromatics offer up intense floral, citrus, earthy hops. Almost perfume like hop nose, this beer smells great, ample bready fruity kick from the balancing malts another beautiful well created West Coast hop bomb. Sugar coated hops the interplay between malt and hops is beautiful sharp bitterness citric rinds with orange marmalade coated toasted wheat bread. A bit of mild booze and more malts come out as it warms hints of caramel coated fruitiness comes apparent. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied beautiful welcoming hop burps billow out, carbonation is dead on perfect for the style slight resinous texture going on. Drinkability is incredible another excellent well made brew from Firestone Walker, another West Coast IPA. A shipment from Hi Times in Costa Mesa was a very much needed birthday present to myself. (996 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 Prostman81
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really blown away by this beer, and this was even after having a Hopslam prior to drinking this. A wonderfullly hoppy IPA, in fact, I'd almost say this is a DIPA in disguise. Huge aroma, huge flavor, but a substantial body that almost reminds me more of a typical east-coast IPA. Or maybe a body similar to Modus Hoperandi, now that I think of it. At any rate, an excellent balance on all fronts. This is the type of malt/hop flavor that I strive for in all my homebrewed IPAs. If this is distributed by you, and you haven't tried it yet, grab it and enjoy! (563 characters)

Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was awesome, it is all hops and fruit juice. This is right in my wheelhouse of favorite IPA styles.

Will absolutely seek out and purchase again. (154 characters)

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip.
Pours a golden color with a nice lacing.
Amazing hop and apple cider aroma.
This brew is amazing. Great hop flavor but well balanced, refreshing, crisp, and really just great. What can I say that hasn't been said already. Such a great IPA. (277 characters)

Photo of mooseo
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 tulip.

A - Deep copper, clear with a decent head and retention. Pretty.

S - Strong aroma of fresh squeezed grapefruit and citrus with some earthy pine notes and caramel malt. One of the best smelling IPA's around, just really terrific.

T - Delicious grapefruit and citrus hops up front, complimented by a smooth and sweet malt base. Very clean, crisp taste. Ends with a piney, grassy flavor that tends to linger. Surprisingly complex.

M - Medium body, a little oily, average carbonation. Just a little bit dry in the finish.

O - Hands down one of the best IPA's I've ever had. (605 characters)

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

Half way between golden and copper. Low carbonation but forms a nice white frothy head. Good stability and lacing. A pseudo comparison with Ranger IPA comes up even here.

Much heavier citrus hop focus. Very nice. Fresh and bbit floral. Very very nice.

I'm a big fan of the brewing network so I now how popular Matt Brynildson is and his knowledge of hop use. It really comes out in this beer. Hop forward without being one dimensional. Pine and citrus, some lemon pith. Evenly layered between flavor and bitterness, but both come in super size helpings. The malt only serves to support the hops and does it's job well without being intrusive. Bitterness sticks with you, just like you want it to from this kind of beer.

I really don't understand why this beer doesn't have a bigger profile. Hopping is incredibly good and overall quality is on a scale unobtainable by most micros. A great beer and an excellent distraction from a Laker loss (WTF!!). (953 characters)

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

The appearance has moderate amber hue. The taste is much more pronounced than the smell. Union Jack is fruity but very drinkable. I am not an expert on what fruit flavor there is but the fruitiness is stronger than the hops but not too much. The only thing that is comparably tastier is Firestone Double Jack. (309 characters)

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

12 oz bottle (4-18-12)

A- Pours a translucent copper with one finger white head. Nice lacing.

S- Smell is big citrus with some bready malt.

T- Big citrus grapefruit nicely balanced with a malt backbone.

M- Nice medium mouthfeel with a lingering bitterness on the tongue.

O- A very solid IPA that verges onto the DIPA spectrum. Found in many supermarkets in the NW, this is a solid go to. (393 characters)

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)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,229 ratings.