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

1,217 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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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 dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this single bottle from Solomon420 as an extra in an awesome trade!

A: Pours a nicely amber color with lots of white head that reduces down to a nice finger of good bubbles and leaves lacing on the glass.

S: lots of citrusy hops and grapefruit with a minor caramel malt backing

T: Wow, this is really good. It's not a hop bomb, but there are lots of hops in there....backed by a solid, but minor amount of caramel sweet malt. the scale is tipped toward the hop flavor, but the solid amount of malt makes this really well balanced to me because I like that ratio. I really wouldn't want more malt though or this would fall under the "not a big fan" category.

M: Very full bodied and creamy for an IPA, which I am not too surprised by as the ABV is teetering on DIPA level.

D: Totally drinkable. The way the malt helps soften the hoppiness, it really helps make this beer go down easy. Not the least bit of alcohol flavor either. (936 characters)

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

22oz bottle poured into a 22oz mug

Bright golden, big poofy head and beautiful lacing. Nice looking beer. Smells piney with lots of orangey citrus.

Taste is pine and citrus with a very pleasant hoppy bitter aftertaste. Thick with malt.

Thick and chewy mouthfeel, suits the beer very well. Quite drinkable. I'm very happy. (324 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Stamped 04/08/11.

A: Beautiful golden/orange color. Super clear. One finger (slightly yellow)off white head with a fair amount of big bubbles. Decent retention and great lacing.

S: Pine hops upfront. With plenty of citrus right behind. Grapefruit & pineapple. Light floral hoppiness also. Just a tad of caramel to round things out.

T: Caramel, sweet floral notes, citrus, and light pine all blend together from front to back with nothing standing out over the other flavors. The sweetness covers the tongue while the bitterness coats the rest of your mouth.

M: Medium bodied. Crisp. Smooth. Slightly dry finish, with a nice lingering bitter aftertaste.

O: An exceptional IPA. At 7.5% on par with many DIPA's. For the price ($4.99) a much better value for a very quality beer. A tad tastier than it's "bigger brother", Double Jack. At $3 cheaper, definitely better! Get you one. (919 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle into a SA perfect pint glass.

A. A lightish copper colour with plenty of head and some lace. The head shrinks quickly to leave a film of bubbles. Crystal clear.

S. Hops straight off, and plenty of them. Lots of citrus. There's a strong hint of bready malt underlying it.

T. Tangy, citrusy gorgeous hops but with plenty of malt to back it all up. Man, this a really well balanced beer. The hops and the malts work so well together and harmonise perfectly.

M. Meduim bodied, slightly oily. Just how this kind of beer should be.

O. It's a damn shame I can't get this one in Texas without trading or paying a hefty shipping charge. A very nice beer indeed. (680 characters)

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

Pretty much a classic example of what a West Coast IPA should be, well-crafted with a definite citrusy-pine element but extremely clean with good balance, some complexity, and depth, good yeasty character, and a well-rounded character overall.

Deep gold, big off-white head slowly shirnks to a thin foamy top and a little bit of lace.

Aroma is orange marmalade, pine, grapefruit, yeasty juiciness, bread.

Taste is nicely juicy citrus, marmalade up front, yeastiness and bread with pine resin. Balance is great, it’s very engaging and lively and the abv is not apparent aside from presumably adding to the overall balance and body. (635 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Bottled on 02/04/14
L - deeper golden color with nice clarity and a frothy off-white head that holds good retention
S - grapefruit and orange rind, pine, caramel, toasted grain
T - toasty grain and oak, caramel, pungent grapefruit rind, orange rind, pine, nice sweetness with an even nicer bitterness
F - medium body, pleasant carbonation, finishes bitter and dry
O - one of my favorite IPAs. Outstanding. (418 characters)

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

Rereview from a few years back. Bottled on 9/5/13.

A: Brilliant orange/copper hue. PExcellent clarity. Moderate to minimal carbonation. One finger bleached khaki head. Good retention, stellar lacing.

S: Massive bomb of grapefruit. Pulp, juice, whatever you wish to call it. Tropical notes underneath that with lots of mango and huge papaya. Underneath that is the dank earthiness. Touch of the savory onion. Malt brings in an added level of sweetness, with caramel and a touch of toffee sipping through.

T: Front palate is a honeyed, almost graham cracker like sweetness. Mid palate brings about that huge tropical boquet, with the same mango and papaya. This evolves into bruising grapefruit juice. This quickly bitters into grapefruit pulp, which further bitters into the rind. This finish of grapefruit rind also carries an herbal, almost mint like essence, which melds perfectly with the savory notes in the nose. Finish is bitter, perfumy and oh so citrus.

M: Medium bodied with an awesomely drying finish. The malt doesn't weigh this one down, but does contribute a nice backbone for the hops to run wild.

O: Exceptional, in every sense of the word. An amazing IPA. (1,181 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Union Jack is a delicious IPA. Fresh and tangy citrus flavours. It's delicious! I am going to buy lots of this during the summer

A: Orange colour and a 3 mm head that fades pretty quick. 3.5

S: Big juicy citrus aroma. Amazing! 5

T: Malty with some lovely tangy grapefruit hoppiness. Clean finish. Delicious! 4.5

M: Pretty low carbonation for an IPA. 4

O: 4.5 (380 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to largadeer for this extra!

Pours a clear golden color with modest head.

Smell has a strong hoppy aroma, very earthy, for just a regular IPA, it has a good kick to it.

Taste starts out with a very good hoppy presence which is then balanced out with a slight malt backbone and finally ends with a good bitterness, good transitions throughout, citrus is present but not overwhelming, very light bodied as well which is interesting considering the hop profile, the strength is well hidden, totally didn't know it was 7.5% since you can't tell from the taste at all.

This IPA rather surprised me, didn't think I'd like it as much as I did. (647 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must thank my buddy who lives in WA for this one. Ryan is the man!

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip at 45°F.

A nice clear pumpkiny hue that is more of a golden honey in the light. Wonderful billowing head that retains quite well. White patches and spiderwebs of lace all over the glass. Retaining as a thin white cap with pearly bubbles. A swirl brings forth a nice refreshing pine and grassy scent, nice sweetness reminiscent of honey in the background. I do find a slight tinniness in the aroma though, but it doesn't detract too much from the experience. Lightly caramel with floral overtones commence the taste portion, followed quickly by a nice English biscuit malt backbone, bringing forth a heavy dose of pine, spruce, and bitters, but well balanced. The carbonation is a fine level, not too prickly, yet not too soft. It helps to bring out the last little bit of hop aroma as each sip is finished. 7.5%? I can't even taste the alcohol. Highly drinkable and highly recommended.

Overall, I think this is an exceptional example of an American IPA. Quite assertive, it beautifully melds a strong honey biscuit backbone with the assertive hopping style of a West Coast American IPA. I only faulted the minor detail of a slightly metallic aroma. Otherwise, this is an excellent beer and I thank my friend Ryan for the treat. (1,333 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle says 7.5% ABV so I assume the 8% was just taproom guesstimation.

Clear copper golden colored ale with a near white colored head, great clarity and good looks but not outstanding.

Smell is sweet but SHARPLY aromatic with the hops, Hops Shortage? Not in this beer! Strong scents of pine resin and tropical fruit with lots of citrus too. Firestone's typical oak barrel scents are in this but a bit hidden. Alcohol fumes carry fruity scents mostly apricot and plum. The hops in this hit you the moment you pop the cap.

The taste starts out sweet and spicy, at first the hop level seems a bit low but THAT changes in about two seconds. Strongly pine and citrus at the start. Nice balance very hoppy and fairly bitter but the sweetness is balanced just right here. Fair amount of tropical flavor here and it does remind me a little of FFF Dreadnaught in that way. You can feel the alcohol warmth in your chest and it releasing higher than average aromatic hop compounds in to your mouth. Vanilla, oak and faint mango and melon show up after your senses adapt to the hop levels. This is one of the AIPAs that pushes near or into DIPA land.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super easy to drink AIPA that is quite easy to mistake for a low alcohol beer. Enough flavor here that you would NOT be out of line drinking this like a Double IPA. I could easily give this a 5 in both taste and drinkability but I will only pick one and easy to drink is the stronger of the two great things about this beer. Possibly the best AIPA there is anywhere. (1,535 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours from the bottle a somewhat hazy orange color, with a collar of dense white foam. The nose is full of fresh hop aroma; tangerine, orange, grapefruit and pine. On the palate I get a bit of light malt flavor, but mostly huge citrus; more tangerine, grapefruit and orange. This is a great IPA. Beautifully balanced, quaffable, and easy to drink. Could drink this one all day. (377 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a vibrant amber orange color with moderate amount of carbonation and very good head retention.

S - Very pronounced pine and citric grapefruit with crisp and crackery malt. Also has semi-ripe pineapple in the nose.

T - For a single IPA, VERY impressive! WOW! HUGE pineapple, pine, generous amounts of ripe grapefruit, and dry, crackery malt.

M - Finishes semi-dry and very crisp, lighter side of medium body.

D - Exceptional. (438 characters)

Photo of IronLover
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on June 6, 2011. Perfect copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a brief white head that quickly reduced to thin wisps of foam. Medium bodied and smooth with a light resinous, but delicate feel. Grapefruit and pine hop aromas are well balanced with sweet caramel maltiness. Citrus grapefruit hop flavor up front that quickly adds a fresh pine hop flavor that continues through to the finish. A sturdy sweet malty backbone throughout. A nice mix of hop and malt chracter. (497 characters)

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Lucked into a 6-pack of this at Ralph's. It wasn't even in their inventory. Lucky me. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark for an IPA, dark amber or orange really. I get almost no head, although with a fairly cold pour, and decent lacing.

S: Sweet citrus flavor (orange) and citrus hops Smells almost more like an IIPA to me. Very nice.

T: Clean opening with just a touch of sugary malt, followed quickly by the hops. A bit of citrus, but the quality is mostly resiny and bitter.

MF: Thin body, and smooth for the style. Carbonation is pretty subdued, but an extremely crisp and clean beer. Aftertaste is bitter and long lasting. Not a lot of warming with this one, but you do notice the 7.5% after a while.

D: Surprisingly sessionable considering the ABV. A couple bottles will give you a nice buzz but you won't regret it in the morning. The flavor is excellent...just a little extra malt gives this an almost IIPA like quality. One of the best IPA's I've had, right up there with Stone and AleSmith IMO.
I gotta give it to FW. Don't just love Double Barrel, but the IPA and pale ale are awesome. (1,102 characters)

Photo of Donnie2112
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a pint glass

Looks. Translucent and pale, decent head retention and GORGEOUS draping lace!

Smells. Gorgeous, from three feet away I can smell aromas of citrus, pine and fresh mown grass. I could be wrong, but I'm nearly certain I detect some Simcoe on the nose and it's one of my favorites. Opening this beer is similar to the experience of opening the door to the hop fridge at the homebrew shop. It's so strong and about perfect.

Tastes. HOP FORWARD, to drink this beer casually is to not perceive a malt presence. On closer examination it's there, but it's essentially a delivery vessel for all of those hops, but it doesn't come off as unbalanced. Simply very very hop forward. This beer is a single IPA but it approaches some of the hard core doubles in levels of hoppiness. Flavors of grapefruit, lime, orange rind, bits of grassiness and a pine profile abound. I should like a tad more sweetness and a bit more of a clean straw like character from the malt.

Feels. Moderately carbonated, not particularly heavy on the palate, finishes with an oily hop astringence that hangs on the palate.

I can't stop sipping this beer, whoever decided that Firestone Walker should come to Alaska was a brilliant person. I wish I had tried their beers sooner, or had the opportunity to do so. What a brilliant beer and now I wish I had more then just this one bottle. GREAT STUFF! (1,390 characters)

Photo of corey0212
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a few of these in a trade with barleywinefiend, and I'm sad to seem 'em go.

Pours a clear, bright coppery orange, one-finger white head fades relatively quickly, leaves behind patchy lacing. Smell is citrus-heavy, lots of juicy bitter grapefruit, tangerine, and a sweet caramel backdrop. Lot more pine flavor than you'd expect from the nose, big grapefruit flavor, soft tangerine notes....this just screams "IPA". Slightly sticky mouthfeel, nice lingering bitterness, nothing overpowering. This is just a very classically done American IPA, and if I were a left-coaster, I'd be drinking lots of this. Really tasty. (619 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden amber with 2+ fingers of frothy off-white head. Great retention and good sticky lacing. Smells of citrus, bread, caramel, and spicy hops and pine. Taste starts off with a nice refreshing citrus flavor of grapefruit and orange rind followed by a good caramel and bread backbone with a touch of peppercorn. Finish is lightly of spruce pine and floral hops. Medium in body but a little watery in the back end. Good carbonation. Smooth and citrusy with a solid malt flavor and a bit of bitterness in the finish. A very solid IPA that packs in lots of hop flavors but isn't as bitter as some others. The alcohol is well hidden and the flavors leave the beer quite irresistible. (693 characters)

Photo of Troyone
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved a six pack as a present and was quite impressed.

This is an off gold color in the direction of orange. The head is about a sixteenth" and an off white color. The carb action is evident and this is slightly hazy.

There is a sweet smell of a grassy citrus lemon and a mild pine with some caramel malt maybe bready.

Fills the mouth will flavors and is tight, concentrated. Citrussy lemon and mild pine with a sweet grassy carbonation and the bitterness is evident and far from intollerable. In the background the caramel malt, maybe lightly toasted, is well blended. The 7.5 abv warms the senses and adds to the citrus aftertaste with a hint of caramel malt.

This is has a medium light mouthfeel with a nice alcohol warming finish.

Excellent session IPA at 7.5 abv watch out this is good.

After visiting many Brewpubs I would have to add that this is the typical great tasting IPA that usually is the preferred out of a sampler from a mom and pop Brewpub only with 7.5... If I could give this my own classification I would put this in the Amercan Brewpub IPA catagory. (1,081 characters)

Photo of Janderson91
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great extra given to me by Azurescens. Bottled on 12/07/10. Enjoyed on 02/23/11. Relatively fresh, time to review!

A - Crystal clear light amber color with a two finger white head. Leaves incredible lacing. Looks great.

S - Grapefruit, citrus, pine, very pungent nose. Smells great. Just what I want from a west coast IPA.

T - Begins balanced with some prickly carbonation. Nice and bitter toward the end. Finish leaves a great grapefruit/citrusy bitterness on the tongue. This is a fantastic beer.

M/D - Mouthfeel is medium where it should be with good carbonation. I'm going through this bottle quickly because it tastes so darn good.

My first offering from Firestone Walker, I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. A great beer, one of the best AIPAs I've had. (780 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber with high clarity. A somewhat aggressive pour yields a two finger head. Retention is good and lacing is excellent: complete curtains of foam all around the glass. The aroma is pure bliss with a complex mix of notes at play, no doubt because of a diverse mix of six different hops being used. Pineapple and tropical fruit, grapefruit rind, pine needle, and floral notes are all detectable.

The flavor has a complexity that rivals the aroma. While definitely a hop bomb and packing solid bitterness, there's a malt character not unlike what you'd find in a DIPA. The underlying malty sweetness adds depth and complexity. The hops are the star, though, with plenty of citrus character backed up by resinous pine. Bitter all the way to the finish with no unpleasant aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just about perfect with hop oils aplenty and a soft carbonation that isn't harsh while and doesn't check out early. At 7.5%, this is bumping in to DIPA territory, but there's no booziness at all.

This is an excellent IPA that validates Firestone Walker's position among the brewing elite. Top notch. (1,107 characters)

Photo of jonvan04
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark gold with a 1/2 inch white head. The aroma was a blend of piney hops along with some honey and syrup notes. The taste was very refreshing. It was balanced for an IPA, not too hoppy or too dry. Overall it was a very flavorful hop forward beer that was made with care, it's not just an overly aggressive hop bomb. This was the first beer I've had in FW's regular rotation. It's good to see that they can brew a great beer that isn't 10% alcohol and barrel aged. This beer was very well done. (501 characters)

Photo of Uncleserg
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber with lively carbonation and a medium white head. Sticky spots of lacing down the glass. Smell is nice with spicy, earthy hops up front. Some tropical fruits and sweet scents. Pineapple with a little caramel. Taste showcases more hops. Some grapefruit, orange, and pine. The malt reinforcement is there but lets the hops show through, simply providing an underlying sweetness. Great mouth feel and despite ABV, it's a very easy beer to drink. Well-crafted and a solid all around beer. A standard of what true sessionable hoppy beer should be like. (567 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice and clear solid golden color with some nice light amber hints. The head is nice and white with some slight ivory hints. Very dense bubbles with some bigger medium sized bubbles. The head is about 1.25 in thick and recedes very slowly leaving some very nice lacing.

S - The aromas is very apparent from the first pour nice strength on the nose. Nice sweet grapefruit aroma first with some slight alcoholic ester. Fresh pine forest during early fall smell. Slight woody aromas as well. Very delicious. In terms of hop aroma its up there with the best of them. Nice caramel and toffee scent on the back end of that nose.

T & M - Delicious grapefruit sweetness to start with. Very welcoming citrus feel and an extreme piney hop resin flavor. So delicious and slightly oily and viscous. There is some slight caramel sweetness in the middle as well as some nice bready and grainy flavors. Finishes with a nice toasty malt backbone that is a nice addition to the more citric and dry grassy finish from the hops. Pretty bitter and flavorful brew. There is a nice boozy warmth and sweetness mixed in there as well but it acts as a compliment and does not overwhelm at all. Its good and crisp and medium bodied with a strong hop profile that balances well with the toasty malt.

D - Very high even with the higher ABV. Would be perfect with a 6.0%. (1,418 characters)

Photo of Scoobydank
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again Sloejams
L:No head what so ever to speak of. What head there was burned away immediately after pouring. Very transparent light jewel amber brown color.
S:Oh manw hat a great smell. Really big dry hopped aroma. Like dried out leaves. Very tiny hint of sweet candied dried out fruit. Not just one fruit, many dried out fruits.
T:Right up front it tricks you in to thinking it is going to be a sweet malty taste. Which it is right away. With in second it turns in to a deliscious leady hoppyness on the back. Nice dried out hops fall in there as well.
M:Fat round bubbles give you a nice warm feeling. Those fat bubbles some how turn in to tiny tight little bubbles going down your throat.
D:Great IPA. Nothing to extreme about this bad boy, which makes for your nice every day type of IPA. (800 characters)

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