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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

1,228 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,228
Hads: 5,970
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,152 | 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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,228 | Hads: 5,970
Photo of Gobzilla
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights that a thin white head and left a little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel malts pop out first longaide candy notes, citrus, bready, and faint hop aromas that real don't make a statement for a IPA.

T: the hops did show up on the taste some what but they weren't as potent as I thought they would be. The caramal malts held it down on the backbone with bready and citrus accents: not real punchy.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that was not real prickly but had a sweet, slight bitter, and oily finish.

D: it drank really good but didn't have the hop punch and hop profile that I expect from a west coast IPA; maybe it wasn't as fresh. (736 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
3.41/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured a golden yellow with a good 2 fingers worth of head that settles to a thin layer with great lacing from start to finish.

S: I'm getting a strong pine hops with a touch of malt and a little spice.

T: Well it is hops from start to finish.. Straight up pine hops upfront then a light malt and spice mid palette. The finish is right on par with a IPA.. bitter.

M: Lighter bodied than I was expecting.

O: I'm not a big IPA guy but this was not bad at all.... I love the smell, taste was not bad but the mouthfeel was a thinner than most of the IPA's I've had. (605 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
3.41/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Strong, dry hops and pines with a hint of malted caramel.
Appearance - See-through copper/amber with no foam.
Taste- Fairly fresh hop dominance. Almost tastes like wet hops were used in this. Very dry pines and bitter hops with a subtle caramel, biscuit malt for the base. Overall, this is a nice IPA. A good start for those coming into craft beers. (358 characters)

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: golden honey with hints of orange
S:lots of crisp grapefruit rind, pine, bread -- very nice.
T: big rich full; lots of malt, hops, and alcohol. Noticeable heat in the finish. The hops and malt are well integrated creating a cohesive taste. This alcohol is really at the high limit of American IPA so it's not really my preferred style. I find it just too much unless I was having it with a big tasting meal.
M: massive. Very full bodied.
O: I can't really find much fault in this beer but I doubt I'd order it again. I'm looking for more subtlety in an American IPA. I feel that the alcohol level and taste makes this really more of American Double / Imperial IPA which starts at 7%. (686 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
3.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a a very clear burnished gold color. Two fingers of off white head and moderate lacing. The clarity of this brew is impressive.

S: Grapefruit and ripe orange. A little floral scent and some dankness. Sweet caramel malt brings it all together.

T: Grapefruit is prominent. It is sweet on the tongue but tart on the way down. A hint of buttery biscuit. A good amount of bitter hoppiness with a little aftertaste.

M: Medium body with light to medium carbonation. 7.5 ABV but goes down pretty easy as it is clean and refreshing.

O: The nose speaks more than the tongue and the tongue was also fairly one dimensional. Not a huge fan as it lacked complexity. (668 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a very faint crystal clear copper hue with a fluffy white one finger head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. A fair amount of lacing is left behind on the sides. Light citrus and floral aromas up front. A smell that's almost like deodorant finds its way in the nose, not really diggin' it too much. A dry hay scent is also present with some fresh cut grass. Overall the aroma is a bit weak. Flavor is a zesty grapefruit, lemon, and a hint of evergreen. Slick feel quickly followed by a puckering dryness. Caramel malt is hidden but there, could definitely use some more to balance this one out. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with an overly dry aftertaste. Carbonation is steady throughout. I was really looking forward to this brew, but to be honest I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped. Too bitter for my tastebuds. (881 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep coppery amber colour with a filmy head of white. Looks pretty dark, and pretty filmy for an IPA. Lots of lacing at least. Decent, but not exciting.

Nose is very pleasant, but lacking some of the potency and sweet straight exciting complexity. Some lightly spicy pickled orange aromas, with a big malty caramel and butterscotch character
Not overdone, like diacetyl at least. Decent.

Taste is sharp and pleasantly hoppy. Pretty well done. Caramel is a bit too pronounced but it is killed by the pleasant, direct hoppiness. Feel is a little thin, but the carbonation is spot on.

Drinkable enough. Not a great IPA, but a decent one. I wanted something more, but this is good enough in its way. (706 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from a six-pack from BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a light orange, with a slow to form small white head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Pungent hops, mostly white grapefruit and citrus peel, light tangerine.

T: Lots of bitter melon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit upfront, with a bit of tropical fruit and caramel malt to end. Not my favourite hop profile, but very full-flavoured.

M: Crisp biting carbonation, with a lingering aftertaste, medium-bodied.

D: A pretty good IPA all-around, I won't have any problem finishing the sixer. (553 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice clean amber with a thick off white head. Good sticky lacing.

The smell was lightly citrusy with a touch of juniper. I like the direction, but could use a touch more dry hopping.

The taste was clean up front with just a touch of dry grainy malt flavor which is quickly overtaken by pine and lemon hop notes. has a very even bitterness to it.

The mouthfeel was a bit thick and oily.

Seems like a solid IPA, but nothing special, it seems dominated by centennial like so many other base line IPA's which makes it rather forgettable. (546 characters)

Photo of BeerBeast
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Surprised and disappointed that this one does not nearly live up to the hype, I am flummoxed that this entry earns a 95 in BA.

Bottled on 3/14/13, so it's approx. 5 weeks old; reviewed live. Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

A: Nice pour, with a friendly and active one-inch head, which dissipates fairly quickly; typical lacing for the style.

S: Nothing special in the nose, in fact a hint of the somewhat unwelcome malt presence to come is in evidence. Was hoping for more of the citrusy odour typical of the best examples of this style.

T: The flavor here is surprisingly tame and leans more towards the malt side; the hops character is stunted and fails to distinguish itself.

M: The alcohol (a robust 7.5% ABV) makes itself felt in the swallow, leaving a respectable but unspectacular taste in the mouth. Absent are any distinguishing flavors to separate this from your standard issue IPA.

O: I approach any Firestone Walker entry with a bit of trepidation, as I have not yet been blown way by any of their entries. I want very much to support the brewery, as Firestone is quite local to me here in Ojai. But this one is fair to middling, and hardly lives up to the promise of the advance hype that led me to buy it ($8.99 for a six-pack). I notice that many reviewers located outside of California are tripping over themselves to heap praise on this one. Me thinks these people need to come to Cali and see how well this style can be done. ^_^ (1,453 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance> lively, dark honey color, no head. decent lacing.
Smell> hops and citrus, nice.
Taste> Average AmIPA. Lacks complexity of some of it's competitors. Start to finish happens too fast: sip-hops-tiny hang-done.
Mouthfeel>Surprisingly creamy mouth for its style. I liked that.
Drinkabilty> so-so. I'd drink it again if someone handed me one, but I'd probably go for a different one if I was in the beer store. (431 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of djmichaelk via trade. Thanks!
Bottled on 6/24/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Light amber colour - not cloudy at all, with one finger of bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Initial nose is well balanced with some bitter citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

T - A well balanced IPA with a significant malt sweetness and some citrus and piney hops. The hops are not overly bitter or flavourful but the bitterness does linger in the finish. Would love a little more hop punch in this one. The malt profile is somewhat more dominant on the palate than the hops are.

D - A good IPA. Not spectacular but one that I would drink again. (682 characters)

Photo of jman42
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

12 ounce bottle...

A = Pale orange. Kind of cloudy. Minimal head, decent lacing.

S = Nice and hoppy. Some citrusy tones too, but the hops prevail.

T = Hoppy - typical of an IPA, but slightly bitter. Nothing super standouts - just a typical IPA.

M = Kind of a bitter aftertaste

O = Went back and downgraded my original score - the more I drank, the less impressed I was. (375 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very clear amber-orange with a medium size off-white head, and good lacing.

smell of grapefruit hops, citrus, some pine, some caramel, and a little roastiness in the back.

taste is creamy, grapefruit, caramel, pine, and citrus, ends very bitter. (255 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

My first brew from these guys, had this on tap at a Yard House in Denver. Color was a little orange for an IPA, some copper. The construction was good, decent lacing, not a ton of head. I thought the taste though was rather pedestrian, not too hoppy, none of the pine or citrus you might get in some. Above average IPA, but I was a little disappointed. (352 characters)

Photo of JeffBlue
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Draft revisited, BJ's, Valencia, CA 2/25/15) Have slowly warmed up to this beer, as it isn't the classic IPA style that I normally enjoy. For me it is a bit malt biased but still a very good beer.

Others:
Double Barrel (favorable)
PIVO (favorable) (250 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. 7.5% abv

Appearance- Gold in color with a slight haze to it. Frothy white head with good retention.

Smell- Instense grapefruit aroma coupled with earthy pine and a hint of pineapple on top of the citrus overload.

Taste- Some toasted malt flavors arrive to the palate first. The grapefruit is heavy as in the smell, and lasts through until a quite bitter and lasting finish takes effect.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy with good carbonation.

Overall- I thought this beer could of used some more work on the malt aspect of the taste. With some sweeter malt mixed there would be much more balance, which would put this beer into outstanding territory. With that said it still is not bad by no means. (727 characters)

Photo of grumpyowl
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served on-tap in Seattle,WA.

A: Dark amber. Nice 1/4 in thin head that seems to last. Good lacing.

S: Citrus from the hop. But some earthy resinuous as well from some big hops. I an thinking Columbus or even chinooks. Citrus flavor not like a cascade, but more fruity like citra or Amarillo.

F: Toasty malts come through the citric hops. Bitterness takes over. Alcohol comes through too.

M: Light to medium light body. Quite dry despite maltiness. Medium low carbonation.

D: Not session beer by all mean. On the strong side of IPA. (540 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a golden amber color
S-citrus hops with some grapefruit. maybe it just wasnt as fresh as i wanted it
T-tastes a little stale and not as hoppy as i expected.
M-smooth with a lingering hop bitterness
D-not bad, especially consider abv and all

This may have been a bad bottle, but it was disapointing (302 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very good IPA. Thanks to Grabbin2nd for this. i really enjoyed it.

Big protiens in the head leaving very large carb bubbles, very big bubbles, im surprised how big they are. bone white on a beautiful orange-amber body.

Great citrus aroma that is so juicy you could bite it. juicy, juicy, juicy tangerine.

Juicy. you knew i'd say it here too, but it is. i can tell this is fresh as the brightness is great. tropical citrus with out some of the harsher bitterness. a great compliment of a caramel is noticable, probally because they went a reasonable distance with the hops, enough to kick you but yet keep a semi-balance going on. this is good stuff. (662 characters)

Photo of Gregaroo
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In cans at the Uptown Beer Gatden in Philly. Nice IPA and nice views. FW has so many options and, while I'd rather have the Double Jack, this can was by far the best option of the night. Enjoy, kids. (199 characters)

Photo of david18
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce pour of this at Rattle N Hum in Midtown Manhattan. I wasn't sure if I had had this before but was glad to try it either again or for the first time. Darker in color than a typical IPA with a little less carbonation that I had hope but otherwise I liked this beer a lot. Great Hop aroma and flavor. Good strong taste of malt as well. I liked it. (366 characters)

Photo of Bone53
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance: Golden amber with a one finger off white head

Smell: Funky syrupy hops and sweet malts

Taste: Resiny hops dominate with slight citrus flavors

Mouthfeel: Moderate bitterness. Goes down smooth

Overall: I finally found a Firestone Walker beer in PA! But unfortunately it was 10 months old and the hops were skunked. I taste potential but it's too old to be credible. Hopefully my next Firestone beer is fresh (474 characters)

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.57/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

We didn't plan on reviewing two beers today, but when I tore off a page in my daily beer calendar, we didn't have a choice. As I was standing there trying to figure out what beer we were going to review today, I was trying to decide between Racer 5 and Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. Sure enough, I picked Racer 5 only to find Union Jack IPA on the calendar! So I figured we would review two beers today. The Racer 5 is an American IPA and the Union Jack is… an American IPA. It will be fun to see how they stack up and how they compare. I already know I LOVE the Racer 5, so I am curious to see what the Firestone tastes like. I have had it before, but I spend more time focused on the limited release beers from Firestone Walker. We have a bottle of Sucaba (formerly known as Abacus) in the fridge, too! Oh, and a few bottles of their Anniversary Ale in the cellar. As a matter of fact, we are headed (thanks to Dakine) to a tapping of the Anniversary Ale at the Skeptical Chymist soon.)

I might like hops, but reviewing two of these in one day might be too much. Good luck tasting dinner! If you like hops, toady is your lucky day here on 1001 Bottles!

In the Glass: Sheryl said, "This looks like the last one." It does… sort of. This isn't as impressive in regards to color, but the head is sticking around for a few minutes. It also produces a much thicker/heavier lace. I like a beer that laces well. Is that the right way to say that? Anyway, the beer appears thinner in the glass, but the head is getting me excited.

Nose: That is what an IPA should smell like! I like beers that have a lot of citrus in the aroma, but this guy smells like the woods. I am talking pine cones, dirt, musk, and more. There are two major types of India pale ales… I sometimes have a hard time picking a favorite. I am really digging the aroma on this one, though. Firestone Walker has made a name for big barrel aged beer, but hopefully their IPA will impress me.

Flavor: There are too many bubbles up front, and the finish is too thin. But that is more mouthfeel than anything. The flavor is weak on the front of the palate, and then the expected American IPA hop flavors take over toward the back of the tongue. As with the Racer 5, you would never know this has such a high ABV. Yesterday I was talking with someone that ages a few bottles of IPA each year. They are low ABV beers, too. He said they get better with time. With an ABV this high, maybe time would mellow down the flavors and the bubbles would subside. For me, this is too carbonated to really enjoy.

Mouthfeel: The first thing to hit your mouth is bubbles. From the second this goes in, bubbles take over. Then it mellows out on the back of the tongue, but at first you don't expect so much carbonation. The finish is nice, as it begins to mellow, it doesn't become thick… but it becomes drinkable. The aftertaste is my favorite part about this beer.

Aftertaste: The dryness starts as soon as you swallow, but not as dry as the Racer 5. It has a nice subtle dryness that reminds me of a handful of rye beers I have recently had. As you swallow, the aftertaste morphs into an earthy flavor that some might dislike. It's coming from the hops, and offers no citrus notes… just that musky flavor that I was smelling earlier.

This is a good IPA, but not one I would order again unless it was the only thing on tap besides Bud Light. There are a lot better beers out there in this stye. I will just stick to the big BA beers from Firestone Walker. Oh, BA means barrel aged. Sorry! (3,554 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 FLUID OUNCE/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to errantnight for including this in our trade!

Poured a medium, orangey-amber with a two-finger, off white, bubbly, sea foam head that faded to a thin, resilient cap of froth. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was hoppy, yet not as potent as I anticipated. Citrusy, with grapefruit coming through strongest. Somewhat powdery and dry.

The taste was hoppy and very fruity. Some caramel malt sweetness came through up front before the hops took over. Spicy, citrusy hops. Tons of grapefruit flavor in the center. Orange peel was apparent as well, along with a touch of tropical fruitiness. The finish was clean, dry and bitter, with noticeable pine and grapefruit flavors.

The mouthfeel was on the thinner side for the style with a moderate amount of carbonation. Not as creamy or smooth as anticipated.

Drinkability was good. This was a well balanced, crisp and snappy IPA that had enough flavor to hold my interest, yet was light and clean enough to keep me coming back for more. The 7.5% ABV was also very well masked.

Overall, this beer was a bit of a disappointment. I expected more of everything (i.e. aroma, body and flavor) from this West Coast IPA. Maybe this is a hoppier version of a British IPA (as the label implies) versus a more typical example of an American IPA. (1,379 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,228 ratings.