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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,956 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,956
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 331
Gots: 514 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 08-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,956 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Neorebel
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Union Jack IPA pours a remarkable sunny golden amber hue, with a nice haze to it and visible bubbles rising to the surface. There's a thin coating of suds, maybe about 1/8th of an inch. I would prefer a bit more of a head here, but I can't complain because the overall appearance is amazing.

The aroma is just about the most incredible combination of IPA scents gracing my nose in a while. On one hand there's a surface-level aspect of super sweetness - strawberry candy, grapefruit, kiwi, sweet cream, and the like. And then, those perfect earthy 'resinous' hops appear and tie it all together.

As for the flavor... wow! It's much stronger than I anticipated from the nose. It starts with a big tangy lemon burst, and then the sweeter fruit esters arrive, such as mango and papaya. It's more sugary than you'd imagine. The malts are in their rightful place however, with the hops fully dominant in the end. The finish is tart, bitter, and almost numbing. Very delightful mouthfeel there... it's almost 'plush.'

Overall this is one of the top tier American style IPAs on the market, and for only 7.5% alcohol it hits ever so nice and strong. I enjoyed this thoroughly. If you like a lot of sweet and zesty flavor...buy this immediately!

Neorebel, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of gopens44
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A touch darker than straw colored, but still in the ballpark. A good 1" of foamy head with awesome retention.

S - Citrus, earthy, bold and no nonsense!

T - Not too bitter, a little sweet and a ton of grapefruit. Again, this is a no nonsense IPA that is everything that is good about an IPA

M - Creamy with low carbonation. A slight bit dry and no discernible aftertaste.

I may have found my favorite IPA! This creation is just splendid. Sad that it took me a while to discover it, but now that I have, it'll be in my fridge early and often!

gopens44, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of rrski198
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep yellow to amber in color with lots of bubbles. Decent white head with some thick stickage.

S: Intense pine, creamy malt, biting scent of booze. Very impressive. As good as it gets.

T: Spicy bitterness with an outstanding sweet backbone to balance out the flavor. The bitterness is felt more in the mouth than on the tongue. Absolutely perfect.

M: Spicy and creamy. Bitterness is so well balanced by the malt that the flavor, not the bitterness of the hops, is prevalent. The beer is also luscious and thick.

O: WOW. I'm impressed. This is about as good as an IPA gets. Run, don't walk, to get this brew.

rrski198, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of RockAZ
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Recently have had this beer in three different places and I am amazed at the change in two years. This, I swear, is the Double Jack IPA of a few years ago. Anyway, strong hop nose, fiery malts bring the sugar to the bitterness in a balanced way. Good mouth feel, excellent with many foods and leaves a good finish on the tongue. An excellent IPA even though I am convinced I have been served the Double Jack on a mislabeled keg,....

Nope, finally got a keg of it for my home and this is a very excellent IPA. Smooth mouthfeel, wonderful aroma, excellent head retention. A bit more bread yeast to it since I have had it alone with no other IPA's to influence the taste buds. I increased my ratings on this.

RockAZ, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of mwa423
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a slightly hazy dark gold with a thin white head that quickly disappeared with little lacing.

S - Mix of light sweetness and lots of citrus/pine hops and a dirt like smell as well. Very well balanced aroma that is about perfect for an IPA.

T - Awesome flavor, perfect blend of citrusy hops at both the beginning and end of the taste. The middle is some light sweet maltiness.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich and thick. The hops leave a pleasant tingle on the tounge. Very drinkable and hard to keep in the glass.

Overall, I wish this was something I could get on a regular basis. Great IPA!

mwa423, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Jeff_Benson
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

Jeff_Benson, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of slentz
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Union Jack bottled 8/11. Reviewed with Kiddynamite920. Thanks brother! Bottle to Deschutes tulip.

A: Strong pour down the center of the glass produces two and a half finger pillowy off white bubbly head that slowly dissipates to a half finger head that stays a while. As the head recedes a nice lacing is left on the glass. Wow this looks awesome in the glass nice and clear golden color definitely a perfect score here. 5.0

S: Huge hop presence. Smell is of strong hops, malts, grassy, a little lemon. Sweetness... pineapple....brown sugar.... grapefruit ... a little granny smith apple coming through...a little musty even. 4.5

T: Crisp and very clean very nice bitterness that lasts through and through. Tons of hops, lots of citrus this is one damn fine IPA. I would say this is world class. 5.0

M: Mouthfeel is exceptional. Again this beer is awesome. Spot on carbonation...slick feeling of hops throughout...doesn't get much better than this. 5.0

O: Overall this beer is just plain awesome. Appearance is great, Smell is great, Taste is great, Mouthfeel is great. This is what an IPA should be day in and day out. 4.5

slentz, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of jeremy13586
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

4/10/2012 bottle date

Golden amber in color. Almost crystal clear. Two finger white head that held on for a while. Left behind some whispy lacing.

Big pine, grapefruit, and pineapplely hops. A nice hint of the base malt.

Big juicy and fruity hops up front. Lots of grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest. A little bit of a piney and earthy bitterness that subsides pretty quickly. A very light backbone that supports just enough without stealing the show. Very clean finish.

Medium-light body with an almost creamy carbonation.

This is a beer that I've been dying to try and I'm glad that I did. The aroma and the balance of taste were top notch.

jeremy13586, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of udrick
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

udrick, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Caanderson27
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

Caanderson27, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of mikedrinksbeer2
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours clear light amber, minimal head that leaves nice lacing.

S- piney hops mainly.

T- hop strong yet balanced smooth. Doesn't have bitter bite but still retains piney hop flavor.

M- smooth and wide across the mouth, pleasant.

O- A fantastic IPA, in my top five for style.

Had it on draft before, reviewed based on bottle.

mikedrinksbeer2, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of Axic10
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BarrytheBear for this! Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear golden with a finger of fluffy white foam that settles down to a thin layer after a minute or so.

Smell: Citrus explosion - grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, floral hops.

Taste: Wow, tastes just as the nose smells, but only better! Bitter grapefruit and hops and citrus sweetness of pineapple, mango and tangerines. The hoppy bite continues into a nice bitter and malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and very crisp and clean.

Drinkability: Wow, move over Sculpin, I think this might be my new favorite IPA. I need more of this ASAP!

Axic10, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of SFGuy187
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new favorite go-to single IPA.

A: Pours a nice orange-yellow with excellent carbonation and head retention. Lacing is prominent on the glass.

S: Bouquet of pine and citrus ... well balanced on the nose and definitely a west-coat IPA.

T: A little bitter up front but well balanced by the malt character. Grapefruit, pine resin and assorted citrus. It's a delight.

M: This is a very aggressive single IPA but it drinks very well at 7.5%. Carbonation is strong and the balanced bitterness with the malts goes down well.

O: Dangerously drinkable. I've had a few sessions where I forgot this weighed in at 7.5%. My favorite representation of the west coast single IPA at the moment.

SFGuy187, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of hopfacebrew
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on my trip to Arizona late last week. Beer reviewed 4/16.

A - The beer was poured from a brown 12oz bottle to a pint glass. Pours a brilliant bright amber color with huge 3 finger white head. Very good retention and unreal amounts lacing.

S - Wow! Caught me off guard with the intensity of the aroma for an AIPA - more like a DIPA. Absolutely huge hop aroma: grapefruit citrus with nice aromatic qualities. Slightly pungent. Good. Great even.

T/M - Just like the nose! Wow. The hop flavor explodes on the tongue with the medium bittered citrus flavors found in the nose. Heavier end of Medium bodied, if not full-bodied. Very smooth and creamy throughout. A nice citrus zest throughout allows for a fruity character to complement the malty sweetness, as does the biscuit sweetness to the bitterness. Very good. Alcohol is slightly detectable but not overpowering or dominant.

O - Easily one of the best IPAs I've had. I really wish it was distributed here in Colorado as it would find a home in the fridge. Similar to Bell's Two Hearted Ale in the sweetness and fruity character along with the hops. Very good and highly recommended.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

hopfacebrew, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of azdback
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Very clear orange color. Two finger creamy white head. Lacing is beautiful.

Smell is of citrus hops, earthy malts, maybe a bit of Belgium yeast. Hint of alcohol. Little sweet.

The taste is much (as expected) like the smell. The hop punch is fantastic!! Very citrus, maybe blood orange or tangelo, pink grapefruit? It is nicely balanced though. Malty backbone is great. Not as much of the Belgium taste as the smell. Sweetness is there also.

Mouthfeel is great. Crisp, refreshing. Well carbonated.

I drink probably 2 to 3 six packs of this a week. So there is no way I don't give this a perfect score on drinkability. It's a pretty high ABV to have too many in a single night but if you do dare, you wont know it until the next morning.

Finishing this review up I must let everyone know this is my favorite everyday IPA on the market. My pallet has changed over the years but this one is winning now. Highly recommended!!!

azdback, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle I picked up in Vegas on a recent trip into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - golden orange-amber color with a tiny white head, a very light lacing sticks to the inside of the glass

S - pineapple, mango... all the citrusy hop flavors that I love are the first thing I notice. After a deeper smell I think I detect a sweet milky caramel background. This really hits all the desirable IPA flavors for me.

T - The citrusy hops dominate up front on this then give way to a lingering piney bitterness. a hint of a caramel like malty presence finds itself in the middle of my tongue.

M - Syrupy medium body with just the right amount of carbonation

D - Pretty easy drinking IPA that provides a lot of amazing flavor. If you want to stop and think about this one it has the depth but if you wanna just sit back, relax and enjoy your brew then it can fulfill that need too. I would pick this up again in a heartbeat. This is definitely one of the best single IPA's I've ever had.

jpmclaug, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of wallygatorca
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap at Dave and Busters San Diego.

I've had it before. Prob 12-15 times. Always enjoyed.

Good stuff...all time good. Top 5 IPA.

T Tap, pint

A disguised, clear, bit light, but character

S all the hops, kinda dirty and clean, but again, character, it's right.

T Great

M has a great grit spice to it

O grows on ya good. First time looking up reviews on it, but been around the block with this one and it's an old sparring bud. Will stand test of time. An easy recommend.

wallygatorca, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of prg1976
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip, bottled on 8/16 (thank you for dating your bottles!)

Pours a clear amber color, with a smallish white head. Not much lacing.

Smell is sweet citrus hops. Love it.

Taste is sweet, but dry. Nicely hopped, citrusy. A touch of caramel.

Mouthfeel - good carbonation, not much alcohol present, so it's easy drinking.

Overall, an awesome IPA. I will definitely be getting more of this one.

prg1976, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted April 2011 (from notes)

Poured into an IPA fest glass (Najs's Place, Redondo Beach, CA)

A - Late sunset though cloudy. No head or lacing

S - Oak, pineapple, mango, lemon grass and hints of candy like sweetness. really dry smelling

T - Citrus Hops very tropical, very sweet malt, yeast, earthy and grassy

M - Very light, low acidity, long finish

D - Goes down like water but tastes a million times better

Final thought - Wish I had this everyday

whatthehull, May 03, 2011
Photo of munro78
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: awesome bottle... even all the way in buffalo
appearance: typical pale gold, good head retention and lace
smell: awesome hoppy, earthy, citrus, complex.. this is going to be good
taste: awesome hop goodness, dare I say pliny ish... notes of citrus and alcohol..complexity
mouthful: awesome fullness, not one thing overpowers yet balanced complex taste
overall: awesomeness.. best ipa i've had

munro78, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of MinorThreat
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on the Rotating Tap at Maggie Smith's Irish Pub in Centennial Colorado

A-Slightly hazy copper with nice pillowy white head and great lacing.

S-Wow, tons of fresh citrus fruit, pineapple and pine tree. Only the slightest hint of cereal grain sweetness in the background.

T-The nose carries over nicely, citrus, grass, pine and pineapple. Beautifully balanced hops and malt sweetness. One of the best IPA's I have ever had, boarders on IIPA.

M-Light yet viscous, tons of hop oils coat the mouth but has enough Co2 to wash it away

O-One of if not the best IPA in my books, so glad it made it to Colorado.

MinorThreat, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of berebrando
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was recommended as a substitute for The Elder -which has recently become very difficult to find here in orange county. it's good, i like it and i'm very satisfied.

It is in a 22 oz bottle and the alcohol by volume is 7.5 per cent. I like seeing fighting animals on the label - bears and lions face off against union jack and, it would be my guess that, this beer prevails. Served in a pint glass.

It pours with a thick head that follows the beer to the bottom of the glass, leaving lace from top to bottom. its color is an amber orange, in this light. Slight carbonation disappears minutes after it's poured. Smells hoppy, like pine needles. No significant fruit scents to speak of.

It tastes great. It's well balanced and, again, the hops shine through. Big pine notes with some pine and orange on the back of the tongue. Great flavors, I could drink this every night.

berebrando, May 11, 2010
Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Love is not a strong enough emotion for how I feel about this beer! Hot Damn! I'm ready to make a serious commitment to you Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA you beautiful bastard! I have not been too impressed with previous FW offerings, but this is damn near perfection! Pungent hops blast the nose, I'm thinking Cascade, not sure. Smells terrific! Pours orange copper with perfect head. Taste is out of this world! A rich tapestry of oily west coast hop flavor, grapefruit and pine balanced to perfection. At 7.7 it feels like a DIPA but it so well integrated and drinkable that it deserves it's own classification, maybe IPA+ This is a truly special beer!

HopHeadLouie, May 13, 2008
Photo of linkmon
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dangerously smooth and delicious!! Fantastic pour, with a very nice head on it. When you first taste it, take a manly gulp, and let it sit on your pallet for a bit.

Perfect citrus taste from start to finish, this is an incredible IPA that is not to be missed!! I've had it in the bottle and on tap, and both are EPIC!! <3

linkmon, Jan 29, 2013
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best IPA's that i have had next to Zombie Dust, Heady Topper, and the Furious,This beer just came to new hampshire, awesome!! I would of gave it all fives, but the smell is very light on this one. Specially after you take a wiff of Heady Topper. will keep this one on stock for sure.

BERNUTBAG, May 12, 2012
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,956 ratings.