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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

5,449 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,449
Reviews: 1,209
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 380
Gots: 781 | FT: 15
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: GClarkage on 08-14-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (76) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,449 | Reviews: 1,209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whynot44
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy amber color with a moderate white head that lingers and produces a bit of lacing.

The aroma is citrus and a hint of pine, very nice.

The taste starts with a blast of grapefruit and pine resin followed by slightly sweet malt and tropical fruit note for a really nice balance. Finishes dry with more pine resin lingering to make you want another drink.

Light/medium bodied, very drinkable. Altogether a very nice IPA, one of the best.

Photo of locustking
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of BeerWizard
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with about a one inch off white head. It is a good looking beer. The head is actually still there after about 20 minutes - impressive. Nose is heavy, heavy fruit, peachy mango with light citrus. Grapefruit, melon and a little berry flavor, with hop bitters at the back end. Medium mouthfeel and creamy texture. Overall, a great IPA. One of the things I really like about it and I think sets it apart from other IPAs is the heavy fruit aromas and flavors, which gives it a sweeter profile, and then the hop bitters really kick in at the end. I'd say it's exceptional.

Photo of billb08
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of MiScusi
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap in the Firestone Taproom in Buellton. The last time I had this was from a 5 day old growler that had lost a lot of it's carbonation but still tasted great. It was a whole different beer with great carbonation at the brewery. Loads of pine, citrus, not as much berry character as the growler probably because the snappy carbonation really emphasizes the aggressive pine and grassy flavors. The smell just leaps out of the glass and what I love about this, like all other west-coast IPA's, is that they do it on a light body. Sure the beer is not without some malt in it but they really know how to let the hops shine without leaving too many residual sugars behind to make it syrupy. Another great west coast IPA!

Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome surprise from bpgpitt10:

a - ruby-golden body with a tall, dense white head that falls off after a few minutes, really nice lacing

s - the smell is tons of citrus and tropical fruit, very fresh indeed

t - the taste is extremely hop forward with the same citrus and tropical fruits, mostly grapefruit and tangerine, these are how IPAs are suppose to taste - flavor over bitter

m - mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation, alcohol is slightly astringent

o - highly recommended, right up there with the best of em

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well the first of my Firestone Walker evening. I have three of these setup for tonight, the first I have ever had from them, so I was naturally quite excited to give this a try. Being my preferred style I jumped right for this 7.5% IPA which I thought would compliment dinner very nicely. Poured out a very nice golden amber with a little bit of a haze to it, but nothing terribly dramatic. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass, which only served to reinforce the very nice head of foam which had formed at the top immediately upon pour. A nice three inches or so of white pillow like foam was on top now, settling down after a couple of minutes to just a thin film across the top which produced copious amounts of side glass lace on its way down. A nice typical IPA from what I could tell so far.

The aroma was classic hop bomb of an IPA from the first whiff. No, mention of the alcohol what so ever in this one from the aroma through. Lots of fresh citrus hop aromas coming right at you with a delicate balance of bitterness and a touch of sugar as well. Definitely some light sweet notes coming through on it, especially as it warmed up a touch. Very nice feel here, with a rich medium body that was full of carbonation, offering you a very nice creamy feel as it went down, but still staying light enough not to cause a problem with filling. Great flavors were all over this. It was to be honest on the lighter side of the style, but, it came off very well with a rich mixture of grapefruit and orange flavors that hit you off right from the start, but were mellowed down towards the middle to allow a much more balanced flavor to start to breakthrough. Hints of grain were in here now, mingling around and lots of malt sugar, really giving it a nice bit of sweetness and balancing out the hop bitterness very nicely. This was a very well balanced IPA, while still sticking to the classic west coast style all the way. Very cool indeed. The alcohol was so well hidden, this could have been 4% as it was nearly and completely undetectable. This was just an awesome session ale. I could have had this one all night to be honest.

Overall, I really thought this was great, and a very nice way to welcome me into the world of Firestone Walker. A fantastic west coast style IPA, that did not overdue anything, it came and did very well. I would love to get a hold of this again as I thought it was simply remarkable.

Photo of drunkmonk
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Barleywinefiend for this one. Been wanting to try this one.

Hazy bright golden. Nice 3-D stick and creamy lace that lasts all the way down. Robust oily hop aromas of fresh pine needles and citursy orange peel. Nice array of pine and citus hops coats the tongue with some nice slick malts that follow thru. Nice ample bitterness lingers, leaving some nice sweet malt flavors in it's wake. The drinkability is fantastic, 7.5% did you say? Danger, Danger Will Rogers. A hoplovers dream for sure, but this shows a nice bit of balence.

Photo of mactrail
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just releasing the cap slightly puffs out a cloud of heavenly, hoppy aroma. Reminds me of opening a bag of hops and putting your nose in it. Paler than most IPAs and an attractive golden in the glass with a long-lasting creamy white head.

Hugely fragrant and seems to get the results that dry hopping was meant to achieve. More resins and fruity noses than actual bitterness. A surprising distillation of hop flavors without punishing the taste buds. Plenty bitter in the aftertaste, but each sip renews the burst of aromatics. Plenty fruity, but more on the mango end of the spectrum the than grapefruit. Some very pleasant malt in the middle.

One of the best IPAs I've tried for my taste buds. Restrained yet full of aroma and flavor. From the 22 oz bottle.

Photo of BigCheese
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last 6 pack @ Store. Must be my lucky day. just under 1 month old.

A: Pours a beautiful clear copper. Classic IPA color. Pours a solid white head without much effort. Most of the head dissipates quickly. Leaves some nice webbing/lacicng.

S: As soon as I open this brew I can smell it. Beautiful wet juicy citrus hop aroma. Also a honey sweetness. Very sweet/tropical fruit smelling. Enticing.

T: Initially a lemon/grapefruit/citrus hop flavor, with some grassy-ness, then the legit malt backbone smoothes it over with caramel/honey/golden rasins/bourbon, the hops then retake the show with a pine-y, lime, grapefruit bitterness that lingers with an ever so slightly booziness. Beautiful.

M: Nice soft carbonation up front, a ton of hop oily-ness. Thin, in a good way, goes down easy. Not a session beer, this one packs flavor and funk.

O: A truely wonderful IPA. Maybe my favorite. Similar in profile to smutty (More citrus/tropical hop profile). Although this brew beautifully showcases hops, it has a wonderfully developed malt backbone. I love these 1.5 IPA's, this one is cloer to a double in flavor though. An absolute staple.

Photo of PhatMatt905
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light orange colour. brillian clear with no sediment in the bottle. Has a nice bright white head thats leaves a nice 1/4 inch layer across the top.

S-all hops. Very fresh and virbant cirtus fruit, with pine in the back. Reminds me of mango, peach, and perfumey lemon.

F- Very nice. Tones of tropical fruits with accents of pine. Extremely similar to the nose, but with a little crystal malt sweetness in the back ground. Wonderful beer.

M-Nice mouthfeel. Hop oils coat the mouth leaving a long lingering taste of tropical fruit.

Photo of drpimento
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent west coast IPA! Poured it a good temperature with a smallish off white head that soon disappeared and a little lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is about perfect - very fresh hop and malt. Flavor is likewise highlighting the hop which is balanced nicely with the malt sweet and carbonic tang. Body and carbonation are very good. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and a touch warming. It all works very well. Great drinkin' brew.

Photo of spree92
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. into Kilkenny pint glass.
First thing that hit my nose was apple. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the smallest carbonation bubbles I've seen in an IPA. Golden-amber with a beautiful, sticky head. Bitter, but not over-powering.
This is one of the better IPAs I have had in a while.

Photo of andylipp
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found fresh 6 packs in Massachusetts! Twelve ounce bottles with a 3/20/2012 bottling date.

A- Pours a crystal clear deep golden orange with a nice fluffy head that stuck around. Lots of sticky lacing remained as I sipped.

S- West coast, baby! Tropical and citrus nose that you could smell from clear across the room. Malt sweetness, too.

T- This is what a world class IPA is all about. Fruity hops bathe the tongue with malty, somewhat bready sweetness fighting back with just enough backbone. A bitter, grassy finish that lingers and begs you to take another sip.

M- Just right. Carbonation is spot-on with a palate-coating slickness.

O- I have to go back to the store for more of this one. Damn! Certainly one of the very best American IPAs. I couldn’t be more pleased that fresh Union Jack has arrived in my neighborhood, and hope it visits often.

Photo of doucmehu
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice straw yellow with a hint of orange. The head creamy forms beautifully, leaving 2+ fingers that stick around quite a while, never completely leaving the glass. Lacing is significant.

S: Right off the bat, this is one fantastic smelling IPA. There is fresh pineapple, mango, blood orange, sticky pine resin balanced out by some sweet caramel malt.

T: The taste is a bit more malty than expected, with some caramel sweetness up front greeting the hops. Earthy resinous pine and grassy hops are more prevalent than the fruits, with the tropical flavors barely visible. There is more of a citrus rind flavor than pineapple or mango, but it works well with the caramel and grassy hops.

M: Smooth and creamy with nice prickly carbonation. Coats the mouth well, leaving a significantly oily and slightly bitter finish that hangs around for a long time. This literally makes my mouth water. ABV is nonexistent.

O: This IPA lives up to the hype - it is absolutely fabulous. There is little to nothing to improve upon here, with a fantastic balance in the nose, taste and body. I would drink this on a regular basis if available in MN/WI.

Photo of jculler82
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden. Lacing all the way down.

Typical Centennial hop aroma, citrus (orange) with a slightly catty background. I know there's Cascade in there too, but the Centennial dominates.

Balanced IPA, beautiful hop flavor, but nice malt backbone backing it up. It's plenty bitter, but not abrasive. Perfectly dry, but the mouthfeel is chewy and full.

Overall, in a world filled with breweries filling their line-ups with IPA's and half of them being awful, it's great to be reminded that there are still some world class beers in the style.

Photo of sholbert
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Knapp85
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a really nice looking yellowish gold color with a white foamy head on top. The retention is good with a very impressive amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Them smell of the beer is very nice, fresh hop aromas with the subtle malt aroma in there as well. The taste of the beer is excellent. Easily one of the best IPA's on the market. Lots of beautiful citrus flavors in there with a very mellow malt presents. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very drinkable, Nicely carbonated and smooth. Overall... Awesome. This is something I'll be buying more of.

Photo of saeh
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BrewerB
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is loaded with fruity hop character - grapefruit, pineapple, and candied citrus are all apparent with the pineapple being most prominent. Slight alcoholic presence. Malty sweetness is also there but rather clean and I can't pick out specific malt characters. Smells so wonderful I can't wait to taste it.

Appearance is a light gold, very clear. Formed a two-three finger white head which collapsed down to a finger and held up throughout the session. It is amazing how clear the beer is given its hop character.

Like the nose, taste is centered on the hop flavors - Pineapples and oranges most prominently. Bitterness is medium-high and this lingers into the dry finish. Light piney-ness. Very clean malt sweetness. Fantastic!

Medium bodies with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth bitterness without astringency. A little warmth from alcohol.

Overall this is an extremely drinkable IPA. Excellent hop aroma and flavor, great variety. Nicely paired with the clean sweetness. Easily a multi-pint beer.

Photo of ThirdLap
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Bear Republic pint glass at the proper temperature range. Probably my third Union Jack ever. Bottled 20 days before sampling... sweet! And ya can't beat $7.99 for a sixer at BevMo.

A- Pours a light golden amber with a small, short lasting off-white head. After the ring disappears, little to no lacing remains as I finish the glass. Agitation returns little to nothing.

S - Awesome. This is very remniscient of the Elder, definitely a good thing. Crisp, clean citrusy goodness.

I just inhaled an noseful of it trying to get more stuff to write about. No seriously, I did.

T - Very good. It's a straightforward, no BS west coast IPA, and an excellent example of the style. As such, the hops tip the scale over malt ever so slightly, but the balance is still there. A solid bitter finish coats the mouth.

I had my first Union Jack of the night with a couple of mild Italian sausages coated with SNPA mustard. Solid combination, and highly recommended.

M - Perhaps the only downfall is a thinner than expected body. Carbonation is just right but I could use a little more oomph in such an otherwise very well balanced beer. Save for the slight bitterness, there is a very light, crisp finish.

D - I'll be lucky if I don't drink the whole damn sixer tonight.

Matt and the boys over at FW are gonna take over the world someday. The 'Passion for the Pale' really shows with this one .

Photo of kwakwhore
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light orange pour with an ample white head. Lacing is all the way down the glass and there's a lot of it.
FLowery hop and malt aromas. Pine and citrus mingle in a sort of hophead's perfume which you continue to inhale all the way through the beer.
Flavor is seriously on the hop side of the force. but the malts fight back with a nice sweet flavor which competes with the hops all the way through the finish, but the hops do prevail in the end.
The mouthfeel is quite nice. Almost a double IPA kind of mouthfeel, actually a little more of that syrupy full mouthfeel in this beer than some double IPA's I've had.
Easy to drink. I wish I had more than one of these because I'd love to have another one.
This is one of the best IPA's I've ever tasted, no question. I wish I had another one so I could see if they all are this good.
Thanks to fellow Zappaphile Rzzz for this wonderful beer.

Photo of JustShutUpStupid
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let's be honest my friends, this is the only Firestone Walker beer I really really like. I've tried them all. Call me crazy but this beer has extreme depth. You know it when you drink it. It's like drinking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing wrong with that. As they say in the movie the Matrix, "All a Body needs". And I don't even like the Union Jack Flag. Spend a few extra, and skip the other brands for this brewery. Signed 805 local person.

Photo of kagent777
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is dated 2-24-11, I love seeing dates but this one might be a touch old, way to go Utah DABC. We all love you here.

Appearance: A clear light copper beer with a thin ring of bubbles that at one time was an off white head.

Smell: I get citrus and floral notes from a foot away, My nose is no where near the glass and it smell so intensely strong. Once I stick my nose in, I get a sense of semi sweet maltiness.

Taste: If this is four months old, I would love to try it fresh. The hops are still potent and the dominant flavor in the taste, as they should be. The caramel from the malts is present but unobtrusive, it plays second fiddle to the citric, floral, and maybe slightly earthy hoppiness that is so intense. The smell hinted at what was in the taste and did not disappoint.

Mouthfeel: The body is viscous and the carbonation middling. The finish is dry and long with a bitter aftertaste that is all a hop head could hope for.

Overall: Very pleasantly surprised. I am glad that this one is available in the Utah system and at a low price point, about 1.50 a bottle. I will certainly pick up more of these. Beware, only share with the bravest of friends because the flavor is very intense.

New review:

This bottle is dated July 3, 2012 so it is about 5 weeks old.

The flavors are essentially the same! The taste is still very hoppy and bitter with a slight sweetness toward the end. Citrus and pine are the dominant notes with caramel and biscuit malts.

A very solid IPA. This could go up against some double IPAs or some one offs and hold it's own easily. As long as I can get this one fresh, I will continue to buy it!

Photo of sloejams
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

California has another everyday IPA for us to enjoy.

I would say this falls perfectly into the West Coast IPA world that we've all come to love so freaking much. Like the one of AleSmith, Green Flash and even Racer 5, this IPA is more. Higher ABV thanks to its generous clobbering from its glorious hops.

Union Jack, welcome - I will drink you.

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,449 ratings.