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

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 5,886
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,091 | 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
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: 1,217 | Hads: 5,886
Photo of raiser
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at a tasting of IPA's at Pacific Park
Market in Aliso Viejo. It was one of the better
brews opened, and was in GREAT company including
90 minute, Stone 10th IPA (3L), Dales Pale, Hop
Henge, Port 2nd Anniv, GF West Coast IPA

A: light orange, small white head, good retention.

S: Pungent hops, fruity fruity fruit.

T: bitter hops with sweet tangy fruit and citrus, and a touch of caramel malt to finish.
This is the fruitiest IPA I have had yet.

M: Crisp carbonation, with medium body.

D: A pretty good IPA all-around. This was recommended to me earlier in the day by Jeff at O'Shea brewing (owner) as his session beer. I can see why. It's readily available, not unreasonably priced, extremely drinkable.
It's a flavor explosion for an IPA. If you like fruit beers and hop beers, this is a great combination of the two. (838 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a recent tasting. Thanks kbutler1 for the chance to try this want.

Clear golden in color, with a light copper tint. Off-white cap sits on top with good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is very hoppy, with citrus and floral hops dominating, but very wet and sticky, dank if you will. Only the slightest malt backbone on this one.

The taste doesn't disappoint either. Wet, piney and resiny hops. A sticky bitterness, with a lingering aftertaste. Floral and citrus hops dominate, but strong piney and resiny hops also play a role. Complex and extremely tasty, excellent stuff.

About medium in body, with a sticky bitterness, and appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is great, what an easy drinking IPA. The alcohol is a lot higher than I would have guessed, as it's completely masked by the massive hop characters.

Overall, this is easily one of my top IPA's. I would gladly have this again, and am very thankful I got to try a very fresh bottle. Thanks Kevin! (990 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a creme head that falls quickly. Nose is a nice floral citrus mix. Real airy, but with good character. Flavor is nice. Great hop mix. Citrus and sweet (almost a bit too much on the backside) are consistent as is a nice mellow floral flavor. It's balanced, even though there is a full flavor. A bit of a hot touch from the alcohol, but it's minimal and doesn't matter much by the time you've processed everything. Feel has a slight bite on the carbonation and the liquid is good. Easy to drink and a nice IPA. Comes off as slightly more refined as other IPAs that try to muscle their way to the top. (623 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken on 1/30/2012 that have been sitting on my computer since.

APPEARANCE: This might be the clearest craft beer I have ever seen. It’s like looking through glass…that has a lot of bubbles floating up through it. The head on the pint glass is about a half-inch thick, but settles into a coaster-thick cap rather quickly. The bubbles are very lively in this beer and they spring up from every part of the glass, not just the center or the sides. The lacing is decent, cathedral-like.

SMELL: The aroma on this one is gorgeous and strong. Every time I pour this beer at work I can smell it as soon as I pull the tap. This bomber is no exception, the bottom of the cap, a sniff into the bottle and the full pint glass all provide the same thing – a wonderful, piney, grassy and sweet, tropical fruit-like, hoppy smell indicative of a classic West Coast IPA.

TASTE: This beer is fresh and the first sip provides a big dose of bitter hoppiness. The grapefruit is strong with a solid grassiness to back it up. In fact, aside from Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter this may be the grassiest IPA I have tasted. The bitterness remains throughout the entire beer, but much like its SoCal brother, Stone Ruination, the Union Jack provides just enough malt to keep this beer on the far edge, close to too bitter, without ever slipping over it.

MOUTHFEEL: The sparkle is more of a tickle than a scrub of the palate and the palate of any IPA drinker will find that it does not resist at all. This is a pretty easy-drinking IPA. It is also a surprisingly light beer.

OVERALL: For some reason I never really gave this beer as much credit as I should have. I have tasted it in the past, but before moving to Colorado I could not get my hands on it unless I was travelling and I usually passed it up in favor of something more exotic. That all changed, however, when my manager and I tasted a lineup of Firestone-Walker beers last year. We needed an IPA on draft and we both, on the spot, decided that the Union Jack was our winner. Since then I have tasted it many times and thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes a lot for me to say this, but it now sits beside Modus Hoperandi (and Blind Pig when I am so fortunate) as my go-to IPA. (2,235 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the growler into a Duvel tulip. Body is clear honey-amber with a small whitish head. Some splotchy lace.

S: Nice - citrusy hops, slightly earthy hops, some pine and a touch of caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - caramel malt, pine resiny hops and some citrus. Finishes with some spiciness too.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff. A top-notch IPA. (386 characters)

Photo of nassaubeercop
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a fresh filled growler from the local beer store into a pint glass.

A- Amber with two fingers of white sea foamy head which stayed viable while drinking. (I read several reviews which stated the head dissipated quickly, this was not the case (maybe the growler was the difference?)) As I drank and the level of beer in the glass went down, uneven rings of lace were left on the glass where the head had once been.

S- Piney hops, very pleasant.

T- Lots of bitter hops, some citrus notes. Just the right amount of bitterness.

M- Medium with some carbonation, nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

O- If you like hops you will enjoy this beer, if hops aint your thing then move along this beer is not for you. (734 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained this as a nice extra in a trade with bchung52077. Thanks a lot, Brian.

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith nonic.

A-Pours a clear honey amber with minimal head and little to no lacing. Very nice.

S-Very nice aroma of piney and citrus hops with a little bit of honey sweetness and malt.

T-Starts out nicely sweet and finishes with a nice hop bite. Very balanced and tasty. Hoppy but not too bitter.

M-Mild carbonation, very light on the tongue. A little bit of bitterness lingers.

D-A very drinkable IPA. Tastes lighter than the ABV and goes down easy so be careful.

This is a great "session" IPA. Flavorful, balanced, delicious. I'll be on the lookout for this in future trades.

HV (702 characters)

Photo of soulfly1492
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Very bold malt and hops. Grapefruit citrus and pine upfront. Some floral notes and definitely some sweet caramel and pale malt.

Appearance: Bright gold, super clear. Just a few tiny particles can be seen floating around. Head is tall, fluffly, and just barely off-white. Decent retention and a good bit of lacing.

Taste: Wow, and explosion of sweet and bitter flavors. Bold and complex everywhere you look. Grapefruit, orange, lemon, bread, caramel, sweet pale malt. No pine can be detected, which is a plus in my book. Hop flavor is resinous and grassy, and it stings and lingers on the tongue for a while. Some bready notes show up in the aftertaste, which is nicely balanced and fairly mute compared to the main body.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Very creamy and oily. Not drying. Very mild carbonation.

Overall: One of the top IPA's I've had (75+ different to date). Lots of sweet, lots of bitter. Pleasant, complex, and nicely balanced. (955 characters)

Photo of KevinBrewer
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden-orange with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving spidery lacing. There is a slight chill haze that clears up as it warms.

Smells of dark, earthy, slightly resinous hops with a touch of melon. Just a hint of caramel in the background.

Tasty caramel malt blends well with earthy hops upon first sip. Hops brighten up and become citrusy/floral toward the middle. A grapefruity bitterness also shows up in the middle and lasts throughout. Warming alcohol, leafy hops, and citrus on the finish. Astrigent tea leaves in the aftertaste.

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel that coats your throat. Light carbonation and a sweet but bitter finish.

Very drinkable, complex and well-balanced IPA. (717 characters)

Photo of Chizoad
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm definitely getting spoiled when I thought this was average when I first tasted it. It's not average in the least. Pretty outstanding offering, and was like an oasis in a desert of bad beer when I had a pint of it.

Typical IPA appearance. I just never find these to be outstanding looking beers. All you can really tell is that it's not necessarily bad. Clear amber with a nice cap of foam. The usual.

Very good and interesting aroma. Obvious malts, citrus hops, and as one friend pointed out, lychee in the nose.

The beer is bitter and sweet in just the right proportions. Extremely well balanced. Resin in the hops, but that citrus is present still.

Nice carbonation and medium body. Bitterness never clings, leading to a very drinkable IPA. (750 characters)

Photo of legalpete19340
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright goldish yellow with big thick head. Lacing is good.

S: Very fragrant with grapefruit jumping out. Some lemon, bit of herbalness.

T: Lots of grapefruit, mild lemon, floral notes. There is a strong light malt character that really comes through in the middle like dinner rolls or dry country bread. Fair kick of bitterness in the end but the overall experience is light and citrus.

M: Big and heavy but not chewy.

O: Very good. Fragrant and light with all the citrus flavors a hophead could love. So drinkable. (531 characters)

Photo of johnnieoz
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 3/9/09: I simply had to boost the taste, smell and drinkability scores. The bottle in front of me right now was bottled on 1/8/09, and it tastes mighty fresh.

A: Bright orange gold with a light tan head. The carbonation looks good and leaves some lush lacing.

S: I know that smell, it's the one I love. That West Coast oily, hoppy, coniferous IPA scent. Not all West Coast IPAs have this scent, but my favorites do....and grapefruit galore.

T: This is what I'm talking about: sweet malts, sweet citrus with a tang. Then it's all hops, goes bitter and finishes even more so. I'm not a hophead but I like this a lot.

M: Rolling around the mouth and on the tongue are heaps of them hop oils. Very nice. And the suds were as good as met the eye.

D: This is one potent IPA @ 7.5% ABV. I think I prefer mine below 7%, there is a little too much alcohol coming through here. But heck, no bones about it, this is an awesome IPA. Give me another...

2nd only to Pliny the Elder - I'd rather compare Union Jack to that than to Blind Pig. PtE is 8%, just above this one. (1,071 characters)

Photo of colts9016
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees

Appearance: A one finger frothy light tan head that has descent retention. The color of the beer medium amber color with orange copper highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear clear with a touch of haziness. There is some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: A good malty nose with toast, caramel, and yeast. There is a nice floral ester, pine, and grapefruit. In the background of the beer is some phenols and solvents.

Taste: A very ripe hop flavor. The hop flavor is floral bouquet, pine, lemon, grapefruit and orange. There is a very good malt base. The malt is toasty and caramel flavor. There are notes of yeast, phenols, and solvents.

The mouth feel of the beer is astringent, dry, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is one of the beers that I have tried from Firestone Walker. This is also, one of the better IPA's that I have tasted. (947 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Warm orange-amber pour with an off-white head of an inch. Sudsy-looking top finally became a ring after minutes. Lots of noticeable carb. 4.0

Mango/pineapple hop aroma with pine needle notes. Sweet and fruity with a hint of floral. Opposite end of the spectrum from grassy. 4.5

Clean taste with more tropical fruit nectars and mild agave nuances. Crackery malt with some sugars amidst. A little rosewater. Nice medium bitterness lasts awhile. Soft, supple flavors with a uniquely complex hop profile. 4.5

Silky and light. Drinks great for being a beefy IPA. 4.0

A phenomenal beer even though it's not a hoppy monster. First time enjoying and well worth the wait. 4.5 (670 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a lovely deep golden with a brassy center. Steady cm of dense, creamy, tight-bubbled, egg-shell white head. Good lacing. Very fresh hop juiciness jumps out of the glass. Pineapple, resin, pine, and tangerine. Very nice. Sugar cookie and butterscotch malt backing.

Toasted grains and hop bitterness up front. Juicy fruits and toffee malts approach sweetness before tropical fruit pineapple hop flavors signal a minty, herbal, resinous bitterness. Even some citrus in there. Finish dries out with long-lasting tongue-numbingness. Latent honey malt sweetness. Medium-bodied with a slightly sticky feel. Yum! (628 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz bottle from City Swiggers as part of a six pack mix. As this was my first FW beer, I was very excited to finally sample something from this brewery.

It poured a light bronze with an off-white head. Almost a bit light for an IPA.

The smell was all hops, all the time. Citrus, floral, herbal, piney. Something for everyone! I appreciated the fact that this wasn't dominated by grapefruit.

The taste profile was great, a hop lovers best friend. Beside the crisp, clean hops was a backbone of malt. The only drawback was the bitterness that made me think this was a borderline DIPA. (603 characters)

Photo of Act25
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second Review 1-3-14
"Forget the British flag. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever" A BA.

Agree! From the central coast of pinot noir and wine comes equally great beer.

A: Lighter, clearer, brighter in color than other IPAs, it sports a thick rocky cap that lasts and laces well. 4.5

S: I need to let me fresh bottle (Stamped less than 30 days ago) warm a bit. It's offering a too-subtle bouquet of more flowers and more light, sunny herbal slopes than most IPAs. Juicy. 4

T: The promise of juice is instantly fulfilled in the taste that follows the citrus, pine, grass, flowers, herbs path up the sun-soaked coastal cliffs, that happen to have a bakery nearby of cracker malts and baguettes coming out of the oven.

The finish is fresh cut, resinous pine, and more flowers. This taste is so abundant and intense it rivals the best: Sculpin and Titan. 4.5

M:Light with so much tingle it doesn't feel light. Alcohol well-hidden, it's all tingle and tickle, like a great lasting kiss with a friend.

Closes and resonates with earth, sun, spicy, natural herbs. 4.5

Totally West-Coast - up there with Sculpin. 4.5

Amazing with intense cheeses.

First review: 4-27-13
Whole Foods sells singles so you can try a great variety for a small premium. Buy as part of a set of 24 and get a 10% discount on all. Freshness on this one was a bit long: 11-16-12, poured on 4-27-13. that's 5 months bottle aging!

A: Poured into a Leffe chalice, and I'm beginning to think a big .5l glass cylinder is better for bringing out the best in these crafts. Pours a bright pale copper color, clear, with amazing lacing... all the way down the glass. Great body, great pour.

S: Piney hop, subtle California herbs and coastal trails. But not a strong waft.

T: Beautiful flavor arc. Sweet, pine/citruis, arcing to hoppy, bitter, and lightly malty. Sweetness breaks through in a perfect way. Pine hop flavor dominates mid taste, but all is lovely balance. Fruity, complexity too in the late alcohol estery finish. Great mouth feel as it exits. Great with food (Pizza, aparagus, shrimp)

M: Carbonation rises in your mouth, slowly taken over by a mid to solid body. Great finish.

O:Nicely complex and balanced with a lovely see-saw arc, the hops outweight the mildly sweet malt character. Beautifully made.

Will definitely come back. A must for hoppers. will try again after it warms... (2,380 characters)

Photo of vobr0002
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - lightly hazy yellow orange color and small white head.

S- lemon, citrus, grape fruit smell. Slight malt smell.

T- smooth hop bitterness. Very easy drinking. Dry. Lemon is there like with the smell and some background citrus.

M- lighter carbonation and body.

O- this is a very good beer. I'm glad I was sent this in my n00b bif, would love to get some more. Is one of my favorite ipas (392 characters)

Photo of gshak
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer before, but never this fresh, bottled 2/5/2015! I've rated it a 4.25 in the past, but this time I cranked it up higher. Fresh, this beer is THE sh!t. Great balance of malt and hops, a near-perfect mouthfeel, and the beer brings out the very essence of Centennial hops. Sweet orange marmalade, piney and citrus fruits on the nose and on the taste, with faint traces of tropical fruits in the background. Well done FW, well done! (446 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden yellow with two-finger, white, foamy, creamy head that lasted a long time. Fantastic lacing.

S: Citrus and pine hops.

T: Moderate sweetness and solid hop bitterness. Fresh citrus hops, orange, pine.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Smooth and warm going down.

O: I really like Double Jack, so I was excited to give this a try. Was not let down. Great IPA. (411 characters)

Photo of Zeplover2010
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice IPA. Doesn't really smack you like some other IPAs with similar ABV's. Had on tap in 1/2 liter mug. Good colour, nice white head leaving lace as it works down glass.Recommend - especially for those who dislike sharp hoppy aftertaste from IPAs. (248 characters)

Photo of tjwarren
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a can dated 4/28. Nice looking beer, smells very fresh but not overly aromatic - just doesn't jump out at you. The taste is pretty much perfect if anything too well balanced just because nothing jumps out at you. The feel is the best part of the beer. Perfect body and carbonation, a pleasure to drink. (307 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, bottled on date of 5/21/10.

This is a fine looking IPA. The body is deep copper even in the thin base of the Sam Adams glass and the soapy sudsy eggshell head has already left a nice ring of lace.

Aromas jump out of the bottle at you, an assurance that this beer will live up to the buzz. The smell leans towards the pine, mango, and weed side of the hop world. I immediately found peach as well, and some grapefruit deeper in. I may already agree that this is one of the finest and most under the radar American IPAs. Malt is apparent but so is its west coast dryness.

The flavor is about as impressive as the aroma. A hefty bitterness is accompanied by more of a grapefruit profile. This isn't to say that the pine isn't backing that grapefruit pith up real well and that I don't taste orange, peach, mango, papaya, and alcohol.

This is a dry IPA, I prefer them that way. The balance between some body, some carbonation, and alcohol/level of dryness is quite good.

I am so glad that Union Jack has lived up to my personal expectations. I think that I focus slightly more on aroma with IPA/DIPAs and this beer delivers. The 7.5% ABV is in the upper range for the style but doesn't really hurt drinkability because the aroma and flavor are so damn good. Take you time and enjoy it. You'll get your hop fix. (1,346 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #250

A- pours a bright and crystal clear golden-orange color with a thick and creamy white two-finger head, great retention and lacing that goes all the way down the glass.

S- sharp and pungent citrus hop with huge grapefruit notes. Undertones of biscuity malt.

T- heavy hops up front bring notes of grapefruit with some tropical papaya. A few pine notes, biscuity malt profile underlies but lets the hops take center stage, a bit of caramel. The finish is somewhat dry with a citrus hop linger.

M- medium, almost full bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel with a velvety smooth finish. Alcohol is impressively hidden, nearly perfect.

O- this is just a solid IPA, plain and simple, you would never know it was 7.5 ABV. I'm a fan of citrus forward ipa's and this one doesn't dissapoint. (807 characters)

Photo of unHipHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a honey/copper color with a nice one finger head.

S: Nice sweet grapefruit aroma, floral and citrus.

T: Nice and crisp, full bodied with a great hop kick and a long lasting lingering hop aftertaste. There is a nice malt backbone that rounds this beer out but it doesn't get it the way of the delicious hops.

M: coats the mouth nicely. moderate carbonation to make the hops sparkle.

D: at 7.5% one bomber of this guy and you'll be set... for a while. (462 characters)

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