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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

1,229 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,229
Hads: 5,973
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,160 | 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: 1,229 | Hads: 5,973
Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this as an extra in a trade.
Pours a nice golden, orange hued color with a nice head. Already having good lacing as I type.
Strong hop smell but also a malty sweetness to go along with it. This is an incredibly balanced beer in my opinion. The hops hit you but not too harshly. Smooth transition to a slight bitterness at the end.
I was very pleased with this one. Granted I can't tell an age on it, but I give it high marks for being so well balanced! (462 characters)

Photo of intensify
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber, gold body held a decent 1 finger head for a fair amount of time. Plenty of lacing even in the Tulip that I poured it into.

S- Hop explosion. A variety of hops were used and its noticable. Followed closely by apricot and some earthyness. Also, a touch of biscuit, crackers.

T- On cue with the smell. This is for the hop heads out there.

M- Medium bodied, coats the palate, low carbonation and easy to drink.

O- Union Jack is probably not a beginners IPA and if you like a crisp, hoppy taste then this will shine for you. At 7.5% abv the alcohol is barely present. A keeper. (593 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown, stubby bottle that is capped. Pours out a golden yellow with a pillow fluffy white head that lasts. Not as many bubbles coming up to the top with this one. Smell is amazing! Tons of citrus and grassy hops coming through. Grapefruit and lemon are more up front.

Taste is all hops. Again, that dry drinkability comes through and leaves you wanting more. Lemon, orange, spice, moss and some real dank notes make this one very complex IPA.

Once again, I am very impressed with a FW beer. Precise and on point are the best way I can describe their brews. (565 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear amber color from a 12 oz bottle with ABV and freshness date on the label and bottle respectively.
Amazing hop dominant aroma the moment I cracked the bottle open. Citrus, pine, with some floral hops and surprisingly some notes of anise (had an ouzo like feel) and hints of bready malts.
Taste is just the perfect balance my palate likes when I think of an american IPA. The hop dominance is perfectly balanced by the hops making sure it does not feel too overpowered by the hops, but at the same time makes you realize this is a hop-loaded IPA.
I have had this previously on tap, and I must say there is almost no difference between the two. The only difference I could think of is perhaps the shade of the bottled version is a tad lighter than the tapper version. But that could be due to factors pertaining to light. All in all, I think this is a fantastic IPA, another winner from the west coast. Definitely worth a try and highly recommended if you are a hop-head. (994 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Almost perfectly clear orange copper, just the slightest haze. I poured a little hard and left an enormous head with pretty good retention and some sticky lacing. No, glass destroying lacing-- I'll have to scrub this one.

Smell: This is just a damn fine hoppy smelling beer. Bitter and sweet citrus with orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. There's pine and some sticky bud too. Westside. A little caramel malt sweetness too. Not overpowering, just a solid and balanced IPA.

Taste: As good as the smell. Resiny, piney, and bitter grapefruit more than sweet citrus hops flavor. Bitter, but "balanced" by a tasty and complex tasting maltiness-- not just caramel, but a spicy, slightly toasty malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and on the full side for an IPA, although this is on the big side for a regular IPA, so thats not too surprising. Good carbonation. Resiny finish.

Drinkability: Just fantastic. Its a little on the pricey side, at least here on the east coast, but at least its available. I'll be buying this one over and over. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a West Coast IPA and a good one at that.

Light Amber to dark gold in color with a really nice 2 ½ (or 3) finger head that had some nice substance. Some decent lacing. Beer had only the slightest haze and showed almost no carbonation. A good looking IPA.

Aroma was big on the citrus & grapefruit notes. Very fresh and pleasing. I also noticed that it maintained its punch while you drank the entire beer. Some others have their aroma fade quite quickly.

Big bold grapefruit hop flavor is showcased. However there is a nice balance and a subtle sweetness that counteracts the assertive hops. A nice spiciness is always just beneath the surface and always adding complexity to the flavor. As the beers warms slightly you can really detect a nice caramel flavor with some cracker notes and grain to go along with it. Lots going on here.

Medium mouth feel with respect to thickness, but big mouth feel based on flavor and hop bitterness. Slightly creamy and smooth.

Extremely drinkable in my book. One that leaves you wanting for more. Glad I did have 2 in my fridge. (1,084 characters)

Photo of brendan13
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear orange hued golden colour with 2cm white head that falls fairly fast. Plenty lacing.
S - Piney, citrus fruit & floral hop notes with a light toasted bread malt touch.
T - Very nice citrus fruit, piney taste balanced by a bit of toasted bread malt.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Slightly sticky with a lingering bitterness.
D - A very nice IPA. Something I'd drink often. (385 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey with a large splash of orange juice. The head is polished ivory in color and features loads of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. As those bubbles burst, they leave a delicate array of lace-like lace all over the upper reaches of the glass. A classic look.

And an outstanding nose! There goes any thought that Union Jack is an English IPA. So why the name? The hop bill (Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus) is 100% American and the sheer amount of hoppiness is AIPA all the way. Talk about a fantastically bright, perfectly pungent, fresh hop-like nose. Prediction: this is going to be great beer.

That was way too easy. As expected, Union Jack is full-to-bursting with C-hop goodness. Can't forget the Simcoe (S-hop), since they give the flavor profile a distinctly tropical vibe that adds yet another dimension. Killer hop bill. Absolutely killer. It's also nice to see that the brewery didn't allow the little green cones to outpace their malt support.

There's just enough of a barely toasted, caramel maltiness (think SN Celebration Ale) to let the drinker know that hops aren't the only ingredient that's allowed to provide flavor. The good thing is that the caramel doesn't get in the way of the grapefruit, bitter orange and pineapple explosion. 72 IBUs seems about right, but they're a friendly 72.

The mouthfeel stays well within the bounds of the IPA style. Any bigger and it wouldn't work as well. It's as smooth as glass and is lightly creamy in the bargain. Soft-edged carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has another winner with Union Jack India Pale Ale. Forget the British flag, though. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever and is proud of it. I could (and would) drink this stuff by the case if it was available locally. (1,783 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Asked waitress at Taphouse in Ghent to bring me something hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised with this gem of an IPA. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A- Beautiful copper amber color sloshes into the glass. Nice white head with some amazing lacing. I'm talking all the way down to the bottom of the glass!

S- Tons of grapefruit and citrus dipped pine going on. A little bit of a spicy floral note. Surprisingly pungent with hop resin to boot. Sweet caramel malt to round things off. Couldn't wait to take my first sip!

T- Bittered with Warrior and Simcoe hops according to the brewers website. The taste falls in line with what you would expect. Hoppy bitterness unfolds into grapefruit, citrus zest and pine paired with a great subdued sweet biscuity malt characteristic. This almost DIPA conceals it 7.5% ABV beautifully.

M- Crisp and clean with a great dry finish.

D- Love the pungent juicy bitter flavor that cascades into the dry finish. Always makes me want to drink more. Union Jack has a very high drinkability. (1,039 characters)

Photo of Walken
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker: Union Jack IPA (Bottled: 04/27/10) (Tasted 05/31/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Ever so slightly hazed, near brilliant copper colored beer pours into the glass with a small initial head that stays pretty squat, fading down into a film, with some great looking lacing, fluffy bubbles, mounted on a ring of foam around the edges of the glass, that stays intact to the bottom of the glass
Odor: Citrus hops on the nose, juicy grapefruit with hints of orange and juicy fruit gum (Thanks Centennial!)
Consistency: Solid, light end of medium bodied with a high flying but oh-so-mellow carbonation that merely massages the tongue. Hops add a great feel to this beer, oily, slightly fruity.
Taste: This is a hell of an IPA right here, there's no denying that. Hop flavors run all over the place, each of the dry hops come through and shine through. Simcoe and Chinook throw the yin and yang of rough and clean herbal hop bitterness, Amarillo throws orange sap and rind, C's throw the standard grapefruit flavor in the background to round things out. Malt is there for support and nothing else, clean biscuit and dark bread. Finish is off-dry with a load of hop oils holding their initial flavors on the tongue.

Glad this is available somewhat locally now, delicious IPA, exceptionally crafted beer overall! Get it! (1,357 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic, served at fridge temp.

appearance: hazy, semi transparent lemon yellow with active carbonation and a 3 finger linen white head. more than abundant, gorgeous lacing

aroma: awesome blend of fruitiness; papaya, peaches in syrup

mouthfeel: a little on the thin side.

taste: great blend of fruit juices; pineapple, papaya and a splash of grapefruit.

notes: one of the best IPA noses I have smelled since Flower Power or Celebration. Very nice flavor profile. definitely seems like a strong English IPA to me. Alcohol seems well hidden. this is a pleasure to drink. (606 characters)

Photo of Braz
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had at the TK Irish Pub. Pretty amber coppery color, clear, with a nice white head. Citrusy, grapefruit aromatics, heavy. Smooth feel and big on the hops. Slight malt appearance toward the end. Fairly bitter in all. Excellent IPA. Very well rounded from appearance to mouthfeel. One of the best IPA's I've had. (310 characters)

Photo of BingCrosby7
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - A light orange with highlights of soft gold and yellow; a thin white head that stays almost permanently throughout the glass; bubbles rise from bottom to head throughout the whole experience. This is a wonderful looking beer.

S - Medium hoppiness; lemon zest; lemon grass; sweet pine; light malt

T - Hoppy, piney, and citrusy on the palate; malts assuage the bitterness of the overall effect of the hops. The aftertaste is hoppy, yet subdued because of the malt. This is a fine IPA.

M - I think the carbonation is just right on this beer

O - I've grown to love this beer over the last year or so--this is definitely one of my go-to beers. (647 characters)

Photo of Indulgence
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stuff was super fresh, absolutely killer... the only other IPA that is better is the Yulesmith. Absolutely wonderful pine, grapefruit aromas, crisp, bright, and sublime... color of burnt orange amber, clear... taste was some apples, ruby red grapefruit, dry fruity yeast esters... head retention in my Riedel Bordeaux glass is superb... alcohol is hidden very well. It has been over a year since I last tasted this one... and I'm loving it. It's rare when a beer impresses me even more the 2nd time. (504 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn, this isn't a double? The smell and taste here is huge, not to mention it's a 7.5% beer. The lacing on this one is noteworthy. It goes all the way down. That alongside the deep amber color makes it a beautiful beer. Its taste is pungent of course, but it's got plenty of fruity notes to make up for it. All in all one of the best IPAs out there. (350 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply, the standard by which all other IPAs are judged for me. Sure, it's a touch big for the style, but it's aroma/flavor are razor sharp on point, deftly mixing tropical sweetness with a touch of piney bitterness for perfect balance. An archetype. (256 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at Ginny's Little Bighorn on Sun., 12/28/2014 (Chicken Shit Bingo), dated "10/28/14 22:31," poured into plastic cup, drank over 30-45 minutes (155 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a growler (keg that was tapped tonight, right in front of me as I waited), poured into a beer temp pint glass.

A- Clean and clear golden- copper color, some gently rising bubbles. Every pour resulted in a massive milk-white colored head that would not quit and left the finest quality thick lacing.

S- Pine, fresh green grass, and lots of citrus hops. The aromas vary as the beer warms, just like they should in a top-notch IPA.

T-All those hop flavors are there, but hold the phone, here come the malts. The malt backbone delivers some sweet caramel and a touch of breadiness.

M-Oily, resinous, yet clean and crisp. Lots of body with a surprisingly mellow finish...for a moment...then the hop zest, not very bitter.

O-A real deal American IPA on the fuller side, yet drinkable, even at 7.5% abv. (807 characters)

Photo of Bauzen
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a big IPA, but not over-the-top like a double or an imperial variety. It pours a deep amber color, leaves fluffy white foam that laces along the glass nicely, and offers aromas of a full floral bouquet. The most prominent notes of citrus are unmistakable. There's also some pine, and a touch of bitterness on the nose, but it's refined and pleasant.

The taste is powerful. This is a full-bodied beer, but doesn't kick your butt like some with heavier ABV content. You'll probably be sad when it's over... I certainly was. Exceptional IPA from a brand that makes it hard to decide which of their recipes is your favorite. Well done, Firestone. (652 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Excited for this since I love Double Jack so much.

A-Pours a completely transparent light orange color. Thousands of bubbles rise to the nice off-white head. Head is smaller and leaves excellent lacing. One of the most extensive sheets of lacing I've seen from an IPA. A very clean looking IPA.

S-Hops are very noticeable. Floral and herbal hops mostly. Pine and citrus too. I get that nice green onion smell here too. Resiny in the nose. Malt is the backing here. All hops.

T-Oh very hoppy! Hops are so fresh and grassy. Super grassy, super floral. Juicy fruits that also combine with some sturdy pine as well. Aftertaste is a bit bitter and it lasts forever. Boasts a nice malty sweetness too that helps to balance the hops. A very drinkable flavor.

M-Medium body and medium carbonation. Lightly resinous. Carbonation is tingly and nice. Dry.

O/D-Yeah, this is one hell of an IPA. Definitely has a unique hop bouquet that I really enjoy. Goes down easy. Now becomes one of the better 6-pack IPAs I have had. Just oh so solid. (1,033 characters)

Photo of grittybrews
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured a ruddy orange-amber into a pint glass with a finger of fluffy white head. Very nice aroma of citrus and sweet caramel.

Moderate carbonation with a prickly, full mouthfeel that's just a touch resinous. Hoppy blast up front with pine, grass, and citrus followed by a sold caramel malt backbone. Pleasantly bitter grapefruit finish.

Extremely balanced and very drinkable. Impressive IPA from Firestone Walker -- wish I hadn't waited so long to try this one! (464 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: thin head on a slightly hazy golden with slight amber hue body.

S: classic orange peel and grapefruit hop aroma. very nice degree of sweetness.

T: nice degree of malt presence. the hop variety is excellent. very complex and variable as its consumed. hop notes include floral, herbal, grapefruit, melon and pineapple. very nice.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a very nice beer. The hop character is excellent for a standard IPA. I could drink this all the time. (494 characters)

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

Appearance - This is a delicious-looking clear but heavy orange body with a nice, retentive white head that even left some lacing on the inside of my pint glass.

Smell - The rich, orange-flavored hops are big and heavy. I can pick up a solid sweetish malt base but it's the orange and to some extent pine hops that lead this beautiful bouquet.

Taste - This one is full of flavor. The hops make a magnificent transition from nose to tongue bringing out a massive array of huge hop flavors without being too bitter or harsh and the sweetness from the malts is a perfect compliment.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied ale that is bitter but not punishingly so and just enough carbonation to keep you interested.

Drinkability - This is both big and quaffable at the same time. The balance is superb yet the hopheads will relish the flavors. This is a winner for sure. (874 characters)

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Bright and clear brassy amber color, dense foam forms from a even, moderate pour and the lacing is absolutely amazing with rings all the way down the glass. Massive grapefruit aroma from the hops, slightly pungent and very aromatic. Full-bodied and very smooth. Heavy-handed hop character pounds the taste buds with flavor, bitterness comes in a with a moderate sharpness and lets the flavors unfold from citric zest to botanical to pungent citric rind. There is a thickness of malt underneath with a solid kernel of sweetness and toasted biscuit, but this is all more or less trumped by the hops. Small fume of alcohol with clean esters that throw a little bit of mango and papaya fruitiness in the mix.

This beer is bordering Double IPA territory, which is not a bad thing, though it is a pretty sizable American IPA and is an absolute must for all of the hopheads out there. (928 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 355ml bottle with a bottled-on date of May 29th 2012. Purchased at the GBBF and kept in my fridge.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A deep golden-amber hue with faint haze and good carbonation. Produces a huge head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patch surface layer. Nice lacing. Aroma of intensely fruity hops: notes of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, white grapes and subtle pine. This is underpinned by sweet malt, dry yeast and a whiff of booze. Flavoursome.

Tastes of overwhelming juicy hops with a malty backbone and a strident bitter finish. Notes of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, pine, faint grape, caramel, malt sugar, earthy yeast and stewed hops. Quite sweet, but balanced by a powerful spicy bitterness upon swallowing. A hint of solventy booze lurks in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, spicy and dry, with tingly carbonation and good body. Highly astringent - dries the palate. Aftertaste of bitter aromatic hops and a hint of sweet malt.

Impressive - tons of character in this brew. Like someone has driven a truckfull of hops over your palate. The flavour and aroma are fantastic, and it feels balanced despite the malty sweetness. No complaints - if you love hops then this is the beer for you. Grab one if you see it. (1,287 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,229 ratings.