Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

1,231 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,231
Hads: 5,975
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,161 | 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: 1,231 | Hads: 5,975
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 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 arizcards
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber in late May at O'Shea Brewing in Laguna Niguel for $4.28.

Beer poured a crisp and clean copper with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is fresh piney hops. Taste initially was melon and pineapple somewhat balanced by a fair share of malts. Finish leaves resiny hops on the palate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, brew is decently carbonated. Overall drinkability is good. Alcohol is well hidden. This is another very good FW brew. I look forward to trying more! (496 characters)

Photo of jeffjeff1
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good IPA. It was certainly refreshing because I hadnt had any beer in a while.

Appearance- dark gold, good lacing

Smell- hoppy

Taste- hops, bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, had it at Firestone Grill in San Luis Obispo (282 characters)

Photo of mikey711
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade from Davexisxrabid, so much thanks goes out to this great BA.

I poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass. It is a beautiful gold with excellent tranparency and a very bid lacy head that balloons out the glass.

While waiting for the head to settle a bit I began to smell some great caramel and pine notes. There is some biscuity aromas as well and at the very end a hint of citrus.

The first sip provided some of that biscuit detected earlier with a very nice mellow pine note to follow it up. The malts and hops are very balance here.

There was some alcohol present in the mouthfeel, but it is hidden very well by the hops. A nice change of pace beer which I could enjoy a few of in a sitting.

This is my first ever Firestone Walker beer, and it was a treat. Again thanks goes out to Dave for this great extra I had been hoping to try. (880 characters)

Photo of bargerking
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have had this both on tap and bottle plenty of times but this review was a tap pint at the brewery taproom.

Appearance is a deep copper almost brown. Smell is a major burst of pine and hops. You dont even have to put the glass up to your face for this one. Smell suggests that this beer means business. Taste is a pretty tough with hops and definatly gets the taste buds jumping. Mouthful is almost harsh and begs to be swallowed. To me, the hops are way over powering and dominate from start to finish. I know alot of people suggest citrus and other hints but the piney/resiny malt seemed to overpower everything for me. Aftertaste lingers and almost leaves your throat dry. I am not much of a Hophead but if I were, this would be a daily drinker. Its still a awesone FW beer but not my favorite... too strong of a taste for me. (832 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a DFH stemmed goblet. mucho thanks to dgb3 for trading this one to me!

A= This ale poured a very clear orange color with some hints of gold around the edges. The slightly off-white head rose about 3/4" and then quickly settled to a 1/8" cap. Loads of carbonation release but that is surely aided by the nucleation site etched into the bottom of this nifty glass. A respectable amount of wispy lace clung to my glass.

S= Smelled of caramel and biscuity malts, pine and citrus hops (more citrus than pine though), and some spicy alcohol. Fairly simple really, but very nice.

T= As the smell indicated, this was a big and fairly balanced IPA, as IPAs go. The biscuit and caramel malt character seemed to blend seemlessly with the piney base hop bitterness and the citrus and floral hop flavors. This was not a collection of seperate notes but rather a symphony of flavor. The finish was dry and showed just enough alcohol to make things spicy and interesting but was in no way hot.

MF= On the heavier side of medium bodied with a full carbonation that stopped short of being too sharp. Really wonderful.

D= I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and have come to the conclusion that it hurts me Firestone Walker is not distributed locally for me. Very tasty, very drinkable, and the ABV stays deceptively hidden. Highly recommended! (1,374 characters)

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Pours light copper with a faint wispy head. You get a whiff of floral hops, peach and some light caramel. The taste displays an underrated characteristic in the IPA universe: balance. Some citrus tang on the tip of the tongue along with a bit of pine blends seemlessly with the vanilla and peach sweetness from the malt. A second round of hop bitterness brings things to a satisfying conclusion. This is not a hop symphony, but it doesn't need to be. This is simply a very well executed IPA where more subtle flavors are allowed to create a coherent drinking experience. If this was available in Illinois it would join the ranks of my go-to IPAs. (685 characters)

Photo of NewGeneric
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one the other day with my father. Poured a gold color with white head that faded quickly and left good lacing. Smelled of citrus/pine hops and light malt. Tasted pretty much the same. Smooth, but slightly bitter/dry finish. Could easily drink more of this. (265 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Davis Graduate.

A: one finger frothy white head dissipated to a nice cap over a good looking dark amber. Tons of cascading lace.
S: grapefruit and pine hops to boot. These aromas are very loud! There's a hint of spice and sweet caramel.
T: similar to aroma but really pine heavy. These hops are fresh and quite nice. There's a bit of caramel malt sweetness to balance.
M: lighter body with medium carbonation and a good amount of residuals despite being a bit thin.
D: not the most complicated hop profile ever, but still good and terribly drinkable and refreshing! (585 characters)

Photo of blackc5
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass at about 53F.

A - Pours a pale orangish amber, with a medium, billowing head. Strong lacing that retains some of the foamy head.

S - Very strong scents of citrusy, piney hops as well as sweet fruit like a ripe peach. Definitely well above average here even for my usually weak nose.

T - Starts off with a mild sweetness (again, like a ripe peach), quickly moving to crisp piney hops and ending with some nice bitterness like orangy grapefruit. Very well balanced and complex IMHO. Some may feel it is a bit too sweet, but I like a sweet IPA and the bitterness really helps to offset. Improving as it warms. I started at a fairly high temp, so I wonder if some of the less positive reviews were just drinking this too cold...

M - Light to medium bodied and fairly well carbonated. Not the best I have had here, but nothing wrong either.

D - Pretty high ABV for a single IPA, but I could still drink this all night. I wouldn't have guessed it to be higher than 7% had I not looked.

A real nice effort and I am glad to see them widely available now in our area. (1,110 characters)

Photo of oxnard111
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Light coppery clear color. Small white-light tan head that settles to a thin but consistent layer. Medium carbonation level. Medium lacing that followed the liquid level down the glass.

S-First smell is a smoky malty smell that is balanced with a citrus/honey piney hops aroma.

T-Well balanced between the piney/citrusy hops and the caramel malts. Smoky caramel/coffee undertones. Peppery after taste that lingers but is not overpowering.

M-Medium to thick mouth feel. Medium-medium high carbonation level. Perfect in my opinion.

D-Drinkability was great. Could imagine myself wrenching while drinking this brew or making it a whole evening session. Solid beer without being too heavy.

Great overall beer. Proud to be so close to this brewery. I haven't drunken a Firestone brew yet that I have been uterly disappointed with so far.

Served in a pint glass (863 characters)

Photo of Bluetick
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Orange

S - Pine Hops with a hint florals peach

T - Strong hops at first with floral and peachy notes in the middle, clean aftertaste

M - A bit heavy, but too much so. Heavier than say Racer 5.

D - Very drinkable. By the third one, you may feel a bit full.

One of my favorite IPAs. I buy it regularly at the house. Just as good on draft as well. (358 characters)

Photo of ShrLSU
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearence is a bright cloudy orange color. There isn't much head but a slight halo around the rim and very little lacing. The nose is very citrusy. Some slight orange peel, and pineapple scents. Taste is just like the nose. Lots of big citrus notes up front along with piney hop resin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slighty slick and oily from hop oils down the throat. Overall a very tasty IPA. It embodies the classic cali IPA flavors. Nice beer if you have it available. (479 characters)

Photo of ryrust5301
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A good looking beer to say the least. Golden orange color with a supple egg shell white head. Nice layering left on top for a little more flair to this already impressive beer. Lacing is very tiny and in small patches, but fades rather quickly.

Smell - Nose is superb, and smells similar to a lighter hopslam, which I consider to have the best nose of any IPA. This one is filled with hops and touches of orange peel, melon, and grapefruit. Sweet honey glaze seems to coat the nose as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Definitely a west coast IPA, and a freaking stud at that. Hops are beautifully crisp biting all the way till they fade into a honey kist grapefruit and melon backbone. What's great about this beer is that it's gripping, but not overpowering. It stays full of flavor but still rather light in my mouth, which is what I like in an IPA. I guess the feel could have a bit more weight and length to it, but I guess that might be being a bit harsh.

Drinkability - I could drink a million of these, and it's right up there with my most loved IPA's. This is only the second beer i've had from Firestone, and it won't be my last. Both have been phenomenal, so I plan on sampling everything else in their arsenal. (1,230 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to the threewisemen for the trade.

22oz bomber. 03/26/09 printed on the bottle, but hard to see. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

pale honey amber. clear. large off-white head, foamy, fades to creamy, thin but constant layer. wonderful lacing.

aroma: fresh pine, citrusy grapefruit, though more rind than fresh zest. touch of apple esters and mild to moderate caramel maltiness peek out from underneath.

taste: hops are fruitier than the aroma, with both fresh pine and citrus zest and rind, plus some citrus fruit. into apple and even some grape. the malty caramel base comes through for a bit, then back to piney resins, with bright and bold bitterness.

medium body, maybe lighter than expected, but smooth enough, with resins in finish. tingly, moderate carbonation integrates the flavors. (808 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A--Light copper color with a quarter inch of head in my glass and no real lacing left behind.

S--Bright, west coast citrus hoppy goodness. Pineapple, watermelon, cantelope, apple skins. All the good stuff.

T--Taste follows suit with orange peels, pear, pineapple...lots of pine resin bitterness.

M--On the lighter side of medium bodied, could definitely use some improvement here

D--Nice IPA here that could be among the best if it had a little more body and stickiness. I enjoyed my bottle quickly and thoroughly (518 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a crisp orange with a nice frothy head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is decent amount of citrus and pine hops with sweet malts. The taste is a nice abundant amount of sticky pine hops with traces of citrus balanced nicely with caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied with a nice dry bitterness that leaves you craving the next sip. This is a very enjoyable IPA, I'd love to see their beers available here in NC. (493 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #6 of 8. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Golden orange. Semi-clear with a thin white head that reduces to a ring.

S- Lots of candied, caramel malts along with citrus, floral hops.

T- Pretty balanced as far as IPAs go. Getting some tropical notes from the citrus hops. This flavor was countered by a strong presence of caramel malts. Had a nice bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D- Refreshing and an easy drinker. Goes down quite well.

Overall, a nice offering from Firestone. May have been a little to balanced for my liking. (624 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this from the brewery in Paso Robles a few days ago. Unfortunately, a good six or seven ounces of Union Jack leaked from the growler on the drive from San Luis Obispo to Fresno. Long story short, don't store growlers on their side, AND this beer seemed to be lacking in carbonation because of the incident.

Poured into a standard pint glass. Split the remaining Union Jack with a couple of high school buddies.

Appearance: No head on the first pour, and just a tiny white film on the second pour. (I was able to have about a 1.3333 pints.) Clear copper body shows faint signs of carbonation - a few stray bubbles here and there. The tiny head still drags wispy lacing down the walls of the glass. Doesn't look nearly as appetizing as normal.

Smell: Herbal hops, pine, and caramel. Quite weak, but still good.

Taste: Oily herbal hops, moist pine bark, caramel, grapefruit, and toasted grains. Bitterness seems a bit lower than normal (for Union Jack), but that may just be me. Taste is nearly unaffected by the aforementioned mishap.

Mouthfeel: Resinous, oily, sticky, and kinda flat. Very hop-forward. I would almost call the body "heavy" just because of the robust hop oils; however, "just past medium" is probably a more accurate description of the body.

Drinkability: Still damn good. I'm sure I'll get this in a growler again and just be more careful of it. This Union Jack was tainted, yet it reminded me how beautiful that beer really is. (1,474 characters)

Photo of benclimbs
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours orangeish, and not very thick looking at all compared to similar styled ipas

Smell is a bit of caramel, with a touch of floral hops kind of Brit style both in the nose and taste

Taste is very dry, this is quite a dry ipa - hops are hardly any fruit , and mainly just the bitter kick...a very good ipa (308 characters)

Photo of BitterPachyderm
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from solomon420 via the mystery box-thanks!!

12 oz. bottle, no freshness, poured into my SN glass...

A-very lively 3 fingers of creamy foam...very sustainable. burnt orange body, almost golden, very ipa

S-very citrusy with some hops, spicy and peppery nose...very ipa

T-solid hop profile, bitter, lots of citrus with some buttery undertones...very ipa

M- slick and oily, a little low on carbonation

D-another superdrinkable ipa

my appreciation has grown so much in such a short time for ipas...i need to go back and review some again, possibly the Sweetwater...it deserves a better score from me! (603 characters)

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22fl oz bottle into my pint glass

Pours a pretty light amber color with a very fluffy and marsh mellow like off-white head. Huge bubbles scattered around all on top of the foam. Great head retention with soapy lacing all throughout the glass. Very terrific looking.

Very mild citrus smell with slight hints of floral notes in there and that nice biscuit/caramel malt smell coming through. Smells exactly like the style calls for it. Looking good so far.

Damn, well hops have faded quite a bit on this, as you can tell from the slightly mild bitter taste upfront with the caramel malt being dominant in this. Nothing more(unfortunately)

Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Sweet caramel malt in the aftertaste.

Well this f**king sucks to tell you the truth. I do not know how fresh the bottle is since the damn brewers like to put no date or make it a treasure hunt to find it and decode it. All in all I heard good things about this and I'm sure it would be good if it was fresher. But I have to call it like it is and speak the truth whether it be fresh or old. (1,086 characters)

Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions.

Appearance: Standard tangelo orange body with a 1 finger white crown that has a bit of retenetion and some lacing.

Smell: Lemongrass, grapefruit citrus hops, a small floral note, etc.

Taste: A touch bitter without much else going on. Fairly blah. ; Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side for the style but not bad.

Drinkability: The thin mouthfeel helps it go down. (429 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oaky color with a nice beige head. Good lacing and retention. Nose has citrus, fruity hops and caramel malts. Taste not as impressive. Good malt structure, but the hops are a bit to mellow. Body is a bit thin, but well carbonated. Good IPA from Firestone. (264 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,231 ratings.