Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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1,218 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,218
Hads: 5,907
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 438
Gots: 1,105 | 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: 1,218 | Hads: 5,907
Photo of sweetbrew82
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into snifter/ no freshness date

P: Hazy orangish copper with a 2 fingered white head that's semi-thick and frothy with small bubbles. Shows good retention and sinks to a halo on top while leaving some webbed lacing behind.

A: Deep, pungeant citrus hops that smell like grapefruit rind, pineapple, and tangerine. Also some piney hops with sweet, caramel malt underneath.

T: Flavors pretty much follow the nose. It's all about the hops, baby! Grapefruit rind, pineapple, sweet oranges/tangerines followed by some resinous pine. Creamy caramel underneath with lightly toasted sweet sugar-cookie like malt that is barely there to support the hop bill that finishes pleasantly dry. One of my favorites!

M: Medium-bodied, rich and creamy, with a sticky feel that I just love!

Notes: From what I understand, this is the same recipe as Green Flash West Coast IPA. But to me, Union Jack seems a little deeper and more pungeant. Don't ask me which one is better because they are both fantastic! This is one of the best IPA's out there, and the 7.5% ABV is hidden perfectly. Take notes Bud Light...this is what you call drinkability! (1,135 characters)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 2/18/09
Firestone Brewing Co.
Union Jack IPA
7.5% Abv.

Appearance=Very orange in color. Pours a nice 1 finger white head. Beer is very transparent which is nice considering some IPA's can be Opaque.

Smell= Typical IPA. Citrus, pine, Tang?? Not a huge nose, but I like it. When you do get a good whiff, it is very pleasant.

Taste= Taste is extremely good. One of my favorite go to IPA's when I need it.

Mouthfeel= Almost perfect for an IPA. Not too thick or too thin. It also has a nice dryness to it when it finishes.

Drinkability= Drinkability is really high on this bad boy. Abv. isn't out of control so it can be a sessionable IPA. Availability is also high where I'm located which makes it all the better! (733 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into nonic.

A - Pours orangish and mirky with a white head that leaves lots of lacing behind.

S - Some sweetness, some bitterness. Oranges, grapefruit, hops, citrus, and bitterness. A very "solid" smelling IPA.

T - Some oranges, tangerines, hops, bitterness.

M - Light and nice, really crisp and fresh. Good carbonation.

D - A good IPA and will hopefully get ahold of another bottle again. (419 characters)

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

Got this beer on my trip to wine country in Solvang, CA. Of the four Firestone beers I brought back with me, I have been looking forward to this one the most, being an IPA/ RIS guy.

I swiftly poured halfway up my beer tasting wine glass. The head was white about medium sized and quickly disappeared while leaving nice lacing on the glass. The appearance was about in the middle for an IPA, copperish. The nose is heavy on grapefruit with a little honey and caramel. The taste is citrus and spice hops, a well balanced caramel malt, pretty basic for the style, well balanced taste. Mouthfeel is an appropriate medium body with solid effervescence. This could be a session beer as far as IPA goes, if you have read any of my other reviews, you know I always drink all over the map. All in all a very solid IPA from a region known more for great wine. Advice to Firestone, write up some tasting notes on the bottle, get some people in the Santa Barbara area to appreciate beer a little better! (993 characters)

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

Acquired from fogdog courtesy of the 2009 Secret Bunny BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of piney hops. There's a mild sweetness of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA that is well-worth drinking for a whole evening. (846 characters)

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

Tap @ O'Briens. Poured clear copper-gold with a short white head. Moderate lacing. For a straight IPA, this was fantastic. Sometimes, you get the DIPA that calls itself an IPA, but this is jsut a well-done, big-hop single IPA. Crisp, fresh pink grapefruit, pine needles, orange peel, and mango in the nose. Sharp mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. No stickiness in the finish. The aroma follows through nicely in the taste. Grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and that bite of resin. The caramel malt stays muted and does not turn this into a candied mess. Please sell more bottles of this in San Diego. (611 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy light golden orange with a thin white head and bubbly, sticky lacing.

S - Toffee and sweet caramel with strong floral, grapefruit, tropical fruit and piney hop notes. Very floral and tropical fruity.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee followed by floral hops mixed with grapefruit and orange rinds. Citrus and biscuit flavors lingers.

M - Medium body and almost chewy at times with a lingering sweetness and dryness.

D - Hops seem to dominate but yet it seems balanced at the same time if that makes sense. Very tasty and would be an excellent full flavored session beer if the alcohol didn't sneak up on you. (626 characters)

Photo of semihobo
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear tangerine orange body, slow light bubbling. Solid head like whipped eggs whites, fades to a nice ring. Nice red white and blue bottlecaps.

Smells of tangerine, bitter orange rind, pale malt.

Strong but not overwhelming hops on the taste. Very floral and citrusy, backed up with enough bitterness to balance. Finish is dry and compared to the style moderately bitter. Malts are subdued, staying out of the way, adding some sweetness to the fruitiness up front and a biscuity note on the middle and finish... Love the transition from sweet to dry.

Medium weight mouthfeel, smooth carbonation and a little thick on the finish.

Nice rich hop profile and medium bitterness for an IPA makes this fairly drinkable. 7.5 ABV is totally hidden on the taste and that number feels like an average ABV... Then it hits you toward the end and you start thinking of 7.5 as nearly 8%, whoa... Glass half-full or -empty, this is dangerously quaffable. $9.99 / six was a bit much at a boutique grocery store but $4 a pint at the firestone taproom indicates they price it reasonably. Good stuff, and as good an offering as was to be found from the full lineup at the brewery. (1,165 characters)

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

Firestone- IPA

A- Caramel orange brown with a fluffy head, light lacing.
S- Sweet buttery malt and sugary pine hops.
T- Sweet sugary buttery shortbread malt, sweetened pine and citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange rind.
M- Thick malt and a sweet sweet hoppy body and finish.

Overall- Solid, sessionable. A highly recommended 1 if seen on tap. (342 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jgap for kickin this in as an extra on our trade.

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Very light golden color with white foamy one finger head. As light as it is, one could easily mistake this for a pale ale. No complaints on my part as I enjoy my IPA's unbalanced to the hoppy side.

Wonderful hoppy aroma. Grapefruit and citrus. Very good stuff. Pineapple mentioned as a trait on the website.

Big mouthfeel and plenty of carbonation - almost to the point that it's a bit scratchy on the way down.

Flavor, as with the color, is lower on malt and higher on hops. (578 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle thanks to psycohops. Poured into my shaker glass. Appears a clear honey amber color with about a finger of off white head. Light lacing is left on the inside of my glass with each sip. Smells fruity with notes of orange, lemon, cherry, pineapple. Tastes of caramel dipped pineapple, white grapefruit juice, honeydew, skunky (the good kind), dank, peppery with a slight alcoholic finish. Medium in both body and carbonation. A very drinkable IPA. Check it out if you see it. (489 characters)

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better IPA's I've ever had. The only thing I didnt like was the appearance. It was somewhat amber but looked dark golden, clear. The thing that suprised me was there wasnt much of a head or retention or lacing. I had a 6 pack, the carbonation seemed fine, but just little head with virtually no retention. Smell is amazing. Touches of grapefruit, pineapple, citrus, and a floral hop bite. Taste is in-line with smell. A somewhat sweet citrusy taste with a plesant hop bitterness as it hits the back of the tounge. I'd have to say this is pretty well balance but, as you'd expect, somewhat favoring the hops. Mouthfeel is light and velvety, leaving a slightly oily finish. Overall a great beer, the ABV is incredibly well hidden, so while you may want to drink 4 or 5 of these, be careful! (799 characters)

Photo of jgap
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with an orange tinge and a brilliant white, frothy head that fades to a solid lace. Smell is citrusy hops with lots of grapefuit and some sticky pine. Taste is very hoppy but more malt backing than the smell led me to expect, still very hoppy though. Taste is immediately a caramel malt that quickly gives way to a building bitterness. Hops are peppery up front with a lingering pine aftertaste. This is a well balanced ipa, very drinkable. (452 characters)

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

Light orange color in the class, no haze at all and very few bubbles, with a quickly dissipating head. The smell is sweet and strong with piney hops. The mouthfeel is sticky and almost perfect--just a tad lighter than some other big IPAs that I love (e.g., Ruination). The taste is true to style with plenty of hoppy goodness. There is also a nicely sweet finish, sweeter maybe than any IPA I've had before--not quite what I'd call sugary, but close. All in all, this beer goes exceptionally well with the Mexican food I brought home. (534 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jgap for this extra.

Poured into a pint glass after a long days work. Really clear light brown honey colored body. Slight white foamy head, and a ton of carbonation bubbles are rushing to the top.

Sweet honey and caramel malts are most noticeable. The most dominent citrus scent my nose picks up on is orange. Very pleasant grapefruit and lemon scents rise up as well. The most dominant citrus scent my nose picks up on is orange. The qualm I have is that the scent is somewhat subdued.

The first thing I notice is orange and lemon, followed by some light simcoe hop kick which is giving some pretty decent grapefruit tastes. Really great malt backbone provides a nice full bodied mouthfeel. Very nice dry hops to finish. (740 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thankyou to harvester to sending me a six pack of this stuff. Pour reveals a hazy golden colored beer, with about half a finger of white head. Big ripe nose of grapefruit, grassy notes, touch of alcohol, and a resin hop presence. Taste melds all of the above smells together, leaning towards the hop bitterness, grapefruit flavors, and mild alcohol bite. Body is between medium and heavy, leaning more toward the former. Alcohol is not overly present, just enough to peak its head up. This is a well made IPA. It reminds me of Mojo IPA from Boulder in a big way, maybe a little bit better. Certainly something I would have in my fridge often if it were available here. Cheers (675 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Floydster for this great extra. A beer that I have been looking forward to trying for awhile! 12 oz bottle.

A- Body is a slightly hazy blonde hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy white head that eventually fades to a thick collar and leaves some lacing behind in the glass. I like the haziness of this one-but it is a bit more pale than most IPAs I have come across.

S-The nose is pretty great. Piny hops are the main character with some grapefruit and other citrus coming through as well. The slightest hint of caramel malt comes through in the background.

T- The initial flavor is really good and offers great citrus hop flavors with a barely noticeable pale malt backbone. The finish gets pretty bitter. There are piny hop flavors, citrus rind bitterness, pine hop bitterness and that seltzer-like bitterness going on. What lingers is nothing but a medium strength residual bitterness from the finish.

M- Very high, tingly carbonation and a body that is much akin to seltzer water. Some hop oils can be noticed but are overshadowed by the presence of the carbonation.

D- This is a pretty good IPA and I wouldn't mind trying it again. The high carbonation detracts from it a bit-but maybe there is a way around that-because otherwise this is a great brew. (1,270 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber, no freshness date.. poured into a tumbler.

- Yellow/Orange color and copper.. bubbly white head that smooths down quick to a bit of lacing, not much. Bubbles like a champagne. Is this the champagne of beers? Nice and clear.

- Smell is of very fresh floral hops with a tad bit of tropical fruit. Slight caramel malt as well... liking so far.

- Little bread, little rye.. little dry.. but with a great hop flavor. Nicely 'unbalanced' with a very slight malt presence. Crisp and refreshing, and masks the slight increase in alcohol very well. Rather bitter too... likies.

- Dry mouth, bitter aftertase.. with lingering spring flowers just in bloom.

- Quite drinkable indeed.. not syrupy at all, a bit bubbly, but overall an easy strong sessional. Worth the purchase, but by no means a favorite IPA of mine.

** Edited... after finishing the bomber, I am a bit more impressed... Very good drinkablilty! (911 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a thin, white, bubbly head.

Smell: Pungent earthy, herbal pine needles and soggy grapefruit rinds blanket the lesser aroma of pale malt.

Taste: Pale malts along with a rather subdued caramel sweetness. Profuse hop flavors of citrus fruits and herbaceous pine thoughtfully deliver a nice pinch of medium-high bitterness. Finishes appropriately dry with a long, lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a tad bit oily in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Goes down surprisingly easy (and quickly) for being a 7.5% ABV. A solid, competent India Pale Ale. (624 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a twelve ounce brown bottle - Pours a light copper color with no haze and a small head and almost no carbonation. Smells only of west coast c-hops, with grapefruit dominating the nose. First sip is bittersweet just like a good IPA should be. Tangy but with more than enough malt backbone to support the massive hops. Great for the style. (342 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy light amber color with a rocky head; decent retention and lacing

Smell: Toffee malt blends in with citrus smells

Taste: Opens with the toffee flavor from the aroma, but it doesn't take long for the bitterness to build; very citrusy, with plenty of grapefruit and other tropical fruit flavors (mango, papaya and a hint of pineapple); after the swallow, the fruitiness gets even stronger, though all the while there is some residual malt sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: More than just an AIPA, this is close to a DIPA; designed for those who want a low alcohol DIPA (although it tastes bigger), and that is worth a little chuckle (739 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 24 May 2008.

Large tight white head. Moderately carbonated. Bright amber color. Aromas of pine, green pineapple and soap. Lots of pineapple and resin to start. Sweet throughout, gingery. Hops really make an appearance midway through and leave a lingering resiny finish and aftertaste, pineapple and bitter. Fairly light body. Ethanol is warming but not too strong.

Good well balanced IPA, worth a try. (423 characters)

Photo of SaintPeter
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden color with orange highlights, picturesque IPA color. Hazy pale. Fluffy, creamy off white head that melts away in timely manner and leaves a drapery lace around the inside of the glass. Magnificent bubble play in the glass when swirled--like watching a lava lamp, mesmerizing.

Extremely fragrant! Strong citrus notes of sour grapefruit, pink rose petals, soft fragrant cascade hops--nothing too overpowering, but bold and hoppy. Fresh crushed pepper corns, orange peel, coriander, unripe pears, wild flowers, pine forest. A certain creaminess. Difficult to pick out aromas as they are so entwined.

Starts off with a grapefruit juiciness and exotic fruits, puckers in the middle and gets full of mild hop bitterness. Stays mellow and extremely well balanced. The bitterness never really matriculates fully as it threatens to and the even keel finishes with a touch sweetness and resin of the hops. Stays on the palette for a while. It has hop appeal.

Chewy, smooth and creamy mouth feel. This beer is a cream puff! Slight tinge on the palette, pleasant on the tongue.

The bitterness at the after taste is strong. A clean Über-balanced IPA with long lingering bite of bitter hops. Could be confused with a double IPA. It has that much flavor!

A must try for those inclined to the English of the India Company style. Extremely well balanced and rather sweet with grapefruitiness. I mention grapefruit a lot because that is what best describes the sweet and sour puckering. (1,497 characters)

Photo of MacDomer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PretzelCity for this one.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice, fairly clear honey color with a nice off white crown, and sticky, sticky, sticky. Smells great. Like a light DIPA - it's nice and pungent, with some good sweetness. The taste is full with delicious C hops with a nice tropical profile supported by some lightly toasted caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is right for an IPA, but with the DIPA flavors, it's a nice change and feels light. Very smooth, very creamy. This is good stuff. I might not trade for it, but next time I'm out in California, I'll bring a sixer back with me. Actually, maybe I will trade for it...it's damn good! (657 characters)

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

Bottled on date: 02/02/09. The date is very small inked on just at the top of the fat part of the bottle. (a bomber) So the beer is about 30 days old.
Pours clear copper with a good one finger head. The lacings are plentiful.
Aroma is piney, floral.
Taste is bitter (72 IBUs) piney grapefruit orange hops with a solid malt backbone. The bitterness is relentless on the back of my tongue. Carbonation is just right and the finish is dry and bitter sweet. This is a powerful IPA. It would be interesting to put this up against some Blind Pig. If you love bitter hoppy IPAs you owe it to yourself to drink this beer. I am just about finished with the bottle and still have a nice ring of head. (692 characters)

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.