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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.

1,229 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,229
Hads: 5,973
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 439
Gots: 1,159 | 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 rudylaw
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, golden straw body with a simply gorgeous, 2-finger, soapy, foamy white head. Pretty hazy, but that head is unbelieveable!

Lots of pine in the nose. Of course, your typical citrus is present and quite a bit of caramel too.

I'm detecting a big malt backbone in this. The finish is bitter. There are some hops, but the malt is much more prevalent. Maybe some seltzer too? Lots of caramel and bread.

Highly carbonated but still goes down way too easily on a nice summer's eve.

I like this. I'm not going to go out of my way to mail order it from CA again, but I'd surely take one as an extra any day! (606 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack from Whole Foods Market in Los Gatos, CA and was glad it was recommended to me by Brian there. It has a clear golden amber color with a modest white head of big bubbles that disipates to a mere ring quickly but leaves a healthy carpet of lace. The aroma is mild but pleasant pine hops and a vague hint of clean grain. The flavor brings a much more difinitive hop and it's got more of a citrus side. It's smooth with very fine tingly carbonation, crisp but fair bodied for the style. The hop dominance gives way to some malt sweetness and this settles into a very pleasing ipa. There's also a touch toasted oats and oak. This is one solid choice, definitely give this a try! (694 characters)

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

Thanks for this extra Solomon420!

A. Bottle served poured in to my Sam Adams shapped pint glass. Crisp bright golden body, thin white head some lasing.

S. Some mango, citris, faint honey biscuit malty.

T. Balanced hops and malt, citrus

M. Nice carbonation, refreshing bitterness.

D. I could drink a few of these, alcohol is not overpowering.

Thanks again Solomon420. (373 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a small hotel glass. It pours a golden-amber color and forms a 1 inch off-white head that leaves lacing around the edges. Minimal carbonation is noted and no sediment.

The aroma is primarily grapefruit with a slight caramel malty sweetness in the background.

The taste is again grapefruit although light and a note of pine and moss in the background.

This is a light/medium bodied beer that seemed kind of thin to me. There is good carbonation and it is fairly smooth and crisp. Minimal dryness at the finish.

This beer has good taste and is easy to drink although it could have been stiffer and would have been even more drinkable. (662 characters)

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

Poured a nice amber color with some decent head. Definite citrusy smell, accompanied with a citrusy flavor. Also prevalent in the taste is a nice amount of hops, and a bit of a creamy taste, but also a bitter finish.

Really good mouthfeel, and very drinkable. One of the better beverages I have tried during this California visit. (331 characters)

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

Thanks to Solomon420 for this awesome extra
I poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass it resulted in a finger worth of white head that turned into a sparse lace. The body of the brew was a clear golden orange in color.

Aromas of pine resin and citrus' filled my nose. That really is saying a lot today because of my allergies are acting up. The flavor was a well balanced for a west cost IPA; I was almost in complete shock. Good mouthfeel with great carbonation for your tongue.

I think if this was my local IPA it would be my go to brew. easy to drink and it taste like a good IPA should (591 characters)

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

Have had this beer previously in bottles, but this was the first time I ever had the pleasure of drinking it on tap. Part of the regular rotation at the excellent Rose and Crown pub in Palo Alto.

Like the bottled version, this beer pour an orange peach color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is impressive, consisting of a sweet, fruity, malty nose, that is aggressively undercut by a huge wave of hoppy bitterness. Flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, and what strikes me the most is just how well balanced this beer is. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is just excellent. There is no doubt, this would be my go to IPA of choice, were it only available on the East Coast. Just an all around excellent IPA.

Edit from 1/12. This beer is now available in the Baltimore area, and as mentioned, is now my IPA whenever I see it on the menu in town. It's a beer I order automatically when ever I see it in town. Thank God we now get FW beers now here in Bawlmore. (1,012 characters)

Photo of dfitch81
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of Firestone Walker's three perennial offerings, this is probably my favorite.

Pours a pleasing crystal-clear gold topped by a finger's width of head that never completely subsides. Laces nicely, too.

Smell is hops all around: fruity, floral and refreshing. Nose suggests some combination of Amarillos, Cascades, and Centennials. Taste backs up the nose's impressions - wonderful floral and citrus notes strike an excellent balance between sweet and bitter, and there is a nice herbal undertone (Chinooks?).

Mouthfeel is good, neither too thin nor too thick and with just the right amount of carbonation tickling the back of the tongue. Drinkability is likewise good, although the 7.5% ABV is a bit too high to qualify this beer for session status.

All around an excellent effort from Firestone Walker. I will certainly revisit this one. (842 characters)

Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this single bottle from Solomon420 as an extra in an awesome trade!

A: Pours a nicely amber color with lots of white head that reduces down to a nice finger of good bubbles and leaves lacing on the glass.

S: lots of citrusy hops and grapefruit with a minor caramel malt backing

T: Wow, this is really good. It's not a hop bomb, but there are lots of hops in there....backed by a solid, but minor amount of caramel sweet malt. the scale is tipped toward the hop flavor, but the solid amount of malt makes this really well balanced to me because I like that ratio. I really wouldn't want more malt though or this would fall under the "not a big fan" category.

M: Very full bodied and creamy for an IPA, which I am not too surprised by as the ABV is teetering on DIPA level.

D: Totally drinkable. The way the malt helps soften the hoppiness, it really helps make this beer go down easy. Not the least bit of alcohol flavor either. (936 characters)

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

got this in a trade with davexisxrabid. thanks a lot.

A: a clear coppery orange. a small white head.

S: smells of citrusy hops, and sweet fruit like apricot or mango. can also smell some caramel from the malt.

T: tastes of citrus and pine. it is bitter in the finish. you get some of the sweetness from the malt along with some of the fruit flavors.

M: medium body with light carbonation. resiny from the hops.

D: i could drink a few of these. wish i had more.

drank on: 05.28.09 (487 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Student dropped this off for me before heading back home. Sweet!

A- Poured into pint glass. Deep clear amber color pouring a quater inch head before dying down leaving no real lacing. Lacing just slides down the glass.

S- Good bitter pine hop smell to this with a little malty biscuty ending the nose. Also, a hint of sweet citrus with this.

T- Nice bitter hop bite to this all the way through. The malts are covered up by the hops and even at the end don't really make any apperance. I taste an earthy tone to this as well....almost like a grassy note. As the beer warms up a little the malts come through a little better giving this a sweet aftertaste.

M- Good medium mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation but enough to enjoy this beer. Bitter hoppy oil resin coats the tounge and lets the taste linger after a sip. Beer just kind of sits in the mouth from lack of carbonation.

D- This was a very enjoyable IPA that I could drink again if someone was so nice enough to trade me a bottle. (1,000 characters)

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)

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