Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

1,304 Reviews
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Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

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Reviews: 1,304 | Ratings: 6,299
Photo of objektwerks
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best IPA I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. One sniff and you know right away you're about to drink true greatness. To the best of my knowledge, only Ale Smith can brew IPAs of this quality. And this IPA leaves every Ale Smith IPA in the dust. Quite simply: This is the IPA of our dreams, realized and brewed to perfection. And I'm a DogfishHead 60" IPA guy.:)

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Photo of BergBeer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Crystal clear copper with a moderate white head. Very active.

Smell: Pungent hops with notes of citrus fruit and a slight earthiness with a sweet bread body.

Taste: Notes of grapefruit zest, and mild hop pine on the attack, followed by a body of ripe apricots, orange peel, and a nice flash of malt with a lingering bitter hop finish.

Feel: Medium bodied. The bodied is elevated a bit by the sticky hops but has no negative effect on drinkability. Perfect body for an IPA. Big enough to let you know it is 7% yet drinks easy. Very slight alcohol on the back of the throat.

Overall: A fantastic IPA that can easily be called the a gold standard for the style. Nice evenly distributed pine and citrus with just enough malt to compliment. A classic.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 3.5-week-old can, pours a clear orange-gold. Two big fingers of off-white head leaves rings of lacing.

Smell and taste are piney hops and grapefruit pith, with a touch of caramel malt. Nice drying bitterness. Medium feel with a bit of smooth slickness. Just a really great west-coast IPA. Delicious.

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Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise, sampled on tap at Beer 39, San Francisco. Lighter in color, but very well composed. The citrus/resin/malt balance is very enjoyable - in fact, it reminds me of my favorite beer from my home brewery. Overall, this is very enjoyable and well crafted IPA.

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Photo of Nickholland
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the gold standard IPAs. Has all the elements: intense hop flavor, balanced, complex, great mouthfeel and carbonation, finishes really crisp and clean. A truly world class beer.

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Photo of jallison86
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer right now. It's got the hoppiness you'd expect from a good IPA plus some maltiness to balance it out. Not strongly citrusy like some IPA's, which makes it a great go-to for any occasion. Cannot recommend highly enough!

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Photo of lovemesumipa
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I came across this beer while visiting my brother in Shell Beach, California. We visited the brewery and had it on tap. Then, to my total surprise I found it in my local Safeway store in Lakewood, Washington.
I love IPA's and try new ones whenever I can. This is,without a doubt, a world class IPA. Everything about it hits the mark, from the look and smell to the perfectly balanced finish. If you can find it try this beer and prepare to fall in love.

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Photo of donspublic
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into shaker from tap, nice 1 inch head. Recedes to a pool, nice lacing. Amber/golden and clear to look at. Smells nice and tropical,kinda lake a good ipa. Taste a little caramel in the beginning with very little bitterness. Nice juicy hops going on here. Really smooth drinking

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Photo of BethanyB
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big, off-white merengue-like head floats above a beautiful, slightly hazy body of deep amber. A complex hop profile laden over toasted malt makes for an intoxicating perfume. Citrus, floral, resinous, and grassy notes exist in harmony both on the nose and the taste buds, which also bear some sugar and spice via caramel malt and peppercorn. Medium-high carbonation hits the tongue right away and provides a dry finish whose bitterness is enhanced by a juicy grapefruit aftertaste. The body is also somewhat creamy, motivating the drinker to sip slowly and enjoy the many layers of this round, balanced recipe. Not too much excitement, but an enjoyable execution devoid of flaws.

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Photo of Martine
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours clear orange into a tulip glass from a 330ml can; head is white, 4 fingers high, and smooth with moderate retention. It takes ages to lessen.

The nose is all clementines, grapefruit, lychee, apricots, and some pine underneath. It isn't overpowering like some AIPA's but I got a noseful the second I opened the can. There's also a floral quality to this aroma, as well as a malty, hoppy base.

The taste follows the nose, and then some; tropical fruit, grapefruit, citrus, and melon assault the tongue followed diligently by big resiny pine forest, grass, floral notes, and then coasted over in a fresh, bitter wave of hops which chase the fruit all the way down. It's gorgeously refreshing, sweet, and cool with beautifully balanced flavours. I was shocked to discover this was 7.5% ABV, you can't tell in the slightest.

In the mouth it feels as smooth, wet, and fresh as fruit juice, no oiliness, clinging or drying quality. It's light-medium bodied, with low carbonation.

This for me is one of the better AIPA's out there in terms of balance, and overall refreshing quality. My go-to IPA from now on, this is outstanding.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 03/03/16:

Semi-clear golden amber in glass. Foamy, soapy head tan in color with good retention. Fairly clean smelling, but not weak. Citrus oils mostly, resin and pine in the background. A little biscuity malt aroma as well. Somewhat crackery, somewhat tart, and incredibly citric throughout, especially oranges. Resin and pine again, peppercorn in the back. Perfect bitterness to it. If I wanted a new beer drinker to have a representative West-Coast IPA, this would definitely be an option. Medium-bodied and almost syrupy but for the prickly and then creamy suds, crisp.

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Photo of lazarwolf
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Deep gold almost orange with a lingering head.
Smell - Not a tremendous aroma when you open the can or bottle. I get a little
Taste - Tastes like an English Pale ale with notes of American Hops. Definitely grapefruit and a little citrus, a little pine. but the flavors are a bit muddled. Overall a very good flavor. Mostly it just tastes of hops. My pallet isn't the greatest but I cant pick out much more than grapefruit and a note of citrus, and some pine.
Feel - resinous - you can feel the hop oils on the top of your mouth after you swallow.

A very good example of an american IPA that I suspect is made in the British tradition. need to look up the clone recipe and see how close I was.

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Photo of zshaft
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours nice clear light Amber. minimal head. smells of nice grapefruit rind and maybe some melon. good mouthfeel with nice blend of grapefruit and ugli fruit with some citrus mingling in the middle of the palate. funishes with a bitter sweet fruity end palate. this is a great ipa and is refreshing while not wussing out on the hop punch. while double jack may be better this is only a single ipa and rivals its big brother.

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Photo of jaehongcho
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is very clear, pale gold with a slightly orange hue. The head was an inch thick but dissipated quickly. Nice lacing though. Aroma is of pine first, bubblegum second then grapefruit with plenty of dankness. In terms of taste, it's fairly malty, which I don't usually like. It's followed by sticky, fruity sweetness. Bitterness of grapefruit is met with a sturdy malt backbone. The aftertaste is fairly dry. Mouthfeel was good but it was on the harsher end for me. I would think it should be carbed a little further.

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Photo of Extol
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - clear gold in color, amazing retention along the glass and a small head that doesn't go away. Smell - hoppy, fruity, a tad piney. Nice balance. Taste - this is where the magic happens. It follow the nose but this is insane. The fruitiness comes through and the hops take a back seat and it is very smooth and dangerous. Overall - tastes amazing. Looks amazing. Is amazing. Believe the hype on this. Girlfriend hasn't tried this yet but I am sure she'll say it smells but tastes good. ;)

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 1 pint poured into Granville Island glass.

Pours light honey with half a finger of off-white head that leaves coral reef lace as it recedes.

Smells of citrus rind, tropical fruit, caramel malt and piney hops.

Tastes of white grapefruit and lemon rind, mild biscuity caramel malt and gentle resiny pine.

Feels sturdy and creamy. Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Solid, balanced IPA.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Attractive with a clear golden color and large white head.
Great mix of citrus aroma with grapefruit (sweet and tart) and orange and maybe even a little lemon. Really nice. Enough of a malt base to pick up bits.
Smooth bitterness and hops flavors blend well. The bitterness picks up steam but this is still cold and I figure it will mellow as it warms.
Really drinkable with a soft and smooth carbonation and a below moderate feel.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L" Yellow gold with a finger of white head. It lingers. Leaves a thick lacing down the glass.

S: Bread, citrus pine.

T: Follows the nose. Nice pine bitterness on the finish. Balanced well, but still quite hoppy.

F: Medium bodied, modertely carbonated.

O: Not sure why it took so long to finally get at this. This is one of the best.

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Photo of rarigney
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish golden, crystal clear beer with a moderate amount of head. Fruity and floral aromas. Moderate bitterness with nice carbonation. Probably one of my top three or four IPAs.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can, really gold, hazy dank beer with some sticky, white froth and lacing. Citrus, pine, touch of bitter make for a surprisingly unoffensive, instantly rewarding and top notch drank. They know what I like and they do it well. Uniqueness that one seeks in a new beer. Bright citrus tones highlight the semi dry aftertaste. Absolutely top pier brewski.

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Photo of Chadpaq
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"10/20/2015 " stamped clearly on the front of the bottle, so seems to make sense to tack on a half bonus point in the appearance category. Beer itself is spectacular looking, with a thinnish head and minimal lacing. Others have said otherwise, and the lack of head's probably due to my overly cautious pour. I think this glass is like 11.5 ounces.

The beer redeems itself on the nose. Citrus-forward, which is what I was looking for. Balanced, with bready and malty notes on the back end.

Taste is much of the same: hop resin on the front end with a complimentary malty finish. This beer does taste every bit of its 7.5% abv. First impression was that of a slightly less aggressive and more "balanced" (in the truest sense of the word, but not necessarily a positive for an admitted hophead like me) taste.

Plenty of carbonation to stand up to the alcohol and bready backbone.

An excellent IPA that'll please hopcentric palates and those who strive for a more traditional "down the middle" hop-malt-balanced beer in this style. Cheers.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft. Yard house, LA Live. Shaker.

A: brassy burnished gold, 1/2 finger white head, fades fast. Little carb. Exceptional lacing.

S: needs to warm up; faintly floral hops. Some resin and citrus.

T: Like an IPA, a good one. Citrusy, mildly sweet arrival, turning slightly resinous, with a clean finish that leaves a little tingling citrus. Quite mild and refreshing.

M: lighter side of medium bodied, less carbonated than I'm accustomed to. Very clean finishing.

O: Not living up to the hype, but I tell you what, this would be in my fridge constantly if I could get it where I live. Definitely 6-pack worthy. Not a new age fruit bomb, or a tongue scraper 100 IBU monster, just a strong, clean, refreshing IPA.

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Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on 10/7/15. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden in color with a 2 finger head of white foam. After a minute or so the head fades to a thin cap that stays for the remainder of the beer. Multiple streaks of lacing lining the whole glass.

S: Aroma is mainly citrus hops with a small amount of pine in the background.

T: Juicy citrus hop flavors of orange peel with a faint bit of lemon zest. There is some pine on the finish, but it is nowhere near as strong as the citrus hops. This beer has a solid malt backbone that stacks up well to the hops providing excellent balance. In my opinion this beer doesn't have as much grapefruit flavor as everyone says, but maybe mine isn't fresh enough.

M: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp with moderate bitterness and a touch of dryness on the finish. Alcohol is masked very well for 7.5%.

O: Overall I thought this was a solid IPA with crisp citrus hop flavors and excellent balance. The bitterness was not overwhelming and it was very drinkable. I would drink this again for sure.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Originally, I didn't really drink this one much always opting for double jack. Now that I live in Texas double jack requires driving further to get and the local grocery store has union jack all the time so its what I can easily get. Its quite wonderful and often my goto IPA now.

Pours a golden color with a two finger white frothy head that is retained pretty well. Significant lacing on the glass. Grapefruit and hops great the nose. The taste is a slight grapefruit and a solid hoppy IPA.

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Photo of D9sus4
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My only reason for posting a review is to make a minor point. I'm not a fan of grapefruit flavors in a brew, and after reading the reviews describing this great IPA as having that characteristic, I wanted to state for any other grapefruit phobic brewholics that I don't think that this is an accurate description. IMHO, I would think that a "lemon rind" flavor would be a better description. Other than that, I agree that it has a good malt backbone, slightly viscous, with a lingering head.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,304 ratings.