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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.

1,262 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,262
Hads: 6,115
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 448
Gots: 1,271 | FT: 14
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: 1,262 | Hads: 6,115
Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange/copper color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, citrus hops, slight yeast, hint of citrus (pomegranate?), and hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, alcohol, hint of citrus, hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of akorsak
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brianj555 for this bottle.

A: The IPA is a hazy tea color, somewhere on the spectrum between yellow and orange. The hazy is superficial, resulting in an ale that is tranlucent. A thick head on pour is nicely lacing around the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is piquant, thick with resiny citrus hops. Orange peel is prominent, as is grapefruit and some pine. Fantastic nose!

T: Great flavor. From the first sip, the strength of the hops is impressive. Citrus, especially orange peel, lemon and grapefruit, grabs my attention. Fruity hop flavors run rampant but never overshadow the malts. The caramel grains provide an excellent foundation. The hops, while vibrant, remain in check and prevent this from becoming a hop bomb.

M: The hops are lively but adequately restrained; they never destroy the palate.

D: Even at 7.5%, I could pound this beer all day long. Another great ale from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: crystal-clear body with a rich orange hue and two solid fingers of ivory head. Pretty solid.

Smell: big hops; citrusy up front followed by an earthiness and a funkiness. Some sweetish malt comes through, but this is giving every indication of being a good old fashioned West Coast IPA.

Taste: solid, tasty IPA. Hops trend way more toward citrus and pine at first, then change over to funk toward the middle. The finish is quite bitter indeed. The caramelly malt flavors provide a light backdrop to all these ops. A tasty beer; I'm surprised this isn't classified as a double IPA with its ABV and high hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: medium or so bodied; not a whole lot of carbonation. Feel works for the style but isn't notably impressive.

Drinkability: drinkability is quite good. The hops keep it refreshing, although as I said this thing could be considered a double.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on draft at mekong in Richmond, snifter.

dark copper color with a very nice head. smell is amazingly hoppy with piney hop goodness. taste is super fresh hops..piney..nice bitter finish. maybe the perfect normal IPA. almost full bodied but easy drinking.

overall just a world class IPA. never pass this up if its fresh!

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Photo of corby112
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting collar. Very good retention with rings and streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy floral hop aroma that's bursting with tropical and citrus fruit sweetness before being countered by subtle sweet malt backbone. Dank, oily and resinous with fresh buds and grassy pine followed by hints of grapefruit, mango, pineapple and orange peel. Slight caramel malt presence with toffee, biscuit and graham cracker. Very inviting.

Medium bodied with a perfect balance of dank, sticky hop bitterness, sweet citrus/tropical fruit notes and a sweet malt backbone. Dry, earthy bitterness up front with a spicy/grassy flavor along with pine needle and alpha acids. This is countered mid-palate by a juicy tropical and citrus hop flavor with notes of blood orange, grapefruit, pineapple and mango. The perfect amount of fruit sweetness without taking away from the bitterness. Decent malt backbone balancing things out without interfering with the hops. Subtle caramel sweetness along with toffee, bread, biscuit and graham cracker. A little heavier and a touch more malt than most west coast IPAs but its perfectly balanced without losing the delicious, complex hop flavor. Exemplary for the style.

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

Clear amber colored beer; receding 1/2 inch of fluffy white head; nice slowly falling lace.

Superb aroma; very hoppy, with prominent citrus notes, particularly pineapple and grapefruit.

The taste is in the same bag and for me, absolutely delicious. The bitterness is held in check just enough to allow all that juicy pineapple flavor to shine through. Just the faintest hint of malt sweetness. Lots of grassy and herbal notes as well.

Medium long finish; lingers nicely, but just dry enough to bring you back for more. Moderate carbonation.

I really think this is a superb IPA; one of the best I've ever had and exactly what I look for in this style. The hop characteristics are very refined, full of subtle fruity notes and not just a bitter bomb. Yum. So fresh, could drink this one all day and night.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/7/12
*From notes

-- I can't believe it took me this long to finally review FW's Union Jack. Shame on me. --

A: Hazy nectarine in color. A forceful pour yields a foamy three finger head. Quality lacing and collar follow.

S: Tight pine and generous West Coast fruit. Be sure to get this fresh to maximize your nasal enjoyment.

T: More pine and resin then a lot of West Coast AIPA's. It overwhelms the fore to mid, and the back is where the mild, chilled out fruit quality comes to relevance. Tasty stuff for sure.

M: More of a silky feel, less cream and body, more easy drinking. Would I like a bit more fluff? Sure, but it's not half bad as it is.

O: Not quite on the same level as Masala Mama or Sculpin, but damn close. Firestone Walker's Union Jack is another in a long line of delicious West Coast hop forward brews, and something that's always a pleasure to find cold in my fridge.


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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, malty. Taste is big on piney hops, didn't see that coming from the aroma, touches of grapefruit, medium bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a solid beer, but I was expecting a little more.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained as part of Growling at the Moon from Solomon420. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the clear golden amber brew. Head recedes gradually, with goodly amounts of lace. Aroma is dominantly citrus, with some pale malt undertones. Taste begins with light sweetness, which quickly gives way to the lemony hoppiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is quite good. A West Coast IPA that flirts with the limits, but doesn't go over the edge.

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Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean and clear golden amber with about an inch of slightly off white head that dissipated very quickly and left more than moderate lacing.

A floral hop aroma, backed with some pine, hits the nose upfront. The malt that , by definition, must be in beer has no presence. Yup, you guessed it, the flavors are dominantly pine and flowers.

Body and drinkability are average for the style. Overall, while this is a very enjoyable beer, I've now had a couple and look forward to more, it's just your basic California IPA. Very tasty, worth having several of, but does not stand away from the pack.

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a white head, some retention, amazing lacing.

S: Great hop nose, pine, citrus rind, candied fruit, pineapple.

T: Very assertive bitterness, rind, candied pineapple, pine, warming alcohol.

M: Moderate body has some hop acidity with an off-dry finish.

D: Like hops?

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Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
This one poured a hazy orange, dense cream coloured head, clumpy lace. Intense citrus aroma as soon as the cap came off, lots of sweet oranges initially, then grapefruit and caramel, a bit of earthy pine, no detectable alcohol. Bitterness was strong but not overpowering due to the malty caramel and bready character. Lots of citrusy hop flavour throughout, juicy grapefruit, with pine resin lingering. Slight alcohol flavour and warmth, plus a little spiciness, towards the end. Medium bodied with ample, creamy carbonation, sort of chewy, some dryness. I found this beer to be quite balanced - lots of hops but with plenty of malt to back it up. Easy drinking and quite tasty.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 355 ml. bottle marked: Bottled on 04/08/12. Sampled on July 21, 2012.

It pours a golden copper-yellow with a soft but small head that lingers and laces.

On the nose the sweet malts take the back page as the piney, earthy hops roar up the nostrils setting off all kinds of inviting sensations.

The body is medium to heavy and also smooth.

The flavor is full of hopped bitterness which coats my throat and lingers well beyond the session. Yet the 7.5% ABV is impossible to taste. For people who love hops you are going to like this one.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew purchased at South Bay D&L. Thanks Joey!

This pours a clear gold with a 2 finger head of foam and plenty of lacing. Good head retention.

The smell is big notes of grapefruit and not much more but I like it.

The taste is very hoppy with a big bold grapefruit profile but I can taste a bit of malt in the background and it *does* take some of the edge off the bitterness. Nice medium body and carbonation, it finishes with a citric bitterness that lasts through the aftertaste. It's quite easy drinking, though I have to watch it because it isn't exactly a lightweight when it comes to the abv. This is a very nice IPA!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 3/8/13 thanks Ian for the bottle

A golden yellow liquid with tiny bubbles feeding a thumbs width of foam that has great retention leaving several partial rings deep down the glass

S floral and tropical, mango, tangerine, pineapple and lemon with some pine and caramel popping up here and there, smells the part

T more rind and pine then in the mouth and less floral and tropical notes, no complaints but the nose had a little something over the flavor

M medium full with a nice bitter snap, very slick on the palate almost slimy and just a little sticky on the lips, lingering pine and lemon rind just keeps going

O well hidden booze and well rounded, could pass for a DIPA in my books or at least an IPA and a half, went down in no time

I have a feeling the Double Jack in my fridge is going to be a palate wrecker, I'd drink this on a regular basis if I could get my hands on it with ease

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright, clear copper/orange color. Poured a 2 finger bubbly off-white head with fair retention to a half finger even skim. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Citrus and grapefruit with some light sweet fruits. Bready malts in the background too.

T: Consistent with smell with light fruit more decernable as pineapple and oranges. Resiny piney hops in the middle with slightly sweet crystal malt. Sharply bitter in the finish for balance. I like it a lot.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and coating with a bit of lingering bitterness. Disgueses the abv well.

D: I'll say. 'Nuf said.

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

Big thanks to fartingdog for hooking us up with this one, enjoyed with biegaman and grub on the patio with some euchre.

Pours a slightly hazed orange, white white head forms, drops a ton of lace, solid ring. Smell is great, floral, grapefruit, oranges, caramel, bread, perfumy, lots of citrus goodness, very well rounded. Taste is even better, caramel, cake, sugar, jasmine, orange and tangerine, bit of yeast, some fruit, floral, nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very enjoyable, nice tight flavours, very balanced, definitely a good one. Thanks Dave!

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy copper gold under a 2” sudsy, persistent, lacy off white foam cap.
S: Melon, citrus and biscuit
T: Starts melon and citrus riding on biscuit to graham cracker and concluding with a well balanced citrus zest bitter finish. The bitterness is not harsh.
M: Creamy, medium body and very fine, soft carbonation.
O: A very drinkable, go to American IPA.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 1.26.13
Bottled 10/25/12

A - Pours a clear medium orange with a one inch light tan head with good retention.

S - Orange, pine, sweet and pleasant.

T - Grassy, herbal, orange.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Well balanced IPA, Hoppy citrus and pine.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the biggest and boldest out there under the label of single ipa. Big deep amber color. Good hop aroma. Dry hopping seems obvious.

Same in the taste. Its a big one. Everything is in order though. What you'd expect, citrus, pine/apple, good dough malt feel absorbing much, enough hint of alcohol to tell you to watch out and pace yourself. Thoroughly enjoyable, wish it was a little cheaper, don't find it too often for less than 8.99 a 6.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Dinosaur BBQ Syracuse NY for 6$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a large size beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, tangerines

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/tangerines mixed with some notes of pineapple. It ends with a sweet aftertaste with a good amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – Love this beer.. I had it side by side with Double Jack and preferred it. It has more of a sharp citrus/hop flavour to it. Happy to have had the chance to try them both on tap.

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Photo of dgilks
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Malty caramel aroma with nice pine and stonefruit hop aromas. Good.

Murky, copper colour with a small, off-white head. Middling head retention.

Nice citrus flavours with a note of pine. Interesting, rich malt flavour with moderate bitterness. Good.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Very good.

A tasty beer. Well balanced and deftly built. Almost an American ESB.

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Photo of Brad007
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like this has high marks. Came in a pre-mixed sixer from Ryan & Casey in Greenfield, MA.

Pours a dark gold with a two-finger head into my glass. Lacing as expected.

Grassy hops with a citrus backbone. I can't quite put my nose down on it.

Like biting into half of a grapefruit. But, it doesn't wham the tongue. This allows one to absorb the flavor of the malt as well.

Lingering bitterness that leans towards grapefruit.

I can honestly say that I think this lives up to the high marks bestowed by the bros.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very bright amber brown, almost orange with a half inch of head that quickly turns to a thick sticky lace ring.

S - Love the smell on this one bright citrus hops and sweet mango smells pretty balanced.

T - Refreshing in a way the citrus and mango like hops provide a good balanced bitterness. With bread malts to balance it's in the same league as Sculpin but less available.

M - Light to medium. Balanced and drinkable.

Overall A very smooth very bitter IPA yet balanced and very tasty. Glad I finally got to try this fairly fresh!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse in LA. The beer was very clear, orange color, just enough foam and a lot of sticky lace. The aroma is so good, more American than English (and based on the name I think I expected a more English version), lots of American west-coast style hops aroma in this. Citrusy, delicious, and it came through in the flavor also. Medium body keeps it drinkable, although it's no slouch at 7.5%.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,262 ratings.