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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,038 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,038
Reviews: 1,158
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 328
Gots: 549 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 08-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,038 | Reviews: 1,158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LeftmindedRighty for the trade.

The immediate grapefruit and pineapple fruit flavors leave few doubts about the American origin of this brew, but the spicy finish gives a nod to the British past of the style. The malts are fairly light with just a hint of dry biscuit barley under the citrus. The appearance is a deep gold-orange with a tall white head a thick lacing. The body is also as light as any pale ale, making this almost too drinkable for the 7.5% strength. Overall this IPA is rich in flavor with strong bitterness, while still maintaining drinkability. I'd say this is the best IPA I've had in some time. It doesn't hit you over the head with hops yet is complex and interesting.

tempest, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange colr with a white head and good carbonation. Nose is big grapefruit, orange peel. Taste is chewy, acidic, caramel malt perhaps, orange peel, pine, sweet and a big hop bite on the end. Mouthfeel is acidic, tasty and sweet. Drinkability is good as usual.

barleywinefiend, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer and much better than other Firestone Walker beers I've had from sixpacks. This beer alone is reason enough for me to try some of their other products as they come out- and not just the really hard to find ones like 10 or 11. Pours a dark golden with a thin head and spotty lacing. Smells citrusy, herbal, and a bit earthy. Nicely balanced. The taste is equally balanced between the hops and malt with some nice length to the flavors. Chewy malt with a touch of sweetness and nicely bitter earthy hops. Very good body, and a nice long finish. Delicious, I'm quite impressed with this offering. If it were available in my area it would o into my regular rotation.

Georgiabeer, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -5.7%

duceswild, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  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.

akorsak, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this.

Pours 1/2 finger of off white head that fades down. Leaves a slight amount of sticky lace. Color is a slightly hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Tons of citrus fruit aromas. Grapefruit and tangerines. Fresh floral hops with a small amount of bready malts.

Taste: The citrus blends a lot more here with the bready malts. Lots of floral hops. Grapefruit flavor is big.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, but refreshing. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very sticky.

Overall, a solid ipa that is very drinkable. I think this compares a bit to sculpin with all the fruit flavors. I dig it.

mothman, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -5.7%

ejimhof, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Heroe's in Claremont, CA, on to the beer:

This is a good looking amber colore beer mixed with reddish and orange hues, and as a bonus leaves good lacing in the glass. Aroma is mildly hoppy. As for the taste, if you guessed hopy, you're correct. It's big upfront and piney, it softens up into tidbits of caramel and bread. Surprisingly refreshing and easy drinking.

DoubleJ, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear, light yellow hue with a moderate sized head. average retention with very little lacing.

S: hops, grapefruit with subtle malt in the background.

T: very tasty beer. There is a strong malt backbone to support the hop bill. This is well balanced, though I personally prefer more of a hip forward beer and less of a malt presence.

M: full bodied. Good feel.

D: pretty good. This doesn't compare to the elite IPAs out there, but it's enjoyable and worth trying.

Huhzubendah, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 5/29/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, pineapple, herbal, floral, pine, bread, caramel, and light earhy spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great strength and balance. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, herbal, floral, pine, caramel, bread, and herbal spiciness. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, herbal, pine, caramel, bread, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic hop flavor complexity; with an awesome balance of malt sweetness with bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is an outstanding IPA. Great hop flavor balance and malt/bitterness balance. Really enjoyed this one, I wish I could get it around me.

superspak, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass at the compound. Got this up in ny on a recent trip and it's super fresh.

Union jack, hazy sunset orange with a hint of amber and rising bubbles making for a milkshake of tannish foam about a half inch in stature. Faint spraypaint lace.

Smell is dry hopped with some 3c action.a big burst of citrus backed with pine and not to malty, but some caramel seeps in. not the most pungent ipa but it stacks up.

Jack livens things up in the taste department with some mango and some pine and some dry hoppin. Midway getting sweet malt with grapefruit, bubblegum and leafy hops and a trace of alcohol.

I like the feel on this, its aggressive in flavor yet the it's not all that harsh on the tounge, mouth etc. Just a mild bitterness. A lighter side of medium with medium carb, moderate spritz. Insanely drinkable, insanely good, I wish fw made it to pa. In the range of the first batch of torpedo, with more dry hopping.

BARFLYB, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of Zorro
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle says 7.5% ABV so I assume the 8% was just taproom guesstimation.

Clear copper golden colored ale with a near white colored head, great clarity and good looks but not outstanding.

Smell is sweet but SHARPLY aromatic with the hops, Hops Shortage? Not in this beer! Strong scents of pine resin and tropical fruit with lots of citrus too. Firestone's typical oak barrel scents are in this but a bit hidden. Alcohol fumes carry fruity scents mostly apricot and plum. The hops in this hit you the moment you pop the cap.

The taste starts out sweet and spicy, at first the hop level seems a bit low but THAT changes in about two seconds. Strongly pine and citrus at the start. Nice balance very hoppy and fairly bitter but the sweetness is balanced just right here. Fair amount of tropical flavor here and it does remind me a little of FFF Dreadnaught in that way. You can feel the alcohol warmth in your chest and it releasing higher than average aromatic hop compounds in to your mouth. Vanilla, oak and faint mango and melon show up after your senses adapt to the hop levels. This is one of the AIPAs that pushes near or into DIPA land.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super easy to drink AIPA that is quite easy to mistake for a low alcohol beer. Enough flavor here that you would NOT be out of line drinking this like a Double IPA. I could easily give this a 5 in both taste and drinkability but I will only pick one and easy to drink is the stronger of the two great things about this beer. Possibly the best AIPA there is anywhere.

Zorro, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

LXIXME, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Gonzoillini, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Mebuzzard, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to murphjuice and Bitterbill for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear, dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is pretty hoppy, with some malts thrown in, citrus, and some pines. The taste is hoppy, with some nice maltyness, with some citrus and pines. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty IPA, a classic in the making.

Wasatch, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -5.7%

BillRoth, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for this one.

A: Pours a clear orange with a one finger white head, moderate retention, finally reducing to a thin ring of white.

S: Very nice citrus aroma, plenty of pineapple and grapefruit. Hints of orange rind and pine, with a touch of caramel on the back end.

T: Lots of pine upfront which transitions nicely into some citrus, pineapple and a good bit of orange. Hints of caramel on the backend with a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth, slightly sticky finish.

O: Really nice IPA. Great combination of pine and citrus, very easy drinking, especially at a high ABV for style.

mdaschaf, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

ppoitras, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A wonderfully perfect sized pinhead holed bubbles throught an off white and foamy head. Body color is glowing crystal clear gold and amber red/brown. Some nice mix of slow rising carbonation as well. Impressive looking.

Great simple nose, of a pine like hop, small citrus, but also a real nice ripped grain and malt action. Solid.

Fantastic tasting beer. Palate fills thick and rich without getting cloying syrupy. Just a hint of stickiness, hop pine slightly then fills with a jammy apricot and hop grapefruit. Aftertaste brings a perfect blend of sugar sweetness and bitter.

A fantastic tasting IPA what more can I say.

smakawhat, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

brandoman63, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

DrBier, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

John_M, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel coloring infused into pear cider. A bubbly layer of head is in trim figure. A slightly dulled complexion that is neither completely hazy nor completely clear. If this turns out to be half as good as it looks then I'll be pleased.

Huh - wow. What a fantastic hop filled aroma. A cocktail of pine and pineapple, with lemon and orange accompaniments. Even from across the table your nostrils will pick up on the bounty of alpha acids, hard at work scrubbing away at the toasted caramel malts.

And you don't even have a good idea of just how much alpha acid there is until you take a sip; the bitterness is at a level that should be choking, but isn't, and comes across somehow amicable. You might not even notice it, in the same way I didn't pick up on the 7.5% which is well buried under one of the tastiest flavour profiles I've ever tried.

Every taste opens a world of flavour! A lot of West Coast IPA's are citrus filled but this actually tastes like citrus - authentic, pulpy, freshly squeezed citrus juice. The flavour is quite literally like a squeezed lemon slice and incredibly similar to pulpy orange juice. So unbelievably tasty!

This damn well should be your flagship beer. There is a ton of good competition in this style category, especially from that part of the country, but Firestone's Union Jack is certainly among the top on my list of delicious, endlessly drinkable IPA's. Thanks fartingdog!

biegaman, Aug 07, 2008
Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,038 ratings.