Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,284 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,284
Hads: 6,209
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 466
Gots: 1,369 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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 (85) | 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: 1,284 | Hads: 6,209
Photo of drewba
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Montrose79 & Cuzco for hooking this up in the Partners in Crime BIF!

A - hazy golden straw color with a bubbly head and a moderate amount of lacing.

S - HUGE aroma that doesn't fade into obscurity like so many ipas do. Light citrus coming right away, grapefruit, maybe some mango. This smells incredibly sweet - if I'm going to judge how its going to taste from the smell, this is going to be cloyingly sweet.

T - Thankfully, the sweetness I detected in the aroma didn't translate to the taste. On the first sip, I'm getting a faceshot of a nice bitter hop profile - the grapefruit is showing up as is orange peel and some bitter lemon rind. Some spicyness too - coriander, anise, and pepper.I'm loving the malt bill used in this, there is a lovely, light cracker/bready taste helping to balance everything out. I'm also detecting a little rum raisin and licorice in the back.

M - One of the thicker ipa's I've had without stepping into the double ipa realm. The medium - high body is actually nice because it has such a buttery smooth mouthfeel while the tiny bubble are massaging me into it's arms.

D - A musky, lingering bitter aftertaste is the only thing from keeping this from being a perfect 5. Otherwise, this is absolutely easing drinking, all 7.5% alcohol is masked wonderfully and I wish I had another.

 1,337 characters

Photo of birderbeerer
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden peach with thick white head and excellent retention. The head just rests upon the beer. Just sits there.

Lots of malt in the aroma with a good dose of hops too. Strong smells of both. Pine hops. White toast, nutty, and a little bit of sour malt.

Very sweet, malty ipa, with a tart hop edge. All pine and grass. But mostly a caramel and butter malt. Very sweet.

 369 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one the other day with my father. Poured a gold color with white head that faded quickly and left good lacing. Smelled of citrus/pine hops and light malt. Tasted pretty much the same. Smooth, but slightly bitter/dry finish. Could easily drink more of this.

 265 characters

Photo of jtingue
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Clear orange hued straw in color. Pours with 3 fingers of loose, but solid white head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving tons of large clumps of lacing. Few bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass. The lacing doesn't stick around for long though. Almost no long term head retention.

Smell. Totally hop forward. A piny citrus is the most dominant scent.

Taste. Starts out with a moderate, slightly resinous bitterness, which is joined by a juicy grapefruit. After this the hops become predominately more resinous and piney. The bitterness takes over for a bit and the beer takes on a more spicy character. It really starts to dry out after the grapefruit exits, all leading into a bone dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Very light in body, with a ton of dryness, as stated before. Light, but pleasant carbonation.

An insanely drinkable and complex hop monster. The dryness and overall presentation of flavors is reminiscent of a champagne, though not in terms of carbonation. Firestone Walker never disappoints.

 1,067 characters

Photo of nUgZ
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass. Thanks to SanFranJake for the opportunity.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 2 finger head and superb lacing.

S: Lots of citrus hops up front with a slight floral hop aroma coming through afterwards.

T: Taste buds are bombarded with citrus and floral hop flavors and pretty extreme bitterness. There are some sweet malts somewhere in there, but they are hard to find among all the hops. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Medium to full bodied with good carbonation. Still easy to drink.

O: This is a great example of what a West Coast IPA should be. Plenty of alcohol, easy to drink, and super tasty. What a hop bomb! I love it!

 689 characters

Photo of BTodd
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A-Fairly light in color, with a hint of orange. Nice, fine head dissipating relatively quickly.

S-Assertive hops with floral and green notes. Less pine than some others I've had. Slight, sweet malt aroma as well.

T-Hop balance for sure, but like smell, nice malt to back it up. Floral, citrus hop flavor is prominent for me.

M-Lively carbonation with good mouthfeel that isn't too heavy.

O-A great IPA that will be a go-to for me from here on. It's readily available and not too highly priced with all the other IPAs in this realm increasing.

 586 characters

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

The appearence is a bright cloudy orange color. There isn't much head but a slight halo around the rim and very little lacing. The nose is very citrusy. Some slight orange peel, and pineapple scents. Taste is just like the nose. Lots of big citrus notes up front along with piney hop resin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slighty slick and oily from hop oils down the throat. Overall a very tasty IPA. It embodies the classic cali IPA flavors. Nice beer if you have it available.

 479 characters

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

Pours a deep amber with off white head, great lacing. Aroma is citrus and pine with a very pronounced malty sweetness, more reminiscent of double IPA. Taste is exceptional, again leads more with malt than hops, really nice balance and unique sweetness that I can't really compare to another. Very nice IPA.

 306 characters

Photo of syrupjoe
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

First impression - this bottle tried to gush on me, but I poured it before it could. It had been sitting totally untouched in the fridge for a few weeks.

Pours a 1.5 finger milky, off-white head. Appearance is a wheaty golden color with no big particulates.

The nose is citrusy and piney with a decent amount of caramelly malt presence.

Taste is much more malty than I thought it would be... almost somewhat savory as well. Very little bitterness in the finish, but a decent amount of floral hops. Very smooth and drinkable, with a nice tight finish.

Overall these seems like a great beer - I would like to try one that is a bit more fresh.

 683 characters

Photo of SSS
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Gold yellow with a white head that lingers a little
S-I get malt and pine aromas upfront
T-Nice chewiness with a malt forward sweetness and not a heavy bitterness. pine and earthy flavour with a hint of citrus
M-Light to medium body and carbonation
O-A solid IPA choice that is not too bitter

 294 characters

Photo of JNPIII127
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours a slightly orangish yellow color with a two inch head when poured into a tulip. smells very earth and hoppy with a hint of orange peel and other citrus fruits. taste is very citrusy with a full body and mouthfeel. an overall excellent beer that has definitely earned its score.

 283 characters

Photo of dwilson01
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass. Tops with an off white banana colored head, dissipates quickly to a thin topper with solid lacing. The body is a clear pale orange color, like light brown sugar. Moderate carbonation rises through the brew giving a lively feel.

The scent is very hop forward, the citrus and pine bitterness combine into a nice organic scent which to me is quite refreshing. There is a thin malt in the smell, almost a honey biscuit type, definitely very light, crystal malt most likely.

The flavor is awesome, it takes the aroma hops and runs with them. The malt comes in right at the beginning for a prequel to smooth the palate with the hops kicking in immediately after that. I get a good amount of citrus, a tinge of pineapple, and that granny smith apple tartness. A seam of honey runs through it as well smoothing out that generic type hop bittering.

The mouthfeel is not too shabby, but not amazing. It's pretty reminiscent of the other firestone brews (double barrel, pale 31 etc) which doesn't strike me as too fitting for a 7.5% ipa. At the same time that thinner mouthfeel makes this brew quite drinkable.

I made some stew tonight and threw a few jalapenos and other spices in there to give it a little kick, I must say that it's a great combo with the hoppiness of this brew. In general hoppy beers remind me a lot of plants, and although I know many people talk about pairing beer with meat, I think that this vegetarian stew has an awesome amount of plant-like flavor due to the amalgam of vegetables in it. The beer and it go extremely well together to say the least.

 1,634 characters

Photo of Yagman3000
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is really nice with a quickly auditing head down to a slick.

Smells sweetly from hops. A lot of sweeter fruit like apricot and peach. Interesting and excited to taste...

Pleasantly bitter, with a strong sweet start and malty middle. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is pretty refreshing. Creaminess is a + for an IPA.

Overall I'm impressed and would enjoy getting these in the future now that they're entering the NY market more readily. I'm impressed by it's mouthfeel and I like the balance with a sweet nose and taste. Now... Must find the Double Jack!

 606 characters

Photo of BastardKing24
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love this IPA its a staple by which I can judge other IPA's. Its got the basic west coast IPA floral notes as well as a matched bitterness that doesn't detract at all.

Pours a bright clear gold/orange with a 2 finger white head that falls fast to a ring and some suds.

Smell is SUPER aromatic with big orange and lemon, with pine, sour apricot, doughy bread, and caramel.

Taste is a welcoming malt wallop thanks to 7.5%, along with floral and bitter hops dancing around together in harmony on my tongue. It's so balanced I want to say this is better than lagunitas sucks, because this has a better yeast me thinks. Lagu's is kinda chalky tasting but still good none the less.

Feel is medium carbonation and a perfect feel that gives the flavors a nice mantle to sit upon as you take each sip. Its glorious to drink this and not wonder just how much better an IPA can get. It really is a challenger to heady topper and pliny, swear on my grave.

Overall you can't go wrong with this and it is widely available, so pick this one up when you can if you want a solid IPA. plus did I mention its 7.5%? for a single IPA? yeha it packs a wallop, session this and your in for a wild night.

 1,187 characters

Photo of Azurescens
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date, poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/8/11

A: Pours a relatively clear golden orange color with a slightly off-white head that hangs a round for a bit.

S: Piney resinous hops dominate the nose with a touch of alcohol and malt.

T: The same piney hops from the smell are joined with sweet caramel malt and honey flavors to bring some balance. Not a whole lot of diverse flavors but the ones that are there combine nicely with each other.

M: Medium bodied, sweet, juicy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A bit fuller and sweeter than your standard IPA.

O: Overall this is a nice IPA, better than most of the off the shelf varieties but there are definitely much better ones around locally on draft and in bottles from other regions.

 798 characters

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:

Light orange, hints of gold. Very clear, filtered look. Mild carbonation. Not much sticky coating on the glass like many hoppy beers.

S:

Orange rind up front, with a slight hit of malty graininess. A quick whiff of alcohol is there, but fades to citrus and more malt. Very balanced.

T:

It's difficult to describe all of the characteristics here; but you get the typical west coast hoppy bite, with the citrusy american hops, but you also get a faint crystal and base malt backbone at the same time. Neither one punches you in the face, this is a very well balanced ipa. It is certainly a very hoppy beer, but is more balanced than some of the well known ipas. It is citrusy, A little bit grassy, and you can pick up a saltine cracker-type maltiness.

M:

Slick and somewhat oily as is the standard for ipa's, has a medium bodied texture that clings to your tongue.

O:

You can't ask for much more in a ipa: you get hops, malt, alcohol, complexity, and refreshment. this is a classic in the style and its no wonder its gained notoriety and fame over the years. I will drink this one when I can and I'm not even a huge hophead.

 1,136 characters

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

On tap at 38 Degrees.

Poured into a big snifter.

Pours a nice glowing orange that is dark around the edges and lightens up to the center. A big 2 finger head that hangs around for a while until it falls to a 1/2" of white foam for the remainder of the beer. Very nice lacing on this one.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, citrus, hops, which is all covering up the sweet malt.

Taste is mostly of the grapefruit and citrus. This is not as bitter as most west coast IPA's, but incredible crisp. It's not a malt bomb by any means. Very well balanced.

Insanely drinkable even with it's relatively high ABV. Great on a hot day. Smooth and relatively light body with great carbonation.

One of my favorite IPA's. This is one of those beers that I take for granted since it's so accessible.

 782 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, but not great.

Pours nicely, pretty head, fine, persistent. Transparent golden brown color.

Smells not too good, really. A little stale perhaps.

Taste is quite bitter. A manly-man's beer. Some apricots. Nothing great going on, but much better than the smell.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation, though some might prefer more.

Long, bitter, well integrated finish, good integrity.

 417 characters

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

Appearance is golden-orange with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving spidery lacing. There is a slight chill haze that clears up as it warms.

Smells of dark, earthy, slightly resinous hops with a touch of melon. Just a hint of caramel in the background.

Tasty caramel malt blends well with earthy hops upon first sip. Hops brighten up and become citrusy/floral toward the middle. A grapefruity bitterness also shows up in the middle and lasts throughout. Warming alcohol, leafy hops, and citrus on the finish. Astrigent tea leaves in the aftertaste.

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel that coats your throat. Light carbonation and a sweet but bitter finish.

Very drinkable, complex and well-balanced IPA.

 717 characters

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

I'm definitely getting spoiled when I thought this was average when I first tasted it. It's not average in the least. Pretty outstanding offering, and was like an oasis in a desert of bad beer when I had a pint of it.

Typical IPA appearance. I just never find these to be outstanding looking beers. All you can really tell is that it's not necessarily bad. Clear amber with a nice cap of foam. The usual.

Very good and interesting aroma. Obvious malts, citrus hops, and as one friend pointed out, lychee in the nose.

The beer is bitter and sweet in just the right proportions. Extremely well balanced. Resin in the hops, but that citrus is present still.

Nice carbonation and medium body. Bitterness never clings, leading to a very drinkable IPA.

 750 characters

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Jeffo in charge of another beer theme. The Union Jack and the Double Jack side by side. On TV quarter finals Champions League. Great company, great beer, great game! Can't beat that night.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Looks somewhere between dark golden yellow and copper. Very clear. Even after a fairly hard pour only one finger of foam that goes away quickly. What's left looks like an English style ale. Nice.

Smells like a classic West Coast IPA. Bits of pine, citrus, caramel and a truck load of hop.

Wonderful sweet fruity flavor on the first touch of the tongue. After that: pine, citrus, caramel and the truckload of hop again. All this so very well balanced that I have to keep sipping to see if my senses aren't trying to fool me.

A medium body, nice carbonation, cream. Neutral finish.

Wow... this is a fantastic beer. Listed as an IPA I'd say the is a 1,5 IPA. One of the most wonderful balanced beers I have ever tried. So much going on yet so easy to drink. Ladies and Gentlemen we have a winner.

 1,032 characters

Photo of intensify
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber, gold body held a decent 1 finger head for a fair amount of time. Plenty of lacing even in the Tulip that I poured it into.

S- Hop explosion. A variety of hops were used and its noticable. Followed closely by apricot and some earthyness. Also, a touch of biscuit, crackers.

T- On cue with the smell. This is for the hop heads out there.

M- Medium bodied, coats the palate, low carbonation and easy to drink.

O- Union Jack is probably not a beginners IPA and if you like a crisp, hoppy taste then this will shine for you. At 7.5% abv the alcohol is barely present. A keeper.

 593 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Pours light copper with a faint wispy head. You get a whiff of floral hops, peach and some light caramel. The taste displays an underrated characteristic in the IPA universe: balance. Some citrus tang on the tip of the tongue along with a bit of pine blends seemlessly with the vanilla and peach sweetness from the malt. A second round of hop bitterness brings things to a satisfying conclusion. This is not a hop symphony, but it doesn't need to be. This is simply a very well executed IPA where more subtle flavors are allowed to create a coherent drinking experience. If this was available in Illinois it would join the ranks of my go-to IPAs.

 685 characters

Photo of dbmernin83
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright golden amber, thick head, great lacing.

Grapefruit hops on the nose with some malty sweetness and a touch of alcohol

Holy grapefruit bomb! A citrus hop 2 by 4 slaps the taste buds followed by a nice, sweet malt massage.

Full mouthfeel, not too heavy, but has a nice light filling creaminess.

This is one of my go-to IPAs. Availability plus deliciousness, keeps me coming back time after time. A staple in the diet of any hophead.

 441 characters

Photo of BeerWizard
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with about a one inch off white head. It is a good looking beer. The head is actually still there after about 20 minutes - impressive. Nose is heavy, heavy fruit, peachy mango with light citrus. Grapefruit, melon and a little berry flavor, with hop bitters at the back end. Medium mouthfeel and creamy texture. Overall, a great IPA. One of the things I really like about it and I think sets it apart from other IPAs is the heavy fruit aromas and flavors, which gives it a sweeter profile, and then the hop bitters really kick in at the end. I'd say it's exceptional.

 591 characters

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,284 ratings.