Union Jack IPA
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
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IPA - American
Ranked #56
Ranked #1,209
4.24 | pDev: 9.43%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
Notes: This aggressively hopped West Coast IPA showcases stunning pineapple, citrus and piney aromas along with exceptional dry hop flavors of grapefruit and tangerine. This intense brew finds its balance in honey-like pale malt sweetness. The name Union Jack is a nod to the colonial origins of the IPA style, and to the British expatriate who co­‐founded our brewery.
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Reviews: 1,459 | Ratings: 7,039 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BillAfromSoCal
BillAfromSoCal from California

4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

bought from Discount Grocery from their cooler, $9 for 6 cans dated 8/24/20, poured down the middle of a 22 oz "pint" glass producing a 3 finger creamy head of relatively short longevity. Within minutes the head no longer even covered the beer. Beautiful crystal clear gold color with minimal carbonation. No lacing. My nose is not at all sensitive but I was hit with pretty powerful scent of tropical fruit and hops. Hoppy bitterness plus indistinct tropical flavor. Very pleasing if you like bitter, but I found it to be a little aggressively hopped for my taste, at the expense of other flavors. Mouthfeel includes more carbonation than expected by the appearance. very clean finish. Nice example of west coast IPA.

Sep 25, 2020
Photo of barneyrubble
barneyrubble from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip glass a nice light tan soft foam of 3F emerge. Large bubbles create lots of loose lace as it settles to a meteor struck moon foam. Color is translucent medium gold with light effervescence from the center of the glass.

Nose starts as whiffs of pine but blows off quickly.

Surprisingly, the taste is lighter in piney hops than I would have imagined. A nicely crisp thin feeling malty body with some citrus notes hit the palate and finished without sweetness. The light pine and mild citrus hops appear on the finish and are a bit astringent lending to some stickiness.

Mouthfeel is less full at first helped by a good amount of carbonation and then leads to some sticky thickness on the finish.

This beer tricked me into thinking it would be more bitter than it is. Pine, yes, but restrained and/or mixed with other hop notes. I will definitely have to try this again and will have to compare to Two Hearted side by side.

Sep 20, 2020
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MNAle from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a little age on it, but not too bad, so it should still be good for reviewing (canned on June 3, reviewed on Aug 9). I removed it from a ~40° F 'fridge and allowed to stand for a nearly 10 minutes before opening (longer than I intended; I was distracted after removing it from the refrigerator).

Strong aroma evident as soon as I cracked the can. Pine, grapefruit, pineapple. Just detectable is bread.

Clear golden yellow, moderate carbonation, topped by a tall off-white bubbly / creamy head that recedes in 2 or 3 minutes to floating islands and a thick ring. Some spotty lacing. I knocked the "look" rating down .25 due to the quickly disappearing head. Otherwise, a good-looking beer.

Initial taste is pine and grapefruit, strongly accented by a bitterness in the middle that carries through to the finish. There is a semi-sweet malt body trying to stay relevant, eventually pushed back by the hops flavors and bitterness. The aftertaste is pine and bitter, but does not grow quite as much as Stone IPA (for example) as you drink, but it does grow enough to maintain it's credentials as West Coast style. So, this beer presents itself as not palate-wrecking bitter, but inviting-the-next-sip bitter.

The body is moderate for the style, with a bitter edge.

Overall, a very good IPA in the West Coast style.

Aug 29, 2020
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erock435 from North Dakota

3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most clear west coast IPAs I've seen.

Look - Golden amber color
Smell - Hoppy pine with a very little hint of citrus
Taste - Very bitter taste to start. Finishes very smooth and clean
Feel - Good carb, nice and smooth

Overall, very good WCIPA. Would definitely be a daily drinker if I had easy access to it.

Aug 28, 2020
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FBarber from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a completely clear copper-golden color. Thick pillowy white head dissipates until there is just a thin ring of foam along the outside of the glass.

Aroma has notes of pine, herbal hops, ripe orange and orange marmalade, and a touch of dried grass.

Taste follows the nose with a mild notes of pine, dried grass, orange rind, and a touch of sap. While the hoppy bitterness is potent, the overall flavors are really mild and balanced. That results in a pretty easy drinking WCIPA.

The feel plays right along with that - Its pretty light, slick and easy drinking. The bitterness produces a dry finish on the back end.

Overall this was a really nice IPA - This is the kind of beer I'd happily order with dinner at a restaurant and enjoy.

Aug 07, 2020
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D459 from California

4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Gold Body with nice foam head that lingers a good while

Smell: Strong Citrus notes with notes of the Hops coming through

Taste: Gentle, smooth, floral and CItrusy till you gulp it down.

Feel: Smooth, Full Bodied IPA

Awesome in the mouth with all the best floral and citrusy tones. But once you go gulp it down, super Bitter and Super Hoppy just as promised. I do like it though and find that swishing it around while in mug and mouth balances the otherwise almost unbearable bitter after bite.

Jul 17, 2020
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ZenAgnostic from Texas

4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into Duvel tulip. Picked up as part of a Firestone variety 12pack from the grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic. CANNED ON 05/04/20 printed on bottom of can, so this is only 2 months old. Should still be fresh.

Appearance - Pours massive offwhite head with decent retention, weak lacing and slight irregular stick. Extremely clear perfect gold body. No rising carbonation despite the nucleation points. However a swirl will created dense clouds of micro bubbles. 4.5

Smell - Roasted coffee and caramel. Pretty unusual for an IPA. Points for uniqueness. 4.75

Taste - Very unusual flavor profile. It's kind of honey sweet with a strange bitterness that I can't quite place. Maybe some of that roasted black coffee too. Not bad, but initially a bit offputting due to the unexpected character. This actually feels like there's 2 different beers mixed into one. Like an IPA and a double stout? Or no something sweet. Strong lingering bitter aftertaste. It's really bizarre. 4.25

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Head is little chewy. The bitterness provides some kick but there's little to no effervescence. Bitter astringency lingers long into the finish. 4.25

Overall - Probably the most challenge I've had describing and rating a beer in many years. If nothing else, it's unique, interesting and drinkable. Wouldn't say it really has off characters so much as bizarre and unexpected characters. 4.25

Jul 09, 2020
Photo of John123will
John123will from Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice white head and super clear pale orange. Head last about as long as expected for an IPA. Smell pine with hint of citrus. Nice light crisp feel with a nice but balanced bitter taste. Can taste the pineiness but very little citrus. Overall a solid west coast style IPA.

Jun 14, 2020
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a completely clear, bright, orange, slightly amber color, with a moderate head that fades quickly. It has a bright fiery look to it. SRM of 11. I like the fiery look (4.25)

Aroma: Strong aromas of ripe tangerine, strawberry, melon, berry, and black tea. Some tropical fruit and strawberry supporting. Nice balance of citrus and tropical. It's like if you mixed an orange and pink Starburst but with some herbal notes. Some sweet malts in the background. (4.00)

Flavor: Nails the west-coast flavor. For the flavor I get lots of tangerine, strawberry, melon, black tea. Less tropics than the nose. Much more of a pine flavor with a strong bitterness. A semi-strong syrupy sweetness to battle the bitterness, but overall it finishes bitter as expected. Not quite west-coast with a strong candied-malt body. (4.00)

Feel: Body is medium. Light and low carbonation. Very slightly resinous, but overall impressed with the relative crispness.. Carbonation is respectable? Finishes bitter overall with an astringency. Dry and not sweet. Lightly bitter. (4.25)

Compared with Surly's Yummi Bear 4/17/20: Pours a darker fiery color. Milder aromas. More mandarin orange and tropical fruit. Less citrus and soapy pine. Finishes sweeter and less bitter. Winner: Yummi Bear.

Compared to Odell's IPA: Pours a similar color. More tangerine, melon, tropical fruit and black tea. Less bitter grapefruit citrus, pine, and herbs. Smoother, juicier, and less carbonation.

Compared to Jai Alai 9/12/20: Pours a lighter color. More grapefruit, tropical fruit, and pine. Less mandarin orange juiciness. More of a west-coast IPA.

Overall: I would describe this as one of the best balanced IPAs that leans west-coast. Some great grapefruit and tangerine flavors. Nothing stands out, but it definitely leans bitter while capturing citrus and tropical flavors well. It's not on the bitterness level of a Sierra Nevada Torpedo or Stone IPA, but more drinkable and allows the fruit flavors and sweetness to showcase. I can understand the high reviews for this beer as it really strikes a pleasant balance between bitterness and fruit flavors. You enjoy the west-coast style, but also enjoy tasting your beer and don't want your palate wrecked for hours.... Then this is your beer. (Final Rating 4.04)
*Compare to any balanced IPA*

May 17, 2020
Photo of hophead723
hophead723 from California

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got a stovepipe of this at the grocery store on sale. Brewed 3/4/20. Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

Look: Classic amber body, gilded core in the light. Perfectly clear showing steady carbonation. The fluffy white head settles to a lasting ring as soapy lacing sticks to the glass. It looks like a classic IPA and the color is no doubt influenced by the malt bill of Premium Two-Row (Metcalf & Kendall varieties), Munich, Cara Pils, and Simpson's Light Crystal malt.

Smell: An appealing plethora of citrus fruits on the nose including orange peel, grapefruit, mandarin orange, kumquat, peach, pineapple, light apricot, earthy, herbal, and pronounced pine. Dry-hopped with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Chinook, and Simcoe hops all giving their complexity to the amazing and welcoming aroma typical of West Coast style offerings.

Taste/Feel: A clean burst of pure grapefruit erupts on the palate followed by mango, pineapple, pine, apricot, orange peel, yellow peach, lemon zest, balanced by toasted biscuit and caramel malt flavors. A subtle, exotic flourish of gooseberry accentuates the citrus and pine hop bitterness from the Magnum, Cascade, and Centennial hops. The body is creamy smooth the moment it passes the lips, followed by blossoming carbonation in the mouth. Excellent mouthfeel. Great complexity of hop-derived fruity flavors exceptionally balanced by the toasted biscuit and caramel malt profile. Well-hidden alcohol only showing clean esters through the glass.

Overall: Well-executed and impeccably balanced. Drinkable and delicious, this well-received and widely available IPA is definitely worth its accolades. All-around very pleasant and approachable.

Apr 07, 2020
Photo of shambeano
shambeano from Australia

3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can, canned on 28/01/2020, poured into a tulip.
Look: Pours a dark gold, with about 1.5cm of bubbly head. Subsides to a thing film.
Smell: citrus, orange peel, pine, a little sweetness underneath. Smells good.
Taste: Taste is like the smell, citrus, a little orange peel, perhaps some grapefruit, there is some malty sweetness underneath, the pine then comes through.
Feel: lighter to mid bodied, a nice bitterness to the end, a little drying on the palate.
Overall: I enjoyed this beer. I would drink again.

Apr 02, 2020
Photo of biiru_ojisan
biiru_ojisan from Japan

3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear burnt gold with a slightly off white rocky head.

Aroma is sweet, candied tropical fruit, biscuits, and oranges.

Taste is pine, biscuits, and oranges. Finish is a bit bitter. Fairly sweet, but the bitterness cleans the palate well.

Mouthfeel is mid bodied with moderate carbonation and a slight hint of alcohol.

Overall, a delicious, classic WCIPA. Very well balanced.

Mar 11, 2020
Photo of timon
timon from California

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mmmnnn doggy this is a nice beer. I love the art in beer so the smell and look are important to me, and the look here is nice. Looks golden/copper and glassy with a snow-white lacing. The smell is of pineapple bread and the mouth follows. EXCELLENT mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable IPA and what I would serve to those who don't like bitter IPA beers. This is dark and smoky pineapple, kinda like Aventus cologne--this ISN'T bright and citrousy IPA stuff. Buy something else if you're looking for the latter.

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can with an August 2019 canning date stamp on the bottom.
Pours with an amber colored body with a good white head.
Excellent mouthfeel from a medium body with lively but soft carbonation.
Medium strength and bitterness for style.

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of Buckeye55
Buckeye55 from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear dark orange color with minimal head. Scent is of hops, malt and citrus. Taste pretty much follows. Above medium mouthfeel, and an aftertaste that mimics the taste with a mainly malty and hop feel

Feb 27, 2020
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bsp77 from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the age of the haze craze, there is nothing like trying a well respected West Coast IPA for the first time. Great citrus and pine flavors, very crisp, very dry, fairly bitter, and extremely refreshing.

Jan 03, 2020
Photo of reedap1
reedap1 from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours as a light copper, orange-like color with good 2 fingers of head that only lasted a minute or so. The aroma of honey, tangerine, orange comes through to me with a bit of pineapple. Smooth on the palate and tongue no not as smooth as the Double IPA Union Jack but still above average from many IPAs. Not much difference in alcohol content so I will probably drink the DIPA when I can get it. Nice finish with a slight sweetness in the back of the throat. Crisp and good clean flavor. I have only recently “discovered” Firestone Walker brewery beers but so far really enjoy all of their offerings.

Dec 29, 2019
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VoxRationis from New York

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle at The Tap House in Tuckahoe, NY, into a 12 oz schooner glass.
A: Pours a cloudy, amber color with no more than half finger, white head formation with rim retention, but rings of foamy lacing.
S: Aromas of caramel, orange, and light pine mix.
T: More Semisweet than semidry. Palate flavors largely favor the nose with a subtle orange. Slightly peppery bitterness is light with a clean, refreshing finish.
M: Light to medium bodied with strong persistent carbonation.
O: Really enjoyable. Really a mid-Atlantic IPA.

Dec 28, 2019
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maxpower from Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear copper color with a average off white head of tight bubbles, leaves good lacing in my glass. Fresh grapefruit and pine aromas, hoppy citrus and pine flavors. Medium bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry. This is very drinkable for the 7 % alcohol, very nice!

Dec 11, 2019
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wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gold to amber with 1.5 finger head. Herb, pine, citrus, grass, malt, caramel. Flavor follows, pretty malty. Semi dry. Moderately heavy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Dec 08, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

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

Canned 2/3/15; drank 2/22/15 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange appearance; a few champagne bubbles throughout.

Big off-white head; frothy, tree-rung lace.

Orange citrus nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mango & caramel flavors up front; mild grapefruit bite on the finish.

A nice IPA.

Nov 17, 2019
Photo of MrOH
MrOH from Maryland

4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Clear, deep gold. white head, great retention and lace
Floral, grapefruit and orange hops, sweet malt underneath
Tastes like it smells, delicious
Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation, clean, crisp
A standard bearer

Oct 17, 2019
Photo of KingStelle
KingStelle from California

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice dark golden color with almost zero head. Medium hop smell, orange. I get a ton of orange in the taste as well, good hoppy finish. The 7.2 alcohol % is not noticeable. One of the better mass produced west coast IPAs.

Oct 14, 2019
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Six pack of cans purchased at QFC in Bothell, Washington.
BBD is 07/29/19. Poured in to a pint glass.

Look- Clear, golden honey color, Nice white head that slowly dissipates, little spotty. Moderate carbonation streaming as it sits.

Smell- Citrus ( orange, grapefruit and lemon), pine. Light melon, peach and tropical fruit. Floral and spicy herbal notes.

Taste- Follows the nose for the most part, sweet caramel malt, lingering tangy bitterness from the hops.

Feel- Medium/light bodied with a crisp dry finish. Average carbonation on the tongue. The hop bitterness really overpowers anything the malts bring.

O- A decent old school west coast IPA. I really don't understand the exceptionally high ratings though, it's nothing earth shattering. In a market inundated with lower cost IPA offerings this one is average, at best.

*edit* Appearance moved from a 3.5 to a 4 after a pour in a different glass. Much more impressive look.

Oct 10, 2019
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detgfrsh from Texas

4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz bottle. Orange color with white head. Tropical fruit smell. Medium body. Pineapple and pine flavors with a bready malt base. Nicely balanced.

Oct 02, 2019
Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 7039 ratings