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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

1,316 Reviews
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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,316 | Ratings: 6,405
Photo of yesyouam
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA is a hazy, golden ale with a thin, dense, white head that has great retention and lacing. It has a huge, fruity hop aroma. It smells a touch sweet with otes of orange and caramel. It's pretty full bodied and quite smooth. The finish is a little loose and dusty. It has plenty of hop flavor but it's not very bitter. There is a sort of caramelized flavor to it, like toffee. The flavors don't fuse completely, but all of the different tastes I get out of this are good ones. A little bitterness lingers after the swallow. This is a pretty solid double IPA. It certainly beats most beers.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to huadog for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a fluffy, powdery 1.5 finger white head with good retention. Beer is a clear pale peach bronze. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good stick. Good looking beer.

Nose is sweet citrus, papaya, pine sap, and fresh pulp hoppiness. Aromatic and very appropriate for the style.

Opens citrus, papaya, caramel, brown sugar, and hop bitterness. Sappy and resiny hop presence towards the middle with a resin and amber end and finish. Aftertaste is rather sweet with a significant malt presence. Decent.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and crisp and refreshing going down. Finish is dry with a lingering aftertaste. Super drinkable.

An ipa that is light on the tropical fruit presence but big on manga and papaya pulp characteristics, this one lies in a style that I'm not usually too fond of. However, this is a solid beer because of the incredible mouthfeel and the great balance overall. Worth a try.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A half finger of head on a hazy, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is a nice lemon, orange and honey mixture.
The taste is a moderate lemon bitterness ebbing towards a mildly sweet finish. It's simple but complex.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation and medium body.
A really smooth and good IPA.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Unfortunately I don't see a bottling date.

Appearance: Pours an amber and carrot orange color with a nice finger of oily looking head. The head retention isn't particularly wonderful. It disappears quite quickly and I'm left with just a few oily looking bubbles resting on the top. I gave the beer a few swirls in my snifter and it looks like the head retention is going to be quite nice. There aren't any thick sheets, but some nice thin streaks and some small dots are covering the glass. The beer is slightly effervescent, and I'm expecting the beer to have a nice low to medium amount of carbonation that gives the beer a nice smooth feeling.

Smell: The nose isn't a hop bomb. This is a well balanced IPA. A nice caramel malt sweetness comes through on the nose. It's hand in hand with some herbal earthy hop notes like pine, soil and grass. The citrus note that I'm picking up is a little bit of mango and grapefruit. Perhaps this is an older bottle, but I was hoping for a little more hop in the nose. Maybe it had it at one point.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose in that it's a well balanced IPA. Well, perhaps I'm biased in calling it biased. The hop profile is definitely here. But, it isn't completely overtaking the beer. There is a very nice malt presence here.

The first flavor that crosses the palate is sweet pale caramel malt. The malt backbone that's present is enough to handle a larger load of hops. I could see this being turned into an IIPA quite easily. There's quite a bit of bitterness from the hops, but nothing unusual for the style. The hop flavors then cross the palate. It's a mixture of earthy and citrus hops. The same lot found in the nose: mango, a little pine, some grass, and a little bit of grapefruit. The grapefruit flavor is much more prominent on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied beer, right down the center. The carbonation was actually a dash too high in my opinion. The more the beer warmed up and lost some of its carbonation it became better. It needed a little time for the mouthfeel to hit its prime.

Drinkability: A well put together beer from Firestone Walker. A nice malt backbone and a nice amount of hops. This was exactly the beer I was looking for on a Friday night.

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Photo of musicforairports
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottled Oct. 26, reviewed Dec. 6.

Straw-golden, light and very clear. Nice head and some lacing.

Smells mostly of citrus peel--lemon, grapefruit, orange.

Flavor is bright and fruity, with notes of lemon, orange, mango, papaya, grapefruit, etc. The citrus flavors are bright and bitter, but a candy-like sweetness is also evident. A bit one-dimensional, with very little malt here.

Mouthfeel is thin-medium and nicely carbonated.

Overall this is a good IPA with a bright citrus-peel flavor that reminds me of a handful of other IPAs (Southern Tier and Clipper City come to mind). I generally prefer something with a more varied and complex hop flavor, but I'd definitely drink this one again. Glad Firestone Walker finally hit this area.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from solomon420 via the mystery box-thanks!!

12 oz. bottle, no freshness, poured into my SN glass...

A-very lively 3 fingers of creamy foam...very sustainable. burnt orange body, almost golden, very ipa

S-very citrusy with some hops, spicy and peppery nose...very ipa

T-solid hop profile, bitter, lots of citrus with some buttery undertones...very ipa

M- slick and oily, a little low on carbonation

D-another superdrinkable ipa

my appreciation has grown so much in such a short time for ipas...i need to go back and review some again, possibly the Sweetwater...it deserves a better score from me!

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Photo of LennyOvies
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Tanned yellow body, rich creamy white head.
S- Citrus bomb with hops. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit.
T- Hoppy citrus mix. Orange, pineapple, grapefruit, malt, pine.
F- Light, easy drink.
O- This was an 8 month old bottle which, for an IPA, held up incredibly well. Would love to have this fresh.

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Photo of Hendry
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored in hue and crystal clear, there wasn't much of a head but what was there left decent lacing. While this isn't a tropical assault on the nostrils when taking in the aroma, there are most certainly some piney grapefruit and naval orange peel overtones in there amongst the malt backdrop..

Over the palate Union Jack dances gracefully with some subtle citrus that you pick up in the nose, carbonation that does this IPA justice, some oily resins that are present, and there is a pleasant and relatively long lasting aftertaste. There is a delightful light graham cracker flavor mixed with the hoppiness of this IPA that makes Union Jack vey appealing. The malt bill is rather steep but not unlike otherers in the AIPA style.

A well balanced IPA and a rewarding choice especially at the price point,but the malt content is a bit high for true hop bomb lovers.Double Jack gets it done for real hop hounds.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber color with some decent head. Definite citrusy smell, accompanied with a citrusy flavor. Also prevalent in the taste is a nice amount of hops, and a bit of a creamy taste, but also a bitter finish.

Really good mouthfeel, and very drinkable. One of the better beverages I have tried during this California visit.

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Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle that was given to for free from Stan at Lone Hill Liquor a few weeks ago, thanks to him for being so generous, this was the first time I had seen this brew, glad this replaced the lager

A-Golden orange with some red highlights, 3/4 inch soapy white head, stuck around for close to five minutes, some retention and decent lacing at the beginning

S-Pine hoppiness, floral, citrus inclduing grapefruit, lemon, and tangerines, evident malt backbone, but hops overpowered the rest

T-Surprisingly the malt was the first thing I tasted, then there was a big pine hoppiness presence, followed by a bitter finish that was full of resin, taste did not change much as it warmed, some citrus towards the end with some grapefruit, this one smelled like a double IPA but did not taste like one, hops dominated this beer, flavor was very enjoyable

M-Bitter and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, nice level of carbonation, sensation was a bit harsh at times, dryness lingered along with the aftertaste

D-Could drink a few bottles of this but it is almost strong enough to be a DIPA, a bit heavy at times, ABV is above average for its style, smooth though

Firestone makes another good beer, will be drinking many six packs of this in the future, one of the stronger California IPAs I have tasted, look forward to trying this on tap, recommended for any hopheads out there

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Photo of HipHop5
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light copper golden and crisp color.
1 finger head that falls quickly but lives amazing lacing on the glass.
Some citrus and pine cone tropical sweet aromas. Passionfruit/ pineapple. Not extremely floral and strong on the nose. I suspect this bottle is not the freshest.
Medium carbonation.
Sweet malty caramel with a nice hop taste and subtle bite . Medium body and smooth after taste in the back. A bit one dimensional.
The hops taste dissipate as it warms up but malt backbone pushes forward the sweetness to cover the well balanced 7.5%ABV. I can recognize a commercially successful brew when I see it. This one is a chameleon that doesn't let you not like it.
Super drinkable and a nice introduction to IPA's for new comers.
I would love to get this on tap to compare. Once again I suspect the bottle to be a bit dated so I feel deprived from full olfactive sensation. I would try this again for sure.

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Photo of sfprint
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Completely transparent, slightly orangish brown tea, absolutely no carbonation. Has a shininess to it.
S: A hair plasticy, but otherwise pretty delicious. Somewhat Japanese fruit chewing gumish, but a nice blend.
T: Moderate to high bitterness, alcohol relatively masked, not very sweet. Other than the almost biting bitterness, the rest is pretty well rounded. Nice neat flavors. Slightly woody. Piney.
M: Mild carbonation sting. Barely dry. Bitter.
O: Nice, good. A bitter one but good.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a Bottled On date of 02/08/12. Pours a translucent bright amber color with a half inch of head. Some lacing. Big whiff of grapefruit and some citrus hops. A bit tropical. Taste is of citrus hops and grapefruit rind. Bitter citrus at the finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Damn good IPA that has more alcohol flavor than I'd expect from the 7.5% ABV. Overall, this is a well made IPA with a great amount of grapefruit bitterness. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of TomChiari777
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorites, ever since I have had it. A great IPA/IIPA. Something about the first sip always turns me off a little bit, but then it really hits the spot. Golden amber color. Great lace, sweet aroma, dank hops, love it. After that it is nothing but sweet and blissfully harmony. When I see these at the store I generally buy all the bottles I can.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is orange amber with an puffy white head. Tropical and citric nose with a bit of sweetness. Flavor follows the nose, but less juiciness than the aroma promised. Hops dominate, but don't overpower. Body is medium/full with moderate carbonation and a nice creamy mouthfeell.

Overall, an excellent all-around IPA.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank right out of the bottle while camping, so I'm giving it a 4 for appearance to be nice.
Smelled really nice, dank hoppiness and sweetness from malts.
Tastes really nice as well. Just a touch more hops than malt in this very balanced IPA.
Mouthfeel felt a bit thin for me.
Overall, a very tasty, very drinkable IPA, wish I could get it regularly in Vermont.

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Photo of Shallow_Gravy
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to D'Achouffe tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear radiant gold. 2 fingers of fluffy white head sit on top and linger halfway through the glass. Thick lacing everywhere.

S - Grapefruit, tangerine, slight pine, touch of alcohol. There's just a bit of mango in there as well.

T - Pine up front, with some of the fruit notes from the nose showing up. Lots of bitter grapefruit on the finish with a good deal of lasting bitterness.

M - pretty full-bodied that finishes dry.

O - One of the best readily-available IPAs on the market. A treat to drink every time.

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Photo of thatruth
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two-finger head, frothy-then-spiderweb lacing, both which dissipate averagely. light gold body with copper hues, average bubbles.

S: pears, dirty oranges, fig, hoppy-coriander.

T: beautifully bodied. Banana peel, figgy-hop onset. Coriander-like middle.
Musky orange afters. Pretty darn close to the smell.

M: the feeling you should get from a good IPA, just subtly, then rounds out as the aftertaste creeps in to make your mouth and palette a happy place, which is unusual for most people with IPAs it seems.

O: bought this as a morning brew for the arsenal-man city match this morning. Picked it up at Fred Meyer on Lakeway in Bellingham. Having had nothing to eat yet, I can say it's a pretty hearty, yet easy to drink beer. Would pair very nicely with braised or roasted chicken or pork chops. Great IPA. Don't know if I'd pick it up again personally, though. Kinda overrated if you ask me. but hey, diff'rent strokes! For 5.99 it was an enjoyable experience, to be sure.

**Label reads: "BOTTLED ON: 01/25/14 15:32"

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Photo of mikey711
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade from Davexisxrabid, so much thanks goes out to this great BA.

I poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass. It is a beautiful gold with excellent tranparency and a very bid lacy head that balloons out the glass.

While waiting for the head to settle a bit I began to smell some great caramel and pine notes. There is some biscuity aromas as well and at the very end a hint of citrus.

The first sip provided some of that biscuit detected earlier with a very nice mellow pine note to follow it up. The malts and hops are very balance here.

There was some alcohol present in the mouthfeel, but it is hidden very well by the hops. A nice change of pace beer which I could enjoy a few of in a sitting.

This is my first ever Firestone Walker beer, and it was a treat. Again thanks goes out to Dave for this great extra I had been hoping to try.

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Photo of output01x
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Bottled On 01/20/12) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 2-finger cream-colored head that slowly fades after a few minutes to a thin, clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a clear pale gold with a decen amount of small, lazy carbonation bubbles. Thin lacing clings to the glass in runny sheets.

The nose is packed full of tropical and citrus fruit aromas. Notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and mango are aplenty. Just a touch of pine and caramel malt help to round it out.

Sweet, acidic citrus flavors start each sip with notes of fleshy melons, grapefruit, and pineapple. Some caramel malts add depth and structure. As the beer is swallowed, piney and grassy hops flavors appear, carrying a decent bitterness that fades with the other flavors.

The medium body carries a great amount of flavor while remaining refreshing and easily sippable. The carbonation is just barely prickly, creating a very crisp mouthfeel. The swallow is a bit foamy and the finish is clean.

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

22oz. brown bomber with a large single label and no freshness date. It pours a brilliant golden goldwith superb clarity and a finger of sticky white foam. Nice sticky lace clings.

Sweet and piney with loads of citrus to the nose. The hops are very upfront in the aroma. Just a hint of alcohol comes through as it warms.

Sweet flavor starts with some pine, tangelo, grapefruit and just a bit of malt. The malt steps up a notch then fades back into a state of citrus tang and finishing clean. Good solid IPA in the taste dept.

Medium body with some quench...nicely balanced right down to the finish. The alcohol stay back, out of the way, but definitely creeps up near the end. This is a very solid IPA and exceeded my expectations, try it.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with an off-white head - good retention and lacing.

Smells of citrus, orange, mango and malt.

Taste is a big bitter orange rind up front followed by some sweet mango and a slight chewy malt. Finishes dry and a little woody. A nice crisp IPA with just enough sweet to balance the bitter hop punch.

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Photo of sj660
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think some people drink IPAs as a sort of macho thing. Can you really like beer that bitter?! But as with just about anything, something done well is... something done well.

The amber color of this beer is perfectly bright. It has a bright white foam that is even standing up to the fats in the accompanying meal and is leaving a wall on my glass instead of individual laces. Quite impressive head.

This pounds you with hoppy citrus aromas, but I can smell the malt too, in the background. Tastewise, it is full of citrus zest, a deep and abiding bitterness, resinous, but with a biscuity malt background that is in the mix.

A warming, full bodied, creamy brew with a tiny hop bite. Medium carbonation.

Well done, and proud that this is part of our local brewing scene here.

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

Pours a clear golden orange with a big creamy off-white head. Lacing sticks to the glass like glue. Smell is some fresh forest aromas. Taste is toffee, herbal sweetness up front, followed by some pine cones in the middle, and a bit of grapefruit rind in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Low carbonation. A pretty rich DIPA, don't expect your standard bone dry west coast creation here. Very good.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,316 ratings.
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