Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,322 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,322
Ratings:
6,433
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
491
Gots:
1,584
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,322 | Ratings: 6,433
Photo of vtfan77
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light orange-tinted gold with lots of bubbles streaming up the glass and a decent white head.

S- Very nice hoppy smell. Loads of grapefruit and orange and a touch of pine with a light biscuity malt backing. Excellent.

T- A bit of sweet malt upfront is quickly overtaken by the hops, which are assertive with nice pine and citrus flavors. Still, the malt manages to hold its own throughout, backing the hops nicely and providing a tasty bready complement. Moderate bitterness and a touch of residual sweetness on the finish.

M- Surprisingly thick for an IPA, on the heavy side of medium with a good carbonation level to balance it out.

D- The nice, balanced flavor is a plus and makes you want to drink more, but the alcohol is rather high for the style and the mouthfeel is kind of heavy and rich. Still, finishing the bomber will be absolutely no problem. I could probably drink a couple pints of this.

A very nice IPA that doesn't seem to generate a lot of talk around here. It was an impulse buy at Total Wine. We don't get a whole lot of FW's stuff around here and I'm not sure how long we've had Union Jack in Virginia, but I'm glad it's here now. I'd certainly get this again and I recommend it to all the IPA-lovers out there.

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Photo of spoony
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 355 ml bottle (dated September 19, 2013) into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces about two fingers of dense, off-white head with pretty good retention and lacing. The brew is orange-hued golden in color and mostly clear. I can see a fair bit of carbonation. Good looking, but not mind-blowing.

S-The aroma is hop-forward, but more subdued that I would have expected for this relatively big West Coast IPA. I get some zesty citrus like orange and grapefruit, and a touch of juicy pineapple. The malts are mostly buried, but balance is not completely gone with some bread crust and toast underneath.

T-The taste is more assertive and in line with my expectations. It is very zesty and citrusy with orange, tangerine, and a touch of pineapple, as well as a moderate bite of bitterness that suggests pine and pepper, but never really gets all the way there. Malts are out-gunned, but a nice bit of bread crust fills out the flavor profile.

M-The brew is softer on the palate than some beers, but with enough carbonation to keep it lively. Moderate to full in body.

O-This is a solid example of an IPA that verges on IIPA. My not-so-fresh bottle still packed a good hop wallop on the palate, although it was less inspiring on the nose. The relatively full body was a pleasant surprise and was perhaps the high point for me. Would love to taste a fresh bottle.

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

Bottle from BrewerB in a trade - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: An orange-golden body with a rocky, rough-looking white head with great retention. The slightest amount of haze, though by and large it's a fairly clear brew. Minimal carbonation.
Lacing isn't great, but a few pockets and islands are left behind.

Aroma: Huge grapefruit, pineapple, orange zest notes, a lot of higher floral hop ester notes, and some lightly roasted caramal and simple, wholesome biscuity sweetness.

Taste: Bitterness, but lots of balancing, roasted sweetness and biscuity malt. Sweet grapefruit and orange zest, more floral notes, but also some lightly spicy and herbal hop overtones. Very smooth, nothing coarse or rough. Well made.

Mouthfeel: Small to medium bubbled, fluffy and even, medium thickness and medium bodied, with some nice hop oils to add to the smoothness.

Drinkability: Great balance in this one, truly. Has plenty of bitterness but plenty of great sweetness and some fine hop notes to even everything out. A great overall beer, and highly recommended.

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Photo of hreb
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber, bottled on 9/21/12, served in pint glass. Beer pours a pale straw color with a medium yellowish white head. Intense grapefruit aroma...mmm. Flavor is totally crisp with really bright hop flavors. Despite being way up in your face, the hop flavors are pretty mellow. This is not pure cascade. Amarillo? Carbonation is pretty high but works well here. This is a really great, if high ABV, IPA. Totally enjoyable and worth drinking.

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Photo of Chaz33187
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the The Loft on the LMU Campus

a- golden/ translucent

s- typical southern california piny/citrus magic

t- has that initial clean american ipa hit, but has a lingering 50/50 maltiness/bitterness after taste, that detracts from it. If it's ice cold you probably won't notice it, but if you take your time with this beer, the bitterness in your mouth builds up and it's less desirable. It's relatively well-balanced though.

m- thin until it hits your lips then fizzes

o- It hints at that magical california ipa genre, (Pliny, Hop Ottin', Sculpin), but eventually it goes bitter and is a one glass pony.

 614 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.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 12oz bottle into Sprecher nonic. Bottled on date: 11/4/13 (60 days old). Appearance is orange-amber with one-finger ivory head that lasts a while before settling to a ring and islands. Lacing in dots and rings all the way down. Aroma is grapefruit and orange citrus, pine, and resin hoppiness plus some alcohol and a minisucle touch of bread. Taste is citrus rind bitter up front, a touch of sweet tropical fruit juice and bread comes through briefly, then the bitterness returns on the swallow but fades abruptly. Medium bodied, slightly creamy, soft carbonation adds to that texture, abrupt bitter finish.

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

On tap at Simmzy's Manhattan Beach.

Aroma: Citrus notes contain a grainy characteristic that is almost earthy, but more closely represent ground orange peel mashed together with melanoidin malts. Lemon. Ginger? Not entirely hop focused on the nose but it offers a complex array if you're looking.

Appearance: Pale gold. Light brushed copper. Deep amber. Take your pick. Brilliant filtered clarity that I don't look for in an IPA but it's acceptable. Head holds well as pure white with good lacing along the glass.

Flavor: Huge hop bitterness upfront that briefly gives way to sweet caramel before the hops come back strongly in the middle with an earthy bite, and it's a big bite. Barely enough malt to support the hops here, but for the hop lover it's not unbalanced. Finish is burnt toast, caramel and would you believe more hops? Yes. Alcohol spice comes out in stages but is generally hidden by hop aroma and flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. The intensity of the hop flavor and bitterness will fill the palate with a sting and slightly tannic effect, adding to the mouthfeel but bringing a distinct drying effect in the finish.

Overall:  Since I've been on a bit of a hop kick lately this beer hits the mark square in the face. Huge hop bitterness and gorilla hop flavor. While the malt is only supportive enough to hold the IBU's on your palate, for the hop seeker this will satisfy. For others, it will be unbalanced. Carbonation adds a tingling effect that only slightly lifts the hop oils off your tongue. The barley presence comes off as an afterthought to the Humulus Lupulus.

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

had a pint on tap, review is from memory

had a ton of off white head, and the lacing was great. I could count how many drinks it took to finish this one. The color looked almost amber, but it may have been because of the lighting at the restaurant.

the smell was all hops to me.

taste was much more of the smell. hops and more hops, but not bitter

crispy mouth feel and easy to drink.

overall, not my favorite style, but a really good beer for the hop heads

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Photo of da_beers
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours nice copper with orangish hue. Nice 1.5 fingers of white head. Low carbonation coming up.

S - Great hop blast with huge grapefruit notes. Smells like juice almost. Sweet/tangy malt at the end.

T - Nice wave of flavor over the palate, great hop bite at the end. Fruity characteristics in there, grapefruit again in the taste. Has a nice bitter bite at the end.

M - Light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation level, finishes clean.

O - Decent IPA here, nothing over the top. Good and drinkable for sure.

 513 characters

Photo of GinjaSlice
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Under expectations. Was one of the best looking beers with a very clear orange color and great lacing. Smell was great aswell but taste was lacking. My bottle was a little old so will have to try a fresher one and re review.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear orange, two finger head with good lacing.

S-Light citrus notes, some grassy notes, a good hop presence

T-Nice citrus, some grass sneaks in, good bitterness.

M-Light, smooth, decent carbonation.

O-A good IPA, however having this after Nugget Nectar it may have diminished this beer by comparison.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I used to think the lion would beat up the bear but what if the bear is actually a giant badger. That could go either way.

Pours see-through straw color. Large, pristine white head. Like most FW beers, this looks really clean.

Smells like floral hops: rose in particular, and piney hops. Very fragrant...like sticking pine needles and rose petals up my nose.

Floral and piney hops dominate over a sugary bisciuty malt. Body is light and fluffy but with substance. Really, really, really clean.

 497 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden amber color with dense cap of white froth, good lacing. Scent is fruity and floral, citrus and splashes of pine before a sweet, biscuty malt backbone presents itself. taste leads with a clean and crisp sweet lemon flavor, solidly bitter with some pine resin notes, sweet and clean biscuity malt backbone. Medium bodied, lightly oily and smooth. A decent IPA, a touch sweet.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Yardhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The beer was served in a pint glass, and poured a light brown color, with orage highlights and no head. Sweet, hoppy aroma, with light orange essence. Middle and rear tongue hops flavors, balanced of bitter and smooth. Cedar and sweet characteristics, also. The beer has a steady flow of carbonation that keeps the beer light despite it's creamy body. Hoppy green aftertaste and smooth finish make it very easy to drink.

 476 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

531st Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz bottle

Consumed on 5/30/11

App- This was a nice pouring small IPA. Darker orange with nice bubbles. The head was puffy, 1 1/2 fingers and receding slowly and had some nice cling.

Smell- A very good smelling IPA. Balanced between bitter and citrus. Gives off a smell note of malty sweet.

Taste- A very well done small west coast IPA. Walks the line of being big but still retrained. The hops provide a nice bitter quality, malts bring it all together.

Mouth- Medium Bodied and medium bodied. Nice taste of the hops remains.

Drink- This was a welcome beer after not having it in so long. Very tasty, very crisp and a welcome reminder that its hard to make a good IPA.

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Photo of handcrafty
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours a beautiful golden bronze color. Less than a finger worth of head from a bottle dated 7/29. Nice bubble retention while sipping, like tiger stripes.

S. Grapefruit - citrus focused. Alcohol is present to the nose, but nicely blended with other aromas of banana peel, pine cones and citrus zest. Quite yummy.

T. True to the nose, tons of grapefruit and citrus on the palate. Pine needles and grass also come to the tip of the tongue, with a nice clean finish.

M. Crisp and clean. Little carbonation on the taste buds.

O. Great W. Coast IPA. A go to, any time of week type of brew. Classic.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is big grassy hops accompanied by alcohol.
Color is a nice cooper with a solid white head.
Taste is much like the aroma. Big hop up front but with a malt backbone that smooths out the taste.
Mouthfeel is good. Almost thick for an IPA.
Drinkability is near perfect. I could easily have 2 or 3 bombers a night.

 318 characters

Photo of Homerbag
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper almost amber, clear body with two finger head.

Smell comes at you like a west coast IPA should. Heavy citric hops with a strong biscuity malt compliment. Taste is like the nose. Strong grapefruit, almost lemon like hops with a bisuit malt backbone. For all the West Coast IPAs, this does stand apart with a unique and different taste. Dry finish to leave resiny aftertaste, like you would get after eating a grapefruit.

I wish I could ahve this fresh, I'm sure qualities would stand up a little more. Either way a good and almost sessionable IPA.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium gold with a 1.5 finger head and some lacing on the glass.

S: Grapefruit and a hint of pine. A swirl of the glass unfetters this aromatic beauty.

T: Bitter grapefruit with a medium bitter finish which lasts for a bit in the back of the mouth (I suppose that's where the beer last touched my mouth so it makes sense). Resiny and piny. I also get some spruce, or what I imagine spruce may or may not taste like (like I've even had spruce). This beer exemplifies a west coast ipa in that it is very hoppy and has a very small malt profile.

M: Light bodied, great carbonation, coats the mouth with a sticky texture.

D: I don't know what the availability of this will be, but I plan on sessioning this on a number of occasions in the future. In California the IPA market is flooded, but apparently FW isn't afraid to get their feet wet and they've suceeded in crafting a quality IPA which can stand up to the best of them.

 932 characters

Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After drinking many 'Pliny the Younger's over the past few days I would say this is on par, maybe slightly behind. A fantastically well-balanced IPA that has a very fresh hop aroma and taste. There is a bit of bitterness on the tail end but overall a great beer, with a good malty balance to it. I definitely plan on picking up more of this for the beer closet stock.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have seen this beer many times and had wanted to try it so I finally made my way around to getting a fresh pack and chilled it down in the fridge. It has 7.5% ABV and has a world class 100 score by the Bros. With a score like that I was maybe having very high expectations. It is a great beer, but let’s look at what it has to
offer.

Look-It poured a crystal clear golden tinged light amber color that shimmered like the breast plate of a Greek god (little “g”). The head was at first very foamy and white, but quickly settled into a thin film. This rather common behavior is due to the sugar content, just as an fyi. So, even before I smelled or tasted it, I anticipated some sugar content from the malts.

Smell-I smell candied orange and other citrus aromas. The malts are candied caramel and toasty malted grains. It is quite nice, but not as complex as you would expect from a world class beer.

Taste-It tastes of orange and pine. The malts nicely come through late and cut the bitterness from the hops, but the bitterness isn’t very high. The malts are honey-based and are very nicely complimented by the orange citrus and pine. I couldn’t find the IBU content on this beer, but my advanced palate would estimate that it has 70 IBUs. I hope I am right on that. Could anyone check that for me?

Mouthfeel-It has a lite medium-bodied feel with an appropriate sweetness level that doesn’t delve into the annoying strong syrupy feel and taste that some IPAs have.

Overall-It has a nice flavor and aroma. It is relatively well-balanced, but some of its flavors are separated a bit. It is refreshing and moist and finishes clean. You should try this beer, but I don’t think it is a world-class brew deserving of the 100 from the Bros.

 1,756 characters

Photo of spoons
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gold color with an ok white head.

Smells super dank and hoppy. Wasnt really expecting this from firestone but it has a really nice hop aroma.

Has a pretty hoppy afterbite, some grapefruit and some sweetness. Has a malty finish as well.

I would for sure buy this one again.

 285 characters

Photo of DoubleBarrelHopShot
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Golden copper color. White persistent head. Brilliant and clear. Nice lacing
S - Strong pine/citrus hop aroma. Simcoe/Citra essence. Moderate malt notes underneath.
T - Bitter...as it should be. Very we'll balanced for an IPA. Great hop flavor, but not lingering. Malty sweetness leads to a crisp hop bitterness. Leaves a pleasing aftertaste.
M - Chewy. Not light in body. Cleans up nice with a dry finish.
O - Great example of an American IPA. Loads of hops that come across fresh and aromatic. Definitely a must in the fridge. On my short-list for IPAs.

 562 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle. No date on the bottle.

A golden ale with the slightest haze and a small white head. Aroma is piney and citrusy hops with a touch of toasted malt and yeast. Starts with a nice citrusy bitterness but then switches to a malty and yeasty flavor. The bitterness picks up over time and the malt continues to provide a nice foundation. There's good lacing left on the glass as it empties. The consistency is moderate with a low carbonation.

I'd been meaning to try this and after I heard it won best IPA at GABF, I figured it was time. I think it's a balanced and enjoyable IPA but I wouldn't put it in the top three.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.
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