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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

1,315 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

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Reviews: 1,315 | Ratings: 6,402
Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise, sampled on tap at Beer 39, San Francisco. Lighter in color, but very well composed. The citrus/resin/malt balance is very enjoyable - in fact, it reminds me of my favorite beer from my home brewery. Overall, this is very enjoyable and well crafted IPA.

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

A: snifter. orange-red copper in color with an off-white head. mild retention level. decent lacing.

S: big hoppy nose with some citrus and pine, very earthy. apples from the malts, some crystal malts in there.

T: nice well-balanced hop flavors all over this with a huge malt backbone. hops are more earthy with a slight fruitiness, while the malts are sweet yet subtle and accompany the malts very well.

M: medium-bodied. nice bite but mellows out really well. good carbonation level, that can be viewed as a little higher than normal.

D: I enjoyed this very much. Great IPA and very drinkable.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Great clarity. Burnt orange color. Dense, off-white head. Mondo stickage!

Smell - Big citrus nose. Herbal. Nice.

Taste - Big, crisp grapefruit flavor. There is a slightly toasty malt flavor in the background that keeps the hops in check.

Mouth - Oily. Crisp. Great carbonation.

Overall - Yes, this ale is yet another California hop bomb. There is more to this beer than just hops, however. There is just enough malt to keep things interesting. The beer smells good. The beer looks great. Union Jack does many things well.

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

Bottle shared by ajsdad.

Poured clear copper color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy west coast hoppy aroma. Medium to full body with a oily slick texture with flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy bitter flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration.

Very good brew.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a two finger white head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, orange, and pine. Smells very nice.

Tastes just like it smells. Grapefruit, orange, and pine. There is also a nice caramel malt backbone which adds some balance.

Medium bodied, nice carbonation, smooth, easy to drink, and finishes dry. This is a very nice IPA. I recommend trying this beer, if you have not already done so.

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

A - Clear pale gold with a thick white head that retains and laces well.

S/T - Hops front to back, mostly pine with bits of pineapple. Caramel malts are present, but stay in the background nicely. Bitter pine notes through the finish.

M - Light side of a medium body, finishes crisp and bitter.

O - Everything works well in this one. I'd definitely get it again.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle

Consumed 12/22/11

Appearance: Remarkably clear, golden orange, starts off with a nice little white head and leaves some sticky lacing

Smell: Citrusy and bold, but not a hop bomb - orange and grapefruit - fleshy, juicy, and oily - floral, with some dryness - some toasted, biscuity malts in the background - some earthy aromas and on the sweet side

Taste: Nicely balanced - a lot of citrus - orange and grapefruit - oily, with tons of rind and pith - citrus flesh and juice as well - bitter with a lingering bitterness - a lot of pine, too - herbal, leafy, dry, earthy, spicy - malts are dry and biscuity with moderate sweetness - well-rounded

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a bit oily/sticky and simulatneously dry and earthy, nicely carbonated

Overall: Great, but not the best Jack

Union Jack is a good IPA, but it could be better. The hop profile is a bit too oily for me, and it's a little too sweet overall. I guess it makes sense that I had similar issues with Double Jack. Regardless, this is certainly worth a try.

Edit: 4/23/15

Drinking one of the cans. And it's fresh. I think I bottle I reviewed previously was on the old side, so I have updated accordingly (more or less just added comments about the fleshy, fruity citrus). Increased the score for smell, everything else stayed the same.

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Photo of NODAK
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fairly dry and citric nose on this one. Good grapefruit presence....a bit tropical perhaps. But certainly hoppy and dry.

There's an immediate good dose of grapefruit and definite pineapple hop bitterness here starting out....followed by quite the formidable caramel malt base. One of the sweeter IPA's I've ever had, but that doesn't mean that it compromises the bitterness. It certainly has both. Finishes quite dry and bitter, although not in a lingering way.

A great English IPA, no question. Many of the style seem to sacrifice the bitterness but this is full flavored all the way on both fronts. Bitter, sweet, then dry.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 fl.oz. bottle. Bottled on 05/15/2015.

A: pale amber. Clear. Poured with 3 fingers high head and moderate long retention.
S: Moderate citrus aroma. A little grassy.
T: Intense hops flavor. Moderate to high bitterness. Mildly malty sweet. Finish is semi-dry.
M: Creamy. Medium bodied.
O: Balanced, flavorful, and drinkable IPA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy but clear light orange with a 1 inch white head that fades to a thin cap. Nice rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of grapefruit juice, citrus zest, and some tropical fruit. Taste is of grapefruit juice and citrus zests with some tropical fruit flavors and a sweet malt taste coming in at the end. Mild hop bitterness on the palate quickly fades after each sip. Good carbonation makes for a crisp yet slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good IPA with some very nice fruit smells and flavors. A good choice when you're in the mood for a "fruity" IPA.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this a long time ago (I think) and didn't care much for it...Let's try again...Pours a clear and vibrant amber, with a nice creamy head leaving sticky lace. Wonderful aromas rolling around here. Very piney hoppy, but it carries a sweetness with it that is very inviting. The flavor is extremely well -balanced - some of the best balance I've come across in an IPA in a while, particularly on the West Coast. Lots of fruity notes crammed in with the hops and malt really set this above the average for an IPA. Excellent ale and I highly recommend you track it down.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: An opaque golden. A white one-finger head that dissipates to foam. Thick lacing.

S: Citrus, featuring grapefruit. Grassy hops.

T: A terrific rush of hops with grapefruit in the lead. Smooth, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt combo. Outstanding.

M: Medium with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: Although the born on date was almost 6 months, this one was very fresh-tasting. Glad I got to try my first FW brew. More on the way. Well done. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Biggness
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very clear amber with a 1/2 finger white head with some lacing. The smell is nice and big mostly dominated by a grapefruit smell from the hops. This beer has a very nice malt base to it and a nice hop profile, its not gonna wow your socks off but it is a very solid well constructed beer. The initial flavor is a kinda bready malt flavor and its immediately followed by the citrusy hop flavor. The carbonation level seems a tad low on this beer and there is a slight dry after taste. An easy drinking beer, the alcohol is well disguised I would imagine this to be a session beer but its not even close :)

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Photo of silentjay
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crystal clear orangey copper with a nice almost white head that retains well and laces okay.

nice aroma. lots of pine, grass, and orangey citrus. good mix of hops. some soft malts in the background, maybe.

very piney again in flavor, and bitter. citrus zest and some unripened tropical fruit (pineapple) that adds some tartness. nice. pretty strong flavors that have this bordering on DIPA territory. malts are subtle, but caramelly sweet.

mouthfeel is about where it should be with a light/medium body and plenty of resin left behind on the finish.

drinks pretty well. a bit strong for the style (which i dont mind) but the alcohol is integrated well.

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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.

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

On tap at Z's Taphouse. As the previous review states, Firestone brews some house beers for select Santa Barbara County establishments. According to the bartender at Z's, the Z's IPA is done by Firestone, so this is consistent. Although I've heard rumor that SB Brewco does some of Z's brews, so there is a slight chance it could be from there. But hey, unless I hear different, I'll trust the "quick to reply that Z's IPA is from Firestone" bartender.

A: Very very nice. Great slightly cloudy dark caramel/red color with a sticky white head. The liquid itself also looks sticky.

S: Mmmm...definitely got some piney hops jumping out.

T: More piney hops. Caramel malt in the background. Actually, a decent amount of earthy caramel back there. Hops are relatively strong for a standard IPA I must say. Kind of reminds me of the Castle Rock IPA from the brewco to be honest. Definitely tilts toward the piney as opposed to the citrusy.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and semi-sticky with some resiny qualities. Good amount of body for an ipa. I like it.

D: It should be easy enough to down a few pints of this. This is definitely not a light body west coast ipa - there is more malt in this. But it's very well done; I wish I could get it more easily.

Very well done IPA. Recommended.

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

Thanks to Scott (Smarcoly) for this bottle in a recent trade.

355mL bottle in a Deschutes snifter.

A- Pours a nice and hazy golden orange color with about a 1 finger white head that sticks around for a long time before dying down to a subtle foam. Great retention and fantastic lacing around the glass as I sip this one.

S- Big floral hop notes, with pine and citrus as well. A really nice malty sweetness is also present.

T- Not as bitter as I thought, which doesn't bother me. Nice grapefruit and citrus flavors throughout, with a very crisp malt backbone. Coming from the West Coast, this is a refreshing departure from others in it's style.

M- Very crisp, smooth, and refreshing, with just the right amount of carbonation. This would make a great hot summer day beer. Very drinkable considering it's ABV.

O- I was very impressed with this beer, mostly because it has a very different feel than most of the other West Coast IPAs I've had. I would love to be able to buy this instead of having to trade for it. Another great offering from Firestone Walker.

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

Thanks to HopHead84 for tossing this one is an extra giving me the chance to try another good California IPA.

It pours out that nice glowing orange with a fluffy off white head. Great looking IPA.

It smells mostly of citrus and pine with plenty of earthy caramel malt as well. A nice balance while still being really hoppy.

Taste is similar to the smell. A great citrus/pine hop burst then some balancing malt for an earthy and bitter finish.

Really smooth and easy drinking. Medium bodied and pleasant carbonation. No way does this seem like 7.50% ABV.

Another really good sessionable IPA from CA. A little high on the ABV but its hidden well.

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

Bottle poured into a standard pint.
Bottled on 11/22/11*

A: Golden straw color in appearance, good finger and a half of white head and some pretty sick lacing down the glass. The star

S: Citrus notes on the hop action. Some dankness due to age but some tangerine, lemon, and some pine notes in the back.

T: Nice citrus blast of hop action in the front and almost continues in the back the same way. One way please....

M: Sticky on the palate, abv hidden well.. given the fact, nicely carbonated.

O: Stellar IPA. I close my eyes and see California....

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

Served on tap at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper to amber in color. The beer has a finger tall dense dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a light aroma of rich caramel malt sweetness and strong aromas of pine/resin and citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Moderate amounts of caramel malt sweetness. On top of the malt body there is a strong flavor of citrus/grapefruit hops as well as some lighter notes of pine/resin hops. There is a light amount of bitterness. Overall, the beer is very well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with moderate dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very enjoyable, easy to drink, and I would gladly have this one again. There is a really nice taste and smell for this beer.

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

Thanks to Bobby8405 for the share of the fresh Union Jack.

A - Quite gold with a long-lived white head and lots of messy splattered lace.

S - Big citric hoppiness is readily apparent with additional notes of lime and evergreen. The malt is a little more caramel-y than I'd like.

T - Wow, nice assemblage of flavors, and unusually arranged on the palate. I am getting the rarely-perceived nuance of lime zest (as opposed to lemon, grapefruit, etc.) accentuated by evergreen notes of juniper bush. The hop is tempered by a sturdy malt that tastes less caramelized than it smells.

M - IPA. Good.

D - I mean, it is quite nice, but it is not a standout. SoCal IPAs that are better (off the top of the dome...) include Just Outstanding, AleSmith IPA, Green Flash IPA, Sculpin (obviously), and I'm sure more that I don't know or can't think of.

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Photo of AwYeh
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden copper color with loads of carbonation bubbles flowing up to support two fingers of frothy, towering head.

S: Peach and apricot, floral hops, nice caramel/biscuit malt backbone.

T: Caramel malts make up a pretty formidable base, with pine, citrus, and floral hop flavors complementing it well.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation; finish is a little sticky and dry.

O: Nice IPA from Firestone Walker, really enjoying the smell of this one. It will definitely be incorporated into the California IPA rotation.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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

A- One finger bright white head that fades rapidly and leaves sticky lacing all over my DFH glass. Pours a clear golden orange with a ton of carbonation.

S- Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit, pineapple slices, mango and dank pine needles. Not really picking up much malt or yeast even as it warms up. This IPA is all about the pine and fruit, not much depth.

T- WOW! Really fruity and fresh! Grapefruit and pine sap, pineapple and caramel. Nicely bitter with an underlying sweetness. Very well balanced as I expect from one of the best brewers in the world.

M- Perfectly bitter and balanced with a nice malty sweetness. Really nice carbonation and crispness. Nice fruity aftertaste.

O- Thank goodness F.W. has finally made it's way to upstate NY!!! This a really good IPA. Wish it had more balance in the nose. Very drinkable and no sign of the alcohol.

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

Picked up a six-pack from Whole Foods Market in Los Gatos, CA and was glad it was recommended to me by Brian there. It has a clear golden amber color with a modest white head of big bubbles that disipates to a mere ring quickly but leaves a healthy carpet of lace. The aroma is mild but pleasant pine hops and a vague hint of clean grain. The flavor brings a much more difinitive hop and it's got more of a citrus side. It's smooth with very fine tingly carbonation, crisp but fair bodied for the style. The hop dominance gives way to some malt sweetness and this settles into a very pleasing ipa. There's also a touch toasted oats and oak. This is one solid choice, definitely give this a try!

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,315 ratings.
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