Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,336 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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:
1,336
Ratings:
6,485
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
492
Gots:
1,623
For Trade:
13
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,336 | Ratings: 6,485
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, small citrus hop and a hint of pine. In the taste, pine hops in the front and citrus in the end, with a nice malt backing. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry and hoppy aftertaste. Nice hop and great backing, quite nice.

 323 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm so glad they get this stuff in my area in bombers and 6ers now!

A: Poured a crisp, golden color with carbonation that contained bubbles roughly the size of golf balls, and about a 4 finger head that stayed as an idle foam for several minutes. Awesome!

S: Cascade citrus upfront, with a nice caramel undertow. A nice lemon zest (and maybe a little peach?) sizzle which reminded me of Sculpin.

T: This was a great model West coast IPA. Wow! Hop and citrus forward, with a malt middle that cries, "Take that, you hophead!" The sweetness was there, but not in a sugary way, but more in an organic, natural fruit-sugar kind of way.

M: The bitterness seemed to disipate seconds after hitting the palate, the carbonation (which attacked from all sides) added to the sensation. The very mellow finish by the hops, which killed the sugar content, was amazing.

D: When I got to the bottom of the bottle, I was truly longing for more. This is a total wow beer in every sense of the word.

 985 characters

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.

 423 characters

Photo of kk73
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a clear copper with a one finger white head. Head disappears quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

S - Some nice piney and citrus hop characteristics, and a little alcohol astringency.

T - Nice hop bitterness upfront, taste of pine and grassy/herbal hops. Nice malt balance that is not overpowering. Alcohol astringency does not come thru on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied and a little creamy, very refreshing and clean. Not overly dry and sticky.

D - I wish I would have brought more home with me. A nice west coast IPA, and for the price may be one of the better values to be had. No problem drinking one bomber and I wish I had one more.

 692 characters

Photo of ramseye4
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=Pours a transparent golden color, with a one finger head.

S=Smooth citric hops, with grapefruit and and a bit of lemon

T=Mellow hop taste, with orange and some lemon thrown in.A small amount of lime comes through near the end, though it has a bit of a weak aftertaste.

M= Sticky, smooth, and just the right amount of carbonation makes this sit nice in the mouth.

D= Medium body makes this easy to sip on

Overall it is definitely a good IPA, though there are much better out there. I would definitely have this again.

 524 characters

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

Asked waitress at Taphouse in Ghent to bring me something hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised with this gem of an IPA. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A- Beautiful copper amber color sloshes into the glass. Nice white head with some amazing lacing. I'm talking all the way down to the bottom of the glass!

S- Tons of grapefruit and citrus dipped pine going on. A little bit of a spicy floral note. Surprisingly pungent with hop resin to boot. Sweet caramel malt to round things off. Couldn't wait to take my first sip!

T- Bittered with Warrior and Simcoe hops according to the brewers website. The taste falls in line with what you would expect. Hoppy bitterness unfolds into grapefruit, citrus zest and pine paired with a great subdued sweet biscuity malt characteristic. This almost DIPA conceals it 7.5% ABV beautifully.

M- Crisp and clean with a great dry finish.

D- Love the pungent juicy bitter flavor that cascades into the dry finish. Always makes me want to drink more. Union Jack has a very high drinkability.

 1,039 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into my fancy British style pint glass from Tyranena. First enjoyed this on tap at the brewpub this past weekend after long wanting to sample this beer. My positive experience led to my wrapping some bottles in my suitcase for the flight home.

Mildly hazy orange with yellow highlights when held to the light.

Some nice tropical fruitiness on the nose. Pineapple, lemon, and apricot meld nicely with a slightly caramel maltiness to wrap it up. Much brighter on tap, but the bottle version doesn't quite hold up.

An apricot bomb. Dried apricot and skins really jump to the front and center with the tropical frutiness more of a secondary player. Malt presence is solid but helps to prop up the hop profile and make for an enjoyable and damn near chuggable IPA.

Light bodied and snappy, does not drink near the 7.5% tag. With the lines so blurred between many IPA's and Doubles, this beer straddles the line with great success.

 944 characters

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.

 842 characters

Photo of eurekashane
3.17/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-its like it almost can't decide what color it is (i drank out of 2 glasses to give the benefit of the doubt)

s-oddly bread-like. not the floral bouquet i expect from a 7.5% ipa. the nose gives me nothing to look forward to. that is the best way i can put it.

t-the best part of this beer is the taste, and that is the biggest factor. my overall grade on this beer won't factor high given the individual scores of each component, but if if i was helen keller i could love it. it is more than the sum of it's ba parts. it reminded me to not get lost in the minutiae.

m-it stuck to the rear of the roof of my mouth in a creepy way. really bizarre. i would love to know if this resonates with anyone else?

d-this is the beer equivalent of the girl you would like to f in the dark. when you can't see or smell it, it is awesome...

 831 characters

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 BuckeyeOne
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass a hazy burnt orange color with very little head and very little lacing.

It smells like a standard west coast-style IPA: floral, citrus hops (with just a bit of pine but not much) and just the hint of biscuity malt.

Flavor followed the smell exactly: flowery grapefruit and orange rind with a sweet biscuit malt backbone. Quite pleasant and exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA --- might be the best tasting IPA I've had. A bit bitter in the back.

Could stand for just a bit more carbonation. It's more oily than I would expect from the crisp taste.

The 7.5% is well hidden. This is VERY drinkable, dangerously so. The alcohol sneaks up on you.

 704 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep coppery amber colour with a filmy head of white. Looks pretty dark, and pretty filmy for an IPA. Lots of lacing at least. Decent, but not exciting.

Nose is very pleasant, but lacking some of the potency and sweet straight exciting complexity. Some lightly spicy pickled orange aromas, with a big malty caramel and butterscotch character
Not overdone, like diacetyl at least. Decent.

Taste is sharp and pleasantly hoppy. Pretty well done. Caramel is a bit too pronounced but it is killed by the pleasant, direct hoppiness. Feel is a little thin, but the carbonation is spot on.

Drinkable enough. Not a great IPA, but a decent one. I wanted something more, but this is good enough in its way.

 706 characters

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 thatsfine
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a million times but never got around to reviewing it until now. I can usually find the bottle dates but I am struggling on this one. 22 oz bomber

A: Orange-amber color. Clear. One-finger head that retains well and leaves thin lines of lacing.

S: Pine and floral hops.

T: The taste follows the smell. Full of hops and quite a bit of bitterness. Nicely done.

M: Medium mouthfeel, moderate about of carbonation. Fits the style quite well.

D: This is an IPA that I could drink plenty of. One of my favorites for the style. Goes down pretty easy and the 7.5% is well hidden.

I'm not saying anything new here, but it is a staple in my fridge and is always worth drinking. Even better on tap.

 701 characters

Photo of fourplayed
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into 12 oz sam adams glass.

1 finger head, clear amber, tiny bubble rising.

Smells great - mildly sweet citrus & pineapple, malts, mild earthy-pine hops.

Taste - Big earty-pine hops up front, Then easy on the sweet citrus, pineapple, malts.

mouthfeel is very crisp and clean, medium body, nice hop bite and dryness on tongue, lite-medium carbonation, mild alcohol warmth.

Refreshing, drinks nice n' easy. Very clean & crisp, Hops out front with a great supporting cast of sweet citrus, fruit, malts. I'll buy again without hesitation. Put it in my top 5 for this style.

 587 characters

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of citrus and piney hops

T - Just like it smells lots of citrus and pine hops in the flavor

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a good lots of hops IPA it has a good taste thats easy to drink I could drink a few of these in a sitting worth getting sometime

 395 characters

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

A pint at the Stone Brewery on 10/14/10.

Golden with a tinge of amber. Clear with some carbonation. Good head retention. Aroma is floral, a departure from the typical West Coast, C-hop citrus smell. Front end has a bit of carbonation bite, floral hop middle subsiding to dull bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel.

 309 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter, thanks Gobzilla for this extra!

A: Nice amber orange color with a great sudsy head that lingers. Great.

S: Light hops up front with a buttery tinge, followed by a toffee like malt aroma.

T: Well balanced. Some hops that lead to a sweetness of caramelly malt, some citrus and just a tinge of bitterness at the finish. I'm thinking maybe there should be more hops, perhaps this is a bit old? Wouldn't be surprised if it's supposed to be like this, and tastes good, but I would love more hops.

M: Medium, smooth with good carbonation.

D: Very good IPA, solid easy drinker.

 611 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a deep bright copper, forms a billowing head off whitebeige coloredwith a dimpled biscuit appearance floating well above the rim of my Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Aromatics offer up intense floral, citrus, earthy hops. Almost perfume like hop nose, this beer smells great, ample bready fruity kick from the balancing malts another beautiful well created West Coast hop bomb. Sugar coated hops the interplay between malt and hops is beautiful sharp bitterness citric rinds with orange marmalade coated toasted wheat bread. A bit of mild booze and more malts come out as it warms hints of caramel coated fruitiness comes apparent. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied beautiful welcoming hop burps billow out, carbonation is dead on perfect for the style slight resinous texture going on. Drinkability is incredible another excellent well made brew from Firestone Walker, another West Coast IPA. A shipment from Hi Times in Costa Mesa was a very much needed birthday present to myself.

 996 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 DmanGTR
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must thank my buddy who lives in WA for this one. Ryan is the man!

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip at 45°F.

A nice clear pumpkiny hue that is more of a golden honey in the light. Wonderful billowing head that retains quite well. White patches and spiderwebs of lace all over the glass. Retaining as a thin white cap with pearly bubbles. A swirl brings forth a nice refreshing pine and grassy scent, nice sweetness reminiscent of honey in the background. I do find a slight tinniness in the aroma though, but it doesn't detract too much from the experience. Lightly caramel with floral overtones commence the taste portion, followed quickly by a nice English biscuit malt backbone, bringing forth a heavy dose of pine, spruce, and bitters, but well balanced. The carbonation is a fine level, not too prickly, yet not too soft. It helps to bring out the last little bit of hop aroma as each sip is finished. 7.5%? I can't even taste the alcohol. Highly drinkable and highly recommended.

Overall, I think this is an exceptional example of an American IPA. Quite assertive, it beautifully melds a strong honey biscuit backbone with the assertive hopping style of a West Coast American IPA. I only faulted the minor detail of a slightly metallic aroma. Otherwise, this is an excellent beer and I thank my friend Ryan for the treat.

 1,333 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating noted. Pours clear and golden bronze in color with a white head of about one finger in size. Some bits of lacing remain on the glass.

Aroma is all hops. Piney and fruity, but mostly piney.

Flavor was nice but not my cup of tea. Rather sweet and overly fruity. The pine notes are noted in the finish but this one is full of fruity flavors and sweetness. The bitterness is left way behind. The bitterness is there at the very end but not much in the flavor up front.

A bit watery on the mouthfeel with low carbonation. I just didnt enjoy this one that much. It looked good and smelled good but the taste and mouthfeel were not pleasing to me. DRinkablity was low but certainly wasnt anything gross. I wouldnt purchase this again.

 797 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dull orange in color. Pours with a 1/2" of foamy white head that quickly reduces to a very rocky surface coating. Copious lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt, citrus, and spicy hops.

T: Mildly sweet caramel malt, grapefruit, pine, and some moderate bitterness. Finishes with a bitter bite.

M: Medium with appropriate carbonation.

D: Overall, a good IPA. Maybe a bit on the sweet side, but the hops are still the focus and I wouldn't consider this a flaw.

 465 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a lively head that sticks slightly. Aroma is hoppy and sweet, very citrusy and floral. The flavor is powerfully citrusy, with a perfumy character that lingers long in the mouth. The bitterness is strong and smooth. The mouthfeel is thick and clingy. Very tasty.

 287 characters

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Haven't reviewed an IPA in a while.

A - Perfectly clear, fresh honey golden color. The head is a bit sudsy. Laces a bit, kind of sparse.

S - Wow. Piney citrus. Loads of hop aroma.

T - The flavor is sweeter than I expected. With the nose, I expected a haymaker of hop bitterness, but it was actually fairly subtle to me. The hop flavor is more citric than anything.

M - Medium-bodied, nice feel.

D - Although it's a little sweeter than I prefer for the style, I certainly wouldn't refuse two or three.

 508 characters

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,485 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe