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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,332 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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

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: 1,332 | Ratings: 6,468
Photo of mwa423
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a slightly hazy dark gold with a thin white head that quickly disappeared with little lacing.

S - Mix of light sweetness and lots of citrus/pine hops and a dirt like smell as well. Very well balanced aroma that is about perfect for an IPA.

T - Awesome flavor, perfect blend of citrusy hops at both the beginning and end of the taste. The middle is some light sweet maltiness.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich and thick. The hops leave a pleasant tingle on the tounge. Very drinkable and hard to keep in the glass.

Overall, I wish this was something I could get on a regular basis. Great IPA!

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Photo of degerbah
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orangish into my pint glass. Very little head at all. Not nearly as much hop aroma as I would have expected, but I'm not dissapointed by the taste. lots of hop bitterness that is lightly offset by a very sweet malty backbone. incredibly drinkable without any real hint of booze. The balance makes this a great multi-purpose drinker and I wish that it was available in Ohio.

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Photo of BarrelO
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber body. Respectable white head that lives a bit of lacing.

S: Like a cross between a pine forest and a fruit bowl. Dazzling.

T: Chock full of piney, grassy, and citrus flavors. Plenty bitter, but not excessively so. This one is big on IPA flavor but more restrained when it comes to IPA bitterness.

M: Oily and syrupy.

D: Everything an IPA should be. Thumbs way up.

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

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Almost perfectly clear orange copper, just the slightest haze. I poured a little hard and left an enormous head with pretty good retention and some sticky lacing. No, glass destroying lacing-- I'll have to scrub this one.

Smell: This is just a damn fine hoppy smelling beer. Bitter and sweet citrus with orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. There's pine and some sticky bud too. Westside. A little caramel malt sweetness too. Not overpowering, just a solid and balanced IPA.

Taste: As good as the smell. Resiny, piney, and bitter grapefruit more than sweet citrus hops flavor. Bitter, but "balanced" by a tasty and complex tasting maltiness-- not just caramel, but a spicy, slightly toasty malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and on the full side for an IPA, although this is on the big side for a regular IPA, so thats not too surprising. Good carbonation. Resiny finish.

Drinkability: Just fantastic. Its a little on the pricey side, at least here on the east coast, but at least its available. I'll be buying this one over and over.

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Photo of ccrida
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught pint at the Dog & Pony, Union Jack is pale orange with a creamy white head that leaves very light, foamy lace.

Smell is pungently hoppy, pretty classic west coast hop profile, heavy on the resin. Some nice apricot sweetness rounds it out.

Taste is similar, a nice big hop bomb, with minimal malt to stand in the way. There's a firm bitterness for sure, and some ethanol to remind of it's bite, enhancing the spiciness of the hops, but it's a fairly easier drinker overall.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, with an oily slipperiness.

Drinkability is pretty good, it certainly satisfies my hop craving. On the other hand, so aggressive it's a bit of a palate buster, and one that would quickly lead to fatigue, of both the taste buds and the mind.

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Photo of claspada
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an average amber, maybe slightly darker with great clarity. Not much of a head, but decent lacing.

Aromas are quite west coast. Pine is the big one, with slight citrus notes, cant detect much malt at all at this point.

Taste follows the nose but is not the only component. The sweet bready malts also showcase and are extremely enjoyable. Hop bitterness and flavor also are prevalent.

Overall this is easy drinking and very tasty. Great beer, wish I was on the west coast to enjoy it often.

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

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Apricot/orange see-thru body with 2 fingers of fluffy off-white head. Good retention, with a fair amount of sticky lacing left in the upper portion of the glass.

Fresh hop aromas jump out of the glass, pungent and lively. Malty sweetness is present, but doesn't overwhelm. Tastes pretty much as advertised. Plenty of tropical fruits- grapefruit, orange, pineapple- with enough caramel to enhance the juicy feel, but not much more than that. The citrus yields midswallow to a resiny pine presence that dries out to a sticky finish. Some prickly pine bitterness lingers.

Overall impression: Nothing to complain about here. Nice IPA, easy recommendation.

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Photo of david18
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce pour of this at Rattle N Hum in Midtown Manhattan. I wasn't sure if I had had this before but was glad to try it either again or for the first time. Darker in color than a typical IPA with a little less carbonation that I had hope but otherwise I liked this beer a lot. Great Hop aroma and flavor. Good strong taste of malt as well. I liked it.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice and clear solid golden color with some nice light amber hints. The head is nice and white with some slight ivory hints. Very dense bubbles with some bigger medium sized bubbles. The head is about 1.25 in thick and recedes very slowly leaving some very nice lacing.

S - The aromas is very apparent from the first pour nice strength on the nose. Nice sweet grapefruit aroma first with some slight alcoholic ester. Fresh pine forest during early fall smell. Slight woody aromas as well. Very delicious. In terms of hop aroma its up there with the best of them. Nice caramel and toffee scent on the back end of that nose.

T & M - Delicious grapefruit sweetness to start with. Very welcoming citrus feel and an extreme piney hop resin flavor. So delicious and slightly oily and viscous. There is some slight caramel sweetness in the middle as well as some nice bready and grainy flavors. Finishes with a nice toasty malt backbone that is a nice addition to the more citric and dry grassy finish from the hops. Pretty bitter and flavorful brew. There is a nice boozy warmth and sweetness mixed in there as well but it acts as a compliment and does not overwhelm at all. Its good and crisp and medium bodied with a strong hop profile that balances well with the toasty malt.

D - Very high even with the higher ABV. Would be perfect with a 6.0%.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights that a thin white head and left a little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel malts pop out first longaide candy notes, citrus, bready, and faint hop aromas that real don't make a statement for a IPA.

T: the hops did show up on the taste some what but they weren't as potent as I thought they would be. The caramal malts held it down on the backbone with bready and citrus accents: not real punchy.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that was not real prickly but had a sweet, slight bitter, and oily finish.

D: it drank really good but didn't have the hop punch and hop profile that I expect from a west coast IPA; maybe it wasn't as fresh.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a vibrant amber orange color with moderate amount of carbonation and very good head retention.

S - Very pronounced pine and citric grapefruit with crisp and crackery malt. Also has semi-ripe pineapple in the nose.

T - For a single IPA, VERY impressive! WOW! HUGE pineapple, pine, generous amounts of ripe grapefruit, and dry, crackery malt.

M - Finishes semi-dry and very crisp, lighter side of medium body.

D - Exceptional.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: translucent; lighter copper color for an IPA, almost like a dark blond. Decent head retention with mild lacing.

A: grapefruit-like citrusy backbone followed by a dominant hop flavor. Hints of apricot and pine.

T: sweet citrus notes upfront followed by a piney after taste.

M: mild carbonation; dryness after each sip makes one want another sip... also lleads to a quick empty glass!

D: light carbonation allows for several to easily be consumed on a warm summer night.

Overall, this beer always leaves a good impression.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of djmichaelk via trade. Thanks!
Bottled on 6/24/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Light amber colour - not cloudy at all, with one finger of bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Initial nose is well balanced with some bitter citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

T - A well balanced IPA with a significant malt sweetness and some citrus and piney hops. The hops are not overly bitter or flavourful but the bitterness does linger in the finish. Would love a little more hop punch in this one. The malt profile is somewhat more dominant on the palate than the hops are.

D - A good IPA. Not spectacular but one that I would drink again.

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Photo of kpoole25
3.02/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured to a glass. Light brown to orange color, a bit hazy, white head. Pretty typical IPA aromas, citrus and pine. Taste was pretty good up front, nice sweet, rich malt, but the finish really turned me off. There was a combination of flavors that didn't play well together on my palate...a combination of alcohol, the type of bittering hops and...maybe the oak?...just left me saying "not lovin' this." Difficult to finish the bottle.

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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 robwestcott
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle a translucent golden honey to a sun king shaped pint glass with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head with nice retention.

aroma of sweet citrus closely followed by piney hops. nice balance between the two.

wow - this is an IPA (?) it's seriously malt forward. citrus and pine are present, but the dark malt is all but in the very front.

very thick, almost syrupy, smooth and slick.

drinkable ? oh yes.

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Photo of dgilks
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Malty caramel aroma with nice pine and stonefruit hop aromas. Good.

Murky, copper colour with a small, off-white head. Middling head retention.

Nice citrus flavours with a note of pine. Interesting, rich malt flavour with moderate bitterness. Good.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Very good.

A tasty beer. Well balanced and deftly built. Almost an American ESB.

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

Poured a hazy copper color, with some lacing. Smelled like pine and grapefruit, with hints of some sweetness. Tase was bitter up front, followed by nice bitterness all the way through, but mildly. Pine and citrus notes are very stron; this is a typical and classic west coast IPA, a very good one at that. Mouthfeel was good, and drinkability was good as well; great flavor and not overpowering in any way.

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Photo of uturn
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into the Samuel Adams perfect pint glass

A: This beer poured the color of a rich iced tea with a 2 finger head. The head dissipated rapidly, leaving only a minimal lacing on the glass.

S: You get hit in the nose 1st with floral and citrusy hops and then a bit of sweet malt.

T: The taste is of grapefruit rinds and citrus fruits followed by a burst of malt sweetness. This beer is on the verge of tasting like a Double IPA.

M: The mouthfeel is of a medium body and has a good balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malt.

D: As far as drinkability goes, this is a very good IPA , but tries to act like a Double IPA with the 7.5%abv, so be warned this is not the IPA of choice that you would want to be drinking all night long.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy, orange/golden with a small layer of foamy head

Smell: Floral hoppy with a malt back

Taste: A bit malty and sweet, but grainy with light hop flavor; tastes like a British IPA

Mouthfeel: Overall pretty light with a bitter finish.

Drinkability: Definitely more of a maltier IPA more in line with a British style- probably more drinkable en masse, but I would prefer a hoppier IPA..

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Photo of philbertk
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Union Jack India Pale Ale-2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV--72 IBU's. (4.65 / 5.0) IPA--Thin lacy white head. Clear bright pretty rich gold color. Big floral grapefruit pine pineapple Cascade hop front. Crisp sweet tangy caramel grapefruit citrus pine hop infused pilsner malt body. Zesty crisp balanced hop spice end. Very floral Cascade hops. Sampled 8/24/2009. $5.49 Each.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Passion For The Pale--Union Jack IPA--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV. 72 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) No sediment. Lacy off white dense medium head. Clear bright gold color. Aromatic floral hop front. Crisp rich dry sweet buttery hop resin pale caramel doughy body. Creamy hop spice balanced smooth end. Rich hoppy crisp malty IPA. Lagunitas Notes? Sampled 8/3/2010. 6-Pack @ $10.99.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bottle with no freshness date poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep orange amber color. No haze or sediment. One finger white head with good retention. Sticks very nicely to the glass.

Aroma: Butterscotch and caramel notes surrounded by nice floral hops. Grapefruit and citrus notes everywhere.

Taste: Nice sharp grapefruit upfront from the fresh hops. Big malt sweetness balancing out the hops. Not much astrigency here at all. Very pleasant and balanced. Not the typical mind blowing hoppiness of the average west coast IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice crisp carbonation. Really easy to drink.

Drinkability: The ABV is a bit high for a single IPA, buit the flavor and mouthfeel make up for this. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall, a really, nice solid IPA that I wish I could enjoy more often. Similar, in my opinion, in flavor profile to Southern Tier's Unearthly. Definitely a new favorite for me in the single IPA category.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This dark-copper beer has a small head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is plenty hoppy, but it's pure American cascades--with the label I was expecting something a bit British. It's pleasant, though. Excellent flavor! It's bursting with hop flavor, while the bitterness never overwhelms. A nice soft, creamy malt layers underneath to provide excellent balance, leaving the finish not nearly as dry as one would expect, though the resiny, citrus flavor lasts a long time. Very good!

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Photo of
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While I readily admit I'm no expert, this is my absolute favorite beer. It tastes great, with a lot of complexity, though again, I won't pretend to be able to explain it. The smell contains elements of citrus and pineapple, just like the taste. Color is a deep amber, and very woody color. When poured into a glass, head holds on throughout the serving. Very thick initially, and though it thins out as time passes, it will hang on for quite some time.

This is my first review. and I honestly hope it helps, as I absolutely love this beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into imperial pint.

A: Pours a light amber with a huge, greasy, dense and long lasting head that took its time to reduce into a thick, oily layer of white bubbles that left a solid sheet of sticky lace behind them.
S: Rich caramel malt underneath light grassy and citrus hops. Notes of grapefruit and pint dominate, with bready malt beneath.
T: Follows the nose with a powerful citrus hop punch that melds into a sweet caramely malt and bitter citrus rind aftertaste. Toasted notes as well. The finish is full of fresh hop oil.
M: Medium-light crisp body, slightly oily, with soft carbonation and a clean mouthfeel. Drinks very well.
D: A very straight forward and delicious IPA. Great citrus hop flavor and bitterness thought out, and very balance and drinkable.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,468 ratings.
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