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 BethanyB
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big, off-white merengue-like head floats above a beautiful, slightly hazy body of deep amber. A complex hop profile laden over toasted malt makes for an intoxicating perfume. Citrus, floral, resinous, and grassy notes exist in harmony both on the nose and the taste buds, which also bear some sugar and spice via caramel malt and peppercorn. Medium-high carbonation hits the tongue right away and provides a dry finish whose bitterness is enhanced by a juicy grapefruit aftertaste. The body is also somewhat creamy, motivating the drinker to sip slowly and enjoy the many layers of this round, balanced recipe. Not too much excitement, but an enjoyable execution devoid of flaws.

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Photo of Martine
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours clear orange into a tulip glass from a 330ml can; head is white, 4 fingers high, and smooth with moderate retention. It takes ages to lessen.

The nose is all clementines, grapefruit, lychee, apricots, and some pine underneath. It isn't overpowering like some AIPA's but I got a noseful the second I opened the can. There's also a floral quality to this aroma, as well as a malty, hoppy base.

The taste follows the nose, and then some; tropical fruit, grapefruit, citrus, and melon assault the tongue followed diligently by big resiny pine forest, grass, floral notes, and then coasted over in a fresh, bitter wave of hops which chase the fruit all the way down. It's gorgeously refreshing, sweet, and cool with beautifully balanced flavours. I was shocked to discover this was 7.5% ABV, you can't tell in the slightest.

In the mouth it feels as smooth, wet, and fresh as fruit juice, no oiliness, clinging or drying quality. It's light-medium bodied, with low carbonation.

This for me is one of the better AIPA's out there in terms of balance, and overall refreshing quality. My go-to IPA from now on, this is outstanding.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 03/03/16:

Semi-clear golden amber in glass. Foamy, soapy head tan in color with good retention. Fairly clean smelling, but not weak. Citrus oils mostly, resin and pine in the background. A little biscuity malt aroma as well. Somewhat crackery, somewhat tart, and incredibly citric throughout, especially oranges. Resin and pine again, peppercorn in the back. Perfect bitterness to it. If I wanted a new beer drinker to have a representative West-Coast IPA, this would definitely be an option. Medium-bodied and almost syrupy but for the prickly and then creamy suds, crisp.

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Photo of lazarwolf
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Deep gold almost orange with a lingering head.
Smell - Not a tremendous aroma when you open the can or bottle. I get a little
Taste - Tastes like an English Pale ale with notes of American Hops. Definitely grapefruit and a little citrus, a little pine. but the flavors are a bit muddled. Overall a very good flavor. Mostly it just tastes of hops. My pallet isn't the greatest but I cant pick out much more than grapefruit and a note of citrus, and some pine.
Feel - resinous - you can feel the hop oils on the top of your mouth after you swallow.

A very good example of an american IPA that I suspect is made in the British tradition. need to look up the clone recipe and see how close I was.

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Photo of zshaft
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours nice clear light Amber. minimal head. smells of nice grapefruit rind and maybe some melon. good mouthfeel with nice blend of grapefruit and ugli fruit with some citrus mingling in the middle of the palate. funishes with a bitter sweet fruity end palate. this is a great ipa and is refreshing while not wussing out on the hop punch. while double jack may be better this is only a single ipa and rivals its big brother.

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Photo of jaehongcho
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is very clear, pale gold with a slightly orange hue. The head was an inch thick but dissipated quickly. Nice lacing though. Aroma is of pine first, bubblegum second then grapefruit with plenty of dankness. In terms of taste, it's fairly malty, which I don't usually like. It's followed by sticky, fruity sweetness. Bitterness of grapefruit is met with a sturdy malt backbone. The aftertaste is fairly dry. Mouthfeel was good but it was on the harsher end for me. I would think it should be carbed a little further.

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

Appearance - clear gold in color, amazing retention along the glass and a small head that doesn't go away. Smell - hoppy, fruity, a tad piney. Nice balance. Taste - this is where the magic happens. It follow the nose but this is insane. The fruitiness comes through and the hops take a back seat and it is very smooth and dangerous. Overall - tastes amazing. Looks amazing. Is amazing. Believe the hype on this. Girlfriend hasn't tried this yet but I am sure she'll say it smells but tastes good. ;)

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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 garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Attractive with a clear golden color and large white head.
Great mix of citrus aroma with grapefruit (sweet and tart) and orange and maybe even a little lemon. Really nice. Enough of a malt base to pick up bits.
Smooth bitterness and hops flavors blend well. The bitterness picks up steam but this is still cold and I figure it will mellow as it warms.
Really drinkable with a soft and smooth carbonation and a below moderate feel.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L" Yellow gold with a finger of white head. It lingers. Leaves a thick lacing down the glass.

S: Bread, citrus pine.

T: Follows the nose. Nice pine bitterness on the finish. Balanced well, but still quite hoppy.

F: Medium bodied, modertely carbonated.

O: Not sure why it took so long to finally get at this. This is one of the best.

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Photo of rarigney
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish golden, crystal clear beer with a moderate amount of head. Fruity and floral aromas. Moderate bitterness with nice carbonation. Probably one of my top three or four IPAs.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can, really gold, hazy dank beer with some sticky, white froth and lacing. Citrus, pine, touch of bitter make for a surprisingly unoffensive, instantly rewarding and top notch drank. They know what I like and they do it well. Uniqueness that one seeks in a new beer. Bright citrus tones highlight the semi dry aftertaste. Absolutely top pier brewski.

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Photo of Chadpaq
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"10/20/2015 " stamped clearly on the front of the bottle, so seems to make sense to tack on a half bonus point in the appearance category. Beer itself is spectacular looking, with a thinnish head and minimal lacing. Others have said otherwise, and the lack of head's probably due to my overly cautious pour. I think this glass is like 11.5 ounces.

The beer redeems itself on the nose. Citrus-forward, which is what I was looking for. Balanced, with bready and malty notes on the back end.

Taste is much of the same: hop resin on the front end with a complimentary malty finish. This beer does taste every bit of its 7.5% abv. First impression was that of a slightly less aggressive and more "balanced" (in the truest sense of the word, but not necessarily a positive for an admitted hophead like me) taste.

Plenty of carbonation to stand up to the alcohol and bready backbone.

An excellent IPA that'll please hopcentric palates and those who strive for a more traditional "down the middle" hop-malt-balanced beer in this style. Cheers.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft. Yard house, LA Live. Shaker. (Re-review 7-27-16, bottle dated 5-16-16).

A: brassy burnished gold, 1/2 finger white head, fades fast. Little carb. Exceptional lacing (lacing not as hot from the bottle, but retention was pretty good).

S: needs to warm up; faintly floral hops. Some resin and citrus. (Sweet floral pine).

T: Like an IPA, a good one. Citrusy, mildly sweet arrival, turning slightly resinous, with a clean (super hoppy) finish that leaves a little tingling citrus (strong lingering floral pine). Quite mild and refreshing. (Not mild at all; starts average, ends strongly bitter).

M: lighter side of medium bodied, less carbonated than I'm accustomed to. Very clean finishing.

O: Not living up to the hype, but I tell you what, this would be in my fridge constantly if I could get it where I live (on second thought, maybe not- too hoppy). Definitely 6-pack worthy (not really). Not a new age fruit bomb, or a tongue scraper 100 IBU monster, just a strong, clean, refreshing IPA. (When I got the receipt at the Yard House, it said Racer 5, not Union Jack. So which was wrong, the receipt, or the beer?)

 1,125 characters

Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on 10/7/15. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden in color with a 2 finger head of white foam. After a minute or so the head fades to a thin cap that stays for the remainder of the beer. Multiple streaks of lacing lining the whole glass.

S: Aroma is mainly citrus hops with a small amount of pine in the background.

T: Juicy citrus hop flavors of orange peel with a faint bit of lemon zest. There is some pine on the finish, but it is nowhere near as strong as the citrus hops. This beer has a solid malt backbone that stacks up well to the hops providing excellent balance. In my opinion this beer doesn't have as much grapefruit flavor as everyone says, but maybe mine isn't fresh enough.

M: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp with moderate bitterness and a touch of dryness on the finish. Alcohol is masked very well for 7.5%.

O: Overall I thought this was a solid IPA with crisp citrus hop flavors and excellent balance. The bitterness was not overwhelming and it was very drinkable. I would drink this again for sure.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Originally, I didn't really drink this one much always opting for double jack. Now that I live in Texas double jack requires driving further to get and the local grocery store has union jack all the time so its what I can easily get. Its quite wonderful and often my goto IPA now.

Pours a golden color with a two finger white frothy head that is retained pretty well. Significant lacing on the glass. Grapefruit and hops great the nose. The taste is a slight grapefruit and a solid hoppy IPA.

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Photo of D9sus4
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My only reason for posting a review is to make a minor point. I'm not a fan of grapefruit flavors in a brew, and after reading the reviews describing this great IPA as having that characteristic, I wanted to state for any other grapefruit phobic brewholics that I don't think that this is an accurate description. IMHO, I would think that a "lemon rind" flavor would be a better description. Other than that, I agree that it has a good malt backbone, slightly viscous, with a lingering head.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nowadays, this is a pretty standard IPA. But I realize I have to come in to this understanding this is more of a classic originator than an imitator.

Light orange amber look, good head with persistent, bridge-forming lacing.

This is solidly West coast, with an emphasis on the bitter over the sweet.

Grapefruit rind nose, with a bit of a lager, even bready backbone--the taste follows identically.

Union Jack slightly scrapes the tongue without lashing like a Zombie Dust or Green Flash might. I can see how this can be a go-to.

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Photo of joshcmn
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally had a chance to try this while on vacation in AZ. This is one excellent IPA. BOD 11/06/15 the freshest I could find. Appearance is crystal clear, pale gold with a slightly orange hue. One inch rapidly diminishing head with intricate lacing. Smells of bubblegum, pine, dank and grapefruit. Would like to smell a younger version of this beer but still enticing. The taste is sweet malt, followed by sticky/fruity/vinous hops, then bitterness of grapefruit tempered by the sweet malt with a drying finish. No detectable alcohol for me which is amazing considering the ABV. Lingering grapefruit rind bitterness with just enough malt to balance everything out. Mouthfeel is neither too thick nor too thin and coats the mouth with just enough hop oils and malt to add to the complexity of the flavor profile. This is a sublimely crafted IPA with complex and balanced flavors and aromas. I only wish I could get this beer at home. Well done FW!

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden, slightly orange with a white frothy/fluffy head.

Lovely hop aroma, its not overpowering.. very pleasant with a few different notes. Mostly floral with a bit of citrus/fruit and pine. Faint malt but its there.

Pretty well balanced taste. Bitterness up front, followed by sweetness, and a tingling aftertaste from the hops at the end.

This is great.

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Photo of bonterra69
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Pilsner glass. Appearance is Golden, clear, bubbly, light on the head. Lacing not distinctive but leaves a trail.
Aroma is very hoppy - Floral, herbal, with a hint of grapefruit
Very balanced. Finishes bitter.
Feel is light and smooth.

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Photo of Lunchboxhead
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a classic IPA masquerading as a lighter beer. Crystal clear yellow with tiny bubbles emit a strong hoppiness that is rather assertive but expected for an IPA. This goes down a little too easily for something this strong and hoppy but it is a pleasure to drink. I woud strongly encourage friends to try this excellent representation of a classic IPA.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite IPAs, as found at the source. Very clear body, fluffy white head. Aroma is a mixture of pine, grapefruit, a touch of malt. Forward bitterness that lingers throughout but is not over powering. Some sweetness in the mid mouth then finished super dry. An amazing beer.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass bottled 7.15.15
was a bit worried when i saw the bottle date but this was a great beer!
pours golden with a thick white head that faded very slowly and left a lot of lace on the glass
smells of hops citrus and pine also smelled sweeter as it warmed
taste hoppy initially and citrus then sweeter as it warmed similar to the nose with a very slight bitter aftertaste
feel effervescent and crisp with a medium body and slightly viscous feel
overall a pretty darn perfect IPA!

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA here, brought me out for another review. Bought a sixer, since I wanted to try, and was pleasantly surprised.

L: Nice bottle, don't know why it never caught my eye before, but the packaging is rather beautiful. Poured into a sniffer with a clear, very orange amber color with an almost two-finger head that lasts pretty well. Lacing sure hangs on tight.

S: God, can I drink this smell? Delicious. Clean, sour-bitter hop character, like there are dried citrus peels just sitting in the sniffer (so clean it almost smells sharp or metallic, like a knife blade) mango (which smells amazing), a little bit of blackberry and maybe blueberry, and just a hint of soft doughy breadiness underneath the fruit. If this were a candle, I'd buy it on the spot.

T: As always, the taste is everything the smell is but, unfortunately, more. Still very soft, but the grapefruit in particular as well as the funkiness of the bready malts, becomes much more pronounced. It appears they may have used a Belgian yeast strain? It has that particular spicy, tangy funkiness that Stone's Cali-Belgique has. If it is, however, it's certainly the best Belgian IPA I've had yet, by far.

F: Awesome: feels clean, just like the smell, not oily, but very smooth. Sticky, with a glasslike feel. Enjoyable, gently, but thoroughly carbonated, and fulfilling.

O: A great brew. Reminds me of a better Ranger IPA, honestly (with a whole percent ABV increase as well!) or of SN's Torpedo IPA with less maltyness. Definitely up there with Bell's Two-Hearted Ale and the other great IPA's!

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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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