Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,321 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:
1,321
Ratings:
6,427
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
491
Gots:
1,583
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,321 | Ratings: 6,427
Photo of weazal
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SMELL: Of course the hops dominate, but in a mellower, fruitier way that reminds you of apples and then pineapple. It's real pleasant and unique.

TASTE: Immediate onslaught of bitter hobs and sharp carbonation. Despite continual bitterness, the flavor is surprisingly restrained. Some mellow fruit / apple character is present. There's more body than you'd typically expect with an IPA and it finishes with the lingering hoppy bitterness and also whiskey like sharpness.

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Photo of bbkd3b
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at a bar near the beach. Poured on-tap into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice, golden-rod color. Nice bubbling appearance with a 1-finger that, surprisingly, didn't stick around as long as I would've wanted. Decent lacing, though.

S: Pine notes up-front. Gives the impression that it'll be bitter, or at least have a bite. Hoppy all-around.

T: Excellent overall. Hops with a citrus background (grapefruit broke through especially), some apple. Underneath was a sweetness, kind of like biscuits. Well-executed.

M: Syrupy, dry, but a considering the carbonation, it seemed a bit flat. Decent.

D: Very drinkable. It's limited distribution makes it hard to find, but buy a couple if you do find it! Well worth-it.

Overall/notes: A very well-made IPA. The tap was probably a bit too cold, which might explain why I found it so flat, but what can you do? Has enough balance that the hoppiness never takes over. My sister tried it, and she isn't exactly a hops-oriented person, but she found it quite drinkable. That alone makes me want to recommend to anyone for a try. If you're on the coast or have an opportunity to trade for it, take it. It won't disappoint!

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Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Michael's Bistro (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Clear orange-amber with 1-finger wheat-colored head with good retention and lacing.

S: Delicious tropical, fruity hops aromas with solid pale and lightly toasted caramel malt

T: Clean flavor that still tastes like a filtered, streamlined Celebration Ale with tropical, pine, and citrus grapefruit hops balanced with pale and mildly toasted caramel malt.

M: Incredibly smooth and one of the fastest pints around. Slicky and flavorful with low carbonation and great grapefruot aftertaste.

D: One of the most drinkable IPAs around. Rivals Two Hearted Ale as the most drinkable IPA on-tap. Smooth, crisp, with exceptional body and feel.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very good IPA. Thanks to Grabbin2nd for this. i really enjoyed it.

Big protiens in the head leaving very large carb bubbles, very big bubbles, im surprised how big they are. bone white on a beautiful orange-amber body.

Great citrus aroma that is so juicy you could bite it. juicy, juicy, juicy tangerine.

Juicy. you knew i'd say it here too, but it is. i can tell this is fresh as the brightness is great. tropical citrus with out some of the harsher bitterness. a great compliment of a caramel is noticable, probally because they went a reasonable distance with the hops, enough to kick you but yet keep a semi-balance going on. this is good stuff.

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Photo of obywan59
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring into my Guiness pint glass, I got a beautiful, transparent, light amber brew with a 2-finger white head that left moderate lacing.

I get hops first, wonderful floral hops, then a sweet malty aroma that I'd associate with a sticky brew. Some citrusy grapefruit as well.

Rather a sweet, malty brew. High on caramel, again reminding me of more stidky offerings. A nice floral taste in the back of the mouth.

Moderately thick. Not as sticky as the aroma and taste might suggest. Call it lightly sticky. Great flavor retention.

Nicely drinkable. I think the thickness and the ABV slowed me down just a bit.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

Appearance; Pours a nice orange, yelowish slightly hazy color with a big fluffy just off white head that has lots of tiny bubbles. Nice hop haze and sunset orange yellow color.

Smell: Smells like a DIPA for sure. Has the sweet sticky pine, grapefruit, also some caramalized mango in there. Very very nice.

Taste: Has a huge body to this. This has to be a DIPA for sure. Its got a big hop attack followed by a huge malt profile with loads and loads of caramely biscuity malts to balance out the intense hops. Just a little weak in the mid palate but has a big initial attack and a strong finish that goes unbalanced because of the hollow midpalate.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation. Not spritzy and has a great coating effect that leaves the sweet caramel spiked with grapefruit juice in your mouth for minutes.

Drinkability: For an american IPA, its just average. The abv is too high for me and i would just as soon pick this to be a DIPA. not a session beer and really should have the abv toned down a bit or else call it a dipa. only reason its getting this high a drinkabilty is because its delicious.

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Photo of crossovert
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle says 03/15/10.

Pours a nice orangeish gold with a creamy. bubbly white head.

It does have a nice scent, high on citrus and some sugary malt.

Mmm, this one tastes delicious. Nice grapefruit rind is accented by some spicy/herbal character with a nice bitterness. Some pine creeps in in the aftertaste. I love these hops.

A solid west coast IPA in my book.

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

12oz bottle as an extra from BA user monsterzero...served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with almost half an inch of tight, creamy & forthy slightly off-white colored foam. the beer is clear, golden in color. leaves behind a thin wall of lace throughout most of the drink.

S - strong floral and piney hops...quite juicy and with a subtle spiciness. rounded out a bit by some light caramel malts, finishes with sweet hops, predominantly floral. very nice.

T - loads of piney and grassy hops, very up front and pungent, quite bitter. glided along underneath with some sweet caramel malts which come through very forcefully (yet nicely) every few sips. finishes with lingering pine bitterness and a light spice.

M - very thick and syrupy body for the style...carbonation is present but nicely playful in the background. very oily going down but finishes clean with a waining bitterness.

D - solid IPA, very well done if you are into piney and grassy hops. strong and assertive flavors but with a bit of balance. would go very well with some spicy Thai or Asian cuisine. well done here.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear deep amber in color with no visible carbonation. There is a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: There is a moderate, pleasant aroma of piney hops in the nose.
T: There is a good amount of bitterness from the hops, but this is not overpowering due to a good balance with the underlying malts. There are some notes of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden. I would definitely have another of these.

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

This is one top notch IPA with lots of hops and lots of balance in the finish . I hardly noticed the high ABV ( tastes like an IPA not a DIPA) as the beer was smooth and refined. The hops were west coast but not too piney . Like the DBA this is what FWB do best , a flavourful ale with lots of drinkability and complexity

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

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Nice clear, orange-copper pour with a great fluffy off-white head and nice lacing. Huge floral nose with lots of fresh hops and caramel. The balance on this beer is incredible. Perfect mesh between bitter hops and sweet malts. Lots of citrusy grapefruit and sweet caramel with a perfect bitter hop tang. The mouthfeel is well balanced as well with a good mix of crisp dryness and a touch of chewy sweetness. Rediculously drinkable. This is another top notch beer from one of my favorite breweries. Never disappointed!

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, bottled on date of 5/21/10.

This is a fine looking IPA. The body is deep copper even in the thin base of the Sam Adams glass and the soapy sudsy eggshell head has already left a nice ring of lace.

Aromas jump out of the bottle at you, an assurance that this beer will live up to the buzz. The smell leans towards the pine, mango, and weed side of the hop world. I immediately found peach as well, and some grapefruit deeper in. I may already agree that this is one of the finest and most under the radar American IPAs. Malt is apparent but so is its west coast dryness.

The flavor is about as impressive as the aroma. A hefty bitterness is accompanied by more of a grapefruit profile. This isn't to say that the pine isn't backing that grapefruit pith up real well and that I don't taste orange, peach, mango, papaya, and alcohol.

This is a dry IPA, I prefer them that way. The balance between some body, some carbonation, and alcohol/level of dryness is quite good.

I am so glad that Union Jack has lived up to my personal expectations. I think that I focus slightly more on aroma with IPA/DIPAs and this beer delivers. The 7.5% ABV is in the upper range for the style but doesn't really hurt drinkability because the aroma and flavor are so damn good. Take you time and enjoy it. You'll get your hop fix.

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Photo of velosuds
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Purchased for $5.39.

A-Poured a hazy golden-amber hue with a one finger off white head that receded quickly into a modest lace.

S-A very fragrant IPA. Piney and citrus hops, especially grapefruit are prominent and inviting.

T-Hoppy bitterness is very citric, especially grapefruit and lemony esters. There is also a pleasant, bready malt backbone providing a nice, but faint balance.

M-Very smooth and well balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-Very drinkable at 7.5% ABV. Alcohol content is not noticeable. A good IPA, but not remarkable. I would drink think this more if it were available in 12 oz. six packs.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as a generous extra from chswimmer.
Light amber with a thin white head that fades quickly, becoming patchy.
Smell is spicey, bready malts with some piney, floral hops. Hints of cinnamon,pineapple, peach, and mango.
Taste is malty up front, with some dry, piney hops following. Malts carry to the finish, which is slightly bitter from the hops. Some grassy notes in there as well.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a clean finish. Light body, with a moderate level of carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. The alcohol is well-concealed. Very well-rounded IPA.

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Photo of colts9016
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees

Appearance: A one finger frothy light tan head that has descent retention. The color of the beer medium amber color with orange copper highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear clear with a touch of haziness. There is some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: A good malty nose with toast, caramel, and yeast. There is a nice floral ester, pine, and grapefruit. In the background of the beer is some phenols and solvents.

Taste: A very ripe hop flavor. The hop flavor is floral bouquet, pine, lemon, grapefruit and orange. There is a very good malt base. The malt is toasty and caramel flavor. There are notes of yeast, phenols, and solvents.

The mouth feel of the beer is astringent, dry, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is one of the beers that I have tried from Firestone Walker. This is also, one of the better IPA's that I have tasted.

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

A: The pour is a typical looking amber color with a rather fluffy and large white head and some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Plenty of citrusy hops in the nose. I pick up a lot of grapefruit and perhaps a bit of orange as well. Not really too much malt there, but a bit of breadiness.

T: The flavor is essentially a continuation of the nose. Plenty of sharp and juicy grapefruit with a bread-like malt flavor in the background. A mild, resinous bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation and a very crisp finish.

D: One of the best regular IPAs out there and a stand-by of mine. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the East v West Coast IPA Challenge, Rattle N Hum, NYC.

Pours a pale lively tangerine with a rocky white head that leaves fine-tooled lace. Fresh orange juice and fuchsia blossom nose - big and bright. Light Seville orange malts struggle to appear past juicy orange whip and birch hops. Long aspirin finish. Medium and fizzy.

Opens and mellows as it warms - toasted granola malts step up and the bitterness fades.

This IPA does a couple of things I've never seen before: it gets a tightrope balance between sweet citrus and astringent bitterness. Then it totally morphs from a Cali IPA to almost an English one. If I had to find fault, it's a little too prickly.

Mercurial and well-constructed; I see why it keeps winning medals.

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

Firestone Walker: Union Jack IPA (Bottled: 04/27/10) (Tasted 05/31/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Ever so slightly hazed, near brilliant copper colored beer pours into the glass with a small initial head that stays pretty squat, fading down into a film, with some great looking lacing, fluffy bubbles, mounted on a ring of foam around the edges of the glass, that stays intact to the bottom of the glass
Odor: Citrus hops on the nose, juicy grapefruit with hints of orange and juicy fruit gum (Thanks Centennial!)
Consistency: Solid, light end of medium bodied with a high flying but oh-so-mellow carbonation that merely massages the tongue. Hops add a great feel to this beer, oily, slightly fruity.
Taste: This is a hell of an IPA right here, there's no denying that. Hop flavors run all over the place, each of the dry hops come through and shine through. Simcoe and Chinook throw the yin and yang of rough and clean herbal hop bitterness, Amarillo throws orange sap and rind, C's throw the standard grapefruit flavor in the background to round things out. Malt is there for support and nothing else, clean biscuit and dark bread. Finish is off-dry with a load of hop oils holding their initial flavors on the tongue.

Glad this is available somewhat locally now, delicious IPA, exceptionally crafted beer overall! Get it!

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Union Jack IPA is bready, balance, and funky.

It poured a little lighter in color than I like, pale amber, with a massive white head that left rings of thick sticky lace. Many IPAs are bitter but bland; Union Jack has a ton of complex flavor, with a bit of citrus and an abundance of earthy/grassy flavor followed by my favorite pale ale characteristic: funk. This had plenty of funk. The feel was thick, chewy, and bready.

After a very long hot weather bike ride, Union Jack IPA was a perfect relax-and-enjoy-the-world experience.

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Photo of tchenery
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer looks an amazing deep orange color. It has a nice lengthy head, which leaves lacing all down the glass.

It smells amazing. I could smell the beer from where I was sitting as I poured it without having to stick my nose in the glass. Pretty standard IPA smell, but just a LOT of it. Very floral, almost bubble-gummy.

It tastes amazing. It has a very smooth, silky start of malt that edges towards the bitter and hops and finishes very dry and crisp.

Amazing beer. I haven't had one from Firestone yet that wasn't though, so no surprises there.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass (too frosty) poured at Rocco's Bar, Portland. Allowed to sit/warm for about ten minutes.

A: Clear pour with plenty of streaming carbonation cutting through a field of butterscotch/copper orange. Head is short, but epitomizes creamy whiteness; a million flecks of lace speckle the glass.

S: Powerful citrus, a blend of grapefruit and orange, marries with hearty evergreen - maybe a tad on the soapy/perfumed side. Takes some time to develop, but plenty strong once it does.

T: Like the nose, this flexes its muscles right away: pithy, almostly tingly, citrus zest; resinous and juicy needles; and under-coating of thick caramel and candied fruits.

M: A bit on the zesty side, yet not over-carbonated. Body carries some weight, medium-to-heavy feel, with a coating finish of bitter pith and pine.

D: Though categorized as a 'regular' American IPA, this toes a fine line toward being 'Imperial'. It's easy enough to drink one of, but midway through the second you may start to regret it. Or you'll feel so good you just don't care. Til tomorrow... Very worthy...

 1,076 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of 24 taps at the Greenroom, Flagstaff. My second beer, the name pulled me towards it, would it be like a UK IPA, being called Union Jack?

This is an all American IPA, hops to the fore!

The deep golden orange almost headless beer stared back at me, daring me to sniff and drink it. We locked horns and the battle began.

Hops attacked my nose, with hints of citrus fruits attempting to sneek through without a safety net, I laughed and took the hits without flinching.

Do your worst American hops, I'm ready for you. The taste was a hop blend which didn't have the bitterness some US IPA's have a habit of giving you, this was easy drinking compared to many. My delicate English palate wasn't offended in the slightest. I also noticed some caramel notes trying to get out of the glass, but the hops didn't allow anything else to have a say in the flavours and wouldn't let it become truely noticable.

Not a bad experience at all, I must be getting used to all these hops I keep coming up against on my US road trip.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Beer is clear and yellow orange forms a thin white head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is slightly sweet and strongly piny hop. Smells pretty good.

Beer is medium bodied and slightly sweet up front from some malt. Lots of good pine hop character in the back of the palate and overall a highly drinkable beer. Its pretty good for an American IPA.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Arbitrator for this generous extra.
12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a nice clear golden with a hint of orange and maybe the slightest haze to it. A nice two finger's worth of head that leaves a small cap on the beer and really nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A nice smell of citrus hops, some orange and maybe even a little bit of apricot. Some nice sweet malt in the background.

T- I was informed this one is not as fresh as it could be but I am giving it a go anyways. A pretty mellow hoppiness, mostly some orange and grassy notes. I think with the age, the hops become more subdued and the malt becomes more pronounced.

M- A nice medium body that has a good amount of carbonation. A little bit of a dry finish but not too bitter. Actually it has a nice smooth feel to it.

D- For being less than fresh, I still find this beer to be really good. Really good balance and good MF. I think I will be trading for some of this fresh to see how it is.

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Photo of dedrinker
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know about the English IPA reference - maybe just historical context, because this beer is west coast ipa all the way. If I tasted it blind I woulda sworn it was Lagunitas Maximus or somewhere round there.

Really sharp, clear amber/honey/golden color. Lots of floral tropical fruit hop flavors, with a little juicy sweet malt.

Medium-full body with a sticky hop finish. Damn, my bottle is empty already. Drinkability is alright by me.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,321 ratings.
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