Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,341 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:
1,341
Ratings:
6,529
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
504
Gots:
1,659
For Trade:
13
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,341 | Ratings: 6,529
Photo of ElJacobian
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had the Double Jack before having this one, and it's a familiar but mellower taste. Great smell- the main difference is the tropical fruitiness doesn't hit you as hard as with the Double Jack. Very solid IPA though.

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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 hiku7
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear amber to light copper with a foamy white head. This beer looks great. In my tulip it looked like an amber crystal ball. The lacing was less than great, but that could have been caused by my glass.

Piney, herbal, grapefruit hop aroma dominates. Sweet caramel and toasted malts in the background, but definitely present. Classic west coast hop showcase.

Taste also has grapefruit hops coming through. Substantial, but even, hop bitterness throughout each swig. No sharpness. Toasted malt flavor lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly slick. The body is surprisingly light for a 7.5% abv IPA. Some alcohol warming. Crisp, dry finish. Low-medium carbonation.

This is a solid west coast IPA. Another great Firestone offering. I will definitely be back for more.

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Photo of lenbert
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my first experience with Firestone Walker and an amazing introduction this is! The moment that I pried open the cap I immediately smelled the aroma of hop intensity. A good two fingers of fluffy white head developed that left behind beautiful lacing. The color is a deep gold typical of top IPAs.

The taste is grapefruit hop goodness with a medium mouth feel. This is a fantastic IPA and one that i will seek out again!

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Photo of vikinggary28
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to glass, amber colour with a thin head and nice lacing. Hoppy aroma is carried over into three taste and is complimented with a nice balance of citrus and grass. Great mouthfeel, goes down easy, maybe too easy. Great beer. Skol!

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Photo of shaebs99
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a growler of this from Solomon420. Thanks again!

Poured into a pint glass.
Smallish-medium sized whitish head with decent retention. Color is a golden honey.

Smell is mostly of west coast hops. A lot of grapefruit and pine aroma. I have a feeling this will be a delicious beer

By the second glass, the grapefruit beats out the pine. Not the best balanced IPA I have had, but something I enjoyed quite a bit.

A very good IPA and a nice hop fix. I can't be certain if I could have finished the growler (since I shared with a friend), but I would have liked to drink it all myself. I very enjoyable IPA and I am very glad to have had the chance to try it.

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

(Draft revisited, BJ's, Valencia, CA 2/25/15) Have slowly warmed up to this beer, as it isn't the classic IPA style that I normally enjoy. For me it is a bit malt biased but still a very good beer.
(Draft, revisited, BJs, Valencia, CA 11/18/15) First taste floral and a bit soapy. Almost convinced this recipe has changed. Not nearly as malty as previous tastings, could possibly be due to the fact that I just finished a stout. Oddly, I am still liking it regardless. (3.5)

Others:
Double Barrel (favorable)
PIVO (favorable)

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Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Appearance: Here’s to hoping this offering from Firestone fares better than DBA did. It pours a nice, crystal clear brass color that is typical of IPAs. Carbonation races up from the bottom of the glass, which helps greatly with the retention of the initial one-and-a-half fingers of cream-colored head. The beer leaves a fantastic lacing on the glass and there are no alcohol legs to speak of. Already this appears to be a much better beer than DBA, or than most IPAs.

Aroma: The aroma on this beer is a little light, and it takes some forceful whiffing to drag out and separate any distinct smells. What is there is quite nice, however: pine and citrusy, West-coast style hoppiness comes out in rinds, grapefruit, pineapple, and just a hint of mango. There is a nice, but hard to pick out note of a biscuity, bready sweetness from the malt.

Taste: This follows the nose in the most unfortunate of ways: lightness. There is absolutely nothing in the front of the taste; after a few seconds, a wall of bitter, rindy, zestiness comes in followed quickly by a slighty, juicy, fruity hop character that is not quite discernible as any fruit in particular. This is accompanied directly by a bready sweetness and then bookended by another wave of straight, flavorless bitterness. The overall impression is of lemon and grapefruit, if a fruit must be chosen. The finish is incredibly dry, like a red wine on the far end of the dryness spectrum. It is unique, but not necessarily good.

Mouthfeel: All good beers have a saving grace, no matter how disappointing they may be. For Union Jack, that is the mouthfeel. The carbonation hits just below the desirable mark, but the soaking wet, refreshing, slightly creamy mouthfeel makes up for it. The hops give a tremendous astringency, and the dryness of the finish pulls the beer together wonderfully. Very good stuff going on here; if only the rest of the beer could have lived up to it.

Overall: I really want to like Firestone’s beers, but sadly neither this nor DBA has impressed me thus far. Still, their pedigree guarantees I will not give up on them until I have given all their barrel-aged beers a shot. They just seem to be too one-note for me thus far, and for someone that praises complexity, that really hurts their scores. This beer is worth a try, but I would not seek it out again. 16/20

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Considering how close I live to Paso Robles/Buellton, this took a while to get to my local stores. It did, however, finally, and I'm glad for it.

Appearance: Two finger white fluffy head. Carbonation is visible, rising in a steady stream from the body. Lacing is impressive - craggy, and lasts for some time. Head settles in a half-finger to maybe a quarter-finger. Body is a copper amber if I've ever seen one - in fact, such a solid hue that I'd wager to say it's exemplary. A good appearance.

Smell: Grapefruit, lemon, and other citrus hops up front. Pine on the back. The oak reveals itself subtly, in a slight vanilla and general roundedness. Very hoppy but well balanced. Little to no detectable alcohol. An excellent American IPA aroma.

Taste: This borders on a DIPA, I think. Intense grapefruit and lemon-lime candy hops. A slight bittering on the back of the tongue. Pine. Very slight floral. The oak is less present here, until you swallow - there's a slight astringency from it, and a general subtle woodsiness. Really, quite fantastic.

Drinkability: Firestone-Walker has the potential to become one of the better brewers in the United States, if they just continue making bold beers this way. Union Jack is an extremely welcome addition to their roster. I can see myself picking up sixers of this for some time.

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

This was a great beer. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. The color is a beautiful orange amber color with a 1/2 inch white head which dissapates to a light lacing. The nose is hoppilicious, great piney hops, juicy citrus fruits, and just the tiniest bit of malts. The taste is wonderfully balanced, even though it is a heavily hopped beer, there is the right balance to make it work. The mouthfeel is medium in body and slighty viscous and very drinkable. A wonderful offering from firestone.

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Photo of dgmirelli
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from the bottle into a beer glass, look was surprisingly light and no amber hues, smell faint citrus and pine together, taste starts strong finishes fast no citrus to note despite smell, lots o' hops and a carbonated feel for a strong feel, alcohol is prevalent, good beer for a solo beer night or as a night cap.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into clear mug. Head is hefty but not overly thick, dissipates quickly and leaves great looking lacing patterns all the way down the top. Really consistent how the lacing pattern ends up - don't see this too often to this degree. Brew is very bright golden color; has shine to it, very unlike the drab, guttery look of Bud and Coors. Consistent carbonation and overall very inviting.

S: Smells -amazing-! Citrusy, floral and hoppy, pine nuts, banana, cloves, and even some grapefruit-style scent coming up. 5.0 all the way, can't believe how strong it is to my very bad nose/sense of smell.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Delicious! A very light-hearted citrus-style IPA that still packs a high ABV punch in all the right ways. End result of swallowing leaves you with a perfect amount of bitterness and a malty feeling all the way down. Love the amount of character here; very diverse and unique while still retaining everything that makes IPA's awesome.

M: Creamy, but not overly creamy. Smooth, but actively present at all times. And definitely pleasant in the mouth from start to finish. I rarely give anything 5.0's but this is absolutely one case of a 5.0. I doubt there is anything you could do to this beer to make it unpleasant to drink. If my grandma put her Benson & Hedges cigarette butt out into a warm fallen soldier of this beer from a raging party the night before, I'd still probably have to take a swig or two. It's that good.

Overall: Can't believe I haven't had this until now and it's definitely one of my favorite IPA's from California as of now. I will definitely be looking forward to finding it more frequently in the future, as it's a lot more rare up here in northern California. Overall 4.75, awesome, awesome.

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Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This a slightly above average west coast ipa brewed in the old school philosophy. I dont find this to be "dank", "juicy" etc. Its a split of floral and resin with a muted malt back. I understand why the purists like it. Years ago when I first tried it, i thought it was the best west coast example, along with sculpin, for a wide distro style. Years later, tons have passed it up.

Nonetheless, it has above average west coast qualities and his stood the test of time. Firestones QC is second to none, so never getting a bad bottle is a plus

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On the pour very little aroma - some sweet malt and earthy hop is present. Taste is very thick, toasted caramel/butterscotch, sweet malt backbone with earthy/piney hops. There is a thick pine resin hops character throughout this beer that might be very attractive to some hop heads but for the average beer consumer might be construed as offensive. This is a very well crafted IPA that I would argue falls under the DIPA style. This is basically an English bitter on steroids.

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

a: nice amber hue with a fluffy white head that leaves good lacing.

s: great scent to this IPA. wonderful aroma of citrus and earth. Lots of lemony smells coming from this.

t: like summer. a perfect blend of citrus and pine. Nice amount of bitterness from the hops. this is very refreshing. Alcohol comes out to play a bit more as it warms as due a the tastes of nutty malt.

m: A little light for my liking. not as sticky on the palette as i'd enjoy. Leaves the mouth dry.

o: great taste here and perfect in the heat. definitely fits the west coast profile and still brings uniqueness to the table.

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

Bottled 2/08/12. 12 oz poured into a snifter.

a- pours a light orange with some hazyness, though not as hazy as gf west coast. little bubbles rush to the top. has a porous white head of about 1/5 inch. a bit of lacing.

s- has less of a bright orange nose and more of a bitter grapefruit smell at first, followed by more of that candied orange candy smell.

t- citrus all the way at first. orange and grapefruit all mixed in, with a little of lemon zest. juicy with a bitterness that doesn't last too long. subtle malt and sweetness.

m- light, but creamy. light-med body but more on the light side. alcohol slightly noticeable.

o- i know people talk about wanting the freshest of ipas. but this beer with three months on it is still incredibly hoppy and delicious. awesome beer.

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

12 Oz bottle from Einweizenbitte-a fantastic extra! Thanks for the opportunity.

A-Orange golden color with some chill haze. Nice white lacing that settlesafter a 2 inch head.
S-Grapefuit, tangerines, sweet citrus, a little bit of pine smell. Citrus is slightly sweet scent. Smells great
T-More pine in taste but upfront hops with citrus, lingering pine on back of tongue on swallow. A little bit harsh on back because of the pine resin flavor-too much chinook? Sweet malt is balanced while drinking with some mild toffee flavor
M-Med in mouth, good carbo, slightly oily and taste of resin on back of mouth
D-The back harshness drops this from a 4.5 to a 4 but overall very nice and I would drink another one.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass, A nice light, crystal clear light copper color with a 2 finger off white head. The smell is very west coast IPA with resiny and citrus hop aroma.

The taste is very well balanced. There is a definite citrus hop up front followed by smooth malt sweetness with some hints of fruit. The finish is very clean with hints of grapefruit and slight hints f grass. There is a lingering but pleasant hop bitterness. Even though it's unmistakably an IPA it's not what I would call a hop bomb. I will definitely be buying more of this.

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Photo of prg1976
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip, bottled on 8/16 (thank you for dating your bottles!)

Pours a clear amber color, with a smallish white head. Not much lacing.

Smell is sweet citrus hops. Love it.

Taste is sweet, but dry. Nicely hopped, citrusy. A touch of caramel.

Mouthfeel - good carbonation, not much alcohol present, so it's easy drinking.

Overall, an awesome IPA. I will definitely be getting more of this one.

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Photo of cvaypai
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andrew, womencantsail for this one!

Poured from bottle to globe style glass. Really cool bottle might I add.

Appearance - Poured with a 1 finger frothy white head, recedes rather quickly leaving a nice lacing down the side of the glass. Pours a beautiful amber orange with hints of brown.

Smell - This beer simply smells awesome. Tons of citrus right up front, comes as grapefruit mostly, chased by some earthy and grassy hops. A tiny bit of orange peel and pine can be discerned also. A little tiny bit of sweet caramel malt smelled on the back end.

Taste - This is an EXTREMELY clean beer, the bitterness is there but the least harsh I have ever experienced. The hops come right through right away and come as mild citrus and more earthy, though the pine and grapefruit can be found. The malt is there and evident as a bit of candy caramel sweetness on the end but makes the beer extremely tasty and surprisingly well rounded.

Mouthfeel - This is one of the smoothest IPA's I have had, the carbonation is right where it should be and the body is almost perfect for the style. This is a smooth beer.

Drinkability - I could drink plenty of these, the only problem being the distance. I sure wish I could get this beer here in Wisconsin more often.

A great IPA from firestone walker, my first from them.

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Photo of ElSid
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California

#6

Freshness Date: None

A: A half inch of white foam tops off this hazy golden ale. The head slowly subsides coating the glass as it disappears.

S: Juicy grapefruit and pine trees with freshly baked sweet rolls. A wonderful nose which really activates the palate.

T: The hops leave a trail of clean, crisp, spicy bitterness throughout. Grapefruit and pine predominate but one can also detect elements of flowers, grass, and tropical fruit. The malt is of freshly baked sweet bread and honey, although they are a subdued companion to the hops.

M: Surprisingly creamy with the classic IPA linger and moderate prickling carbonation.

O: Another great California IPA. A must have for all the hopheads out there. More difficult to find than Racer or Stone but just as good and worth every penny.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Russian River Tulip

Appearance: Pours very crisp and clear. Beer is a light amber/gold yet you can see through the glass. Nice fluffy white head retained throughout drinking with lace all over the glass. Looks beautiful.

Smell: I pick up grapefruit and caramel. Earthy pine and even some pineapple and alcohol.

Taste: Grapefruit and orange citrus held together with a subtle malt backbone that still lets you know it is there. Maybe some honey tying the two together? Sweet toffee and caramel. Man this is great.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lots of resin that coats your mouth.

Overall: Wish this thing was readily available in GA! I highly recommend to everyone not just hop heads. Really like how this simple this beer drinks for a West Coast IPA. Could have a few of these any time.

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Photo of travduke
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Chris (GClarkage) for throwing me this in a trade, my first FW brew.

Appearance: Nice light amber body with a 1 finger white foam head with great retention. Awesome lacing.

Aroma: Citrus and pine hops right up front. Nice mild malt backbone to hold it together.

Taste: Yummy. The citric hops hit your taste buds first and then the bitter pine finishes it off.

Feel/Drink: Smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability is as good as it gets. Looks like I need to hunt this down again.

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Photo of Crossmd
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 42 degrees fahrenheit into a tulip glass.

Poured a slightly hazy muted orange with a one finger head and a vortex of tiny champagne bubbles rising underneath.

Smells of a slightly sour (or a hint of mildew?) orange with some slight breads in the background. Not well projected, subtle and round.

Taste is an aggressive attack of grapefruit hops and sharp orange. Gets slightly malty as it tries to clean up in the end, but don't try and really balance out the hops that clearly take center stage. Dries down slowly probably into a 20 second finish consisting of hop bitters dancing around a slightly bready core.

Mouthfeel is relatively heavy/oily, despite a considerable degree of effervescence. But cleans up relatively well and isn't especially cloying or coating.

Overall, a unique beer that's self assertive at best, aggressive(especially for non hop-heads) but with an excellent idea of what it does well. I will absolutely be buying this again.

94.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Very clear golden in color with a fairly sparse head that does leave nice lacing as the pint progresses.

Nose is just a touch of citrus, not overwhelming; very pleasant. More of the same in the taste, with a nice biting finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

A tasty IPA that I will pick up again.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,529 ratings.
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