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.
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 6,467
Photo of ZBowden
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours golden and clear with small lacing head, nose is very hoppy and citrusy with grapefruit. Taste of strong biting hops slight malt, and very smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

 180 characters

Photo of legalpete19340
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright goldish yellow with big thick head. Lacing is good.

S: Very fragrant with grapefruit jumping out. Some lemon, bit of herbalness.

T: Lots of grapefruit, mild lemon, floral notes. There is a strong light malt character that really comes through in the middle like dinner rolls or dry country bread. Fair kick of bitterness in the end but the overall experience is light and citrus.

M: Big and heavy but not chewy.

O: Very good. Fragrant and light with all the citrus flavors a hophead could love. So drinkable.

 531 characters

Photo of BeerWizard
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with about a one inch off white head. It is a good looking beer. The head is actually still there after about 20 minutes - impressive. Nose is heavy, heavy fruit, peachy mango with light citrus. Grapefruit, melon and a little berry flavor, with hop bitters at the back end. Medium mouthfeel and creamy texture. Overall, a great IPA. One of the things I really like about it and I think sets it apart from other IPAs is the heavy fruit aromas and flavors, which gives it a sweeter profile, and then the hop bitters really kick in at the end. I'd say it's exceptional.

 591 characters

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

On tap at 38 Degrees.

Poured into a big snifter.

Pours a nice glowing orange that is dark around the edges and lightens up to the center. A big 2 finger head that hangs around for a while until it falls to a 1/2" of white foam for the remainder of the beer. Very nice lacing on this one.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, citrus, hops, which is all covering up the sweet malt.

Taste is mostly of the grapefruit and citrus. This is not as bitter as most west coast IPA's, but incredible crisp. It's not a malt bomb by any means. Very well balanced.

Insanely drinkable even with it's relatively high ABV. Great on a hot day. Smooth and relatively light body with great carbonation.

One of my favorite IPA's. This is one of those beers that I take for granted since it's so accessible.

 782 characters

Photo of heymikew
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A solid California IPA

Clear and golden, perfect bubbles
Great hop nose and then
A mouth explosion of tropical fruit with hint of lemon...resinous green buds...all harmoniously balanced. Its a heady temptress...watch out!

Refrigerator (in stock at all times) caliber.

 270 characters

Photo of snilsen13
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What hop head doesn't love the smell on this beer? The flavor is super clean, but compared to a lot of others I'm just left wondering: what does this beer do for me besides deliver the essence of hops?

IPA had never been so one-dimensional before I tasted this. This beer is polarizing to me, because after drinking it, I am not reaching for another, but I can't deny that it was very very well made. So? I think its WAY over-rated.

The double jack, on the other hand, holds my interest.

 497 characters

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

I'm definitely getting spoiled when I thought this was average when I first tasted it. It's not average in the least. Pretty outstanding offering, and was like an oasis in a desert of bad beer when I had a pint of it.

Typical IPA appearance. I just never find these to be outstanding looking beers. All you can really tell is that it's not necessarily bad. Clear amber with a nice cap of foam. The usual.

Very good and interesting aroma. Obvious malts, citrus hops, and as one friend pointed out, lychee in the nose.

The beer is bitter and sweet in just the right proportions. Extremely well balanced. Resin in the hops, but that citrus is present still.

Nice carbonation and medium body. Bitterness never clings, leading to a very drinkable IPA.

 750 characters

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

Beautiful amber, gold body held a decent 1 finger head for a fair amount of time. Plenty of lacing even in the Tulip that I poured it into.

S- Hop explosion. A variety of hops were used and its noticable. Followed closely by apricot and some earthyness. Also, a touch of biscuit, crackers.

T- On cue with the smell. This is for the hop heads out there.

M- Medium bodied, coats the palate, low carbonation and easy to drink.

O- Union Jack is probably not a beginners IPA and if you like a crisp, hoppy taste then this will shine for you. At 7.5% abv the alcohol is barely present. A keeper.

 593 characters

Photo of carrionricardo
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the one that should be in your fridge at all times.just a hand down excellent display of what a west coast ipa should be.very pinkey,citrus,grapefruit and even some orange rind flavors but very well balanced. I know why this beer wins awards every were it goes.a Lil advise try the big brother.double Jack.

 314 characters

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

Appearance is golden-orange with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving spidery lacing. There is a slight chill haze that clears up as it warms.

Smells of dark, earthy, slightly resinous hops with a touch of melon. Just a hint of caramel in the background.

Tasty caramel malt blends well with earthy hops upon first sip. Hops brighten up and become citrusy/floral toward the middle. A grapefruity bitterness also shows up in the middle and lasts throughout. Warming alcohol, leafy hops, and citrus on the finish. Astrigent tea leaves in the aftertaste.

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel that coats your throat. Light carbonation and a sweet but bitter finish.

Very drinkable, complex and well-balanced IPA.

 717 characters

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Jeffo in charge of another beer theme. The Union Jack and the Double Jack side by side. On TV quarter finals Champions League. Great company, great beer, great game! Can't beat that night.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Looks somewhere between dark golden yellow and copper. Very clear. Even after a fairly hard pour only one finger of foam that goes away quickly. What's left looks like an English style ale. Nice.

Smells like a classic West Coast IPA. Bits of pine, citrus, caramel and a truck load of hop.

Wonderful sweet fruity flavor on the first touch of the tongue. After that: pine, citrus, caramel and the truckload of hop again. All this so very well balanced that I have to keep sipping to see if my senses aren't trying to fool me.

A medium body, nice carbonation, cream. Neutral finish.

Wow... this is a fantastic beer. Listed as an IPA I'd say the is a 1,5 IPA. One of the most wonderful balanced beers I have ever tried. So much going on yet so easy to drink. Ladies and Gentlemen we have a winner.

 1,032 characters

Photo of laketang
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 12 oz. can
clear amber with a large white head
pine, earthy, some citrus, grapefruit
smooth bitterness, nice hop flavor
medium finish, medium finish
great beer for me, worthy of the price.

 202 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Pours light copper with a faint wispy head. You get a whiff of floral hops, peach and some light caramel. The taste displays an underrated characteristic in the IPA universe: balance. Some citrus tang on the tip of the tongue along with a bit of pine blends seemlessly with the vanilla and peach sweetness from the malt. A second round of hop bitterness brings things to a satisfying conclusion. This is not a hop symphony, but it doesn't need to be. This is simply a very well executed IPA where more subtle flavors are allowed to create a coherent drinking experience. If this was available in Illinois it would join the ranks of my go-to IPAs.

 685 characters

Photo of dbmernin83
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright golden amber, thick head, great lacing.

Grapefruit hops on the nose with some malty sweetness and a touch of alcohol

Holy grapefruit bomb! A citrus hop 2 by 4 slaps the taste buds followed by a nice, sweet malt massage.

Full mouthfeel, not too heavy, but has a nice light filling creaminess.

This is one of my go-to IPAs. Availability plus deliciousness, keeps me coming back time after time. A staple in the diet of any hophead.

 441 characters

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.25/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, and these were the results:

Nice fluffy one finger white head graced this slightly cloudy pale amber ale. Rings of lacing were left on the glass as the chugging commenced - nice!

The aroma was of a fruit forward chardonnay. Citrus and floral scents were immediately detectable, along with a sweeter malt characteristic and alcohol.

The taste was honestly, a bit of let down compared to the aroma. The sweeter characteristics were muted; I was not expecting that from this IPA; it was more of a hoppy citrus and slight grapefruit flavor, all in all, a little too much on the hops part that left the flavor unbalanced.

There is a lingering bitterness on the tounge that isn't like most other IPA's - instead of being pleasant, this one was a little too bitter. It did however, have nice carbonation that lightened it up a bit.

I wouldn't say this is a sessionable beer because at 7.5% abv, it might takes it toll on you if you choose to pound these away all night. It's a little heavy on the palate and the hoppy characteristics made it difficult for me to have more than just one. I would prefer their Double Barrel ale to this anyday.

 1,180 characters

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

Poured from a bomber into my Surly Darkness tulip.

Pours a frothy off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smells of citrus with malts as the backbone.

Taste is a nice mix of malts and hops. The hops doesn't have a super over pouring control over the sweet malts but more of a delicate balance in which the hops gradually wins over leaving a slight bitterness on the tongue and a tingling on the roof of the mouth.

Drinks very well. I wish I could have this on a regular basis as a nightly sipper when I'm watching tv or hanging out with the old lady. True there are better IPA's out there but this one is definitely up there with the best of them.

 673 characters

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!

 1,165 characters

Photo of BennyL1
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes - Quaffed on 2/27/12. Bottled on 1/20/12

Pours a nice golden body, small bubbly white head. Nice lacing and retention.

Aroma packed with lots of citrus, particularly orange and grapefruit. Hint of malt in the background, nothing overly noticeable.

Taste has lots of bitter citrus notes like lemon and grapefruit upfront. Pale malts provide a slight but good foundation. Superb flavor, bitter and refreshing.

Medium in both carbonation and body.

Great brew, one that I could see myself buying regularly.

 527 characters

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

Here is my re-take on this fine IPA.

Pours a nice honey gold color with a decent 1 finger head. After a few minutes, head dissipated to a very fine ring around the edge of glass.

Aroma is of strong hops. Mostly C-hops with some light sweetness. Main components are cool herbal hops, grapefruit, light lemon, apricot and pine. This is a looking to be one good IPA.

This is a good IPA. No, its a great IPA. Firestone Walker really pulled out all the stops to make this monster of a beer. Begins with a good hop punch upfront with grapefruit, light pineapple, and various citrus flavors, then slowly gives way to a sweet caramel malts which really brings this tropical IPA into line. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel was superb. Like Sculpin, AleSmith IPA, and Blind Pig, it is big, full and viscous. Excellent in every respect.

Drinkability is damn dangerous. I couldn't believe that this was a 7.5 ABV beer. Its so good that Union Jack just replaced Torpedo as my IPA of choice!

 973 characters

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.42/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: golden honey with hints of orange
S:lots of crisp grapefruit rind, pine, bread -- very nice.
T: big rich full; lots of malt, hops, and alcohol. Noticeable heat in the finish. The hops and malt are well integrated creating a cohesive taste. This alcohol is really at the high limit of American IPA so it's not really my preferred style. I find it just too much unless I was having it with a big tasting meal.
M: massive. Very full bodied.
O: I can't really find much fault in this beer but I doubt I'd order it again. I'm looking for more subtlety in an American IPA. I feel that the alcohol level and taste makes this really more of American Double / Imperial IPA which starts at 7%.

 686 characters

Photo of BuccoFan
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a quality beer. It's hard to fault it in any category, except that it doesn't really present a distinctive taste. It's hearty and yet smooth, but also a tad bit bland.

 173 characters

Photo of 312HopBomb
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel Tulip.

A: One finger of white froth that settled quickly leaving plenty of lacing. Clear straw color with amber highlights is an inviting sight.

S: Pine needle scent hits the nose with light malt backing.

T: Taste follows the nose with intense pine resin and a refined bitter finish. Not a malty IPA, the hops are front and center.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation

O: A quality IPA from Firestone Walker. They know how to brew hop nectar beers in the West coast style!

 500 characters

Photo of greengorilla
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from a six pack I bought in Virginia. I poured it from a bottle into a stemless wine glass. It was a pretty amber color with a good head. The smell was great. It has a nice grapefruit aroma. The taste is pretty good, but actually a little bit too bitter in my opinion. If they marketed it as a double IPA, it would be spot on. Overall, I liked it, but I would not put it near the top of my favorite IPAs.

 423 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a minimal head and thin, stringy lacing. Citrus and pine on the nose, backed by caramel and some toasty breadyness. Hops hit first (as they should), with tangerine, lemon, and pine, followed suit by the caramel and bread from the malts. Very well balanced, a nice hop profile that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Finishes a bit dry for my taste, but drinkability is high. Damn tasty; this one will definitely be added to my regular rotation.

 465 characters

Photo of spree92
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. into Kilkenny pint glass.
First thing that hit my nose was apple. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the smallest carbonation bubbles I've seen in an IPA. Golden-amber with a beautiful, sticky head. Bitter, but not over-powering.
This is one of the better IPAs I have had in a while.

 304 characters

Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,467 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 FestĀ® Cometh

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

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!