Union Jack IPA | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
6,767 Ratings
Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,767 |  Reviews: 1,392
Photo of jbertsch
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

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

We pour a dark, honey-orange colored brew. It holds a one-finger head of creamy tan bubbles that retains nicely. A thick sheet of lacing is left around the glass. Carbonation appears moderate, and no sediment is noted. The aroma pops with big citric hops, and an independent squeaky lemon freshness. There are hints of sweet honey and melon. With warmth comes a dirty, earthy booziness, adding some grit. The malts are simple and pale, and hide far on the back. As we sip, huge pine and resin hit first. The lemon from the nose is certainly there, sucking the entire palate dry immediately, with rindy goodness. The alcohol gives a sweetness, even right up front. With the swallow, through the middle, comes a balance from the pale malts, but the hops sing high with more citrus and pine. They continue to bitter, marking the transition to the finish, where they mix with more hop and malt activity. While the finish is hop heavy, it appears more earthy and metallic here. This is the smoothest part of the sip, with a soft sweetness balancing and cutting the bitterness better than the straight malts could through the middle. The aftertaste breathes of bitter lemon rind, earthy hops, some heat from the booze, and some tannin-like tea leafiness. The body is solidly medium, and the carbonation is medium. The mouth is left puckered and bone dry, after an initial sticky and creamy coating. There is great slurp and cream to each sip, with nice smack. The abv marks the upper limits for the style, but the beer drinks with ease.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the fresh hop aroma, and the corresponding hop bite through the flavoring. The hops took on several forms throughout, with citrus, pine, and earth all being presented. This is a quintessential West coast IPA, exhibiting all of the typical hop madness one would expect from California, without ignoring the other components, or the inevitable need for balance.

 1,941 characters

Photo of johnnyboy76
3.25/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jplopez21
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mikeburd1128
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of Phigg1102
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

This is easily one of the best tasting well balanced beers around. Nothing is overpowering and everything marries perfectly. Citrus, pine, malt, everything in the right proportions.

 182 characters

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

12oz bottle, dated 8/27/13 (freshest I could find in Chicago), poured into a Firestone Walker Barrelworks Teku glass.

The beer pours a lovely, clean, clear apricot color, hues of bronze, gold and orange, many noticeable bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A big, fluffy, white head rises 2 fingers high that has great retention and leaves a vast network of soapy lace behind. The aroma is very nice, lots of sticky, piney hops, crisp, earthy hop spice, light grapefruit and a bit of fruit aromas with some rich caramel malt that brings out some sweetness to help balance things out. The aroma isn't too complex, but still enjoyable and right to the point. The flavors are on queue, lots of bitter hops, pine, grapefruit, earthy spice, light tropical fruits, sweet, caramel malt with a lightly astringent alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is nice, a little sticky, very fullbodied, carbonation is lower but with enough zip to feel crisp that finishes lightly dry.

Verdict: A very solid and balanced IPA from Firestone Walker and certainly one of the benchmark IPAs for the west coast style. It's fairly complex, nice amount of pine and fruit with a very approachable level of bitterness making this a very quaffable beer.

 1,222 characters

Photo of ucsbmullet
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of zbooks
3.25/5  rDev -23.2%

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

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

Union Jack pours a pale amber with great clarity and a dense the cap. The head slowly falls to a patchwork quilt and leaves a good amount of lace.

In a land of ever more over the top IPAs, Firestone's strikes me as one of the tamer members of the style. Pine, citrus and pepper dominate, with the pine winning out in the end. Malts take a back seat, but sneak through with a bit of toasted grain and sweetbread. The bitterness lingers through the finish. Alcohol adds a touch of warmth. A medium body is slightly puckering and has the right amount of fizz for my tastes.

Overall, this is a nice IPA. It has a nice hop profile and isn't over-the-top bitter.

 658 characters

Photo of mattycasey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Hendry
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored in hue and crystal clear, there wasn't much of a head but what was there left decent lacing. While this isn't a tropical assault on the nostrils when taking in the aroma, there are most certainly some piney grapefruit and naval orange peel overtones in there amongst the malt backdrop..

Over the palate Union Jack dances gracefully with some subtle citrus that you pick up in the nose, carbonation that does this IPA justice, some oily resins that are present, and there is a pleasant and relatively long lasting aftertaste. There is a delightful light graham cracker flavor mixed with the hoppiness of this IPA that makes Union Jack vey appealing. The malt bill is rather steep but not unlike otherers in the AIPA style.

A well balanced IPA and a rewarding choice especially at the price point,but the malt content is a bit high for true hop bomb lovers.Double Jack gets it done for real hop hounds.

 917 characters

Photo of tedho21
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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

A: A very light copper color with quite a bit of clarity. A finger and a half of white head with excellent head retention and lacing.

S: Tons of two row up front then a blast of citrus hops. The balance in the nose is really incredible. Reminds me of Flower Power in that regard. A touch oxidized but they did just get to NY.

T: Amazing balance. This is probably the beer that splits the middle between east and west coast IPAs the best. It is super hoppy and super malty at the same time. Bready. Citrus. Really well done.

M: Nice thick and coating medium body. Carbonation is soft and never harsh.

D: A really great beer overall. The balance really is great. At $12 a six pack it is still reasonable though Flower Power is cheaper and fresher here. Really great IPA. Would love to have this on tap.

 804 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice clean amber with a thick off white head. Good sticky lacing.

The smell was lightly citrusy with a touch of juniper. I like the direction, but could use a touch more dry hopping.

The taste was clean up front with just a touch of dry grainy malt flavor which is quickly overtaken by pine and lemon hop notes. has a very even bitterness to it.

The mouthfeel was a bit thick and oily.

Seems like a solid IPA, but nothing special, it seems dominated by centennial like so many other base line IPA's which makes it rather forgettable.

 546 characters

Photo of MinorThreat
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on the Rotating Tap at Maggie Smith's Irish Pub in Centennial Colorado

A-Slightly hazy copper with nice pillowy white head and great lacing.

S-Wow, tons of fresh citrus fruit, pineapple and pine tree. Only the slightest hint of cereal grain sweetness in the background.

T-The nose carries over nicely, citrus, grass, pine and pineapple. Beautifully balanced hops and malt sweetness. One of the best IPA's I have ever had, boarders on IIPA.

M-Light yet viscous, tons of hop oils coat the mouth but has enough Co2 to wash it away

O-One of if not the best IPA in my books, so glad it made it to Colorado.

 614 characters

Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 6,767 ratings