Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,322 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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

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Reviews: 1,322 | Ratings: 6,433
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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Photo of DanOLeary
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Simmzy's Manhattan Beach.

Aroma: Citrus notes contain a grainy characteristic that is almost earthy, but more closely represent ground orange peel mashed together with melanoidin malts. Lemon. Ginger? Not entirely hop focused on the nose but it offers a complex array if you're looking.

Appearance: Pale gold. Light brushed copper. Deep amber. Take your pick. Brilliant filtered clarity that I don't look for in an IPA but it's acceptable. Head holds well as pure white with good lacing along the glass.

Flavor: Huge hop bitterness upfront that briefly gives way to sweet caramel before the hops come back strongly in the middle with an earthy bite, and it's a big bite. Barely enough malt to support the hops here, but for the hop lover it's not unbalanced. Finish is burnt toast, caramel and would you believe more hops? Yes. Alcohol spice comes out in stages but is generally hidden by hop aroma and flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. The intensity of the hop flavor and bitterness will fill the palate with a sting and slightly tannic effect, adding to the mouthfeel but bringing a distinct drying effect in the finish.

Overall:  Since I've been on a bit of a hop kick lately this beer hits the mark square in the face. Huge hop bitterness and gorilla hop flavor. While the malt is only supportive enough to hold the IBU's on your palate, for the hop seeker this will satisfy. For others, it will be unbalanced. Carbonation adds a tingling effect that only slightly lifts the hop oils off your tongue. The barley presence comes off as an afterthought to the Humulus Lupulus.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. Credits to Flexabull for sending me this great brew.

The Union Jack IPA pours a bright golden orange with a very fluffy 2 finger head with great retention down the glass. Nose is west coast hop greatness. Lots of citrus and pines with the fantastic hop finish. Not much going on with aromas. Mouthfeel is much more malty than the nose. A great hop finish rounds out the sweet citrus and earthy notes up front. This is a much thicker IPA than most. Mouthfeel is chewy and full bodied. Drinkability is solid. This is one of my favorite IPA's especially with the drinkable ABV. Thanks again Flexabull, would love to get more of this in the future.

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

12 oz bottle (via trade) poured into a Duvel tulip.
Aggressive pour yielded a light amber with a smallish one-finger white head. Head dissapates quickly but leaves behind a nice creamy lacing. Good carbonation is evident by sight and taste. Nose is a strong citrus (orange, grapefruit) and earthy pine with a sweet malt evident. Taste starts with some bitterness that is almost like orange zest quickly countered by a malty sweetness and a nice, refreshing orange aftertaste. This is well balanced and delicious. It features a medium consistency and only slightly oily mouthfeel. At 7.5% and this well balanced, sessionable it is. As with lots of left coast offereings, I just wish I had enough access to do so. If you are lucky enough, go for it!

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Photo of cavedave
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, cloudy amberish orange, not much head, but a gentle swirl leaves some crazy lace arms.

Smell is full of tropical fruit and citrus, some nice floral hops, lotta sweet, both a candy sweet, and a light bready sweet, hints of tart yeast, and pithy bitter.

Taste is like the smell, a blast of tropical fruit and citrus, holding hands with neutral sweet, and going down the road to a finish that is sweet, but balanced by some nice lemon, and hints of pine and citrus bitter. Pretty juicy finish for an IPA, but tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, low carb., quite viscous, just a bit of a mediciny feel to the finish, but doesn't really detract.

Drinkability, rated for style, is just average. Many more drinkable options out there in this style.

Impression: Enjoyed trying this hoppy and sweet brew, probably won't get again, too many better out there.

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Photo of malthegal
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good lacing, nice foamy white head. Golden amber in color

S - Caramel, pine, and oak hints.

T - Lots of lingering bitter aftertastes, nicely balanced with its initial sweetness.

M - Excellent carbonation, smooth, medium-bodied.

D - A very enjoyable drink, but would probably only have one per sitting due to its sweetness.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to realmpel for the hookup.

Orange pour. Small white head drops quickly. Some nice lacing on the glass, though.

Very sweet, perfume-y nose. Caramel and orange sweetness.

Flavor pretty much follows. Very sweet beer. Some toasty malt, then lots of sweetness. The citric (mostly orange) hop flavors seem to contribute more sweetness than bitterness. Really, the only bitterness is in the finish.

Medium bodied. Soft carbonation. Slick, oily texture. A little sweet and lacking in the flavor department, but an easy drinker nonetheless. Very underwhelming for a West Coast IPA, especially after I read comparisons to Two Hearted on the forum. Not even close.

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

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a nice frothy off-white head that settled into a puffy cap. The aroma is of juicy hops, grapefruit with hints of tropical fruit. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Big grapefruit hop profile but not too bitter, hints of pine and tropical fruit along with a bready caramel malt add some sweetness to the beer. Good hop profile, made well. Moderate feel with active carbonation; great balance. It is a bit heavy but the malt probably helps offset any harsh hop bitterness so I am good with it. Quite a tasty AIPA, great hop flavor without any crazy bitterness. It is a bit big with higher ABV but I will just have to live with that.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a clear golden orange with a good bit of bubbles rising to the top. the head is creamy and slightly off white with good retention and a thick lace covering the entire side of the glass.

S-the nose is quite big, it seems well balanced favoring the hops and is quite oily. some lightly toasted biscuit up front with notes of caramel. hops take over, lots of oily pine with notes of grapefruit in the back.

T-the taste is quite nice and follows the nose. caramel malts with notes of bread. lots of grapefruit with hints of pine and oily hops. a good strong bitter finish that does not linger.

M-this is so smooth on the palate with a medium to light body. Oily on the palate, wet, slick on the back of the throat. carbonation is low but enough to hold through.

D-this is a very good ipa with a nice balance with a strong hop profile and good bitter finish. only had a couple FW beers; but they are nice!

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Photo of berebrando
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was recommended as a substitute for The Elder -which has recently become very difficult to find here in orange county. it's good, i like it and i'm very satisfied.

It is in a 22 oz bottle and the alcohol by volume is 7.5 per cent. I like seeing fighting animals on the label - bears and lions face off against union jack and, it would be my guess that, this beer prevails. Served in a pint glass.

It pours with a thick head that follows the beer to the bottom of the glass, leaving lace from top to bottom. its color is an amber orange, in this light. Slight carbonation disappears minutes after it's poured. Smells hoppy, like pine needles. No significant fruit scents to speak of.

It tastes great. It's well balanced and, again, the hops shine through. Big pine notes with some pine and orange on the back of the tongue. Great flavors, I could drink this every night.

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Photo of klikger
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A - Slightly cloudy, dark amber, very nice head with medium-sized bubbles and good lacing.

S - Oak, caramel, sugary malts

T - Resinous hops up front which are balanced by brown sugar-esque malts, honey, and general sweetness. This subsides into a lingering piney bitterness. Tastes more like a DIPA than most regular IPAs which I've had.

M - Grows a bit syrupy as it warms. Good carbonation.

D - One is thoroughly enjoyable, but any more would be pushing the envelope due to the sugar element.

I've been looking forward to this beer for awhile, and it didn't disappoint. There are definitely other West Coast IPAs which I like better, but this is a very good beer which I'd love to have access to on a semi-regular basis.

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

Clear golden orange. Nice frothy offwhite head. You can tell theres gonna be great lacing... and there are. laser etched patchwork.

Grapefruit and juicy OJ. floral and pinapple, touch of resinous pine. slightly toasty biscuit.

Juicy floral, citrus, and pineapple roll over the tongue, kicking it as they pass by. backed by a toasty grainy caramel biscuit that stands aside to the hops letting them flourish. Great bitterness that is refreshing and not overpowering.

med/light body. smooth, slightly creamy, refreshing, with a little dryness. well carbonated.

Very tasty IPA, super drinkable. Hopped like a DIPA, right up my alley. Labels can be deceiving, I must've passed this one up several times due to the label not really grabbing me. Now I'll be on the lookout for it!

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Photo of livewire78
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red color. Nice fluffy head that dissapated into nice lacing down the glass.

Smelled of citrus. Grapefruit and orangepeel. Tiny bit of alcohol.

Starts off with a nice, very pleasant and unexpected sweetness. Next wave is an intense blast of citrus. Follows the nose. Grapefruit and orangepeel. Bitterness is moderate and not nearly as intense as the initial wave of citrus hoppiness. Malt is definitely in the background. Alcohol at the end that fades into a nice long crisp finish.

Pretty good slickness in the mouth. Not oily but not watery either.

If drinksbility means," Do I wanna drink this forever?" than this is perfect. The citrus is a little one sided, though and I would get bored in about five hundred years.

By far my favorite IPA so far. You darn west coasters are lucky to have access to this. I freakin go nuts over Firestone Walker!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 4/22/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle in my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops and a tiny bit of soap.

t - Taste is citrus and pine hops, as well as some smooth malts.

m - Very smooth. Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty nice IPA. Some nice citrusy hops in the smell and taste and a nice smooth mouthfeel to it. Would have again.

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Photo of bamadog
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woot! #400! Review is from notes taken on 4/20/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a light coppery color and starts with a one finger, off-white head that fades rather quickly to a full, thin and uneven (yet kind of chewy looking) skim; body is pretty clear and shows strong carbonation bubbling up and sticking to the sides of the glass as well; nice strands and spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Very nice smell, loaded up with citric hops that are reminiscent of juicy orange, as well as the bitterness that would accompany the peel of said fruit; very slight sweet malt presence in the far background, and there is also a very faint whiff of alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste: Very nice! Much like the smell, loads of hops that are full of orange citrus aspects, as well as the bitter peel; very light maltiness that adds just a little bit of sweetness to the juicy orange flavor, but still allows the bitterness to shine through; while the alcoholic whiff is present in the nose, it's entirely masked in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, so it's a little thicker and heavier than many other IPAs that I've had; nice and strong carbonation that is lively, but not sharp at all; a very thin and light stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth; belly is left just a little warm.

Drinkability: All freaking day. This beer is great! Wonderful bitter and juicy citrus flavors make it very refreshing, and even though the body is just a tad heavier than many other IPAs, it's still not too heavy so it won't slow you down or make you feel bloated or anything. The ABV is a little higher at the 7.5% mark, but hey, I'd totally moderate and quaff these all day in the warm summer months.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the biggest and boldest out there under the label of single ipa. Big deep amber color. Good hop aroma. Dry hopping seems obvious.

Same in the taste. Its a big one. Everything is in order though. What you'd expect, citrus, pine/apple, good dough malt feel absorbing much, enough hint of alcohol to tell you to watch out and pace yourself. Thoroughly enjoyable, wish it was a little cheaper, don't find it too often for less than 8.99 a 6.

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

Thanks to drink1121 for throwing this one my way from CA. It's been a while since I've sat down and rated a great straight up IPA. I'm glad to do it with this one.

Pours a nice golden shiny orange with a full head of cream colored froth that becomes denser as it settles. Leaves nice hanging lace.

Smells wonderfully of hop juice - pine, grapefruit, peach, tangerine, with just a hint of nuttiness and a nice resinous note. Malt is negligible, though lightly biscuity through the juicy front end.

Nice full IPA character in taste, with just enough dry light grainy malt to hold up the bright and mildly chewy hop flavors. More grapefruit and resin, with just the right amount of spicy flavor sliding into bitterness at the finish. A little lingering fresh bread doughy yeast after.

Spot on feel, medium bodied with a hint of dry but sticky resin in the end. Carbonation is balanced nicely.

Drinks very easily, but holds its own in heft. Great to sip and would have some more if they were around. Satisfying, though, and quite a tasty representation.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Kegatron.

Pours a nice golden amber color with one finger of sticky white head.

Scent of fruity, citrusy hops, pine and a nice caramel maltiness. The malt body is a little strong for my taste, but the scent is still good.

Taste of citrus, pine, grapefruit, and caramel malts with a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and somewhat oily with good carbonation.

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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 pmccallum86
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this awesome IPA.

Pours a golden amber with an off white head that is light and thin.

Very floral aroma, lots of citrus here. Some lemon zest as well, terrific smelling IPA.

Lots of fruitiness, floral notes, citrus, and lemon. Awesome tasting IPA, light malt backbone with a bitter hoppy finish.

Smooth and bitter with medium carbonation, this beer is terrific in the mouth.

Very solid IPA, I would think this beer would garner more attention than it currently does, very good.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle I picked up in Vegas on a recent trip into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - golden orange-amber color with a tiny white head, a very light lacing sticks to the inside of the glass

S - pineapple, mango... all the citrusy hop flavors that I love are the first thing I notice. After a deeper smell I think I detect a sweet milky caramel background. This really hits all the desirable IPA flavors for me.

T - The citrusy hops dominate up front on this then give way to a lingering piney bitterness. a hint of a caramel like malty presence finds itself in the middle of my tongue.

M - Syrupy medium body with just the right amount of carbonation

D - Pretty easy drinking IPA that provides a lot of amazing flavor. If you want to stop and think about this one it has the depth but if you wanna just sit back, relax and enjoy your brew then it can fulfill that need too. I would pick this up again in a heartbeat. This is definitely one of the best single IPA's I've ever had.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Jayli for this one.

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, tan in color, high carbonation

Smell: big dose of pine hops, some citrus hops and toasted malt

Taste: sweet caramel and toasted malt in the beginning, spices and pine hops in the middle through the end. A touch of toffee shows itself at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, high carbonation, slightly sweet start with a moderately bitter middle and a less bitter end

Drinkability: A very good and nicely blended IPA that has hops but is not a hop bomb. The alcohol is well hidden. I could have two or three. I wish this was available down here.

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

L - Amber honey with wonderful carbonation that continues as it sits. Very slightly cloudy, with a nickel's worth of head and a slow fall. Nice lacing as it does.

S - Cereal, with a grapefruit overtone.

T - Surprisingly balanced at first sip. Bready but not overly malted. No hop bomb here. Long finish, ending with a light hops to clear the palate. Others have described citrus and pine, and I can see why.

F - Silky mouthfeel.

D - Goes down very easy. I'm not usually a fan of IPA's but this has won me over. Overall, a complex beer and very drinkable.

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

Split a six pack with some buddies after finding this in New York. 3/10/10 printed on the side. Enjoyed on the first hot day of the year while grilling some burgers.

Poured straight into my shaped pint glass, it has a tame one finger white head that sits atop a bright copper liquid. Perfect clarity. The head is a little spacey with some big bubbles but it leaves great lacing and has good retention.

The aroma is freshly hopped and seems to have almost every trait of American hops that I can think of. Fruity is forefront, with a bit of apricot. Spicy and floral follows with some pine in the back to balance. It kind of reminds me of the smell of sweet wort after a flameout addition of grassy hops.

The taste is nice and balanced. It's surprisingly dry and refreshing as well. Bitterness rides in solidly with a bit of pine, orange, and grapefruit flavor. The sweetness of this beer is great. It adds a nice complement to the hop flavor by bringing a full, fruity malt character and a lot of "thin" caramel notes. The fruity character makes me almost certain they use an English yeast.

The mouthfeel is dry in the finish with a nice lingering hop note. Up front it is light bodied, especially for such a big beer. Still, the low carbonation and fruity malt fullness makes this beer feel better than your average IPA. This was a good beer for a nice spring day, but the high ABV really brought the buzz. I would get this again.

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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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