Union Jack IPA
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #56
Ranked #1,130
4.24 | pDev: 9.43%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
Notes: This aggressively hopped West Coast IPA showcases stunning pineapple, citrus and piney aromas along with exceptional dry hop flavors of grapefruit and tangerine. This intense brew finds its balance in honey-like pale malt sweetness. The name Union Jack is a nod to the colonial origins of the IPA style, and to the British expatriate who co­‐founded our brewery.
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Reviews: 1,436 | Ratings: 6,970
Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium gold with a 1.5 finger head and some lacing on the glass.

S: Grapefruit and a hint of pine. A swirl of the glass unfetters this aromatic beauty.

T: Bitter grapefruit with a medium bitter finish which lasts for a bit in the back of the mouth (I suppose that's where the beer last touched my mouth so it makes sense). Resiny and piny. I also get some spruce, or what I imagine spruce may or may not taste like (like I've even had spruce). This beer exemplifies a west coast ipa in that it is very hoppy and has a very small malt profile.

M: Light bodied, great carbonation, coats the mouth with a sticky texture.

D: I don't know what the availability of this will be, but I plan on sessioning this on a number of occasions in the future. In California the IPA market is flooded, but apparently FW isn't afraid to get their feet wet and they've suceeded in crafting a quality IPA which can stand up to the best of them.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer a couple times on tap now, and it has as of yet failed to disapoint (even after drinking one into between two Elders). It pours a light copper color with a white head that settles quickly. While this site has it listed as an American IPA, this is a classic DIPA--over the top hops and strong, sticky sweet malt presence. The hops are present, but do not predominate. I would recommend this beer, and am happy this is going to be bottled soon.

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Photo of Zorro
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle says 7.5% ABV so I assume the 8% was just taproom guesstimation.

Clear copper golden colored ale with a near white colored head, great clarity and good looks but not outstanding.

Smell is sweet but SHARPLY aromatic with the hops, Hops Shortage? Not in this beer! Strong scents of pine resin and tropical fruit with lots of citrus too. Firestone's typical oak barrel scents are in this but a bit hidden. Alcohol fumes carry fruity scents mostly apricot and plum. The hops in this hit you the moment you pop the cap.

The taste starts out sweet and spicy, at first the hop level seems a bit low but THAT changes in about two seconds. Strongly pine and citrus at the start. Nice balance very hoppy and fairly bitter but the sweetness is balanced just right here. Fair amount of tropical flavor here and it does remind me a little of FFF Dreadnaught in that way. You can feel the alcohol warmth in your chest and it releasing higher than average aromatic hop compounds in to your mouth. Vanilla, oak and faint mango and melon show up after your senses adapt to the hop levels. This is one of the AIPAs that pushes near or into DIPA land.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super easy to drink AIPA that is quite easy to mistake for a low alcohol beer. Enough flavor here that you would NOT be out of line drinking this like a Double IPA. I could easily give this a 5 in both taste and drinkability but I will only pick one and easy to drink is the stronger of the two great things about this beer. Possibly the best AIPA there is anywhere.

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Photo of younger35
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank on 1/25/08, taken from notes.

Got this brew from The Original Spikes in San Luis Obispo. Was very excited to try it as it was the 2nd Firestone Walker brew I got to enjoy. Drank from a Firestone Walker pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a hazy orange amber with a nice one finger foamy bone white head. Leaves a spotty cap and pretty nice collar that streaks foamy lacing all down the side of the glass.
Smell- Loads and loads of sticky pine sap and fresh spruce tips. Very earthy and spicy from all the coniferous hoppy goodness. Subtle citrus shows through briefly adding a bit of pineapple and sour apple. Lots of IPA's out there with the same nose and this one is a bit unique.
Taste- Exact quote from my roommate "This beer tastes just like Christmas!" Indeed. Pineapple and grapefruit upfront before "Christmas" steps in. Dirty fresh grass, lots of raw pine sap and enough spruce to make me immediately think of Christmas as well. There's a bit of toasty brown sugar sweetness to counteract the bitterness and it does so pretty nicely. The alcohol is kept in check for the most part but it is semi warming going down.
Mouthfeel- Nice full body with a creamy silky feel and nice aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- Well so far 2 for 2 on Firestone Walker brews being ridiculously good. I was tired and didn't really want to drink when we went to the bar but I'm so glad I did now. I perked right up after taking my first sip and realizing how good this brew is. Very easy drinking for 8%. When they start bottling this I'd snatch some up quick.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA

A- light copper with a 1/2' white head and decent retent

S- mellow and fragrant citrus and floral

T- well balanced bready malts with tame yet pleasant hop bitterness, citrus zest at finish

M- smooth until hops comfortably make themselves known

D- well balanced with pronounced yet mellow flavors, i would definitely drink this again and recommend this, though sessionablility is a no for me

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Photo of kleffman
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens in SD tonight. Very clear golden amber color with a small white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Not sure if it left any lacing as I drank it kind of fast. That leads me to it's drinkability - for being supposedly 8%, you can't tell at all. It's highly drinkable and one of those IPAs you can just keep taking sips of until it quickly disappears. The aroma was a very light pine, and hints of citrus, and the taste was exactly that with some kind of grassy flavors as well. I've seen reviews from closer to when it was brewed talking about strong grapefruit flavors, so my guess is some of these mellowed and aged out. Maybe it was brewed with Amarillo late additions and dry hop and that's how they age. Also a toasty flavor rounding it out. Nice carbonation level and a medium body help make this a well balanced brew.

edit: It appears Firestone Walker will be adding this to their lineup, so maybe I had a fresh batch afterall. I read it will be bottled soon, which is quite exciting.

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Photo of shaebs99
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Solomon420
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Firestone Taproom in Buellton, CA.
Might I add that their Firestone branded mustard was the dog's bollacks as well.

A: Nice amber-honey ish color. Nice head retention.
S: Grapefruit, freshly cut pine...very yummy.
T: All I can say is WOW, good stuff
M: Great and easy to drink
Overall: probably one of the best damn IPAs that I have tasted in a long time. Very easily becoming one of my favorites. I am lucky that Buellton is not too far from me so I can easily get fresh growlers any time. This beer stands up with the best of them (because it IS of the best) and would recommend this refreshing brew to anyone in the area.

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

8/11/07- Had on tap at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Light amber in hue with a soft, smaller creamy white head. Excellent lace markings.

Smell- Sweet fresh grapefruit nose. Malty goodness as well. This one is going to be sugary.

Taste- Hmmm, not a sugary as expected, but just about right. The toasted caramel candy malt fits well with the very large blast of grapefruit hoppiness. Alcohol is there, but this beer does a good job of hiding it.

Mouthfeel- Slightly creamy and smooth with a perfect sweet aftertaste. Carbonation is right where it should be. Wish there was just a touch more of hop bitterness that follows you home.

Drinkability- The winner in my mind at this years fest. Sadly, it didn't place in the top three. It was Firestone Walker's first attempt at making this brew. They just kegged it the day before and my friend was the first in line to try it. Hope they keep making this one as it's one of the better DIPA's I've had.

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Photo of rallison
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Z's Taphouse. As the previous review states, Firestone brews some house beers for select Santa Barbara County establishments. According to the bartender at Z's, the Z's IPA is done by Firestone, so this is consistent. Although I've heard rumor that SB Brewco does some of Z's brews, so there is a slight chance it could be from there. But hey, unless I hear different, I'll trust the "quick to reply that Z's IPA is from Firestone" bartender.

A: Very very nice. Great slightly cloudy dark caramel/red color with a sticky white head. The liquid itself also looks sticky.

S: Mmmm...definitely got some piney hops jumping out.

T: More piney hops. Caramel malt in the background. Actually, a decent amount of earthy caramel back there. Hops are relatively strong for a standard IPA I must say. Kind of reminds me of the Castle Rock IPA from the brewco to be honest. Definitely tilts toward the piney as opposed to the citrusy.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and semi-sticky with some resiny qualities. Good amount of body for an ipa. I like it.

D: It should be easy enough to down a few pints of this. This is definitely not a light body west coast ipa - there is more malt in this. But it's very well done; I wish I could get it more easily.

Very well done IPA. Recommended.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium orange color. Large white foamy head. Aroma is grapefruity and floral. A medium bodied IPA. Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. A nicely balanced IPA. Slightly more fruity than bitter. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

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Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 6970 ratings