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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 6,467
Photo of D9sus4
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My only reason for posting a review is to make a minor point. I'm not a fan of grapefruit flavors in a brew, and after reading the reviews describing this great IPA as having that characteristic, I wanted to state for any other grapefruit phobic brewholics that I don't think that this is an accurate description. IMHO, I would think that a "lemon rind" flavor would be a better description. Other than that, I agree that it has a good malt backbone, slightly viscous, with a lingering head.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nowadays, this is a pretty standard IPA. But I realize I have to come in to this understanding this is more of a classic originator than an imitator.

Light orange amber look, good head with persistent, bridge-forming lacing.

This is solidly West coast, with an emphasis on the bitter over the sweet.

Grapefruit rind nose, with a bit of a lager, even bready backbone--the taste follows identically.

Union Jack slightly scrapes the tongue without lashing like a Zombie Dust or Green Flash might. I can see how this can be a go-to.

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Photo of joshcmn
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally had a chance to try this while on vacation in AZ. This is one excellent IPA. BOD 11/06/15 the freshest I could find. Appearance is crystal clear, pale gold with a slightly orange hue. One inch rapidly diminishing head with intricate lacing. Smells of bubblegum, pine, dank and grapefruit. Would like to smell a younger version of this beer but still enticing. The taste is sweet malt, followed by sticky/fruity/vinous hops, then bitterness of grapefruit tempered by the sweet malt with a drying finish. No detectable alcohol for me which is amazing considering the ABV. Lingering grapefruit rind bitterness with just enough malt to balance everything out. Mouthfeel is neither too thick nor too thin and coats the mouth with just enough hop oils and malt to add to the complexity of the flavor profile. This is a sublimely crafted IPA with complex and balanced flavors and aromas. I only wish I could get this beer at home. Well done FW!

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden, slightly orange with a white frothy/fluffy head.

Lovely hop aroma, its not overpowering.. very pleasant with a few different notes. Mostly floral with a bit of citrus/fruit and pine. Faint malt but its there.

Pretty well balanced taste. Bitterness up front, followed by sweetness, and a tingling aftertaste from the hops at the end.

This is great.

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Photo of bonterra69
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Pilsner glass. Appearance is Golden, clear, bubbly, light on the head. Lacing not distinctive but leaves a trail.
Aroma is very hoppy - Floral, herbal, with a hint of grapefruit
Very balanced. Finishes bitter.
Feel is light and smooth.

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

This is a classic IPA masquerading as a lighter beer. Crystal clear yellow with tiny bubbles emit a strong hoppiness that is rather assertive but expected for an IPA. This goes down a little too easily for something this strong and hoppy but it is a pleasure to drink. I woud strongly encourage friends to try this excellent representation of a classic IPA.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite IPAs, as found at the source. Very clear body, fluffy white head. Aroma is a mixture of pine, grapefruit, a touch of malt. Forward bitterness that lingers throughout but is not over powering. Some sweetness in the mid mouth then finished super dry. An amazing beer.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass bottled 7.15.15
was a bit worried when i saw the bottle date but this was a great beer!
pours golden with a thick white head that faded very slowly and left a lot of lace on the glass
smells of hops citrus and pine also smelled sweeter as it warmed
taste hoppy initially and citrus then sweeter as it warmed similar to the nose with a very slight bitter aftertaste
feel effervescent and crisp with a medium body and slightly viscous feel
overall a pretty darn perfect IPA!

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA here, brought me out for another review. Bought a sixer, since I wanted to try, and was pleasantly surprised.

L: Nice bottle, don't know why it never caught my eye before, but the packaging is rather beautiful. Poured into a sniffer with a clear, very orange amber color with an almost two-finger head that lasts pretty well. Lacing sure hangs on tight.

S: God, can I drink this smell? Delicious. Clean, sour-bitter hop character, like there are dried citrus peels just sitting in the sniffer (so clean it almost smells sharp or metallic, like a knife blade) mango (which smells amazing), a little bit of blackberry and maybe blueberry, and just a hint of soft doughy breadiness underneath the fruit. If this were a candle, I'd buy it on the spot.

T: As always, the taste is everything the smell is but, unfortunately, more. Still very soft, but the grapefruit in particular as well as the funkiness of the bready malts, becomes much more pronounced. It appears they may have used a Belgian yeast strain? It has that particular spicy, tangy funkiness that Stone's Cali-Belgique has. If it is, however, it's certainly the best Belgian IPA I've had yet, by far.

F: Awesome: feels clean, just like the smell, not oily, but very smooth. Sticky, with a glasslike feel. Enjoyable, gently, but thoroughly carbonated, and fulfilling.

O: A great brew. Reminds me of a better Ranger IPA, honestly (with a whole percent ABV increase as well!) or of SN's Torpedo IPA with less maltyness. Definitely up there with Bell's Two-Hearted Ale and the other great IPA's!

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Canned 10/07/15

Pours a clear golden yellow with a frothy white foam head. Smells like pineapple, pears, grapefruit, lemon, tropical fruit, honey, herbal hops, and light bready malts. Tastes like pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, pear, honey, tropical fruit, bready biscuity malt, and dank resinous hops. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Perfectly balanced and well-crafted. Overall a great IPA.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Um . . . wow. This is one hell of a beer. I'd rate this as one of my personal top 5s. Pours an orange tone with a thin white head. There is not another that has this one's aroma, amazing. Perfectly balanced, a bit sweet at first with that expected biter aftertaste. Every beer drinker should drink this at least once.

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

This is an amazing brew. It starts off golden brown yellow. Fine bubbles. The aromas is to die for. A perfect blend of hops and malts.
The taste is boozy first. Then things get all malty and just slightly skunk.
This ale deserves the highest praise.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

BOD 11/6/15. Clear golden pour with a hint of amber. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

World class nose of massive hops - citrus, tropical and dank. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange, mango and finally a subtle earthy bit of dank with a touch of spicy spruce. Underneath the hop blanket lies a whiff of biscuit.

Medium bodied with a rich oily and creamy texture. Perfect carbonation with a nice effervescent middle and a finely bubbled prickly finish.

The flavor profile is world class. Balance is perfect. Hop flavor is the theme here with a mild bitterness that is quite complex. All aspects of the nose appear. Tropicals lead over a subtle sweetness then flow into the rind components and showcase orange. A slightly bitter middle is balanced with a slightly stronger sweetness (biscuit plus a bit of caramel). As the middle fades, a slight dank hop flavor takes the forefront. The finish is remarkably clean for such an intensely complex ale. As it fades, a slight spicy note arrives. This one is a brewers masterpiece.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours orange yellow with a small white head. Smells of strong citrus and floral hops with the citrus definitely dominating. Tastes of good grain with nice citrus and slight earthiness. Beer is a bit heavily carbonated but is light bodied and very drinkable. Overall a superb beer.

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this (semi) fresh up in the mountains of NW Colorado. I have been waiting to try this for a while and it didn't disappoint.

L- light golden, with a white two inch head (poured from 12oz can)
S- Citrus, pine and some biscuity malt.
T- Sweet orange zest and grapefruit, followed by pine and hop bitterness all on some light unobtrusive malt backbone.
F- Kind of sticky, medium body and carbonation
O- Wonderful, classic example of the west-coast IPA I have come to absolutely love. I prefer this style of IPA to most (although haven't had any of those east coast hazy guys yet) One of my top 10 IPA's as of now!

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Photo of JNPIII127
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours a slightly orangish yellow color with a two inch head when poured into a tulip. smells very earth and hoppy with a hint of orange peel and other citrus fruits. taste is very citrusy with a full body and mouthfeel. an overall excellent beer that has definitely earned its score.

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Photo of Beric
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Can into a snifter
Served: 13 November 2015

Appearance: Pours a lighter color than many other IPAs- looks like a deep golden color with straw-yellow hints, rather than the usual copper toned IPA. Crowned with a soft, soapy white head which sadly dissipates pretty quick. The beer is strong but not so much so that the head should collapse that fast.

Aroma: Massive fruity hoppiness on the nose- huge grapefruit notes, some clementine as well. A bit of resinous pine in there as well. Love the nose.

Taste: Wow, is this a fantastic IPA. Again, huge fruity hop notes - grapefruit, mandarin orange, lemongrass, and cajeput. Again, a pinch of pine, but nothing insane. This is one of the 'juiciest' IPAs I've had in a while and it is absolutely marvelous.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall: This beer is similar in character to SN Torpedo, but with a lighter malt backbone. If you want a juicy IPA, this is definitely one to strongly consider. A fantastic beer. Highly recommended.

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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 thepenguin
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed 8/30/12

L: Pours an amber color with nice lacing.

S: Nuanced and balanced citrusy hoppiness upfront with bisquity/bready malt backing it up. Hops are grapefruity.

T: Prickly bitter citrusy, resinous hops meld with a pleasant bready and slightly caramely maltiness, which is pretty muted throughout. Tastes of bitter orange peel with a bitter semidry finish.

F: Medium body with medium yet prickly carbonation. Mouthfeel is geared towards drinkability, though somewhat lush, with slight lingering warmth.

O: Simply fantastic; easily within my top 5 for the style. Great when one can get it and shows the rest of us how a West Coast style IPA is done.

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Photo of SSS
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Gold yellow with a white head that lingers a little
S-I get malt and pine aromas upfront
T-Nice chewiness with a malt forward sweetness and not a heavy bitterness. pine and earthy flavour with a hint of citrus
M-Light to medium body and carbonation
O-A solid IPA choice that is not too bitter

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Photo of fitzy84
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought a bottle at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow. Poured into a pint glass. The beer had a pretty thick head that quickly dissipated to thin retention with thick lacing on the sides. The beer had a somewhat cloudy amber color as well. Generally malty aromas mixed with grape and plum flavors and flowery hops. Really great balance of aromas. Taste is a mixture of different fruit flavors and decent boozy hints. Could taste grapefruit and hops, Good body to this drink too; excellent crispness. Overall, this was a fantastic IPA with some great aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - poured a light golden with minimal head (give it a 3 month ago date); ok lacing

Aroma - this is beautiful aroma...great balance of hop, floral and citrus...some say pine, but it's moderate to me

Taste - sweet on the front with a very pronounced grapefruit aftertaste...a floral note and moderate hop flavor...I'd say pretty darn complex for a single IPA.

Feel - crisp, light to medium-bodied with ok carbonation

Overall - this is pretty good IPA...It's hard to find on the East Coast (not sure why) but it nudges Sculpin...Firestone does it right.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a moderately hazy yellow color with a nice transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a moderate pace to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated nicely. Lacing seemed adequate as there's enough there that slides into the beer.
The smell starts off with bitter citrus rind bleeding into subtle crisp piney notes. There's a delicate spice that I can't quite pick out just yet (for all of the times, I've had this beer, oh sigh, I'll find out some day).
The taste pretty much copies the aroma nicely leading into a sly little bit of the spice into the aftertaste and on into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about light to medium bodied with a great sessionability about it. Carbonation seemed good for this AIPA as there's just enough to show its presence yet still allows the bitterness of the aroma and the taste to be the harshness on my tongue.
Overall, this is a very nice AIPA that I would love to have again and is pretty easy to find as well. Now I just need to figure out that spice.

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Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This brew is an absolutely clear, golden IPA. The head is tall and luxurious. The aroma is fruit, backed with pungent hops. Earthy, resin, spicy, and intense. Wood is prominent. The taste is sweet in front, and very bitter beginning in the mid-taste. Lots of fresh hop aroma. Long and powerful finish. Great.

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Photo of jonb5
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, poured into La Chouffe tulip.

A: Golden, clear, lots of bubbles, decent sized head, lots of lacing.

S: Citrus, pine, resin.

T: Grapefruit, gummibear, hint of apple, lingering bitter finish.

M: Crisp texture, light body, well carbonated.

O: A beer billed as an English style IPA, packed with Cascade, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Closer to an American or even Imperial takes on the style. Well made, hid the booze but it wouldn’t stand out from the multitude of IPAs on the market.

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