Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

1,342 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): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

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Reviews: 1,342 | Ratings: 6,545
Photo of beerandcycling88
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A Pours a copper color with a nice creamy long lasting head.

S The nose is pretty strong with citrus, some floral notes and what I'm pretty sure is a bit of pine

T The taste is a lot like the nose with citrus and floral notes accompanied by a resinous flavor, but with somewhat of a malt backround.

M It had a pretty decent mouthfeel not all that thick but not thin either. Just about right for an IPA.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty good well balanced IPA and a good one to seek out.

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Photo of sj660
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think some people drink IPAs as a sort of macho thing. Can you really like beer that bitter?! But as with just about anything, something done well is... something done well.

The amber color of this beer is perfectly bright. It has a bright white foam that is even standing up to the fats in the accompanying meal and is leaving a wall on my glass instead of individual laces. Quite impressive head.

This pounds you with hoppy citrus aromas, but I can smell the malt too, in the background. Tastewise, it is full of citrus zest, a deep and abiding bitterness, resinous, but with a biscuity malt background that is in the mix.

A warming, full bodied, creamy brew with a tiny hop bite. Medium carbonation.

Well done, and proud that this is part of our local brewing scene here.

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

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
This one poured a hazy orange, dense cream coloured head, clumpy lace. Intense citrus aroma as soon as the cap came off, lots of sweet oranges initially, then grapefruit and caramel, a bit of earthy pine, no detectable alcohol. Bitterness was strong but not overpowering due to the malty caramel and bready character. Lots of citrusy hop flavour throughout, juicy grapefruit, with pine resin lingering. Slight alcohol flavour and warmth, plus a little spiciness, towards the end. Medium bodied with ample, creamy carbonation, sort of chewy, some dryness. I found this beer to be quite balanced - lots of hops but with plenty of malt to back it up. Easy drinking and quite tasty.

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Photo of KMDouds
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at a (blind) IPA taste-off tournament at The Factory, a beer-uppity Gastropub in the Bixby Knolls part of Long Beach, CA. After being a tad underwhelmed by the appearance, I was extremely surprised by the aroma- amongst the best smelling IPAs I've had. Everything else was excellent, hops a plenty, the customary if not more than expected amount of citrus aftertaste. Actually experienced it, and at the risk of pissing ardent fans off, very Pliny-like! High praise I know.

I agree with the Brothers that this brew walks the line of a Double IPA. Firestone Walker Brewing, which took over SLO Brewery has put together a solid line-up, and the Union Jack stands as it's Flagship Beer to date. Bravo.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

hooray for oak barrels!! this is an amazing alternative for an IPA drinker. love the oak with hops... love the malted oak... and you get that nice rich oily texture, barrel conditioned ale of the highest order.

pours a rich golden amber with a little head, plenty of carbonation, some spotty lacing as she drinks down. this beer is a rich and sumptuous perfect balance of hoppy fruity bitterness, deep malt flavor and oak conditioning.

when you see this beer. drink it.

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Photo of chilly460
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden amber and very clearn body, with a big 3 finger creamy white head, good retention and lacing.

S - Wow, this is plenty strong with citrus hops immediate, big grapefruit. As it warms, definite mango and orange peel, really nice.

T - Grapefruit, big tart taste but not wearying to the palate. Some orange, pineapple on the background. Enough of a clean malt backbone to offset, finishes very well.

M - Nice medium body and carbonation, very representative of the style.

O - Really strong, huge grapefruit aroma and flavor but plenty of other flavors going on, not an overboard "hop bomb".

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Photo of HipHop5
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light copper golden and crisp color.
1 finger head that falls quickly but lives amazing lacing on the glass.
Some citrus and pine cone tropical sweet aromas. Passionfruit/ pineapple. Not extremely floral and strong on the nose. I suspect this bottle is not the freshest.
Medium carbonation.
Sweet malty caramel with a nice hop taste and subtle bite . Medium body and smooth after taste in the back. A bit one dimensional.
The hops taste dissipate as it warms up but malt backbone pushes forward the sweetness to cover the well balanced 7.5%ABV. I can recognize a commercially successful brew when I see it. This one is a chameleon that doesn't let you not like it.
Super drinkable and a nice introduction to IPA's for new comers.
I would love to get this on tap to compare. Once again I suspect the bottle to be a bit dated so I feel deprived from full olfactive sensation. I would try this again for sure.

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Photo of azdback
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Very clear orange color. Two finger creamy white head. Lacing is beautiful.

Smell is of citrus hops, earthy malts, maybe a bit of Belgium yeast. Hint of alcohol. Little sweet.

The taste is much (as expected) like the smell. The hop punch is fantastic!! Very citrus, maybe blood orange or tangelo, pink grapefruit? It is nicely balanced though. Malty backbone is great. Not as much of the Belgium taste as the smell. Sweetness is there also.

Mouthfeel is great. Crisp, refreshing. Well carbonated.

I drink probably 2 to 3 six packs of this a week. So there is no way I don't give this a perfect score on drinkability. It's a pretty high ABV to have too many in a single night but if you do dare, you wont know it until the next morning.

Finishing this review up I must let everyone know this is my favorite everyday IPA on the market. My pallet has changed over the years but this one is winning now. Highly recommended!!!

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

I remember when I had this beer from a bottle it was "okay" and there was no date on it so I wasn't sure how old it was. Tonight I had it on tap. It was a different experience. I have been having Double Jack quite a bit lately and thought I'd give this another shot tonight.

Appearance - Brought out in a...frosted....mug. About a finger of white head that sticks around for a while. Copper, golden color.

Smell - Hops, citrus, pine. Relatively tropical (more so than I remember); grapefruit, pineapple, etc.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Quite nice - juicy fruit, hops, pine, malt backbone, etc. Not as hoppy as expected, but relatively balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Quaffable for sure. I will be picking up some of these at the store once I know they are "fresh". A very good IPA and glad I gave it another shot.

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Photo of jboib82
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The floral scent punches you in the nose as soon as you complete the pour, which results in a pleasant amber color with a tiny little head. Normally I'd be disappointed but the lack of foam actually accentuates the pretty color, and there's great lacing. Tastes of citrus and grapefruit and the bitterness characteristic of the style, but balanced nicely by a nice infusion of beta acids. Medium body with average carbonation which works because any more would detract from the great flavor combination. I found it highly drinkable because of its balance compared to other interpretations of the style. Hopheads might object to the relative lack of aggressive hopping, but I for one loved the change in a world of increasingly powerful IPAs.

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

a: a modest sized head falls back to a thin layer atop the clear, light amber colored beer

s: bright tropical and citrus hops on a clean malt body featuring a low dose of caramel-induced grain sweetness, juicy grapefruit, pineapple, very fruit punch, great start

m: perfect carbonation level - gentle but effective, light-medium in body, creamy

t: juicy hops punch through the pale malt base, brief caramel sweetness hits mid-palate to be whisked off by more tropical hop flavors towards the bitter finish, nicely grainy but clean, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, great stuff

d: easy, a top-notch ipa on all fronts

single from WF, Arlington

single from WF, Arlington

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Photo of grumpyowl
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served on-tap in Seattle,WA.

A: Dark amber. Nice 1/4 in thin head that seems to last. Good lacing.

S: Citrus from the hop. But some earthy resinuous as well from some big hops. I an thinking Columbus or even chinooks. Citrus flavor not like a cascade, but more fruity like citra or Amarillo.

F: Toasty malts come through the citric hops. Bitterness takes over. Alcohol comes through too.

M: Light to medium light body. Quite dry despite maltiness. Medium low carbonation.

D: Not session beer by all mean. On the strong side of IPA.

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

Poured from 22oz into DFH snifter.

A: Pours a nice transparent copper color with a frothy, two finger thick white head that slowly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose has a nice, strong floral hop presence (piny) with a bit of a citrus backbone (grapefruit).

T: There is a strong hop presence, very pine-like with a hint of dryness up front. The bitters give you a "punch in the mouth," in a good way, that lasts throughout and long after.

M: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Bitters form a coat on the palate and don't go away.

D: This is a very good beer. It drinks like a DIPA and is close on the ABV. If you don't like hops, this is not for you as this has serious hop presence. My first Firestone Walker beer and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great extra given to me by Azurescens. Bottled on 12/07/10. Enjoyed on 02/23/11. Relatively fresh, time to review!

A - Crystal clear light amber color with a two finger white head. Leaves incredible lacing. Looks great.

S - Grapefruit, citrus, pine, very pungent nose. Smells great. Just what I want from a west coast IPA.

T - Begins balanced with some prickly carbonation. Nice and bitter toward the end. Finish leaves a great grapefruit/citrusy bitterness on the tongue. This is a fantastic beer.

M/D - Mouthfeel is medium where it should be with good carbonation. I'm going through this bottle quickly because it tastes so darn good.

My first offering from Firestone Walker, I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. A great beer, one of the best AIPAs I've had.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a pint glass

Looks. Translucent and pale, decent head retention and GORGEOUS draping lace!

Smells. Gorgeous, from three feet away I can smell aromas of citrus, pine and fresh mown grass. I could be wrong, but I'm nearly certain I detect some Simcoe on the nose and it's one of my favorites. Opening this beer is similar to the experience of opening the door to the hop fridge at the homebrew shop. It's so strong and about perfect.

Tastes. HOP FORWARD, to drink this beer casually is to not perceive a malt presence. On closer examination it's there, but it's essentially a delivery vessel for all of those hops, but it doesn't come off as unbalanced. Simply very very hop forward. This beer is a single IPA but it approaches some of the hard core doubles in levels of hoppiness. Flavors of grapefruit, lime, orange rind, bits of grassiness and a pine profile abound. I should like a tad more sweetness and a bit more of a clean straw like character from the malt.

Feels. Moderately carbonated, not particularly heavy on the palate, finishes with an oily hop astringence that hangs on the palate.

I can't stop sipping this beer, whoever decided that Firestone Walker should come to Alaska was a brilliant person. I wish I had tried their beers sooner, or had the opportunity to do so. What a brilliant beer and now I wish I had more then just this one bottle. GREAT STUFF!

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Photo of beagle75
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Yard House in Irvine.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass. Bubbles rise frequently in the column, suggesting brisk carbonation.

S: Grapefruit citrus dominates, allowing faint pine foliage and toast to also be detected. The combination of aromas is clean and true to style, but could be more intense.

T: Begins off-dry, with juicy grapefruit clearly representing the hop aromatics. Acidity is remarkably restrained as citrus combines with rising bitterness to create an impression of grapefruit peel in the middle. As the intensity of bitterness peaks at an intermediate level some grainy pale malt makes its way to the surface. Bitterness lingers in the finish, with more grapefruit peel that is joined by more subtle herbaceous character.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate, with the feel of low carbonation. The feeling of fullness that follows is characteristic of a beer with a higher than average carbonation level.

D: Clean, smooth, and bursting with hop-forward flavor, this is one of a select few IPAs that exemplify the West Coast profile of sensory qualities. The obvious comparison is to Green Flash's West Coast IPA, although connections can also be drawn to Alesmith and even Stone IPA.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fist commercial brew in a while, been plowing through a lot of awesome home brew. I'm still trying to figure out the fascination with this brewery. After complete disappointment with their DBA, I wanted to give this one a shot.

Clear light coppery color in my pint glass. Not a huge head, but the bottle was fairly cold. Lacing is reasonable, but not blowing my socks off.

Shitload of hops in the nose. And apparently Shitload is a word, because Fire Fox isn't telling me that I spelled that word wrong. Awesome. Anyways, kind of a citrus piny smell. I'm almost positive that it is Simcoe. My first thought when I smelled this was "Stone" and their affinity for Simcoe in their IPAs.

Taste mirrors the smell, albeit a bit lighter. While apparently the hop monkey at Stone only knows how to throw Simcoe into the kettle, there is at least some sort of an attempt to balance it out here. But with that said, I'm getting a lot pine and a bit of grapefruit on the mouth. Overall it's honestly fairly watery for a 7.5% ABV IPA. That's it! Eureka! It tastes like a watery Ruination.

Mouthfeel is mediumish. Hoppy flavor is clining to the back of my throat, the way that sweet drinks tend to accumulate there.

Eh, it's no where near a drain pour, but probably one of the crappier IPAs that I've had. Velvet Merlin is the only thing I'd ever buy from Firestone again.

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

Thanks you Bier Stein for this beer.

I bought the Union Jack and the Double Jack and had them side to side, and I then reviewed both.

A: Nice clear copper/light brown color. Not much head. The nice bubbles were looking so nice up the glass.

S: Very citrusy hoppy aroma.

T: Hops are very punget, and a nice bitter aftertaste.

M: I like how this beer wasn't too boozy, it went down very nicely.

D: I won't say this is a better beer than the Double Jack, but I will really like to drink this beer again many more times.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a 1 finger white head. Smell is pretty cool, I am catching some citrus and great sweet fruit smell. This is one of the best smelling IPAs I've ever smelled. Starts with grapefruit hoppiness, and the finish obtains a little bit of malt. This is a really great exhibit of citrus hops. Mouthfeel good, could use a little more carbonation, but maybe it's just my bottle. Drinkability is really high. This is a great beer, only drawback is the 7.5 ABV.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark gold/light copper. a lot of carbonation bubbles rise into a fluffy white head.

S: grapefruits and pine. and tons of sweetness. this thing has a serious malt backbone to compete with the american hopping.

T: big, tart hop flavor. almost meaty in it's body. more pine than citrus. sweet, tangy malts balance the forceful hop presence. a very well balanced representation of the AIPA.

M: moderately carbonated for such a solid body. works well with the bitterness.

D: a great representation of an AIPA. big bold hop flavors but balanced with just the right amount of sweet malts. pick one up.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this 12 ounce bottle as an extra in a trade with Azurescens. Thanks Dan. This is IPA is bottle dated 8/17/10 so I expect the hops to have fallen off the table by now. The alcohol content is listed as a moderately high 7.5% ABV so perhaps the malt bill has held up. Let's see.

An aggressive pour into a goblet yields a frothy off-white two finger-high head. The beer is maize colored and quite clear. Head retention is very good and spotty lacing lines the sides of the goblet.

The instant the seal was cracked on the cap the aromatics of this beer began to manifest. Hops are fairly weak in the equation, but are noted none the less by a bit of grapefruit essence. Tropical fruits are noted as well as a healthy yeastiness. There is some tangerine and a mild caramel scent.

The taste is something else altogether. There an earthy maltiness up front with a rye-like grainy character. Fruit juices taste and feel literal, like somebody squeezed a fresh orange into this beer. There is a slight caramel sweetness attached to a very mellow alcohol note. As expected, the hops have long since clocked out with the exception of some mild lingering bitterness on the backend and aftertaste of this brew. It's something altogether different than an IPA at this point, but still enjoyable for what it is.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation seemed pretty active at first but is actually relatively low. The alcohol adds a smooth character that helps everything go down smoothly. This is what one should expect an IPA to feel like in the mouth.

As the bitterness has subsided and the alcohol mellowed, this six-month-old bottle of Union Jack is pretty easy drinking. There is a healthy malt base for this beer to stand on and the alcohol is well hidden in the taste. This is one I'll want to revisit fresh.


The Two-Schlitz ScaleĀ™: (see my profile for an explanation)
It's not really fair to put an out of date IPA up against any beer so I'm going to forgo the Two-Schlitz scale for this review. This was a tasty brew but I'm sure it's much different when consumed fresh.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, under the name "Blue Palms IPA"

A: Typical golden and clear. Head was slightly offwhite, 2 fingers, and with moderate retention.

S: Balanced, faint but solid overall aroma with fruity tones - light fruits and some citrus with the rind.

T: Very balanced. Not so in your face. Nice bready malt character with nutty notes and various fruity undertones. Prominent citrus notes with a hint of pine freshness in the back. Not too dry. Very solid beer.

Notes: Excellent beer and very drinkable while watching a game or hanging out with some buddies.

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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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. 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. Overall, decent IPA.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Yardhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The beer was served in a pint glass, and poured a light brown color, with orage highlights and no head. Sweet, hoppy aroma, with light orange essence. Middle and rear tongue hops flavors, balanced of bitter and smooth. Cedar and sweet characteristics, also. The beer has a steady flow of carbonation that keeps the beer light despite it's creamy body. Hoppy green aftertaste and smooth finish make it very easy to drink.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,545 ratings.
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