Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,321 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,321
Ratings:
6,427
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
490
Gots:
1,582
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,321 | Ratings: 6,427
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a huge head but leaves nice lacing.

Orange in color.

Smells of apricots and slight pine. The taste is fairly bitter but a nice off set with burnt orange notes. Very dry and bitter finish.

I feel like all the Firestone Walker I have has a "strange" taste, not bad by any means just a taste I rarely pick up in other beers. This is a good IPA that is a little differnt from the norm.

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

Thanks to MrTopher for sending this one my way!

Pours a clear golden orange color with about a fourth inch off-white head. A steady stream of bubbles shoot upwards from the bottom of the glass.

Sweet citrus notes dominate the nose. Pineapple and oranges are the most noticeable. A caramel-like sweetness is hiding in there too.

The taste is much more balanced than what I was expecting. After smelling the beer, I was prepared for a citrus hop-bomb explosion in my mouth. The citrus hops are definitely there, but after that quick, initial blast, a bready flavor comes into play to keep the hops in check. It finishes slightly bitter and piney, but again, nothing over the top.

Medium body and average carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing.

Very drinkable as I didn't find the 7.5% ABV to be noticeable. I was honestly surprised to see it was that strong after I'd consumed half the glass in a short amount of time. Definitely one I'll look forward to once FW arrives in Missouri.

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Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pored an orange/amber color mostly clear with a 1 finger head that dissipated to a fresh white collar and some lacing.. smell was medium citrus and hops with a bread and malt smell..taste was the same nothing huge here hops abound but do not explode on this one ..citrus and pine notes are accompanied by some sweet malts and an alcohol presence..nothing dominates or overpowers this ipa..mouth feel is medium well carbonated..its just not the best of the west IMO..its very drinkable but i will buy other b4 this one

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

Excellent clarity from this one. I can see everything on the other side of the glass through the bright amber body. The head was 2 fingers of bubbly sticky foam. Lace and retention look good.

The nose is packed with sweet and sharply bitter citrus tones. Pineapple and mandarin oranges sit at the forefront with excellent intensity. The malt backbone knows its roll in second place, but has a presence. Some buttery toffee diacetyl aromas seep to the nostrils as I dwell deeper.

The taste starts off sharp and spicy, with a definite pine and soapy hop kick. That bitterness lingers all the way through the lengthy finish. The citrus from the nose is a bit weaker here, or perhaps just overshadowed by stronger flavors. Butter, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol add the finishing touches to the assertive hop flavor. Bravo.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium with plentiful carbonation. The crispness keeps the cheeks pinched past the last swallow. That finish is long, dry, and bitter. So I keep'a quenchin'. A valiant effort from those who have the "Passion for Pales".

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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.

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

12oz bottle into a Firestone Walker pint glass, both courtesy of EinWeizenBitte. Thanks!

A: Perfectly clear orange-amber body sits sparklingly beneath two full fingers of frothy eggshell foam. The head initially peers just over the rim of the glass, then slowly recedes and leaves a nearly full coating of thick, sticky lace. The properly branded glassware certainly doesn't hurt, but regardless this is a spectacularly beautiful IPA.

S: Big, resinous hops lead things off, with sharp pine and intense grapefruit going hand in hand, followed up by a substantial dose of malt. As it warms, the hops get a little spicy and blend with the malt to give a distinct, and very cool, impression of gingersnap cookie. Crazy. Excellent, but not quite as bright and juicy as I was hoping, hop-wise.

T: Starts out with lovely citrus hoppiness, followed by lots of caramel malt, a touch of booze, and a highly bitter, piney finish. This tastes more like a double than a single IPA, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm loving the complex interplay of hops and malts, but less fond of the substantial alcohol presence.

M: Medium-bodied and a little low in carbonation. Not bad, but a bit more life would have helped with the beer's sheer bigness.

D: Not really great for the style, but it's so tasty that I'm not having any problems at all.

Notes: I've been wanting to try this one for a long time, and was hugely excited to find it as an extra. Union Jack didn't disappoint at all, but it did surprise me a bit - the substantial malt backbone resembled an "East Coast" IPA much more than I expected for a California beer, and I couldn't help but think from time to time that I would have preferred a more unadulterated barrage of hops. UJ was like night and day compared to the Blind Pig I had a couple weeks ago, with the former reminding more of something like DFH 90 Minute than a typical west coast IPA. Challenged expectations aside, this was a great beer and I can't wait to try more from this brewery.

Cheers!

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Photo of Axic10
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BarrytheBear for this! Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear golden with a finger of fluffy white foam that settles down to a thin layer after a minute or so.

Smell: Citrus explosion - grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, floral hops.

Taste: Wow, tastes just as the nose smells, but only better! Bitter grapefruit and hops and citrus sweetness of pineapple, mango and tangerines. The hoppy bite continues into a nice bitter and malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and very crisp and clean.

Drinkability: Wow, move over Sculpin, I think this might be my new favorite IPA. I need more of this ASAP!

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

Firestone Walker's Union Jack IPA is a beer that is not normally available here on the East Coast, but thanks to a trade, I was able to get to try this. This beer is a very bright amber color with a nice little coating of white foam. The aroma is strongly fruity with grapefruit and bready notes. The beer tastes solidly bitter with resin and candied citrus peel flavors from the hops. The bitterness is moderately acute, but is clean without a lingering aftertaste. There is good malt sweetness in the finish that balances the bitterness, but not so much as to be cloying and there is papaya in the finish. The IPA is full bodied and smooth. Very drinkable and easy to see how this beer has such a good reputation.

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Photo of Kiwano
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Couldn't tell the color due to low lighting --- the head dissipated quickly leaving tiny lace in the middle of the glass

S - a bit of citrus and lots of hops

T - Excellent! Well balanced with lots of hops. Some type of fruit with a tiny bit of grapefruit or grapefruit pith at the very end. The hops stay through for a long time and are well balanced with the rest of the taste. Really tasty.

M - Well carbonated

D - Smooth - very drinkable - after a while a bit astringent and high alcohol content so probably wouldn't have too many in one setting. But great balance and really enjoyed it.

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

Pint consumed on-tap at Bennedito's in Spokane for $4.25.

Poured a light amber color, with an off-white head that left rings of lace on the sides of my glass.

The nose is a combination of citrusy alpha-hop scent and floral, almost perfumey hops.

Taste is pretty similar to the smell, with a very minor amount of bready maltiness to keep the hops from being out of balance.

Medium bodied, with a creamy yet oily mouthfeel.

Very tasty IPA, one that I would be happy to drink regularly. First Firstone beer I've seen, and based on it I'd be happy to see others around here.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, small citrus hop and a hint of pine. In the taste, pine hops in the front and citrus in the end, with a nice malt backing. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry and hoppy aftertaste. Nice hop and great backing, quite nice.

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Photo of Chaney
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm so glad they get this stuff in my area in bombers and 6ers now!

A: Poured a crisp, golden color with carbonation that contained bubbles roughly the size of golf balls, and about a 4 finger head that stayed as an idle foam for several minutes. Awesome!

S: Cascade citrus upfront, with a nice caramel undertow. A nice lemon zest (and maybe a little peach?) sizzle which reminded me of Sculpin.

T: This was a great model West coast IPA. Wow! Hop and citrus forward, with a malt middle that cries, "Take that, you hophead!" The sweetness was there, but not in a sugary way, but more in an organic, natural fruit-sugar kind of way.

M: The bitterness seemed to disipate seconds after hitting the palate, the carbonation (which attacked from all sides) added to the sensation. The very mellow finish by the hops, which killed the sugar content, was amazing.

D: When I got to the bottom of the bottle, I was truly longing for more. This is a total wow beer in every sense of the word.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a two finger white head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, orange, and pine. Smells very nice.

Tastes just like it smells. Grapefruit, orange, and pine. There is also a nice caramel malt backbone which adds some balance.

Medium bodied, nice carbonation, smooth, easy to drink, and finishes dry. This is a very nice IPA. I recommend trying this beer, if you have not already done so.

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Photo of kk73
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a clear copper with a one finger white head. Head disappears quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

S - Some nice piney and citrus hop characteristics, and a little alcohol astringency.

T - Nice hop bitterness upfront, taste of pine and grassy/herbal hops. Nice malt balance that is not overpowering. Alcohol astringency does not come thru on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied and a little creamy, very refreshing and clean. Not overly dry and sticky.

D - I wish I would have brought more home with me. A nice west coast IPA, and for the price may be one of the better values to be had. No problem drinking one bomber and I wish I had one more.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=Pours a transparent golden color, with a one finger head.

S=Smooth citric hops, with grapefruit and and a bit of lemon

T=Mellow hop taste, with orange and some lemon thrown in.A small amount of lime comes through near the end, though it has a bit of a weak aftertaste.

M= Sticky, smooth, and just the right amount of carbonation makes this sit nice in the mouth.

D= Medium body makes this easy to sip on

Overall it is definitely a good IPA, though there are much better out there. I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Asked waitress at Taphouse in Ghent to bring me something hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised with this gem of an IPA. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A- Beautiful copper amber color sloshes into the glass. Nice white head with some amazing lacing. I'm talking all the way down to the bottom of the glass!

S- Tons of grapefruit and citrus dipped pine going on. A little bit of a spicy floral note. Surprisingly pungent with hop resin to boot. Sweet caramel malt to round things off. Couldn't wait to take my first sip!

T- Bittered with Warrior and Simcoe hops according to the brewers website. The taste falls in line with what you would expect. Hoppy bitterness unfolds into grapefruit, citrus zest and pine paired with a great subdued sweet biscuity malt characteristic. This almost DIPA conceals it 7.5% ABV beautifully.

M- Crisp and clean with a great dry finish.

D- Love the pungent juicy bitter flavor that cascades into the dry finish. Always makes me want to drink more. Union Jack has a very high drinkability.

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

12 oz bottle into my fancy British style pint glass from Tyranena. First enjoyed this on tap at the brewpub this past weekend after long wanting to sample this beer. My positive experience led to my wrapping some bottles in my suitcase for the flight home.

Mildly hazy orange with yellow highlights when held to the light.

Some nice tropical fruitiness on the nose. Pineapple, lemon, and apricot meld nicely with a slightly caramel maltiness to wrap it up. Much brighter on tap, but the bottle version doesn't quite hold up.

An apricot bomb. Dried apricot and skins really jump to the front and center with the tropical frutiness more of a secondary player. Malt presence is solid but helps to prop up the hop profile and make for an enjoyable and damn near chuggable IPA.

Light bodied and snappy, does not drink near the 7.5% tag. With the lines so blurred between many IPA's and Doubles, this beer straddles the line with great success.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby8405 for the share of the fresh Union Jack.

A - Quite gold with a long-lived white head and lots of messy splattered lace.

S - Big citric hoppiness is readily apparent with additional notes of lime and evergreen. The malt is a little more caramel-y than I'd like.

T - Wow, nice assemblage of flavors, and unusually arranged on the palate. I am getting the rarely-perceived nuance of lime zest (as opposed to lemon, grapefruit, etc.) accentuated by evergreen notes of juniper bush. The hop is tempered by a sturdy malt that tastes less caramelized than it smells.

M - IPA. Good.

D - I mean, it is quite nice, but it is not a standout. SoCal IPAs that are better (off the top of the dome...) include Just Outstanding, AleSmith IPA, Green Flash IPA, Sculpin (obviously), and I'm sure more that I don't know or can't think of.

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Photo of eurekashane
3.17/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-its like it almost can't decide what color it is (i drank out of 2 glasses to give the benefit of the doubt)

s-oddly bread-like. not the floral bouquet i expect from a 7.5% ipa. the nose gives me nothing to look forward to. that is the best way i can put it.

t-the best part of this beer is the taste, and that is the biggest factor. my overall grade on this beer won't factor high given the individual scores of each component, but if if i was helen keller i could love it. it is more than the sum of it's ba parts. it reminded me to not get lost in the minutiae.

m-it stuck to the rear of the roof of my mouth in a creepy way. really bizarre. i would love to know if this resonates with anyone else?

d-this is the beer equivalent of the girl you would like to f in the dark. when you can't see or smell it, it is awesome...

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

Aroma is big grassy hops accompanied by alcohol.
Color is a nice cooper with a solid white head.
Taste is much like the aroma. Big hop up front but with a malt backbone that smooths out the taste.
Mouthfeel is good. Almost thick for an IPA.
Drinkability is near perfect. I could easily have 2 or 3 bombers a night.

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass a hazy burnt orange color with very little head and very little lacing.

It smells like a standard west coast-style IPA: floral, citrus hops (with just a bit of pine but not much) and just the hint of biscuity malt.

Flavor followed the smell exactly: flowery grapefruit and orange rind with a sweet biscuit malt backbone. Quite pleasant and exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA --- might be the best tasting IPA I've had. A bit bitter in the back.

Could stand for just a bit more carbonation. It's more oily than I would expect from the crisp taste.

The 7.5% is well hidden. This is VERY drinkable, dangerously so. The alcohol sneaks up on you.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep coppery amber colour with a filmy head of white. Looks pretty dark, and pretty filmy for an IPA. Lots of lacing at least. Decent, but not exciting.

Nose is very pleasant, but lacking some of the potency and sweet straight exciting complexity. Some lightly spicy pickled orange aromas, with a big malty caramel and butterscotch character
Not overdone, like diacetyl at least. Decent.

Taste is sharp and pleasantly hoppy. Pretty well done. Caramel is a bit too pronounced but it is killed by the pleasant, direct hoppiness. Feel is a little thin, but the carbonation is spot on.

Drinkable enough. Not a great IPA, but a decent one. I wanted something more, but this is good enough in its way.

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Photo of drewba
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Montrose79 & Cuzco for hooking this up in the Partners in Crime BIF!

A - hazy golden straw color with a bubbly head and a moderate amount of lacing.

S - HUGE aroma that doesn't fade into obscurity like so many ipas do. Light citrus coming right away, grapefruit, maybe some mango. This smells incredibly sweet - if I'm going to judge how its going to taste from the smell, this is going to be cloyingly sweet.

T - Thankfully, the sweetness I detected in the aroma didn't translate to the taste. On the first sip, I'm getting a faceshot of a nice bitter hop profile - the grapefruit is showing up as is orange peel and some bitter lemon rind. Some spicyness too - coriander, anise, and pepper.I'm loving the malt bill used in this, there is a lovely, light cracker/bready taste helping to balance everything out. I'm also detecting a little rum raisin and licorice in the back.

M - One of the thicker ipa's I've had without stepping into the double ipa realm. The medium - high body is actually nice because it has such a buttery smooth mouthfeel while the tiny bubble are massaging me into it's arms.

D - A musky, lingering bitter aftertaste is the only thing from keeping this from being a perfect 5. Otherwise, this is absolutely easing drinking, all 7.5% alcohol is masked wonderfully and I wish I had another.

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Photo of thatsfine
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a million times but never got around to reviewing it until now. I can usually find the bottle dates but I am struggling on this one. 22 oz bomber

A: Orange-amber color. Clear. One-finger head that retains well and leaves thin lines of lacing.

S: Pine and floral hops.

T: The taste follows the smell. Full of hops and quite a bit of bitterness. Nicely done.

M: Medium mouthfeel, moderate about of carbonation. Fits the style quite well.

D: This is an IPA that I could drink plenty of. One of my favorites for the style. Goes down pretty easy and the 7.5% is well hidden.

I'm not saying anything new here, but it is a staple in my fridge and is always worth drinking. Even better on tap.

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Photo of fourplayed
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into 12 oz sam adams glass.

1 finger head, clear amber, tiny bubble rising.

Smells great - mildly sweet citrus & pineapple, malts, mild earthy-pine hops.

Taste - Big earty-pine hops up front, Then easy on the sweet citrus, pineapple, malts.

mouthfeel is very crisp and clean, medium body, nice hop bite and dryness on tongue, lite-medium carbonation, mild alcohol warmth.

Refreshing, drinks nice n' easy. Very clean & crisp, Hops out front with a great supporting cast of sweet citrus, fruit, malts. I'll buy again without hesitation. Put it in my top 5 for this style.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,321 ratings.
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