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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,335 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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:
1,335
Ratings:
6,484
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
492
Gots:
1,621
For Trade:
13
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,335 | Ratings: 6,484
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Union Jack has a brass colored body and an off-white head. The head is thick and tightly bubbled, and boasts great retention. The lacing is also very good, as it coats my glass in sheets.

The scent is dominated by citrus hops, with grapefruit being the dominant fruit. Underneath that lurks a little bit of a malt base.

Union Jack's flavor leans primarily on bright, citrus flavored hops, which is exactly what it should do. It features flavors of grapefruit, orange and some generic fruit notes in addition. The malt bill doesn't do much to balance out the hops, but it does allow for a little bit of a backbone, with lightly toasted caramel flavors.

Union Jack is probably on the full-bodied end of the spectrum.

Union Jack is a solid IPA overall, and I'm glad I got to try it on-tap instead of in a bottle.

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Photo of bum732
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Bold citrus bouquet, orange, grapefruit, mango, classic west coast hops, slight dark breadiness.

L: Brilliant clear amber yellow, decent head that dissipates, good lacing.

T: Crisp citrusy hops with a firm soft bready sweet backbone. Medium-high bitterness finishing with a hoppy dryness. Very clean.

M: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation, alcohol slightly present.

A great, clean west coast IPA. Just really fantastic.

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Photo of spree92
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. into Kilkenny pint glass.
First thing that hit my nose was apple. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the smallest carbonation bubbles I've seen in an IPA. Golden-amber with a beautiful, sticky head. Bitter, but not over-powering.
This is one of the better IPAs I have had in a while.

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

Poured from a bomber into my Surly Darkness tulip.

Pours a frothy off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smells of citrus with malts as the backbone.

Taste is a nice mix of malts and hops. The hops doesn't have a super over pouring control over the sweet malts but more of a delicate balance in which the hops gradually wins over leaving a slight bitterness on the tongue and a tingling on the roof of the mouth.

Drinks very well. I wish I could have this on a regular basis as a nightly sipper when I'm watching tv or hanging out with the old lady. True there are better IPA's out there but this one is definitely up there with the best of them.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Oberon pint glass. It poured a clear amber color with a thin but bubbly white head to it. The head settled down after a minute and it left a modest amount of lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a good mix of malts and hops. Some nice citrusy hops come through and mix with a sweeter, malty, slightly caramely flavor. More malt forward then most West Coast IPA's, but I think it works well for it.

The taste also has a very nice mix of hoppy and malty flavors. A brighter, floral, citrusy, hoppy flavor comes through very nicely. The sweeter, malty flavors are also very present throughout the flavor. The sweeter malt really keeps things in relative balance for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a very nice IPA. I really liked the more malt forward and sweeter notes it added to the bright hoppiness. Very nice beer overall.

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

a wonderful ipa with a brisk quality but a distinct bitter orange marmalade malt quality that hides deep in the back ground. Pine and orange nose with nice balance. Intense hopped fresh taste from a fresh keg flavor. Nice white head with a clear golden color. An ipa that would be good fresh and a year old but not for those that expect a earthy resin like quality pine. Its a one dimensional in that aspect. Although very solid AIPA.

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

I'm definitely getting spoiled when I thought this was average when I first tasted it. It's not average in the least. Pretty outstanding offering, and was like an oasis in a desert of bad beer when I had a pint of it.

Typical IPA appearance. I just never find these to be outstanding looking beers. All you can really tell is that it's not necessarily bad. Clear amber with a nice cap of foam. The usual.

Very good and interesting aroma. Obvious malts, citrus hops, and as one friend pointed out, lychee in the nose.

The beer is bitter and sweet in just the right proportions. Extremely well balanced. Resin in the hops, but that citrus is present still.

Nice carbonation and medium body. Bitterness never clings, leading to a very drinkable IPA.

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Photo of gopens44
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A touch darker than straw colored, but still in the ballpark. A good 1" of foamy head with awesome retention.

S - Citrus, earthy, bold and no nonsense!

T - Not too bitter, a little sweet and a ton of grapefruit. Again, this is a no nonsense IPA that is everything that is good about an IPA

M - Creamy with low carbonation. A slight bit dry and no discernible aftertaste.

I may have found my favorite IPA! This creation is just splendid. Sad that it took me a while to discover it, but now that I have, it'll be in my fridge early and often!

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Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Diomede for the bottle!

A - Light copper body with good clarity. Nice white head with great lacing.

S - Fresh Citrus Hops and a good malt aroma in the backround.

T - Awesome. Hops, citrus, malt, this is a tasty beverage.

M - Great feel to it. Fresh, balanced, so tasty.

D - All the way from CA to CT this beer is still very fresh tasting. Wish this was readily available on the east coast. What a great beer.

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Photo of silentjay
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crystal clear orangey copper with a nice almost white head that retains well and laces okay.

nice aroma. lots of pine, grass, and orangey citrus. good mix of hops. some soft malts in the background, maybe.

very piney again in flavor, and bitter. citrus zest and some unripened tropical fruit (pineapple) that adds some tartness. nice. pretty strong flavors that have this bordering on DIPA territory. malts are subtle, but caramelly sweet.

mouthfeel is about where it should be with a light/medium body and plenty of resin left behind on the finish.

drinks pretty well. a bit strong for the style (which i dont mind) but the alcohol is integrated well.

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

Poured a goldish orange with a white head that dissipated slowly and left nice lacing. Aroma is mostly piney hops with some citrus. Flavor is piney hops with caramel malts. I like this beer's stronger malt profile. The 7.5% ABV provides a nice kick. Body is medium and it has a bit of a creamy mouth feel, but not to the extent of of Solace or Pale 31.

Another great beer from Firestone Walker. While I liked Union Jack, I thought Solace and Pale 31 were even better.

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Photo of JThysens
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was fantastic. It was a bitter smelling regular IPA without the smack in the mouth afterward. it was very surprising. I do like the bitterness in most IPA's but I like the abundance of flowery and fruity flavors most. This had all the flavor and punch of a normal IPA but didnt have the big kick in the end. one of my new favorite IPA's for sure.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured a ruddy orange-amber into a pint glass with a finger of fluffy white head. Very nice aroma of citrus and sweet caramel.

Moderate carbonation with a prickly, full mouthfeel that's just a touch resinous. Hoppy blast up front with pine, grass, and citrus followed by a sold caramel malt backbone. Pleasantly bitter grapefruit finish.

Extremely balanced and very drinkable. Impressive IPA from Firestone Walker -- wish I hadn't waited so long to try this one!

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Photo of CHickman
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange in color with a small tan head that faded quickly; to be expected for a cask ale.

Smells of floral hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, caramel, spices and some orange peel; quite a nice aroma.

Tastes like it smells, with floral hops, citrus hops, piney hops, grapefruit, lemon, sweet malt, caramel, spices like pepper and cinnamon, some orange peel; very tasty and to me was as good and enjoyable as the bottled version.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, as there is no carbonation, with a medium body and light feel. Very easy to drink, this is an awesome beer. I loved this beer in the bottle and as a cask it was so ridiculously easy to drink that it was almost dangerous. A very high recommendation.

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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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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,484 ratings.
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