Union Jack IPA | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
6,753 Ratings
Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA

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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Ratings: 6,753 |  Reviews: 1,389
Photo of chiva
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A Want of mine for a long time. Acquired a single bottle in a trade.

Hazy golden appearance, with half finger head.

Tons of citrus and fruits in the smell.

Just like the smell. Great job showing the flavor of all these different fruits. Definitely on the hoppy side.

Medium body with high carbonation. Very fresh feel

Great beer. Glad I was able to try this one. Would love to find more.

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Photo of Avatar113
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jjboesen
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is based on a delicious quaff experienced at the equally delicious Max’s Taphouse during Baltimore Beer Week 2010.

This one pours out a sleek looking glass of translucent copper liquid that easily reflects the lights flickering over the bar. The head is thin and somewhat filmy and the lacing is minimal throughout.

While the nose receives some gentle whiffs of green apple, the palate is working on mild grapefruit undertones that slide into a sweet finish.

Strangely enough, I thought the mouthfeel to be lacking for this style; it came off as a bit like a lager: crisp with malty notes. The Union Jack is difficult to peg; it is an interesting rendition that offers a few tweaks and surprises, yet, nevertheless, makes for a pleasant experience.

Being on the East Coast, and fated to a dreary existence in the People’s Republic of Maryland, I do not get ready access to this fine West Coast brewer; however, their beers do intrigue me (See my review for “Double Jack”) and make me lust for more.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color. Nice aromatics and a smooth drink. Has a really nice taste. Hops up front that linger on to a nice aftertaste. Overall a really nice beer

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Photo of kenito799
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20 oz pour at Yard House San Diego

Amber brew with nice tan head, copious gorgeous lacing left with each sip. The aroma is perfect classic super hoppy IPA, citrus grapefruit pine scents coming in waves. The bitterness is forceful but not astringent or overwhelming, balanced nicely. An excellent IPA.

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

Poured with an off-white head that flattened quickly to lace. The beer is asleep golden color with a slight orange hue. 

The aroma is floral, piney, and quite strong. 

The hop flavor that jumps out at you is orange rind.  The balance of the sweetness of the malts and bright clean hops make this one so drinkable. 

The mouthfeel is clean, full on IPA, and has nice carbonation. 

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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 jtingue
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Clear orange hued straw in color. Pours with 3 fingers of loose, but solid white head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving tons of large clumps of lacing. Few bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass. The lacing doesn't stick around for long though. Almost no long term head retention.

Smell. Totally hop forward. A piny citrus is the most dominant scent.

Taste. Starts out with a moderate, slightly resinous bitterness, which is joined by a juicy grapefruit. After this the hops become predominately more resinous and piney. The bitterness takes over for a bit and the beer takes on a more spicy character. It really starts to dry out after the grapefruit exits, all leading into a bone dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Very light in body, with a ton of dryness, as stated before. Light, but pleasant carbonation.

An insanely drinkable and complex hop monster. The dryness and overall presentation of flavors is reminiscent of a champagne, though not in terms of carbonation. Firestone Walker never disappoints.

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

Pours with modest white head and is a surprisingly pale ale like gold. Hints of red shine through, but this is a light and clear looking brew.
Nose is good, you can smell grapefruit hops and the promise of some alcohol.
Taste is light, crisp, full of grapefruit and citrus hops. Some pineapple and tropical fruit, but make no mistake, primarily grapefruit. The hops taste is not the smack you in the face double IPA variety however. The beer is so light malt wise that it allows the hops that are there to really shine. Yet it remains balanced. This is exactly what I aim for when I make home brew.
Mouth and carbonation are perfect for this beer. I hate to say its a hop delivery system, because this beer isn't a hop bomb. But everything is clearly set up for the hops. Just a really well made beer. Goes onto my 'search out and purchase when seen' list.

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

Pours a clear golden amber color with a nice fluffy white head that falls slowly and leaves gobs of lace down my pint.

Aroma is nice bready malts lightly sweet loaded with big fruity citrus hops. Nice aroma actually more fruity then bitter smelling but very enjoyable.

Taste is like the aroma nice citrus fruits riding on a bready malt base, big and favorable. Hops impart good fruity notes but leave middle of the road lingering bitterness that is grapefruit rind mingle with pine resin. Very nice clean favorable IPA without going over board on huge bitterness. Easy drinking goes down smooth doesn't seem like 7.5% brew.

Mouthfeel is bigger side of medium with nice smooth carbonation that greatly adds the the enjoyment of this beer.

Overall a very good example of the style, not mind blowing in any aspect but very well made everything seems just where it should be. Not sure what I paid for this but if its reasonable I could see adding this to my regular IPA rotation.

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

Acquired from fogdog courtesy of the 2009 Secret Bunny BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of piney hops. There's a mild sweetness of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA that is well-worth drinking for a whole evening.

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

Nice color. no real head, real good feel when sipped.

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Photo of IPA1978
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- crystal clear copper in color two finger head with good lacing

S- dried apricot, grapefruit, pineapple

T- big grapefruit, tropical fruits and piney hop oil/resin that coats your mouth with a wonderful bitterness that lingers followed by a nice sweet malt background. The alcohol hides itself well and is very sneaky ...sublime.

M- silky smooth with fine carbonation and a resiny feel.

O- One of the best tasting IPA's I've had. Hop heads will geek out.

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

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - poured into pint

Pours a nice gold amber with decent head and good lacing. Smells awesome, dank like a two hearted. earthy and pungent in a good way. Taste follows very well, this is a meaty IPA, just good body to it.

I loved this IPA and would buy a case of it

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

Thanks to wsucoug96 for the extra!

Pours a very clear light orange color, vibrant and bright. One finger of orange-tinted whitish head, fades pretty fast, but leaves nice lacing. Not bad.

Smell is absolutely delightful. Full of juicy piney hops and grapefruit, with a lovely warmth that fills in the rough edges. A perfect balance of zip and mellow.

This is yummy. Again, it's really well balanced, with the pine resin and bitterness of the hops just poking their heads through the velvet curtain of rich malty goodness. Okay, they burst through the curtain, but they're always well supported by those robust pale malts, which don't really bring much flavor, but fill in the space that's empty in so many IPAs.

Medium-bodied, sticky and juicy like a DIPA. Long finish, holding onto that soft juicy bitterness.

This is simply a top-notch IPA, hop-forward but balanced at the same time. Definitely straddles the line between single and double, with its high ABV and hefty malt presence. But whatever it is, I like it. I've been thoroughly impressed with Firestone Walker's big beers, and I'm impressed with this one, too.

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Photo of instinct2
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TVolt1
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light lemony-yellow/orange color to it. A little cloudy but good small amount of white head compliments the light color of this beer.

S: Initial hints of grapefruit and lemon. Smells very refreshing with a nice hop aroma. It starts with a more fruity hop smell and ends with a little bit of floral hop undertones. I am excited to try this beer!

T: Mmm very good! More lemon taste than anything. Pretty piney hop flavor so I get more floral hops than fruity hops in the taste. Nothing overpowering or off. Very smooth and easy to drink IPA. Also get a caramel note.

M: Smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a great beer. I would recommend it and would buy again. My husband got this beer on Beer It Forward from a gal in Brooklyn. Great choice and a beer we cannot get in MN.

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

Pours a copper clear color with a tan head with moderate retention and amazing lacing

Aroma is citrus, piney and resinous hops with a touch of floral.

Taste is hops and mores hops. I'm sure the malt is there to balance but the hops are so juicy that they overcome everything.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with medium to low carbonation. Dry astringent finish as it should be.

No doubt one of the finest American IPAs out there! Brynildson is indeed the hop master

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

This pours a caramel-straw color. There’s a floral, piney aroma with some malt to it. Tastes delicious, with pine and floral hops, grapefruit and citrusy essential oils. Bit of a chewiness gives it some heft and a tongue-curling bitter finish. I liked it.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this as an extra in a trade.
Pours a nice golden, orange hued color with a nice head. Already having good lacing as I type.
Strong hop smell but also a malty sweetness to go along with it. This is an incredibly balanced beer in my opinion. The hops hit you but not too harshly. Smooth transition to a slight bitterness at the end.
I was very pleased with this one. Granted I can't tell an age on it, but I give it high marks for being so well balanced!

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

Beautiful amber, gold body held a decent 1 finger head for a fair amount of time. Plenty of lacing even in the Tulip that I poured it into.

S- Hop explosion. A variety of hops were used and its noticable. Followed closely by apricot and some earthyness. Also, a touch of biscuit, crackers.

T- On cue with the smell. This is for the hop heads out there.

M- Medium bodied, coats the palate, low carbonation and easy to drink.

O- Union Jack is probably not a beginners IPA and if you like a crisp, hoppy taste then this will shine for you. At 7.5% abv the alcohol is barely present. A keeper.

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

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

On-tap at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, Arizona for a Firestone Walker special event on 11/18/11.

A - Golden yellow with a bubbly white head that fades quickly.

S - Hops! Pine & citrus. Bitter but refreshing. A hint of malt.

T - Grapefruit. Dry. Bitter. A bit one-dimensional. Straight West Coast hops.

M - Clean, crisp, fresh, with slight carbonation. Hops! Perfect bitterness for hop heads. I could drink this all day. And probably pass out before I grow tired of it.

UPDATE: 04/20/2017 ... canned on 03/01/17 ... wanted to revisit this beer after seeing it in 4-pack tall cans ($10, not bad!). Figured I haven't had a proper West Coast IPA in a loooong time and what better beer/brewery to enjoy flashbacks of the original hopbombs from my college days in Arizona. Must admit that filtered hoppy beers throw me off now, haha. But I wanted a break from the orange juice craze that is the New England PA/IPA. Beautiful copper color with a massive, soapy, off-white head and...and...completely clear/filtered...how is this possible?! Nose, flavor, and feel are a fantastic combo of bitter, resinous, citrus fruit hops with a tasty malt backbone. Can't help but increase my rating. Original score was 4.27.

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Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 6,753 ratings