Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,348 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): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,348
Ratings:
6,566
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
506
Gots:
1,675
For Trade:
13
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,348 | Ratings: 6,566
Photo of alex_hart
3.69/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pour a clear, golden color with some amber tints to it. Great looking carbonation. A pretty beer.

Smell: A lot of the classic IPA scents. Pine, pineapple, some other citrus, and a hint of grapefruit.

Taste: Goes along with the smell in the same way, but really has nothing extra to it. Not all that exciting.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Follows the style well.

Overall: Honestly I think I was just expecting more after all of the hub-bub about Firestone all the time. It is an average IPA, but nothing 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 Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint. Pours a translucent amber with a loose, quarter inch, off-white head. Head qickly dissipates into a creamy bullseye dollop and a thin, tight band around the shoulders. Spots and spatters of lacing coat the walls of the glass. Nose expresses citrus notes, cat urine (simcoe hops) and a trace of tropical fruit. Taste consistent with nose; however, flavors are a bit more muted. There is also some residual bitterness that lingers between quaffs that is intermingled with the cat urine expressed in the nose. Body is medium-light (but closer to light) with a slightly coarse carbonation as well as some acidity that peaks out towards the back. Overall, a decent IPA with a well-hidden abv, but I don't think it deserves the hype.

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

Bottle thanks to a trade...justn.

Pretty beer, dark golden almost amber, with lots and lots of little tiny bubbles streaming up to the top of the glass. Very dense but thin head, about a finger.

Lots of scents kicking out on this one. Lots in the citrus range, also a bit of malt.

Really packs a nice punch of hops when you drink, leaves a little tingle in your mouth. Leaves a creamy sticky residue that is a nice parting gift.

Pairs very well with Hebrew National All Beef Hotdogs...with coarse stone ground mustard.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a bells tulip glass.

A- Pours a frothy white 2 finger head, dissipates slowly, forms big bubbles on the side of the glass, Dark orange brown/bronze color, nice carbonation, nice lacing and retention.
S- Really bready and nutty, slight citrus and pine aromas, but the malts and breadiness take over the aroma.
T- Wow, I am not a fan of malty bready beers but this one is very enjoyable, its very nutty and bready like the aroma with hints of citrus and pine, slight bitterness as well, sweet on the finish.
M- Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation, smooth drinking.
O- Im not sure how fresh this beer is or if its supposed to be like this but it was very malty and nutty/bready. Usually I dislike beers that are like this but this one was rather enjoyable. I’d prefer the hops to be more present but still was impressed. Solid IPA.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On the pour very little aroma - some sweet malt and earthy hop is present. Taste is very thick, toasted caramel/butterscotch, sweet malt backbone with earthy/piney hops. There is a thick pine resin hops character throughout this beer that might be very attractive to some hop heads but for the average beer consumer might be construed as offensive. This is a very well crafted IPA that I would argue falls under the DIPA style. This is basically an English bitter on steroids.

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Photo of JeffoC6
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottled: 10/14/13
Drinking: 12/23/13 @ 7:00 PM (Merry Christmas!)
Setting: Living room couch, watching The Office (Benihana Christmas)

A: Pours crisp, clear, and like a shiny copper penny. Looks reminiscent of clean apple cider. Nice 2 finger billowy head that sticks around for awhile and caps nicely for the duration of the drink. Decent lacing.

S:Candied citrus peel. Sweet and sugary malts, forward citrus and pine hops with the citrus dominating. Nice faint hint of tree sap/earthiness to it, also a little biscuit.

T: Pineapple and grapefruit juice. Warming alcohol bite that fades into a pinecone/forest floor wetness mixed with candied citrus rinds and bread crust.

MF: A bit thinner than I expected, but after seeing it in the glass I realized that's what was coming. Sticky and sugary on the lips and tongue. Hangs around for awhile. Nice bitterness on back sides of the tongue. Was expecting a bit more mouthfeel, but still nice.

O: As always, the West Coast nails it. Would drink this beer at any time. It's up there with the Racer 5's, Stones, Ballast Points, etc. A solid, drinkable IPA that doesn't overwhelm your palette, which is becoming all too commonplace these days.

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Photo of SirHefeweizen
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review, i love this site but have never actually reviewed anything and i guess im ready.
This overall is a nice ipa, i poured it into a BBC pint glass and it is a nice orange-ish color with a small white head and a bit of lace around the glass. it has a nice grapefruit zesty scent to it. It has a medium body mouth feel, certainly a good beer, and well balanced

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, but not great.

Pours nicely, pretty head, fine, persistent. Transparent golden brown color.

Smells not too good, really. A little stale perhaps.

Taste is quite bitter. A manly-man's beer. Some apricots. Nothing great going on, but much better than the smell.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation, though some might prefer more.

Long, bitter, well integrated finish, good integrity.

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Photo of cavedave
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, cloudy amberish orange, not much head, but a gentle swirl leaves some crazy lace arms.

Smell is full of tropical fruit and citrus, some nice floral hops, lotta sweet, both a candy sweet, and a light bready sweet, hints of tart yeast, and pithy bitter.

Taste is like the smell, a blast of tropical fruit and citrus, holding hands with neutral sweet, and going down the road to a finish that is sweet, but balanced by some nice lemon, and hints of pine and citrus bitter. Pretty juicy finish for an IPA, but tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, low carb., quite viscous, just a bit of a mediciny feel to the finish, but doesn't really detract.

Drinkability, rated for style, is just average. Many more drinkable options out there in this style.

Impression: Enjoyed trying this hoppy and sweet brew, probably won't get again, too many better out there.

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Photo of weazal
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SMELL: Of course the hops dominate, but in a mellower, fruitier way that reminds you of apples and then pineapple. It's real pleasant and unique.

TASTE: Immediate onslaught of bitter hobs and sharp carbonation. Despite continual bitterness, the flavor is surprisingly restrained. Some mellow fruit / apple character is present. There's more body than you'd typically expect with an IPA and it finishes with the lingering hoppy bitterness and also whiskey like sharpness.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden with good clarity. Splotchy lacing.

S: Citrus and candy aromas.

T: Balance of orange and pine.

F/O: Good drinkability. Classic, but pretty restrained.

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Photo of Dubber55
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After an aggressive pour into my Founders snifter, I get one and a half fingers of white head which sticks around for a while. Pours a light orange with some yellow highlights

Smells very floral and herbaceous. I smell fresh cut grass, pine, and grapefruit.

Tastes like pine, fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and toasted bread. There is some caramel in flavor as well. A little astringent on the finish. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel is medium with some light carbonation. Seems a little syrupy at times.

This beer seems pretty balanced. I generally like IPAs to be all about the hops. I prefer more citrus, mango, and pineapple in the hop profile. The astringent finish is kind of distracting. It's solid but, not my cup of tea

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Photo of JamesMN
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 4/17/13.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear honey color with a frothy two finger off-white head. Leaves nice lacing as the head dissipates.

Aroma: Very herbal with some tea-like qualities from the hops. A touch of honeydew melon. Overall edging on the sweeter side.

Taste: Much more bitterness than I was expecting up front (it's only moderate) but that's a welcome surprise. Definitely a sweet herbal character to the hops that works well to balance out the bitterness. The malt bill probably involves some caramel and two-row but the hops are really the star of the show here. Smooth finish with a slight pine flavor and a pulsing aftertaste of semi-masked bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The moderate 7.5% ABV almost seems high in this department because the body is quite light (below medium). The superbly smooth carbonation lends high drinkability to Union Jack.

Final Thoughts: I was traveling through Illinois and stopped at a beer store looking for some DFH. I had no idea that Firestone Walker distributed that far and was pleasantly surprised to find a decently fresh sixer in the fridge. Quite a happy accident in my opinion. Union Jack has some fruity and piney elements but ends up being a sort of sweet herbal tea IPA. Despite the odd sounding flavor, it delivers a good drinking beer that has a lot of interesting hop character to enjoy. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of champ103
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear deep orange color. A tightly packed, pillowy, white head forms with excellent retention. Rings of spiderweb lace clings to the glass.
S: Hops, lots of them. Grapefruit rind, resiny pine. Grapefruit dominates.
T: Again, lots of hops. A get a bunch of grapefruit rind again. Resiny pine, oily and a lingering bitterness that is a bit to prevalent for me.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. A bit to oily for me. I wish it was a bit more crisp. Not hard to drink. Though the alcohol is strong, along with the large bitterness. Which for me detracts a bit.

Certainly one for the hop head. This is a very good beer, just no for me. I do like it. Though surprisingly I love Double Jack. I think that has more tropical fruity and juicy flavors than Union Jack. Which is what I like more than the large and lingering bitterness here. Still enjoyable.

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Photo of chrisafari
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: is clean hops, citrus, pine and subtle roasted malt.

Pours super-clear amber brown with small off-white head.

Flavor: begins with nice citrus and roasted malt. Finishes with a dry hoppiness.

I was disappointed with double barrel ale, so I was a little reluctant to try another beer from Firestone Walker. But, this beer proved me wrong. A good American India Pale Ale.

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Photo of FreightTrain
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This is a beautiful beer. The copper/amber color is topped by a very nice off-white, perfectly proportioned head that leaves loads of sticky lacing down the glass. Very attractive.

S- The smell is average. Citrusy, piney hop fragrance that's present but doesn't go much beyond that.

T- While this is hop forward, it's also well balanced. Sometimes "balanced" is code for "I felt short-changed by this IPA in the hop department", but in this case, this just a well-rounded, tasty beer. The malt is supportive and substantive without being sugary or intrusive. Nice bitterness in the finish.

M- Good level of carbonation, not quite as full as I want it to be, but suits the beer just fine.

D- A very nice IPA. Pairs well with food, but stands up very well on its own. Very well crafted.

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Photo of youcantmakeme
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

l: nothing out of the ordinary some yellow with a drop of red.
s: fruit, malt, and a drop of piss.
t: sweet, boozy, and fruity bitterness.
f: medium.
o: drinkable, somewhat smooth malty bitterness, would probably buy again.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/7/12
*From notes

-- I can't believe it took me this long to finally review FW's Union Jack. Shame on me. --

A: Hazy nectarine in color. A forceful pour yields a foamy three finger head. Quality lacing and collar follow.

S: Tight pine and generous West Coast fruit. Be sure to get this fresh to maximize your nasal enjoyment.

T: More pine and resin then a lot of West Coast AIPA's. It overwhelms the fore to mid, and the back is where the mild, chilled out fruit quality comes to relevance. Tasty stuff for sure.

M: More of a silky feel, less cream and body, more easy drinking. Would I like a bit more fluff? Sure, but it's not half bad as it is.

O: Not quite on the same level as Masala Mama or Sculpin, but damn close. Firestone Walker's Union Jack is another in a long line of delicious West Coast hop forward brews, and something that's always a pleasure to find cold in my fridge.

Recommended.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glass - Snifter

A - Cloudy semi bright orange color with a 1-finger head, retention was minimal/didn't stick around, expected for the high ABV. Left some spots here & there, not much lacing.

S - Wow, big orange/citrus aroma, like an orange Popsicle! Fresh fresh fresh, pineapple/grapefruit/hop resin, pine, and a bit of tree sap. Alcohol in there as well along with very mild cracker & biscuit.

T - Sticky pine resin, lots of bitterness, fresh orange juice/pineapple/grapefruit/fruit zests and more hop bitterness. Not much malt here, touch of cracker, just big hop freshness/hop bitterness. More of an imperial, very noticeable alcohol as well

M - Slightly silky, slightly chewy, not full though, mild crispness and medium bodied.

D - Pretty damn good, expected more malts for some reason. Around average drinkability, I could have 1-2 because of the high ABV, but I think I might buy this one again. Good, not a seeker but worth a try. Cheers!

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Photo of philbertk
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Union Jack India Pale Ale-2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV--72 IBU's. (4.65 / 5.0) IPA--Thin lacy white head. Clear bright pretty rich gold color. Big floral grapefruit pine pineapple Cascade hop front. Crisp sweet tangy caramel grapefruit citrus pine hop infused pilsner malt body. Zesty crisp balanced hop spice end. Very floral Cascade hops. Sampled 8/24/2009. $5.49 Each.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Passion For The Pale--Union Jack IPA--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 7.50% ABV. 72 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) No sediment. Lacy off white dense medium head. Clear bright gold color. Aromatic floral hop front. Crisp rich dry sweet buttery hop resin pale caramel doughy body. Creamy hop spice balanced smooth end. Rich hoppy crisp malty IPA. Lagunitas Notes? Sampled 8/3/2010. 6-Pack @ $10.99.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured this into a glass it had a nice thick white head on top of a golden color body. The aroma gives off a piney smell with a citrus also. The taste has a great pine hop flavor up front that is amazing, then a hint of malt towards the back. The mouthfeel is smooth and overall a really refreshing and enjoyable ipa.

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Photo of badbeer
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange/copper color with a white head that retains well and leaves good lacing on the glass. Grapefruit, pine, biscuit, caramel and an astringent grassy-ness in the aroma. Taste is bitter with pine, grapefruit, light lemon citrus, and a bit of lightly toasted biscuits providing a bit of a malt background. Less than medium body, dry finish, and medium carbonation. A nice, drinkable IPA that I'd enjoy from time to time. Maybe future bottles will have a better aroma, but the taste and mouthfeel was good at least. Thanks to doubleo for the bottle.

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Photo of joeworrall
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tonight I'm tasting this against Firestone Walker's Double Jack and New Belgium's Rampart. I've had all these before, and Rampart is my go-to IPA, but I am in pursuit of the perfect IPA.

In the glass, Union Jack and Double Jack are indistinguishable by appearance. Both are dark amber colored with a nice finger thick head, but that's where the similarity ends. Union Jack is more lemony tasting, not as well balanced and with a more bitter aftertaste than either of the other two. It's a decent IPA, but not in my top 20

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Photo of rudylaw
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, golden straw body with a simply gorgeous, 2-finger, soapy, foamy white head. Pretty hazy, but that head is unbelieveable!

Lots of pine in the nose. Of course, your typical citrus is present and quite a bit of caramel too.

I'm detecting a big malt backbone in this. The finish is bitter. There are some hops, but the malt is much more prevalent. Maybe some seltzer too? Lots of caramel and bread.

Highly carbonated but still goes down way too easily on a nice summer's eve.

I like this. I'm not going to go out of my way to mail order it from CA again, but I'd surely take one as an extra any day!

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,566 ratings.
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