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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,332 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): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 6,467
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 ThickNStout
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Bottled 5/22/14. Served in a goblet.

Pours a clear, pale-yet-rich gold with just over two fingers of dense off-white froth. Trails of bubbles rise to the surface, without disturbing the healthy layer of head that remains throughout. Large sheets of lace cling to the goblet as I drink.

Bright, inviting aromas of oranges, mild pine, fresh cut grass and hints of cracker. This is what an IPA should smell like.

Taste is full of bitter citrusy goodness. Oranges, grapefruit, lemony rind, pinesap, a peppery spice character, grass, vague melon, some cracker and bready malts and a whisper of alcohol lingering in the background. More malts than the nose suggested but it's a nice counterpoint to the hops, which are clearly in the driver's seat.

Medium body with crisp carbonation that keeps it lively on the tongue without seeming too much. The citrusy hop bitterness lasts well into the finish but leaves room for more oranges, pine and faint bread.

I can see why Union Jack is held in such high esteem. Even at two months old this is an outstanding IPA that I would love to try directly from the bright tank one day. This has all the bitterness I like in the style without sacrificing balance and it both looks and smells fantastic to boot. Glad to have finally tried this and will definitely have it again.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. A beautiful copper/orange color. Head that lasted with lacing. Poured into a tulip glass.

s. Smell had floral, citrus, some pine.

t. Taste was complex - hitting the citrus/floral in the front with an intense hop flavor in the finish.

m. Well carbonated, smooth

o. This is an outstanding IPA. Very enjoyable. I will be revisiting this beer soon.

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Photo of jwc215
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade!

Pours orange amber with a thin white head that quickly descends to a vanishing patch.

The smell is grapefruity and orange-y. It has citrus with caramel and some pine. There's a great hop spiciness going on here.

The taste is of grapefruity and piney hops that give a nice spiciness, supported and rounded out by a caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bitterish dryness.

It has a smooth, pretty chewy, medium body.

The alcohol is very well hidden, with just a touch of a soft kick appropriate for the body. Dangerously drinkable, it is well-balanced while showcasing Pacific NW hops. Disappears way too quickly for a 7.5%'er! Great stuff - Thanks again John!

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Photo of gabedivision
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a 12 oz bottle to a DFH brandy snifter.

The appearance is a clear deep apple cider color with a 1 finger head that laces and sticks around the glass. Big sticky hop on the nose traces of grapefruit, mango, and other citrus hops fill the nose. The malt and the alcohol are hidden behind the huge hop blast. The taste is amazing, so sweet and subtle. Again, citrus hops dominate the flavor, with a strong malt backbone. Big mango, and piny flavors all around, big aspriny bitter on the finish. This is medium in body and feel, nice and sugary, bitter, yet creamy and smooth to drink. This beer is awesome overall, really glad it made it to NY. I'm def going to consume this sucker regularly.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thin white head, clear gold body with a tint of blood orange. Didn't get any lace.

Strong! floral scent wafts from the glass. Orange, tangelo and other citrus notes.

Taste follows nose. Sweet oranges and tangerines. Lemon. Apricots. Pine needles. Bitterness gathers slowly. Peach flavors become apparent as the beer warms.

Very clean and easy to drink.

Fantastic American IPA. Gives my current favorite (Green Flash West Coast IPA) a run for its money.


Re-reviewed March 2013

Pours a clear brassy gold with a thin off white head

Scent is floral and fruity. Tangerines, apricots. A mild pungent onion note.

First I taste pungent, spicy and oniony notes. Then bright citrus - tangerines and grapefruit. A hint of tropical fruit. Pineapple. Pine oils. Hell of a nice hop profile here. Toasted bread crust tucked away beneath the prodigious hops.

Mouth is a velvety medium.

Think they've changed the recipe a little - don't recall the delicious oniony flavor. Summit? At any rate I like this even better than I did last year!

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/13/09

A - Hazy, moderate orange color. 1/2 inch head dissipates to a patch of large bubbles with mild retention. Light lacing.

S - Juicy & very appealing citrus aroma. Tangerine & orange notes with hints of grapefruit & pineapple. Faint doughy sweetness.

T - Closely follows the nose & that makes for an awesome taste. Floral upfront with a citrus spiciness on the finish. The only thing in the way of malt I'm picking are thin wisps of sweetness in the middle - kind of like sugar cookie dough.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fairly long finish that mirrors the taste of the beer. Not particularly bitter.

D - Choice drinkability. I could easily session with this one.

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Photo of Deuane
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to 0110x011 for this one in the LNBA BIF. One of my most wanted west coast beers!

A-Golden kissed copper with a thin, whispy off-white head, left minimal lace.

S-A west coast hop barrage. Sweet fruits with peaches, mango and citrus with a spicy piney kick too. Well supported by lightly roasted, caramel malt.

T-West coast hop kick in the teeth with all that fruit and spice swinging around bashing into each other. Malt backbone is there helping smooth things out but the hops that are the star of this show.

M-Medium-light body with nice long lasting hop bitterness.

D-Excellent, bargain priced, high quality, west coast IPA. This one is tough to beat for the cost. Glad I have another one of these waiting for enjoying.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled awesome! Grapefruit, mango and other tropical fruits with a touch of pine. Some caramel aromas.

T - It had a great piney bitterness on first sip. Nice tropical fruit flavors add some zip and bite. It has just enough sweet caramel and toffee to balance it out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied IPA with a clean finish.

O - This is a great IPA. Absolutely glad that Firestone Walker has come to Missouri. This will be a 'go-to IPA'.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear Amber and light copper, moderate head and lace. Fruity sweet aroma; apples, mango and other tropical fruit. This is followed by a bready, biscuity malt aroma. All throughout, there is a whiff of alcohol in the background. The taste represents a great balance of sweet and bitter. Citrus hops flavor, grapefruit, and with a big caramel or honey malt backbone. Sweet malt finish and an aftertaste that's resiny and hoppy. Smooth, full mouthfeel, soft carbonation that brings out the flavors, and easily drinkable. A world class IPA!

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A – Pours a deep dark gold with a one-finger head of white suds that quickly faded to a small white film. Spider-web-like lacing.

S – Piney, resinous hops. Aroma is strong.

T – Lush, juicy, west coast hop taste upfront; hops are piney with hints of grapefruit, lemon, and even the tinniest hint of lime. Buttered white bread malt backbone makes itself noticeable in the mid-palate, lending sweetness. Finishes with lingering floral hop bitterness. VERY well balanced.

M – Full bodied and chewy, with lively carbonation. A nice combination. Finishes bone dry.

O – A truly first class IPA all the way, and one of the better I’ve had. If there’s a critique (and it’s a tiny one), is that the hops deliver only the grassy side of the spectrum as opposed to some IPA’s that offer more versatile hop profiles. Still, a fantastic beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: translucent; lighter copper color for an IPA, almost like a dark blond. Decent head retention with mild lacing.

A: grapefruit-like citrusy backbone followed by a dominant hop flavor. Hints of apricot and pine.

T: sweet citrus notes upfront followed by a piney after taste.

M: mild carbonation; dryness after each sip makes one want another sip... also lleads to a quick empty glass!

D: light carbonation allows for several to easily be consumed on a warm summer night.

Overall, this beer always leaves a good impression.

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Photo of MattyV
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

British in name, but no so much in style. Pours a clear deep golden orange color with a 1 finger of meringue-like white head. Very aromatic--mostly citrus with hints of pine and tropical fruit, very nice. Great complex flavor. A decent sweet bready malt backbone is apparent early to mid sip, at which point it is dominated by the wonderful hop flavors and bitterness. Big fruity, citrusy hop flavors throughout with a big hop bite, leading to a bitter but crisp finish. Medium bodied, perfect carbonation for the style.

One of my preferred AIPAs thus far. Packs a whole lot of hoppiness in a complex and superbly crafted ale. Would love to session this regularly if not for the 7.5% abv.

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Photo of NicolasBird
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours on the darker yellow side for an IPA, two finger head and pretty clear. Smell is slightly piney, with some fruity notes. Feel is medium-light, and carbonated perfectly. Taste is fantastic. First thing that hits me is a little pine, which fades to a fruity taste, then leaves a nice bitterness on the back end of your tongue. This is a bitter IPA, but nothing too intense. It is perfectly balanced in my opinion. This beer is decently priced and available most places here where I live in UT. Very solid beer, yummy.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a minimal head and thin, stringy lacing. Citrus and pine on the nose, backed by caramel and some toasty breadyness. Hops hit first (as they should), with tangerine, lemon, and pine, followed suit by the caramel and bread from the malts. Very well balanced, a nice hop profile that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Finishes a bit dry for my taste, but drinkability is high. Damn tasty; this one will definitely be added to my regular rotation.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to snifter with a 9/10 bottling date

Pours a rich gold with little foam, despite my attempt to pour it rather aggressively. Decent lacing on the sides, foam had receded to a thin ring as I typed the above sentence. Mild carbonation, probably just had a bad pour

Aroma of juicy hops, strong tropical fruits, citrus, and some pine. Modest sweet malts also present with the alcohol. A bit fruity than most, but very good

Taste of strong hops, grapefruit, lemon, passion fruit, pine resin, and some faint floral tones. Malt translates nicely, leaving a sweet fruity after taste

Feel is pretty consistent as well, nice hop bitterness up front, dry sweet malt finish in the back. Goes down very well, leaves the mouth sticky and ready for more

Overall one of the better ipas on the west coast for a fairly decent price. Firestone walker is fast becoming one of my favorite breweries

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

I had enjoyed this beer many, many times on a vacation to Yosemite this summer, and was able to carry a few bottles back to enjoy at home, plus a trade brought a few more. Poured into a SN pint glass...

A - Poured a pale to medium amber color with an off white head that settled into a solid, heavy film layer. Medium lacing.

S - What hits me every time I enjoy a fresh Union Jack is the floral hop aroma. Not overly fruity and not too much pine, just a balanced floral hop smell with a touch of caramel malt.

T - Taste follows the nose. A perfect balance of floral hop bitterness and malty sweetness. IMO its perfect.

M - This suits my preference exactly...not too heavy (syrupy) and not too light (thin) . A medium creamy mouthfeel with excellent carbonation. Just right.

O - This is about as perfect of an IPA that I have had the privilege to enjoy. If you have the opportunity and are a fan of IPA's, this is one you definitely need to enjoy.

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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 crossovert
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle says 03/15/10.

Pours a nice orangeish gold with a creamy. bubbly white head.

It does have a nice scent, high on citrus and some sugary malt.

Mmm, this one tastes delicious. Nice grapefruit rind is accented by some spicy/herbal character with a nice bitterness. Some pine creeps in in the aftertaste. I love these hops.

A solid west coast IPA in my book.

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Photo of 57md
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is light copper with a thin layer of head that leaves some lacing behind. The nose is distinctly of fresh hops. You can tell immediately there is going to be no skimping on flavor here either. Drinks more like a DIPA than a single especially considering the body and hoppiness (particularly in the finish).

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Photo of JackieTH
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden with a creamy foam head that leaves rings of lacing. Smell is dense citrus, lightly floral, in fields of biscuit and toffee. Taste is heaps of juicy citrus against biscuit and toffee. Juicy bitterness shreds the toffee sweetness, but with with a big malt backbone lurking that gives this one some heft bordering on DIPA territory. Mouthfeel is luxurious. Finish is mildly bitter, juicy, clean. Overall this is a thoughtfully crafted tasty IPA. Excellent.

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Photo of VegasLou
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty basic but very well made. Great balance of flavors. I would have never guessed it was 7.5%. Been on an ipa kick lately and this has been one of the most enjoyable I have had.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another fine beer by Firestone Walker! I really like this IPA. It is very hoppy up front and has a lot of spicy character that you would expect. The smell is of piney, floral, and citrus hops. It has a very nice kick at 7.5% but it blends in in well for a nice taste. I would rate this as one of the better IPA's.

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

A friend of mine had a large blind taste testing event for IPAs and I believe this little gem took first place. I also heard it took first at GABF making it a serious brew.

Beautiful pour into an equally beautiful North Coast nonic pint glass. One finger of quickly receding head, that left substantial lacing over the top of the clear light amber liquid.

I am immediately impressed by the citrus smell that this beer carries with it. While there is a hint on some sweet malt odor to the beer, I find that the grapefruit actually twinges my nostrils a tiny bit.

Lovely mouthfeel. A well carbonated brew that is surprisingly thin and easy to quaff, really nice.

This a beer that is thoroughly consistent. Lacking the WOW factor of heavyweights such as Furious and Sculpin, this brew is really a sleeper. The moderate malt spine of this beer holds up to a nice balance of piney and aforementioned citrusy hops. A solid drinking buddy for sure.

Excellent drinkability. While there is a heavy hop bite to this West Coast IPA, it doesn't have the oily cumulative affect of some of its peers. I'm glad I opted for a sixer.

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

Got this beer in a trade from dyan, and was excited to try what might be considered a session beer on the west coast.

The appearance was flawless with its golden hues and delicate white head; consequently the beers appearance was very inviting.

The smell was all hops but very subtle in its introduction, yet again a very inviting attribute to the beers drinkability.

The taste at first seemed very reserved for an IPA but with the carbonation came a plethora of different flavors. With each gulp from the glass the beers flavors began to come forward. The warming of the beer certainly helped with this as well. The alcohol though high for a session beer is practically undetectable.

Mouthfeel was just right for the style, not sticky or too resinous, but pleasantly lingered on the back of the tongue and begged for more.

Drinkability on this one was high as I could see going through a sixer of these like they were water on a hot summer day. Now if only I had a steady supply of these I would be all set...

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,467 ratings.
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