Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,325 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

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

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Reviews: 1,325 | Ratings: 6,447
Photo of Docrock
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a 16 oz pint glass:

A- pours a orange honey color with a 1" head that reduces to a thin white cap, decent lacing.

S- nose full of grapefruit followed by pine.

T- pine dominates followed by the grapefruit and citrus. a slight honey and malt in the background leaves a nice balanced finish. he usual west coast ipa bitterness on the aftertaste.

M- i would consider this to be medium bodied and the carbonation is just right.

O - really solid IPA. i would definitely drink more of these if more available in my area. was a treat to see it on- tap!

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Photo of chilly460
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden amber and very clearn body, with a big 3 finger creamy white head, good retention and lacing.

S - Wow, this is plenty strong with citrus hops immediate, big grapefruit. As it warms, definite mango and orange peel, really nice.

T - Grapefruit, big tart taste but not wearying to the palate. Some orange, pineapple on the background. Enough of a clean malt backbone to offset, finishes very well.

M - Nice medium body and carbonation, very representative of the style.

O - Really strong, huge grapefruit aroma and flavor but plenty of other flavors going on, not an overboard "hop bomb".

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

Have had this beer previously in bottles, but this was the first time I ever had the pleasure of drinking it on tap. Part of the regular rotation at the excellent Rose and Crown pub in Palo Alto.

Like the bottled version, this beer pour an orange peach color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is impressive, consisting of a sweet, fruity, malty nose, that is aggressively undercut by a huge wave of hoppy bitterness. Flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, and what strikes me the most is just how well balanced this beer is. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is just excellent. There is no doubt, this would be my go to IPA of choice, were it only available on the East Coast. Just an all around excellent IPA.

Edit from 1/12. This beer is now available in the Baltimore area, and as mentioned, is now my IPA whenever I see it on the menu in town. It's a beer I order automatically when ever I see it in town. Thank God we now get FW beers now here in Bawlmore.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled 10/3/12

A- Pours a super clear honey body with a medium 2" off-white head that reduces to white film. Leaves some decent uniform lacing.

S- Big citrus notes. Slight grapefruit and fresh pine.

T- The fresh pine and citrus is pronounced and balances well with a honey-caramel malt backbone. Quite delicous and drinkable. No trace of alcohol. Slight bitterness left on the tongue.

M- Medium carbonation with a creamy, medium body.

This may be one of my new favorite IPAs. Unlike a double or triple IPA, you can pound a few of these down and be quite satisfied. Nice balance and drinkability. Pick up a 6

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Photo of cmq103
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass

Appearance: Darker golden color with a decent 1/4" head that held its own as the beer sat a few minutes to breathe. Very tight and clingy lacing that just doesn't want to let go. Impressive to say the least.

Smell: This is where it gets even better. Grapefruit citrusy sweet, but dominant hop aroma. I really could smell this one all day.

Taste: Wow!! Outstanding lightly sweet grapefruit, pine, hoppy joy!!! I get a tad bit of pineapple and malt, just prior to the perfect amount of bitter finish expected in the style. This well done IPA makes made my tongue and tastebuds extremely happy...

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is moderate. Exactly what this IPA needed to make sure all of the flavors blended together.

Overall: I swapped my brother a cellared Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout for this one. I will say it was a wise choice. I would rate this in my top five IPA's. The 7.5% ABV is so well hidden. This is my first Firestone Walker beer and definitely won't be my last. I wish I could find it in a 1/6th keg on the east coast. For now, I will have to enjoy it by the bottle. I can't wait to try the the Double Jack.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A very thin head followed this beer throughout drinking it. Lacing nice crept down the glass. Color is a gorgeous burnt orange color.

Smell: Nice subtle aroma, I was honestly surprised the aroma wasn't more prevalent with the taste of this beer. It was nice to enjoy the aroma of this beer instead of being overpowered by it with other ultra hoppy IPA's. Perfect combination of the crisp hops and tropical fruits.

Taste: An awesome single IPA. Bold pine smoothness on the front of this beer followed by the crisp hop presence. The 7.5% ABV adds a nice spicy feeling which makes this an incredibly complex IPA. Focusing on all the different parts of this beer is almost impossible on each drink. The taste definitely brings a wow factor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. A nice creamy texture covers the palette but the tingle of the hops sticks on the tongue. A little hot but makes you continue to pay attention to its presence.

Overall: A really exceptional IPA. If you ever get the opportunity to try it and are feeling some hops, you cant go wrong with this choice. Definitely a contender in the top single IPA's in the world in my opinion.

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

Clear amber colored beer; receding 1/2 inch of fluffy white head; nice slowly falling lace.

Superb aroma; very hoppy, with prominent citrus notes, particularly pineapple and grapefruit.

The taste is in the same bag and for me, absolutely delicious. The bitterness is held in check just enough to allow all that juicy pineapple flavor to shine through. Just the faintest hint of malt sweetness. Lots of grassy and herbal notes as well.

Medium long finish; lingers nicely, but just dry enough to bring you back for more. Moderate carbonation.

I really think this is a superb IPA; one of the best I've ever had and exactly what I look for in this style. The hop characteristics are very refined, full of subtle fruity notes and not just a bitter bomb. Yum. So fresh, could drink this one all day and night.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orangish copper color with a nice 1 and a half frothy white head which gives way to nice lace. The aroma has a nice caramel malt backbone bigger than most ipa's. There is then a hop aroma of piney hops and citrus hops. The nose is very well balanced almost a 50/50 split. The taste follows the nose, there is a piney hop bite to start with a nice citrus flavor over it, but in the middle you get hit with a great balance of malts. A nice sweet characteristic, a bready and caramel malt taste. Much sweeter and maltier than most ipa's, a little bit like a 120. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is a very good beer, this is a perfectly balanced beer, a beer I will be seeking out to find and have again.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden amber color, you see the carbonation fizzing through on this one, a two finger off white head at the top and nice lacing around the glass.

S: Lots of fruity blends on this one, grapefruit and orange zest and fresh hops.

T: This is fruitful throughout just like the nose, lots of grapefruit and orange, a slight hint of fresh biscuits, and citrus blend.

M: Smooth and sweet, medium carbonation, medium bodied. Nice sweet stickyness.

O:This is a fantastic IPA, I enjoyed it tremendously lots of good blends, and very fresh brew.

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Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This brew is an absolutely clear, golden IPA. The head is tall and luxurious. The aroma is fruit, backed with pungent hops. Earthy, resin, spicy, and intense. Wood is prominent. The taste is sweet in front, and very bitter beginning in the mid-taste. Lots of fresh hop aroma. Long and powerful finish. Great.

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

thanks to Andysr15 for this one!

Poured into a affligem goblet with an aggressive pour and got a thin white head with an orange colored body. wonderful aroma of flowery hops. Flavor is divine. Nice quick hop bite up fornt, but incredibly sweet and smooth finish. I do not know if I have had another IPA with this wonderful balance and sweetness/smoothness. Incredibly drinkable for 7.5%. can not wait for more!! If you have some, BM me!!

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

Big thanks to fartingdog for hooking us up with this one, enjoyed with biegaman and grub on the patio with some euchre.

Pours a slightly hazed orange, white white head forms, drops a ton of lace, solid ring. Smell is great, floral, grapefruit, oranges, caramel, bread, perfumy, lots of citrus goodness, very well rounded. Taste is even better, caramel, cake, sugar, jasmine, orange and tangerine, bit of yeast, some fruit, floral, nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very enjoyable, nice tight flavours, very balanced, definitely a good one. Thanks Dave!

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

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber body. Respectable white head that lives a bit of lacing.

S: Like a cross between a pine forest and a fruit bowl. Dazzling.

T: Chock full of piney, grassy, and citrus flavors. Plenty bitter, but not excessively so. This one is big on IPA flavor but more restrained when it comes to IPA bitterness.

M: Oily and syrupy.

D: Everything an IPA should be. Thumbs way up.

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

Tried this at a tasting of IPA's at Pacific Park
Market in Aliso Viejo. It was one of the better
brews opened, and was in GREAT company including
90 minute, Stone 10th IPA (3L), Dales Pale, Hop
Henge, Port 2nd Anniv, GF West Coast IPA

A: light orange, small white head, good retention.

S: Pungent hops, fruity fruity fruit.

T: bitter hops with sweet tangy fruit and citrus, and a touch of caramel malt to finish.
This is the fruitiest IPA I have had yet.

M: Crisp carbonation, with medium body.

D: A pretty good IPA all-around. This was recommended to me earlier in the day by Jeff at O'Shea brewing (owner) as his session beer. I can see why. It's readily available, not unreasonably priced, extremely drinkable.
It's a flavor explosion for an IPA. If you like fruit beers and hop beers, this is a great combination of the two.

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

Had this at a recent tasting. Thanks kbutler1 for the chance to try this want.

Clear golden in color, with a light copper tint. Off-white cap sits on top with good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is very hoppy, with citrus and floral hops dominating, but very wet and sticky, dank if you will. Only the slightest malt backbone on this one.

The taste doesn't disappoint either. Wet, piney and resiny hops. A sticky bitterness, with a lingering aftertaste. Floral and citrus hops dominate, but strong piney and resiny hops also play a role. Complex and extremely tasty, excellent stuff.

About medium in body, with a sticky bitterness, and appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is great, what an easy drinking IPA. The alcohol is a lot higher than I would have guessed, as it's completely masked by the massive hop characters.

Overall, this is easily one of my top IPA's. I would gladly have this again, and am very thankful I got to try a very fresh bottle. Thanks Kevin!

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

Pours a clear amber with a creme head that falls quickly. Nose is a nice floral citrus mix. Real airy, but with good character. Flavor is nice. Great hop mix. Citrus and sweet (almost a bit too much on the backside) are consistent as is a nice mellow floral flavor. It's balanced, even though there is a full flavor. A bit of a hot touch from the alcohol, but it's minimal and doesn't matter much by the time you've processed everything. Feel has a slight bite on the carbonation and the liquid is good. Easy to drink and a nice IPA. Comes off as slightly more refined as other IPAs that try to muscle their way to the top.

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

Reviewed from notes taken on 1/30/2012 that have been sitting on my computer since.

APPEARANCE: This might be the clearest craft beer I have ever seen. It’s like looking through glass…that has a lot of bubbles floating up through it. The head on the pint glass is about a half-inch thick, but settles into a coaster-thick cap rather quickly. The bubbles are very lively in this beer and they spring up from every part of the glass, not just the center or the sides. The lacing is decent, cathedral-like.

SMELL: The aroma on this one is gorgeous and strong. Every time I pour this beer at work I can smell it as soon as I pull the tap. This bomber is no exception, the bottom of the cap, a sniff into the bottle and the full pint glass all provide the same thing – a wonderful, piney, grassy and sweet, tropical fruit-like, hoppy smell indicative of a classic West Coast IPA.

TASTE: This beer is fresh and the first sip provides a big dose of bitter hoppiness. The grapefruit is strong with a solid grassiness to back it up. In fact, aside from Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter this may be the grassiest IPA I have tasted. The bitterness remains throughout the entire beer, but much like its SoCal brother, Stone Ruination, the Union Jack provides just enough malt to keep this beer on the far edge, close to too bitter, without ever slipping over it.

MOUTHFEEL: The sparkle is more of a tickle than a scrub of the palate and the palate of any IPA drinker will find that it does not resist at all. This is a pretty easy-drinking IPA. It is also a surprisingly light beer.

OVERALL: For some reason I never really gave this beer as much credit as I should have. I have tasted it in the past, but before moving to Colorado I could not get my hands on it unless I was travelling and I usually passed it up in favor of something more exotic. That all changed, however, when my manager and I tasted a lineup of Firestone-Walker beers last year. We needed an IPA on draft and we both, on the spot, decided that the Union Jack was our winner. Since then I have tasted it many times and thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes a lot for me to say this, but it now sits beside Modus Hoperandi (and Blind Pig when I am so fortunate) as my go-to IPA.

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

A: Poured from the growler into a Duvel tulip. Body is clear honey-amber with a small whitish head. Some splotchy lace.

S: Nice - citrusy hops, slightly earthy hops, some pine and a touch of caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - caramel malt, pine resiny hops and some citrus. Finishes with some spiciness too.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff. A top-notch IPA.

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

Served from a fresh filled growler from the local beer store into a pint glass.

A- Amber with two fingers of white sea foamy head which stayed viable while drinking. (I read several reviews which stated the head dissipated quickly, this was not the case (maybe the growler was the difference?)) As I drank and the level of beer in the glass went down, uneven rings of lace were left on the glass where the head had once been.

S- Piney hops, very pleasant.

T- Lots of bitter hops, some citrus notes. Just the right amount of bitterness.

M- Medium with some carbonation, nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

O- If you like hops you will enjoy this beer, if hops aint your thing then move along this beer is not for you.

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained this as a nice extra in a trade with bchung52077. Thanks a lot, Brian.

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith nonic.

A-Pours a clear honey amber with minimal head and little to no lacing. Very nice.

S-Very nice aroma of piney and citrus hops with a little bit of honey sweetness and malt.

T-Starts out nicely sweet and finishes with a nice hop bite. Very balanced and tasty. Hoppy but not too bitter.

M-Mild carbonation, very light on the tongue. A little bit of bitterness lingers.

D-A very drinkable IPA. Tastes lighter than the ABV and goes down easy so be careful.

This is a great "session" IPA. Flavorful, balanced, delicious. I'll be on the lookout for this in future trades.


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Photo of soulfly1492
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Very bold malt and hops. Grapefruit citrus and pine upfront. Some floral notes and definitely some sweet caramel and pale malt.

Appearance: Bright gold, super clear. Just a few tiny particles can be seen floating around. Head is tall, fluffly, and just barely off-white. Decent retention and a good bit of lacing.

Taste: Wow, and explosion of sweet and bitter flavors. Bold and complex everywhere you look. Grapefruit, orange, lemon, bread, caramel, sweet pale malt. No pine can be detected, which is a plus in my book. Hop flavor is resinous and grassy, and it stings and lingers on the tongue for a while. Some bready notes show up in the aftertaste, which is nicely balanced and fairly mute compared to the main body.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Very creamy and oily. Not drying. Very mild carbonation.

Overall: One of the top IPA's I've had (75+ different to date). Lots of sweet, lots of bitter. Pleasant, complex, and nicely balanced.

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

Appearance is golden-orange with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving spidery lacing. There is a slight chill haze that clears up as it warms.

Smells of dark, earthy, slightly resinous hops with a touch of melon. Just a hint of caramel in the background.

Tasty caramel malt blends well with earthy hops upon first sip. Hops brighten up and become citrusy/floral toward the middle. A grapefruity bitterness also shows up in the middle and lasts throughout. Warming alcohol, leafy hops, and citrus on the finish. Astrigent tea leaves in the aftertaste.

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel that coats your throat. Light carbonation and a sweet but bitter finish.

Very drinkable, complex and well-balanced IPA.

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Photo of Nickholland
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the gold standard IPAs. Has all the elements: intense hop flavor, balanced, complex, great mouthfeel and carbonation, finishes really crisp and clean. A truly world class beer.

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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 legalpete19340
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright goldish yellow with big thick head. Lacing is good.

S: Very fragrant with grapefruit jumping out. Some lemon, bit of herbalness.

T: Lots of grapefruit, mild lemon, floral notes. There is a strong light malt character that really comes through in the middle like dinner rolls or dry country bread. Fair kick of bitterness in the end but the overall experience is light and citrus.

M: Big and heavy but not chewy.

O: Very good. Fragrant and light with all the citrus flavors a hophead could love. So drinkable.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,447 ratings.
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