Union Jack IPA | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
6,653 Ratings
Union Jack IPAUnion Jack IPA
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
Ratings:
6,653
Reviews:
1,361
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
517
Gots:
1,718
For Trade:
13
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,653 |  Reviews: 1,361
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of smithj4
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

 942 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Shiny golden pour, just a bit hazy. Small white head reduced to a bit of froth in minutes.
Sweet citrus and caramel on the nose, peach, faint melon, bit of mango, light pine. Sweet and really fruity.
Bitter-sweet citrus up front, lots of grapefruit and citrus peel, bit of lime, pineapple juice, touch of mango, maracuja. Spicy leafiness, kiwi seeds. Not the most complex fruity hops, but really intense and strong, tailor made to cover up the caramel malts (just a bit coming through) without missing out on the flavor-enhancing sweetness (nice hint of floral honey, actually). Pine and grassy bitter steam-roller in the end.
Lots of flavorful hops in the aftertaste, a bit tropical, citrus peel, a bit of pine, with hop bitterness stuck in the throat. Medium body, rather fizzy, almost a bit burpy.
Refreshing and so very tasty. Can't imagine how this is fresh from the tap. Great IPA.

 887 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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

Had fresh on tap in Bayshore NY, July 2011.

A – Great, creamy head with amazing retention and great lace. Golden wheat, crystal clear, body.

S – Bright and citrusy with orange, tangerine, and grapefruit.

T – Soft malt and bitter orange marmalade. Fruity, nectarine center. Pleasantly woody and campari-like bitter finish.

M – Soft and impossibly smooth for the level of refreshing carbonation.

O – A fantastic IPA. Among the best I’ve had.

 457 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strange name for an AIPA, cheers to Wasatch for this one!

Pours an effervescent honey with 1 finger of beige head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Piney & citrussy

T: Grapefruit, breadyness & tangerines up front. leafy hops & pineyness dominate as this warms, plus just a whisper of booze, honey malts & apricots. Finishes piney with a touch of breadyness, earthy hops & pineapple

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, plus great balance

Drinks easy for the style & ABV, a good AIPA that verges on the edge of greatness

 529 characters

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

Good initial head, but I'm really impressed with the blanket of lace that remains long after the brew is gone. The color is a neutral gold. Crystal clear.

Prickly to the nose with white pepper and evergreen. Very clean and inviting. The hop is strongest but it is spot on in intensity.

Smooth initial feel to the body. Good carbonation. The flavor begins with a strong, nearly dry, pale malt. No grassiness at all. The bitterness is strong enough to punch through but it isn't extreme by any means. The aftertaste is actually a blend of the two--the hop features the white pepper bite noted in the smell.

Overall, this is perhaps the finest American Pale Ale I've ever tasted. It belongs to pantheon of great APAs--Sierra Nevada, Stone and Fresh Hop from Great Divide.

 772 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a thin, white, bubbly head.

Smell: Pungent earthy, herbal pine needles and soggy grapefruit rinds blanket the lesser aroma of pale malt.

Taste: Pale malts along with a rather subdued caramel sweetness. Profuse hop flavors of citrus fruits and herbaceous pine thoughtfully deliver a nice pinch of medium-high bitterness. Finishes appropriately dry with a long, lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a tad bit oily in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Goes down surprisingly easy (and quickly) for being a 7.5% ABV. A solid, competent India Pale Ale.

 624 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for this one.

A: Pours a clear orange with a one finger white head, moderate retention, finally reducing to a thin ring of white.

S: Very nice citrus aroma, plenty of pineapple and grapefruit. Hints of orange rind and pine, with a touch of caramel on the back end.

T: Lots of pine upfront which transitions nicely into some citrus, pineapple and a good bit of orange. Hints of caramel on the backend with a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth, slightly sticky finish.

O: Really nice IPA. Great combination of pine and citrus, very easy drinking, especially at a high ABV for style.

 654 characters

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

Honey with a large splash of orange juice. The head is polished ivory in color and features loads of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. As those bubbles burst, they leave a delicate array of lace-like lace all over the upper reaches of the glass. A classic look.

And an outstanding nose! There goes any thought that Union Jack is an English IPA. So why the name? The hop bill (Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus) is 100% American and the sheer amount of hoppiness is AIPA all the way. Talk about a fantastically bright, perfectly pungent, fresh hop-like nose. Prediction: this is going to be great beer.

That was way too easy. As expected, Union Jack is full-to-bursting with C-hop goodness. Can't forget the Simcoe (S-hop), since they give the flavor profile a distinctly tropical vibe that adds yet another dimension. Killer hop bill. Absolutely killer. It's also nice to see that the brewery didn't allow the little green cones to outpace their malt support.

There's just enough of a barely toasted, caramel maltiness (think SN Celebration Ale) to let the drinker know that hops aren't the only ingredient that's allowed to provide flavor. The good thing is that the caramel doesn't get in the way of the grapefruit, bitter orange and pineapple explosion. 72 IBUs seems about right, but they're a friendly 72.

The mouthfeel stays well within the bounds of the IPA style. Any bigger and it wouldn't work as well. It's as smooth as glass and is lightly creamy in the bargain. Soft-edged carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has another winner with Union Jack India Pale Ale. Forget the British flag, though. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever and is proud of it. I could (and would) drink this stuff by the case if it was available locally.

 1,783 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My pour resulted in two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, ecru head with good retention. Nose had a very citrus-hop smell. Color was a medium-amber/light-gold. Mouthfeel had a slight graininess to it, like it might have been overly dry hopped and saturated as a result. The taste was very hoppy, grapefruit-like in its citrus/dry way. The finish was extremely dry and satisfying. I had purchased a six-pack of this beer while in Oxnard, CA and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

My original bottle review stands, but today is T, 18 July 2017 & this is The CANQuest (tm)!

Not a CANplaint, but a CANtion - FW seems to be the maters of the brimful CAN. I Crack!ed open the CAN only to get massive amounts of foaming due to the tongue not having anywhere to go when displacing the liquid CANtained therein. I have lots of exbeerience with this, however, and I CANmenced a very slow, gentle Glug. I was met with two fingers of soapy, foamy, tawny head with moderate retention that ended up leaving some great lacing in its wake. Color was solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was reminiscent of a DIPA with loads of grapefruit & tropical fruits along with a mintiness & a caramel maltiness, all acCANponied by a sinus-tickling fusel alcohol heat. This bad boy now clocks in at 7.5% & is PFC to a DIPA! Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was initially grapefruit, but followed closely by tropical fruit and mint flavors, finished with a light caramel sweetness. Phew! May I see some ID, sir? Are you SURE that you are not a DIPA? Finish rocked me back in my seat & made me CANsider what I was doing. It was quite pleasantly dry and so eminently drinkable as to be downright dangerous. Phew. Proceed with caution.

 1,739 characters

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

Well the first of my Firestone Walker evening. I have three of these setup for tonight, the first I have ever had from them, so I was naturally quite excited to give this a try. Being my preferred style I jumped right for this 7.5% IPA which I thought would compliment dinner very nicely. Poured out a very nice golden amber with a little bit of a haze to it, but nothing terribly dramatic. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass, which only served to reinforce the very nice head of foam which had formed at the top immediately upon pour. A nice three inches or so of white pillow like foam was on top now, settling down after a couple of minutes to just a thin film across the top which produced copious amounts of side glass lace on its way down. A nice typical IPA from what I could tell so far.

The aroma was classic hop bomb of an IPA from the first whiff. No, mention of the alcohol what so ever in this one from the aroma through. Lots of fresh citrus hop aromas coming right at you with a delicate balance of bitterness and a touch of sugar as well. Definitely some light sweet notes coming through on it, especially as it warmed up a touch. Very nice feel here, with a rich medium body that was full of carbonation, offering you a very nice creamy feel as it went down, but still staying light enough not to cause a problem with filling. Great flavors were all over this. It was to be honest on the lighter side of the style, but, it came off very well with a rich mixture of grapefruit and orange flavors that hit you off right from the start, but were mellowed down towards the middle to allow a much more balanced flavor to start to breakthrough. Hints of grain were in here now, mingling around and lots of malt sugar, really giving it a nice bit of sweetness and balancing out the hop bitterness very nicely. This was a very well balanced IPA, while still sticking to the classic west coast style all the way. Very cool indeed. The alcohol was so well hidden, this could have been 4% as it was nearly and completely undetectable. This was just an awesome session ale. I could have had this one all night to be honest.

Overall, I really thought this was great, and a very nice way to welcome me into the world of Firestone Walker. A fantastic west coast style IPA, that did not overdue anything, it came and did very well. I would love to get a hold of this again as I thought it was simply remarkable.

 2,463 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this bottle up at Brass Rail, enjoyed chilled from a tulip.

The color is amber like honey with great clarity and thick bone white head that drops to a ring. The lace clings and bead is very fine, carbonation risies rapidly to the surface. The smell is excellent - lots of citrus and tropical especially grapefruit esters with a light floral accent, very mild malt presence which hints at toasted malt. The feel is great moderately high bitterness with medium carbonation and the right amount of malt sweentess with a semidry finish tangy hops add depth with slight yeast fruitness backing them up.

The flavor is just great no other way to describe my first impression is the nuance of the beer is cohesively establishing a great hop flavor overlapping the malt backbone with yeast adding character yet playing a supportive role. I love the grapefruit-like flavor of the hops is balanced slightly by a nice toast note in the malt there is a subtle floral accent which adds complexity with very mild aclohol and hint of pine in the finish. Overall I really love this beer it is a great example of the style -an IPA with lots of hop flavor not simply a bitter beer.

 1,174 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 4/22/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle in my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops and a tiny bit of soap.

t - Taste is citrus and pine hops, as well as some smooth malts.

m - Very smooth. Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty nice IPA. Some nice citrusy hops in the smell and taste and a nice smooth mouthfeel to it. Would have again.

 442 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a typical looking amber color with a rather fluffy and large white head and some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Plenty of citrusy hops in the nose. I pick up a lot of grapefruit and perhaps a bit of orange as well. Not really too much malt there, but a bit of breadiness.

T: The flavor is essentially a continuation of the nose. Plenty of sharp and juicy grapefruit with a bread-like malt flavor in the background. A mild, resinous bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation and a very crisp finish.

D: One of the best regular IPAs out there and a stand-by of mine. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

 643 characters

Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,653 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.