Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,321 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,321
Ratings:
6,427
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
491
Gots:
1,582
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,321 | Ratings: 6,427
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 nsheehan
3.14/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Union Jack
Firestone walker
20130812
22oz to modern pint
7.5% ABV
IPA
Bottled on 07/12/13, bought ~08/07/2013

A – A very clear copper, some bubbles rising almost lazily from the bottom. Head reduced to a thin yet full layer. Lacing in the glass is craggy and quite nice.

S – Fruit and hay, a little bit of pine, and some malt to balance it out. Getting papaya, cantaloupe, and honey dew, not much citrus to be had. The smells work together nicely, but it’d be nice to have a bit more oomph from the hop aromas.

T – Similar to the smell, the taste needs more oomph. I like the level of bitterness, though it could be more. First I get the fruits and the hay, then the sweetness comes in to share the palate. The flavors kind of roll over the tongue and eventually leave a grassy honeydew aftertaste. Not a huge fan. As it warms, nothing more comes out, and it seems that just the sweetness strengthens a bit. Even for a pale ale this would be disappointing, but it tastes more like a hopped up bock.

M – Medium bodied, pretty soft, not tingly except for two seconds during the swallow. Wet finish. I’m not really digging this for style. This mouthfeel comes across more as a dinner or dessert beer, thanks to the excess sweetness. To be fair, I have to remind myself that it’s not a DIPA and I should try to separate the taste and mouthfeel.

D – I was excited for this one, but it really didn’t come through. Firestone does great stuff, and this IPA is well-regarded, but I struggle to agree that it is an IPA. As much as I’d like to give it love, I can’t. I’ll probably revisit this one when I can get it fresher in CA in a year or two.
4.25, 3.25, 3, 3, 3; 3.11.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a pint glass

Looks. Translucent and pale, decent head retention and GORGEOUS draping lace!

Smells. Gorgeous, from three feet away I can smell aromas of citrus, pine and fresh mown grass. I could be wrong, but I'm nearly certain I detect some Simcoe on the nose and it's one of my favorites. Opening this beer is similar to the experience of opening the door to the hop fridge at the homebrew shop. It's so strong and about perfect.

Tastes. HOP FORWARD, to drink this beer casually is to not perceive a malt presence. On closer examination it's there, but it's essentially a delivery vessel for all of those hops, but it doesn't come off as unbalanced. Simply very very hop forward. This beer is a single IPA but it approaches some of the hard core doubles in levels of hoppiness. Flavors of grapefruit, lime, orange rind, bits of grassiness and a pine profile abound. I should like a tad more sweetness and a bit more of a clean straw like character from the malt.

Feels. Moderately carbonated, not particularly heavy on the palate, finishes with an oily hop astringence that hangs on the palate.

I can't stop sipping this beer, whoever decided that Firestone Walker should come to Alaska was a brilliant person. I wish I had tried their beers sooner, or had the opportunity to do so. What a brilliant beer and now I wish I had more then just this one bottle. GREAT STUFF!

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

A: clear bright orange color off white head

S: orange, orange peel, grapefruit and pineapple

T: taste is same as smell with a good bitter finish

M: med mouth med carbonation

D: real drinkable

overall: a very enjoyable beer has a ton of hop complexity in there with a ton of hops used. I like this one a lot another winner from FireStone Walker!

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Photo of BrewThru_29
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, bright gold. 2 finger head that slowly recedes and leaves nice lacing. Nice!

Smell: Pale malts. Citrus. Maybe a little pine.

Taste: Actually pretty sweet up front. Bittering hops on the tail end, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Nothing incredible here. Nothing bad either. Not harsh for the ABV, but I've had smoother as well. Overall, nothing to complain about. Very drinkable.

Overall: Last beer of my sixer. Very good IPA. I will buy it again come summer.

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Photo of semihobo
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear tangerine orange body, slow light bubbling. Solid head like whipped eggs whites, fades to a nice ring. Nice red white and blue bottlecaps.

Smells of tangerine, bitter orange rind, pale malt.

Strong but not overwhelming hops on the taste. Very floral and citrusy, backed up with enough bitterness to balance. Finish is dry and compared to the style moderately bitter. Malts are subdued, staying out of the way, adding some sweetness to the fruitiness up front and a biscuity note on the middle and finish... Love the transition from sweet to dry.

Medium weight mouthfeel, smooth carbonation and a little thick on the finish.

Nice rich hop profile and medium bitterness for an IPA makes this fairly drinkable. 7.5 ABV is totally hidden on the taste and that number feels like an average ABV... Then it hits you toward the end and you start thinking of 7.5 as nearly 8%, whoa... Glass half-full or -empty, this is dangerously quaffable. $9.99 / six was a bit much at a boutique grocery store but $4 a pint at the firestone taproom indicates they price it reasonably. Good stuff, and as good an offering as was to be found from the full lineup at the brewery.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Unfortunately I don't see a bottling date.

Appearance: Pours an amber and carrot orange color with a nice finger of oily looking head. The head retention isn't particularly wonderful. It disappears quite quickly and I'm left with just a few oily looking bubbles resting on the top. I gave the beer a few swirls in my snifter and it looks like the head retention is going to be quite nice. There aren't any thick sheets, but some nice thin streaks and some small dots are covering the glass. The beer is slightly effervescent, and I'm expecting the beer to have a nice low to medium amount of carbonation that gives the beer a nice smooth feeling.

Smell: The nose isn't a hop bomb. This is a well balanced IPA. A nice caramel malt sweetness comes through on the nose. It's hand in hand with some herbal earthy hop notes like pine, soil and grass. The citrus note that I'm picking up is a little bit of mango and grapefruit. Perhaps this is an older bottle, but I was hoping for a little more hop in the nose. Maybe it had it at one point.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose in that it's a well balanced IPA. Well, perhaps I'm biased in calling it biased. The hop profile is definitely here. But, it isn't completely overtaking the beer. There is a very nice malt presence here.

The first flavor that crosses the palate is sweet pale caramel malt. The malt backbone that's present is enough to handle a larger load of hops. I could see this being turned into an IIPA quite easily. There's quite a bit of bitterness from the hops, but nothing unusual for the style. The hop flavors then cross the palate. It's a mixture of earthy and citrus hops. The same lot found in the nose: mango, a little pine, some grass, and a little bit of grapefruit. The grapefruit flavor is much more prominent on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied beer, right down the center. The carbonation was actually a dash too high in my opinion. The more the beer warmed up and lost some of its carbonation it became better. It needed a little time for the mouthfeel to hit its prime.

Drinkability: A well put together beer from Firestone Walker. A nice malt backbone and a nice amount of hops. This was exactly the beer I was looking for on a Friday night.

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Photo of Groulxsome
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into a tulip. Shipped home to Toronto from Santa Barbara, California.

A: Brilliant coper with strong head and lacing.

S: It's pineapple, wild flowers, lemon peal and then the more standard expected IPA smells of a good balance of malt and pine hops.

T: A sweet malt with some pine tinges. A wonderfully rich grapefruit bitter. It starts off slightly floral, then has some pineapple malty sweetness, than that bitter. The stuff of dreams.

M: Really sirupy and heavy ~ it seems to be close between the IPA and the double IPA.

O: It's complex, it's rich, it's got so much going on. This is one of my favorite IPA's. It seems to give me something new each time I have it. If someone offered to bring me any beer of my choice from California, I'd probably choose this.

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Photo of Homerbag
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper almost amber, clear body with two finger head.

Smell comes at you like a west coast IPA should. Heavy citric hops with a strong biscuity malt compliment. Taste is like the nose. Strong grapefruit, almost lemon like hops with a bisuit malt backbone. For all the West Coast IPAs, this does stand apart with a unique and different taste. Dry finish to leave resiny aftertaste, like you would get after eating a grapefruit.

I wish I could ahve this fresh, I'm sure qualities would stand up a little more. Either way a good and almost sessionable IPA.

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Photo of arfenhouse
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark copper with white head. Decent sized head.

S: Pine mixed with some caramel sweetness. Grapefruit and sweet fresh tropical fruits. Mango, pineapple, and a bit of papaya.

T: Begins with a caramel and sweet bread malt. A big dose of the biter grapefruit followed by the tropical fruits. Aftertaste is bitter-sweet mainly comprised of tropical fruits. Well balanced and very drinkable.

M: Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Fine carbonation and smooth feeling.

O: Solid, well balanced IPA. Good amount of hop bitterness. Very good single IPA.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Orange-yellow color with off-white head. Looks like an IPA should look.

S: Pine, hops. That's really all I get.

T: This one's got a lot of hops and pine resin. Pretty tasty, if you ask me. I get orange peel, leather, pine, grass, lemon, zest, and some citrus-y tones. The beer has a nice malt backbone, too; but, this is not something I look forward to in an IPA.

M: Thicker than expected. Medium I think. Not bad.

O: I'm not a huge IPA fan, but I enjoy my IPA's every now and then. This is one that I enjoy! It's a well crafted brew. The only thing that got me was the malt character. I like IPA's with a light body and more fruit tones. This is a good brew, regardless.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is definately my first Firestone Walker brew. I got this one from a trade with BrewerB thank you kind Sir. I have enjoyed it!

This was poured into a Duvel glass. This is a very clear beer with little head retention. The color is of oak/copper color - somewhat dark for the style.

The aroma is of fresh hop fullness situated on a firm malt backbone. There is no fruit detectable in this IPA - this is a stark difference between this and the last IPA I drank (Port Brewering "Wipeout IPA").

The taste is excellent with light malt followed by sharp crisp hop flavor - though not oily. This is how I've come to see great west coast IPA's - they sneak the hops in and hit you in the back of the throat. In the east they seem to punch you in the face and leave a harsher finish. I really enjoyed the crispness and refreshing quality of this beer.

Drinkability of this beer is very good. At 7.5% alcohol this is a fairly potent brew. I wouldn't want to drink too many. I could and would like one more though. Man this is one fine beer - thanks again Brian!

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Photo of jhtipton
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What a well balanced beer. Pours a nice heady lacing deep orange onto my goblet. The smell in the bottle is great. Very piney and grapefruity but th taste is even better. Can't believe how the sweet fruity taste of mango and pears jump out. What a fine example of west coast IPA. It has a wonderful medium body and the alcohol is barely discern able. Overall one of my favorite IPAs and it is no wonder they boast their awards on the cap. Cheers.

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Photo of BTodd
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A-Fairly light in color, with a hint of orange. Nice, fine head dissipating relatively quickly.

S-Assertive hops with floral and green notes. Less pine than some others I've had. Slight, sweet malt aroma as well.

T-Hop balance for sure, but like smell, nice malt to back it up. Floral, citrus hop flavor is prominent for me.

M-Lively carbonation with good mouthfeel that isn't too heavy.

O-A great IPA that will be a go-to for me from here on. It's readily available and not too highly priced with all the other IPAs in this realm increasing.

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Photo of TheFlern
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A really light amber. White head that dissipates quickly. A think layer covers the brew.

Smell: Floral hops, very nice. Minimal malt backbone.

Taste: Light malt. It is pleasant though. Bitterness. Typical hoppy IPA taste similar to Ranger et al.

Mouthfeel: good amount of carbonation. This is a juicy hop beer, not much dry bitterness at the end of a sip.

Overall: A very good beer. If you are an IPA fan and haven't tried it then you should give it a shot. If you've tried it and liked it for the price buy more. I wish it was available fresh in my area but I feel this is the equivalent of Ranger IPA and not as good as Odell IPA.

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Photo of Trombone69
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap with my roast pork sandwich.
Fairly impressive, nice hoppiness without overt bitterness. I'm not a huge IPA guy, but this was pretty good. I might pick up a six pack of these sometime.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant clear orange amber with a small frothy head made up of complex tiny bubbles. Lacing sings as it sticks to the sides of the glass. This is what a beer, especially an IPA, should look like. The first whiff of Union Jack yields a tantalizingly complex aroma of fresh mango and tangy pineapple. This is accentuated by a light grassy pine somewhere off in the background. The first taste is sublime. Sweet candy malt hits the palate first, before being washed away by perfect bitterness. As the palate acclimates the beer becomes almost juicy, like you are biting into ripe piece of citrus, again I think of mango, pineapple, and grapefruit. Lots of that heavy-duty lupulin taste hangs out in the middle of the beer, the ones that only the really great IPAs seem to capture. Mouthfeel has medium carbonation, and isn’t watery at all, though it is almost slightly creamy. Despite the initial wave of sweetness up front, Union Jack leaves the palate dry and begging for more.

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:

Light orange, hints of gold. Very clear, filtered look. Mild carbonation. Not much sticky coating on the glass like many hoppy beers.

S:

Orange rind up front, with a slight hit of malty graininess. A quick whiff of alcohol is there, but fades to citrus and more malt. Very balanced.

T:

It's difficult to describe all of the characteristics here; but you get the typical west coast hoppy bite, with the citrusy american hops, but you also get a faint crystal and base malt backbone at the same time. Neither one punches you in the face, this is a very well balanced ipa. It is certainly a very hoppy beer, but is more balanced than some of the well known ipas. It is citrusy, A little bit grassy, and you can pick up a saltine cracker-type maltiness.

M:

Slick and somewhat oily as is the standard for ipa's, has a medium bodied texture that clings to your tongue.

O:

You can't ask for much more in a ipa: you get hops, malt, alcohol, complexity, and refreshment. this is a classic in the style and its no wonder its gained notoriety and fame over the years. I will drink this one when I can and I'm not even a huge hophead.

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Photo of ottovon
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this in a trade with davexisxrabid. thanks a lot.

A: a clear coppery orange. a small white head.

S: smells of citrusy hops, and sweet fruit like apricot or mango. can also smell some caramel from the malt.

T: tastes of citrus and pine. it is bitter in the finish. you get some of the sweetness from the malt along with some of the fruit flavors.

M: medium body with light carbonation. resiny from the hops.

D: i could drink a few of these. wish i had more.

drank on: 05.28.09

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Photo of Janderson91
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great extra given to me by Azurescens. Bottled on 12/07/10. Enjoyed on 02/23/11. Relatively fresh, time to review!

A - Crystal clear light amber color with a two finger white head. Leaves incredible lacing. Looks great.

S - Grapefruit, citrus, pine, very pungent nose. Smells great. Just what I want from a west coast IPA.

T - Begins balanced with some prickly carbonation. Nice and bitter toward the end. Finish leaves a great grapefruit/citrusy bitterness on the tongue. This is a fantastic beer.

M/D - Mouthfeel is medium where it should be with good carbonation. I'm going through this bottle quickly because it tastes so darn good.

My first offering from Firestone Walker, I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. A great beer, one of the best AIPAs I've had.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 1 pint poured into Granville Island glass.

Pours light honey with half a finger of off-white head that leaves coral reef lace as it recedes.

Smells of citrus rind, tropical fruit, caramel malt and piney hops.

Tastes of white grapefruit and lemon rind, mild biscuity caramel malt and gentle resiny pine.

Feels sturdy and creamy. Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Solid, balanced IPA.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a a very clear burnished gold color. Two fingers of off white head and moderate lacing. The clarity of this brew is impressive.

S: Grapefruit and ripe orange. A little floral scent and some dankness. Sweet caramel malt brings it all together.

T: Grapefruit is prominent. It is sweet on the tongue but tart on the way down. A hint of buttery biscuit. A good amount of bitter hoppiness with a little aftertaste.

M: Medium body with light to medium carbonation. 7.5 ABV but goes down pretty easy as it is clean and refreshing.

O: The nose speaks more than the tongue and the tongue was also fairly one dimensional. Not a huge fan as it lacked complexity.

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

Firestone Walker: Union Jack IPA (Bottled: 04/27/10) (Tasted 05/31/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Ever so slightly hazed, near brilliant copper colored beer pours into the glass with a small initial head that stays pretty squat, fading down into a film, with some great looking lacing, fluffy bubbles, mounted on a ring of foam around the edges of the glass, that stays intact to the bottom of the glass
Odor: Citrus hops on the nose, juicy grapefruit with hints of orange and juicy fruit gum (Thanks Centennial!)
Consistency: Solid, light end of medium bodied with a high flying but oh-so-mellow carbonation that merely massages the tongue. Hops add a great feel to this beer, oily, slightly fruity.
Taste: This is a hell of an IPA right here, there's no denying that. Hop flavors run all over the place, each of the dry hops come through and shine through. Simcoe and Chinook throw the yin and yang of rough and clean herbal hop bitterness, Amarillo throws orange sap and rind, C's throw the standard grapefruit flavor in the background to round things out. Malt is there for support and nothing else, clean biscuit and dark bread. Finish is off-dry with a load of hop oils holding their initial flavors on the tongue.

Glad this is available somewhat locally now, delicious IPA, exceptionally crafted beer overall! Get it!

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Photo of deepsouth
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured a nice amber color with thin straw colored head.

the smell is citrusy hops, buttery, grapefruit and spice.

the taste is citrus fruits and a bit sweeter than anticipated.

the mouthfeel is medium and a bit slick.

i'd love to get this on the regular. very easy to drink and well balanced.

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Photo of jculler82
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden. Lacing all the way down.

Typical Centennial hop aroma, citrus (orange) with a slightly catty background. I know there's Cascade in there too, but the Centennial dominates.

Balanced IPA, beautiful hop flavor, but nice malt backbone backing it up. It's plenty bitter, but not abrasive. Perfectly dry, but the mouthfeel is chewy and full.

Overall, in a world filled with breweries filling their line-ups with IPA's and half of them being awful, it's great to be reminded that there are still some world class beers in the style.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,321 ratings.
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