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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,335 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): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,335
Ratings:
6,484
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
492
Gots:
1,622
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,335 | Ratings: 6,484
Photo of BeerPhan86
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was completely blown away by the Double Jack, so picking this one up was a no brainer.

A - Pours a very transparent light copper gold with a two finger off white foamy head. The head seems fairly sticky with good retention. Plenty of carbonation evident in the beer

S - Extremely hoppy aroma with citrus dominance, mainly grapefruit and lime. There is also plenty of sweet bready malt and a piney finish.

T - Very sweet and biscuity with a good blend of citrus and pine hops. There is a tart tasting and slightly bitter hop profile. You get some pine needle taste and plenty of citrus hop taste to balance it, sort of a cross between west and east coast styles. A little boozy and dry in the finish but very fresh tasting with plenty of hops, that's what I want in an IPA.

M - Creamy and full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. A bit sticky and coating on the lips.

O - Extremely solid IPA that blends the best aspects of east and west coast styles. Hoppy, fresh, and plenty of bang for your buck. I will be trying everything I can find from Firestone Walker, they're 2-2.

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Photo of dcook11
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light orange huh. One finger head that dissolves quickly.

S- Citrus forward. Tropical fruit. Malt. Slight simcoe hops as it warms.

T- Hops, resinous pine. Slight citrus.

M- Medium bodied, verging on heavy.

O- Welll developed, but lacking that wow factor. Would have liked to see a broader hop profile.

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Photo of TheWolf
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - what I anticipate my pee will look like when my liver starts to give. A dark orange/brown.

Smell - like the sweater of the the early 50s single lady in the office that is making one last effort. Cat piss and flowers.

Taste - like you took her up on her offer.

Feel - once you get under that hand knit furry sweater your surprised to find a nice body. Great carbonation.

Overall - nice balance. A unique hop profile. appreciate the subtleness. It doesn't try to be something it isn't like all the new ones out there. And it will be around for a while. Enjoyable.

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Photo of degerbah
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orangish into my pint glass. Very little head at all. Not nearly as much hop aroma as I would have expected, but I'm not dissapointed by the taste. lots of hop bitterness that is lightly offset by a very sweet malty backbone. incredibly drinkable without any real hint of booze. The balance makes this a great multi-purpose drinker and I wish that it was available in Ohio.

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Photo of rodney45
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my chimay chalice. I felt this beer needed something more than a standard pint.

A: Tangerine or princeton orange with good clarity. Quickly dissipating pearl white head.

S: Pine trees, clove, grapefruit, and roasted barley. Very west coast.

T: First profile is of grapefruit, citrus, mango and passion fruits. .Secondary notes of roasted barley, walnut, clove and lemon zest. Slight hints of black pepper . Dry aftertaste.

M: Medium to medium light body with moderate carbonation. Very bitter.

O: This is a fantastic, top tier example of the style. Its pushing the limits of a DIPA, but one could argue that the abv is on the low end of the border line, and its more balanced than a standard DIPA. I would absolutely recommend for a hop head. Get it if you can.

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

A - clear golden amber with quickly fading head. Excellent lacing.

S - Beautiful pungent candied citrus, pine, and tropical notes

T - Matching the aroma spot on. A complex hop explosion. This tastes like "hop juice". Tangy, bitter, sweet, floral, citrus, a wonderful experience.

M - Medium bodied but more toward the light end. A slight creaminess balanced by effervescent carbonation.

Overall - The bitterness hangs around in a way that I'm not crazy about. Kind of a little too dry and astringent. Could be balanced a little more, but very very good. The 7.5 is hidden well for something that blurs the lines b/w a single and double ipa. Does not top my favorite AIPA though : )

One of my new favorites. I would happy to have this on hand at all times : ) Definitely try it. I would like to have it on-tap.

Cheers

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A good looking beer to say the least. Golden orange color with a supple egg shell white head. Nice layering left on top for a little more flair to this already impressive beer. Lacing is very tiny and in small patches, but fades rather quickly.

Smell - Nose is superb, and smells similar to a lighter hopslam, which I consider to have the best nose of any IPA. This one is filled with hops and touches of orange peel, melon, and grapefruit. Sweet honey glaze seems to coat the nose as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Definitely a west coast IPA, and a freaking stud at that. Hops are beautifully crisp biting all the way till they fade into a honey kist grapefruit and melon backbone. What's great about this beer is that it's gripping, but not overpowering. It stays full of flavor but still rather light in my mouth, which is what I like in an IPA. I guess the feel could have a bit more weight and length to it, but I guess that might be being a bit harsh.

Drinkability - I could drink a million of these, and it's right up there with my most loved IPA's. This is only the second beer i've had from Firestone, and it won't be my last. Both have been phenomenal, so I plan on sampling everything else in their arsenal.

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Photo of shangwang
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

grabbed this during a recent visit to the Firestone Walker brewery in Paso Robles. bottled on May 4 and drank on May 14- holy fresh!

Poured with a thin layer of head- less than a finger. Dissipated very quickly with minimal lacing on the glass. Crystal clear opacity and a copper reddish color. The smell had a pleasant malty sweetness layered with a hoppy bouquet. The hop smell was not floral at all, but definitely aromatic. Great taste- biscuity sweetness at first quickly followed by lovely bitter hops. Very crisp and balanced. Medium mouthfeel, not sticky but not watery either. Finishes very smoothly with a pleasant sweet hoppy taste.

Very impressed with this one. I don't believe FW will be distributing this one in Philly because it's not part of the Proprietor's Reserve Series, which is shame because it's a fantastic IPA. Very refreshing and full of taste, but balanced enough for session drinking.

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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 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 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 weizenbob
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this 12 ounce bottle as an extra in a trade with Azurescens. Thanks Dan. This is IPA is bottle dated 8/17/10 so I expect the hops to have fallen off the table by now. The alcohol content is listed as a moderately high 7.5% ABV so perhaps the malt bill has held up. Let's see.

An aggressive pour into a goblet yields a frothy off-white two finger-high head. The beer is maize colored and quite clear. Head retention is very good and spotty lacing lines the sides of the goblet.

The instant the seal was cracked on the cap the aromatics of this beer began to manifest. Hops are fairly weak in the equation, but are noted none the less by a bit of grapefruit essence. Tropical fruits are noted as well as a healthy yeastiness. There is some tangerine and a mild caramel scent.

The taste is something else altogether. There an earthy maltiness up front with a rye-like grainy character. Fruit juices taste and feel literal, like somebody squeezed a fresh orange into this beer. There is a slight caramel sweetness attached to a very mellow alcohol note. As expected, the hops have long since clocked out with the exception of some mild lingering bitterness on the backend and aftertaste of this brew. It's something altogether different than an IPA at this point, but still enjoyable for what it is.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation seemed pretty active at first but is actually relatively low. The alcohol adds a smooth character that helps everything go down smoothly. This is what one should expect an IPA to feel like in the mouth.

As the bitterness has subsided and the alcohol mellowed, this six-month-old bottle of Union Jack is pretty easy drinking. There is a healthy malt base for this beer to stand on and the alcohol is well hidden in the taste. This is one I'll want to revisit fresh.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
It's not really fair to put an out of date IPA up against any beer so I'm going to forgo the Two-Schlitz scale for this review. This was a tasty brew but I'm sure it's much different when consumed fresh.

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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 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 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 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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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,484 ratings.
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