Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,322 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:
1,322
Ratings:
6,434
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
491
Gots:
1,584
For Trade:
13
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Reviews: 1,322 | Ratings: 6,434
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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Photo of blackc5
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass at about 53F.

A - Pours a pale orangish amber, with a medium, billowing head. Strong lacing that retains some of the foamy head.

S - Very strong scents of citrusy, piney hops as well as sweet fruit like a ripe peach. Definitely well above average here even for my usually weak nose.

T - Starts off with a mild sweetness (again, like a ripe peach), quickly moving to crisp piney hops and ending with some nice bitterness like orangy grapefruit. Very well balanced and complex IMHO. Some may feel it is a bit too sweet, but I like a sweet IPA and the bitterness really helps to offset. Improving as it warms. I started at a fairly high temp, so I wonder if some of the less positive reviews were just drinking this too cold...

M - Light to medium bodied and fairly well carbonated. Not the best I have had here, but nothing wrong either.

D - Pretty high ABV for a single IPA, but I could still drink this all night. I wouldn't have guessed it to be higher than 7% had I not looked.

A real nice effort and I am glad to see them widely available now in our area.

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Photo of Star80
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Bottled 8/6/12. Pours out a pale copper color with a sticky lacy head. Looks just about right.

S - Smell is very good. Smells resinous and fruity like grapefruit with a touch of tropical fruit aromas. Also detecting some pine notes.

T - Taste is bold and citric with some heavy grapefruit notes. Also detecting quite a bit of malt backbone in the form of some caramel notes. However something is a bit off with the hops like after only month they have lost an edge and developed an off flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy.

O - Overall a decent strong IPA but nothing jumps out at me. There are a lot of strong syrupy IPA's that have that weird overhopped off-flavor like this one. If I am going to have this style of beer I prefer something from Sierra Nevada or Victory. Their hops just taste better and don't have that weird off flavor.

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Photo of ChanChan
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes
Served in a tulip glass at the Blue Palms in Hollywood Califas!

Appearance: Very nice clear orange/copper color. The color reminds me of orange flavored Jello I loved as a child.

Aroma: Tons of citrus and pine, this has a very west coast IPA aroma to it.

Taste: This beer has a great taste, it is also not as bitter as many of the great westcoast IPA’s.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely refreshing and very drinkable.

Overall: I drank this beer alongside a very popular Double IPA from Santa Rosa CA and the Union Jack was a bit more impressive to me both in appearance and taste this time around!

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Photo of mfavoino
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle marked 4/12/12 poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with an orange hue. Thin white head and nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops take over with a touch of floral notes. Smells typical of a good West Coast IPA.

Taste: Citrus and notably grapefruit flavors dominate the palate. Sweet malt backing smooths out the hops and then finishes with a lingering bitterness that sits on the tongue. Just a bit of pine flavor as it finishes.

Mouthfeel: Body on the lighter side for an IPA. Alcohol is subtle despite the abv and makes for a refreshing drink.

Overall: FW has not disappointed me yet. A refreshing West Coast IPA that showcases the citrus hops.

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

This is an excellent IPA. Clear and golden amber in color. The head is off white and leaves a good amount of lacing. The aroma is complex. A mix melon, citrus, floral notes, and caramel malt. The flavor is amazing. Smooth up front, slightly sweet. Grapefruit in the finish. Juicy and resinous. A superb beer certainly.

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

A: Super clear pale yellow. Huge, ultra white, whispy head. The head disapated fairly quickly, but left a nice trace on the glass.

S: Pure hops. Citrusy, GRAPEFRUITY!!!! Very similar to Pliny. Grapefruit rind. Slight tangerine. Sugary sweet too, like citrus-grapefruit candy.

T: Not nearly as hoppy as I thought it would be, but man...delicious! Hardly any bitterness, except at the very very end. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind. Slight pineapple. Slight tangerine.

M: Thick and creamy, awesome coat on the tongue. Very nice!

O: Not quite Pliny, HopSlam, or Ruination, but man a great great brew!

Thanks Jim in Trevose.

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Photo of drewba
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Montrose79 & Cuzco for hooking this up in the Partners in Crime BIF!

A - hazy golden straw color with a bubbly head and a moderate amount of lacing.

S - HUGE aroma that doesn't fade into obscurity like so many ipas do. Light citrus coming right away, grapefruit, maybe some mango. This smells incredibly sweet - if I'm going to judge how its going to taste from the smell, this is going to be cloyingly sweet.

T - Thankfully, the sweetness I detected in the aroma didn't translate to the taste. On the first sip, I'm getting a faceshot of a nice bitter hop profile - the grapefruit is showing up as is orange peel and some bitter lemon rind. Some spicyness too - coriander, anise, and pepper.I'm loving the malt bill used in this, there is a lovely, light cracker/bready taste helping to balance everything out. I'm also detecting a little rum raisin and licorice in the back.

M - One of the thicker ipa's I've had without stepping into the double ipa realm. The medium - high body is actually nice because it has such a buttery smooth mouthfeel while the tiny bubble are massaging me into it's arms.

D - A musky, lingering bitter aftertaste is the only thing from keeping this from being a perfect 5. Otherwise, this is absolutely easing drinking, all 7.5% alcohol is masked wonderfully and I wish I had another.

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Photo of birderbeerer
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden peach with thick white head and excellent retention. The head just rests upon the beer. Just sits there.

Lots of malt in the aroma with a good dose of hops too. Strong smells of both. Pine hops. White toast, nutty, and a little bit of sour malt.

Very sweet, malty ipa, with a tart hop edge. All pine and grass. But mostly a caramel and butter malt. Very sweet.

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Photo of NewGeneric
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one the other day with my father. Poured a gold color with white head that faded quickly and left good lacing. Smelled of citrus/pine hops and light malt. Tasted pretty much the same. Smooth, but slightly bitter/dry finish. Could easily drink more of this.

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Photo of jtingue
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Clear orange hued straw in color. Pours with 3 fingers of loose, but solid white head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving tons of large clumps of lacing. Few bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass. The lacing doesn't stick around for long though. Almost no long term head retention.

Smell. Totally hop forward. A piny citrus is the most dominant scent.

Taste. Starts out with a moderate, slightly resinous bitterness, which is joined by a juicy grapefruit. After this the hops become predominately more resinous and piney. The bitterness takes over for a bit and the beer takes on a more spicy character. It really starts to dry out after the grapefruit exits, all leading into a bone dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Very light in body, with a ton of dryness, as stated before. Light, but pleasant carbonation.

An insanely drinkable and complex hop monster. The dryness and overall presentation of flavors is reminiscent of a champagne, though not in terms of carbonation. Firestone Walker never disappoints.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass. Thanks to SanFranJake for the opportunity.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 2 finger head and superb lacing.

S: Lots of citrus hops up front with a slight floral hop aroma coming through afterwards.

T: Taste buds are bombarded with citrus and floral hop flavors and pretty extreme bitterness. There are some sweet malts somewhere in there, but they are hard to find among all the hops. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Medium to full bodied with good carbonation. Still easy to drink.

O: This is a great example of what a West Coast IPA should be. Plenty of alcohol, easy to drink, and super tasty. What a hop bomb! I love it!

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearence is a bright cloudy orange color. There isn't much head but a slight halo around the rim and very little lacing. The nose is very citrusy. Some slight orange peel, and pineapple scents. Taste is just like the nose. Lots of big citrus notes up front along with piney hop resin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slighty slick and oily from hop oils down the throat. Overall a very tasty IPA. It embodies the classic cali IPA flavors. Nice beer if you have it available.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with off white head, great lacing. Aroma is citrus and pine with a very pronounced malty sweetness, more reminiscent of double IPA. Taste is exceptional, again leads more with malt than hops, really nice balance and unique sweetness that I can't really compare to another. Very nice IPA.

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Photo of syrupjoe
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

First impression - this bottle tried to gush on me, but I poured it before it could. It had been sitting totally untouched in the fridge for a few weeks.

Pours a 1.5 finger milky, off-white head. Appearance is a wheaty golden color with no big particulates.

The nose is citrusy and piney with a decent amount of caramelly malt presence.

Taste is much more malty than I thought it would be... almost somewhat savory as well. Very little bitterness in the finish, but a decent amount of floral hops. Very smooth and drinkable, with a nice tight finish.

Overall these seems like a great beer - I would like to try one that is a bit more fresh.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass. Tops with an off white banana colored head, dissipates quickly to a thin topper with solid lacing. The body is a clear pale orange color, like light brown sugar. Moderate carbonation rises through the brew giving a lively feel.

The scent is very hop forward, the citrus and pine bitterness combine into a nice organic scent which to me is quite refreshing. There is a thin malt in the smell, almost a honey biscuit type, definitely very light, crystal malt most likely.

The flavor is awesome, it takes the aroma hops and runs with them. The malt comes in right at the beginning for a prequel to smooth the palate with the hops kicking in immediately after that. I get a good amount of citrus, a tinge of pineapple, and that granny smith apple tartness. A seam of honey runs through it as well smoothing out that generic type hop bittering.

The mouthfeel is not too shabby, but not amazing. It's pretty reminiscent of the other firestone brews (double barrel, pale 31 etc) which doesn't strike me as too fitting for a 7.5% ipa. At the same time that thinner mouthfeel makes this brew quite drinkable.

I made some stew tonight and threw a few jalapenos and other spices in there to give it a little kick, I must say that it's a great combo with the hoppiness of this brew. In general hoppy beers remind me a lot of plants, and although I know many people talk about pairing beer with meat, I think that this vegetarian stew has an awesome amount of plant-like flavor due to the amalgam of vegetables in it. The beer and it go extremely well together to say the least.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love this IPA its a staple by which I can judge other IPA's. Its got the basic west coast IPA floral notes as well as a matched bitterness that doesn't detract at all.

Pours a bright clear gold/orange with a 2 finger white head that falls fast to a ring and some suds.

Smell is SUPER aromatic with big orange and lemon, with pine, sour apricot, doughy bread, and caramel.

Taste is a welcoming malt wallop thanks to 7.5%, along with floral and bitter hops dancing around together in harmony on my tongue. It's so balanced I want to say this is better than lagunitas sucks, because this has a better yeast me thinks. Lagu's is kinda chalky tasting but still good none the less.

Feel is medium carbonation and a perfect feel that gives the flavors a nice mantle to sit upon as you take each sip. Its glorious to drink this and not wonder just how much better an IPA can get. It really is a challenger to heady topper and pliny, swear on my grave.

Overall you can't go wrong with this and it is widely available, so pick this one up when you can if you want a solid IPA. plus did I mention its 7.5%? for a single IPA? yeha it packs a wallop, session this and your in for a wild night.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is really nice with a quickly auditing head down to a slick.

Smells sweetly from hops. A lot of sweeter fruit like apricot and peach. Interesting and excited to taste...

Pleasantly bitter, with a strong sweet start and malty middle. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is pretty refreshing. Creaminess is a + for an IPA.

Overall I'm impressed and would enjoy getting these in the future now that they're entering the NY market more readily. I'm impressed by it's mouthfeel and I like the balance with a sweet nose and taste. Now... Must find the Double Jack!

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Photo of Azurescens
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date, poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/8/11

A: Pours a relatively clear golden orange color with a slightly off-white head that hangs a round for a bit.

S: Piney resinous hops dominate the nose with a touch of alcohol and malt.

T: The same piney hops from the smell are joined with sweet caramel malt and honey flavors to bring some balance. Not a whole lot of diverse flavors but the ones that are there combine nicely with each other.

M: Medium bodied, sweet, juicy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A bit fuller and sweeter than your standard IPA.

O: Overall this is a nice IPA, better than most of the off the shelf varieties but there are definitely much better ones around locally on draft and in bottles from other regions.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours golden and clear with small lacing head, nose is very hoppy and citrusy with grapefruit. Taste of strong biting hops slight malt, and very smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

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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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Photo of BeerWizard
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with about a one inch off white head. It is a good looking beer. The head is actually still there after about 20 minutes - impressive. Nose is heavy, heavy fruit, peachy mango with light citrus. Grapefruit, melon and a little berry flavor, with hop bitters at the back end. Medium mouthfeel and creamy texture. Overall, a great IPA. One of the things I really like about it and I think sets it apart from other IPAs is the heavy fruit aromas and flavors, which gives it a sweeter profile, and then the hop bitters really kick in at the end. I'd say it's exceptional.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Great clarity. Burnt orange color. Dense, off-white head. Mondo stickage!

Smell - Big citrus nose. Herbal. Nice.

Taste - Big, crisp grapefruit flavor. There is a slightly toasty malt flavor in the background that keeps the hops in check.

Mouth - Oily. Crisp. Great carbonation.

Overall - Yes, this ale is yet another California hop bomb. There is more to this beer than just hops, however. There is just enough malt to keep things interesting. The beer smells good. The beer looks great. Union Jack does many things well.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at 38 Degrees.

Poured into a big snifter.

Pours a nice glowing orange that is dark around the edges and lightens up to the center. A big 2 finger head that hangs around for a while until it falls to a 1/2" of white foam for the remainder of the beer. Very nice lacing on this one.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, citrus, hops, which is all covering up the sweet malt.

Taste is mostly of the grapefruit and citrus. This is not as bitter as most west coast IPA's, but incredible crisp. It's not a malt bomb by any means. Very well balanced.

Insanely drinkable even with it's relatively high ABV. Great on a hot day. Smooth and relatively light body with great carbonation.

One of my favorite IPA's. This is one of those beers that I take for granted since it's so accessible.

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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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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.
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