Chad9976 (1364) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 13, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Pumpkin skin colored body, very hazy; forms a large, off-white marshmallow-like head which retains and laces very well.
Smell: Standard West Coast IPA aroma of tart candy; a floral bouquet and tropical fruits.
Taste: If I had drank Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA a year or two ago this probably would’ve blown my mind. My readers should take in to account that I grade to personal preference and the individual experience of the tasting for the review and not "how good the beer actually is" (as if such a thing could be empirically measured anyway). This is a really tasty and enjoyable beer to be sure, but I’ve already had it before.
It begins with sweet tropical fruit juice notes - mango, papaya, apricot - then gives way to a more syrupy, confectionary sweetness with a honey-like taste added. The bitterness comes through on the end, but it’s not sappy or piney like an East Coast offering. The aftertaste is both bitter and sweet - a battle between candy-like sugary sensation and sharp saltwater bitterness. It finishes mostly clean so the hops don’t dry you out and the sweetness isn’t cloying. What balance!
Mouthfeel: Crisp, medium-bodied, fairly soft and comfortable.
Drinkability: I’m not sure of the IBUs, but Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA is only 7.5% ABV - which is certainly a noteworthy weight, but nothing unusual for an American IPA. While a robust beer in all aspects, it’s also remarkably smooth, maybe even a little refreshing.
VengefulOdin (193) - , Missouri, USA - OCT 12, 2011
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
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.
nbondi (203) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 11, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yellow-orange with small-bubbled white head. Nose of mandarin orange, mango, cotton candy. Resinous with some orange sweetness and pine. Bitterness outweighs sweetness considerably. Good carbonation, good body. Somewhat unbalananced IMHO, but still a good IPA.
lamas (1434) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 8, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Date on the neck: 08/24/11. A clear amber pour with a nicely sized beige head. A pungent aroma dominated by citrus fruits and pine trees with plenty of grapefruits, oranges, pineapples, zesty rinds, caramel, and some cereal maltiness in the mix. Goes down medium to full-bodied for the style yet quite crisp. Ample caramel maltiness upfront in the taste. A hint of rye follows. A drying middle with some biscuity/crackery qualities. Finishes with some bitter grapefruitiness, juicy oranges, and some tongue-tingling zesty citrus rinds. A tad dry at the very end. In my opinion, this is better than the more highly regarded Double Jack.
reebtogi (4621) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 7, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
355mL bottle poured a golden-amber color with abundant white head with decent retention and some spotted lacing. Aroma of hops and some malt. Taste is big hops with some underlying malty sweetness. Nicely balanced with medium body and some nice carbonation. I recommend this beer to any IPA lovers out there.
Marheb (2925) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 30, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2012 Croustillant mais robuste. Terriblement bien balancé avec les gros houblons de la côte ouest combinés au malt soyeux. Facile à boire mais avec du coffre et une agréable complexité.
Ssimkins (6) - - SEP 25, 2011 does not count
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very good IPA! Aroma is good but not strong. The bitterness is slight and slightly lingers through the finish. Has a slight hint of citrus hop flavor.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
TomTiedemann (250) - Levittown, New York, USA - SEP 25, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
poured amber from 22 oz fro maltandvine. immediate senses cascade hops in the aroma and found out when coming in to rate I was correct. the hoppy flavors were very pleasant and strong of pine, grass and leaf. overall the hop balance with malt worked perfectly
callmemickey (3511) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 24, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2013 A: Clear pale-amber body with golden hues. Moderate white cap, decent retention and sporadic lacing.
S: Grapefruit, fresh pine cones, light fresh flowers. Some light toasted malt and grains.
T: More of the characteristics from the nose. Vibrant hop character. Good citric-pine balance. Light malt body is a good palate for the bitterness of the hops.
M: Moderate body. Could use a little more carbonation. Somewhat rounded, resinous finish. I like it with a little more bite.
O: Overall the taste carries the day. A nice lively IPA.
BeerNeedy (126) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - SEP 21, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottle. I have had a few of these now and each one keeps getting better. As another rater said "this is how IPA should be". Goes down like velvet and leaves you wanting more!