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Union Jack IPA

Judges Rating: 
91
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Arriving on the California brewing scene around the same time as their Northern California counterparts (e.g., Moylan’s, Bear Republic), and situated in the Central Coast wine country, Firestone Walker has put out exceptional products from day one. Union Jack, their American IPA, continues that tradition, weighing in at 7.5 percent alcohol by volume and tossing around a serious 72 IBUs. A beguiling orange-red brew, Union Jack throws a faint chill haze when poured and is crowned by a lush, creamy, pale-beige head. Aromas of freshly broken earth, pungent citrus blossoms and succulent caramel pervade the room when this brew hits the glass. Tim was taken by the luscious orange and tangerine aromas and likened them to an Orange Creamsicle, but Lee found the citrus fruit more reminiscent of lemon and lemongrass, declaring it “delightfully bright and eye-opening.” Union Jack’s flavors ran more toward maltiness and fruity esters, yet the hops were by no means inconsequential. Firmly bitter but still emphatically malt-centric, notes of tropical fruit and Brach’s caramels define Union Jack’s flavor profile. Declaring this an exceptionally balanced example of the style, Nick had high praise for the skillful interplay between melon-like sweetness, English muffin toastiness and quenching dryness that this beer evinced. This is the perfect beer to savor late on a warm day while watching the sun slip below the horizon.

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