One could be forgiven for expecting perfection after purchasing a Firestone Walker beer. After all, the Paso Robles brewery has won the award for Best Mid-Size Brewery at four of the last five World Beer Cups. I, myself, have yet to be disappointed by a Firestone Walker beer, be it their 15th Anniversary blend, their barleywine Sucaba, or Union Jack’s big brother Double Jack. So, it can be safely assumed that my expectations were fairly high upon sitting down to drink this beer.
Union Jack pours with a moderately large, fluffy white head that recedes fairly quickly. It leaves a ring of foam clinging to the inside of the glass on the surface of the beer. It’s a crystal clear amber beer with orange and copper hues. Bubbles rise visibly from the center of the glass’s bottom.
There’s quite a bit of citric zest on the nose, oranges and lemon, with some apples and wood lingering in the background. The beer has a very clean, juicy nose, not at all over-powering.
I mean no slight by comparing this beer to fruit juice. It’s crisp, clean, bright and really just a beautiful beer. Fruit is the primary taste as the beer washes over the front of your palate, as you’re hit with orange, grapefruit, and tropical fruit. Its moderate carbonation only enhances the refreshing, thirst-quenching attributes of this beer. There’s a bit of underlying woodiness throughout, with the beer transitioning to pine and resinous bitterness on the back end, while maintaining some of the clean fruitiness from earlier. It finishes quite dry, with some lingering bitterness.
This is an incredibly drinkable beer, and very well-balanced. The malt bill and the hops bill play off each other quite well, with neither overpowering the other. One could easily drink this beer all the day with nary a complaint. It does not drink like the 7.5% alcohol beer that the label insists it is.
If You Liked This, Try: Port Brewing Wipeout, Firestone Walker Double Jack, 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory.