Sunday, January 17, 2010

201. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Firestone Walker is located in Paso Robles, CA. Elli thinks the lion is pretty ripped, and is gonna kick the bear’s ass, but I think she’s totally wrong—that bear’s got a better brawler’s stance, and is gonna drop that lion like nobody’s business.

Union Jack IPA has a soapy toasty caramel malt nose with lower levels of resin and grass hop aroma. The beer is a caramel copper color, very clear, and it has a white head that laces the glass. Beginning with a soft bready malt front, Union Jack IPA’s middle picks up bitterness along with caramel malt and some pine hop flavors, and closes with hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. Medium carbonation bite with a medium-body; there is a bit of astringency that accompanies some of the tongue curling at the end, along with low levels of warmth, although not from alcohol. It does also get a bit sticky in the mouth as it warms. Decent as IPAs go; it doesn’t do anything to really make it stand out, but no real problems with it. Well-balanced, but a bit heavy on the malt side; it is lacking in some of the hop aroma and flavor that defines most West Coast IPAs.

From the Firestone Walker website: “The newest member of the Firestone family, Union Jack is the aggressive IPA that you’ve been searching for. Citrus, pineapple, and a full chewy malt profile finish clean on your palate. Over 70 IBUs and 7.5% alcohol by volume, Union Jack won’t have any problem competing with the big India Pale Ales. A beer true to its origins; deeply hopped and bolstered for a long voyage.”

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 75
Malts: Metcalf & Kendall 2-Row, Munich, Cara Pils, & Simpson’s Light Crystal
Bittering Hops: Warrior & Simcoe
Late Kettle Hops: Cascade & Centennial
Dry Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, & Simcoe


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