The Firestone Walker Union Jack is the first of the three latest beers Shaun kindly sent me from Seattle. I had tried this beer on Dark Lord Day at the guest beer tent, and found it notable enough to mention it in my account of that very pleasant day. Tonight, I got to give it the full treatment from a bomber sized bottle. I even poured it into the Three Floyds Alpha King British style pint glass that Shaun bought me on DLD. So how would this Paso Robles IPA stack up? Would it be like bringing a knife to a gun fight in the IPA world, as Shaun would put it?
Not at all. Actually, this beer distinguishes itself as an extremely drinkable, highly sessionable IPA in the Harpoon, Brooklyn IPA, Lagunitas IPA class. It offers a modest fruity aroma of Left Coast hops. It has a classic bite up front that's quickly joined by candied, mellow caramel malts that pervade the tongue. Repeated sips allow for a nice hop burn to build up on the back of the tongue. The malts are ever present and provide for a blanketed finish that prevents the hops from overwhelming things.
What I'll remember about this one is the strong malt presence. This beer is utterly sessionable, and would be terrific for a Friday night out, a football game - why can't this be standard stadium beer?? - or a barbecue or tailgate.
I would love to spend a night in Cally drinking this, perhaps when I visit Paso Robles and am a bit washed out from drinking Zins and Syrahs all day and want to switch to beer at night. Well done, Firestone, and I hope to try more of your beers in the near future, which I hear are great. This is a terrific introduction.
I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. High quality.