To put it simply, Union Jack is everything you want an American IPA to be. It’s simple yet remarkable, and delivers everything you hope to get when you taste for an IPA. A wonderful golden color and slightly citrusy aroma set the stage before each sip. Upon drinking, Union Jack is smooth from beginning to end. Hops are clearly the dominant flavor, as they should be, and provide classic sweetness and citrus notes that are pronounced, but not overpowering. The flavor is the same from the beginning of the sip to the end, reaching it’s pinnacle at the finish as the beer gives a final burst of hops. It’s not too strong, though, and doesn’t leave an aftertaste that is stale or syrupy. Instead, you’re left with the same hop presence you enjoyed during the sip, only a little more amplified.
While it’s easy to rave about the flavor of this beer – which is marvelous – the thing that sets Union Jack apart from the rest is the perfect balance it has. To aid the smoothness is a medium thickness that completes the body. If it were any lighter or heavier things would be out of place; the beer would have too strong a flavor for the profile or it would be too heavy to drink easily. The slew of malts used has an impact here, rounding out the flavor. The almost velvety mouthfeel is refreshing, quenching your thirst while making you salivate at the complex flavors at the same time. Because the hop flavor is also in balance, it emerges from the beer naturally. The sweetness and citrus are definitely there, but any more would make the beer taste much heavier than it actually is. Any less, and it wouldn’t be enough. When all these elements are put together, you’re left with the perfect American IPA. You get all the hops you hope for: a bit of sweetness and citrus, refreshment, full flavor and, most importantly, satisfaction. If you like IPAs, you’ll love Union Jack. If you don’t like hops, this probably isn’t for you. Hops are laid on thick, just not as thick as a double IPA. If you’re looking for a great IPA, not much else compares to this. This is what the great American IPA is all about.