Saturday, July 19, 2008

Firestone Union Jack IPA

I usually don't have 6-packs stocked in my fridge, it's usually a few beers of this, a couple bombers of that... mostly stuff I get in trades (plus all the boxes I come home with from Lost Abbey releases, heh). But the other day while I was out picking up some Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (nice name huh?) I saw some Union Jack in the fridge and decided to get a sixer to have at home. I've experienced good old Union Jack at Firestone's Taproom in Buellton, and also in a growler that was brought home once by my friend Pat. Each time I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was one of the best IPA's that can be found in California.

When I got home I looked for any sort of date coding on it, but there is no info on the bottle. On the inside of the 6-pack, however, there was a "03/08" in ink. Uh oh, possibly a 5 month old IPA? Usually that doesn't fly with me. The only possible saving grace is that this was kept in coolers at the beer store, slowing down the aging process. I haven't had a beer in 5 days and was starting to have withdrawals so I popped one open and wowee, it tasted as fresh as the samples I've had from the brewery. This beer just bursts with pine and a berry+citrus flavor. It would have to fall under the controversial description coined by the guys at Craft Beer Radio as "man candy." Making it a great West Coast IPA the body stays light and dry. No huge sugary malt hiding in the background to mess up that hop profile. Buy it or trade for it!

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