Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

316 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 2,322
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 351
Gots: 385 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011

This lager harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and west coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally grown dehulled spelt from MA.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 316 | Hads: 2,322
Photo of pmarlowe
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

MFG 08.09.2013. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a pale straw color, brilliant clarity, with a finger of nice bright white head. Very good retention but minimal lacing.

S: Smooth, sweetish pale malt, and floral hops.

T: Light floral hops, nice supporting pale malt, finishing with mild to moderate lager yeast flavor with mild bitterness.

M: Super smooth, medium-light carbonation and body.

O: Nice stuff. Smooth, easy drinking with mild flavors. (440 characters)

Photo of HopBomb515
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep golden with a touch of orange and an off white head that fades quick but laces well. Tropical, citrus, zesty, melon, lemon and a touch of pine. Hops
up front tropical and zesty citrus with a light biscuity underpinning. Medium feel that is creamy in feel but finishes crisp, refreshing and clean. Another great beer from this brewery. They are changing my opinion on what lagers can be. (396 characters)

Photo of coriswrasse
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

two bottles poured into 4 maple syrup glasses.
bottle dates both 6/24
very little head or residual lacing.
excellent hop floral smell.
great carbonation.
overall taste is nice and simple hoppy.
golden straw.
smooth for this abv (6.7%)
a little too lageresque for me but it is very nice. would recommend for a nice hot afternoon. (it's 93 here now). (349 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pokal an orange tinged medium golden with a sticky full one finger bone white head atop.Tropical fruits all over the place in the nose along with light toasted cereal grain.Grainy feel with some dry toasted malt underneath tropical fruit-like hops that linger in the finish.Seems mush small er than 6.7%,one of the more hopped up lagers I have had. (361 characters)

Photo of wingman14
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow with a frothy white head that sticks around for awhile. The smell is dominated by the hops, subtle citrus in there as well. The flavor starts slightly bitter up front with huge hops following. The flavor finishes bitter and sticks around through the aftertaste. A solid flavor that doesn't have many complexities and doesn't change much. A nice medium mouthfeel, almost heavy, like chewing on hops. This is a solid IPA, definitely like sucking on some hops. There isn't much more to this beer than that, but that is ok because it is done well. (563 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 3/28/13

Appearance: Clear, golden orange with some copper - more of a golden copper from a distance - pours with a nice, big off-white head - the nice fluff fades to a nice cap, leaves a ton of lacing

Smell: Nicely hoppy, and decidedly not an IPA - floral citrus - oranges and grapefruits, with some juiciness - some spiciness/grassiness that seems more typical for a lager - pale and caramel malts in the background, some more hints this is a lager - something that smells like sweet onion when it warms up

Taste: Yes, this is a hoppy lager - floral, lightly juicy orange, tangerine, and grapefruit - spicy and grassy, with a lager yeast finish - malts are pale and caramel - could almost pass for an IPA, with the exception of the yeast spiciness and the malt profile - very unique and flavorful, medium level of bitterness - earthy, grassy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, but the finish is a bit earthy and oily

Overall: About as great as a hoppy lager can get (?)

If I had to pick on this beer for one thing, I would comment on how it's rather odd how hard it tries not to be a lager. But it is. And it's tasty. The oily, earthy aftertaste kind of tires my tastebuds, but the bottle size is quite ideal. Definitely worth a try. (1,272 characters)

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. Glad to see Jack's Abby in New York! Bottle dated 10/21/13, twenty one days old.

A - very good looking brew, nice and light, translucent, oranges, yellows, and reds. Foam on the forced pour dissipates quickly.

S - big nose on the pour, but out of the glass it's a little weaker. Nice hop profile, bittersweet and sticky, honey and sugary. There's a little pine, but a lot more citrus. It's a nice scent, but it gets points off for being too weak.

T - bitterer than expected from the smell. The bitterness comes right at the front and then fades into sweetness. There's not much pine, mostly citrus, but the fruity characteristics get lost in the malt.

M - this is definitely not an IPA. The IPL is a little weaker in the nose and, especially, the taste. It's bitter going down, but not something you couldn't easily drink.

O - a tasty beer, and probably the best Jack's Abby I've had (of the four I've tried). It's got a nice hop profile and isn't overwhelming at all. A little bitter for my taste, but, objectively, very good. (1,072 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at Stone's Public House in Ashland, MA.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy eggshell foam with a nice chunky lace. Good!

Smell: lightly malty with a big grapefruit aroma. Not over the top but very enticing.

Taste: the hops are definitely the story here with a big grapefruit/pine/tropical character. Malt and sweetness are just enough to balance the surprisingly smooth, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great and well integrated carbonation and delightful creaminess. Wonderful!

Overall: tasty, refreshing and wonderfully creamy. Bam! (670 characters)

Photo of rorykanderson
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful hop aroma, crisp body with a distinct lager finish. Unique take on the expected IPA experience. Obviously - whether or not you like lagers will determine how much you will enjoy the overall taste, especially the end when the malt comes on strongest and lingers after the glass is put down. (299 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fizzy and chill-hazed yellow-orange in color like a lager. The off-white froth is stagnant. Citrus hops feature prominently aromatically, like and IPA, but the lager yeast is noticed, veiled, and just behind. Tastes of citrus, lemon peel and grain. The hoppiness is subdued, as if it was stopped in mid-sentence while trying to make a very brilliant point. Mouth-feel is medium and the body is crisp with a bit of heat in the finish. While this one is pretty damn tasty, I'm left ambivalent, wondering if I would rather just have one or the other. (547 characters)

Photo of hoagzzz
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting brew. Smells like an IPA, though not crazy tropical fruit IPA. Taste a bit sweet and subdued. I could drink a bunch of these but not enough pop to warrant a higher rating. (183 characters)

Photo of stella77artois
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a yellow amber, with a 1" head. A fair amount of carbonation noted, as well as a slight haze.

S - Lot's of bitter hops up front, and a bit of dankness. Earthy smells from the hops, as well as a good amount of grapefruit. Also a tiny bit of yeast. Nice smelling beer, just wish I could detect a bit more of the fruity notes advertised.

T - Probably the most interesting American Pale Lager I've ever had. Essentially because this beer is an IPA with lager yeast. Lot's of hops up front - dirt/earthy notes, very bitter in a pleasant way. Also noted grapefruit and a bitter flowery taste. Unlike their 2nd Anniversary Lager, which is very hoppy yep clean and crisp like a lager, this beer wasn't so crisp. Very much IPA. Not a bad thing in any means!

F - Dry finish. Lot's of carbonation which I liked. Very prickly on the tongue and throat. Again, not crisp like a lager. This is very IPA-like to me.

O - A very good beer. I just didn't find any lager qualities. I absolutely love Jack Abby's 2nd Anniversary Lager, as it combines lots and lots of quality hops with the clean and crisp finish of a lager. This tastes more like an IPA to me. A very good one actually. Great tasting beer which I will certainly try again, but I was disappointed in not finding that lager crispness. Still highly recommended. (1,358 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. bottle acquired in a trade (thanks, Greg Radawich!), unknown bottling date but gifted at NHC2013 at the end of 6/13, poured into my DFH tulip glass, drank 8/3/13 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow-golden coloration, impressive clarity for a IPA/L (can both see or read through), white rocky head on pouring persists throughout drinking as a half-finger lacing, moderate alcohol legs for an IPA/L; probably my favorite aspect of this beer

S: 9/12 - I had a bottle immediately on trading and recall the hop aroma being more impressive but this still stands; like the 2nd Anniversary Lager, there is lots of grapefruit, orange/tangerine mixed with a grassy/floral quality ....some alcohol and malt notes are also present but the hops are front and center as would be expected; I detracted several points because, after drinking the IPL, the aroma unfortunately isn't as overwhelmingly good

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a mild bitterness (IBU 65) but the hop flavors, like in the 2nd Anniversary Lager, predominate as would be expected...mostly citrus fruit with some floral arrangements; in the middle of the mouth, the bready/biscuity flavors really kick in, which is surprising for the style and renders it closer to an IPL for me; the alcohol is present in the taste but not overwhelming, and I picking up very little yeast characteristics from the clean lager strain

M: 4/5 - moderate bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, don't taste the 6.7%; moderate carbonation for style/ABV and moderate alcohol legs

O: 9/10 - a really nice flagship beer from one of the best up-and-coming breweries on the East Coast; the hop aroma and flavors to really shine through, which is especially impressive because this bottle is at least one month old; most of my gripes derive from the malt character being too present, but, again, cheers, Jack and co., for creasing one of the best flagship IPA/Ls that I know

TOTAL = 40/50 (1,949 characters)

Photo of ericdavidmorris
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - No head, quickly disappears, golden-honey color.

S - Citrus hop aroma.

T - Citrus hops up front, clean and a little dry finish.

M - Fairly carbonated. A little dry, not filling or heavy or bitter. Crisp.

I'm sick so it probably affects my tastes considering how much the aroma of this beer is supposed to be really great. It's crisp and easy to drink but the taste doesn't hit too hard. (439 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very clear and light, nice head but the body just looks like a lager, nothing extraordinary.

Smells very floral and citrusy, definitely reminiscent of a west coast IPA.

Tastes a lot like Pliny! Grapefruit type citrus, strong hops but not overwhelmingly bitter, some floral notes, very slight sweetness but definitely hop forward. Like a somewhat less interesting and complex Pliny but still very good.

Very drinkable, nice crisp mouthfeel.

8.0/10 (456 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It pours a golden amber color with about three inches of off-white head.

S - IPL's have a unique smell. This one has a citrus nose with a metallic note. It has a noble hops essence.

T - The taste is right in line with the smell. It has a strong citrus taste with a metallic bitterness on the finish. I noticed some bread/toast at the beginning, but the citrus overwhelms the malt after a few drinks.

M - It seems to have a little more body than the standard lager.

O - This is a great example of a good style of beer. I have only had a few IPL's and have enjoyed them all. I get an unusual flavor that I describe as metallic. That may not be the best descriptor. This is definitely worth buying a six pack of more. (771 characters)

Photo of Benish
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5-06-2-13. Smelled tropical fruits after removing bottle cap. Poured into pint glass. The beer had a clear orange golden color. Carbonation present all over glass. Not much presentation of the head, was about an inch thick but broke down quickly.

Aroma was primarily tropical fruits and floral notes. It seemed a little too faint, would prefer it more upfront.

Flavor was mostly tropical fruits - can't really pick out particular fruits on this one. It starts out pleasantly sweet and finished bitter. It's perfectly balance. As the beer started to return to room temperature, the delectable sweetness of the malt started to build up. It has a light bodied mouthfeel and oddly has this subtle tingly sensation in the mouth. Very good mouthfeel.

Overall it's a solid beer. Telling the difference from this lager and the IPA's would not be an easy task for me. I'm happy to try this at least once. Unfortunately this beer was not fresh as I hoped it would be. This is a great beer but I wonder how it would taste if it was less than 30 days old. (1,057 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle backlog here at Chez Woody is not entirely of my doing. Sometimes, people bring me beer as though I need more and then I become overwhelmed by it all. This is one of those instances. The Great Bottle Eradication of 2014 continues in earnest and unabated!

From the bottle: "Jack's Abby Brewing's goal is to create truy remarkable beer that combines the strict standards of traditional German brewing with the innovative approach of American craft brewers. We specialize in lagers, which take longer to brew than ales but yield exceptionally rich flavors and smooth, crisp taste."; "All Jack's Abby lagers are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Sediment in the bottle is normal."; "Hoponius Union harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and West Coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it's fermented cold and aged for long periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally sourced ingredients."

I made a solemn promise to The Old Lady last summer that if a beer in any way indicates that it is bottle-conditioned, I would treat it as gently as I would her. The fact that she would beat my ass within an inch of my life if I ever mistreated her notwithstanding, I went with a VERY gentle pour. I have said before, she is as tough as nails, which is part of the attraction for me. I got a brief skim of bone-white head across the top of the beer before it faded into mere wisps. Color was a sunshine-yellow (SRM = 4) with just the faintest of haze visible in the glass. I promise you, I was extremely gentle, but there may have been something in suspension. Nose smelled deeply of citrus-grapefruit rind hops. Wow! As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I know the difficulty behind making a Lager and to make one that comes off with this level of hoppiness is just amazing. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was all hops and for a hophead, that was just fine by me. I cannot say that I would have identified it as a lager of any stripe, but perhaps that is part of the mystique. I do know that the light, spritzy mouthfeel made it very easy to drink on a Summer day, where an AIPA might have been more to handle. The finish was extremely dry and I really had a tough time believing that this was a lager. I had put the remainder of what was left in the bottle back in the reefer to settle and when I went to pour some more into the glass, I noticed that the haze had cleared! Impressive. Warming, I got some of the honey notes that I always think of as characteristic of well-made lagers, but the hops continued to carry the day. (2,727 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a bright honey color with a 2" white head. Big clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- straw, lemon, grapefruit, light honey and some grassy notes.

T- light malts, tart lemon, grapefruit, bitter pine.

M- light body and medium carbonation. Very dry and acidic.

O- good beer, but very bitter which makes it more dry than I would like. Leans more towards bitter pine, grassy notes than the citrus. (475 characters)

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Again to @cartoonshop for turning me on to Jack's Abbey's lagers!!

Pours a beautiful straw meets sunlit honey. (bad poetic attempt) Rich frothy head forms with a medium pour. Like that thick, semi-solid foam you get blowing off during fermentation.

Nose: Hops burst out upon popping the seal. Wow, this is a lager, yet it really comes off like a strong APA or IPA in the esthers.

Hops are the main note to this beer, malt is in the backseat. But oh so pleasant. Piney, but not strongly so. Almost a dry earthiness meets a dry sweetness.

Mouth is light, dry and somewhat piney staying in the front of the mouth/tongue. Actually stays there for a while without being resiny or oily. Clean! (698 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. poured into a pint tumbler. Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color. Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a sticky almost creamy feel.

I'm an IPA guy, not a Lager guy, but bumping the IBU's to 65 seemed to work real well. I would choose this over many standard IPA's out there. (860 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color.

Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a weird sticky almost creamy feel.

Moth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall good, great hop flavors but overpowers the nice lager underneath, and a weird finish as well as a bit astringent. (866 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass boot

Solid , thick foamy four finger head . Pillows of white foam. Good lacings on the glass. Orange yellow liquid with slight but steady carbonation .

Aroma of citrus and grapefruit.

Hoppy beer with strong , sharp bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

India Pale Lager which is indeed a "wicked hoppy lager." Good IPL loaded with citrusy hops. (393 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 0.5l bottle, one of a 4-pack bought at Harringtons ($12.95). Seeing July out with a nice, hoppy lager...

Filled a nonic with a deep, rich, clear golden bier. Has plentiful carbo rising rapidly, with a creamy, fine off-white head up top. Lacing is decent as well. Aroma is quite rindy, along with some biscuity malt. Mouthfeel is solid, as Hoponius is a nice medium with only light prickle hitting the tongue.

Flavor has some grainy sweetness, though light. There's lots of citrus here, with a hint of tropicality, too. Mostly, though, it's piney, pithy, resiny hoppage hitting the palate. Has plenty of bitterness, but finishes dryly. Would personally like a tad more balancing sweetness, but this is solid nonetheless. Prosit!

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1484 (817 characters)

Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Sunset Grill (Boston, MA).

A: Straw yellow with creamy 1-2 finger off-white tightly bubbled head with good retention and copious lacing.

S: AMazing hops aroma of pineapple, mango, lemon, and pine resin with a lightly bready malt component. Reminds me a little bit of sweeter lemon shortbread but with the lemon and herbal hoppiness and fruitness magnified.

T: I liked the flavor with the blast of lemon and pineapple hoppiness carrying this beer. The malting is well done -- this is a beer brewed with care. The hops, while intense, do not overwhelm and match well with the lightly sweet and bready maltiness.

M: I didn't really enjoy the mouthfeel at all, and I think it detracts a lot from the enjoyment of this beer. I am not sure if it just an unhappy marriage of lighter body, high carbonation, and intense bitter hoppiness but this has an astringent rather than crisp quality.

O: Despite the disappointment of the mouthfeel, this is a fun beer to drink with big time hoppiness in a leaner package. (1,043 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.