Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

314 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 314
Hads: 2,316
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 351
Gots: 384 | 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: 314 | Hads: 2,316
Photo of Jawn-Doe
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad but I expected more. Dark golden color, light lacing. Apple juice up front, nice initial lemony hop snap. The aftertaste disappointed, leaving me with an unpleasant final impression. I really wanted to like this more. (229 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Reservoir in Waterbury. From notes.

A - Golden, bright pour. One finger of white head on top with minimal spotty lace and no retention.

S - Grass, hops, honey.

T - Nice hops, grassy, some light spice, honey.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body, not enough bitterness.

O/D - OK. A decent craft lager, but way less hops than I was expecting. Wouldn't revisit it, but a nice take on the style. (421 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Meadhall, served in a branded pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy, rich shade of caramel. A nice, tight one-finger head of white foam forms.

Pretty serious pine resin in the aroma. The hop presense is very robust, and that piney character is quite evident. A little bit of underlying sweetness in the nose, but it's mostly about that hop stickiness.

The taste isn't quite the aroma's equal. I was quite surprised by the sweetness throughout the taste - there's a very strong malt backbone, but unfortunately with the hop profile it comes off as a little faded. I was left wondering just how old this keg was.

The mouthfeel only bolstered my suspicions about the age of this beer. Undercarbonated, almost to the point of feeling dead, this seemed a little thin and watery.

Jack's Abby is doing some great things, but this beer - and more specifically, this pint - was just OK. I hope to try a growler of this soon, and with any luck drink a more representative sample. (993 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jack's Abby Hoponious Union
12/14/12
.5L bottled 10/31/12

Golden amber with brilliant clarity. Tightly-bubbled, effervescent head. (4)

Aroma is somewhat restrained hop-wise. I get some grass and tropical fruit, but it's muted and uninteresting overall. (3)

Flavor is exceptionally clean, with a firm herbal bitterness. There's really not a whole lot going on here other than hops and slightly biscuit malts. Subtle notes of orange and mango. Mouthfeel is medium-light, but the carbonation seems large-bubbled and not very smooth. Dry and very drinkable on the whole. (3.5, 3.5)

I feel like this level of crispness and refreshment can be found in a top-fermented IPA. There's really nothing exclusive or interesting about this beer being an "IPL". I enjoy it, it's well-made, but at the end of the day, I reach for a lager when I feel like drinking something more traditionally German or Czech. When I want hops, I reach for a local, dry-hopped ale that can be consumed within weeks after fermentation, not months. If I lived in Framingham, I'd get growlers of this beer and be slightly confused, but pleasantly drunk. (3.5) (1,127 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.46/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Reservoir, Waterbury, VT.

Clear golden pour, with a nice, thick, foamy cap of white head; nice retention and some patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma was very light, notes of herbal hops, and biscuity malt sweetness. The taste was mostly sweet up front, biscuity malts, toffee, fruit punch, giving way to toasted grains, and a lightly bitter, herbal hop finish. Light-medium body, moderate carbonation, pretty easily drinkable. Overall decent, especially for a lager, but still probably not something I'd go for again. (531 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A: Pours a clear-golden straw color with a finger and a half of white, fuzzy head. A very nice looking beer.

S: Hops. Pine and resin are present up front. There are some citrus notes as well, but this is all pine with some grassy, floral aroma.

T: Lots of up front hops on the first taste. Lots of hop bitterness. A bit unbalanced compared to the flavoring hops. Lots of pine and grassy notes, with a bit of grapefruit and perhaps a touch of mango on the back end. This being a lager, the malt backbone is really muted, too much so really. It's really a bit of a bland-bodied beer, with a nice hop profile that just overwhelms the backbone.

M: Kind of thin and watery, but with a really nice crisp, clean finish. With some more body to this, it would be truly excellent as I really enjoy the lager finish.

O: I was really excited to try this beer as I've heard a lot of good things about it. I have to say I was pretty underwhelmed by it. I'll definitely give it another try in a bottle, but it was a bit too thin-bodied and dry for my tastes. (1,076 characters)

Photo of predikit
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Pours a clouded copper with a foamy white head that lasts nearly forever. Leaves clumps and globs of lacing behind. I'm almost convinced that if you lowered the beer level without disturbing the head it would stick behind completely intact.

Smells of citrus, grassy grapefruit.

Slight fruity taste, follows the nose here, slightly over hopped, not complex otherwise. Hint of mango. I dislike hoppy brews, but this is balanced well.

Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well.

For a hoppy brew I'm not too turned off by it. (550 characters)

Photo of miketd
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of rudzud via trade.

Poured into a tulip. Color is faint copper/light straw with a big, foamy head. Nice legs left in the glass. Aroma is piney hops with grass and earth, slightly astringent. flavor is subtle hops and light, bready malt; dry and refreshing.

I prefer a bit more hop assertiveness in my brew, but overall this is a nice, light drinker and a good beer. (378 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjg0725 for sending me my first taste of Jack's Abby...& based on the contents of that big box, this one won't be my last. 12 oz. bottle with interestingly styled graphics.

The pour is golden, very clear, with visible carbonation. Nose slips you some lager tongue: bread that's fortified with iron shavings. Crackery. The hops are subdued to the point of being demure, citrus, pine, but both dominated by the yeast.

Hoponius Union grows on me as it warms: cold, this ain't nothin' much. Warmed, the hops in the title appear like magic, & interesting magic at that. The citrus is soft, out of focus, all the edges rubbed away by the lager yeast. Intensely dry. Bitterness arrives with mayhem on its mind, & rises with the temperature. Dash of Crystal Light, grapefruit, lemongrass, light spicing. Slick & easy to drink.

Don't approach this one cold: some small talk, gentle cradling, & the warmth of your breath will be required before you get what you want. Namely, a good beer. (994 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra'd but forget who sent this to me...

A - Pours a yellow/orange color, white frothy head, sticky lace.

S - Really hoppy, resin, citrus, light malts, caramel. A lot more hoppy then I was expecting, that's for sure. IPL or IPA or DIPA or whatever, this beer has lots of hops.

T - Similar to the nose. Lots of hops with a small amount of sweet malty notes. Not nearly as good as Humulus Lager, IMO. Too hoppy to even put lager in the the style name. Alcohol is noticeable for 6.7%, which detracts from this beer. Finish is super-hoppy bitterness.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, oily bitter finish.

O - Not my cup 'o tea. Just too hoppy and over-the-top to enjoy much of. I opened a Pliny the Elder directly after this and it seemed to be more balanced and enjoyable then this beer, which says a lot to me right there. (827 characters)

Photo of Skwalk47
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent copper with a large white head that dissipates quickly.

Hops, pine, almost soapy aroma.

Taste is similar with lots of hops but not much on the fruity or citrus spectrum.

Really nice mouthfeel with moderate to high carbonation and a slightly resiny texture.

Overall, pretty good. The bottle was about 5 weeks old so perhaps that reduced some of the haziness/fruity notes that others have mentioned.

Surprised that they would dissipate so quickly. (471 characters)

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw/apricot colored with an off-white head that settles out to a 1/4 inch cap that settles slowly. Aroma of citrusy hops, some florals, and pine, notes of biscuit malt.

Big, hoppy flavor upfront, floral, citrus, melon, mint, pine, finishes tingly pine with a it of a hard edge. Some honey malt rises up, but hops dominate, with herbal and spicy notes lingering.

Full mouthfeel, semi-slick, finishes tingly. Good beer. (435 characters)

Photo of founddrama
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Very much a golden yellow, but much lighter/paler than the ales I'm accustomed to. Lots of bubbles, not much head. Very clarified. (However: a more vigorous pour on the second one gives a much bigger, foamier head with good retention.)

SMELL: Gentle pour: almost no aroma until you get in close and then it's hoppy as hell. Vigorous pour: floral hop aromas big time.

TASTE: Smooth and crisp with a big hop profile. Mildly astringent finish, but the hops echo through after that. (Toward the end of the glass, seems to get a bit of a buttery off-flavor?)

FEEL: Lighter than I expected.

C/w/ other IPLs? Better than Dream Machine (by a bit), not doesn't touch Fathom (still my favorite of the style).

#MensJournal100Best2014 (733 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip. Thanks to eorwar for the share.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to thin ring. Some splotchy lace is left down the glass.

S: Lager yeast profile with a light hoppiness to it. Subtle pale malts in the periphery.

T: Has a nice hoppy greenness to it with a mild citrus backing. Lager yeast profile with some sweet pale malts, but a nice hoppy bitterness cuts in at the end.

M: Very light bodied with a medium high carbonation level. Super easy drinking. Lightly bitter finish.

O: This was solid, but it was definitely hyped up in my head as being the best lager in the world. While it was very easy drinking and I would have again, I wouldn't put it in the upper echelon. (788 characters)

Photo of Keginator70
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chose a pilsner glass. A pleasant nose full of piney hops with hints of thyme. Medium head sticks around and compliments the golden opaque liquid.
Up front moderate bitterness followed by an atypical lager malt taste. No grassy or grainy sweetness here but nothing unpleasant.
Really hard to define this one. A very good but not great selection on a hot Summer's day. I think it would go well some spicy sea fare. It's so-so with sharp cheddar cheese.
On it's own it's much better than Jack Brau by a mile and but not in the class as say Victory Prima Pils. (558 characters)

Photo of Jjski
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Somehow this does not resonate with me. Some people call it dank, but to me it's sorta skunk. fresh bottle< 1 month old. I'm rating it on the last bottle of the 6 pack, and it has not grown on me at all

It's piney to a fault, witch registers skunky and onions to my nose and palate. The mouth is very crisp and dry. nice

I liked Lashes Lager and Kiwi Rising quite a bit. Saxonater is great. This is missing for me (420 characters)

Photo of TangTKE402
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark khaki on the inside with a golden edge. A nice 1.5-finger head dissipated to a thin film and left little lacing. Semi-hazy in texture.

S: Light aromas of grass, with a malty sweetness to balance it out. It has a "wet" aroma that sets it apart, with notes of dark berries, vanilla bean, grass, and. Touch of flowers.

T: Hoppy up-front, with the malt backbone to carries it through. The swallow is bitter, but it doesn't linger. Notes of sediment, dirt, grass clippings, toasted malts, and oat nut bread dominate.

M: Chewy but mot heavy, with a slightly bitter afterfeel that sits in your jaw.

O: For the style, there really is nothing like it. Those who purchased it thinking it was a standard IPA didn't read carefully enough, and shouldn't hold that against it. An IPL done well is a rare thing, and this is the prime example. (883 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Hazy and almost no head, as to be expected with a beer full of hop oils. Smells fairly mild for a beer billed as an "india" whosawhatsit. Hoppy for sure, but nothing compared to heady west coast style IPA I grew accustomed to in Denver. The flavor was another story. The malt starts things off pretty mildly, with predictable toasty sweetness, but hops quickly take over. Body is there, as is a gentle carbonation level. I feel like I'd be more comfortable with a blast of soapy pilsy or grassy german hops, but the american hops coupled with lagered malt cleanliness is unique and singular to this beer. It is unusual and not unenjoyable, especially after years of "moar hopz" west coast beers. Think of a fresh bottle of Urquell poured half and half with a Smuttynose IPA. Bizarre but delicious. It's really good, but I'd still opt for SNPA or Bells Two Hearted Ale since they're easier to get and world class outstanding beers. If I saw this one in the same cooler, I'd definitely grab it for a change of pace, but I fail to see it as anything really out of the ordinary in terms of flavor. (1,103 characters)

Photo of billybob
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

light golden honey color head held well with a sticky lace. mild aromas of pine taste about the same as most of your ipa's carbonation was flat and did not help might give it a second try. (188 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If the American IPA style is supposed to celebrate the highest hop rates possible and the lowest malt influence that's capable, then why are we fussing with anything other than a the crisp and clean base Lager style? Wouldn't Lager allow for a more dominant showcase of hop character over that of more characterful ale?

That just may be the inspiration that's used for Jack's Abby Hoponius Union. Upon the first glimpse, its off-bright appearance is golden and with the most modest of haze due to evident dry hopping. A frothy head of stark-white foam sits atop the beer in stubborn fashion, lacing with well defined concentric rings at each drink.

The sharp scent of those papery hop cones resonate to the nose with fresh-cut grass, slivers of grapefruit peel, bitter orange, and leafy character. Trailing deep in the recesses are the cracker-like malt structures that only support the hops in timidly supportive role. And like dry IPA, the hops command the taste with a bright botanical notion of dried citrus peel, mulled herbs and grasses, leaf, and lemongrass. Its terse sweetness never rivals the hops but give the most timid support necessary. Dry bread and crackers dissolve on the tongue at middle palate and allows the dry hop flavor to trample over the late palate and aftertaste.

Light bodied, the taste buds and trigemental sense searches for caramel sweetness or a heartier malt impression, but there are none- the beer carries the dry and sensible mouthfeel of German lagers, except they are covered up by the sharper and more acidic hop dryness. Lightly resinous on the palate, the hops trail into mild alcohol warmth and an echo of lightly kilned barley.

It's easy to become seduced by thinking of this beer as a hoppy lager. But the counterpart could be taken too- that this is an IPA with quivering support and exposed hop-derived astringency. (1,866 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holy crap, good on the beer of the month club I got as a Christmas gift to come through with something like this! 12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clearish golden color. The head is a finger high, and white in shade. Retention isn't the best, but the texture is soft enough. Plenty of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Well, it's just like a good west coast IPA...ONLY A LAGER! I get a decent amount of grapefruit, pine, flowers, melon, and a slight touch of sweet malt. Unfortunately, the nose seems somewhat dinky - what's here is good, there just isn't enough of it. A slightly disappointing nose, considering it's rated a 95 overall. (3.25)

Taste: This works FAR better. It starts off with some hoppy goodness: a mix of melon, mango, grapefruit, and pine. The finish is malty and slightly sweet yet not ridiculous. But the best part? IT'S DELICATE! It's one thing for a pilsner to be delicate - it's another thing entirely for a big IPL to have such softness. Its overall balance is utterly superb. Some of the notes blend together a bit too well, but this is a great-tasting lager otherwise. (4)

Mouthfeel: While it's crisp like any good lager should be, it's also a bit heavy. Luckily, it's very soft without being too flabby. Carbonation is actually gentle by lager standards. Drinkability isn't amazing, but it's a very nice beer to savor. (3.75)

Overall: The nose let me down, but the taste and feel work far better. I like how this uses its lager character to soften the edges of the typical IPA without blunting them excessively. I could conceivably drink this all day without chugging it moronically - nice to know the first beer I had from Jack's Abby was a winner! (4)

3.77/5: One of the better IPLs I've sampled (1,753 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this india pale lager style is really taking off, and this is one of the better examples, but I hate to say like I always do, that humulus from the bruery set the bar impossibly high for other brewers. this is excellent, until you have a humulus. it pours a nice radiant orange color with an inch of fading white fluff. a nose of crisp clean pine family hops, with a pronounced bitter close. lager yeast is evident upon the first sip, its dry but not at snappy as some. it lets the cereal grains come through a lot to balance the hops, which have a sort of punctuated citrus and pine bitterness back and forth going on. the beer would be better if it didn't come across so filling. bigger malt base than necessary here I think, fuller than most lagers, but its carbonated well and the bitter finish is quite dry, encouraging quick consumption. overall a great beer, but underwhelming in some ways, especially when put up against the gold standard for the genre. (961 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of off white head of mostly small bubbles. Plenty of sticky thick lacing as the head dissipated.

Nose is mostly citrus and floral hops, biscuit malts.

Floral and herbal flavors along with some bitter citrus peel. Just a slight malt presence, biscuit and caramel. Finish is clean and dry, with some light citrus flavor lingering.

Light body and well carbonated. An interesting beer, but I feel this bottle might have been past its prime. (521 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear orange with a finger of white frothy. Patchy legs of lace stick to the glass and the cap displays decent retaining powers.

The aroma is tropical with hop character. Somewhat herbal with pine, rind and pulp to zest of something like oranges or grapefruit. A mild inclsuion of supporting fruity alcohol.

The taste is surprisingly toasty with bready malt. Considering the aroma, I was expecting a hoppy assault right upfront but instead its quite grainy. Toffee mixes with sulfur and a bit of a cheesy hop flavor mixed with herbs towards the back.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is earthy herbal and cheesy with plenty of bitterness and a veggie hop flavoring. I would have this again if the opportunity presented itself. (813 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at New World Tavern--Plymouth
Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: piney hops and light citrus hops

Taste: sweet caramel start followed by pine and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with big bitter middle and less bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Overall: A nice and smooth lager. This one is a lot hoppier than others in the style. Better as a beer than for the style. A sipper that I will get again but one per sitting. (519 characters)

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 314 ratings.