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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

323 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 323
Hads: 2,340
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 350
Gots: 401 | 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: 323 | Hads: 2,340
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 JackRWatkins
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 Cl in a nonik pint glass
A:orange to straw gold, little to no head mild lacing, cloudy for a lager
S:good clean hop bitterness with hints of orange and miscellaneous citrus
T:clean, juicy and refreshing, I can personally attest that this is good on a summers day, it is a little bitter at first but any harshness is quick to dissipate, they call this 'wicked hoppy' and while for a lager that might be true for a beer in general it is certainly not the case
M:juicy, a little drying after a second or two but not very
O: Special thanks to mike constanzo for sending me this, I would definitely buy it again if I had it available to me, a very enjoyable very pleasant beer, like drinking juice only better (709 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)

Photo of GJ40
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 500ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

A - Golden and crystal clear with a moderate creamy, white head. A steady rise of bubbles.

S - Floral and fruity hops with a nice lager crispness.

T - Nice floral and citrusy hops contrasted by a clean, crisp lager base. It was an interesting mix. They don't come together perfectly but it was interesting and enjoyable.

M - Silky with a moderate carbonation.

O - A good, interesting beer. (466 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a very slightly amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades quickly to a ring around the pour with a small island in the middle.

Smell: Juicy citrus fruit along with grapefruit peel hop bitterness. There is a nice balance between the malt and the hops. Reminds me of a nice west coast IPA.

Taste: Not quite as nice as the smell. I'm getting lots of citrus peel bitterness, but the sweeter citrus juice like notes aren't there as much as they were in the smell. The finish is extremely bitter and almost a bit acidic. The malt behind the hops is bready but not particularly sweet.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a ton of fluffy, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This one smelled fantastic but I thought the taste fell a bit short. It was still quite good, but I wouldn't call it fantastic. I'd have more to see if my opinion changes. (947 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has color more characteristic of an APA or IPA. Pours an orange-amber with a frothy white head. Smell is very muted to my nose, but then again that's the irony with IPLs as the coldet serving temp kinda defeats the purpose. Gains a nice fleshy mango aroma as it warms Grassy, citrusy, resiny hop taste. Gtapefruit, jackfruit, bitter melon, passionfruit. Definitely had a crisp, dry feel that accentuates citrus florals than any tropical sweetness. (451 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draught @ Noho Brewfest: This one pours a clear golden color. There was a small white head on it. The nose is good: piney and citrus hops. The taste is good also. IT has a pretty good hop bite. Pine and resinous hops dominate the flavor. Medium bodied. This tastes really good and is easy to drink. (298 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass. Bottled 2/25/2013 and enjoyed on 3/13/2013.

The beer pours a soft copper color, slight chill haze, with a finger high soapy white head that has nice retention and leaves a great network of sticky lacing. The aroma is very fruit forward, notes of mango, grapefruit and tangerine with some wildflower tucked in there that finishes with a big dose of sweet, pale cereal grain. The the flavors much less impactful, mango and grapefruit lead the way before some light sweet floral notes bring out a lot malty sweetness brings out a bit of an unpleasant clash between the hops and malt. The body is a bit thin yet very lively, watery at times on the tongue with a redeeming creamy finish.

Verdict: A nice hoppy lager from Jack's Abby, but not the hop monster I expected it to be. I definitely enjoyed the bottle and if it was a local beer to me, I could see this being in my fridge regularly as an every day drinker. (960 characters)

Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

growldog from olivers in albany ny

eyes...
all white head with a little audible sizzle, golden straw with a bent towards the orange hue, infrequent cargo of carbonation transports from the bottom of the glass, nice lacing on the glass as this dissapears

nose...
nice piney / fresh cone aroma, not as much as some wet hop types but in that vein, some malt sweetness lies underneath but mostly this is just lovely hops with a definite tip of the old hop hat to pine

taste etc...
the sweetness was more pronounced than I would have thought, it really checks in the bitterness, it has a nice bite of both carbonation and initial blast of bitter mixed together that mellows out along the malts leaving just a subtle hint of the hops in the background, this
is not some overly complex puzzle to orally solve, it is pretty straight forward but solid in all categories, this just drinks so damn well

verdict?
a touch too sweet to go nuts for my personal taste but there is not much wrong with this beer. solid in all fazes of the game, I definitely would have this on tap if I saw it (unless there was something ungodly on the other tap(s)) (1,137 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden body with a fluffy white head. Good retention. Really nice appearance.

Lots of grassy and citrusy hops in the aroma. Smells really fresh and well dry hopped. I feel like I'm picking out a lot Cascade maybe.

Taste is moderately bitter for an IPA-like beer. Good balance between hop flavor and bitterness and a very well attenuated but has a lightly sweet malt backbone. The lagering leaves the beer very crisp and refreshing. Grapefruit pith and grassy hops are prominent.

Not an overly hoppy beer for what it's supposed to be. My rating is sort of a balance between rating it a hoppy lager and an IPA, I guess. It's really an IPA at heart. I doubt many people would think it was a lager if they didn't know. It came out pretty rad. If rated like an IPA, I think I would have to say it's missing that extra level of depth in hop flavor that the big West Coast style ones have. Nevertheless, I will be filling up my growler every time I hit up the Natick mall for some fresh kicks. (989 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear light amber color. I got a 1 finger head of white bubbles. The head leaves decent lacing on the sides. The bottle has a easy to read manufactured date 6/16/14. It also lists the IBUs 65 and ABV 6.7%. I love when it is easy to find and read.

S: Some sweet smells along with the piney presence of hops.

T: The taste confuses my brain. It is simultaneously bitter and sweet at the front. I keep taking sips and keep getting that result. There is a taste of mild citrus zest and spiciness. The hops are on the finish making it somewhat dry.

M: Slightly dry and moderately carbonated.

O: This is an interesting twist on a lager or IPA. The sweetness helps balance the hops - but they are still there to enrich the experience. There is no sense of alcohol at all. This is an enjoyable beer and I will seek out more from Jack's Abbey. (843 characters)

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: With a very white and fluffy two fingered head. Underneath is a clear and very golden beer.

Aroma: Lots of grapefruit notes and some piney bits in this lager. Light buttery biscuit.

Taste: Mostly on the citrus hoppy side quite alot of grapefruit and piney bits. Light dry mouthfeel with some crispness. Biscuit notes round it out.

Notes: It's drinkable and the citrus notes add a good touch. Cheers. (414 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.