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Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

339 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 339
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%
Wants: 34
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OtherShoe2 on 03-03-2012

This black lager combines a big roasted malt character with plentiful additions of aromatic hops. Magnum, Cascade, Columbus, Centennial and Cluster in the kettle, hopback and dry hop additions add a piney, resinous, light citrusy flavor and aroma. A bitter finish contrasts the full malty body.

70 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by Hendry:
More User Reviews:
Photo of utopiajane
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black but with hues deep within the beer that can attest to it's clarity. I was able to take one photo showing a ruby ring around the bottom of the glass and as I drained my first glass I can also notice subtle shades of brown. The ruby that I observed was like a gem that you might find deep in the earth covered by blackness and brown earth but shining nonetheless. It has a creamy tan colored head of foam that fell slowly and deliberately and left rings. After it was completely subdued by time it left rings of sticky lace and a cluster of bubbles and film on top.

Nose is lovely roasted malt. It verges on nutty but then gives way to bitter chocolate. The hops grace the nose with a faint presence and a sweet breath of orange. A touch of coffee. It's smells deep and abundant. The taste follows the nose all the way and the beer has such graceful hop accents. The orange never intrudes or steals center stage away from the malty character. Smooth dry , crisp blackened malt that is not burnt. The carbonation is ample and keeps it drinking like a lager. A very light bit of caramel and this one finishes with a bit of that bitter chocolate to linger and dry out slowly as the light sweet orange echoes itself from the nose only faintly. There is a bitterness form both the roasted malt and from a bit of hops in the finish.

This one has a subtle devil may care attitude but respects the style completely. Wonderful!

Photo of tectactoe
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for splitting the bottle. Jack's Abby - leading the lager revolution. I'm trying to remember the last schwarzbier I've had... Can't think of it, so it has definitely been a while. This one pours with a black-hole black body with only the darkest of rubies shining at the edges. A foamy, beige head settles and fizzles to a collar pretty quickly, leaving some chunky lacing behind.

Full of pungent, piney hops up front, almost like something you'd expect from one of these new-fangled "black IPAs", because there's a big, roasty backbone hidden underneath the hops. So, yeah, lots of hoppy and malty aromas clashing; spicy, ashy, herbal, roasty, with a touch of finishing black pepper.

Not exactly sure what a schwarzbier is supposed to be, but looking at the dry-hop bill (Magnum, Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, and Cluster), this is appearing more and more like a "black IPL", if I may be so bold. Dark malts, plenty o' hops, only with lagering yeast. Would like to see a little more malt balance, but the spicy hops are pretty nice.

The taste is almost exactly as I expected it to be, which I guess is a good quality for a beer to exhibit. Brash, piney hops with a commanding bitterness couples with a heavily roasted malt bill, with also brings a bit of bitterness to the table. There's a very mild citric character from the hops, too, just a touch of grapefruit peels and citrus pith.

Light cocoa powder in the finish, along with a dry, sharpness. I swear I can finally taste some lager yeast in the finish; bready and full - it looks like the lagering wasn't for naught! Hops are definitely the most assaulting thing here, followed by the black malts, but the lager yeast somehow does surface among the ruckus. Thin-medium bodied, heavily carbonated with a sharp mouth feel.

Pretty good beer in a relatively unexplored style for me. From the taste alone, it reminds me of the lager version of a "black IPA" when you take a porter malt bill and mate it with an IPA hop bill, only in this case, using bottom-fermenting yeast and a cold fermentation. I wish I had more of the style to compare to, but it's pretty good nonetheless, if roasty and piney are your thing.

Photo of BeerIsland
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The CS poured frothily from the .5 liter bottle, piling the tan head way over the top of my pilsner glass. Color is a deep rich brown and the aroma is primarily dark malts. with a hint of hops. This is an extrememly tasty beer, just fine for a cool spring day. Although the significant hopping does not intrude on the overall balance, this beer could use a little more "middle". This is obviously amped up from the traditional style but still in the family. I wonder what the draft version is like?? This one was kindly laid on me by Jamie Magee during a visit to Iron Hill Lancaster.

Photo of tigg924
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 inch head, opaque, high carbonation

Smell: cocoa, piney hops, and milk chocolate

Taste: cocoa, piney hops, roasted malt, and milk chocolate

Mouthfeel: medium light bodied, high carbonation, sweetish start that becomes bitter but never overly so

Overall: Super drinkable nice and dry. I think this drinks a bit more like a black IPA than a schwarzbier. One of the better newer beers from Massachusetts. Also the price cannot be beat. I will get this again.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark brownish red appearing black in the glass. A dense slightly tanned head sits on top of this brew. Good head retention as it takes a couple minutes for the head to dissipate. Leaves great lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Initial aroma of roasted malts and hops. The roasted malts come across as carmely and chocolaty. The hops add some pine and spiciness to the mix. A nice earthiness to this one that reminds me of the inside of a brewery.

T: A lot more hop bitterness comes through in the flavor than anticipated. There is still a solid roasty malt backbone that adds chocolaty notes, but an ample hop addition as well. Mild citrus from the hops. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Real smooth and creamy mouthfeel makes this one a pleasure to sip on. Moderate carbonation and a mostly clean finish. Just a touch of stickiness from the resinous hops.

Overall I've always been a Schwarzbier fan and this one it top of its class. Mouthfeel of a stout with the hop bitterness of an IPA.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a nice khaki head. Lots of wisps.

Smell - Really hoppy. Chocolatey. Some roast.

Taste - And it's hoppy again. Grapefruit. Roasted malt. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Overly carbonated. Clean and kinda thin.

Overall - Underwhelming. It's good for a lager, but that can be said of most of Jack's Abby beers.

Photo of tkelley
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second pour from a new growler into a tulip.

A - dark dark body. Very little light comes through but a little if you tilt it tot the side. Good head, retention, and lacing.

N - Mostly roasts and malts on the nose. Obvious hops as well. Pine, grapefruit. But again mostly roasted malts.

T - opposite of the smell. Mostly fresh hops. Really tasty. Piney, fruity. Then the roast. Mommy.

M - smooth but on the heavier side. Hearty. Good carbonation

O - love it. Love choppy dark beers and one this fresh doesn't come along too often.

Cheers!

Photo of OldIronLungs
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a dark mahogany with several lively fingers of mocha head that rise to the rim.

Nose is light pine and dry chocolate and spent coffee grounds.

A sip is lighter and clean, nice carbonation pulling hits of piney hops on top of deeper roasted malt, finishing more bitter with resinous pine. The balance is very impressive - at 6.8% it's a very easy drinking beer and, as far as I'm concerned, a well-balanced example of the style.

Prost!

Photo of jmarsh123
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a big tan creamy head and good lacing.

Smells like roasted malts and a touch of smoke.

Similar flavor. Smooth roasted malt with a very crisp earthy finish. Definitely some bitterness to this one, but a good balance overall.

Creamy mouthfeel with ample carbonation.

Usually not a style I go crazy over, but I found this one quite pleasant. It was crisp and refreshing yet still maintained good roasty qualities.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store, poured into an Abandon Brewing tulip.

Pours dark black with a 2 inch head fluffy head that recedes quickly, to a film on top of the beer. Leaves sheets of lacing down the glass.

Strong aromas of resinous pine and roasted malt. I could keep my nose in this forever, seriously baller.

The flavor is great- on one sip you'll get dank, earthy, resinous pine sap and needles, with mild citrus on the front end, with dark roasted, almost burnt malt, coffee grounds, and smokey ash on the back end, then the next sip the dark malt will be up front with the hops in the back. Very interesting drinking experience.

Full creamy body, medium to thick mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Lingering bitterness stays in the back of your throat throughout. No present alcohol taste.

Another winner from Jack's Abby. It's getting to be where I can buy anything from them and expect it to be great.

Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Barry.

Dark brown body that borders on black. Pours with a rich, frothy head that retains well.

Sharp roasted malt aroma; slightly ashy and acidic. Coffee-like with a touch of pine and smoke. Very clean lager yeast character.

The palate is crisp, dry, heavy on ashy roasted malt at this point, with a resinous hop note lingering in the background. Though there's a lot of sharp roasted malt flavor here, it doesn't come off as burnt. Dry from beginning to end, and light in body. Flavorful as it is, this is very easy to drink and shows a great balance of flavors. The finish is sticky, bitter, ashy and smoky; far from a traditional schwarz.

Very impressive stuff. This bottling is fairly old from what I hear, but it has held up well. Hops have been reduced to more of a background note, but the excellent dark malt foundation is enough to carry the beer.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured a deep brown hue with a three finger chunky white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured roasted malts, charcoal and a grassy hop.

The taste offered a very dry roasted barley with the accompanying dry coffee, charcoal and wood smoke. There was a pleasant herbal hop that freshened the flavor.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty black beer.

Photo of hail_seitan
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A - Dark brown, nearly black, body. A very thick mocha head forms on top and sticks along the sides of the glass as the beer is consumed.

S- The first word to come to mind is funky. Grapefruit peels, pine resin, smoke, and earthiness all meld together to form a unique olfactory experience.

T - Better than the smell lets on. The northwest hops hit fast and heavy, with delightfully pungent grapefruit and pine. The malt is exceptionally roasty, with coffee notes an almost burnt-popcorn taste (I mean that in a good way). The clean finish you expect from a lager starts to creep up before being drowned in classic bitterness.

M - Exceptionally velvety mouthfeel. The carbonation is perhaps a bit too lively, though.

O - The taste is what makes this beer worth seeking out. It has a distinctly old-school Pacific Northwest hop character that blends perfectly with the slightly bitter character of the roasted malt. And the lack of esters remind you this is 100% lager.

Photo of gonzo000
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a. Dark brown/black beer with a 2 inch tan bubbly head.

s. Malt, some hops

t. Did not find the hoppy notes that the label called for, but beer was tasty - malt based with yeast.

m. Good mouthfeel from the nice carbonation mentioned in the appearance.

o. Eeeked in to the Outstanding - especially given the lager category.

Photo of LeRose
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half liter bottle dated March 2013.

Appearance on pouring into lager glass was light black coffee color with an enormous beige head that clung tenaciously to the glass.

Aroma was hoppy with citrus and pine notes with the toasty malt underneath. Sort of chocolate like Bakers or cocoa powder.

Flavor was very malty and toasty forward, then hops in the middle mostly grapefruit characteristics. Finishes with a cocoa powder taste and feel. Maybe a hint of smokiness hidden in there.

Mouthfeel was lively with good carbonation. Light bodied. Some lingering chocolate flavor that created a smooth feeling at the back. Some bitter hit, but not too much.

Overall a decent enough brew. For me, the hops clashed just a tiny but with the roasted characteristics. Glad I had it, seems fairly representative of the style, but probably not a regular for me.

Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark black pour into a pint glass. Thick and foamy head forms and retains impressively, doesn't wanna go away at all. Lace patches form that you could scoop off of the glass.

S- Hoppy and black. The grains lend mostly roasted malt cereal notes as well as cocoa, coffee, caramel and some toast hints. Hops are earthy and a bit spicy like European strains here.

T- Follows up the nose with the dark malt character, almost like chocolate covered cereal with that nice grainy flavor. Some coffee, nutty, caramel and vanilla hints. Hops round it out with earthy, spicy and pine notes, citrus is there but not at levels like many Black IPAs.

MF- Very bubbly here, maybe my only real problem. Doesn't ruin the beer but maybe I'll have to try another bottle and revise, seems like yeast may have gotten out of control. A nice bitterness on the palate.

An enjoyable hoppy black lager that doesn't attack you with hops but uses them strongly and tastefully. I like the pine and spicy hop profile.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/25/2012 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short very dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of coffee, roasted malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a creamy coffee flavor up front followed by a hearty roasted malt character and lager yeast. The hops presence is strong for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sweet.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a while.

Photo of MNishCT77
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz bottle drank as part of a BJCP tasting group (Category 5: Bock - tagged on the drunken end) on 01/14/2015, poured into a snifter glass and drank over 15-30 minutes

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from WineNation, Millbury, MA.

Poured into a CCB pub glass, formed a 2" tan head over the slightly cloudy dark reddish brown brew. Frothy head dwindles bubble by bubble, with average lacing. Aroma is dark malt with some pine.

Taste is chocolatey dark sweetness to start, malts continue through rich body of the center, and hoppiness comes on strong to the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Nice one here.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black body with a tight but huge tan head.

Nose is crisp, clean hops with a bitter chocolateness.

Flavor is deep and rich tart malt with a solid hop punch on the finish. This is the definition of bittersweet. I like it.

Mouthfeel is slick, but with a crisp finish. Not stripping, but the hop character is present.

Overall, a very nice, highly drinkable brew. Jack's Abby hasn't misfired yet.

Can't wait to try the Kiwi Rising I have stashed in the fridge downstairs in the cellar...

Photo of predikit
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, settles in the class black. Leave a thick and foamy light tan head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

The smell is very subtle, notes of coffee, molasses, possibly some oat.

Taste is well rounded, though for a hoppy black lager, the hops aren't front and center, coffee notes, brown sugar, a minor bitter tang for the end, alcohol burn is fairly noticeable after it goes down.

Medium-full bodied, low carbonation, very smooth and creamy.

Jack's Abby doesn't disappoint here.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to myspoonistoobig for getting me out a bottle of this one. Served in a Mikasa pilsner glass.

Pours near black with a thick tan head. Great retention and plenty of sticking lacing as it eventually falls to a thin cap.

The nose carries a bit of light Cascade and orange with some nice roasted malt in the background. The flavor follows suit, but the hops come more to the front, melding quite well with the roast. Roast with a touch of coffee plus orange peel and citrus. There's a bit of light earth and pine in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation and a nice combo between the roast and bitterness through the finish.

Nice concept and well-executed. I think this could use a touch more in the nose, but other than that this is a really nice brew.

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big fluffy darker colored 1.5 finger head that fades super slowly with some pillowy lacing, a murky cola and molasses brown colored beer.

Nose is a nice blend of dark lager and semi light american hops, malts bring a light chocolatey slight caramel and toasted malts, then light lager notes, hints of sweet soft malty crispness and touch of fruity notes, then light spicy earthy hops, hint grassy, and even some pine.

The huge billowy head is still just as big, 5 minutes later and its still not leaving, I think it wants the beer as much as I do. Diving in I'm treated with a nice brown malty taste, soft but lightly toasted brown malts, bit of a chocolate fluff, caramel, and faint molasses. that is accentuated by the faint crisp lager and fruity flavors, soft crisp finish. The hops are there throughout but don't really dominate, bringing some pine, light earthy spicy tones, a decent but not heavy bitterness, a just a touch of resins. Finish comes dry and crisp, a bit more bitterness that dampens a bit after rising and lingers for quite some time, and a bit more chocolate and caramel malt flavors.

Mouth is soft but med bodied, good carb which is what I think was reinforcing the head for so long.

Overall very nice, the malts take the lead with nice caramel and chocolate, and a not of the lager comes through but it ads a nice crispness and soft feel. Hops are done well, it would be very easy to over do them, and all the flavors blend well to a really nice drinkable well done beer.

Photo of davey101
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

March 2013 batch, 500 ml bottle into a HF wine glass.

A - Pours a jet black body that exposes some light around the edges. A few fingers worth of khaki foam sticks around for a while. Ungodly amounts of dirty, sticky lacing just coats the sides of the glass.

S - Bright grapefruit, pine and charred malts and chocolate. It does that have uniquely Jack's Abby lager aroma to it.

T - Not overly bitter or malty. Just pleasant piney hops meeting ever so lightly roasty chocolate malts. A touch of smoke on the end. Very clean and easy drinking. Mouth feel is medium bodied and silky.

O - A pleasantly hoppy schwarzbier, this was damn tasty and JA continues to amaze me with their innovative lagers.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cascadian Schwarzbier pours black into the glass with a big, frothy light tan head on top. The foam fades slowly down to a thick sheet on the surface leaving behind some spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is a nice combination of hoppy pine and citrus notes blended with smoke, chocolate and roasted malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and watery on the palate with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor is nicely balanced between roasted and chocolate malt, smoke and bitter hop flavors of pine and citrus. It finishes dry with lingering pine and roasted notes when gone.

A very tasty and fairly well balanced beer, however I found the body to be a little thin.

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Cascadian Schwarzbier from Jack's Abby Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.