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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

73 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 344
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 4.21%
Wants: 35
Gots: 19 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 344
Photo of LittleDon
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black with a plentiful fine foam head. Lots of glass sticking lace. Both the aroma and taste are a strong and well balanced combination of roasted malt and piney c-hops. Neither overpowers the other. Medium bodied and light carbonation, one of the best bottled beers I can recall. (280 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh, and poured into a Sam Adams glass.

What a spectacular pour. Dark, dark- almost black. Pillowy off-white head. Lacing just sticks and sticks. Beautiful.

Aroma is unexpectedly coffee-forward. Smells like a Pacific Northwest coffee house, with just a touch of wood and roastiness. Maybe a bit of black tea as well. When I close my eyes I could convince myself I'm back in a rustic coffee joint in Seattle. Wonderful stuff.

Great flavor here as well. There's a bit less coffee than the aroma, but a big dose of sweetness and possible lactose adds some richness and complexity. It's dry and bitter on the finish, but not earthy. Just a sweet, almost lemon-rind finish.

Nice mouthfeel- dry, but compatible with the flavors.

Man, I love this beer. I really have no idea what a schwarzbier is supposed to taste like. All I know is this beer is delicious. (859 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (928 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review taken from notes. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a clear deep brown almost black that can't be seen through. Atop was a nice half finger mocha head that leaves heavy clouding and light side lacing.

S - Very nice. Good earthy, smokey chocolate with rich roasted malts. There is a light coffee aroma as well as some light floral hops.

T - Wow this is rich. Smokey chocolates with good roasted malts. Very earthy with light coffee. There is a good bitter finish and aftertaste that is slightly piny. Wow.

M - Light mouthfeel. Great carbonation, sharp and crisp. For the ABV this is crazy drinkable.

O - Overall this is an excellent lager. Really delicious with wonderful aromas. Another great lager by Jack's Abby. (730 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted earthy malts with some light smoke, cocoa, vanilla, and some pine and earthy hops.

T - Starts off with roasted dark and earthy malts with some light vanilla and smoke. Through the middle some cocoa comes through with some pine and earthy hops and a bit of bitterness. The finish is a mix of roasted cocoa and earthy malts with a bit of vanilla and smoke and a touch of citrus hop and bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly roasted and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really great smoothness and texture with a great balance of flavors. A really nice dark lager. (830 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Julio's.

Pouring a very dark brown, this beer is capped witha dense, light brown head with excellent retention. Lacing is moderate. The nose is nice. Bright and hoppy with a blend of juicy citrus and pungent pine working really, really nicely with the dark caramel, cocoa and malted milk balls from the base beer.Mildly nutty as well.

The palate opens with juicy, bitter grapefruit juice and pine before segueing into a blend of caramel, toffee and cocoa before finishing with a wonderful juicy hop bitterness. Nutty, earthy, with hints of burnt sugar, the blend of flavors is particularly harmonious here, bringing to mind one of the better ABAs I've had, Hill Farmstead's Jimmy. Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is soft and creamy on the palate. The finish is just fabulous, especially the balance between the flavors of citrus hops, pine bitterness and the roasted malt flavors. Awesome stuff. (935 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.5 liter bottle dated February 2012. Thanks to Reagan1984 for this.

Appearance- Dark brown that lightens around the edges. Big thick tan head. Great lacing. 4.5/5

Smell- Earthy hop aroma accompanied with some roasted malt smells. 4/5

Taste- Roasted malt flavors are first. Nice even earthy hop bitterness in the end. Well balanced. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Nice even mouthfeel that trends to the thin side 4.5/5

Overall- This is a great beer. Very easy to drink and it is not trying to be something it is not. Very well crafted beer. 4.5/5 (537 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deeeep mahogany brown that light barely penetrates producing a huge tan head that is super-fluffy, retains for a while and laces very well.

very deep dark roasted malt aroma with some smoke in there as well as some wood. smells like the campfire after you pour water on it to put it out for the night. a big citrus kick is there too heading the cascadian part of the name. a bit nutty and earthy.

toasted/roasted malts begin the flavor which goes sweet and nutty (candied roasted nuts) in the middle before a big rush of hops take over bringing in that piney, citrusy flavor that would be synonymous with "cascadian." finishes pretty crisp, but leaves a slight pleasant bitter-sweetness lingering.

almost medium bodied, but finishes quite crisp with a touch of hop resin and a slight sticky sweetness, but overall its a dry, crisp finish with just a touch of that.

hmmm. I love it, to be honest. Jack's Abby has found a niche. do what American Craft brewers have been revolutionizing over the last decade but apply it to traditional German styles. Its unique, but it falls somewhere between a nut brown ale, euro dark lager, black IPA, and baltic porter. It works very well for me. I could drink this by the growler-full. (1,225 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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! (1,432 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

March 2013. Picked it up at the brewery and was told it was bottled two weeks ago.

A: Dark brown but ruby, blood red when held up to light with a light brown, frothy, pillowy, foamy head. Fluffy, sticky foam and great retention.

S: Huge roasted malt, some smoke and wood, & a nice piney hop presence. The sweet, earthy, almost charred and chocolaty malt aroma is intriguing. Very unique.

T: Roasted malt and hops come together to form a delicious Black Ale. Fresh, piney hop presence and properly roasted malt. Roasty, nutty goodness without the heavy body of a Stout or Porter.

M: Super smooth with huuuge flavor. Balance of hops and malt is spot-on. Carbonation is right, too.

O: My first review for this beer was with a less-than-fresh bottle but this time around it shines. A great beer for the transition from Spring to Winter. Another knockout from Jack's Abby. (872 characters)

Photo of tkelley
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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! (544 characters)

Photo of Naugros
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on Cape Cod while on vacation. I was very intrigued and could not wait to get home to try this, very curious as to what an American hopped schwarzbier might taste like.

Since it's a schwarzbier, I poured this into a Kostritzer glass. On the pour it looked for all the world like a stout. Jet black with a humongous, rocky head with incredible retention and the ability to rise above the lip of the glass. to get the whole bottle into the glass took over five minutes as I waited for the head to recede.

If it wasn't for the fact that I knew this was a schwarzbier, and hence a lager, I would have guessed it to be a black IPA from the look and the smell. Roasts abound in the nose with some serious piny hops and just a hint of acidic sour. Where on earth did that come from?

As the foam enters your mouth you get the piny hops tickling the roof of your mouth with a nice bitterness and the liquid follows quickly behind and delivers the malt load: coffee and chocolate bring the sweet side of this wonderfully balanced beer. The finish is all pine tar, but the bitterness in the aftertaste doesn't overpower or overstay, deriving from the malts almost as much as from the hops.

Smooth and richly mouth-filling, but comes off a little lighter in feel due to an appropriate level of carbonation.

I'm seriously impressed with this creation. I was worried about the hops dominating and destroying the flavor components that make a schwarzbier and schwarzbier, but the brewmaster certainly knows how to employ just enough to get the best out of the hops without compromising the style's key notes. (1,618 characters)

Photo of BigCheese
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh half liter bottle from brewery

A: beautiful big cardboard head, black as night. Huge rings of lacing, head lasts well.

S:
Smokey roasted chocolate malts, pine and citrus hops. Pretty pungent.
T: dark roasted malts mix of chocolate and coffee, some honey and caramel notes too. Has a large pinecone/herbal hop flavor. Definitely a lot of cascade. Some grapefruit and citrus too.

M: super creamy mouth feel. Abv well integrated.

O: really yummy beer. Could be considered a black ipa. Nice mix of black patent and citrus hops. A great beer by Jack abby. Not surprisingly. (584 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured slowly into a .5L weizen glass. This dark brown/black beer produces a towering, creamy beige head that retains quite well and leaves great rings of lace up and down the sides of the glass.

S - I know that the label says "hoppy black lager" but I really didn't expect the waves of hop aroma that I got from this one. Blindfold me and I'll tell you that I've got a fresh IPA sitting in front of me. Just an ever so fait indicator of roasted malts.

T - Now the roasted character of this beer takes center stage, with the hops doing their thing in more of a supporting role. There is a bitterness that comes in at the end, but it is not sharp, nor does it take away from the roasted aspect.

M - Classic Jack's Abby. Velvety smooth and refreshing. Clean finish. Medium-bodied. Excellent.

O - The only prior experience that I have had with such a beer has been Wookie Jack, which I did not like. Perhaps I got an old one? Needless to say I was thrilled with the quality of this one. It was excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those who enjoy IPAs, Porters, or anything in between. (1,106 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of pburland23
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 0.5L bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours an extremely dark brown, not quite black but very close. The pour into the snifter created three fingers of dense medium tan colored head. The head lingered for some time but didn't leave much lacing.

Smell: Sweet dark malts with piney, resinous hops. I'm also picking some dark coffee notes on the edges here. Very nice smelling beer.

Taste: Wow. The taste was not what I expected and this is a good thing. Dark roasted malts with big coffee and chocolate notes with a hint of smokiness. Finish is bitter and quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and mildly chewy. It's a little heavy for a lager in my opinion and at 7%, I'm probably not drinking more than one of this in a night.

Overall: Man, I think Jack's Abby is just killing it. I've had three of their beers and loved them all. This no exception...dark, roasty and hoppy. Very nice all around. (920 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spilt a few bottles with some f riends

A- dark dark brown/back with a nice one finger slightly brownish head , not to much lacing, a nice lookin beer.

S- love it... Slightly roasted chocolate, almost a marshmallowy, a bit of smoke, an amazingly complex roasty/creamy aroma profile, I love it.

T- much like the nose but a little tones down from the aroma, a very nice, but not overly done rauching, with roasty chocolate, and a beautiful hop profile that works very nicley with the style.

M- creamy and smooth with a slight bitter hop finish... Very very well rounded, lower carbonation, velvety.

O- a great beer, i really love these beers, everything I've had from these guys have been impressive, and this is no exception. (728 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting for a beer like this for a long time. This beer really combines the best aspects of a German Schwarzbier with an American hoppy (fill-in-the-blank).

Well balanced from start to finish, I was struck immediately by the aroma. When I popped the top, a strong piney smell wafted up to my nose. The nose is strong with pine forest, slight smoke, coffee, and citrus – the Cascade hops really shine through the nose.

Pouring a reddish-brown, dark (but not black), and a large head, the beer invites you in from the beginning. A wonderful taste follows: hoppy up front, evolving to a rich, roasted malt backbone, finishing again with a pleasant hoppy bitterness. And always balanced.

I think this is a great beer. And for the price ($3.99 for 16.9 oz), it can't be beat.

I'm looking forward to more from Jack's Abby. Congratulations! (852 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Greg (Reagan1984). Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - A dark tan foam settles to a cap, leaving behind splotchy lacework. The body is an opaque and very dark brown.

S - Smells like a black IPA. Floral and piney notes, some grapefruit, cocoa, caramel, light roast. Quite nice.

T - Taste is a little heavier on the roast characteristics, with some dark chocolate, and medium-low piney bitterness. Not as complex as the aroma. Thankfully avoids the usual Cascadian Dark pitfall of excessive astringency.

M - Medium body, slightly gritty texture, moderate carbonation, no alcohol, and a lightly sticky finish.

D - I don't think I could tell this is a lager in a blind tasting. However, I would still think it is a very enjoyable Cascadian Dark Ale. Kudos to Jack's Abby for bringing bold flavors to the lager side of things. Chris and I easily finished the 500ml bottle, and I'd have happily done so on my own. (933 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark brown black color with some dark red coming through in the light with a huge beige fluffy head.

The aroma has big robust roasted coffee in the front, a prominent lager yeast, bittersweet chocolate, a resinous pine and leafy green hop.

The flavor follows with that pine throughout along with tea leaves, leafy hops with almost a mint quality, then roasted coffee, cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, then onto a beautiful combination on the finish of piney hops, roasted drying, and a caramel sweetness. There’s also that classic lager yeast flavor throughout.

A really well crafted beer and absolutely delicious. Another incredible brew from Jack’s Abby. (680 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (1,045 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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 (171 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The ice tea colored liquid is capped by an impressive head that sheets the glass with lacing

Smell: Caramel, piney hops and a hint of chocolate

Taste: Caramel forward with piney hops building into the mid-palate; nicely balanced after the swallow with a hint of chocolate underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another nice Americanized interpretation of a lager by the folks at Jack's Abby (436 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours black with a two inch off-white head. Good retention. Thin rings and small spots of lacing.

S: Hops are very earthy. Pine, resin, herbs, spicy. Lemon zest. Roasted malt scents are very sooty. Whiffs of toasted bread and milk chocolate as well. Subtle smokey undercurrent. Touch of earthy yeast.

T: Citrusy hop tastes up front are redolent of lemon zest. They then shift and go earthy and spicy. Herbs and pepper. Bitterness grips the tongue like a respectably firm handshake. Malts lay down a baseline of milk chocolate, cola, and lots of soot. Tropical esters of tangerine and pineapple. Very bitter on the finish with an oily, spicy bite and a lingering sooty taste underneath.

M: Medium bodied. Low carbonation lets the creaminess of the mouthfeel come through more. Silky. Good.

O: Black IPAs are all the rage these days, and Jack's Abby decided to get in on the action. Don't think for a second that this is simply a reflex 'jump on the bandwagon' type of reaction though. Never content to just follow the trends, Jack's Abby has put their own unique spin on the style, essentially creating a 'black IPL'. Lagers are, after all, the only thing they brew. This is a well made beer from start to finish. Clean and drinkable. Nice roasted but not burnt malt base, impressively bold and spicy hop profile. Yet another great entry into the increasingly diverse Jack's Abby portfolio of brews. (1,453 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doopie brought this one out for beer night a while back. Cheers dude!

From a bottle into a snifter
OG: 16.5*P
IBU: 70

APPEARANCE: Pours a large, looser, creamy light brown head with good retention. Maroon brown in color, hazy, with no real carbonation evident. A wisp remains until the end leaving lots of lacing down the glass. Looks great on the finish.

SMELL: Lots of piney hops, grassy aromas, roasted malts and chocolate on the nose. Citrus hops aromas as well.

TASTE: Roasted flavors, piney notes and grassy hops up front. Lightly burnt. A big aftertaste of piney, grassy hops, citrus flavors, some chocolate and burnt malts linger on the palate. A good dose of bitterness as well. Really nice.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes semi-dry. Good stuff.

OVERALL: This is a really good brew. A big lager with lots of roasted flavor and hop character. A solid creation that I would love to drink on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing Doops. Recommended. (1,040 characters)

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Cascadian Schwarzbier from Jack's Abby Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.