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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 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)

Photo of Herky21
3.31/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Aroma is a bit grassy, fair amount of cocoa. Flavors are similar, with more fruit notes from the hops. Lager yeast finishes nicely with a decent cocoa flavor. The cocoa/roast and the hops seem to clash a bit, leaving the beer slightly rough around the edges. Worth a try for sure. (280 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 predikit
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (506 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 plaid75
4/5  rDev -1%

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. (416 characters)

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 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 gonzo000
3.84/5  rDev -5%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Pours a clear dark brown with ruby highlights at the edges and a creamy fluffy tan head that persists forever. Aromas of floral spicy resinous hops with bits of bitter chocolate flakes and a hint of coffee. The flavor is rich chocolate and hints of coffee with a solid shot of earthy resinous hop flavor. Moderate hop bitterness lasting long into the finish of each sip. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very nice black ipa, but it really does straddle the line of being a porter. (527 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 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 Altrurian
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark mahogany into the Weyerbacher-labelled tumbler. Two-and-a-half fingers of tan, rough-topped head leaves attractive lacing. Really nice, pronounced olfactory presence: toffee, chocolate milk, roasted grain, alcohol. Taste is that of a quality schwarzbier with a certain hoppy tang that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms to a proper serving temperature. It's not outstanding, but certainly respectable and serviceable. Mouthfeel is a little aggressive, but adequately thick. (496 characters)

Photo of hail_seitan
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,016 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 Maxwell
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, chocolaty brown with a massive head of creamy, sand colored bubbles. The head sits two finger’s widths above the glass with a nice lasting retention and a puzzle grid of thin lacing. On the nose, the beer smells delicately of roasted coffee beans and damp pine forests. Smooth dark chocolate works its way into the nose alongside musty earth and subtle dankness. The balance on the nose between hops and malt is quite nice and intriguing. As I sniff for longer I start to sense oranges dipped in chocolate, which is quite inviting. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter with roast and hoppy bitters. The finish brings a splash of sweet chocolate and bready malts, and a pop of citric acidity also lingers in the finish. In flavor, the beer begins as sweet citrus lemon, quickly falling into bitter pine resin and decadently toasted bread, blending roasted coffee and espresso bean flavors through rich dark chocolates. Subtle grass and herbal hops work their way into the finish alongside a beautiful burp of milk chocolate and toasted oatmeal bread. The aftertaste is of moderately bitter pine resin, which sticks to the roof of the mouth. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with a middling carbonation and a crisp, snappy mouthfeel that provides nice drinkability and scrubs away some of the heavier roast and bitter flavors. After the beer leaves, the mouth is left with slight spittle in the cheeks, soft bitter burn down the middle of the tongue, and a sticky resinous feel on the roof of the mouth. Overall, this is a beautifully balanced hoppy lager. Terrific pine and roasted malts tango on the tongue in a way that I very much appreciate. The closest thing to compare this to would be an American Black Ale, but this beer is miles ahead of that style in terms of balance. This could please a hop head and a roasted malt lover at the same time. Another superb beer from Jack’s Abby. (1,947 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 tectactoe
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (2,189 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened 7.7.13
Dated March 2013

A - Pours a opaque deep brown with a huge tan head that sticks around forever.

S - Roasted malts and chocolate.

T - Roasted malt, chocolate, wheat, with some hop bitterness.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Roasted and chocolate, but no hop flavor, just the bittering. (323 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, dated March 2013, poured into a Tired Hands Only Void snifter.

The beer pours a dark cola brown, near black color, hues of caramel when swished around. A billowing 3 fingers of bone colored head, very fluffy, that has decent retention and leaves a few spots of lace behind. The aroma is a mix of resinous, sappy pine and earthy hop spice as well as a heavy dose of coffee roast and toasted dark malt. The roast jumps out at me, true to style, and the hops are a nice layer on the backend, but at the same time, the aroma seems a touch muddled. Toasted dark malt and a roasted coffee flavor jump out, almost smokey, that quickly turns bitter and hoppy, lots of pine, earthy grassiness and crisp hop spice. Again, the balance seems off and both the roasted malts and bitter hops are fighting for attention, rather than melding nicely. The body is lively, crisp carbonation, coats the mouth fairly well and has a creamy touch at the finish that is also lightly dry.

Verdict: Did age hurt this, was it this muddled from the get-go? I like Schwarzbiers and the prospect of a hoppy one was exciting, but this just seems like one that got overhopped, yet, not hoppy enough. I'd like to revisit this beer when it's fresher. (1,232 characters)

Photo of LeRose
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (850 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 Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of nmann08
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 50cl bottle (March 2013).

Pours with a very active head. The head is foamy, but airy with a light brown color, that sticks around. The color is very dark brown, hues of amber and reddish brown.

Very aromatic. Obviously roasted malts, burnt chocolate, with piney hops.

Taste does not follow the smell, but not in a bad way. Still roasty, but the bitterness of the hops is much more apparent. It finishes with a cocoa/dark chocolate flavor that sits in your mouth for a while.

The mouthfeel is silky, not too creamy, feels very smooth going down.

Overall, this is great. Not sure if it would have been better back in March vs. May, but another solid Lager from Jack's Abby. (689 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jaasen64 for hooking me up!

Pours a creamy black with a nice foamy beige head.

The smell is excellent, picking up a cocoa aspect from the dark malt and some nice tingly hop aromas.

Taste is a little different from the smell. Large amounts of roasty flvaors with a definite lingering dry cocoa powder taste/feel. Hops come in on the mid-palate, a nice counterpoint to the roast, but then get lost in that cocoa flavor on the back end.

Mouthfeel is great, nice and thick.

Overall, definitely a solid beer. Tasted blind, I would have guesses this was an american porter. Would have liked to see the hop presence kicked up a touch more, but a very solid overall brew. (678 characters)

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