Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

73 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 73
Hads: 343
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 4.21%
Wants: 34
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: 343
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 Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (784 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 largadeer
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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. (869 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (732 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,508 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 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 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 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 ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (477 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 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 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 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 Durge
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black-brown color, thick and covered with a reasonable layer of light oatmeal colored head with fair lacing. The aroma is a smokey charcoal with a tart pear idea. Very pleasant. The flavor brings a tart malt and more smoky charcoal. There's a subtle herbal hop but it's really pretty simple and plenty good. Medium-light bodied with a fairly aqueous but slightly chalky feel. Carbonation is very refined but more than adequate for this style. I liked it and recommend it. (473 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An offering from Jack's Abby sounds just right for my 1,000th review.

A-Pours a very dark brown with a huge, nimbus of a head. The monumental head leaves heaps of lacing.

S-Quite like a Black IPA except I think I can detect some Lager-yeast undertones. The aroma is also well hopped. Hops are sudsy, piney and earthy. Then, the dark roastiness sets in. Dried out chocolate and hints of burnt coffee and ash. Not incredibly intense.

T-The flavor really pops! Much more muscle here. All that pine and soapiness is ramped up. The earthy hops are also complemented by a serious citrusy addition. Bitter grapefruit flesh and flower stems. The roast is more talkative here. Bitter, dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. Could easily be mistaken for a Black IPA.

M-Very bitter thanks to both the surly roast and hoppiness. Drinks easily like all offerings from Jack's Abby. A slight hint of booze but the body goes down willingly.

O/D-Another Jack's gem. I wish all Schwarzbiers were like this. Would be one of the better Black IPAs I have had if it was one. A solid way to enter into the 1,000 review club. (1,106 characters)

Photo of popery
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours wall to wall black. No color to be found. Beige head. Puffs up big with the initial pour. Good lacing and retention. Nailed the look. The aroma is heavy on chocolate, molasses and doughy malt. Some pine and citrus hoppiness in there, as well. There’s more sweet roasted malt character than I expect from the style. It’s a pleasant aroma, but it’s more of a schwarzbier on steroids than a hoppy schwarzbier, at least in my opinion. I’m getting a fair bit of roast fruitiness. Pretty rich. Clean lager flavor. The taste is fairly sweet and still quite rich. Lots of fudge and treacle. Big coffee and pine needle finish. Again, over the top for the style, but still a very well made beer and quite tasty. I’m still not convinced that big hops and big roasted malt works well together, but this is a pleasant enough attempt, and I’m sure fans of American Black Ales and whatnot will like this beer. Very creamy mouthfeel. A bit much for the style, but who cares. This is a very good beer, and I would have called it an ale in a blind tasting. Knowing it’s a lager, I can bit out some of that clean yeastiness, but the hops and malt are too big for me to have guessed right. (1,189 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 tigg924
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (495 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (993 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 Reagan1984
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second beer of the day and another perfect looking pint. The head is so creamy and full it rises WELL above the rim of the glass and appears to be whipped cream. Ever so slowly settles and begins to deposit thick lace. The beer is a dark brown with just a ¼ inch of light coming through at the bottom of the pint glass.

Some pine and some dark roasted malt. A touch of ash. Somewhat subdued aroma, but it’s there and pleasant.

Bittersweet chocolate, pine, bittersweet chocolate, pine, a touch of creaminess and a moment of ash. In the aftertaste there is some more coming from the malt bill and it’s very nice. Perhaps the dark crust of a well-cooked crusty bread.

A slight grit on the beer which I like. Makes it feel more substantial.

A very good beer and another winner from Jack’s Abbey. Man, I love having these guys in our backyard. (852 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up a month or so ago... $3.99 for a 0.5l bottle. Says "February 2012", which I hope is their bottling date. Enjoying today (23MAY12) out in the 'zebo...

Am using an imperial nonic, but I had to pour in stages, as the head really billowed up big time. The bier was a dense, opaque brown. Only when held up to the sunlight could I espy some glimmers of garnet. The aforementioned head was creamy and mousse-like, a lovely dollop of mocha cream atop the brew. Lacing was top shelf. My first sniff found some coffee and toasty, dark choco. Also found was a bit of rindy hopping. The body is a decent medium, and it feels fairly smooth overall.

The roasty character is also present flavorwise, though the hoppy bitterness takes precedent. Choco and dryish cocoa are found, but the strongest component is the pithy, resiny hoppage hitting the palate. It is somewhat flavorful, though I find the bitterness a bit overwhelming. Prosit!

3.7/5 rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1462 (1,023 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown pour with just a touch of red in it. Huge fluffy chocolate milk colored head. Retention is incredible. Solid wall of lacing.

S: Tons of wonderful char of the roasted malt. Baker's chocolate and some coffee. Piney hops come out as it warms. Maybe a touch of earthy hops too. Great combo and well balanced.

T: Piney, earthy hops up front mingles with the great roasted malt characters. Lots of burnt toast, bitter coffee and chocolate. Hops fade leaving the bitter roasted malt to linger in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, crisp and smooth.

O: Jack's Abby does it again. Easily the #1 schwarzbier I've ever had. Tastes not far from a black IPA or american black ale or whatever you want to call it. Similar to the Hoppy Feet I had not too long ago. A little less hoppy makes the hops not stand out so far but the balance and drinkability is better. It's crisp, well balanced and very tasty. Hard to beat. (930 characters)

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