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Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

73 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 344
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 8.42%
Wants: 35
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 344
Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.5 liter bottle (16oz). Bottle date: Feb. 2012. Poured into small Victory tulip.

A: Pours a deep brown color. Looks close to black actually. Finger of tight bubbled tan head. Some nice lacing bits on the glass. I see some alcohol feet.

S: I definitely pull a lot of piney, resinous hops initally. Digging in a little further, I get some of those chocolate and roast notes. Not getting much of the citrus that is labeled on the bottle. Maybe some mild grapefruitiness.

T: That is a smooth brew. Really nice brew. Up front I get some mild piney hop bitterness. But this then smoothes into a creamy chocolately roasty sip mid mouth. It's actually pretty refreshing, dispite the appearance. On the finish, you get a little linger of that roast chocolate flavor. But it's fairly crisp and leaves you wanting to drink more.

M: It's a medium bodied beer. Nice creamy mouth coating.

O: Really impressed with this black "lager". I definitely want to try more of their products.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of davey101
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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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.

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Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a black body with a thick off-white head. (This is the thickest head I've had on a JA beer so far, it's almost nitro-stout like)

Smell is very fresh clean dark grain with a fresh coffee, chocolate or other dark malt smell.

Taste is medium bodied with nice bitter dark roasted malt flavor. I know it's schwarzbier, but it has a very porter or irish stout sort of bitter malt flavor. Again, fresh grain, chocolate, toasted and roasted dark malts, coffee, but at the same time very clean and crisp. Hops are present in this brew, but don't really have a strong flavor profile. Definitely very bitter, but not over the top.

What can you say, another great beer from JA. Again, tastes more like a stout or porter to me than a schwarzbier, but still... a great session lager.

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Photo of rdruckenmiller
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note: Store just got this in today and bottle states "February 2012" so super fresh (just one positive aspect of drinking local). Drank handled german beer glass.

Appearance: Pours opaque black with thick, tight-bubbled head. Head foam like with excellent retention. Careful when pouring or you'll get half a glass of head! Lacing clinging to the glass as the head slowly sinks. Black color slightly darker than traditional examples but fits the style name. Clarity indeterminable due to the dark blackness of the beer.

Aroma: Slightly sweet malt aroma up front with smooth coffee notes. Citrus american-type hops in the background, while uncharacteristic of the style, works well with the maltiness. Some caramel aromas detected as it warms. Clean fermentation- with no esters. No diacetyl or sulfur detected.

Flavor: Roasty malt flavor dominates the first sip and finishes dry with a coffee-like bitterness. Detect some citrus hop character in background. Subsequent tastes are a balance between roast and one-dimensional malt. Finish remains dry with roasty bitterness more chocolate like than the first sip. Balance slightly towards roast bitterness. No fruitiness or diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body with medium high carbonation. No alcohol warmth which is to be expected. No creaminess. Dry bitter sensation across tongue in the aftertaste. Very slight astringency.

Overall: Overall an enjoyable beer. Roasty flavor and bitterness the dominate characteristic in aroma and flavor. Color a bit dark for the style but otherwise appearance spot on- head was excellent! Beer finished dry and besides very minor astringency, mouthfeel was spot on for the style. Use of American hops with citrus aromas and flavors differentiates this from other Swcharzbiers, but not in a bad way. American hops worked well with the roastiness. Clean lager fermentation. A smooth roasty lager. Thank you Jack for providing non-traditional craft lagers to MA!

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Photo of OldIronLungs
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.


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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.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight black. Nice and clear on the pour. The color of black olive juice with a bit more depth. Head is a light tan, massive, and super creamy. Solid retention leaves a couple cm creamy, fluffy cap. Sheets of lacing stick to the glass. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Deeply roasted. Big hits of cocoa and chocolate malt. Some dark chocolate as well. Touches of burnt malt in the back. Nice citrus hop presence floats on the top. Big smack of bitter pine needle and oily resin. Some lighter milk chocolate as it warms. Caramel sweetness in the back. Touches of smoke.

Taste: Dark chocolate and cocoa over the top of a massive roasted malt character. A bit of char and smoke with some burnt malt sweetness. Solid hopping pushes a hint of citrus but sticks with bitter pine needle. Some hints of lager yeast buried in the back, a bit powdery. So much roast and char without crossing in to smoked beer territory. Warming smooths it out a bit.

Mouthfeel: A deceptively smooth medium body with a moderate to high carbonation for the style. Creamy. Delightful.

Overall: The Schwarz is strong.

If the bottle didn't tell me it was a lager, I wouldn't believe it. A great balance of roast, burnt, and hops. The mouthfeel really elevated everything.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a tan foam head.

Nice roasted malt notes, with some resinous pine in the nose.

A good dark roasted malt note up front, with coffee and even a touch of dark cocoa powder. This is pushed aside by some stung hop presence, pine cone dominant. The brew dries out, with bitter notes from the malt and the hops. Good balance here, with some length the hop finish.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Might be lighter than it seems.

Overall, my first taste of this brewer, and I liked the twist on the style. The hop-driven brew, with a good sized kick of abnormal alcohol made this one unique and enjoyable. Clearly not an ale, but has a lot of characteristics of a black IPA. I actually like this better. Very worth a try.

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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.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. .9oz bottle into a Allagash flute.

The color is a dark black with some maroon highlights and three fingers of foamy brownish head with some nice lacing being left on the glass.

The smell is hoppy and is quite floral. There is some tree bark aroma that is a bit bitter but with a sweet flowery smell as well.

The taste is malty with some nice porter like flavor. Dark malts wall things in but there is a smooth bitterness that is holding in a nice creamy center. There seems to be a slight coffee and chocolate flavor that melds together well.

The feel of this beer is pretty smooth with a nice drinkable feel. This seems to just slide by with little effort I almost don't notice how much I have had.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.96/5  rDev -2%
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.

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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.

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