Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

343 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 343
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%
Wants: 34
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

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

70 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 343 | Reviews: 74
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of thebigredone
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: Pint bottle dated Feb. 2012. Served straight from the refrigerator and poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, almost black, in color. Not much of a head at all, only a couple bubbles that disappear quickly. Way undercarbonated.

Aroma: Nice smooth chocolate upfront. Caramel notes follow and offer some nice sweetness. A touch of pine right after. Really nice and balanced.

Taste: Chocolate, espresso, and a nice bit of pine all wor together to create a flavorful and balanced profile. Really nice balance of bitter and chocolatey. The hops offer a real refreshing note.

Mouthfeel: The lack of carbonation does hurt this a lot, but it doesn't make it undrinkable in the least and there is a slight bite on the tongue. Pretty refreshing actually.

Overall, a really nice and tasty offering from Jack's Abby. The lack of carbonation hurt this a bit, but I still really enjoyed it and found it easy to drink. I'm sure better QC will fix that in the future and make this even better.

Photo of Durge
3.95/5  rDev -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.

Photo of CliffBrake
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated February 2012 - from their first bottling run.

Deep ruby color, bright and dark, with a billowy light tan head that leaves curtains of lacing.

Very enticing aroma blends bready malts, roasted notes and piney hops. Unfortunately much of the bready malt and hops make but a short appearance on the palate before being overrun with a big sharp roasted flavor. Charcoal and somewhat harsh bitterness dominate a long finish.

A bit thin feeling for all the flavor. This is a unique beer that is well worth trying. I really like the experimenting this new brewery is doing, blending American influence with traditional lager styles. Well worth checking out. I look forward to seeing how things develop at Jack's Abby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Chico1985
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review #600! Jack's Abby keeps on coming...I think I saw this before sometime but didn't pick it up. March 2013 bottling, nice and fresh.

Pretty much black on the pour but there are some orange highlights at the bottom. A nice thick beige head falls to about a half-finger leaving behind some nice lacing.

Mostly hops in the scent with a decent amount of potency. Pine and earthy forward especially with some grapefruit and tropical notes. Light dark malts and graininess.

Taste broadens things, still big hops but more balanced. Pine, resin, grapefruit and citrus is brought on by the hops with a backing of roast, caramel, dark chocolate, toast and grain.

Good mouthfeel, a little on the foamy side, ample carbonation but smooth. Kind of big-feeling but no alcohol here.

Pretty much a Black IPA in lager form. Good stuff.

Photo of Altrurian
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The one I got was purchased in West Springfield. The date on the bottle was March, and I drank it in early April! So fresh. This beer is an interesting concept.

I love the Mahogany color, and its nice coffee filled earthly smell. Its interesting to think of the four hops that are used in this.

the taste is a wonderful smooth lager style. Can't say enough good things about the smooth mouthfeel and pleasant taste.

I am a huge fan of what Jack's Abby does. They really did a nice job with this style beer.

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's dark with a light tan head about two fingers in height.

Aroma: A fair amount of citrus hop aroma mainly grapefruit notes. Smokiness, oak, light burnt hop, tiwnges of molasses, caramelized sugar.

Taste: Once again herE comes the grapefruit. Bready malts, oak, light charcoal, smokiness, brown sugar notes. Mouthfeel is on the smooth side with alight hop bite.

Notes: The up front hopiness is a little bit different but the smokiness makes up the rest of this vert tasty beer. Cheers.

Photo of starrdogg
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, but not quite black with a fluffy tan head. Smell is a really nice mix of hops and roasted malt/chocolate, not unlike a black IPA. The flavor follows the nose, thought it doesn't quite come together as well I had hoped after an awesome aroma. Both the hoppiness and roastiness of this beer are quite nice, but there's a bit more of a clash in flavors than I had hoped for. The two types of bitterness don't quite coincide as well as I've experienced in the best of black IPAs, and thus it comes off as a little overly bitter. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for the style and carbonation is high. It doesn't detract much from the experience, but it could use a little more body. Overall, this may be the first Jack's Abby beer that I wasn't absolutely in love with. I love schwarzbiers, but black IPAs are hit and miss for me and this beer comes closer to a black IPA than a schwarz. There's certainly a uniqueness to it, as it has some lager characteristics, but it could be a little more balanced.

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

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

s. Malt, some hops

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

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

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

Photo of popery
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack's Abby doesn't disappoint here.

Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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

Photo of mlazzaro
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black beer, up to the light its burgundy. Cream colored head with awesome retention. Head laces the glass. Compact yeast at the bottom of the bottle; I assume this was bottle conditioned. Smells like chocolate malt and American hops. Nice Aroma. I noticed the bottle smells more malty, the pour smells more hoppy.

Super hopped up flavor, initially quite grapefruity. End of sip into aftertaste is darker malty flavors - charcoal and chocolate malt. Decent bitterness, lingers a little bit. Thin body. Attenuative clean yeast character.

Chocolate tastes a little funky with punchy citrus hops. No noticeable technical flaws in the beer though, very well crafted. My palate desires something else.

Photo of kevanb
3.54/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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

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

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

Half liter bottle dated March 2013.

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

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

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

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

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

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

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

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

Smell - Really hoppy. Chocolatey. Some roast.

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

Mouthfeel - Overly carbonated. Clean and kinda thin.

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

Photo of Herky21
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of jbertsch
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a tulip.

Fairly opaque black in appearance. Off-white head caps it and sticks around for most of the time.

Aroma is a bit strange. I smell malts that are a bit sweeter and thicker than a traditional schwarzbier, but on top of that, are cascade hops that smell dank and wet. A little like wet socks.

Flavor is sweet up front with malts that hint at brownie batter. A bit sweet. Then the cascade hops take over and give off a sense of dank stinky leaves. Bitterness on the finish. I think this beer is trying to be too much.

It was hard to tell if i liked the flavor. I want to like it, as i absolutely love schwarzbiers. But the dank, green, tea-like hops dont mesh well with the malt flavor. Its strange because i typically love black IPAs, so I'm not aversed to dark malts and hops getting along. Ultimately, i think the strong cascade hop presence here ruins the schwarzbier rather than compliments it. As i drank it I wished i was just drinking a traditional black lager.

Photo of SalMineo
2.21/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Had this beer a week ago and wasn't that impressed it. It was different to say the least about it.

Pour-Definitely a very dark brown/blackish color to it. Couldn't really see much else on it.

Aroma-Here's the part I don't like at all. The aroma was extremely overpowering to me. It believe it was do to the hops they were using but to me the beer smelled exactly like Marijuana. No word of lie it reminded me of college days in NC when people used to get mountain marijuana and smoke it. It has that overwhelming pine tree/christmas tree headies marijuana smell to it. For me it was just so overwhelming.

Taste-The taste was ok just a bit hoppy but I couldn't really taste much do to everytime I drank from my snifter I got the smell of marijuana in my nose and mouth. I would just recommend for the brewery they just tone down the hops a little bit.

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Cascadian Schwarzbier from Jack's Abby Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.