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

Second pour from a new growler into a tulip.

A - dark dark body. Very little light comes through but a little if you tilt it tot the side. Good head, retention, and lacing.

N - Mostly roasts and malts on the nose. Obvious hops as well. Pine, grapefruit. But again mostly roasted malts.

T - opposite of the smell. Mostly fresh hops. Really tasty. Piney, fruity. Then the roast. Mommy.

M - smooth but on the heavier side. Hearty. Good carbonation

O - love it. Love choppy dark beers and one this fresh doesn't come along too often.

Cheers! (544 characters)

Photo of BeerIsland
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (584 characters)

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. (701 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 davewlfpckfan29
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (511 characters)

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

Fresh half liter bottle from brewery

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

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

M: super creamy mouth feel. Abv well integrated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of 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. (1,268 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (830 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
2.95/5  rDev -27%
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. (994 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 ryan1788a5
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fresh, and poured into a Sam Adams glass.

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

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

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

Nice mouthfeel- dry, but compatible with the flavors.

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

Photo of 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... (489 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 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 starrdogg
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (1,031 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 Naugros
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poured from a 0.5L bottle into a snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of 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 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. (436 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 horshack7
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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. (502 characters)

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