Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

343 Ratings
THE BROS
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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 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 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 TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of Duhast500
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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 MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.5 liter bottle dated February 2012. Thanks to Reagan1984 for this.

Appearance- Dark brown that lightens around the edges. Big thick tan head. Great lacing. 4.5/5

Smell- Earthy hop aroma accompanied with some roasted malt smells. 4/5

Taste- Roasted malt flavors are first. Nice even earthy hop bitterness in the end. Well balanced. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Nice even mouthfeel that trends to the thin side 4.5/5

Overall- This is a great beer. Very easy to drink and it is not trying to be something it is not. Very well crafted beer. 4.5/5

Photo of tigg924
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cascadian Schwarzbier pours black into the glass with a big, frothy light tan head on top. The foam fades slowly down to a thick sheet on the surface leaving behind some spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is a nice combination of hoppy pine and citrus notes blended with smoke, chocolate and roasted malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and watery on the palate with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor is nicely balanced between roasted and chocolate malt, smoke and bitter hop flavors of pine and citrus. It finishes dry with lingering pine and roasted notes when gone.

A very tasty and fairly well balanced beer, however I found the body to be a little thin.

Photo of rdruckenmiller
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

Photo of rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting for a beer like this for a long time. This beer really combines the best aspects of a German Schwarzbier with an American hoppy (fill-in-the-blank).

Well balanced from start to finish, I was struck immediately by the aroma. When I popped the top, a strong piney smell wafted up to my nose. The nose is strong with pine forest, slight smoke, coffee, and citrus – the Cascade hops really shine through the nose.

Pouring a reddish-brown, dark (but not black), and a large head, the beer invites you in from the beginning. A wonderful taste follows: hoppy up front, evolving to a rich, roasted malt backbone, finishing again with a pleasant hoppy bitterness. And always balanced.

I think this is a great beer. And for the price ($3.99 for 16.9 oz), it can't be beat.

I'm looking forward to more from Jack's Abby. Congratulations!

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 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.

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spilt a few bottles with some f riends

A- dark dark brown/back with a nice one finger slightly brownish head , not to much lacing, a nice lookin beer.

S- love it... Slightly roasted chocolate, almost a marshmallowy, a bit of smoke, an amazingly complex roasty/creamy aroma profile, I love it.

T- much like the nose but a little tones down from the aroma, a very nice, but not overly done rauching, with roasty chocolate, and a beautiful hop profile that works very nicley with the style.

M- creamy and smooth with a slight bitter hop finish... Very very well rounded, lower carbonation, velvety.

O- a great beer, i really love these beers, everything I've had from these guys have been impressive, and this is no exception.

Photo of Dope
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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 Reagan1984
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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 OldIronLungs
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Prost!

Photo of silentjay
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deeeep mahogany brown that light barely penetrates producing a huge tan head that is super-fluffy, retains for a while and laces very well.

very deep dark roasted malt aroma with some smoke in there as well as some wood. smells like the campfire after you pour water on it to put it out for the night. a big citrus kick is there too heading the cascadian part of the name. a bit nutty and earthy.

toasted/roasted malts begin the flavor which goes sweet and nutty (candied roasted nuts) in the middle before a big rush of hops take over bringing in that piney, citrusy flavor that would be synonymous with "cascadian." finishes pretty crisp, but leaves a slight pleasant bitter-sweetness lingering.

almost medium bodied, but finishes quite crisp with a touch of hop resin and a slight sticky sweetness, but overall its a dry, crisp finish with just a touch of that.

hmmm. I love it, to be honest. Jack's Abby has found a niche. do what American Craft brewers have been revolutionizing over the last decade but apply it to traditional German styles. Its unique, but it falls somewhere between a nut brown ale, euro dark lager, black IPA, and baltic porter. It works very well for me. I could drink this by the growler-full.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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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Cascadian Schwarzbier from Jack's Abby Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.