Cascadian Schwarzbier - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Cascadian SchwarzbierCascadian Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

73 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 73
Hads: 343
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 4.21%
Wants: 34
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

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

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 343
Photo of 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 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 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)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz bottle drank as part of a BJCP tasting group (Category 5: Bock - tagged on the drunken end) on 01/14/2015, poured into a snifter glass and drank over 15-30 minutes (171 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (727 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 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. (1,947 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (728 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 SalMineo
2.21/5  rDev -45.3%
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. (854 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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! (852 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (699 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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 (537 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 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.

Prost! (461 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 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 LeRose
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (850 characters)

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 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. (1,016 characters)

Photo of predikit
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of Altrurian
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (496 characters)

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! (1,954 characters)

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