Arcadia Jaw-Jacker - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Jaw-JackerArcadia Jaw-Jacker

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BA SCORE
75
okay

420 Ratings
THE BROS
54
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 21.1%
Wants: 3
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nortmand on 09-12-2007

This is an ale brewed with spices, not brewed with pumpkin.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 420 | Reviews: 163
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the HopCat. I am starting to find pumpkin beers late summer. This one had significant and distinct pumpkin, as well as other spices to enhance drinkability. Cloudy yellow with some lace. Above average mouthfee. Not bad, and cinammon and nutmeg are spices I like. Mildly spicy aromas.

Photo of metter98
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is quite hazy amber-orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with an eighth of a finger high dense beige colored head that died down a bit and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of the types of spices used in a pumpkin pie are present in the nose—nutmeg and allspice seem to stand out in particular.
T: Much like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by flavors of spices, except that notes of cinnamon are also noticeable and linger through the finish. No bitterness or sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels a little shy of being medium-bodied
O: When I first saw that this beer doesn't have any pumpkins in it, I thought that the balance might be off but the beer isn't really too spicy. It's definitely a nice beer for the fall, especially if you don't want something that's sweet.

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber/orange color with a modest head that leaves a few dots here and there

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice fest

Taste: Opens with a sweet malty flavor with the pumpkin pie spice flavors bursting forward by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a sweeter edge to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; slightly watery

Drinkability: Interesting decision, to brew a pumpkin ale without pumpkin; ultimately, it is missing something in the depth of flavor beneath the spices

Photo of Knapp85
2.71/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pumpkin ale poured out as a deep copper color with a tan fizzy looking head. The lacing is not really noticeable at all here. The smell had some spicy pumpkin aromas with some light clove in there too. The taste was pretty light to me. There wasn't too much else happening here. The mouthfeel was average. Overall it's not the best pumpkin ale out there. Wouldn't have to buy this one again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

--Henry David Thoreau

Pumpkin skin orange with an unfiltered haze and edges the color of ripe butternut squash. The beige cap is one finger at its apex, and that's after an increasingly vigorous pour. The foam isn't completely without character, but it's no masterpiece either. A smattering of lace shows up... then melts away.

Although it's easy to appreciate the spices in the nose (cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice), they aren't bursting out of the glass. It's hard to believe that Arcadia wouldn't use pumpkin to brew a pumpkin ale, but maybe they know best. A little gourd might help the aroma. A little more spiciness definitely would.

Jaw-Jacker is actually better than anticipated after the smell test. Yeah, it's more subtle than most, but maybe that's what's needed so that one doesn't get pumpkin palate fatigue after one or two bottles. Spice overload can quickly become a problem with these things.

The base beer is undoubtedly an amber ale and it's a pretty damn good one. Glancing back at my review of Arcadia Amber, I'm not surprised. There's a moderate amount of toasted barley and hint of caramel as well. I probably wouldn't have come up the 'citrusy hops' flavor on my own, but it's definitely there if one chooses to look for it.

Obviously, center stage is occupied by pumpkin pie spices. Nutmeg seems most prominent to me, which is just how I'd have designed it. The more I drink, the more I realize that this is one of the best pumpkin ales that I've had. It's probably even in the top handful.

The are few things worse than a body/mouthfeel that lets down the flavor profile. I'm happy to report that nothing of the sort has happened here. The beer is light-medium, nicely smooth and clings a bit on the back end. I also like the fact that the bubbles are energetic without being manic.

Jaw-Jacker is delicious beer. The' trick' is that Arcadia has brewed a pumpkin ale without using pumpkin. The 'treat' is the quality and drinkability of the final product. If you have the opportunity to do so, pick up a sixer. I now wish that I had.

Photo of emerge077
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cool "killer pumpkin" label, very "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".

Dull copper color, with good lacing. Many tiny streamers of carbonation, looks like champagne in that respect only. Head sticks around for the duration of the glass. Small particles in suspension, pumpkin or yeast? Hmm...

Initial aroma after opening the bottle is "pumpkin pie", spices and all. In the glass, it's kind of dull with a faint hint of the spice. There's a slight funkiness that seems a little off.

Very lightly malty, pumpkin hint, subdued spice. Not malty enough to have a full body, it's more thin and watery. Dry aftertaste of nutmeg and maybe cinnamon. It's easy enough to drink, just doesn't stand out from other Pumpkin Ales.

Bottle notes: Pacific NW hops, British 2-row barley malt, notched B/C 0/1

Purchased a single for $1.49 at Rudy's Liquors, LaSalle, IL.

Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, bubbly tan head. It didn't leave much lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkins, cinamon, nutmeg and light malt.

T - First and foremost, it tasted of cinamon and nutmeg. It had a nice spiciness. The pumpkin flavor was a little muted but still good.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good pumpkin ale. Nice spices and flavors.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, pumpkin husk-hued body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Autumnal aroma of a homemade pumpkin pie spice mix backed by some toasty malts. Where are the pumpkins?

Taste: Simple toasted malts with a modicum of sweetness transitions into the usual suspects found in a pumpkin pie (though, I'm more of a sweet potato pie man, myself) spice blend: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Very, very faint citrus hoppiness with only a meager amount of bitterness. Finishes dry with what you'd call some residual spiceness. Okay, so there are no pumpkins -- joke's on me!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Fine in the context of a light spiced beer, I guess, but it's hard to refrain from letting out a discontented sigh for want of pumpkin. But if the pumpkins available to Arcadia are anything like the ones featured on the label, then I can fully understand their absence and omission from the recipe.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Do I really want my jaw jacked...? In any case, the brew pours a hazy sunset russet-amber topped by around a finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove, and blood orange. The taste holds notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange rind, light caramel, and that apple-cinnamon combination you find in cereals and turnovers. You know the one. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a finish that borders on the dry. Overall, a nice and tasty spiced brew, nothing Earth-shattering but definitely enjoyable.

Photo of oline73
3.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a finger of off white head that fades to just a ring around the glass.

Smell: Lots of spices along with some mildly sweet malt. Cinnamon along with some nutmeg. Smells a lot like pumpkin pie.

Taste: Again, the spices are quite dominant, especially up front. The spice flavors fade and leave a bready malt along with a rather strong bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin side. Prickly carbonation, with a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was a nice spice beer. The smell was really the best part. I think it might get a bad wrap because they sell it as a pumpkin beer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia's Jaw-Jacker sports a really cool label that's perhaps the best label I've seen on a pumpkin beer so far.

The beer is a handsome, mostly-clear orange amber beneath a frothy head of lightly yellowed white. In addition, the head retention is pretty good and it initially leaves some very nice walls of sharply craggy lace.

The aroma is mildly caramelish and gently spicy (cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg - but in no particular order, and in fact, they almost combine into one at times), and there's a little bit of a rind-like aroma. I don't want to say "vegetal" because that's normally percieved as negative, but there's something there that's different ( which might just be the dryness of the spices making me think of the chalky-dry rinds of some fruits and vegetables). Regardless, it's pleasantly not sweet and loaded with cinnamon, as some 'pumpkin' beers can be.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied and fairly zesty on the tongue. The carbonation helps to accentuate the spiciness and bitterness of the beer, and I wonder if perhaps it's a bit much for the amount of spice that's already in the beer.

The flavor is, as indicated, fairly spicy (nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice). The medium-caramel maltiness contains it pretty well however, until the second half of the glass when it starts to build on the palate. Some grassy (and spicy?) hops simmer underneath. The bitterness is also slightly elevated at that point, and it finishes very long and dry, spicy, and bitter.

Overall, it's a pretty standard 'pumpkin' ale that's just a little heavy on the spicing, although I appreciate that they were able to keep the nutmeg and all-spice in the mix where cinnamon usually dominates. I enjoyed one, but I wouldn't go for a second; and to be honest, although I quite often look at these beers as possible compliments to fall and winter holiday meals, I think I'd only go for this one merely as a novelty beer at halloween. Well, maybe with some sweet yams ;)

Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted at 45 degrees from the brown 12oz into a siedel.
A - A shade darker than honey, like a spiced fresh brewed red tea w/ about 2 fingers of cream head w/ a compact bead.

S - A lovely blend of spice w/ a heavy clove influence - similar to mincemeat. Subtle cinnamon notes w/ only a dash of nutmeg round out the aroma

M - Smooth, crisp and malty w/ an ample dose of spice and carbonation. Finishes on the dry side yet touch of the creamy malt linger.

T - Malty, rich and lightly nutty, the flavor has a conservative amount of spice and light sweetness from malt w/ a hint of nutty husky flavors. The malt has a smooth creamy and vegetal flavors indicate true pumpkin in the mash. The spice tingles lightly at the tip of the tongue w/ the kind of subtlety that makes you return for more. Very well blended w/ spice, malt, and a moderate noble hop spice in the background. This pumpkin flavor is retrained, but enjoyable. The flavor doesn't jump out, and go over the top, but does its job well.

D - This is a fine example of a well made pumpkin ale - the spices are used deftly and the feel is great. I prefer a skosh less clove, but overall a very balanced and quaffable ale. It has session qualities w/ pumpkin and spice as accentuation of a very good ale.

Photo of russpowell
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent orange/amber with a finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Spices & metallic hops

T: Spices, especially cinnamon & some peppery notes up front. A bit of squashyness as this warms, along with nutmeg & more cinnamon. Finishes spicy with a touch of herbal hops 7 yes more cinnamon

MF: Light/medium bodied with lively carbonation

Drinks alright, would never buy another sixer of this when I can get Ichabod & Schafly's Pumpkin brews. A very average offering

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a hazy burnt orange with a small white head that leaves a bit of streaky lacing. Light aroma of pumpkin pie spices and caramel. Taste of nutmeg and cinnamon, light spicy yeast, pithy and a bit vegetal, even though there isn't actually any pumpkin in this one. A little bit bland, but not entirely without its charm. Light-medium mouthfeel, and moderately drinkable.

Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange copper with a thin head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice - typical pumpkin spicing. The house yeast strain adds spicing. Overall, it's robust, but not overpowering.

The taste is pumpkin pie. There is a sweetness that is reminiscent of whipped cream over the spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. The sweetness fades to a spicy, dry finish. The yeast strain adds a buttery note that helps with the smoothness in this case.

It is creamy.

This is a nice pumpkin spiced ale. It keeps its ale character while being spiced.

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, fall 2014 bottling. Pours lightly hazy bright orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with god balance and solid complexity of dark/bready malt and spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and solid complexity of dark/bready malt and spice flavors; with a good malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very solid spiced ale. Good balance and solid complexity of dark/bready malt and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A bit one dimensional, but nicely enjoyable otherwise.

Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a lager glass.
Pours a very clear, medium amber, with a creamy bone head and lots of fine-grained carbonation bubbles.

One of those beers that smells really nice, but not entirely like something I'm eager to drink; great as a candle, however. The aroma is dominated by spices, as is the flavor. A solid malt base appears mid-taste, but essentially only spices remain in the aftertaste.
Borders on over-spiced, if notclearly over the top, but thankfully there's a nice mix of spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice all evident.

Feel: Medium+ body; medium but soft carbonation; odd mix of smooth and lightly astringent/harsh.

O: spicy seasonal choice.

Photo of woodychandler
3.29/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured with about a finger's worth of off-white head with low retention. The color was a hazy orangish-amber. The nutmeg and allspice really jumped out on the nose. The mouthfeel was medium with a bracing interplay of spices on the tongue. The finish had more of a cinnamon flavor than I had experienced on the tongue, but it still had a lot of spice lingering after the swallow. It was decent, but I have had much better pumpkin ales and probably would not return to this one right away.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color. Aroma of pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin. In the taste, strong all spice and raw cinnamon, just a little pumpkin flavor and tangy vegetable notes. Lots of spice, and a fair malt sweetness. Medium bodied feel with a strong carbonation. Overall, this is a decent pumpkin ale with lots of spices.

Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Arcadia Jaw-Jacker could not be more orange and hence look any more appropriate for a pumpkin ale. Dense and solid in complexion, you can't make a finger out on the other side despite its rather luminous glimmer. Its "head" (while and where it exists) is thin as twine.

No actual pumpkin was used in the recipe - what does that matter? How many of us eat pumpkin anyhow? I'd wager few people can think of a recipe that uses pumpkin other than pumpkin pie. It's all in the spices, baby. And this beer, which uses cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg, provides plenty of spicy/savory flavour and texture.

In setting out to brew a pumpkin ale, Arcadia was wise to look no further than the brewer's grandmother's pumpkin-pie recipe. This smells (and especially tastes) like a delicious fall-time dessert, the perfect conclusion to a thanksgiving dinner. As much as it tastes like pie and vanilla ice cream, however, it also tastes like sweet potato.

Jaw-Jacker has the expected pumpkin-pie spices but it also has an unexpected amount of body. The brewery refers to this as an 'amber-wheat ale' so the toasty, caramelly undertones and crisp, effervescent texture should not be surprising. I half-expected a beer with this much character to be a little higher in alcohol; it's super agreeable.

Arcadia has managed to capture and bottle the months of September through November and have made a near-perfect fall-time quaff; it's got me seeing bats and scarecrows and jack o-laterns as well as a bountiful dinning room table. Pumpkin Ale initiates will find love and even the style's most discerning critics shouldn't have much to bicker about. Greatly enjoyed!

Photo of DrJay
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with some light beige foam that formed a ring of coarse bubbles with a fine skim covering the beer. Some short-lived lace. Very spicy aroma, aromatic nutmeg, some cinnamon. Low bitterness with a bit of malt, but mostly spice here too. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a little lemon, with the spice lingering in the finish. Medium/light bodied with average carbonation, a little on the dry side. This was OK, but the character was heavy on spice and thin on beer.

Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brownish/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of cinnaimon and nutmeg, a touch of pumpkin. Taste is very spicy, lots of cinnimon, some nutmeg, a tad bitter, no pumpkin to speak of. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall while not being a bad beer, I feel it is just a bit over spiced.

Photo of glid02
3.57/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this from a friend who got it up in Champaign, IL. Much obliged.

Pours a nice dark orange/copper color with a two-finger rocky white head. The sheeting has larger than average bubbles and doesn't stick around too long.

Smells great. A whole lot of spices, mostly nutmeg and brown sugar. There are also some light fruit notes.

I wish it tasted as good as it smelled. It tastes like an average amber with just the slightest spice and fruit notes. Mildly sweet without much bitterness.

Mouthfeel is alright. The carbonation is a bit much, but the thickness is pretty good.

Drinkability is alright as well. It goes down easily enough, but I think it's lacking as a good pumpkin beer.

Overall this certainly wasn't bad, but there are better pumpkin beers out there. Worth a shot if you're into pumpkin beers.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well I don't really think I will have many Arcadia ales after this one. I may try the Cocoa Loco again but lets go on with the review

A - Well it starts off with a nice crisp amber with an inch of head. Not much to complain about.

S- Well you get slight cinnamon and nutmeg but it smells grassy and weird.

T - OMG why does every beer I try of Arcadia have a sort of cough syrup tone to it? I think it's from the toasted malts they bring or maybe the northwest cost hops, who ever heard of those? Anyway the spice is there but is covered up by these tastes.

M - Well surprisingly medium bodied but was a sipper for me!

D - NA and no and maybe one again (Cocoa Loco) but I can't seem to love their beers! Even the coveted "Cereal Killer" barleywine with the cool label changed it to a blue hand in spoon and divered my sales with a 6.25 a 12oz price tag which is not even worth a longshot!

Pumpkin Spice Pass!

Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single...bought a 6 pack at Sam's in Downers Grove, right down the street from the Westin I am staying at for work and consumed while watching the cubs game and chargers-packers

appearance: sweet label featuring a man-eating pumpkin and the traditional arcadia font. pours into a hotel tumbler - body is a clear pumpkin shade of amber with a very minimal beige head and very little lacing

smell: nice pumpkin pie aroma - i can tell this one will have a fair amount of pumpkin flavour and not just a whole ton of spice. nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and brown sugar spotted in the background

taste: this is a very nice pumpkin ale that definitely fits somewhere in my top 5. I may have to scoop another 6 pack down here in case it does not make its way up to Madison. Flavour is dominated by a nice pumpkin pie aroma with a nice bready crust flavour highlight as well. The use of cinnamon is great and not overpowering. Nutmeg and brown sugar provide nice compliments as well

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy

drinkability: good

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Arcadia Jaw-Jacker from Arcadia Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.