1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Arcadia Jaw-Jacker - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Jaw-JackerArcadia Jaw-Jacker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 21.54%
Wants: 3
Gots: 27 | 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:
This is an ale brewed with spices, not brewed with pumpkin.

(Beer added by: nortmand on 09-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arcadia Jaw-Jacker Alström Bros
Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 160 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Morey
3.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours orange-copper in color with good clarity. One finger head quickly faded to a thin lace covering the top of the beer. Very little in the way of head retention.

The spices definitely came through in the aroma at first, but they seem to have mellowed a bit after a few minutes or so.

Taste- Ok...I'm really missing the pumpkin here. I believe that this is the first Pumpkin Ale I've sampled that isn't brewed with any pumpkin. The spices are there, but they are a bit overwhelming without the pumpkin there to smooth them out.

Rather thin mouthfeel with a bitterness from the spices that seems to stick to your tongue, and isn't all that pleasing.

I suppose a could drink a few, but I'd rather have a Pumking, Weyerbacher Pumpkin, Dogfish Punkin, Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin, Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin or even a New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin. You starting to get the picture?

Morey's Bottom Line: It's not horrible, but why not have the pumpkin? I know there are no rules as far as craft beer is concerned, but this beer seems to need the smoothness of the pumpkin in a big way.

Morey, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of Khazadum
1.4/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A- Uhh... this beer has so much carbonation it isn't funny. I didn't even pour it heavily and it generated about four and a half fingers of head. Huge, thick, heavy lacing developed on this never-ending cap. Its unfortunate. This is one of the few times I've felt like I want less head in my beer.

The ruby body tapered down to a orange and yellow mixture. Tons of bubble streams from the bottom.

S- Heavily spiced. Outrageous amounts. Astringent, metallic, odors. The cinnamon is there as well as the allspice, but they are awful to detect. It feels as if there are acidic notes burning at my nostrils.

T- These flavors caused me to go into convulsions. I understand now why this beer is called Jaw-Jacker. It caused my jaw to lock up in pain. That same astringency found in the nose, is transferred to the taste buds. Tons of overspiced cinnamon and allspice coming through, malty finish with a nice baked bread flavor. However, it doesn't make up for the terrifying opening every time.

M- Thin, lots of carbonation, watery body. Mild lingering flavors.

D- Never again. I would give this to friends as a joke beer at best. It is probably the worst experience I've had with beer as of yet.

Khazadum, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
4.2/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep rich ruby color that is slightly hazy. It has a decent sized laced head.
S: Nice sweet malt aroma with a great mixture of spices like cinnamon and all spice.
T: The beer has a fantastic woody cinnamon flavor that turns into all spice a nutmeg type flavor. The blend of spices and the malt really give me the allusion of a pumpkin beer even though this is not a pumpkin.
D/M:Crisp and clean but packs a subtle punch. Strong flavors that blend together well. The label was also really cool which misled me to think this was a pumpkin.

pzrhsau, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of LairdChisholm
1.8/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A - This pours a hazy. orange coppery color. There is a one finger, tan head that has decent retention. There is no lacing at all and there is some loose sediment at the bottom of my glass.

S - Oh God, this is awful. There is a mix between plastic and cinnamon. It's very chemically smelling, and what's even worse is that it's really, really pungent. Not sure what's going on here but it's really bad for sure.

T - They really over did the spices here. This beer has no balance at all. It's all about strong cinnamon taste. It reminds me of drinking cold apple cinnamon tea. There is no pumpkin. Arcadia really dropped the ball on this one considering it is important to have good balance in a spiced or pumpkin beer.

M - Surprisingly the mouthfeel isn't bad. There is a good amount of carbonation that gives it a nice, light mouthfeel

D - The smell and taste kill it. I'm not sure I'm going to able to finish and it's not sitting well with my stomach at all. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a bad batch.

LairdChisholm, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Buggabeer
4.1/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foured into 16oz draft glass.
A. has the appearance of a pumpkin colored amber. very nice.
S. I can smell the nutmeg and cinnamon along with a hint of pumpkin.
T. I really enjoy the taste of this pumpkin beer much better than others I have tried. (Dogfishhead, Weyerbacher and Wolavers) however it does fall short of the Screaming Pumpkin Ale. You can pick up the nutmeg and cinnamon in this beer with a hint of pumpkin.
M. Like alot of beer it feel very good with no bad lingering after taste.
D. Again I think this is a very good pumpkin beer. Surprised not everyone feels the same.

Buggabeer, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

TMoney2591, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
4.08/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass on-tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL

This beer looks a slight hazy brown orange with a finger of puffy white foam. The aroma is akin to apple cider or perhaps a spicy caramel apple. There seems to be lots of cinnamon on the nose as well as some nutmeg and clove. The cinnamon taste is even more prominent in the flavor and the green apple is it's main counterpart. When mixed with the caramel malts it really gives that fall flavor and is quite nice. The mouth is a tad too watery for my liking, but be cause of the flavors you can power through it. I feel it's quite drinkable, there really isn't anything too harsh about this beer.

Vdubb86, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
3.1/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

DrDemento456, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of mikehodgman
4.03/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an entirely different beer on tap. I have never had a beer that tasted more different from bottle to draft.

The beer looks amber/orange when poured with a decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells like a bouquet of fall spices. Tastes of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, some brown sugar flavors blend together with a tasty, sweet and smooth ale. Very, very drinkable with medium carbonation.

Avoid the bottle at ALL costs, but do yourself a favor and stop in at the pub to have this on tap. It will be worth it!

mikehodgman, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of youngleo
1.68/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured to a small half inch head. Head was gone in no time. Ale itself was brown in color. No lacing at all. Had a strong cinnamon smell also smelled of nutmeg. Also notes of fruit, maybe apple. Didnt taste as strong as it smelled. I thought that it actually didnt have a lot of flavor going on. Maybe a slightly sweet apple, and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Felt okay in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was a little excessive. I wont buy again. There was a lack in flavor. Almost like carbonated water.

youngleo, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle, picked up on a whim recent East Coast travels (what can I say? I really enjoy pumpkin ales and the West Coast doesn't have many...). Poured to a pint after a yardwork-filled afternoon. Damn (beautiful) fall leaves.

Bottled: 07/19/10

Creepy/odd label: a tattered scarecrow with an abnormally huge pumpkin head, its shark-like jaws agape and ready to chomp on the full moon.

A: A rusty auburn that looks perfectly like fall...in that it's sort of tired and lifeless, like changing foliage. Hazy, but not enough to cover a minimal carbonation, a few stray wrigglers. Barely a head, not even enough to cover; holds a scant ringing white cream and a smudge of film. Worst: sizable dark chunks of spice/yeast/other resting heavily in the glass bottom. Nice color, but that's about it.

S: Good aroma, full of the requisite 'pumpkin' spices. Nutmeg stands out most, covering a nutty roast. Pretty good strength.

T: Well the 'plus' here is that the spice is truly 'spicy', zesty and earthy. It's otherwise a dour amber that has far too many 'Premium Pacific Northwest Hops' going on, and a gritty/dirty finish. Wanted to like this. Didn't.

M: Slick and thin and under-carbonated, yet somehow holding as a dull, unsettling bitterness squarely on my taste buds. Need a scraper ~ bleech.

D: An impulse buy that seemed at the time worth a stab; oh, how helpful some wi-fi would have been. As fun as it should be to try a new beer with seasonal flair like this - wow, just not very good. I've had other Arcadias and enjoyed them, but this is a 'pass' if the opportunity arose again from the pumpkin patch.

msubulldog25, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of philbe311
2.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - The slighteset of fizzy off-white head quickly dissappears leaving a fizzy splotchy lacing... A pale rusted orange color with sluggish but powerful carbonation that can be seen bursting through the top of the liquid surface...

S - Bursting with cinnamon... Nutmeg... All spice... Pumpkin pie spice... Pecans... Some minor notes of caramel... Some faint bready malts...

T - A mangled mix of spice dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg... An odd Slightly medicinal presence throughout that further intensified on the finish... Also present on the finish is some burnt pie crust...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Uber fizzy... Lop sided and uneven... Slightly burnt texture... A dry slimey medicinal finish...

D - As many have mentioned, there may some false advertising going on here... The label depicts a scarecrow with a huge pumpkin head with jagged teeth, however there is no pumpkin in this offering it's all spices...

philbe311, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of mfunk9786
1.78/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Why would anyone want to drink a pumpkin beer that doesn't have any pumpkin in it? I don't often feel moved to review beers that really let me down but I couldn't resist digging into this fraud.

A: Pours a hazy orange color that doesn't have much character to it. Sort of sits in the glass with a whirlpool of yeast(?) that eventually settles. It strikes me as a poorly filtered beer more than anything, and that shows itself later on in the mouthfeel category.

S: Pumpkin pie spices on overdrive. The only thing missing from this is actual pumpkin aroma. It sort of smells like, if you've mixed allspice and nutmeg and cinnamon in a small cup being prepared to be plopped into a batter, and just took a big sniff of that spice cup... it's not the most appetizing thing in the world. Just a big ball of spice on the nose. Oof. I've had overspiced pumpkin ales (Southampton, I'm looking at you!) before, but never have smelled anything like this.

T: All spice and, well... what is this? Sort of has a buttery character much like a weak offering in the Oktoberfest arena, sort of like an autumn-beer Frankenstein gone wrong. As a huge lover of pumpkin beers, and frankly, a pumpkin beer apologist - I'm downright insulted by what I'm drinking. There's no pumpkin here! This is a weak, weak beer with a heavy dose of spices. If you like pumpkin pie spices, the first sip might fool you, but by the end of the experience...

M: You're overwhelmed by spice. The cinnamon is particularly overdone. I finished this beer feeling thirsty, almost as if I'd put a teaspoon of cinnamon in my mouth and let it absorb all of my saliva.

D: An extremely unpleasant experience, and drinking the entire bottle is a chore. A beer this bad deserves a 1/5 in the drinkability category, because in such splendid company as Pumking, Night Owl, Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout... why bother with this?

mfunk9786, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a somewhat hazy medium amber orange color. Off white head is half an inch thick when poured, settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. No lacing. Nice strong aromas of spice such as nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, not much pumpkin, maybe a bit of that. Has a nice toasted caramel malt flavor upfront along with the aforementioned spices-cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, a bit of pumpkin spice, perhaps some banana bread and is rounded out with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. Has a smooth finish. Has a nice crisp, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Not a bad beer overall, I was just expecting something a bit more pumpkin ale like here.


neenerzig, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of ujsplace
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy deep, dark hazy orange color that has suspended yeasts that have a nice swirl effect in the glass. Minimal head, minimal lacing that leaves a very thin wispy layer on top.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices.

Tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mild malt sweetness. Has a mildly bitter herbal hopped finish. Has a bready yeast crusty flavor. Barely noticable abv.

Smooth and crisp with good carbonation.

Drinkable and pretty tasty. Wouldn't get a case of this, but it is worth a try.

ujsplace, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.17/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue IX:

Hmm, though they don't say it's a Pumpkin Ale, the allusion is there due to the pumpkin head on the label. After some investigation, we find there's no pumpkin in this beer. It's just spiced, like the label says. Misleading, but let's move on.

Orangey-amber in color and completely hazy due to loose sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Thin layer of lacing sticks around for a while. Obvious pumpkin pie spice aromas (cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg), but the allspice and nutmeg become borderline soapy due to overuse. Mild malt sweetness and a faint buttery tone in the nose as well. Good smoothness with a creamy medium body. Malt is a little bit toasty with a kiss of sweetness. Woody hop bitterness in the middle. Spices take over with more of an earthy allspice and nutmeg combo. Yeasty and a tad buttery with a juicy fruit flavor in the center. Flavors seem to fall apart toward the end with a bitty grain and lingering butter flavor in the semidry finish.

It's hard to get past the spicing here. Bringing in the buttery tone is where this beer loses it. A bit of a chore to drink, and the spicing alone just doesn't cut it for us. If you're going to attempt a Pumpkin Ale, do it right.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of king75
3.85/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark amber orange color with about an inch of cloudy head that quickly dissipates with no lacing.

Smell is great. Can pick up the smell of pumpkin spice, along with a hint of ginger.

Taste is of pumpkin spice, but honestly taste more like a lager than a spiced beer. Not bad tasting, just not as flavorful as I was expecting out of an octoberfest style of beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight bitter bite at the end, makes the cheeks pucker ever so slightly. Leaves the mouth feeling dry.

Notes: very drinkable. Not a bad beer just not spectacular. Liked it enough that I would buy it again given the chance, but not so great that I would have it on hand readily at all times.

king75, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Magpie14
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: a deep cloudy amber in color with soft orange and reddish brown hues popping through. Lacing is below par and the tiny frothed ecru head leave much to be desired

S: the nose is not very pumpkin-like. It notes cinnamon and nutmeg with toasted malts and a sort of banana bread character

T: spices ranging from nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. The bulk of the beer is made up of toasted malts, nutty, caramel, and a yeast/wheat bread character (I was thinking walnut crusted banana bread, or something like that). Not that impressed. Flavors are mild mannered and not pumpkin enough for me

M: slick and palatable. Body is mild in stature

D: I pass on this one. Not bad but not great. It does not utilize the flavors very well

Magpie14, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
3.98/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on cask at Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo.

Deep orange to brown color, head had largely faded by the time the glass was brought to the table. Body was fairly clear. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma was standard for a Pumpkin Ale. I realize this is not categorized as a pumpkin ale nor does it contain pumpkin, but the aroma and flavor are there. Biscuit and bready malt with a touch of caramel. Pumpkin spices occupy the rest of the aroma. Jaw Jacker is not overly spiced, the spices fall into a sweet spot.

Flavor hits on much the same notes as the nose. Malt serves as a solid base for the spice to play off of. Bready and a touch of caramel malt. Pumpkin spices come of just as you would expect. For a pumpkin beer without actual pumpkin, this is not bad.

Body is fairly light and creamy. Served on cask the carbonation level is a moot point. Finish finds a mid ground but does not come off too sweet. Spices stick to the tongue but fade before too long.

Very enjoyable beer. Not my favorite for the style or season but solid none the less. Jaw Jacker is very drinkable with no real offensive qualities. Worth a taste.

kzoobrew, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of ruckus232
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a mug

Appearance: Orange/Amber slightly cloudy color with a decent amount of sticky head with alright retention.

Smell: Pumpkin and spices are pronounced with a nice orange scent in the background.

Taste: The initial taste isn't anything special, there are noticeable spices but not too strong. It does end up leaving a pumpkin spice aftertaste that is pretty good.

ruckus232, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of jzeilinger
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber orange color with mild lacing and carbonation.

Smell is a rich pumpkin spice and nutmeg, not much else going on.

Taste is obviously pumpkin spice upfront followed with nutmeg, brown sugar, some cinnamon, and then more pumpkin and ends with a bitter bite from the hops.

The carbonation prickles the tongue up front then dies down to an almost smooth finish. It's a nice medium bodied beer that finishes semi-wet.

For a pumpkin ale, Arcadia did a nice job of keeping it tame and I think the hops and the pumpkin spice work well together.

Pumpkin ales are definitely a unique breed and something that not everyone may appreciate; but this one is well balanced and I think one of the better pumpkin ales out there. If you're not sure, try at least a bottle or a 6-pack, Jaw-Jacker is worth a try.

jzeilinger, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of PaulAD
4.63/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My brother recommended this to me in a sixtel. I am glad he did! This draft beer is very drinkable and leaves no aftertaste. I poured it in a chilled glass and the lines to my beer meister were brand new - a perfect setup for a good fall beer. Can't wait to get home tonight and have another!

PaulAD, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of Katahdin
4.4/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a truly excellent fall beer. The aroma when first poured reminds one of a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Upon tasting it you will not be disappointed in the aroma, it truly has that pumpkin pie taste. Hints of nutmeg linger on your tongue. The beer is very drinkable, not at all heavy, and refreshing on a crisp fall day.

Katahdin, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3/5  rDev -7.7%
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

russpowell, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of wnh
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright, clear reddish copper with a large, sticky light cream colored head that lasts and leaves nice lacing. One of the better looking pumpkin beers I've poured.

Baking spices--cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove--dominate the nose, pushing what little pumpkin there is pretty far into the background. As expected, the same is true of the palate. On the whole, Jaw Jacker comes across more as a baking spice beer than a pumpkin beer; there is very little pumpkin flavor here, unfortunately.

The spices seem the lend themselves to the mouthfeel as well, giving the beer an unpleasant powdery, chalky quality. I couldn't even finish the glass. Starts out fairly decent, but goes downhill fast. Very disappointing.

wnh, Oct 28, 2009
Arcadia Jaw-Jacker from Arcadia Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.