Swordfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
SwordfishSwordfish

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BA SCORE
85
very good

41 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 82
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 6.3%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 04-03-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 82
Photo of hreb
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in pub glass. Bottled on date is ambiguously either March 2011 or 2012, though I just bought it from the store recently, so who knows. Beer pours black, with a nice looking light brown head. Strong, immediate coffee aroma. "Cascadian Dark Ale" usually translates as "Black IPA", and "Double" is a bit redundant given that we are only talking about 7.5% ABV and 64 IBUs here, but so far, judging from the aroma that is, this thing is straight RIS -- and a good one, too.

Note that if this beer really is as old as 2012 or even 2011, there is a good chance that any dry hopping aroma has been lost, which is why it smells like stout to me, given that the grain components may be less volatile and subject to loss over time than the aromatic hop compounds. In which case, maybe this review is not totally fair and should be discounted.

But when it gets to my mouth, that's where it gets tricky. The up front flavor is 100% IPA (black or otherwise). Hoppy, even citrusy. Very west coast IPA. But afterwards a totally different flavor enters the palate: roasted coffee, toasted grain. It becomes much more like a stout towards the finish, and a pretty good one, too. (1,194 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark, opaque, black color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Hops and malty at the same time. Very floral in both clover and hops, but also very aromatic in toasted and roasted malt and freshly baked dark bread. Some notes of dark molasses as well.

Taste: A lot like the aroma. Very hoppy up front with some subtle brown sugar-like sweetness. Nice malty backbone with flavors of roasted coffee, freshly baked dark bread, black pepper.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, with some pretty good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer, but is a little too hop forward for my tastes. I like my beers more on the malty side. Hop heads should like this beer though… (1,029 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an impy nonic a deep chesnut brown with russet hue,a nice looking half finger light tannish colored head atop.Aromas of dry earty hops and molasses,alot like a porter,faint piney notes as well.To me it's a big hopped up porter with it's dry earthiness and sweetish backbone,on top of the earthiness there is a hefty leafy hoppiness in the finish.I like this beer but it's a hoppy porter alot like alot of the style.Bottled in July 2013. (448 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer! Poured at a good temperature with a nice, fluffy, foamy, tan head that slowly settled down and some lace. Color is a clear garnet. Aroma is hop, malt, roast, fruit. Flavor's like nose; fairly dry, bitter and carbonic tang up front, with the bit of malt/fruity sweet in back. Body and carbonation good, although there's a little astringency in the finish. Also the finish is quite long, boozy, and resinous. (422 characters)

Photo of hackmann
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black body with a two finger tan and creamy looking head that leave some massive lacing on the glass.

Aroma: nice hoppy presence that reminds me of soft pine; roasted grains in the mix, a touch of semi-sweet chocolate

Flavors: the hoppy notes come through with a tasty mix of pine and citrus rind; the toasted malts are present with roasted grains, bitter chocolate bite, toasted … slightly burnt caramel, I think you can even throw in coffee … medium roast coffee

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, nice bitter style (it does have a 65 IBU), the malts are doing their job for some balance, lingering roasted notes on the aftertaste, a touch of 99% dark chocolate bitterness, not heavy like a stout – closer to a porter in mouthfeel

To the Point: to me it is a tasty dark ale and perfect on this cold fall day here in Michigan. (844 characters)

Photo of beerloserLI
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out black and smells of slight roasted malt.

The taste is nice and clean with a sharp malt taste up front. A little bitter at the end but not much of a hop punch that you may find in a black ipa. A much more mellow finish.

If you enjoy dark ales it's worth a try. (272 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in March 2012. Pours a fairly pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, roasted malt, biscuit, nuttiness, cocoa, orange, herbal, and floral. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of grapefruit, roasted malt, pine, orange zest, herbal, floral, biscuit, char, grass, nuttiness, and cocoa. Good amount of piney bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, roasted malt, pine, biscuit, char, herbal, and grass on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of all flavors; with very balanced roasted/hop flavors which I really like. No cloying flavors at all after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an very excellent Black IPA. Great balance and complexity of flavors; very good malt balance and very smooth to sip on. Highly enjoyable offering. (1,149 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is almost black with a big tan head leaving heavy lace.

Smell is softly hoppy, pine and citrus.

Taste is pretty good, for a porter. I'm not getting as much hops as I like in this style. Sweet, soft malt, a coconut note here reminiscent of barrel aging. Bought from a cooler at Freddie's, it could certainly be not fresh. The hops are there in the pine resin category, but well integrated, not dominating or pungent.

Mouthfeel is soft, medium-heavy bodied, slicked by the oils, like graphite powder.

Drinkability is pretty good. A tasty beer. Would like to try it fresh to see if it's got more hop punch or as intended. I order CDAs when I want a lot of hops. If I had been in the mood for an American style porter, this would be a fine choice as is. (768 characters)

Photo of scratch69
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown with a fingers worth of tan head. Nice amount of clinging lace.

Smell- Citrusy hop aroma with notes of chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste- Chocolate with a bit of roasted malt at first that is quickly overtaken by a bitter hop flavor. The hops blend in nicely and do not overpower the other flavors.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and crisp. Slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall- A nice example of the black IPA style. One of the better ones that I have tried. (516 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine at Arrowhead in mid May for $6.99. Bottled in March 2012.

Beer poured cola brown with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is true to CDA style, nice citrusy hops with some chocolate and slight roastiness.

Taste holds true to the nose, chocolate malts form a nice backbone, roastiness is slight. Citrus and resiny hops finish strong and become the dominant theme but not overwhelming and unbalanced.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall i like this brew. CDA's tend to present a lot of flavor and in some cases not blend well. But this brew is well crafted and something i would try again. (669 characters)

Photo of shand
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint.

This beer pours out black with some ruby highlights. It's crested by two fingers of off-white head. The aroma is roasty and malty, with some grassy and floral hops on top. It really doesn't smell all that cohesive. The taste works better with a full amount of roastiness and coffee flavor working well with a balanced amount of floral and slightly citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick, and the drinakbility is good. Overall, it's a slightly above average black ale. It could use a little more aggressiveness in hop flavors and a more cohesive nose, but it's a good beer overall. (647 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Dark stout-like appearance, two fingers of sand-colored large-bubbled frothy foam for a head. Medium levels of retention, no real lacing left behind on the glass surface. Smells of intense floral hopping most of all, with lesser amounts of herbals, citrus peel, and a roasted malt backbone with garnish levels of burnt brown sugar aroma... Amazing nose for a Black Ale, the only thing missing IMHO would be a slight boost to the pine-resin to ablate the small amount of booziness that is present.

The flavor starts out with that charred blackened malt character and pulls back gradually from bittered char into semi-roasted semi-sweetness accompanied by more floral tones and grapefruit pith. Sadly, the complexity of the nose does not quite exist in the flavor. There is a medium-light boozey heat on the finish of this brew. The texture is rather nicely creamy and smooth on the medium body.

This beer stands out in my memory for the amazing nose. If only the other parts of it were just as well-done.... (1,030 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours an almost opaque black, with reddish amber hues only when held up to light. An impressive coffee coloured head with reasonable lacing. Mouthfeel is oily yet crisp, while the lingering bitterness in the finish is thoroughly enjoyable but overwhelms other impressions.

A rather simplistic aroma of roasted dark malts does not do the fantastic hop bomb in the flavour the justice it deserves. Sweet tropical fruits meld with coffee and dark tones. Complex yet well balanced, with a delightful bitterness at the end.

Perhaps not typical for a "Cascadian Dark Ale", but definitely one I'll seek out to purchase again. (627 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've never heard of this beer or this brewery, but I was at the store and thought I'd take the plunge.

Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter.

A: First of all, the webby lacing was ridiculous! Additionally, the brew was black, although it didn't look that way as it poured out of the glass, and the mocha, sawdust-looking head settled after a while. Nice!

S: Dark malt, with a fairly bright and hoppy citrus component poking through. This was somewhat understated, yet still present.

T: This was tasty. It was sort of a West Coast IPA/Porter Black & Tan. Lots of dark malt, but with an equal amount of citrus. There was nothing musty or syrupy here... just a nice example of the style.

M: Creamy, fresh, and not a sweet bone in this one's body (pun not intended). Like I stated before, the lacing was ridiculous.

O: I love surprised like this. I'm generally not a huge fan of this style, but I like to branch out every so often. I'm glad I did! (944 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a dark cola with nice head and lacing. Citrus and pine hops aroma with dark fruit and a hint of roasted pork. The flavors don't really "pop" with this one - pine, citrus, raisins, and chocolate are present, but are as someone else mentioned, "murkey". Mouthfeel is creamy smooth to the extreme - in fact I'll describe it as a bit flat. Overall a bit dissapointing, not offensive but pretty blah. (414 characters)

Photo of Rizalini
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulip. Bottled in Feb 2012, opened in May 2012.

A - Pours alost black, but more of an extremely burnt cyan. A nice 1 finger of creamy mocha colored head that leaves some nice lacing as it slowly fades.

S - Piney citrus aroma. Very excited about the freshness this one is portraying. Some faint notes of nuttiness and chocolate. Maybe a slight peanut butter aroma?

T/M - The taste is not as aggressive as I would've imagined, but still good. Once again there's the peanut butter flavor I was smelling, with a dry/bitter finish. Smooth and creamy, medium mouthfeel.

O - Overall, this is not a bad cascadian dark ale. I've had better, but I've definately had worse. The taste just falls a little flat for me, but thats it. (763 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweet and murky. Dark brown in the glass with a slight foamy cap. Dark fruit, brown sugar, a little molasses. Quite bitter in the aftertaste. Not particularly fragrant, and the hops are more earthy than flowery. A touch of pear cider and burnt caramel.

Overall, it's kind of flat and muddy. Tastes like a double red with raisins. Nothing really wrong with it, but the murky flavors are not very drinkable. Too bitter to be a pleasant fruity ale, and too insipid to be a hoppy quaff. (483 characters)

Photo of 100floods
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in March of 2011. Opened in October of 2011.

Pours a very deep, ruby-mahogany red leaning on a mostly brown hue, with bit of a creamy off-white head. With the sun on its back it appears pretty thick in it's color.

Pine and grapefruit aromas with a noticeable resin aroma. Very fresh, very clean. Definitely hoppy.

Big hop bite. Earthy. Big tangy/grapefruit flavors. Hoppier than most Black IPAs I've had thus far. There is also a nice thick toasted malt flavor in there as well that balances the beer nicely, and it has faint characteristics of bigger brown ales, without loosing the Black IPA character. The malt character seems to really encourage the hoppier notes to shine. Notes of resin as well. Although this does not have the alcohol percentage of a double IPA it definitely does a good job of bringing out big flavors. This seems like a style that I would like without the high ABV. Each sip ends with a sharp hop bite (and a hint of toast) that is amplified by the carbonation.

Of all the Black IPAs I've had thus far, this definitely is true to form AND is true to its Northwestern roots. I definitely think 22oz might be a little more than I can handle. A pint would have been suffice, but I'm more than happy to see this bomber through. (1,262 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Doesn't seem like a double... but it's only 7.5% and it was bottled in March (6 months on it).

A: Deep chestnut, light tan head, thin ring of retention, light lace.

S: Pine, grapefruit, toffee, roasted nuts... interesting.

T: Cola and pine is a bit of an odd mix, but there's some nice underlying depth: roasted nut, cocoa, biscuit, grapefruit rind, toffee, blackberry, pleasant bitterness.

M: Moderate body has a slight residual sweetness, modest carbonation, light hop acidity.

D/O: I like it, but it is a bit of an odd mix of flavours. (543 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Pino, bottled March 2011. 22oz into some tulips.

Poured a dark brown/black with some burgundy highlights. Tan head of some bubbles and light lacing. Nose has some big citrus hop notes, loads of orange and some pine. Notes of chocolate and caramel are fairly prominent as well. Taste has more chocolate, roast and some subdued (perhaps faded) hop notes reflecting that of the nose. Although faded, they still manage to impart a good juiciness to the flavour. Good weight to the mouthfeel, medium full body and lingering roastiness. Quite nice and hoppy, freshness surely plays a role in bumping this down a notch or two. Could imagine this being significantly more satisfying when fresh. (705 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pitch black with a thin covering of tan head that quickly dissipated to ransom islands
S - grapefruit juice, pine, licorice and light molasses
T - molasses and brown sugar malts with hops of grapefruit, perfume, and pine
M - lowish carbonation with a slightly syrupy start, bitterness builds through finish
O - a very tasty balanced treat with the ABV very well hidden, this was a little flat which was reflected in the appearance and feel, but that may be a one off, well worth a purchase (493 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this, Gil.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head and some moderate lacing.

S: Herbal hops and pine up front, a little bit of grapefruit and orange peel, too. Finally, at least a respectable amount of hop character. But, the victory is short lived. The roast really takes over and dominates the rest of the nose.

T: The flavor offers up some of the same attributes. Herbal, piney, and lightly citrusy hops. Grapefruit and orange peel with a ligh malt sweetness and bread note. Still pretty roasty with some malt bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: Nowhere near as awful as some of the other Northwest IPAs I had, but not something I'd care to come back to. (728 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Boney.

Deep brown, light white head, some spots of lace on the glass. Smell is thick with cascades, lots of hop, pine and citrusy notes, roasted malt, some chocolate, biscuity with coffee grinds. Taste is roasted with coffee, bittersweet notes, hoppy, some pine, at points lightly astringent as well. Light-med carb, medium feel, mid weight. Not bad stuff overall, was bottled in March and i'm sure that when this is really fresh would make a difference, still drinkable though. (491 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent Black IPA. Lots of roast and the smell draws you in. slightly less than average mouthfeel, 60 IBU though bitterness seems less than that perhaps four months has made a difference. Lacey, dark appearance. More roasted malt than anything. Not as good as the smell would lead you to believe.
Liam's bottle. (312 characters)

Photo of scootpolute
2.87/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Jet-black body with a nice carmel, tan head...OK lacing.

Smell: Immediate hop-hit! Also coffee + chocolate, grapefuit, orange, and pine notes present.

Taste: Hops and alcohol are the stand outs...strong...Some hints of mocha, but kind of over-killed by the alcohol...Not much going on other than some strong hop-hits, with a burning aftertaste from the alcohol.

M: Medium-bodied, a little thinner than I expected by the apprearance. Not bad with carbonation...The strong alcohol makes this more of a sipping beern not a very refreshing beer.

Overall: I was expecting more for paying 7.99 for a bomber granted the beer has 7.5%, I think the beer is 'trying' to do more than it 'does.' (combining a IPA with a porter-like beer), but just kind of 'misses-the-mark' for me...This beer is worth $4.99, not $7.99...
not impressed :~( (877 characters)

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Swordfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.