1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Swordfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
SwordfishSwordfish

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by casapy:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
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…

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, March 2011 date tick. The next in their "Reel Ale" branding series (reely, I mean...) of somehow more realistic beers, ones that, I infer, their brewmaster gets all warm and fuzzy over.

This beer pours a very dark chestnut brown colour, with cola highlights, and one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy beige head, which settles evenly, leaving a decent multilayered drooping curtain mosaic of lace around the glass. It smells of grapefruit and sweet orange citrus, and roasted bready malt, echoing a slight sour edge. The taste is still big up front with the grapefruit and pine hops, with a lesser, but still prominent, toasted, sort of nutty bready malt playing sanity offset. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes in the same consistent manner, softly bitter citrus hops and roasted malt.

I am fond of the Fish Brewing Company's offerings, and for some reason, when I hear "Olympia", I think Cascadia, probably from the family summer excursions of my youth. A prototypical example, if not exactly a progenitor, of the style, and quite enjoyable throughout. It being Fish, the hops hold sway, without overdoing it, and I'm all the happier for it.

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of hreb
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of scootpolute
2.87/5  rDev -24.1%
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 :~(

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
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

Photo of Rutager
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a deep brown-red, almost black. Less than half a finger of creamy light tan head.

Smell. Roasty dark malts and nice grapefruity hops. Smells good.

Taste. Roasty, toasty dark malts, Bitter citrus hops and a lasting, bitter herby-citrus finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with lower carbonation. A little alcohol warmth.

Overall. Pretty decent Black IPA. Not the best of the style, but I did enjoy it.

Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap before and loved it, but I will review based off of my current bottle I purchased today.

- Super dark murky thin brown.. off-white finger of head quickly down to a bit of lace and some large islands of bubbles.

- Crisp light malt of cocoa, breadiness.. grassy hop, and some great floral qualities. Little subdued.. but rather decent. I find most black IPA's mask the full robust character in the smell.

- Light sweet chocolate malts, caramel cream, bitter zesty hops, and some citrus character. Quite balanced, smooth, and full of hop character. Melds very well together. Not quite understandingt some of the more poor reviews previous to mine.

- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated, and a bit chewy and dry. Creamy for sure. Very nice smooth brew.

- Not quite a double in my eyes.. or is it? I am one for creating the triple style as well which some of my favorite brewers have started to do. This is a very robust, and well hopped black IPA.. the brewer has done a very good job. Easily sits up there within my top 5 black IPA's.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a deep black hue that exhibits a translucent mahogany when held to direct light. Creamy beige head that forms a short cap, and leaves thick patches of lacing.

Big aroma of Cascade hops the moment the cap is popped off the bottle, and it remains the prominent character. Mild grainy dark malt in the far background.

Mild rounded roasty malt up front, concord grape/cherry sweetness shortly afterwards, with a spike of grapefruit and pine from the hops in the middle, with mild cocoa nib and soft coffee popping up in the finish alongside the hops. The coffee and dark malt fade away quickly in the aftertaste while the hops linger on greatly in their sticky citrus way.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, with a slick texture that is thin at times although fuller on the finish, and moderate carbonation.

It certainly delivers on the 'ol American hop fix, the dark malt is fairly mild although has some depth for what it's worth. Worth checking out at least once for the hopheads in the crowd.

Photo of shand
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of liamt07
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of Sky2625
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle dated March 2011 to a standard pint glass (notes from 7/15/11).

A - Pours dark brown/black, but with medium body that isn't so thick that it appears syrupy. 1-finger creamy beige head with medium to large bubbles, good retention and good lace. Shines ruby/mahogany when held up to the light.

S - Medium heavy pine/citrus hop with a hint of chocolate malt. Scents stays steady and uniform.

T - Medium intensity pine hop flavor throughout, finishes with a mild spicy burn (not quite boozy, but similar). Not much bitterness for what the pine flavor seemed to indicate. A bit of semi-sweet chocloate and dark roast malt at the finish. The pine hop dominates, and the remainder of the flavors are subtle but well-balanced.

M - Smooth medium body with a pleasant level of carbonation biting at the edge of the tongue.

D - This particular bottle tastes like a dark brown hoppy IPA. It tastes great, with its good intensity of hop, but its missing the chocolate stout flavors that are prevalent when I've had this on tap. Still a GREAT beer and VERY easy to drink.

If you can try this on tap, do so. If all you can get is a bottle, it's still a must-try, but just know the bottled version isn't Swordfish in its fullest glory.

Photo of hoser
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only the second one to review this beer, wow. A thin but vibrant head. Although this is called Double Cascadian Dark it tastes like a single. A hoppy stout at best as malt on this shines through more than the hops. Drinkable and enjoyable yes, can taste the Fish house yeast in this beer.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 5/4/11

Poured into an 8 ounce hotel highball. Black with some lace from the head receding...thats about it.

The smell is pleasant with aromas of biscuit, grapefruit, and lemon.

The taste mirrors the smell with biscuit and grapefruit. I'm loving the grapefruit here. Solid balance, very nice!

Sticky mouthfeel which is full and satisfying.

I am a big fan of this style of beer and this is a very good offering. I would gladly have this again if I could get it back home.

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of jimbus
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a deep black body beneath a light khaki, frothy head. It's fits the bill in appearance for a cascadian dark ale india black ale black ipa or whatever you want to call it. Very impressed with the first smell - hops make their presence known to the olfactory system, accompanied by their trusty side kick, roasted malt. As an IPA guy, I'm giving the thumbs up to the aroma here. Taste follows suit nicely - bitter, hoppy, with nice roasted malt character, and a bit of sweetness on the backside. Mouthfeel is solid and this is definitely a beer that I would pick up again.

Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Rizalini
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

Photo of harrymel
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle date: unk

A: pours a black ale with limited transparency. A two finger head of mocha head sticks around for quite some time, finally retiring to a thick quilt of the same. Rope lacing.

S: lots of malt up front, dry roasted malts, some resiny hops. Honestly not a whole lot up front here.

T: The hops are subdued and make this taste more like a well crafted stout with some extra hops. The hops are piny and resiny, but then as I taste the hops, the malts come back through to own this one, nutty and chocolaty, the malts are a bit overdone for the style IMO.

M: Medium body with a creamy feeling, the carb is moderate to lo. Dry finish.

O: This is a decent shot at a newer style. I don't think it's quite well done provided the lack of hop exploration here. Worth a try, but not something I will pick up again.

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date is March 2011. Poured into a crystal stemed water glasses.
Appearance- Black but when held up to the light you can see some crimson. Off white head with small lacing.

Smell- Small bit of everything. A little roasty malt flavor as well as some piney and weed like smell. Also some dark wheat sourdough bread character.

Taste - Nice roasty notes. With some hop flavor. Good bitterness. Very even, roasty and hoppy.

Mouthfeel- For a Black IPA I think this has a good mouthfeel.

Overall- Good Black IPA. The Back IPAs that I remember to be the best are Widmers BX-114 and Alaskan Double Black IPA. This one fall just short. If you want to know the style, though and this is the only one available, get it.

Photo of andrenaline
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours almost pitch black with a ruby red tint on the edges, a finger of beige soapy head, with solid retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Sweet citrus hops, a bit earthy with cedar and pine, and a touch of dark cocoa and espresso.

T - A nice hop bomb off the top, with the earthy cedar and pine coming through nicely. The dark roasted malts are more subtle, but do linger on the palette with some nice cocoa and a touch of espresso coming through. Certainly more hops than roasted malts, but tasty nonetheless.

M - Comes across a tad thin, but goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - A solid sample of the style and easily drinkable. The higher ABV is incredibly well hidden and a nice hoppy ale that would please most hop heads.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
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....

to view more.
Swordfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.