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Swordfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

41 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 85
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 9.74%
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: 85
Photo of Rutager
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Sky2625
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours opaque black with mahogany edging and a thin, tan head. Errant dots of lacing and a placid surface for the duration.

Aromatics are laced with roast, char, pine, and a bit of grapefruit. Slightly resinous and plenty roasty with shades of dark chocolate and Kahlua.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a crisp but clingy mouthfeel.

Spruce dew with roasted malts and charred bits lead off the palate. Bitterness is somewhat firm but doesn't clash with a roast.

Finishes with a blend of pine sap and Kahlau-spiked coffee and chocolate.

Tasty enough but by no means a "double black IPA" in my book. The hopping is fairly muted in this beer. Still very happy to see Fish coming out with a new beer though!
Thanks to Andre for the opportunity.

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Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer from Fish which is good as they seemed to stick with the same brews from years ago . This is a very good CDA with lots of hops but with a dark malt finish that really anchors the beer. I liked the balance and the fact that the IPA part was not forgotten. Luckily I can get this in bottles in BC.

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Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a barely translucent black with just a slight reddish tint. The beer had a half-inch of khaki head that had OK retention and good lacing.

The aroma was malty sweet, with some yeast spiciness and just a trace of hoppiness. For this style the amount of hops was pretty low. On the tongue the malt was again dominant, with some roastiness, yeast spice and an amount of hops that was surprisingly low for the style.

The body was solid without being heavy, it was clean and had just a slightly lingering finish. Drinkability was pretty good, the beer went down fairly easily. Overall, a decent, but not great example of a style that I'm not a big fan of. Try one if you see it, but you don't have to seek it out.

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Photo of jimbus
4.18/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bailey's Taproom PDX, $5.50 imperial pint 4.23.11.

One finger dark tan head over dark brown body with some nice reddish highlights when raised up to the light,, no visible carbonation, slow dissipation with nice lacing. Some tropical fruit and caramel in the nose and big dose of roasted malts with some resiny hops on the backend. Taste mirrrors nose, but hard to pick up the fruitiness due to huge resiny hop presence, yummy. Mouthfeel just on the heavy side of medium, ok effervescence. Totally out of balance, which is just the way I like my CDAs. Very nice!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of hoser
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a jet black with good carbonation which left behind a nice white cap and some lacing

S: Black malt and plenty of citrus

T: Black, roasted malt with immediate booze kick and citrus hops

M: Medium body, warm from booze, citrus, pretty clean and dry

D: Good

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