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!

Swordfish - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Not Rated.
SwordfishSwordfish

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

80 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 39
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 04-03-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylemckinnis
3/5  rDev -20.6%

kylemckinnis, Feb 27, 2012
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.

mactrail, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Travisnin
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Travisnin, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +5.8%

twelveinches, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Kevlee722
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Kevlee722, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of jenray
4/5  rDev +5.8%

jenray, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of 100floods
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

100floods, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Derek, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

liamt07, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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

joemcgrath27, Sep 05, 2011
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.

womencantsail, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of peensteen
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

peensteen, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Sammy, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of scootpolute
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
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 :~(

scootpolute, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Rutager
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Rutager, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Sky2625
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Sky2625, Jul 18, 2011
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.

andrenaline, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of TCgoalie
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

TCgoalie, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.1/5  rDev -18%
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.

harrymel, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

brewandbbq, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

canucklehead, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Docer, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

beertunes, May 26, 2011
Photo of jimbus
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

jimbus, May 22, 2011
Photo of IronDjinn
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

IronDjinn, May 16, 2011
Swordfish from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
85 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.