Lager Ness Monster
Jack's Abby Brewing

Lager Ness MonsterLager Ness Monster
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Porter - Baltic
4.27 | pDev: 7.73%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Lager Ness MonsterLager Ness Monster
Notes: Imperial Baltic Porter.

This beer started with the same recipe as our Framinghammer Baltic Porter, but with a twist. During the first stage of the brewing process we mix hot water with our malted grains in our Mash Tun to extract the sugars from the grain that will later be fermented into alcohol. The resulting liquid from this process is called wort. For Lager Ness Monster we did this process once, then we refilled the Mash Tun with more grain. This second time, instead of using water to mix with the grain, we re-used our wort from the first batch and concentrated it. This allowed the wort to pick up more sugar than our normal process would allow, resulting in a 15% abv monster! This beer was brewed last spring and has been aging in bourbon barrels since.
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 197 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve been sitting on this bottle for about 2 years. Poured from a 16.9oz can into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin beige head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains strong bourbon, licorice, dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts and some alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet and boozy with a strong bourbon flavor up front followed by flavors of dark chocolate, licorice and dark fruit. There’s a significant alcohol sting that comes in as you would expect from a beer at 15% ABV. There’s a hearty roasted malt character and a very mild hops presence as you would also expect but they provide a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, extremely strong kick, good representation of style, they were going for a boozed up version of Framinghammer and in that regard it certainly hits the mark.

Dec 22, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/17/2014 so got some age, hopefully still good.

Pours a darker fizzy small head that fades almost instantly, super dark almost black, hint of light sneaking through.

Nose big malts, dark roasty malts, some syrupy brown caramel malts molasses, a little cocoa, some booze right out, back into a bit of dark chocolate.

Taste brings big malts again but not heavy, dark roasty like malts, some fudgey cocoa and caramel, a little biscuity cookie dough and dark chocolate syrup, little syrupy molasses like and faint char. More candy flavors late, with a little booze warmth, mild bitterness, little lager softness.

Mouth is med to Folfuller bod, seems like it wants to be heavy but the lager effect keeps lighter and more crisp yet still a bit syrupy, light carb.

So yes age def let the booze taper off, but also carbonation, thankfully no oxidation, a pretty interesting beer, imperializing it took away from the Baltic porter aspect, but a decent beer.

Apr 04, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 50°F from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of khaki foam that shrivels into a line after 20 seconds. Black in color with an orange tint. There is a very subtle amount of both small and very small rising bubbles. Lacing is thin and practically non-existent.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses, figs, raisins, and prunes are backed by mild aromas of sweet chocolate and alcohol, subtle vanilla aromas, and hints of bitter roasted malts and sweet coffee.
TASTE: Strong molasses, raisin, fig, and prune flavors compose the initial taste. Mild alcohol, sweet chocolate, and vanilla flavors immediately follow. Mild coffee flavors and subtle bitter roasted malts enter the palate lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for coffee and vanilla, which both grow slightly stronger.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down very smooth and creamy. Finishes with a high amount of dryness, but nothing that is too aggressive.

Dec 04, 2015
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night. Tan head sputters out very quickly. Not a surprise, all things considered. Sparse and spotty lacing.

S: Concentrated sweet and sugary notes of Hershey's syrup, blackstrap molasses, and bakers chocolate. Tootsie rolls. Whiffs of Concord grape and blackberry.. Sweet bourbon and caramel from the barrel. Oak.

T: Tootsie rolls, brownie batter, bakers chocolate, lightly leathery. Very sweet. Hints of Concord grape deep within. The barrel balances nicely with a lot of big, warming and peppery bourbon character and oak. Chocolate caramel chews. Long finish sees the bourbon finally win out over the thick and sweet malt.

M: Huge sugary-sweet body. Slick, viscous, coating, chewy. Deep warmth in the mouth and then in the chest upon swallowing, thanks to the bourbon. Little to no carbonation.

O: Whew, this is a big 'un. Chock full of residual sugars. A ton of sweet dark malt character meets a ton of bourbon character. A little blunt, but still a very enjoyable sipper that warms you to the bone.

Oct 20, 2015
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Kinshasa from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with burgundy undertones. It has zero head and very little lacing. It's a touch hot initially with the alcohol, but this fades to smooth, velvety, finish. It's sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. Taste is bourbon, chocolate, figs, raisins. There is very little roast or bitterness. I enjoyed it very much. The 15% is not completely hidden, but also not overpowering in any way.

Oct 01, 2015
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vfgccp from New York

4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oct 17 2014 bottle, opened Aug 16 2015

A - Deep bowling ball black body with very little head. Wispy-thin halo of cream.

S - Prune, dark chocolate, Belgian candied sugar, and molasses.

T - Smooth sweet milk chocolate, molasses, anise, chocolate liquor, and sharp espresso with a wedge of lemon.

M - Silky medium-full body.

O - Absolutely delicious. It's amazing how smooth this beer is given the ABV. I love this brewery.

Aug 16, 2015
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Roguer from Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big and boozy, Lager Ness Monster is highly reminiscent of its base beer, Framinghammer. Waves of roasted barley provide a massive body and plenty of bitterness. The added sugar is less detectable than the higher alcohol, which is well presented but not exactly hidden.

It's a big beast of a beer, and I'm not certain that it's an improvement over the standard Framinghammer, and certainly not on par with the regular and variant BA versions.

Jul 05, 2015
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, opaque chocolate brown in a Brooklyn Snifter.

Aroma: strong oak , chocolate, coffee.

The taste is extraordinary. Deep chocolate, coffee, oak, with a bitter finish- all masterfully balanced and blended together. The key to this beer is balance- no aroma/flavor is overpowering.

Overall- an exceptionally complex step up from the Framinghammer. Outstanding.

Jun 23, 2015
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

1 pint .09 bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Beer comes out of the bottle cola brown but it turns to black as it pools in the glass. Had a half finger length tan colored head that disappears quickly but after a little bit a tan ring forms on the edge of the glass. Obviously small bubbles.

Smell is freaking outstanding. Slight sweet coco , vanilla some oak and sweet bourbon. A little boozy but it all meshes together perfectly; great combination/balance.

Taste is on par with the nose. Some semi sweet milk chocolate, rich coco, vanilla, oak, and a generous amount of sweet bourbon. Like the smell it all meshes together quite in an excellent way. The Hendler brothers really know how to mesh flavors.

Mouthfeel is good certainly a full bodied beer with a long lingering flavor. Modest carbonation level that's sweet with a warm bitter finish at the end that's even a little dry. Still there is something about it that feels lighter on the tongue than expected. Really drinkable it goes down faster than expected another top notch brew from Jack's Abby!

May 24, 2015
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MadScientist from New York

4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: a very dark brown, almost black, beer with deep garnet highlights. The expresso colored
head quickly fades to a thin ring of very fine bubbles.

S: Medium aromas of coffee and molasses along with some dark stone fruit. A light caramel aroma and low, alcohol sweetness as well.

T: A rich malty sweetness dominates backed by dried dark fruit flavors and alcohol. There is a toffee and caramel-like flavors to the malt. With only a light hop bitterness this beer is fairly sweet with the alcohol do some of the work of countering the strong sweetness. Some dark malt flavors of coffee and molasses show later and carry into the finish.

F: A medium-full bodied beer with a light level of carbonation. A fair amount of alcohol warmth.

O: A malt rich beer that is fairly sweet but very drinkable and dangerously smooth for it's potent 15% ABV

May 18, 2015
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours engine oil black and struggled to get any sort of head on the pour.

S - Cocoa and very boozy. As the beer warms, the booziness is more pronounced and you can sense the thickness of this beer.

T - Cocoa, vanilla, light oak, bourbon booziness, lots of ethanol effervescence that permeates.

M - Velvety smooth, most impressive, at 15%, the alcohol warming on the way down is very slight. Thick, viscous, and slippery, lip smacking sticky.

O - A sipper for sure, this one could be re-capped and enjoyed at a later date since carbonation is minimal to none with a fresh bottle. This beer should cellar with no problem.

May 02, 2015
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a snifter. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a loose, quarter inch, cream-colored head that quickly dissipates towards the shoulders into a thin, tight band. Nose is very much what you would expect for the style - vinous and malty with a suggestion of cocoa towards the back. Taste consistent with nose with a residual ethanol presence that reveals itself at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a carbonation that falls just shy of lively. There's also a mild acidity and quite a bit of residual heat at the finish that lingers at the back of the throat. Overall, a solid example of the style. One of my favorite breweries - they do hoppy and malty exceptionally well and this beer does not disappoint.

Apr 26, 2015
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AirBob from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Review from 12/3/14

A- Little head which quickly dissipates to a thin off-white collar. Solid black body with a little brownish-red when held to the light.

S - Big weet bourbon notes w/ a english barley wine toffee notes. BA Framinghamer-like chocolate ice cream. Faint booze.

T - More reminiscent of bride maker than BA Framinghamer (a mash-up). Milk chocolate. Vanilla. A little coffee bitterness throughout. Some toffee. Sweet, full bourbon flavors.

M - Low carb. Oily. Slightly numbing alcohol tingle in the finish.

Mar 31, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer hits of licorice, dark chocolate, heavily roasted malt, but then cleans up quite quickly on the back end. For 15%, this beer has the mouthfeel and substance of a 8-10% beer, except for the spike of booze in the back.

An interesting take on a super imperial stout.

Mar 23, 2015
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours out as a deep black color with a subtle tan head on top. The smell of the beer has a nice roasted aroma to it with some earthy chocolate in the mix. The taste of the beer is pretty big, lots of chocolate and roast, there is some fruitiness to it and subtle vanilla too. The feel is full bodied. Overall it's an impressive beer, was fun trying it.

Mar 15, 2015
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JSmick for this.

Dated October 2014, poured into a snifter.

Look- pours dark chocolate brown/black. A cool Milky Way swirl of bubbles in the middle centered a halo on the glass.

Smell- deep bourbon oak tannins, char, chocolate toffee brownies, burnt Irish creme, spicy roasted malts.

Taste- bitter prune and black currant notes finished by hints of vanilla and big spicy bourbon notes.

Feel- a bit hard and thin. Minimal co2 makes for a cold watery feel.

Overall- very simple and straight forward. Very well hidden booze, behind tart bitter dark fruit and a bourbony finish. Simple and to the point. A great lager offering. I would expect no less from Jack's Abby.

Mar 14, 2015
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown and settles into the glass with a very dark brown body, with some lighter brown at the top. Tan head that fades quickly leaving a thin ring of bubbles. Aroma is sweet, sugary bourbon, caramel, roasted malts and cocoa. Flavor is much of the same, with the roasted malts and cocoa coming through more. Roasted malts, sugary bourbon and lots of boozy heat. Feel is very syrupy, with low carbonation and a potent alcohol burn. A solid barrel-aged porter, but I expected a little more after how much I enjoyed bride maker.

Mar 08, 2015
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TheElectricOne from Rhode Island

4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bottle from the brewery dated 10/17/2014.

Appearance: Inky, pitch-black with a miniscule head that dissipates quickly. Left very little lacing.

Smell: Wowzers, this one bombards the nose with vanilla, oak, and barrel notes. Smells like a dark, dark porter poured into a shot glass that had just been used for bourbon!

Taste: The bourbon is present, but the alcohol taste from it is not. Finishes with sweetish dark fruit and oakiness. Dark chocolate is slightly present too. The heat from the booze is definitely there, but not overwhelming.

Feel: Silky smooth and rich, with the heat warming the chest as you drink. Carbonation is surprisingly present.

Overall: Not sure how the alcohol taste is hidden so well in a beer that clocks in at 15% ABV.....the sweet, rich notes defeat any alcohol aside from the warming feel of the bourbon. An absolute treat, especially in the dead of winter. Satisfying, surprising, and yummy!

Feb 09, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge lacing. Mocha colored head that disappeared very fast. Big barrel smell, oak, vanilla. Tastes along the same lines of BA Framinghammer, but ramped up and smoother at the same time. Not tasting the alcohol, but do feel the heat in my chest. Dry, oaky finish. Not as much sweetness add you'd expect from a 15% beer. Very impressed.

Feb 04, 2015
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada

3.19/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This was the first beer from JA that disappointed me. Extremely boozy (as can be expected from a 15% beer) with almost no barrel character. The mouth feel was very thin for the style. Will probably benefit from cellar time.

Jan 26, 2015
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M_chav from New Mexico

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep jet-black vicious stream
Smells are rich with whiskey barrels
Taste is a very slight let down. light-medium body but really nice. Dark flavors and oak tones come through as it warms - this is really good.
Feel is light and unexpectedly carbonated - very drinkable. very rich and sugary
Overall an awesome brew, should definitely seek out and enjoy with only the best of friends

Jan 21, 2015
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a .5 finger dark mocha head that collapses. Big, thick legs but no lace. Average.

Nose is chocolate, raisin, oak, fudge, cocoa powder and sweet soy sauce. Dense and robust. Very nice.

Opens cocoa powder, chocolate, tobacco and oak. Boozy in the middle with hints of dark fruit, fudge and a touch of roast. Smoke and roast on the finish with a sweet, dark fruit, chocolate and molasses aftertaste. Excellent!

Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Thick and rich in the mouth and goes down messy and hot. Finishes messy with a lingering, oily aftertaste. Drinks huge!

Jack's Abby has really impressed with their darker, bigger beers. Lager Ness Monster is just another in a line of big ABV beers that drinks big, with a complex flavor profile that is complemented by an exquisite feel. Definitely worth trying.

Jan 19, 2015
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear, dark brown color. Not much head here. The color of the thin cut of foam is tan. Not much lacing. First sniff, holy hell, this one is a bourbony, alcohol-dripping monster (pun!). Lots of bourbon barrel character. Big, rushing malty sweetness. Almost smells like a liqueur. Roast, brown sugar and sweet syrup. The flavor strikes with a brash, continuous trio of alcohol, oak, and sweetness. Irish coffee, burnt caramel, cooked brown sugar, more and more oak, liquor-soaked dark fruit. A mean brew! Hot and oily feel. Lingering barrel flavor. I had a large sample pour of this one and I think that was the perfect amount. It's big and bold but its power didn't necessarily translate to pleasure in my mind.

Jan 10, 2015
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Damian from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drank on tap at Meadhall, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

The beer poured a super slick, rich and oily, dark chestnut brown and was topped by a bubbly cap of caramel colored froth. As anticipated, the head dissolved rather quickly.

Not much happening in the aroma initially. I picked up some dark fruit and boozy/barrel notes. As the beer warmed, however, the nose opened up quite a bit. The dark fruits intensified. Raisins and prunes came through strong. Loads of whiskey. Good dose of brown sugar. Touch of dark malt roastiness.

The flavor profile was intense. Big, rich, caramel malt notes appeared on the front end. A touch roasty. Really robust and quite sweet. Dark fruits followed. Raisins, prunes and figs were noticeable. The beer finished super boozy with loads of whiskey-like heat and oaky barrel notes. Some minty hop appeared as well and lingered long after every sip. The aftertaste reminded me a bit of toothpaste.

The mouthfeel was rich, slick and oily. A super fine, mellow effervescence gave the liquid a nice full creaminess.

Lager Ness Monster is in enormous beer that reminds me a lot more of a barrel-aged American strong ale than a typical Baltic porter. This definitely has potential but is far too boozy when fresh. I would love to revisit this in a year or two and see how it evolves.

Dec 19, 2014
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TK5150 from Maine

3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours dark brown into the glass with a small beige head that recedes quickly to just a slight ring around the edge of the glass. Looks like a cola soft-drink.

S- Not much going on here. If you take a deep breath, hints of caramel, vanilla and oak are present. A hint of mint as well. The nose is very muted.

T- Caramel, slight vanilla, coconut, and oak from the barrels are the main flavors, though they come across VERY dull and muted. Just a hint of heat from the barrel and/or alcohol on the finish. Light lingering heat and cleaning solution taste on the back-end.

M- Surprisingly thin and watery. The saving grace is the body is smooth. The carbonation is low, yet it has a spritzy feel.

O- Completely underwhelming. I'm very disappointed in myself for trading for this. The drinkability is very high due to the thin body, lack of flavor, and little alcohol presence, but for a 15% barrel aged "Imperial Baltic Porter" I expected MUCH more. I am extremely unimpressed.

Dec 17, 2014
Lager Ness Monster from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 197 ratings