Lagerness Monster
Jack's Abby Brewing

Lagerness MonsterLagerness Monster
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Porter - Baltic
Ranked #10
Ranked #1,570
4.27 | pDev: 7.73%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Lagerness MonsterLagerness Monster
Notes: Imperial Baltic Porter. Formerly Lager Ness Monster

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: 37 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's been a damn long time since I took a trip to Jack's Abby and Springdale. Almost a year actually, but yesterday I felt an urge to go there to pick up a few beers. I saw this one and was immediately intrigued. Everyone knows that they know their way around a Baltic porter with the Framinghammer series, but it's nice to see another one outside of that lineup. Let's see what this little monster is all about

Pours nearly jet black with just a finger of light tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring and leaves minimal lacing

The first whiff of this really reminds me of the cherry variant of Framinghammer, which I also picked up another bottle of yesterday, with tons of deep and sweet aromas. I'm picking up on aromas of dark bread, brown sugar, toasted pecan, dates warm vanilla, caramel, and a touch of earthy bourbon

Further mirroring the FH mentioned before in taste, but sadly in the way that it loses a good bit of complexity in taste. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting earthy bourbon, white pepper, brown bread, and light caramel. The swallow brings notes of rich pecan, dark chocolate, light roast coffee, and molasses. A bit too sweet and simple but still tasty

A full body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a very rich and smooth beer. Finishes mostly dry despite this with some warming alcohol

A very good beer from JA. I'm just now realizing that this is basically the same base beer as FH but with more grain added, so that explains the parallels I've been drawing. Either way, this is quality stuff here

Saturday at 06:15 AM
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to either Wunderllama or Rub_This_BBQ for this one. 16.9oz bottle (no date) poured into 12oz goblet. Poured a solid black color with less than a half-inch of dark tan head that had low retention and no lacing.

There was some bourbon and wood at the front of the aroma, followed by vanilla, chocolate, and some roast. Thankfully, none of the coffee the label mentioned was apparent.

Pretty similar on the tongue, plus the addition of some alcohol heat. As i drank through the bottle, the roast notes grew until it was very much coffee flavored on the back end.

The body was fuller than medium, but not heavy, and had a semi-sweet finish.

Drinkability was very good, especially for such a big beer, and I had no issues finishing the bottle.

Overall, a very good brew, one I'd be happy to have again. A must-try if you see it.

Apr 16, 2021
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mnj21655 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black a 1/4” of relatively short lived khaki head. Aroma is caramel, molasses, and some coffee; lots of sticky malt. Taste has the caramel and molasses notes along with some vanilla and booze from the bourbon barrels underpinned by some coffee and light-medium roast coffee. Medium-full body with a high viscosity and low-moderate carbonation.

Jan 18, 2021
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml bottle sampled on Jan 16, 2021.

Deep dark brown-black pour underneath a modest, fading tan head. Lovely to look at.

Wow check out the aromas of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, berries, crackers and wood. Earthy. No alcohol noted.

Full mouthfeel.

Taste is sweet with chocolate, ash, vanilla, berries, and a very warming ending. Again, no booze. A beautifully made Baltic Porter

Jan 16, 2021
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PNByeah from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark maple syrup look while pouring but fairly black in the glass with the edges remaining dark brown. Aroma of bourbon and lighter notes of coffee and chocolate. Caramel and bourbon up front, with dates and a nuttiness on the finish. Flavor is fairly thin. Impressed by how well the alcohol hidden; very easy to drink for 14%. Alcohol provides a nice warming sensation. Not very bitter but makes sense for lack of sweetness - sweet/bitter balance is good. Mouthfeel is thin; likely has relatively low finishing gravity. Low carbonation but appropriate for its thinness. Overall enjoyable to drink, but not very complex. I want more out of this beer.

Jan 10, 2021
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Snagged this a few days ago at The Lazy Dog in Londonderry NH ($12.50). Time to enjoy and chill on a Friday eve...

Pours a very dense, dark mahogany/chestnut. Call it black, as I can't see though it, even when held up to light. Has a thin, mocha-beige head, which really is just rim-clinging foam. Doesn't have much lace to speak of, though. Nose has nice bourbon and oak action, with dark choco, dark fruit and molasses. It is verrry smooth, with a medium-plus body that has a some hints of being chewy.

Taste is lovely, with more dark choco, a little vanilla, dark fruitage (raisins, dates, figs) and some molasses.... plus a little brown sugar, all with a solid backing of bourbon. Finishes a bit earthy and semi-sweet. Yes, sign me up! Cheers!!

4.28/5 rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Jan 08, 2021
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LeRose from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is absolutely black, swallowing any light that dares any attempt to penetrate. The scant foamy head vanishes quickly, absorbed by the inky, forbidding depths below. I am going to call it awesome.

The smell is evidence of barrel residence - bourbon vanilla goodness, roast malts, coffee, chocolate, sweetness, and ample dark sweet fruits and I am leaning towards dates more than the usual suspects. Initially there was a significant alcohol hit on the nose, but it vanished.

This is just plain thick velvety goodness for the palate. Definite bourbon and wood notes, vanilla I find up front, then a layer of the fruity fig/date flavors capped off by more vanilla some sweet chocolate and just a fantastic smooch of coffee. The sweetness says molasses to me. The ridiculous ABV is found as a pleasant warming sensation in the chest, not in the taste. There is a slight bitterness and a slight tart tingle to this beer that stops it from being overwhelmingly sweet.

This is a high viscosity brew, thick and nearly syrupy but not quite. Damned near flat, sticky yet not annoying. The little tingle on the end says "more".

This is a beer for when you feel like you deserve a good beer. Decadent, rich, and waves of elegantly layered flavors. Worth the price and effort to obtain, this is an outstanding lager.

Dec 31, 2020
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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
Lagerness Monster from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 206 ratings