Arcadia Jaw-Jacker | Arcadia Brewing Company

167 Reviews
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Arcadia Jaw-JackerArcadia Jaw-Jacker

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
This spiced amber-wheat ale is our celebration of the arrival of Autumn. Using the finest malted barley and a small amount of wheat for mouthfeel, Jaw-Jacker displays a brilliant orange-amber color, despite the absence of pumpkin in the recipe. The addition of cinnamon, all-spice, and nutmeg (in the exact proportions of a family pumpkin pie recipe) creates a refreshingly spicy, season brew.

Added by nortmand on 09-12-2007

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 465
Photo of joeboe2001
1.9/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Worst pumpkin I have had this year!

A- Looked okay. Not much of a head, light gold in color in a dark venue.

S- Light pumpkin smell--not overbearing.

T - All of the usual pumpkin pie spicing BUT this stuff tasted more like pumpkin pie hand soap than beer! Relatively offensive chemical aftertaste, very week beer taste!

M -The soapy taste turned me off--hope it wasn't a poorly washed glass.

O - I recommend spending your next $5 elsewhere!

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Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Arcadia Jaw-Jacker could not be more orange and hence look any more appropriate for a pumpkin ale. Dense and solid in complexion, you can't make a finger out on the other side despite its rather luminous glimmer. Its "head" (while and where it exists) is thin as twine.

No actual pumpkin was used in the recipe - what does that matter? How many of us eat pumpkin anyhow? I'd wager few people can think of a recipe that uses pumpkin other than pumpkin pie. It's all in the spices, baby. And this beer, which uses cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg, provides plenty of spicy/savory flavour and texture.

In setting out to brew a pumpkin ale, Arcadia was wise to look no further than the brewer's grandmother's pumpkin-pie recipe. This smells (and especially tastes) like a delicious fall-time dessert, the perfect conclusion to a thanksgiving dinner. As much as it tastes like pie and vanilla ice cream, however, it also tastes like sweet potato.

Jaw-Jacker has the expected pumpkin-pie spices but it also has an unexpected amount of body. The brewery refers to this as an 'amber-wheat ale' so the toasty, caramelly undertones and crisp, effervescent texture should not be surprising. I half-expected a beer with this much character to be a little higher in alcohol; it's super agreeable.

Arcadia has managed to capture and bottle the months of September through November and have made a near-perfect fall-time quaff; it's got me seeing bats and scarecrows and jack o-laterns as well as a bountiful dinning room table. Pumpkin Ale initiates will find love and even the style's most discerning critics shouldn't have much to bicker about. Greatly enjoyed!

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.46/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a cloudy amber orange, no head.

Smells of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and semi-sweet pumpkin.

Mild sweet and tart pumpkin flavor mixed with the aforementioned spices and a light wheaty malt.

Medium to light body with tingles of carbonation over the tongue.

Not a great pumpkin ale, but not terrible. I've had worse ones. Has an okay flavor and aroma with a slightly sub-par body. I probably wouldn't seek this one out again against other pumpkin ales, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange copper with a thin head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice - typical pumpkin spicing. The house yeast strain adds spicing. Overall, it's robust, but not overpowering.

The taste is pumpkin pie. There is a sweetness that is reminiscent of whipped cream over the spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. The sweetness fades to a spicy, dry finish. The yeast strain adds a buttery note that helps with the smoothness in this case.

It is creamy.

This is a nice pumpkin spiced ale. It keeps its ale character while being spiced.

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Photo of metter98
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is quite hazy amber-orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with an eighth of a finger high dense beige colored head that died down a bit and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of the types of spices used in a pumpkin pie are present in the nose—nutmeg and allspice seem to stand out in particular.
T: Much like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by flavors of spices, except that notes of cinnamon are also noticeable and linger through the finish. No bitterness or sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels a little shy of being medium-bodied
O: When I first saw that this beer doesn't have any pumpkins in it, I thought that the balance might be off but the beer isn't really too spicy. It's definitely a nice beer for the fall, especially if you don't want something that's sweet.

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a lager glass.
Pours a very clear, medium amber, with a creamy bone head and lots of fine-grained carbonation bubbles.

One of those beers that smells really nice, but not entirely like something I'm eager to drink; great as a candle, however. The aroma is dominated by spices, as is the flavor. A solid malt base appears mid-taste, but essentially only spices remain in the aftertaste.
Borders on over-spiced, if notclearly over the top, but thankfully there's a nice mix of spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice all evident.

Feel: Medium+ body; medium but soft carbonation; odd mix of smooth and lightly astringent/harsh.

O: spicy seasonal choice.

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Photo of barczar
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange copper with frothy cream head that lingers.

Clove, ginger, and cinnamon dominate the aroma, with nutmeg batting cleanup. Seems fairly sweet. Hard to say if there's pumpkin in there, with the overwhelming spice notes.

Flavor is off. There's a tangy character underlying the onslaught of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Almost tastes like a mild infection, our possibly off flavors from yeast or fermentation temperatures.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Jaw-jacker is right. Doubt I'll be able to taste anything after this one. I do think there is an issue with this beer that was not intended.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The pour is hazy light orange-amber with a large head of fine, tight bubbles. Spices are evident on the nose (allspice and nutmeg) along with a dry, husky, vegetative note. I don't get any sweet malty aromas.

Medium body and spicy flavor. Just a touch of malt sweetness up front before cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice kick in. On the back of the palate, they outgrow the rest of the flavor and unbalance the flavor. It's almost as if someone tipped a shaker of dried allspice and nutmeg over a beer and dusted it on top. It seems to hit your palate with all the force of a huge clump of dried spice.

As it is, I find this beer to have below-average drinkability because of the unbalance. It really needs more sweetness. The spice mixture seems to contribute the right flavors to the beer, but for me there simply isn't enough sweetness to make it work properly. I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this one very much.

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Photo of Omnium
2.74/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A- Pours a nice orange color, medium finger of fluffy head. No lacing.
S - Cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon.
T - Cinnamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, pumpkin, cinnamon.
M - Ole! Spice
O - What a joke. Good job at making a cinnamon beer Arcadia! I like how you added that faint hint of pumpkin in the flavor.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poures a light brown body with no head but a thin lace around the edge. the smell is well balanced of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and some clove. the taste is the same asthe smell just you taste the spices, its like a brown ale with spices add to it. the mouth feel is good and overall a ok beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
2.69/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So there's no pumpkin in this whatsoever it looks like. Nothing on the bottle or 6 pack box says anything about pumpkin being in this. Weird. They sure make it "look" like there's pumpkin in it. Oh well, 12oz bottle pours copper with a fluffy off-white head, good head retention & lacing. Funky aroma, earthy, spicy, cinnamon. Odd flavors are dominated by the spices. Cinnamon, allspice, & nutmeg, earthy hop, caramel, rye bread come to mind. Body is thin-to-medium, modest carbonation. Overall, I wasn't too impressed with this one. The spices dominate too much; lackluster effort...especially with no pumpkin. I feel ripped off. Wait - a friend bought these! He got ripped off...

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Photo of Mavigo
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its Halloween time! In a pint.

A: Pours a cloudy reddish- orange color, thin white head that dissipates quickly, small amounts of lacing

S: Pumpkin, sweet honey, cinnamon

T: Pumpkins, honey, spices, cinnamon

M: Over carbonated for my tastes, overbearing, but the after taste is good, its moderately smooth, little bit off balanced by the carbonation.

O: A pretty good seasonal beer, its too bubbly for my tastes but it reminds me of pumpkin pie, so its worth a try.

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Photo of kpclemens
2.92/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a goblet

A - good inch white head. deep hazy amber color. very attractive.

S - not much here, just spices. wouldn't be able to identify them without reading the label. Overall smells like most pumpkin style beers with a little booze.

T - I've had at least 4 pumpkin beers this year, this being the least ambitious. Its just average. a little bit a spices and some pumpkin influence. kind of tangy. I taste more alcohol in it than the others even punkin ale.

M - Feels like beer, light and smooth. no real impression just liquid.

O- pretty average "pumpkin" style beer for having no pumpkin in it. Just average, not a bad one, not my favorite. Probably wont seek it out again. just another spiced beer for fall.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If it has a pumpkin on the label and taste like it has pumpkin in it, it's a...oh, wait. Never mind! It took me a little while to get used to the fact that this was *not* a Pumpkin Ale when I opened it up and poured it out. This was quite spicy and heavier than other beers that have come out this Fall but it wasn't as bad as some on here made it out to be.

The pour to this was a dark nutmeg with some sediment in it. A nice head and a decent amount of lacing were also discernible. Not much of an aroma here but the taste more than made up for it. Lots of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and a bit of walnut in the front that faded quickly after each sip. What was left over was a creamy residue that reminded me a bit of an Irish Dry Stout. Just a bit of pumpkin here but without the vanilla and cream that characterize the lighter examples of many beers in season now.

Yes, this is too strong and yes, this is too spicy. Nevertheless, I liked it and it had just a bit of a toasted nature to it that tied everything in nicely. While I'm not a huge fan of these types of beers, this was sufficient enough to enjoy once and not need anything afterward to wash it down. Heck, I could even have a piece of Pumpkin Pie with this.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment. Let's see how this goes.

Appearance: Pours a simple copper brown, almost orange haze. Pretty thin in body, but looks pretty enjoyable just by visual alone. The thin white head dissipated pretty quickly.

Smell: Has a mediocre hint of caramel malts upon first encounter. Aroma is pretty stale with some bitter and sweet spices. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air, but nothing overbearing, nor exactly inviting. Kind of disappointed with the fact that there's no pumpkin to this.

Taste: As soon as the first sip is initiated, the toasted malts are more apparent. Now, upon further sips, the spices really make their presence, with a splash of simple cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some slight hint of ginger. Quite honestly, nothing that really pulled me in. Bitterness was nice, but that was it. Just too plain. Improvement can start with maybe some pumpkin flavors, since a pumpkin is pictured on the front of the bottle and labeled as a "seasonal" beer. Very slight hint of citrus is more noticeable towards half-way through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some medium carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry, but not too bad. Quite enjoyable in fact.

Overall: This beer was not so bad going into it. Pretty average. Nothing exactly jumping out to make you want to explore the whole thing. I may try this again, but not exactly willing on a regular basis. I may recommend this to another friend. Cheers!

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
3.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle to goblet. Appearance is a decent reddish brown color but you'd hope for it to be darker or, more importantly, cloudier.

Smell is pretty subtle; nutmeg comes through the most, followed by allspice, with very little cinnamon, per the ingredients.

Taste is enjoyable, but nothing to get excited about. Arcadia's done a fair job of spicing this one for the season, but the pumpkin itself is sorely missed. Kind of tastes (and to segway) feels like a spiced octoberfest, considering the lightness of flavor coupled with the amber/brown coloring and additional ingredients. The mouthfeel is too viscous. This beer, overall, is worth a try - indeed, I'd give it major props as an accessible version of a pumpkin ale - but, in the end it leaves me reaching into the fridge for a darker, thicker, and, well, spookier brew.

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Photo of jtierney89
1.3/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a tarnished brassy hue with almost no head, thin off colored lace. Smells purely of pumpkin. Not in a great way though, kind of like in a smelling cooked squash kind of way.

Thin and almost flavorless. faintly sweet with barely noticeable earthy hop presence. Close to dead carbonation with a slight syrupyness. Finishes with a hint of allspice and cinnamon. Otherwise a palate cleanser. Drinks like water. Yet another disappointing pumpkin beer.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this into a generic 12oz pilsner style glass, and the brew makes a two finger thick light tan head, and the body is slightly hazy and is copper in color.

Gives off a caramel sweet aroma, and the spices used to make this brew are easily discernible.

Taste wise it's sweet upfront with toffee and then turns to cinnamon and nutmeg. In the end there is an odd spinach like bitterness.

Feels medium in body, a little thirst quenching, and leaves the mouth a little dirty/sticky.

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Photo of Megahertz
3.39/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 8/27/12. Carefully decanted into a Hoffman House chalice.

A - Deep amber to brown, slightly hazy, with large, tight white head. Crystal clear.

S - Mild pumpkin spices, heavy on the nutmeg, with a nutty background note.

T - Toasted bread and bread crust with a restrained pumpkin pie spice character. Transitions to an english-like fruity ester flavor. Firm, husky-astringent bitterness throughout. Slightly roasted finish helps clear any residual sweetness.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

O - A good example of an english take on a pumpkin ale. Somewhat tannic, but still very nice.

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Photo of theecaleb
2.2/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: Mix of an Amber and Pale, almost a orange/copper in color. Good looking brew, pale white head leaves little lacing.

S: Nutmeg, Spices, Pumpkin Pie

T: Bitter, Spicey, and soapy.

MF: Same as taste, leaves a gross after taste of dish soap.

O: Its like drinking an air freshener, smells great, but taste terrible.

No I would not recommed this beer to a friend.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint. No visible bottling date.

Look- Medium amber with two fingers of spritzy white head. A few streaks of lace are left when the beer is gone.

Smell- Mace, cinnamon, faint maple. Not really much aroma, but what's there is decent.

Taste- Similar to the nose, but more gingerbread-like. Nutty, toasted, solid mild amber with a hint of caramel and a touch of darker roast. Tealike bittering in the middle. For some reason I'm thinking toasted walnut shells. Savory spices are the dominant finishing flavor, but there's also a graininess and a tannic character. Mild spicy warmth at the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium carb. Dry, floury, almost gritty feel towards the end that feels like I'm actually eating the spices.

Overall- It's ok, but it just doesn't stand out for an autumnal/pumpkin beer in the price range. The gritty, overspiced feel also detracts from it, even though the flavors themselves are fine enough. Something a little lighter would really take this one over the top- I would like to see a similar malt base and spice profile done as a cider-like sour.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This looks hazy but vibrant in the glass, a bright bleached cardboard color along with considerable foam. The foam seems consistent with the Arcadia Ales I’ve sampled recently, and despite trying a pumpkin ale in March, 2012 it appears to have held up. There’s a noticeable holiday spice on the aroma— nutmeg, allspice & some clove—with the flavor matching the aroma. The spices are complemented by a sharp bittering. It’s effervescent, very light on the palate. It’s not boozy but there’s a boozy mouthfeel similar to that from bigger beers I’ve sampled. Although this brew is probably half a year old it’s still tasty.

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Photo of MsRif
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Poured a brownish orange color with a slight bit of haze to it. Small white head with minimal lacing. Aroma of spices, vanilla, caramel...much like pumpkin pie, actually. Tasted like it smelled, though it was disappointingly one-dimensional. Could have been stronger on spices.

Light to medium in mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, just not great. Drinkable...give it a try once for the experience.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a hazy burnt orange with a small white head that leaves a bit of streaky lacing. Light aroma of pumpkin pie spices and caramel. Taste of nutmeg and cinnamon, light spicy yeast, pithy and a bit vegetal, even though there isn't actually any pumpkin in this one. A little bit bland, but not entirely without its charm. Light-medium mouthfeel, and moderately drinkable.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - I pours orange to burnt orange in color. I got a skim of beige head.

S - I get some vanilla and nutmeg on the nose.

T - I get some spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, but they taste watered down.

M - Thin and watery

O - I like a lot of pumpkin beers. This doesn't rate up there with my favorites.

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Arcadia Jaw-Jacker from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.28 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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