Alengrin (5006) - BELGIUM - JUL 3, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
However widespread they may be on an industrial level, lagers are, in contrast, still a rarity in the craft beer world. Jack’s Abby proves that bottom fermentation has more possibilities than most would imagine and in this one, they have transplanted the hop profile of an American style IPA to a bottom-fermented Schwarzbier, thereby effectively creating the black counterpart of ’IPL’ (Pilsener with American hops), or indeed a bottom-fermented form of black IPA. Forms a thick, lacing, pale beige, creamy and very stable head over a black robe with chestnut brownish edges only in the outer millimeter or so. Lovely aroma showcasing both the hops and the malts, with impressions of toasted onion, grapefruit peel, pine resin, burnt toast, black olive, cold coffee, walnut, beef jerky, cold black tea, a vague hint of bitter chocolate and some ’naturally’ feeling iron. Malty taste from the onset, very low in sweetness, only malt fruitiness with beginning with a pleasant umami taste (cured meat) blending with a slightly caramelly but most of all nutty and toasted malt bittersweetness which turns roasted bitter in the end, including a ’low’ sourishness of roasted barley, with a very faint metallic edge; then comes the lush, aromatic New World hop character, piney, grapefruity, peppery, long, drying and still elegant, leaving room for the roasted and toasted maltiness to persist. This is a very pretty beer indeed and surely among the best lagers I had so far - I hope more of these bottom-fermented Cascadian (BIPA-like) beers will appear.
Hanoi (911) - Greater Manchester, ENGLAND - MAR 10, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Nose is already much bigger than I was expecting, coffee, roast malts, hint of cream, hints of latte, touch of dark chocolate. Taste is roast, malty, hint of honey, toast, smoke, slight citrus and pine hoppiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich.
I’m very fond of a good German Schwarz, but I’ve never really loved one before, this is a properly brilliant example, with subtlety and depth.
Leighton (20133) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 9, 2016
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at home in CT. Pours rich brown with a frothy khaki head. Rich roasted malts in the nose, some cocoa, earth. Medium sweet flavor with hearty baking cocoa, dried tobacco, nicely rounded roasted malts, milk chocolate, a bit of scorched earth. Light to medium bodied with lively, massaging carbonation. Finishes with a richly dynamic chocolate character, more well roasted malts, cocoa, earth, leather, subtle dried berries, a little espresso. Excellent stuff.
canary dog (760) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - SEP 10, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice sexy presentation with solid black stoutiness and rich foamy head. Taste is very roasty and stout-like. Bitterness is entrenched in the beer like a stout would be-- I’m not getting a pilsner type of hoppiness here. I don’t drink many stouts anymore, so my interpretation might be off; but I just don’t see the difference between this offering of Schwarzbier and a high quality craft-brewed stout. Maybe head to head I would notice the difference, as this beer would have less body. But when I see some call Schwarzbier the "black pilsner," I’m just not getting it here. This beer is not merely a black pilsner, but rather a light stout. There is still something to be said for successfully lagering a beer of this richness.
colui72 (856) - HONG KONG - JUN 28, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown, big fluffy head. Aroma of roasted malt, taste is medium bitter, roasty and hoppy, but the taste vanishes quickly without leaving after taste. Decent, expected better after reading the ratings.
Koelschtrinker (19101) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - MAY 25, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Würzig hopfiger Beginn mit angenehmer, später schwächelnder Röstigkeit. Vollmundig, sehr süffig. Röstig herber Nachgeschmack, hopfig. 10/12/11/11/10/11
jredmond (8005) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 5, 2015
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from VT shared with Paul. Pours a deep brown body with light tan lacing. Mouthfeel is light to medium with notes of soft roast, dirt, sweet earthy malt, light fruit and grain.
Beersiveknown (5196) - NORTHERN IRELAND - APR 7, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at home from alesela
dark brown-black, fluffy pale tan head, herbal piney bitterness with some roasty notes. Little hoppy character left but probably fairly decrepit at one year old. Nice enough if it were a stout but a tad disappointing as a CD lager.
Bebum (876) - Massachusetts, USA - MAR 8, 2015
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep copper (SRM 23), clear coca-cola color,
Medium body, intense flavor, moderate alcohol heat but high carbonation, lingering aftertaste.
Moderately bitter and dry to the finish, sharp and mineral.
Intense roast flavors, coffee, slightly smoky, hint of sweet malt.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Joel (114) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 20, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours dark brown with a generous tan head. Nose is hoppy-- citrus, herbal, grassy. Tastes caramel, mild notes of chocolate. Big malty backbone with balanced with citrusy hops. Complex, not heavy, finishes mildly bitter. Very nice!