I poured a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $5.49 ($0.32 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful strawberry-red hue; translucent with no visible
carbonation. Pours to a large, tan, foamy head which dissipates and
leaves no lacing on the glass.
Smell: Strong cherry and other dark fruits; minor alcohol presence.
Taste: Jack’s Abby is a new brewery whose niche is lagers. Whether the
beers are traditional lager styles is a bit of a mystery. Though their
beers do make a good case against the reliance on traditional styles
with Saxonator “Dunkles Dopplebock” being a good example of what I mean.
There’s definitely a lot of character to this beer that makes is
reminiscent of some of the great German examples, though it’s still
unique enough to blur style guidelines. That’s okay with me since the
end result is a tasty beer.
The palate is an interesting hybrid of flavors found in styles of
doppelbock, barleywine and American Strong Ale. Much like the aroma,
dark cherry, raisin and fig are all quite prominent. I detect a hint of
toffee or caramel, though it’s more of an afterthought. Mild bitterness
on the finish with some faint chocolate flavor and a distinct alcohol
presence as well. All the flavors here are quite pleasing, though I’ve
experienced similar palates that were even more robust. If this beer
were rich and cloying it wouldn’t be a flaw.
Drinkability: Jack’s Abby Saxonator is one of those beers where its ABV
works for it and against it simultaneously. For it in that the 9% ABV is
well masked in the palate and the weight. Against it in that it doesn’t
seem to be completely efficient as it has the flavorfulness of
something closer to 6%. However, the delivery process is nice with a
calm, soft mouthfeel and smooth finish and a clean mouthfeel (a little
too clean, actually).