Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jack’s Abby Saxonator

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1106) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 3, 2014
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). 
Grade: 8/10

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