Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jack's Abby Framinghammer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1377) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 18, 2015
It make sense that Jack’s Abby – a brewery that only makes lagers – would be adept at making a Baltic Porter (which, despite the name, is traditionally a lager rather than an ale). This beer is definitely to-spec in every way and on top of all that it’s delectable and fun to drink. What more could you ask for?

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $4.95 ($0.41 per ounce).

Appearance: Essentially opaque inky black with blood red highlights. Pours to a large, dark tan, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Dark grape and dark malt with a general lager scent. Nose is actually rather mild and is probably the beer’s weakest feature.

Taste: There’s a difference between porters and stouts and there’s a difference between Baltic and regular imperial porters – this beer is a good example of that. Sweet to be sure, but not too sweet. There’s a strong sensation of dark malt, but it’s not dark chocolate, coffee or burnt toast. A smooth, milky sweetness derived from the use of oats in the brew. Brown sugar is used as well (as an adjunct I’m assuming), though I think I can taste it in the aftertaste. A quick, distinct, dry hop bite at the apex of the swig offers a nice balance and contrast, though I would not describe this as being a hoppy brew per se.

Drinkability: I was a little worried that this beer was going to be a challenge to drink consider it’s pretty strong at 10% ABV. However, I knew it was going to be a breeze after the first sip. The mouthfeel is extremely comfortable with smooth texture and finish to match. There is no heat from the booze; nor does it feel like a beastly brew in any way. I’d pair Jack’s Abby Framinghammer with dessert or enjoy it as a nightcap year-round.

Score: 9/10

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