From: Gypsies visiting Framingham, MA
Brewer’s Note: “This beer was brewed as a collaboration between Jack’s Abby and Evil Twin Brewing. This black lager blends various roasted and dark crystal malts. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, and a subtle nuttiness dominate this sweet full bodied lager. Brown malt and chocolate wheat malt were specially sourced for this beer from Valley Malt. Enjoy!”
I like the plaid background for the label, as it is funky and different for Jack’s Abby. I’m not going to go into detail on the label, but I will take this place to complain about the fact that all of Jack’s Abby’s collaboration beers refuse to put any information on their bottles… I can’t even find the ABV?! This is especially weird since Jack’s Abby usually proudly displays all of the beer’s stats on the sides of their labels. Could we get some info please?
The beer pours a light coffee color with amber highlights, and sits in the glass the color of the deepest and darkest burgundy. The beer forms a pretty, light tan head of medium sized, creamy bubbles that sit about a quarter of a finger’s width above the beer. In body, the beer is clear and clean, though too dark to see through unless you put the beer up to the light. On the nose, the beer smells of smooth, creamy coffee and milk chocolate with a light fruity kick that might be raisins and might be plums. Soft caramel, nuts, and a touch of char also make their way into the nose. The overall impact of the nose is middling and balanced, producing a nice roasty scent with delicious dark fruit accents. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then smoothly of bitter roast that lasts into a nice, coffee-like finish. Touches of fruitiness can be found in the sweet flavors along with a very faint touch of acidity. The finish of the beer is dry and bitter. In flavor, the beer begins as soft roast, almost like well-toasted white bread. The flavor builds into a smooth coffee with touches of dark plum nudging in between the bitter roast. Faint dark chocolate and a middling nuttiness work their way into the middle of the sip, all leading to a nice, subtle finish of roast coffee that again blends with touches of plum and lasts for a nice while on the palate. The aftertaste is clean, resonating only slightly with roasted malt. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with a crisp and clean mouthfeel that very softly grips the cheeks with a little bit of harshness. After the beer has left, the mouth is left clean save for a slightly dry tongue. Overall, this is a nice balanced schwarzbier that that highlights some delicious specialty malts. This beer, like many of Jack’s Abby’s collaborations, is not designed to knock the socks off of anyone, it is instead a superb example of balance and subtle flavoring in a beer.
(I’ve decided I’ve been cluttering the scores a bit too much, and that I am not too grand with the BJCP scoring yet, so I will be suspending their listing for the time being)