Lager Ness Monster (Jack’s Abby Brewing Company)

Style: “Imperial” Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels

15% ABV

From: Frammingham, MA

Brewery’s Note: “This beer started with the same recipe as
our Framinghammer Baltic Porter, but with a twist.  During the first stage
of the brewing process we mix hot water with our malted grains in our Mash Tun
to extract the sugars from the grain that will later be fermented into
alcohol.  The resulting liquid from this process is called wort.  For
Lager Ness Monster we did this process once, then we refilled the Mash Tun with
more grain.  This second time, instead of using water to mix with the
grain, we re-used our wort from the first batch and concentrated it.  This
allowed the wort to pick up more sugar than our normal process would allow,
resulting in a 15% abv monster!  This beer was brewed last spring and has
been aging in bourbon barrels since.”

The beer pours a dark, chocolate black. It is darker than any
nightmare, and sucks the light around it with inky entropy. The beer is opaque
and quite nearly headless, though a thin ring forms around the glass. When
splashed along the sides of the glass, the beer leaves little in terms of
lacing, but does leave a thick and shimmering wall of lugubrious legs of
alcohol. On the nose, the beer smells remarkably like normal old BA
Framminghammer… but it’s been a year and a half since I last had that, so I
could be wrong. Chocolate and bourbon with healthy oak and just a hint of minty
coffee waft over the nostrils. The booze is very subtle in the nose, tangled up
with treacle, a touch of toffee, and the dying scent of char. On the tongue,
the beer tastes of booze, but in the most subtlety understated way imaginable.
Lager Ness Monster is hot with booze, but it is so sultry, chewy, and rich that
the booze is hidden! It tastes of booze and mingling sweetness that is
balanced, but never cloying. Hidden beneath these two massive flavors is a
mellow, drying bitterness from the oak, and perhaps just a touch of acidity
tingling on the extremities of the tongue. Flavors of maple syrup mingling with
smooth milk chocolate, slight praline, and candied nuts twirl over the palate.
There is the lurking presence of subtle booze behind everything else, and yes,
it’s big, but it is so smooth and hidden… This beer is dangerous. In the mouth,
it feels full and chewy, yet sultry and smooth, like a silk carpet lying down
over my tongue. When the beer leaves, the finish doesn’t. This thing lasts with
chocolate and subtle coffee for seemingly, ever. The mouth is left dry and
sticky with boozy smoothness when the beer leaves. Overall, this is the smoothest
15% ABV beer I’ve ever sipped. It’s sultry, and complex. This is a damn fine
boozy beverage. Jack’s Abby, please start shipping to NH, your beers are
delicious and I miss them.

 

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