From the Murky Depths: Jack’s Abby Framinghammer

IMG_0212I’m a big supporter of local craft breweries, but to this point I had never been tremendously enthusiastic about Framingham’s Jack’s Abby Brewing.  It’s not that I had any particularly bad experiences with their beer, it was merely a clash of styles.  Jack’s Abby brews exclusively lagers, and I have been (and probably always will be) an ale man.  Lagers are fermented at colder temperatures, and they tend to have a lighter body than warm-fermented ales.  For the most part, I only dabble in lager when Oktoberfest beers are in season, for the Märzenbiers served at that time of year have a bit more robust body than their more reserved cousins.

Despite this prejudice, I ended up selecting the Framinghammer because it is billed as a Baltic Porter.  Baltics are known for being very full-bodied and intense as well as for their high alcohol content.  I wanted to see what a lager-happy brewery could do with such a hearty, malt forward style.

The Baltic Sea; as dark and brooding as its namesake beers

The Baltic Sea; as dark and brooding as its namesake beers

Framinghammer pours a jet black, conjuring up images of the dark, salty, anaerobic depths of the Baltic Sea.  It is completely opaque and topped with a generous, frothy head he color of coffee ice cream.  This foam slowly dissipates into an archipelago of bubbly islands in an inky sea.  The head may not last long, but each sip was recorded on the glass by heavy and durable lacing.  The aroma is smoky-sweet and almost peaty with hints of the roasted malts contained within.  It has a very slick mouthfeel, which is thin and not at all viscous.  As the nose would indicate, the first sip delivered a very earthy and smoky character.  The addition of brown sugar is tempered by the roasty malts to make a very balanced flavor which I had a very hard time typifying.  In darker, roasty beers you can usually pick out distinct coffee notes, but I did not really detect any here.  I spent a good amount of time trying to come up with the words to characterize exactly how this beer tastes, and I have to say I failed.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before.  There is a noticeable impact on the flavor from the high (10% abv) alcohol content, but it was not as prickly as I had expected.  Perhaps the hop bitterness (55 I.B.U, comparable to some IPAs) masked the boozy notes somewhat and also kept the sweetness in check.

Overall, I could not have been more pleased and impressed with Framinghammer.   It exceeded all of my expectations and left me feeling rather silly for having dismissed Jack’s Abby as a brewer of mild beers.  Lagers had always registered as rather limp on my palate, but this was truly a sturdy beer that grabs your taste buds and demands attention.  I hope I can get my hands on another bottle or three before the cold weather gives way and stout and porter season slips behind us.

~ by schlippo on February 6, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Our Game

Official Blog of MLB Historian John Thorn

Merrill Shepard Solo Acoustic

LIVE MUSIC ~ Pop, Country, Indie, Folk, Oldies & Classic Rock Covers ~ Something for Everyone!

Big Jew on a Diet

nothing tastes as good as skinny feels (apart from butter) - Kate Moss

Lucas Fothergill

Please consider ordering my first book 'Everyone Everywhere'

Listful Thinking

Listless: Lacking zest or vivacity

Abby Has Issues

I have issues. So do you.

Gamers who Think

Electronically Charged, Intellectually Interesting

nudge. wink. report.

Hilarious comic-tary on news, views, and attitudes. Publication days are bendy. We're creative and love the sound of deadlines as they...are those pretzels?

Mike the Mad Biologist

Helping idiots who desperately need my assistance by calling them fucking morons since 2004

Literature and Libation

Through it all, your spirit's alive

%d bloggers like this: