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Brewery: Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers (Framingham, MA)
Style: Porter – Imperial / Double Baltic
10% ABV / 55 IBU
Hats off for a very clever name: This Jack’s Abby Baltic porter references both the blunt but effective tool in a handyman’s belt and the family-operated brewery’s location outside of Boston. Considering that Jack’s Abby also has “Craft Lagers” in its name, is Framinghamer really a lager or more like an ale? Turns out that porters can be either, based on the type of fermentation (cool for lagers). So if Jack’s Abby says this is a lager, we’re down with that, because Framinghammer has a sweeter swing than Jim Rice.
It’s also spectacularly drinkable for a 10% ABV beer. Wait, let’s backtrack for a second: It’s spectacular. Period. It’s one of the finest renditions of a Baltic porter currently available in the United States and one that doesn’t suffer from the curse of the modern Baltic porter, with a robust flavor profile and a medium body. Those seem to be characteristics associated with bolder, boozier Russian imperial stouts, but Framinghammer shows that Baltic porters can be more than thin onyx booze bombs.
Flavor-wise, you can definitely taste things like barley, oats, and chocolate malt. That’s also reflected in the color, plus the aroma of French roast coffee and burnt sugar/ caramel. Framinghamer is a malt-forward beer, of course, but there’s also some short, sharp jabs of bitterness from the hops, which offers some chicory notes. That palette-clinging bitterness plus the moderate booziness combine for a warming effect that’s perfect for a winter brew, but if you want to down this with the rest of the igits at a wicked rippah after hitting up Dunkies, that’s ok, too.
For more info on Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, please head here.
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