I went into Fall hoping to focus my blog posts on reviews of malt-forward lagers. I felt that the combination of full bodied malt flavor with the clean drinkability imparted by the lager yeast was a perfect complement for the crisp seasonal weather (especially for those who prefer their Fall beers gourd and pie-spice free). I started to research beers to try and reached out to the Hoppy Boston community for suggestions. All this work led me to the realization that very few local craft brewers make lagers. I understand why. Lagers take more time to ferment and condition and need lower temperatures, so there is a longer turnaround between when you brew and when you can sell the beer. You also need a lot of space to store multiple batches as they condition. Many breweries aren’t set up for lager production, and it’s a big investment to start producing lager beers. All of these factors help reinforce how impressive Jack’s Abby’s mission to brew only lager is. Since most local breweries eschew lagers all together, Jack’s Abby has a huge market-share for these styles. It isn’t surprising that one of Jack’s Abby’s Fall seasonal releases is a traditional German style Octoberfest lager, called Copper Legend. Copper Legend was named for the plumber who helped set up the Jack’s Abby Brewery. They apparently had some very specific ideas on piping and drainage and he was able to make their dreams a reality, earning legendary status and a beer in his honor. Copper Legend is sold on draft and in 12 oz. bottles during the Fall season.
Jack’s Abby Copper Legend pours a clear copper-orange with a minimal off-white head. The smell is very mild with some roasted malt and a little sweetness. The flavor is what you expect from a marzen, lots of malty goodness with notes of toffee, whole grain toast and a little sweetness without being cloying. There is minimal hop flavor and just enough bitterness to keep the beer from swinging too sweet. Copper Legend is medium bodied and very easy to drink. At 5.7% ABV it is pretty typical for the style. The finish has the clean profile you expect from a well made lager, it doesn’t display any of the estery aftertastes you get from some ale yeasts. It is no surprise that Jack’s Abby makes one of the better Octoberfest beers that I have tried as they are truly the masters of lager beer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5
Previous Jack’s Abby reviews: