Fish Leavenworth Bakke Hill Black Lager

Reviewed by on January 19, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fish Brewing Company

  • Origin: Olympia, WA, US

  • Rated On: January 19, 2015

  • Best Before: Bottled October 2014

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Schwarzbier

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The Leavenworth label is Fish Brewing’s line of German-style craft brews, and Bakke Hill is one of their winter seasonals, so named after a popular ski hill/jump in the Leavenworth, Washington area.

This 22oz bottle pours a very dark, somewhat hazy ruddy brown hue, with three fingers puffy, rocky, and lazily foamy pale tan head, which leaves a solid wash of cobwebbed lace around the glass as it gently seeps away.

It smells of sweet roasted caramel malt, some cereal biscuit, bittersweet cocoa powder, a hint of day-old coffee, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is nutty, slightly toasted chocolate malt, some further caramelized cereal graininess, a bit of wan smoke, weak cafe-au-lait notes, and soft earthy, musty, and green grassy hops. The carbonation is moderate, just a mildly fizzy frothiness presiding, the body a solid medium weight, and more or less smooth, neither the hops nor nascent smoke up for a fight. It finishes off-dry, but with the roast and the moderately invigorated hops pressing the issue.

A decent black lager, at first it had me thinking unfairly impure thoughts of other, more generic domestic versions, but it gradually grew apart, displaying greater cocoa affinities, as well as a rounder, more sturdy countenance. Well drinkable, overall, and duly enjoyable, I would imagine, after throwing yourself down a frozen hill, whether you stopped at the end, or purposely carried on right over the edge.

Brady White

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