Beer review: Jack Black Lumberjack Amber Ale

beer review south africa
a ruby coloured beer at sunset

Sitting in the last rays of winter sun that hit my garden and sipping a good beer – one of life’s great pleasures

It has been a long, long time since I wrote a review on this blog. The last one was for the annual Tiny Keg festive mixed pack back in December, and that was only the second review I wrote in the whole of 2022. So it seems somehow fitting that I am making a beer review comeback with a beer that is itself making a comeback.

I won’t lie to you – I don’t think I ever registered that Jack Black had stopped making their amber ale, Lumberjack. But the beer, which used to be a part of the flagship range, actually hasn’t been brewed since 2021. I obviously didn’t miss it, but I have to say now that it’s back, I’m really enjoying it.

I love a hop bomb as much as the next beer drinker – when it comes to anything West Coast-inspired, then probably more so. But lately I find myself more and more partial to something that showcases malt as well as hops and sadly there is a dearth of craft beers in South Africa that truly let the malt shine. I very much enjoyed my first few beer tasters of the day at Capital Craft Beer Fest: Brauhaus Afrika’s Farmer’s Lager, Agar’s Red Ale, Richmond Hill’s Car Park John – all fine expressions of what malt brings to a beer.

Alas, by the time I got to the Jack Black stand and the team told me I must try the newly re-released Lumberjack, I was quite honestly no longer capable of keeping mental tasting notes. So imagine my delight a few days later when a four pack of Jack Black Lumberjack landed at my door.

Lumberjack is now Jack Black’s autumn seasonal, and this beer really screams autumn – it’s the colour of fallen leaves and has a comfort factor akin to a nice bowl of soup – except better, because it’s beer. The American Amber Ale can lean towards malt or hop, and Lumberjack definitely showcases malt. Take a deep sniff and you’ll get sweet toffee backed up by a touch of toast crust. Take a gulp and that toffee/caramel note continues, but it is far from cloying. There is sweetness up front but this is a beautifully balanced beer, with hops used in liberal doses to create a long, refreshing, bitter finish.

The four-pack delivered to our door didn’t last long and since this is a limited release, I’ll be heading down to Jack Black to get some more before everyone realises Lumberjack is back and better than it’s ever been. It’s being rolled out nationally, so check with your local craft beer store to see if it’s in stock.

2 Comments

  1. Groovy

    Hi Lucy
    Hope you are well.
    I love beer and also like like to explore new and exclusive beers as well, and I would like to host veer testing in my location. With an upmarket individuals, infact would like to be a beer embassador to all the location in and out of Gauteng.

    My wattsapp 0823568227

    Reply
    • Lucy Corne

      Hey Groovy – I’ve emailed you.. 🙂

      Reply

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