Beer Review: Grand Teton Brewing’s 5 O'clock Shadow Double Black Lager, Is A Should Try

It’s March 2012 and it’s hard to believe that the first few days of Spring has passed. Yet that isn’t what the weather report has been predicting. Instead they have been predicting Winter-like conditions, from cold winds to heavy rains. And only a few weeks ago people with snow shovels were shuddering the thought as a dusting of flakes fell to the ground around Seattle.

Which is why we are content in mentioning a beer released a few weeks ago from Victor, ID; along Idaho’s Old Jackson Highway.

Brewery Description of 5' O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager

5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager is brewed in the German Schwarzbier (black beer) tradition. Schwarzbier is to lager what stout or porter is to ale. Like those dark British beers, Schwarzbier has long been considered nourishing and even curative. German doctors often recommend Schwarzbier for nursing mothers. Our Brewmaster, born in Munich, was the beneficiary of just such advice.

We have taken the traditional Schwarzbier, intended to be a “session beer” with typically moderate alcohol, and almost doubled its strength to 7.6% alcohol by volume. We brewed our version with a fine balance of crystal and roasted malts and spiced it with noble hops. We fermented 5 O’Clock Shadow at cold temperatures with a select German lager yeast and cold-conditioned it for over four months to create a velvety smooth, easy drinking springtime brew.

This German lager pours a deep brown, almost black color with ruby highlights. It has soft dark chocolate notes with hints of caramel and a light roasty finish.

5 O’Clock Shadow pairs nicely with hearty, spicy foods. Try it with barbecued, roasted or blackened meats and sausages. Steaks and burgers, especially charred, will taste great. Recommended cheeses might be a fine Munster or even a buttery, well-aged cheese like Gouda. For dessert we suggest a raspberry tart or ginger pear cake.

ABV: 7.6%
Color: 40 lovibond
Ibu’s: 38

image of Grand Teton 5 O'Clock Shadow Double Black Lager sourced from the brewery Our Thoughts
You Should Try It. Take the advice of the brewery and try this with some grilled bison / buffalo, ostrich, or venison; while enjoying some smoky cheeses. To those with a sweet tooth we can’t agree more on the raspberry tart, ginger pear cake. Heck we are pondering what huckleberries might taste with this beer.

5 O’Clock Double Black Lager is a dark and dense lager that pours with a strong inch of salt & pepper foamy head. As this Schwarz-like Lager warms up, the initially dominant head recedes quickly, save for some lace inside the glass.

Within the first sniff this writer detects notes of dark fruit, burnt chocolate, as well as some minor notes of roasted coffee. Further examination allows one to recall a bit of floral almost musty-like aromas.

Taking the first sip I get bits of roasted coffee, dark fruit (raisins, dates, etc.) as well as some noticeable dark chocolate before finishing with some minor smokiness and a noticeable alcohol burn. Overall 5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager has a medium weight as it coarses across the tongue, and there is some minor stickiness.

Thoughts by your Colleagues


In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.

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