1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rail Dog Smoked Black LagerRail Dog Smoked Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hustlesworth on 06-19-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by oberon:
Photo of oberon
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Monchshof Schwarzbier glass a deep dark chocolate brown with a billowing deep beige head that spits and spews as it settles into a frothy mass,just a great pour.Dark roast and chocolate dominate the nose with light smoke unerneath,very appetizing.Wow chocolate flavors abound with big roast to keep the sweetness in check,the smoke is in the finish and lingers,I get a little brown sugar but it stays dry enough to make it very appetizing.The creamy feel is great for a lager,damn this is a top notch black lager,kudos Thirsty Dog on this one.

oberon, Mar 31, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of wattoclone
4.9/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a six pack from Capone's in Norristown.

Aroma of rich dark chocolate with some fruit, vanilla and smoke.

Appearance is black as in the name with a medium tan head that behaves like a standard schwarzbier or porter.

Taste is essentially a top notch milk stout, sweet dark chocolate with a slightly smoked finish. If I had to guess what the style was I would have gone with a milk stout, not a schwarzbier.
There are notes of apple wood smoked chicken with a tangy BBQ sauce inthe finish. The mild smoke aftertaste lingers for a long time. A very tasty dark lager that gets my highest respect.

wattoclone, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly cola colored dark roasted malt color with light beige tan head, fine speckled lacing. Aroma has smoked malt complexity a touch of campfire, nice dark roasted malts (hints of iced coffee/caramelized sugars) and just barely a hint of anise crosses the senses. Flavors meld nicely balancing the caramelized sugars/dessert qualities that I smell are more of the black patent dark roast, iced dark coffee nuttiness, and cherry wood smoked qualities (no clue which wood they actually smoked the malt with). I like the bitter/dry finish it provides here. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied smokey dark lager, slightly burnt acrid finish. All of the flavor components come together I'm a fan.

WVbeergeek, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

This black lager can be characterized as a balanced cross between a rauchbier andf a Schwarzbier
Pours a very dark brown, looking black and opaque int the glass. Red-brown highlights at the edges under light. The tan head has fair retention. Limited spotty lacing is left behind.

Aroma & Flavor: The smoke is light in the nose but significantly more pronounced in tasting, lingering on in the aftertaste with some expresso. Char is light and this avoids overly burnt flavors. A touch of sourness. Dark roasted grains are, of course, dominant.

Feel: medium-bodied; semi-dry finish; medium carbonation.

chinchill, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Brenden
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This black lager is very much what I anticipate in a good Schwarzbier, a very dark brown with red-brown highlights. On top rests a tan head nearly a finger high, a little sparse but fairly solid considering. Retention is pretty good, as is the mostly spotty lacing this beer leaves behind it.
This is a well-balanced, fully structured beer with all the elements one would hope for, working together as they should, and with the strength they ought to show. The smoke is a primary characteristic in the malts, which provide a firm basis for this beer, while a light note of earth and flora from hops is enough to add balance and depth. Char is light and avoids astringency.
Excellent workmanship is further displayed in the flavor, in similar fashion to the aroma. Smoke is primary, the malts make a strong foundation, and I'm not surprised to find that "apple smoked grain" is added to the grains roasted in the oven, as there's a soft, even, sweet apple flesh note all the way through, and in good proportion. Roast, of course, is extremely evident, and it gives light supporting notes of dark cocoa, nuts, and coffee.
It's a medium-bodied dark beer, as it should be. It's got a nice mingling on the palate of both crispness and smoothness. Smoke lingers gently into an evenly semi-dry finish that's clean and, like aroma and flavor, avoids astringency.

Brenden, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of Mtooman
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Mtooman, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of marmstrong1212
4/5  rDev +1.5%

marmstrong1212, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Griffith, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

tdm168, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Lanstrum
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Lanstrum, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of bgage1955
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%

bgage1955, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of Bung
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Nearly opaque black-brown pour. Layer of cream colored head.

Aroma, roasted malt, peat and a nuttiness. Some dark chocolate and herbal notes.

Taste, Solid, roast malt, peat, dark chocolate. Coffee and a very faint herbal anise bitterness.

Very drinkable, heavy side of light body. A correct amount of carbonation to keep it pretty easy to drink, could be a bit sticky without it.

Really well done. Doesn't have those funny lager-y flavors that some of these tend to get. Could easily fit into the bottom of the top ten for the style.

Bung, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of Gregvg
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Gregvg, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of campfirebrew
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

campfirebrew, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a beer flute

A - It is a dark beer with ruby highlights. It is a little darker than a bock. It had very little beige head that was gone in a second.

S - I definitely get some smoke. I also smell some dark chocolate. I wasn't expecting that out of this beer. The smoke smell is like a campfire with maybe some pork and s'mores cooking on it. It is more smoke than food smelling.

T - The taste starts out with a smokey taste. Then I get that dark chocolate taste. I thought I was imagining it in the smell. The two flavors seem to share equal time on my palate.

M - Moderate with medium to low carbonation.

O - I tried one of there the other day, but didn't remember it being so good. I love the interplay of the smoke and dark chocolate. Thirsty Dog is stepping up their game. I am glad to see it. I enjoy their beer.

buschbeer, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—when held up to a bright light traces of dark brown are perceptible near the edges of the glass. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts are present in the nose along with some hints of roasted malts and smoked malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that there are also some hints of chocolate malts. Slight bits of bitterness are also perceptible. The taste becomes a little more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and the subtleness of the roasted and smoked malts would probably make this a good introductory beer for someone new to the style.

metter98, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of civicm87
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

civicm87, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of damndirtyape
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%

12oz bottle poured into a Shaker Pint Glass. No date.

Appearance: Black to cola brown at the edges with some ruby red highlights. Very small thin tan ring at the edge. No foam or lacing.

Smell: Smoky, ashy, hint of cocoa powder.

Taste: Chocolate with a smoky coffee accent to it. Has a bitter finish that is again smoky and like very dark roast espresso.

Mouthfeel: Thick. Approaching creamy. Light carbonation.

Overall / drinkability: This beer goes very well with beef, which was a beef and noodle casserole for dinner. Even by itself this beer is quite good and can be a bit of a dessert as well. As for drinkability though, I find one is enough per evening. I am not sure I could have another as I'm sated after this one beer.

damndirtyape, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of nitter
4/5  rDev +1.5%

nitter, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of DrDemento456
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Summer release? Damn no wonder I couldn't find it anywhere. I picked up a bottle of this for 1.99 from Vintage Estate.

A - Ok as expected for almost a year old I get little head just a ring that settles to nothing, No sediment which is nice and the beer itself Is a thick dark brown. Syrup like.
S - Mild notes of liquid smoke. Touch of char roast and some chocolate malts. Some sweeter malts but they are faint.
T - I do taste the peat and smoked malts both are faint with a touch of coffee and chocolate malts.
M - Still drinks rather well medium to heavy in body. Slick.

Overall it held up quite well for 9+ months but I would love to try it fresh. Fresh it may have more smoke and carbonation.

DrDemento456, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

pathman, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of csustar001
4/5  rDev +1.5%

csustar001, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a small khaki head which fades quickly and leaves decent lacing. The aromas are very nice. Lots of chocolate malts with some subtle hints of smoke. It has porter/stout-like aromas. The flavors are crisp and refreshing. Lots of milk chocolates and caramel. Tobacco and toffee is in the mix as well. The smoke is definitely there, but it's subtle in the flavors as well. Very robust and hearty flavors. Mouthfeel is thick for a lager. Feels like it's on the heavier side of medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Really nice stuff.

Great stuff. This brew is well crafted and well executed. Really nice. Recommended.

BB1313, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured this one slightly slower than normal. I got a finger of mocha colored head over a nearly black body. Head retention is very nice, and lace clings like a sheet to the glass.

This one smells smoky and malty up front. I believe I also get medium roast coffee and a hint of chocolate.

The taste is lighter than the nose by a little. It is still smoky with toasted malt up front. I get a bit of coffee, more or less overpowering a dirty, gardeny hop flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and creamier than expected in a lager. It coats the tongue right down the middle.

CFHMagnet, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of schaffer9252
4/5  rDev +1.5%

schaffer9252, Jun 14, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.