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Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Rail Dog Smoked Black LagerRail Dog Smoked Black Lager

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

50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.23%

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
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DrDemento456


3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 01:37:47 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of CFHMagnet


3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 03:40:18 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of 57md


3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with a finger of off-white head. The head dissipated quite quickly. The nose has good roasted malt notes, but no smoke is discernible. The body of this offering is quite hearty. The roasted malts really come through in the flavor profile, but once again, the promised smoke is not present. The finish is nicely bitter.

This is a conundrum as the offering itself is a very good schwarzbier, but there is no hint of the advertised smoke.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 08:47:21 | More by 57md
Photo of BB1313


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 22:22:15 | More by BB1313
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 02:55:31 | More by Bung
Photo of superspak


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours very dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, smoke, light char, coffee, dark bread, toast, light raisin, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of smoke and roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, smoke, raisin, light char, toast, dark bread, toffee, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, smoke, light char, dark bread, toffee, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt and yeast flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice smoked schwarzbier. All around good balance, complexity, and robustness of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 07:01:15 | More by superspak
Photo of WVbeergeek


4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 05:45:12 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of hosehead83


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep black in color, with a nice two-inch collar of tamn foam.
Aroma-Dark, smoked malts
Taste-Dark toasted malt, smoked malt, bakers chocolate, roasty. Very well-balanced and smooth. An excellent match for BBQ, smoked meats, or a hunk of aged Gouda.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 20:04:07 | More by hosehead83
Photo of Brenden


4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 00:50:18 | More by Brenden
Photo of WillCarrera


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no bottle date, poured into a nonic pint.

A- Pours black with an inch of tan head, nice retention and lacing.

S- Milk chocolate, coffee beans, a bit of fruitiness and smoke.

T- The flavor reminds me a bit of porters like Edmund Fitzgerald but with a bit more smoke. Lots of milk chocolate, iced coffee flavor, also a bit of toffee and fruit, roasty bitterness is minimal.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, soft, feel.

O- A very nice beer, highly drinkable stuff, everything here is smooth and nicely rounded, a good six-pack option.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 05:40:35 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of buschbeer


4.21/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 01:10:30 | More by buschbeer
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 21:31:42 | More by oberon
Photo of hustlesworth


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- totally black with a shred of mahogany at the bottom of the glass. Nice khaki colored head drops thick rings of lace.

S- chocolatey and roasted with coffee and burnt caramel. Praline and toffee in there too with light applewood smoke and hazelnut, whiskey barrel, pipe tobacco.

T- cocoa and vanilla with a deep roasted flavor and some dark fruits. Coffee comes out near the end with barely perceptible smoke along with brown sugar, roasted nuts, and cucumber (very oddly, but it works). Earthy herbal hops can be sensed in the long roasted finish with soil, stone and damp wood.

MF- full and thickly juicy with well behaved carbonation. Coating roasted feeling on the cheeks with some residual burnt type sweetness and the tiniest pleasant flicker of alcohol warmth.

D- pretty good version of a kinda higher octane schwarzbier. Not smoky enough to go all Rauchbier on em, but enough to impart some character.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 03:34:59 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of wattoclone


4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 17:21:02 | More by wattoclone
Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.