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Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: hustlesworth on 06-19-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 27
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of avalon07
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a dark brown color with a thick texture. There was a two inch, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of roasted malt and a smoky quality.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, and the smokiness. This is, in general, a well balanced flavor. It's not overly malty as some German style beers are and the smoky quality is kept in check.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While not exactly a groundbreaking beer, Rail Dog is easy to drink and focused.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Brenden
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with a frothy tan head that lingers.

Smoke and deeply toasted, nutty malt form the initial aroma, with notes of chocolate and tar adding complexity.

The flavor follows suit, with chocolate and nutty, toasted malt serving as a base that's accented by smoke, tar, and a tangy, metallic, slightly sour character.

Body is fairly thin, with carbonation on the high side and slight alcohol warmth.

The sour character, lightness of body, and high carbonation lead me to believe that this beer may be infected. I like the subtlety of the smoke character, and the malt is wonderful, so I'm ignoring the flaw in my score.

Photo of Bung
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of crobinso
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of thecheapies
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Brown-black beer with a lovely looking beige head. Laces nicely.

Nose is interesting. Roasty malt, some Germanic Schwarzbier mustiness, but mostly, a hearty dry smoke. Not an overwhelming smoke, in intensity, but it is the primary aroma.

Earthy bitterness, mild smokiness, bitter oats, bittersweet chocolate, and all with some late lagery crispness. Impressive layers of flavor. Very easy to enjoy, although I wish there was more carbonation.

Photo of hilgart1
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

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Rail Dog Smoked Black Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.