Abandon Ship Smoked Lager - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Abandon Ship Smoked Lager
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BA SCORE
83
good

41 Reviews
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 90
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 6
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: m1ked on 02-26-2008

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 90
Photo of Overlord
1.89/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light golden brown. Thin white head. Smells like smoke ... and ... jerky? Strange.

Taste is just a mess. I'm serious, I get a real beef jerky vibe from this. I have concluded that smoked beers may not be my thing. There's a bit of peat/earthiness ... maybe some malt, but boy, I can't take the smoke.

Thin mouthfeel. Didn't want to finish my glass. (358 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
2.61/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Hamilton's and looked like an amber color but it was so dark in there I could not be sure. The smell was a little odd but the taste was something else. It smelled a little smoky which was fine but then the flavor was like wet dog and smoke. It was like somebody soaked a dog in lager and then squeezed it into my glass, yuck. I drank it anyway. (354 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper with a small ring of off-white bubbles. Light aroma of smoked corn. Taste is weak until the beer warms. Once it does, it is a pleasant smoked malt with some meat/bacon flavors. A little iron. Good, but I just want more smoke in my smoked beer. (262 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

481st review on BA
Draft to taster
@Old Grove

App- This was a rusty red/brown color with no real head to it. No lace either. Color is what stuck with me.

Smell- Right up front the smoke just fills up your nostrils. I am not a smoke fan so this just wasnt for me, however, not slamming it because it could have been a lot worse.

Taste- Again, too smoky for me as it was a struggle to even finish a taster of it. The malts were nice but just too overpowered.

Mouth- Nice big mouth feel with a little bit of residual smoky wood flavors. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

Drink- It was hard to finish. There are other smoked beers a lot worse and I am sure better. This was right down the middle for me. (708 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint at O'Briens in San Diego about a month and a half ago, reviewed from notes I took on that date, think a glass cost me around five dollars but I cannot remember exactly

A-Color was a clear ruby with brown highlights, head was slightly off white and a little foamy, did not stick around long, minimal head and not much lacing either

S-Smokiness, roasted malts, earthy accents, some traces of skunkiness, burned barley, some faint meaty aromas, light coffee, caramel, grassy tones, and sweetness

T-Starts off tasting like a regular old lager, then there is some slightly chewy malt in the middle, finish is full of smokiness, for some reason I could taste some barbequed meats and bacon, my palate was going nuts, not a big fan of smoked beers but I wanted to try this one anyways, balance was decent, just wish it was not as smoky, did not change much as it warmed, smokey accents dominated any malt or hops

M-Medium body, lots of carbonation and small bubbles, creamy, slightly smoky, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingered for a little bit

D-There is a low alcohol presence and the ABV did not seem very high, taste keeps you coming back for more because of its lightness mostly, could have drank two pints and that is about it, smooth though

Never heard of this Ballast Point brew and it sparked my curiousity, so this was the first thing I ordered that day, not of their best brews but definitely a unique one, would drink again, recommended (1,451 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear brown color with some amber & ruby highlights. The head is dense and short lived, settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of a light brown malt, cinnamon, vanilla and a light smokey note. Not sure if the smoke is producing the cinnamon and vanilla notes or if they added it to the brew. Bit weird.

The taste doesn't really have a cinnamon flavor to it but does have some light vanilla notes. The base beer is light and fruity with some caramel sweetness. Decent smoke flavor but it seems a tad shallow. Quite sweet even with the smoke.

The feel is light with soft carbonation. Sweet on the palate with a light astringent character.

An average rauchbier, a bit too sweet. You would think the smoke would bring an earthy quality but no. I do think that the smoke is approriate for the body. The body is light and so is the smoke. It does drink fairly well. (880 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear, clean dark brown color, with some reddish tinges along the sides, and a good white head. On the nose, I get mostly peat smoke, along with some roasted nuts, but mostly smoke. Intense peat smoke dominates on the palate as well, hiding a nice caramel malt sweetness that lies beneath the surface. A noble, interesting and ultimately nice effort, but I know one was more than enough. (387 characters)

Photo of m1ked
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at Hamilton's, enjoyed on a slow monday after work happy hour.

A- A deep clear bronze color with thin white head.

S- Clearly smokey with a distinct odor of smoked meat.

T- Peat mossy, smokey with an obvious taste of bacon.

M- Smooth, subtle carbonation.

D- This is not my favorite style of beer, but definetly an interesting offer from BP. (368 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

This is a brown colored beer with average head and little retention on top. The nose is sweet and slightly smoked like teriyaki beef jerky. Not an intense smoked beer, this is lightly smoked with jerky-like character to it. It's got a medium feel, though at times I thought that I could chew on it.

Solid all around beer. Order a pint with food if you can find it. (408 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep reddish brown with a minmal head,aromas were very light,faint caramel and even more faint smoke are all I really picked up.Flavors are still light on the smoke but there is some good maltly sweetnes to it,brown sugar and some modest roast flavors,a light drying almost earthy finish.Not bad but not one of the higher end of the style in my modest opinion. (396 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with a light smoke flavor that lingers on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smoke is very mild in the aroma and taste. (485 characters)

Photo of Pehlman
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Beachwood BBQ the other night at their Ballast Point tasting.

A - A light amber color with fairly minimal head and little lacing as well. Might have just been the pour.

S - Very malty aroma. Smell reminded me of the Sam Adams Black Lager. Didnt notice much smokiness in the smell at all. The malts were just a little toasty smelling. Caught a bit of dark fruit in there as well.

T - Again very malty but with a smokey apple flavor. Not overly sweet, which is good IMO. Maybe even a hint of grapes in there as well.

M - Great! Carbonation was perfect. Light but not thin.

D - Good for drinking with some tasty BBQ. I couldn't really see myself just having one of these alone though. (705 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Blue Palms

A: The pour is a brownish color with some red/amber highlights to it and a soapy khaki head.

S: The nose is certainly smokey as hell. Lots of bacon bits and meat to it. There is some bready malt character to it along with a slight saltiness and charred wood note.

T: Tastes like bacon bits to start out with. There is a mild chocolate flavor which is one of the better points of the beer (as is the toffee sweetness). A bit of salt and toasted bread. The smoke is certainly there, but not as intense as the aroma.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: For a rauchbier, I thought this was pretty enjoyable. Nice depth of flavor to it. (669 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

Pours a chestnut brown color with dark amber edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Faintly smokey aroma with lots of sweet malt notes. Surprisingly lacking in smoke/rauchbier characteristics with predominantly sweet notes of toffee, caramel and hazelnut. Even when warmed up considerably, there's only subtle hints of smoke. Not bad smelling just not what i prefer for the style.

Thankfully the smokiness is more evident in the flavor than the aroma. Nice balanced of smoke and sweet malt notes with hints of charcoal, ash and smokes meat followed by caramel and toffee. Smokiness nicely integrated throughout but never becomes a smoke bomb. I generally like more smoke but this I see is well balanced, easy to drink and flavorful. (856 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This smoked lager is actually not too bad. The smokiness actually give off some kind of sweetness instead of a saltiness like some smoked beers do. The smoke is Light enough that it's doesn't over power the beer either. The color is a copper with a pretty nice head on it. The taste doesn't scream bacon which is pretty nice for a change. The beer has a medium mouthfeel that allows the drinkability to increase. Not a bad brew but it could be a little stronger. (462 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a fairly clear auburn color with some golden hues, thinner layer of beige head, a filmy collar and a few spots of lacing.

Nice smooth smokiness in the nose with malty edges and a hint of sweetness, roasted warmth with a leathery touch.

A dash of bitter hops in the beginning before a nice layer of smoked malt envelops the palate. A decent char continues with some roasty malts and a nice dollop of caramel. Faint suggestion of dark fruit sweetness. Finishes a bit smoky and warm.

Medium body, mellow carbonation, sticky and dry. Nice flavor and use of smoke, not overpowering and pretty smooth overall. (647 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a red amber with a mild off-white head, looks like an average pint, head retention is average.

S: Nice barbeque, smoke smell to it, wood notes, pleasing.

T: Upfront smoke flavour, light peatiness, not as robust as Schlenkerla but gives a noticable presence. Has a sweet maltiness to it and an off-dry finish.

M: Carbonation is quite light, thin feeling all around, effervescent, light/medium body.

D: A tasty drinkable rauchbier, went well with my BBQ brisket sandwich, an interesting offering from Ballast Point, definitely worth a try. (580 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another gem I was able to try on tap at Barleys the other night. This one I had to be honest I had never heard of before and that only made me go after it even quicker. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/17/2010.

Nice medium amber pours with touches of brown coming through as well. Light head of off white caps the top of the glass and leaves a light lacing all along the sides and bottom. Aroma is light, roasted malts, touches of peat and an ice and well rounded campfire note. Light flavor rolls in the same way. It is sort of searching for direction at times. Light caramel, hints of smoked and peat, but again light and seems to fall short of really defining the style. Light feel, well carbonated and quite easy to drink left no issues at all in the department, just really needed a bit of a push to pull it all together.

Overall not bad, but it could have been better. Still very enjoyable and a nice change to see the style on tap. (977 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's

Appearance is a clear ruby red/brown hue, minimal head and lacing, plenty of effervescent bubbles

Smell is smoke and roast malts, earthy and grassy tones, clean but underwhelming

Taste is lighter tones of smoke and roast, hints of coffee, caramel, anise, grassy hops, finishes with sweet malts and smoked meats

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, smooth and creamy texture, high and prickly carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, low alcohol presence, this is an effervescent smokey beer that is a lighter version of heavier rauchbiers, good balance but I wouldn't drink a large amount of this one (613 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a dark caramel-brown color with a creamy light tan head. The aroma has a lot of semi-sweet malts, and a good deal of smokiness. Malty taste with some smoke (not as much as in the smell). There's apples in there as well, which aren't particularly sweet at the start, but which get sweeter as you drink it. Sort of odd aftertaste; hard to describe. Medium-bodied and smooth, with light carbonation.

I've not had many Rauchbiers before, but this one seems a bit sweeter. Certainly an interesting beer to try - I enjoyed it, but I would've preferred a half-pint. (598 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at TND.

A- Abandoned Ship is a dirty red color with some amber spots throughout. Not much of a head just some loose scattered off white foam. No lacing came with this.

S- Nothing mindblowing just a light mix of peat and smoke. Not getting any hops in the nose, OK just a bit of bitterness, very faint. Some caramel from the malt. Not getting a blast of bacon like many Rauchbiers have.

T- Smoked beers are not my thing but this one was not burnt out. A nice mix of smoke and sweet malt with just a touch of hops to keep things in check. Getting some roast within as well. Probably goes well with some meat.

M- A nice bodied lager that is wearing a smoking jacket. I would say a step up in body then most lagers. Not so much carb in this. The smokey flavors stick around a bit.

D- A bit above sessionable but I would not go for another because smoked beers are not my thing, although this was the most drinkable one ive had yet. Glad I tried it out, not sure if it's bottled. (986 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a generic 20oz nonic.

Slightly reddish-brown with chestnut highlights, crowned by a thin creamy layer of beigs bubbles which laces in gradients of ribbon against the sides. Faint legs drip down quickly. Very good clarity. Average retention.

Dark malt, a hint of caramel, low roast nut notes, and an almost peaty whisper of smoke in the nose.

Well balanced, very lightly smoked malt notes, a bit of glazed carmelized oranges, toast, and German malt. Caramel is stronger in the taste than in the smell, but the finish dries up the sugars pretty well. Rather light in flavor and the smoke is almost too subtle. Shares some commonality with an English Mild in terms of the flavor profile.

Moderate carbonation, slightly soft mouthfeel.

Quite drinkable, pairs well with food, on the other hand I would prefer something more potent. A "smoked lager" maybe, but a Rauchbier? I'm not so sure... (948 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rich and slightly sweet. Smokiness is up front but not overbearing. Modest hops and less bitter than many regular lagers. It would be interesting to hop it up a little. Makes me think of a Scotch Ale. Dark amber color. Average head, some lacing but not heavy on carbonation. Pretty flat after sitting in the glass a while.

Just a tang of acidity. Pleasant nose with a whiff of the campfire. In the tulip glass at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego where ABV is listed at 7.3%. I've also seen 5.9, 6.0, 6.6%, so maybe nobody knows. (523 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Teresa's Next Door on 6/28/09.

A - Clear, deep amber brown, copper-tinged body with no visible carbonation and virtually no head or lacing, save for a slim ring around the top.

S - Subtle smokey notes up front with some sweet malts reminiscent of caramel and toffee. Some mild earthy hops peek through in the back. Not much else going on, really.

T - The smokiness really comes out in the flavor, with plenty of meaty flavor, but not over the top at all. Some light floral hops and sweet caramel malts emerge in the middle to off-set the smokey, meaty flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a light syrpuy texture that's a little thin overall. Sweet and smokey on the palate with a light hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Nice smoked beer that's not too meaty or overwhelming at all. I found this to be quite drinkable overall, as I've slowly been getting more into this style lately. (895 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

@ Raleigh Times

Dark brown with a soft white head. Aromas of Beechwood smoke, rich malt, clean lager yeast, and sweet bread with some subtle citrus. Clean, spicy, smoky flavor…rich German malt sweetness and a touch of salted caramel. Medium, crisp, and clean, with some finishing lager yeast. Pretty enjoyable and easy to drink. (331 characters)

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Abandon Ship Smoked Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.