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Abandon Ship Smoked Lager - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Abandon Ship Smoked Lager
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41 Reviews
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 90
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 7
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 90
Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If there is a style secondary to American IPAs and Czech Pilseners for me, it is rauchbier. This was presented to me with a finger of tawny head erupting with CO2 bubbles and evincing good retention. Nose had a slightly smoky sweetness, like a mild BBQ sauce. Color was a deep reddish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a good deal of smoke on the tongue. Warming, the malt became a bit more forward, making it taste like hickory or maple wood-smoke cured bacon. The finish filled my sinuses with that bacon-like flavor. I found it pleasant, but it may not be for everyone. This would be outstanding with BBQ ribs, no doubt.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Tap and Table in Emmaus PA for $6/pint. I thought this was a wonderfully balanced smoked beer. It appeared a slightly hazy brown with no head. The aroma was a bit simple with liquid smoke, but the flavor was a tasty mix of molasses, milk chocolate, bacon (yum), caramel, and toffee. The aftertaste is a bit thin, but the basic profile is delicious. Definitely worth a try if you a smokey, but not all-smoke beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the craft ale house the other day. Talk about a pleasant surprise seeing this beer.

The beer pours a striking brown amber color with good head retention and OK lacing. Surprisingly, I didn't get a lot on the nose, just some very light smoke and charred wood. Consequently, I was all the more surprised and impressed by the flavor profile on this beer. There is a moderately sweet, liquid smoke flavor, coupled with a smoked salmon flavor. The sweetness is not over done and plays well with the smoke. Mouthfeel is very nice and full, with a viscuousness to it that I was impressed to see. The beer is very long on the finish, and is just flat out impressive. As for drinkability, normally I find it hard to drink too much of these smoked beers, as over time the smokiness overwhelms me. Not with this beer. I could easily knock back several at a sitting.

Another fine beer from this impressive Southern California brewery.

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Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 03/27/2009 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

A dark, caramel-brown hued beer with good clarity. Not much head, just some bubbles atop the fluid.

Aroma is, not surprisingly, smoky. Some sweet malts bring up the rear.

Flavor is somewhat nutty and meaty; reminds me of roasted peanuts and smoked bacon. Smoke flavor is prominent, though not overbearing. Notable (presumably) Munich malt backbone in this beer is reminiscent of a marzen/oktoberfest, which is apparently style-correct. Huh.

Anyway, the mouthfeel is slightly dry but otherwise unremarkable. There is a lingering smoky bitter aftertaste. I had no trouble finishing this pint.

My girlfriend tried a bit and declared it "bitter bacon water that goes down smooth".

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Photo of Pehlman
3.57/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of jgap
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a dark lager with a brown-orange hue and very little head that somehow fades to less head. No matter, if it's a good beer it will taste good, right? Smell is smokey. Like smoked ham and charred toffee or caramel. Taste is crisp caramel that fades to toasty toffee finally finishing with a strong, deep smoke malt. Quite a lot of taste- it finally finishes in a long, barley-smoke aftertaste. Warms to even more smoke. Great smoked lager!

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Photo of magictrokini
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado San Diego. Not exactly what I expected with a name like "Abandon Ship". I thought it would be richer and fuller, but I guess I should never judge a beer by its name. It's a dark amber-red-chestnut in color beneath an off-white head. Head retention and lacing are limited. The aroma is clearly smoky, but it doesn't beat you over the head. It's bacon/wood/BBQ over a moderately caramelish malt base. The smokiness is probably from Beechwood but I can't be certain. The flavor is pretty much as the nose suggests, with the addition of a hint of roastiness, and some mild grassy hops. The bitterness is balancing, and the smokiness does the rest. It's medium-light in body and moderately carbonated. Overall, it's a fairly drinkable pint but I don't think that there's enough malt there to sustain the smokiness for more than one or two. It's interesting though, in that it's fairly restrained, and that makes it pretty unique.

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Photo of Overlord
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
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

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of m1ked
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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