Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

852 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 44
Gots: 95 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mduncan on 07-29-2011

Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke,and coffee accompany a full bodied-and sweet chocolately malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally grown unmalted barley from MA.

25 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 852 | Reviews: 151
Reviews by Botulizard:
Photo of Botulizard
4.81/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Rich, deep, dark brown. Bears a strong resemblance to black coffee. A slightly lighter color, I'd call it a very dark amber, becomes visible at the very top and bottom of the glass or when viewed in the right light. An initial head of about one half-inch dissipates fairly quickly, leaving minimal lacing (if any at all) around the edge of the glass.

S: The nose is predominantly smoky, and very pleasant. Complimentary to the smoke, the nose has an almost, I might say, meatiness to it. Reminds me very much of smoked ham or bacon.

T: Taste is very similar to the nose, with a pleasantly bitter, almost chocolatey finish.

M: Like most dark beers, there's a heavy, sort of chewy mouthfeel here.

O: This is a great beer with a lot of character and very pleasant qualities. I really enjoy the smokiness. Despite being heavy, I feel that this beer can be enjoyed any time of the year. I highly recommend it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours into a becker a roasted chestnut brown with a half finger light beige head atop.Smoke,caramel,brown sugar,and German malts in the nose with that light tinge of iron.Smoke up front on the palate but not in your face a little earth and some brown sugar-like sweetness to round it out.A pretty solid rauchbier good smoke without being overbearing.

Photo of MadScientist
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown beer with a deep ruby hue and excellent clarity. The head is persistent and pours with two fingers of fine tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass.

S: A moderately-light Munich malt aroma with a lesser amount of smoke, light notes of dark roast malt and clean malt sweetness along with a hint of chocolate.

T: The German malt dominates with a light malt sweetness and smoke flavors. There is a light chocolate flavor along with some dark malt character. There is a moderate hops bitterness and the clean malt sweetness fades mid palate making for a balance the is slight towards the bitter. The finish is off-dry with an aftertaste of smoke and dark malt.

M: A lightly creamy, medium-light bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A very well crafter beer with an excellent balance of flavors; the smoke flavor builds as you enjoy the beer but the other elements come through as well. The brew combined the best elements of Smoked Porter and Schwarzerbier.

Photo of SmellTheGluv
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Yes what new four yesterday

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, dark brown in color, hazy

Smell: smoke and dark chocolate

Taste: smoky malt dominates with a nice mixture of dark chocolate and some milk chocolate

Mouthfeel:sweet and smoky with light earthy bitterness, medium-high carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Overall: Nice and chocolaty rauch. Ranks right up there with the best I have had being produced in the states. The chocolate element distinguishes this beer from others in the category. Probably my second favorite from the brewery only behind Leisure Time lager.

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smoke & Dagger opens to a rich, smoky, malty nose that bears instant resemblance to freshly-ground coffee, smoky peat, and campfire made of pitchy pine branches. Touches of ash and tobacco add more earthiness. A good layer of caramel, brown sugar, and coffee cream helps temper the dark, smoky notes, joined by light touches of chocolate, and lighter touches of cherry, fig, and berry fruit esters, these latter notes fading deep into the background the way good spices complement a meal without being immediately noticeable. Good layers of brown bread, floury baguette, yeasty wheat dough, and toast crust add further dimension and complexity. As a whole, the nose is very nice, featuring a well-balanced mix of sugars, breads, and piney resins, with a superb smoky peat overtone that plays well off of the darker notes.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a nice, immediate shot of campfire smoke, ash, tobacco, smoky peat, and coffee, quickly joined by strong caramel, cream, and brown sugar threads, and instantly recalls creamed coffee sipped in a smoke-filled bar. The piney notes from the hops blend nicely with the smoke and ash to further amplify the campfire/smoky peat notes, balanced nicely enough that they play well with the cream and sugar, and don’t overwhelm the palate. Brown breads and yeasty dough add further texture. In subsequent sips the finer nuanced of this initial flavor fade slightly, but a good coffee, cream, caramel, and tobacco flavor still remains. The latter part of the mouthful in all cases becomes more heavily ashy as the sugars die off, and the aftertaste is largely ash and tobacco, with some lingering sugars and creams. Mouthfeel is a slick medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is very nice fare, boasting a well-rounded, nicely balanced, and flavorful body that is everything a schwarzbier should be, with a tantalizing touch of smoky peat added that pushes the flavors to wonderful heights. It’s not necessarily a beer that brings anything new to the style, but instead prefers to set itself aside by being simply a finely-crafted example, and a model of understated perfection in craft.

Photo of far333
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut colored with ruby highlights, a low wispy beige head settles out quickly. Aroma of darkly toasted malt, semi sweet, hint of smoke.

Flavor matches the nose, dark malt, hint of smoke, some cocoa, mild bitterness, no hop flavor, note of coffee and cola. Creamy mouthfeel. Really good beer.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing black in the glass with a slightly tanned head on top. The head is fairly quick to fizzle away, not leaving much lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: The beechwood smoked malts are the first thing I notice. Chocolate malts bring up the rear adding a touch of dark fruit to the aroma as well. Touch of nuttiness.

T: Not as powerful of a flavor as i expected based on the aroma. Instead it is a finely tuned balanced blend. Smoked malts are much lighter giving way to the sweet chocolatier notes. Lager qualities add some bready and cracker depth.

M: Light body with a mild carbonation. Perhaps a tad thin or watery.

Overall this is a tasty brew with smoke quality that pairs nicely with the roasted malts.

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wtfdic for this one!

A: Pours a deep brown color with a two finger tan head on top. Great head retention with thin lacing forming all around the glass.

S: Definitely some chocolate malt with hints of coffee, faint smoke.

T: Light smoky flavor mixed with some dark chocolate backed up by a bit of earthy hops.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

O: Another solid beer from JA. Though it would be smokier, but it wasn't over the top and blended nicely with the rest of the flavors.

Photo of CoffeePorter
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, kind of resembles the color of root beer.
Smells like toasted bread, some caramel like sweetness and a bit nutty.
Tastes a bit burnt, some mild bitterness and hints of bread along with a nice sweet tasting finish.
Some mild carbonation, smooth mouthfeel, light like a lager.
Definitely the best lager i've had up to this point!

Photo of DrewShal9
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Redbones in Davis Square, Somerville MA.
A: black as midnight body with a thick yet quickly dissolved head. When held to the light, there is a chocolate tinge.
S: a light smokiness with a prominent chocolatey sweetness. Not very smoky for a rauchbier but still very inviting.
T: just as the nose indicates there is more chocolate than smoke.
M: very little to no carbonation with a thin body.
O: went very well with the bbq I had at Redbones. Definitely would drink this brew again.

Photo of Roguer
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely beautiful beer! Tons of thick, thick lacing left behind from a very firm tan head. Very good retention. The beer is dark purplish-brown, not quite black.

Toffee, chocolate, and dates come forth, riding a subtle wave of smoke. The malts really shine in this beer, but the aroma isn't particularly strong.

Flavor is very similar to the nose, featuring a bit of dark cacao, slightly sour dark fruit (dates, figs), toffee, roasted grains, and finally a nice, subtle wave of smoke on the back-end. Not a lot of bacon or ham, like some smoked beers, but more of a woody smokiness.

Very smooth and lively feel, fairly light, but full-flavored. Long, sticky aftertaste, which allows the smoke flavor to linger long after the sip is gone.

This is a very tasty Rauchbier (Black Lager according to JA), eminently drinkable and approachable. A great choice for a slightly darker beer on a hot day.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours black except around the edges there's a little ruby. One finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Smell isn't robust but not necessarily thin- dark roasted malt smell that I've come to associate with stouts but a little smokey as well.

Taste is great- roasted malts hit up front, followed by a slight smokiness, a little yeast, and finished out with nice sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is solid- medium light body (can't say light cause it's a dark beer) with a light and smooth lager carbonation. The more you drink, the more the smoke comes through. This would be excellent with anything grilled.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. A little transparent. Medium collar.

Smell - Smokey and a little meaty. Coffee. Deep caramel and toffee.

Taste - Smokey. Coffee roasted malt. Some sweetness. A bit of maltiness. Caramel.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Some bitterness.

Overall - Tasty, but after the Fire in the Ham, not quite as good.

Photo of tkelley
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - really dark but not quite black, red hues. Pale, lingering head with moderate lacing.

N - woody and smoky. Chocolate roast too.

T - close to the smell. Nice and chocolatey roasted character with obvious smoke features. An appropriate level of smoke.

M - goes down easy. Medium to low carbonation. Sits easily in the mouth with being an agitator.

O - really well done. Love the combo of smoke and chocolate. Would be a great camping beer.

Cheers!

Photo of Kinsman
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown color with a creamy light tan colored head on top. A nice smoky whiff greets you before the lighter sweet chocolate and roasty notes come through.

Well balanced smoke and malt flavors make for a tasty beverage. Rich chocolate and roasted coffee alongside a subtly fruity malt character. Beechwood smoke bursts through to offset some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light and velvety smooth. Overall, a very tasty beverage sure to please any smoked beer fan.

Photo of bum732
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

S: Light coffee roast, hints of smoke, cocoa powder, light vanilla

L: Black, creamy light tan head with solid retention and lacing.

T: Sweet, creamy coffee-like malt with a hint of smoke. Low bitterness with a very creamy, coffee roastiness with some cocoa powder intermingling. Light smoke comes through near the finish, finishing dry and slightly roasty.

M: Medium full body, super creamy and soft on the palate. Medium low carbonation.

A really solid beer, simple flavors but executed nicely. Really dug it.

Photo of GtBoros
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoky but light flavor. Nice finish. Not bitter somewhat light on the porter side. Considered black lager.

Photo of tomtom63
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this as a Nitro pour. Excellent!

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is smokey, meaty. Taste is very smokey up front, firewood, meats, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a different and pretty good beer.

Photo of Stellartaste
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice brew in the winter. Smokey and rich flavor.

Photo of puboflyons
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle labeled mfg: 03-07-13. Sampled on July 19, 2013.

It is handsome to look at in the glass with a deep dark brown color that builds up to a delicate long-lasting off-white head.

The aroma does have some nice smoke as promised with a little coffee-like malted ester. Looking at it and smelling it invites me in to drink it.

The body was around medium but there was a kind of astringency too.

Like the aroma, the taste has a good smoked malty character that is lightly sweetened and finishes clean. Yes, I would have it again.

Photo of Tbone2131
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Love the smokey flavor, nice Smooth finish.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great to see a craft brewery out in my old hood.

Great looking beer dark black with a long lasting layer of head.

Roasty toasty and malty. Chocolate and coffee notes.

Extremely smooth. A dark drinkable lager. Very high drinkability on this one.

I am not sure if this is a Rauchbeer. There was only a small hint of smoke in this beer. Honestly I would catogorize this as a black lager. I was a bit disapointed in the muted smoke on this one. I guess I was expecting a bit more based on the name. That being said this was a delicious and highly quaffable beer. Me and my buddy Nicco took down this growler in about 30 min tops. I rarely drink beer this quickly.

This was a great beer. I usually don't go for Lagers but these guys are definately doing things right.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap: Poured a dark black color ale with a dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with light smoke notes and some dry black chocolate. Taste is an interesting mix between black chocolate and smoke with light lactose notes. Body is slightly fuller then average with medium carbonation which suits the style. Well brewed and somewhat unique. I would love to have a more regular access to this beer.

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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.