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Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

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BA SCORE
88
very good

726 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 726
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 39
Gots: 55 | 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:
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 added by: mduncan on 07-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 726 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is named after Jack’s Abby’s two brewery cats, Smoke and Dagger. It pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black, but sits in the glass as just plain clean black with a light white fluffy head that has the barest hints of tan in it. On the nose, the beer smells nicely smoked with rich beechwood notes and slight chocolate and black coffee. The beer smells very much of woodsy smoke, but the smell still carries the clean lager aromatics that are expect from the style. I was hoping for a little more pungency, but now that the beer is before me I think too much smell would off-put its lager qualities and ruin the beer. On the taste, the beer is richly layered with woodsy smoke. In the initial gulp there is big Beachwood notes that are slowly enveloped with rich smoke and then roasted chocolate malts, and then rich dark coffee, all the while shinning with the rich complexities of the beechwood. In the middle of the taste the chocolate malts do provide a slight burp of sweet that borders on strange, but is quickly enveloped by the other complexities of the beer, and dutifully managed. Citrus is also present in the taste as a faint ghost that haunts the latter half of the swallow. The aftertaste of this beer is light with Beechwood smoke and hints of coffee, but nothing more. This beer is meaty with flavor, and deliciously easy to sip. On the mouth, the beer feels thin, crisp, and refreshing, as all lagers should. Carbonation is effervescent but not prickly, working to nicely cleanse the palate and ready it for another sip. After each sip the mouth is left only slightly dry with woodsy smoke and with the faintest hints of sticky saliva griming the tongue and roof of the mouth with the sweet smoke taste. Overall this beer is another success from Jack’s Abby, I think I like it more than the version brewed with coffee, as this beer stands perfectly on its own, and I feel that the coffee cuts through some of the complex flavors of this beer. This beer is very drinkable and completely worthy of a try, with great locally sourced ingredients and an even better taste. It even pairs well with Gorgonzola cheese! Try this beer!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +1%

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 braugon
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MadScientist
4.64/5  rDev +18.7%
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 Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of woodchipper
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of MJLatimer
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mctizzz
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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 olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of JC333
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of standardcherry
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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 Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of juicebox
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of sourdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of butters_mcgee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of far333
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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 doremite
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.