Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing
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Ratings: 568 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
3.95/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
Serving type: bottle
11-07-2012 20:45:40 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.