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Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

508 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%

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: 508 | Reviews: 112 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured on nitro-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, rich, ruby-hazelnut coloring that comes with a decent cascade. After the fireworks settle, you end up with a thick, dense, creamy tan head. Looks great, and always fun to watch. Aromas of coffee and chocolate, both roasted bitter and creamy, with a toffee highlight. This smells like a sweettooth satisfier. Flavors are roasted and slightly smokey initially, with a nutty and coffee backbone. The smoke continues throughout as there is an unveiling of charcoal and campfire qualities that take over the palate. Toffee sweet intertwines through the palate as a highlight and backbone at the same time. The body is light and crisp, almost to the point of being watered down. Great, coating cling along the glass as you drink. The aftertaste is smokey, with a dose of the rich, sweet background flavors. Smooth, creamy and clean finish, this is a tasty brew. Very drinkable and very tasty.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-12-2012 16:39:23 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/17/12 notes. Had this on nitro-tap at a bar right outside Boston, MA. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours an almost black brown color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like a great stout.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, light milk chocolate, smoke, cream, and some light caramel malts. Smoke is light which I enjoy.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, toasted malts, dark chocolate, cream, smoke, ham, milk chocolate, and toffee. A little more smoke here than the nose, but still not overbearing.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Body is super smooth and creamy, and insanely easy to drink. Nitro-pour does wonders for this one and the body. Very drinkable.

o - Overall a pretty good beer; kind of reminds me of Guinness Light with a hint of smoke. Tons of roasted malts and chocolate along with light smoke, and easy to drink. Would like to have again, and would jump to have it again on nitro-tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-22-2012 15:30:50 | More by mdfb79
Photo of dar482

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer looks like a porter in an opaque dark brown/black color in a light brown head.

The aroma has brown sugar, caramel, toasted malt, a bit of lightly roasted malt, some Jack’s Abby lager yeast, some hints of fruit apple peel, cherry skin. The smoked malt adds a hint of depth, but is surely not in your face.

The flavor follows with tons of complexity. A toasted nutty malt, caramel sweetness, and robust malt character. Lots of lager carbonation tickling the tongue with some lager yeast quality. The beer moves onto some lightly roasted coffee, a bit of roasted bitterness.

I would equate this almost to a brown ale/light porter. Just beautiful stuff. A love how much complexity they could squeeze into this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 03:22:31 | More by dar482
Photo of KelsoSaaz


4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pokal

A: Pours a deep, barely transparent, brown that turns to pure black. Creamy, tan, 2 finger head that leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Musty attic smell, cacao, and a hint of woodsmoke

T: Black coffee and dark chocolate mix with smoky bacon flavors. Toasted marshmallow and some earthy flavor notes as well. Espresso-like bitterness lasts in the finish.

M: Medium to light body with moderate carbonation.

O: This beer to me is ¾ schwarzbier and ¼ rauchbier. This combination works so well here in Smoke & Dagger. Drinkable and with tons of flavor, this could be a great session beer. The unique profile of this beer makes it ripe for some great food parings. If you see this give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 00:22:10 | More by KelsoSaaz
Photo of gonzo000


4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An Excellent beer. I find myself going back to it time and time again at locations such as the Yard House, where there are 100 + beers on tap.

A - Deep dark beer with almost a smoky haze

S - Smell of faint smoke - not overpowering - which is a big win for this beer

T - Taste of light smoke, and creaminess.

M - A bit waxy in the mouth, but not overwhelming

O - Great beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2014 00:48:58 | More by gonzo000
Photo of pubby


4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown edges to light brown edges. Just right on the carbonation
S: Chocolate malt with a dry smoke smell.
T: Really drinkable, dark cherry with a clean but not heavy body at all. not really bitter at all
O: Paired great with the Malaysian ribs.
Left me wanting more, Great finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 08:23:36 | More by pubby
Photo of jbaker67


3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours murky cola brown with a thin tan head. Nose is chocolate malt, subtle dry smoke, and a real light cherry sweetness. The taste is really drinkable, with light smokiness, a bit of dark cherry, more chocolatey malt, and a dry, roasty bitter finish. Smooth and soft in the mouth, with just enough carbonation. Really easy drinking, smooth and quenching. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 13:13:16 | More by jbaker67
Photo of DrJay


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby edges and a short, dense cap of dark tan foam. Lots of lacing. Looks nice! Smoky aroma that mellowed after some time in the glass, rich malts, biscuity and slightly nutty, faint hop notes. Moderate bitterness with sweet maltiness, more biscuit, nutty finish with mild smoke. Really clean yeast profile. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation, off-dry. I quite enjoyed this beer. The smoke character is generally mild, which works for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 01:04:39 | More by DrJay
Photo of Gwalchgwynn67

New York

4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with just a hint of ruby on the edges. Aromas of roasted coffee and dark cocoa nibs. Very nice balance of hoppy character and malty sweetness. It's bitter coffee up front and a clean, crisp finish that leaves a resiny hops bite on the back palate. The description of it being a cross between a rauch and a schwartzbier is apt. The smokiness is there, especially on the nose, but it's not all in your face. The flavor and body are much more schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 04:33:13 | More by Gwalchgwynn67
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.64/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 00:55:17 | More by MadScientist
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

fun beer from jacks abby, sort of a cross between a schwarz and a rauchbier, being a darker smoked lager type. medium brown color to this with great carbonation, a one inch off white head, and picture perfect ring lacing as it drinks. the nose is not as smoked as I anticipated, more spiced than smoked really, with some chocolate malt and a range of other well toasted grains. lager yeast abounds. the flavor is still only lightly smoked, subtle, especially in a rauchbier context. darker malt gives some earthy character without a ton of sweetness, and there is an astonishing lack of body for the color, a really nice feature lending to drinkability. well carbonated and the finish is light smoke and wintery spice, a nice combination. not much hops though, but they aren't really missed. I like that complexity of this, especially for a lager. jacks abby has really redefined what it means to be a lager, and beers like this are a perfect example of their crusade against convention.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 18:31:53 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Omnium


4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pitch black with a thin layer of khaki fizzy head, no lacing.
S - Roasted chocolate malts, and some hazelnut, nice mild smokey aroma, some light woody tones.
T - Excellent balance of smoked flavor and sweet roasted malt, dark chocolate, some light earthy hop tones underneath it all, toasted nuts, and a touch of hickory.
M - Clean, not heavy at all, but full feeling.
O - Excellent beer, this is an incredibly smooth full flavored and balanced beer. It has the smoothness of a black lager with the touches of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 00:51:13 | More by Omnium
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.8/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 02:08:41 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of DefenCorps


3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Julio's.

Pouring black with reddish dark brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense,brown head that falls off to a thin disk leaving little lacing. The nose is wonderfully roasty, smoky and moderately chocolatey. The smoke character is slightly "wet"; it brings to mind the smoke from wood that isn't completely dry. A moderate caramel/chocolate sweetness is present behind it, along with a mild hop character (mint, herbs, pine). Very nice.

The palate opens with a blend dark chocolate, smoke and a little coffee. Dark caramel sweetness is present, along with a robust bitterness. The label mentions that this skirts the line between porter and schwarzbier and I see why - the blend of chocolate, smoke, grainy acidty and German hop character brings to mind just that. Medium-light in body and with a medium-high level of carbonation, this feels quite good on the palate. The carbonation does thin out the mouthfeel a little bit, though. Smoke and dark chocolate linger on the finish. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 04:51:32 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 04:27:47 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of stephens101


4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Off the tap at Mule Bar, Winooski, Vt.

One finger of resilient tan head on a dark brown brew. Smells of caramel, plum and a bit of spent grain. Tastes of more caramel and black licorice and has a slight smokiness. Light to medium and edgy going down. Becomes more woody and smoky as it goes. Fine, fine drinking on a snowy Vermont eve.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2013 00:18:55 | More by stephens101
Photo of Andrew041180


3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown mahogany, with the reddish highlights visible under certain lighting conditions. Normal pour produces about two fingers worth of bubbly head that recedes slowly into a creamy film. Lacing is present, but does not stay on the sides of the glass.

S - Very nice volume. Not overpowering, but easy to pick up. Dominant smell is roasty coffee, subdued sweetness, and a hint of the smoke that the beer is named after.

T - I'm not a huge fan of stout-like beers, but this one was quite pleasant! Follows the nose, and that smokey sensation that was barely present in the nose provides a really nice backdrop for the dominant coffee flavor. The roastiness isn't overpowering, and the flavors are all very complimentary.

M - So good. I can't say enough about how well Jack's Abby nails the feel of its beers. Medium-full bodied with a rich, creamy sensation. A little bit of cushiness from carbonation that isn't really visible. Clean, refreshing finish.

O - I picked this up because it is from Jack's Abby, not because it is a Rauchbier, which is a new style to me. This is the sort of beer that makes me want to further explore a style. Recommend, also goes great with food!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 01:24:56 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coco-Cola color body, including the ruby highlights. No carbonation visible though. Four fingers of whipped light ran foam. No lacing.

Aroma is light heavy, with coffee and chocolate undercurrents.

Taste begins with coffee and chocolate. Smoke builds throughout and mingles into a later, larger coffee taste.

Light and smooth mouthfeel, appropriate to the style.

Well made. Tasty. Deft touch with the smoke. Worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 05:03:39 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of BradMacMullin


4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Champions. Seems Jacks Abbey is everywhere these days. This was billed as a smokey dark beer, which I am always hit or miss with. This poured a very dark color with little head. Very malty and caramels smell, and the taste doesn't disappoint. Nice crisp taste and the hints of smoke are not overwhelming which I like. I could have a couple of these. Like this a lot

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2013 18:10:00 | More by BradMacMullin
Photo of stakem


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. 12oz poured into a snifter. The brew appears a dark brown to black with brown clarity around the edges and a tan finger of head. The cap fades leaving spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is earthen and roasty with a pleasant woody smokiness. The smoke is the leading character of the aromatics but it is not dominating and over-done by any means. Very nicely done.

The flavor is roasty with a hint of citrus hops and minor fruity quality. Earthen with almost a touch of molasses and plum-like fruity alcohol character. The smoke is present but seems much more focused in the aromatics.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is pleasantly smokey but with plenty of other character to take in as well. Very easy drinking and crisp. Thanks again for this one Heath.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 19:31:01 | More by stakem
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful dark brown. Burnt walnut with some ruby hues and a dark caramel. The colors are soft and pleasing. The beer has excellent clarity and if you look deeply you can see light lager bubbles rising. Fat finger and a half of tan creamy foam that fell slowly and leaves a sheet of wet lace to slid back down into the glass on each sip. The nose is light smoke and roasted grain. A bit of coffee and smooth chocolate. It has a malt sweetness underneath but it stays true to a lager scent. Smells a lot like a schwarzbier. The taste is perfect lightness. The smoke doesn't overpower the roasted grains which are sturdy but not burned. The coffee and chocolate stay smooth and well blended. The body is thin but the taste is full. The malt does not get sweet nor does the chocolate and the taste of the almost blackened grain is truly spectacular.

This is a fantastic beer that is lighter than you might expect and yet still has all the beechwood smoke flavor you want. It is a roasted malt paradise for the eyes and for the palate. The full bodied taste is not heavy and the mouthfeel is silky and smooth. There is a touch of hop floral on it that livens the dark flavors but doesn't compete with them. It has the faintest touch of fruit. Another great beer from Jack's Abby.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 15:56:35 | More by utopiajane
Photo of jmdrpi


3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, stamped 7.12.2013

appears a dark brown, not quite black. off white head that fades. smells a bit of smoke in the aroma, charcoal. taste is slightly roasty, some smoke the taste too. clean flavor. medium body, moderate carbonation. easy to drink.

overall - I don't get any of the chocolate malt indicated on the label, but still a good dark lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 03:49:04 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of JMScowcroft


4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jack's Abby Brewing - Smoke & Dagger, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a thinner black and settles with a small foamy head that dissipates with little to no retention. Some lacing.

Smell - Chocolate malts and smoked malts. Touch of coffee.

Taste - Smoky with a nice rich backbone. So damn tasty.

Mouthfeel - Moderately carbonated with a full-medium body. Great drinkability. Not boozy in the least.

Overall - Best smoked lager I have had so far (I typically don't like them). This beats out their Lawson's collab for sure, that one had a little cloying to it. I could drink several of these brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 21:49:47 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of MarkJBurch

New York

4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark ruby brown, black in the glass. Sticky, spotty, cream colored lacing.

Roast, peat, chocolate and faint coffee make for a well composed nose.

Toast, smoke and chocolate. Faint dark fruit, tame and well balanced with a clean finish. Improves as it warms.

Light to medium bodied, carbonation is spot on. Again, a very clean aftertaste, slightly dry.

I love how easy this is to drink. I find most smoked beers difficult to drink in excess, cumbersome to the pallet, if you will. I'll be heading to the fridge for another immediately following this review, if that tells you anything.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 23:12:08 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of dheacck11


4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour is a dark brown with hints of red. No head.

Nose has lots of smoke and coffee. Some sweet molasses. Hickory.

Taste is full of nice toasty malts. Little smoke. Some cedar. Some grain. Finishes light and juicy

Feel is spot on. Medium light

Great beer. Unique style. Perfect for early fall. Kind of like a porter but different.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 23:53:18 | More by dheacck11
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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.