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Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

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BA SCORE
88
very good

585 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 585
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 39
Gots: 34 | FT: 3
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: 585 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

10-24-2013 00:17:32 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

10-17-2012 01:24:17 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

06-28-2012 23:35:46 | More by djrn2
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is clear but very dark garnet red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high tan head that took a long time to die down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a large collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of dark chocolate malts are present in the smell along with some hints of smoke.
T: The taste more resembles that of a rauchbier and has moderate flavors of smoked malts along with notes of chocolate.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: As a hybrid between a schwartzbier and a smoked porter, this beer is very easy to drink, especially if you aren't looking for something that is dominated by smoky aromas and flavors.

Note: Manufactured on April 15, 2013

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 15:09:42 | More by metter98
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

05-17-2012 23:55:13 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 19:47:22 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

08-03-2013 19:32:26 | More by acurtis
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

Who says that traditional lager makers lack imagination or are passe in taste. Jack's Abby puts on a full-out display of charisma and quality in this smoky dark ale that borrows influences from German Black Beers, Rauchbiers, Dunkels and Baltic Porters for a refined taste that's highly complex for its drinkability.

The stealth-like "Smoke & Dagger" pours with the mystery-shrouded dark brown hue that's only pierced with crystal clear highlights of mahogany and chestnut. Ats it quietly releases a light khaki foam, the beer captures the eye with a frothy whipped topping that retains firmly and laces the glass with intermittent and artistic patterns.

A ton of malt and phenol complexes converge in aromas for blend that keeps speaking, "smoky chocolate". With the air of lightly scorched barley, the scent hinges on toffee, caramel and brown sugar. Grounded notes of toast, coffee, heavy whipping cream form the underpinnings of a classic dark lager.

It's smooth taste relaxes the taste buds with medium malt sweetness of the same caramel and toffee that the nose promises. More earthy and rustic notes of coffee, woodish hops, and a light alcohol & peppercorn spice ushers in a balancing bitterness to close. All this flavor is wrapped in a cocoon of heavy whipping cream and beechwood campfire.

It's creamy. It's dry, It slices; it dices- it Juliennes! The beer is a Swiss Army knife in that it starts creamy and rich, but turns roasty and powdery midway through before diving into a drinkable sensibility to close. Creamy like milkshake and bitter like coffee- the beer spans the gamut of mouthfeel descriptor en route to a grainy-sweet alcohol warmth to finish.

With a touch of confusion, I can see why the beer doesn't settle on a set style when a blend of well-tested recipes will obviously work better. Jack's Abby proves that there's a ton of imagination that if not bound by the "rules" of beer making.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 05:26:51 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

The pour is a dark amber color with an off-white head. Strong smoke aroma to this, but still plenty of malt sweetness. Good caramel, toffee, and toasted bread aromas. A light woodiness to it. The flavor is sweet and malty with a nice smokiness. Light wood and salt notes, plenty of toast and caramel malts. A light chocolate flavor to it as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 22:44:13 | More by womencantsail
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

02-03-2013 22:00:32 | More by ygtbsm94
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kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +2%

11-03-2012 13:00:21 | More by kjkinsey
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Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

11-10-2012 14:28:42 | More by Texasfan549
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Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

12-05-2013 21:37:34 | More by Knapp85
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TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 2/17/2012 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a stange glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoked malts, some chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a quite tame smokiness followed by a mild chocolate flavor. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this beer was an excellent complement to pastrami sandwich and overall is a very good smoked beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 03:45:38 | More by TheManiacalOne
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of Reagan1984 - the crazy generous guy who sends two growlers as extras. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to a thin collar, wispy patches, and spotty lace. Dark brown body with some ruby highlights to it.

S - Smoked ham, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and hickory. As it warms more the honey-glazed meat character intensifies.

T - The taste is more balanced, with chocolate, dry roast nuts, roasted malts, and a hint of caramel on one side and smoke, hickory, and campfire on the other.

M - Medium body, pleasant carbonation, lightly dry and smoky texture, and a fairly clean finish.

D - A very good and authentic Rauchbier. This isn't the most sexy style of beer, and I was a bit apprehensive about having 2L of Rauchbier. I needn't have worried about it, as I returned to this for numerous refills during the course of the Super Bowl.

Serving type: growler

02-06-2012 21:54:40 | More by MasterSki
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Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

11-08-2013 23:37:23 | More by Kegatron
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head that fades semi quickly over pitch black lightless beer.

Nose brings a nice smoke to it, like a light hickory smoke but not really the typical smoked meat aroma, a bit of campfire as well, then some light roasted malt and hint of chocolate, caramel, and even some vanilla.

Taste starts rich, quite malty actually, the smoke comes first again with some light wood smoked malts, hint of hickory but lighter overall on the smoke, not overpowering. Again with a touch of campfire, and maybe a hint of smoked cheese. The malts bring a rich luscious mouth, with some caramel, slight roast, some vanilla, and asome black patent malt that seems to turn slightly to chocolate but barely (or my mind playing tricks on me). A nice creamy malt that almost feels like oats are there. Finishes fairly crisp with a nice lager flavor late on the finish, and quite a bit of bitterness that starts to finally come through, more from the roasted malts and smoke than any hops. A bit drier but slightly sticky.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, creamy, decent carb for growler.

Overall nice, smoke is done well without the heavy smoke flavor, not too bitter or tannic either, and nice soft malt and lager flavors, nice oats and even a hint of chocolate coming late. Much different than anything I've had before I think, and done fairly well. They easily could have gone overboard on anything, but didn't. Perhaps a touch more of the lager flavors and crispness would have been nicer.

Serving type: growler

10-25-2011 21:59:41 | More by jlindros
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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 oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark brown color with some red light coming through at the edges. There is a half finger of off white head that fades rather quickly.

Smell: Not as roasty as I would have expected, but the roast compliments everything else nicely. I'm getting bready malt sweetness along with some dark fruit. Just a bit nutty with mild smoke.

Taste: Not quite as nice as the smell, but still quite good. Some bready malt with dark chocolate and smokey notes. I'm getting mild caramel and dark fruit. The finish is slightly bitter with a nice smoke to it.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with very full carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. I was super easy to drink and quite interesting. I would definitely have more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 01:25:01 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

08-25-2012 02:07:32 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lasting but large bubbled head. Leaves plenty of spotty lace. Solid brown color where light passes through the center of the glass.

Dark, dry malt aromas. Light smokiness, like a distant campfire. Smells as if there is a touch of Black Patent Malt in there.

Tastes like a porter with some semisweet chocolate. Again, the smoke is modest but present. Dry and lasting aftertaste of bitter dark malts and spicy hops. Relatively thin bodied with a high level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 19:57:46 | More by smcolw
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mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

09-22-2013 16:13:16 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

My second Jack's Abby beer. Acquired from ICCULIS in a trade; thanks again, buddy! Per the label description, it's somewhere between a schwarzbier and a smoked porter. I'm reviewing it as a shwarzbier (not a rauchbier as currently classified on the site) because I trust the brewer over some guy who clicked a style. 5.8% ABV confirmed. 25 IBUs. 14.5 plato. 500ml brown glass bottle with standard silver unbranded pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery's reputation (though I was underwhelmed by their biere de garde).

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger light khaki colour head. Slight cream. Nice thickness. Above average (~3 minute) retention. No lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is an extremely dark brown; not quite a black but seemingly so if you don't look carefully. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Opaque (nontransparent and nontranslucent). Par for the style. Not unique or special.

Sm: Light oak catches my attention, actually. A light hint of vanilla. Has my broken nose steered me wrong? Dark malts. Chocolate malt. Very very light smoked malts - not the pork/meat or heavy smoke you get from most smoked beers, but rather a subtle backgrounded smokiness. It's extremely restrained and not at all dominant. This is definitely not a rauchbier as is currently classified. No bacon notes. Light indistinct coffee. Mild woodiness. Lacks sufficient roast. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Interesting for a schwarzbier. I can see where one could claim it's a borderline smoked porter. A mild strength aroma. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Smokiness is present throughout, but lurks as an undertone rather than surfacing as an isolated note. It lends the beer a guided cohesive feel. Dark malts and chocolate malt comprise the foundation, which is unobtrusive and somewhat generic. Any hopping is minimal; I don't notice any evocative character in terms of hops. Coffee is rather restrained; it's barely present. Tends towards the slightly sweeter side of the sweet/bitter balance, but the smokiness keeps it in check. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I do like it, but while well balanced, it doesn't provide any unique or special features. It may be one of the better scharzbiers/black lagers I've had, but that isn't saying much in my personal case. Well put together, but I suppose an ideal beer in the style would bring far more complexity and subtlety to the table. I nitpick only because I respect the quality that's there.

Mf: Nice thickness. Interesting coarseness/smoothness interplay; it varies throughout but hits either end at just the right points in my opinion. Slight overcarbonation. Decent presence on the palate. Lackluster depth of flavour. Not very soft at all. Unrefreshing.

Dr: A solid schwarzbier from Jack's Abby, but there's definite room for improvement. I think in terms of adherence to style this is a far better effort than their biere de garde. Of course, style be damned here. It's a schwarzbier-come-smoked porter and so much the better; I think it's better for its experimentation and I like what it's trying to do. Hides its ABV pretty well. Drinkable for a schwarzbier. I think the smoked character is very well implemented; this is the only subtlety I detect in the beer. Jack's Abby still has yet to truly wow me, but this is only my second beer of theirs. A solid sporting effort that gives me renewed interest in trying more of their beers. Still, it leaves much to be desired.

High C+

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 02:46:16 | More by kojevergas
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4/5  rDev +2%

04-07-2013 04:28:06 | More by MarkyMOD
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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 585 ratings.