Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

147 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 885
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 48
Gots: 108 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 885
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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 (858 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (987 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (1,920 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

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. (350 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,496 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the nose on this. Hints of smoke with what almost seems like pork? Maybe I've had too many here. But it reminds me very much of a meat smokehouse, and on great subtle ways and not overly obnoxious. (I took these notes before seeing the beer was a rauchbier.) Very easy drinker. Superb smoked beer. (302 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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+ (3,797 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The review below is from the bottled version, which garnered a 3.6 overall.

This review is for a nitro pour.

Looks like Guinness except that light passes easily, giving this beer a garnet look. The head is pure froth, lasting throughout the tasting. Great blanketing lace.

Semisweet aroma of coffee ground and molasses.

A touch of smoke with a darkened toffee sweetness. Very rich for a lager. Decen minute bubbled carbonation. Sweetened dark toast aftertaste.

-----------------

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. (964 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (971 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a BIF from ZebraCakez. 12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 11/24/2014. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood smoke, toast, dark bread, herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready malt and smoke notes; with great strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood smoke, toast, dark bread, herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of roast/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood smoke, toast, dark bread, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and robustness of roast/bready malt and smoke flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with no yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly bready/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent smoked schwarzbier style. All around great balance and robustness of roast/bready malt and smoke flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,467 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a bottle at The Whiskey Priest in Boston, MA

A: Pours a clear dark brown in color with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy light tan head that quickly redues to a medium patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of smoked malts (you can definitely pick out the fact that it was smoked with beechwood) with lighter notes of chocolate malts and coffee. Very light notes of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of chocolate malts and smoked malts, with just the most subtle hints of a BBQ pit. There is a light hint of nuttiness and some light caramel sweetness as well. Next come the flavors of roasted coffee and the touch of dark chocolate. There are light amounts of earthy hops in the finish which give the beer a light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of gentle carbonation. Smooth with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: I enjoyed this beer - the smoke flavors are quite pleasant and really add to the beer without being overwhelming or having too much of an iodine flavor. The beer was easy to drink and I had no problem putting down a 22 oz bottle on my own - in fact, I wish there was a little more of it to drink. Would pair very nicely with meats. (1,416 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (855 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tall Belcher Tulip like glass.

Big cascading light tan and creamy topped four to three finger head. Ballons up nicely, and clumps with big island retention. Good uniform pinhead sized bubbles in the head as well. Body color is very dark but just barely light enough to see through suprisingly, through a dark red walnut sheen.

Real nice aroma of milk chocolate. Moderate smoke tones a little bit of ash and wood like character but just slightly. One follows the other with the sweetness of chocolate coming first.

Tangy body and a bit unexpected. Very light lager body and almost crisp but gives plenty to the palate. Surprising and unexpected amounts of flavors going on. Moderate phenols, almost getting medicinal but stays on the edge of a mild sourness, then fills with a very good light cream sweetness. Chocolate rains down on the aftertaste, from milky sweet and a nice lingering bitter darkness that turns to bitter berried fruit in a way. The chocolate flavors on the finish are very impressive, going from milk to dark, and then a very dusty dark powdered cocoa aroma. Clean finish to go with it as well.

Real interesting smoke beer seems more closer to a Schwarzbier but with a bigger chocolate Porter like presence. Real delicious either way. (1,304 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with a huge creamy off white head that persists forever. Smells of bread and chocolate mostly with a hint of smoke and coffee. The flavor has little bit more roast and coffee than I expected. Huge notes of chocolate and caramel in each sip with a light smoky essence in the background. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Very flavorful, smooth easy drinking dark lager. Its nice that they didn't go overboard with the smoked malt like everyone seems to be doing these days. (541 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (956 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It shouldn't be surprising that Smoke & Dagger look blackened - not entirely black, mind you, because colour can readily be made out against the light and along the trim - but its charred complexion certainly mirrors the barbecue notes. Its head, anyway, looks like a ring of smoke itself.

Let us not forget the other malts - along with the wisp of smoke, this aroma also features the more conventional notes of roasted grain and all the chocolatey, coffee-ish nuances that often accompany it. This level of balance ensures the beer is not too intimidating for initiates; notions of campfire smoke or burnt meat would be gross exaggerations.

I'm not sure how proud of this I should be, but I've tried chocolate covered bacon on a couple occasions. It is a curiously irresistible (and kind of gross and shameful) combination because it stimulates all parts of the palate: bittersweet, salty, roasty. Smoke & Dagger does the just the same; it tastes something like cocoa- or coffee cured-pork.

Neither sweet nor smoke conquers the other; they go back and forth like evenly matched tennis pros, neither becoming too dominant in the mix. I'm not sure whether the smattering of caramel was intended or not, but it's a nice way to end that roller coaster of chocolate, coffee, and cured meat. There's no knot in this rope - just smooth all the way along.

Smoke & Dagger should prove once and for all that smoked beers can be perfectly palatable and easily enjoyed by all. It is a soft, well-rounded offering that aught to have barbecue lovers, especially, trampling over one another to buy by the case full. This self-proclaimed Schwarzbier/Rauchbier hybrid may not be German-born, but it's Bundesliga caliber talent for sure. (1,730 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Boston Wine Exchange, 500ml into a tulip. Bottled March 7, 2013.

Dark brown, tan head. Light roast and chocolate on the nose, along with some lightly bready and doughy notes. Taste is chocolatey, roasty, lightly sweet, smoke is peripheral. Lager yeast qualities come through. Medium light body, perfectly medium light carbonation. More of a schwarzbier, and perhaps the best I've ever had. (402 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a four-finger, khaki head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color, hints of mahogany highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is light smoke and chocolate and flavor is smooth baked chocolate with hints of smoke. $3.50 for a 500ml bottle, from Giles Fine Wine Arlington, MA. (314 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.