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Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

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

647 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 647
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 41
Gots: 41 | 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: 647 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NEhophead
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

16.9 fl oz brown bottle served in a becker.

Deep maple in color beneath a densely creamy, lightly tanned head. A wall of compacted lacing with good strength throughout the glass.

A clean leathery-peat aroma that is well balanced with mild milk chocolate and dark roasted malts. Peanuts and almonds create a very pleasant dry quality. Not a rauchbier that overpowers your sense of smell with smoke; very pleasant.

A mild smoked oak character that presents first and then recedes to the background. Roasted hazelnuts and peanuts which really characterize this beer's flavor: dry, nutty, and slightly spicy. Faint hints of roasted chocolate malt and semi-sweet toffee round out the finish rather nicely.

A shade lighter than full bodied. Creamy to an extent, but a touch too carbonated. Boy, this one would nearly be perfect on cask.

A really well crafted, tame Rauchbier. This offering has certainly opened my eyes to Jack's Abby.

NEhophead, May 11, 2012
Photo of Lawnboy33
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Lawnboy33, May 10, 2012
Photo of cbutova
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Jack's Abby excites me, local lagers are always welcome in my mind.

A- Poured into a stange (first time I have said that) with a black body that has just a few dark brown hints around the edges. Massive light brown head forms with a texture more similar to the top of a root beer float. Retention is first-class and thick lace surrounds the inside of my glass.

S- A roasty caramel malt profile with buttery hints hits me first. Cereal grains and slight vanilla sweets follow.

T- Reminds me of what some breweries call Black Lagers. It has a nice mix of roasted malt and yeast characteristics. Cocoa, roasted cereal grains, fruits, slight butter and smoked notes make up most of the flavor.

MF- Creamy and moderately thick body compliments the roasty overall flavor profile. Carbonation has a silky smooth feel. Leaves a roast grain bitterness on the palate.

Not nearly as smoky as most Rauchbiers I have experienced but still has a good roast malt flavor. I will definitely pick this one up again in the future.

cbutova, May 10, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

Phyl21ca, May 09, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

1252nd Review on BA
Bottle to English Pint

Thanks to Twstandley for this one

App- A dark cola brown with a medium clarity to it. A bit thicker than I was thinking/expecting. A huge khaki three finger head opened and then left fairly quick. Good amount of cling to it.

Smell- A small and subdued aromatic note to this one. Had a bit of Roast with a slight bit of liquid smoke. As it warmed it was chocolate, a bit ashy with some malty thickness behind it.

Taste- At 1st I didn't like it. I just dont like smoke beers but I wanted to give it a go. Maybe this will be the one. As it warmed it because more more enjoyable and on the level of Stone Smoked Porter with a great layered flavor of malts, chocolate and smoke. Wasnt the best but close.

Mouth- A lighter-medium body with a fairly medium carbonation. A bit of roasty and creamy smoky chocolate.

Drink- Overall it was pretty good, wasnt the best nor the worst. Great layered flavors but doesnt punch you in the face.

FosterJM, May 05, 2012
Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +2%

Reviewing the brew and not the category. This is not really a rauchbier. Nice brown brew with a big head and lacing.

French roast coffee and nice toasted malt notes.

Toasty dark roasted malt, but not overdone. The slight sweet note is pushed aside as this brew finishes crisp. Coffee, a little smokiness, mild bitterness, smooth malt. Highly drinkable and medium bodied, but maybe on the light side of that. Enjoyable and refreshing. Worthy.

OtherShoe2, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%

16oz bottle. No bottle dating information. Poured into Deschutes tulip

A: Pours a very deep, reddish brown color. It's nearly opaque. I got about a finger of light tan head. It fades quite quickly. Leaves some lacing bits. On a second pour, I get tons of head and it had a cool two-tone light tan/dark tan split head. Very neat.

S: I certainly a smoked porter nose in this guy. Really deep roasted malt character and then underneath you pull some chocolate, both milk and dark.

T: I see exactly how they were try mesh these two style: schwarzbier and smoked porter. You get the deep roasted grains and smoky notes of a porter, and the smoothness of the schwarzbier. You don't get the bitterness that you might get from a porter. Its very smooth. I am pulling a good amount of chocolate from the drink and not much else. Maybe some mild coffee hints after I drink a while.

M: Medium bodied.

O: B

inlimbo77, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%

A-Pours a very dark brown that seems to be hazeless. Head is pretty. Frothy and bubbly. Head is about a finger high and has jagged edges that leave mountain-range lacing silhouettes.

S-Like the nose says...this beer smells like a mix between a Schwarzbier and a Smoked Porter. Smoky and salty notes combine with coffee and chocolate. I haven't had a great Rauchbier experiences, but this one smells very enticing and has so much complexity and plenty of intensity.

T-The smoke is set to a perfect pitch. The coffee and chocolate are coated perfectly by the smoke. Roasted grains and light vanilla add to the awesome complexity. Very, very tasty. The first Rauchbier I have enjoyed.

M-Very light (which I love). Isn't too thick. Nice bubbles. I absolutely love how light the feel is. The ABV is a nonfactor as well.

O/D-Second Jack's Abby brew I have had. This one was also a damn steal at $2.30-ish for a half liter. This beer has actually turned me on to a style I don't like very much. After only having 2 of Jack's Abby's beers, I can already say they are one of the best breweries in the state and even all of New England.

VelvetExtract, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mlazzaro
4.43/5  rDev +13%

Smells of darker malts, mostly chocolatie. Clean yeast aroma. Thin khaki colored head composed of tiny bubbles. Holding like a champ and lacing the glass nicely. Opaque black beer. Up to the light it has a faint reddish hue.

Solid malt and chocolate flavors. Ph is higher than I expected. A touch of sweetness mixed with the smoked charcoal flavor towards the end of the sip. After taste is outstanding; leaves coating of malty deliciousness on the tongue. Mouthfeel is really smooth light. Mild bitterness and carbonation. Refreshing for a dark beer. I really like it.

Smokiness is quite mild and palatable. If you've never tried a rauchbier, not a bad first one to try.

mlazzaro, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours black except around the edges there's a little ruby. One finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Smell isn't robust but not necessarily thin- dark roasted malt smell that I've come to associate with stouts but a little smokey as well.

Taste is great- roasted malts hit up front, followed by a slight smokiness, a little yeast, and finished out with nice sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is solid- medium light body (can't say light cause it's a dark beer) with a light and smooth lager carbonation. The more you drink, the more the smoke comes through. This would be excellent with anything grilled.

Hopdaemon39, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of Auror
4/5  rDev +2%

Auror, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +2%

Bilco, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Poured a 1.5" cappucino head with long life. The body pours dark but clear but in masstone it's a deep umber brown verging on coffee. The smell is very mild and mainly roasted malt. Taste is much weaker than I was expecting but has the crispness of a lager, a touch of smoke, and a little roasted malt. And easy drinking enjoyable and not boring lager.

MoreThanWine, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Kinsman
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a nice dark brown color with a creamy light tan colored head on top. A nice smoky whiff greets you before the lighter sweet chocolate and roasty notes come through.

Well balanced smoke and malt flavors make for a tasty beverage. Rich chocolate and roasted coffee alongside a subtly fruity malt character. Beechwood smoke bursts through to offset some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light and velvety smooth. Overall, a very tasty beverage sure to please any smoked beer fan.

Kinsman, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

A: A dark brown pour with a very very light brown head atop it. Huge fluffy head with incredible retention.

S: Hickory smoke and chocolate. Maybe a touch of coffee in there.

T: Really nice hickory smoke as in the nose. Hints of chocolate and coffee and char. Touch of caramel throughout.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: Pretty simple rauchbier. I'm honestly not a fan of smoked beers at all but this one isn't overpowering. The smoke doesn't just taste like liquid smoke either, tastes like hickory BBQ. The chocolate and coffee compliments it well too.

Dope, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

rab53, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

Bottle into a tulip. Thanks to the guys at NEBCO for opening this one while I was there.

A: Clear dark brown body with a fine, solid tan cap. Good retention, spotty lace. Solid.

S: Spicy, roasty, chocolatey, and only very lightly smoky. Pretty nice.

T: Fairly clean maltiness dominates, with chocolate and pepper playing supporting roles. A bit of sweetness midway through, but overall quite dry. Again, smoke is suprisingly minimal. Tasty, anyway.

M: Frothy, lively medium body. Fun.

O: This struck me as more of a straight Schwarzbier than a Rauchbier, but in any case it was good.


woosterbill, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of rinhaak
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Pouring a light black with a foamy head tinged with black, there are aromas of coffee grounds, toffee, beechwood, and a vague waft of cherries.

The mouth is very well balanced: beginning with coffee malts and a very subtle smoke, there are flavors of burnt coffee and caramel before it progresses into a very nutty (hazelnuts, perhaps, mixed with walnuts) finish.

Very drinkable, this is not a smokey beer at all. While the smoke exists, it really is merely to complement the other flavors, not overpower them. If you want a smokey rauchbier, you'll be disappointed. I, however, really appreciated the subtly, balance, and immense drinkability.

rinhaak, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a .5l bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark dark brown. Almost black until heels to the light... With a nice two finger mocha head that dissapates on the quick side leaving nice lacing.

S: not as robust as I would have liked. Hints of chocolate and smoke... A nice roastyness, but again I was hoping for a more full bodied aroma. Becomes a little more fragrant as the beer warms.

T: very nice and very well balanced a nice amount of chocolate balanced by a touch of beechwood smoke. Roasty grain flavors come in at the mid palate. A little bit of caramel in there as well.

M: medium body with medium crisp carbonation. Finishes nicley.

O: very good for a rauch Bier but i think i would group this more in the smoked Porter category.... But a great use of smoke just the same... Not overwhelimg but in their just right for balance.

PeterIngemi, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of MJLatimer
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

MJLatimer, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Rekrule
4/5  rDev +2%

Rekrule, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Thanks, Alex. Poured into tulip.

A - Pours a medium brownish color, off-white head, thin ring.

S - Light smoke & roast, chocolate, nice level of malty sweetness. All very subtle and enjoyable, easy to sniff and really good.

T - Similar to the nose. Light smoke, roast, malty sweetness, and perhaps some light carmel in there too. Goes down easy and there's no alcohol notes at all. One of the easiest-drinking Rauchbier's I've had.

M - Light, good carbonation, smooth.

O - This was a really nice Rauchbier that was super-easy to drink for a style I find hard to have much of. I would say this is more of a lager with some smoke qualities added in there. Good stuff, would drink again.

Sean9689, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

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.

MasterSki, Feb 06, 2012
Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 647 ratings.