Coffee Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Coffee Smoke & DaggerCoffee Smoke & Dagger

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BA SCORE
87
very good

165 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 165
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 15
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 05-11-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerIsland
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This bottle was graciously laid on me by Jamie M during a Lancaster visit. He knows I'm a fan of All Things Lager. If I had an issue with this really fine beer, it would be that it verges on being out of balance, although the combination of pronounced flavors don't obscure its lager basis. Although cold this evening, the weather isn't quite bad enough to warrant drinking this hefty and delicious black lager. Flakes may be necessary.

Photo of tkelley
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle poured into a big snifter glass.

A -- Dark dark body, brown verging on black. Medium brown highlights. Thin tannish head. a little bit of lacing (although the snifter doesnt produced a lot of it typically). Nice halo around the edge and a little, wispy retention.

N -- Smoky with pronounced coffee notes. Nice soft smell.

T -- Not overpowering at all. Clear smoke, clear coffee (definitely different from the regular SAD). Again, very soft. Pretty subtle but really good.

M -- Lighter than one would think.

O -- Really good. Cheers.

Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at a recent tasting while Mississipping was in town! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark red-brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, powdered chocolate, roasted malt, cream, and coffee. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, coffee, milk chocolate, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Based on the other brews from Jack’s Abby that I’ve had, they have the aroma aspect of beers absolutely nailed. Nice notes of sweetness and roastiness from the coffee going on kept this one really well balanced and enjoyable to the nose. The flavor had some of the same notes, but it just wasn’t as robust and well balanced as the aroma going on. Still definitely worth your time trying if you get the chance.

Photo of tendermorsel
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Recent bottling purchased at the brewery.

Dark as night. Nice tight pillowy head.

Minimal coffee in the scent but quite present in the flavor. I don't get as much smoke in this as the regular S & D. Perhaps it was overpowered by the coffee. Great coffee flavor. A bit thin in the body compared other coffee beers.

Pretty drinkable. I should have bought more than one. Good but not great stuff. Nice change of pace from the regular S & D.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, mostly black, with some lighter edges with a tan finger of fluffy head. The aroma is definitely smoky, with some chocolate and roasted notes and mild coffee. Taste is smoky and meaty as well, with a nice coffee bitterness, chocolate and more roast and sweetness. The feel is somewhat light bodied, but a creamy texture and nice carbonation, finishes clean and crisp.

I recalled the regular smoke and dagger not having as much smoke, and there's not a LOT of coffee notes, but its still quite nice.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cask at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark brown, with a quarter inch tiny head, and not much lacing.

Smells include coffee, smoke, chocolate.

The taste is the same. A little too watery for my tastes. Used coffee grounds are the coffee flavor here, plus mild smoke, and cocoa powder. Maybe a little bit of vanilla. A bit disappointing- none of the flavors are that bold.

Light body, too thin, really. Cask-style mouthfeel and carbonation.

Regular Smoke and Dagger is great, the cask version of this one is just ok, not all that exciting.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 12/23/13

Appearance: Dark brown, borderline black from a distance - some clarity around the edges - pours with a small (at least for Jack's Abby) light tan head, fades to a few wisps of a cap, leaves minimal lacing

Smell: Roasted malts, light smoke, and an undertone of coffee - smoke is there, but fairly light (not a bad thing) - chocolate malts, roasty and burnt malts - some coffee aroma (probably would have been more if I remembered to drink this sooner, as I've had it for two months) - coffee beans - lightly nutty - pretty clean, especially for a rauchbier

Taste:Roasty and smoky, with some coffee bean flavor - dry, smoked malts - roasty, burnt malt flavors - coffee adds a nice edge, with some nice coffee and coffee bean flavor - hints of chocolate as well - a touch of sweetness and dark fruits in the back - lightly earthy with some roasty nuts - nicely balanced without any extreme flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, nicely clean

Overall: Smoke + Dagger + Coffee > Smoke + Dagger? Not really

This is a very good rauchbier that benefits from the addition of coffee. But the enhancement is not particularly profound. Smoke & Dagger is already a great beer. This is simply a nice spin on it. Worth a try.

Photo of NinjaJesus
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The coffee and hint of smoke really make this beer delicious. This is perfect on a cold evening by the fire.

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this once or twice before. This bottle was purchased at the brewery on Saturday and in the fridge since.

A- 500ml bottle poured to a snifter with a black body where light can only make it through the very edges. A cap builds on the brew with a creamy texture and nice thickness to about two fingers. Head retention is good as the foam dies to a thick, frothy ring. Sheets and webs of lace being atop the glass while spotty areas are deposited below that.

S- Medium roast coffee makes up a very large portion of the aroma for me. This roastiness combines with the roast grains underneath and the work off of each other. Beyond that is some smoked grains, cocoa and some yeast influence.

T- Coffee above the Smoke and Dagger base, duh. In all seriousness, this is the freshest I have had this beer and I would say it is about equal parts of coffee and malts making up a bulk of the beer with a dash of yeast and hops just to make it a beer and balance it. Coffee is quite strong and feels like a medium roast with some earthy and fruit hints. Malts are roasty, cocoa, lightly smoked and fairly nutty.

MF- I think some forget this is a Rauchbier and not a Stout. The body is on the lighter side of things but with a creamy and silky texture. This boosts the drinkability but it is not a dessert beer which often have this same flavor profile. Carbonation is moderate and slight roast and hop bitterness on the palate in the back end.

Smoky malts seem to awake more as I drink the beer but the coffee is most of the show here as it seems just as strong as the malt base. I have always been a fan of the base beer and I am now just as big of a fan of this iteration. Fresh coffee and Rauchbier means good.

Photo of porterman66
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent coffee nose, not subtle coffee taste, but very good.

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells decent, light hint of smoke, little bit of coffee. Pretty much same with the flavor, with occasional hints of light chocolate. I just now got a little toasted coconut on the end. Slight bitterness lingers for a bit. I've had Smoke and Dagger a handful of times, but probably variations of it more than the original. I'd really like to compare it to this side by side. Solid beer overall, anyway.

Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a smaller 1/2 finger bubbly off-white colored head that fades at a med pace, some lacing, over a dark molasses brown colored beer with slight ruby light streaming through.

Nose has some light smoke, little smoked malt but not really campfire, more like smoked cheese kinda smoke, plenty of coffee though, fresh coffee and just ground coffee beans, and a light nutty aroma in the background.

Taste brings more of the smoke, again smoked cheese like but this time a little smoldering log campfire but not much, then quickly into a light creamy malt with more nutty flavors, little caramel and hint syrupy sweetness, then into the coffee again. Coffee is more like fresh coffee grinds and a little fresh brewed as well. The nutty flavor and coffee blend well, esp with the light sweetness from the caramel. Bitterness cuts through towards the end, a grassy slight earthy hop comes in. The finish is still a bit sweet and sticky but somewhat drier, with lingering nutty flavors, little caramel and some coffee, but more of the smoke coming through and lingering for a while on the finish, as well as just a bit of a chewy slightly spicy hop.

Mouth is med bodied, little creamy, good carb.

Overall pretty good, nice coffee addition, the nutty malts are nice as well, coffee is fairly fresh with no burnt flavors, and the smoke is just in the right balance. A good beer but nothing to write home about.

Photo of BigCheese
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 500ml from brewery a few weeks ago, should be pretty fresh.

A: Pours black as night. Thin head that stays till the end, some lacing, must be the glass because head is thick.

S: Mix of smoked malts and fresh ground coffee, pleasant not overly pungent.

T: Bitter, some peaty smoked malts, some espresso and dark roasted espresso, dark chocolate notes. Some caramel and breads too. Still has that signature Jack Abbys clean lager yeast in finish.

M: Chewy, lowish carbonation, creamy, heavy body.

O: More smoke than coffee in this one. Nothing dominates too much though, and execution is quite good. A well crafted brew for sure that was certainly very interesting/unique. Definitely worth trying, though I certainly prefer jacks hoppy lagers.

Photo of taez555
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’m conflicted about whether I should be labeling this a growler or cask. It’s filled fresh from a cask, into a growler, from the brewery. But it’s only available on cask, so…. It’s cask that just happened to transported via growler.

I’m not sure if this is the same as the first version they brewed of this a few months ago, but before they used Barismo Kenya Ruthangati coffee.

Pours a dark, but noticeably thin, black body with little to no head.
Nose has a very strong freshly spent coffee ground smell. I’m a fan of making coffee with a French press, and the smell is almost spot on to after you’ve made the coffee and the grounds that remain in the press. As it warms you really get a nice bouquet of coffees. It smells like a stronger, almost espresso type bean. If you just put your nose in a smell for a while the wave of different coffee smells really is quite amazing.

Taste is light to medium bodied and very easy drinking. The low carbonation of the cask and already thin body of black lager almost completely separate from the coffee flavor. There’s a huge fresh coffee ground flavor on one side, then a space, then a beautiful thin black lager on the other side. It’s kind of like middle school dances where the girls and boys stand on opposite of the gym. They don’t mix, and I don’t mean that in bad way, they’re independent of each other and stand by themselves, it’s really quite amazing. You taste coffee, then you taste dark malt, then you taste coffee, then you taste black lager, but you never taste them together. It’s crazy. It’s as if the parts co-exist, yet on different planes of existence. Lots of dark malt flavor, little touches of rauch malt. You really start to get just a hint of smoke in the finish. The coffee masks it a lot, compared to the regular version, but it’s there. It has a very slightly brick sort of touch. Ends with a lingering coffee and dark malt flavor.

What an interesting beer. I like the idea, coffee with the S&D makes perfect sense, but I almost wish it was bigger. The coffee doesn’t overpower, but the lager really doesn’t give it enough backbone. You almost need a double or imperial S&D to give it some more girth. Otherwise the clean lagered body with the coffee just makes it taste like watered down coffee. Great coffee, but watered down. It’s still a really great beer though, despite what might read like my negative review. Kudos to JA for pushing the envelope. Who makes a coffee rauchbier?

Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with this. 500ml bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears dark brown to black in color with a tan cap. Some brown clarity seen around the edges and spotty lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma is roasty. Plenty of pleasant smoked aspect to the nose with an earthen and almost citrus note present seemingl coming from coffee instead of hops. It is mildly fruity with alcohol and an accent almost like raisins.

The taste includes noted of chocolate, earth, raisons, and smoke. The alcohol and fruity quality of the base beer seems downplayed a bit by the coffee addition but does not hvbe a boisterous coffee character by any means...just a deeper layer of earthen notes.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is crisp easy reinking and enjoyable. A nice subtle difference from the base brew. If I was going to complain about anything with this, it would be that after having the regular smoke and dagger just before drinking this, the coffee inclusion was almost undetectable. Thanks again Heath for this one.

Photo of Dope
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date that I can see but this was just released in bottles maybe last week or the week before at most?

A: Pours a dark, dark, dark brown. Big fizzy light brown head. Head fizzes out fairly quickly, zero lacing. Somewhat decent retention.

S: Strong heavenly coffee aroma. Light smoke sticks to it a bit but nothing over the top. Mildly earthy with just a hint of caramel sweetness.

T: Smoky, yes, with a decent bit of roasted coffee melding with it. Coffee fades, leaving just some acrid smoke. Some chocolatey sweetness helps perk up the bitter smoke and coffee. Aftertaste is mild coffee, surprisingly not bitter here. Like coffee with sugar in it.

M: Medium bodied, quite smooth.

O: Smoked beers are easily my most hated style. This one has a decent sweetness to it to help balance out the acrid smoke (like the base beer). The addition of coffee helps even more and adds some nice complexity at the same time. I feel that the coffee could be a little stronger and it would really set this brew apart, but Jack's Abby isn't huge on making adjuncts over the top so I understand.

Photo of AirBob
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - One finger of off-white head which dissipates to a thin cap. Good lacing. Black body with ruby hues around the edges of the glass.

S - Roasted coffee. Slight smoked meat. Some dark cocoa.

T - Black coffee. Smoke. Bready with some underlying malty sweetness.

M - Medium-low carbonation. Thickish on the tongue to start, but the middle and finish it thin.

O - I enjoy S&D more. The coffee compliments the smokiness, but there was some underlying sweetness that turned me off.

Photo of DonFrap
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the new batch, poured from the bottle into a Tree House snifter. Bought the coffee that they used from Red Barn also, but that's for coffeeadvocate.com. Pours nice and dark, smell of roasted coffee and faint smoke. About a finger head, and that was from a pretty vigorous pour. No retention to speak of, no lacing either. Taste is awesome, roasted coffee up front, mild smoke (not nearly as much as i would like, but this isn't targeted to a rauchhead like me.) Very easy drinker, and a definite upgrade from the regular version. I don't know how often they are planning on bottling this, but definitely pick one up!

Photo of Kendo
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the growler into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with ruby hues and a thin greyish head.

S: Slight smoke and char over sweet malt.

T: Good caramel malt foundation, then charcoal. Also some fruit (berries and cherries come to mind), but finishes with smoke and a modest bitterness.

M: Medium in heft; carbonation is active.

O: Very good stuff.

Photo of Jwale73
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle served in a stange. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a fizzy, one inch, tan-colored head. Head eventually settles into a 1/8th inch cap with some residual strands of lacing left in the wake of the receding brew. Nose suggests chocolate malt, roast and a hint of coffee. Taste is roasty with a metallic quality in the forefront. Chocolate character is almost non-existent and the overall flavor profile comes off a bit watered down. Finish is slightly bitter and lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery with a prickly carbonation. Overall, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed by this one. Definitely not getting a rauchbier vibe either - not sure if it is classified correctly.

Photo of rudzud
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark mostly black with faint brownish hues and a two finger mocha head that faded almost immediately to leave well..nothing. No halo, no lacing, no nothing. Shocking...

S - Nose is more like it. Nice smokey rauch aromas with a strong char and solid roasted black coffee aromas. Solid, solid.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice smokey malts, rauchbier flavours, light caramel, soft bitter finish. Good coffee representation.

M - Mouthfeel is well, much thinner than I am used to from these guys. Stronger carbonation, medium body...just feels awfully thin/watery.

O - Overall I am relatively shocked here. I am used to home runs from Jack's Abby and this one, with the watery mouthfeel and shockingly mediocre appearance...at a loss for words. I guess every brewery has its flukes but yeah, let down by this one.

Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yum yum. I love my coffee beers, maybe a bit more than most. Served from the bottle and poured into a pint glass. The appearance is a very dark brown to black with a minimal hazy, pale head. The aroma of coffee is overwhelming. It smells like a light to medium roast coffee was used. I'd guess an African blend. To me, the aroma is very close to a good iced coffee. Not much smokeyness to it, which could have been a bit more present if something like French roast were used.

The taste is a very strong coffee, and as noted, a lack on the smoke, other than a faint aftertaste. But a great lager still.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, and the aftertaste dissipates quickly.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer for the style. It's one of the better coffee beers I've had and isn't an overpowering stout. Better than regular Smoke and Dagger too!

Photo of Gatch
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not sure when it was bottled but I picked this up at the brewery in October.

A: Deep brown with a reddish hue and a light brown, fizzy head that builds and fades quickly. Very little lace and retention.

S: Lots of coffee as expected and a hint of smoke and roasted malt. Pretty sweet.

T: The coffee flavor tastes syrupy and concentrated. Regular Smoke & Dagger is much better.

M: Very light body and minimal carbonation. But smooth.

O: Solid beer but unimpressive, in my opinion. Nothing special and a tad disappointing. Tastes and smells like they just took the base beer and dumped in some coffee concentrate. Jack's Abby doesn't make a bad beer and rarely makes a mediocre beer but this is a case of a mediocre offering from them.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks, angrybabboon! Note that I have NOT had the regular Smoke & Dagger upon the time that I consumed this, so I have nothing to compare this to. Poured out of a 500ml bottle into a snifter. No bottling date, but I got a bottle of this in late December and had it about a month later.

Dark brown in appearance, although when held away from the light it looks almost completely dark. Still, you can see through this, and there's plenty of playful, bubbly carbonation at first along with an effervescent head that dies down not too long after the initial sip. Pretty light bodied in feel, which is no surprise given the low ABV. Doesn't look like your typical lager, but it's not anything too remarkable.

Things get a little bit more interesting at the nose, with neatly roasted notes of cold brewed coffee, caramel, black pepper, as well as some very light smoky notes. Compared to the Smoked Maple Lager I had earlier in the evening, this is very mild, even as a tribute to a rauchbier. Some pine citrus lurks underneath the strong coffee and caramel, but otherwise there's not too much else to write about. Definitely pleasant, especially for my first ever coffee lager!

Yeah, that hits the spot - it's not smoky by any means, but it definitely retains a refreshing, crisp, and slightly roasted and zesty character throughout. THIS is what Coffee Bender from Surly should have tasted like - rather than burnt coffee grounds, as in the former, this delivers a light powdered espresso character that dissolves calmly into the caramel, slightly cracker-like profile of the beer itself. There's an apple, pine zest throughout, but it's subtle as it melds with the coffee profile rather distinctly. While, again, there's really not too much going on in the beer otherwise, it still is easy to drink and mellow as a result of the light richness added on by the coffee and light smoky profile. Well carbonated, and very crisp - doesn't demand too much of an effort to consume otherwise!

It won't change your life, but it is a good take on getting a coffee beer and making it seemingly cleaner and more light bodied in character. I do wish there were more smokiness and representation of the yeasty profile at hand - it gets a little drowned out overall. Can't say its my favorite from these guys, but can't say there's anything particularly wrong with it.

Photo of Omnium
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out coffee black with two fingers of khaki head no real lacing.
S - Coffee grounds, some dark chocolate, smoked and roasted almonds.
T - Surprisingly bitter, not as smooth as regular S&D, but some nice coffee flavors, a little smoke, very earthy.
M - Medium feel, a little kick from the bitterness.
O - Decent, but I wouldnt actually get this again, there's much better coffee beers out there, this one isnt smooth and refined as you'd want it, but hey, I'm sure there's people who would prefer this over some others

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Coffee Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.