Fire In The Ham - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Fire In The HamFire In The Ham

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BA SCORE
86
very good

246 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 246
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 21
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: irishevans on 10-17-2012

Caution! This is an intensely smokey lager similar to those found in Bamberg, Germany. Most of this brew's malt was dried over flaming beechwood, which ingrains unique smokey flavors. Aromas of campfires, smoked ham, and bacon dominate a soft malt and hop backbone. Although hard to believe, this beer is vegan friendly.

20 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 246 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by jaasen64:
Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into Founders snifter. Split with my Dad as an introduction to smoked beers.

A- Pours a mostly translucent golden with hint of haze, barley a quarter finger of a thin layer of white head forms that quickly subsides, not much in terms of lacing, nice carbonation of consistently rising carbonation bubbles.

S- Smoked ham, bacon, a hint of burnt wood, balanced with a light malty presence. Nice smoke strength.

T- Smoked ham, a little bit of bacon, finishes with a juicy lager presence that fits well with the smokiness and a lingering smokey aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, slightly juicy, nice carbonation, drinks very easily.

O- This was another great beer from Jack's Abby. There was a nice smokiness that paired well with a nice juicy lager taste. Everything was nicely balanced and overall it was very easy to drink. I haven't had too many smoked beers, but this is definitely one of the better one's I've had of the style. If you like smokey flavors then I definitely recommend trying this .

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: gold in color, 1/2inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: bacon, smoke, and faint grass

Taste: follows the nose-bacon, smoke, and faint grass--little off taste at the end

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, moderate-high carbonation, sweet and smoky

Overall: One of the better domestic rauchbiers, and except for a bit of an off taste at the end, this one is very good. I do like this better than Smoke and Dagger. I will be picking this up again. Great value rauchbier.

Photo of greenmtn1111
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass tulip.

Pale orange, very light amber in color with a decent head, but not too big. The first thing I get when I smell is the smoke, nice sweet smoke almost like mesquite wood. Taste is surprisingly light and fruity at first sip, and the smoke follows afterward, not overpowering at all. It starts crisp and clean, slides into a smooth smokiness and then finishes amazingly crisp and clean again. It’s almost like a campfire, but the smokiness is sweeter and less astringent. This beer goes down easy and it refreshing at the same time, which can be hard to say about some smoked beers. All in all, this is a pretty stellar concoction.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very pale and clear yellow. Medium collar.

Smell - Meaty ham. Really evokes pork and bacon. Smoke and pilsner malt.

Taste - Pilsner malt and a spicy German hop. Minimal smoke, but has a meaty flavor anyway. Still retains a bit of the smoke flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Fits the name. A pilsner with a great meaty smoke flavor.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been waiting for these guys to make a proper Franconian Rauch.
Great stuff.

Very light color. You can read the newspaper through this beer. Minimal whispy head.

Not particularly smokey in the aroma. It smells like a typical Helles. Grainy with a touch of european hops in the smell.

Smooth and grainy upfront with a ton of smoke on the back end.

I guess I was expecting a much darker beer like many of the Urbock Rauches that I live. I was very suprised by how light this was.

This is a highly quaffable winner for smoked beer fans. Nice work!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

17 oz bottle received from ericwo.. Thanks buddy! Shared this with a work friend while scheming for tomorrow's headlines ;-)

Pours a hazed light golden... nice white head....

The nose is definitely Bamberg.. smokey and light pale malt presence....

Clean smoke is guaranteed by the light pale malts... nicely done and I don't normally like smoked beers... this one shows lager presence that meshes with the smoked malt pretty well.

Body is light/medium with an expected light/med carbonation.

3.5/3.5/4/3.5/3.5

Eric hooked me up in a great trade.... Well recommended.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%

On tap at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a surprisingly lighter golden amber color, wouldn't expect a smoked beer to be like this. There's a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like bacon, ham, and smoke, plus honey and molasses.

The taste is similar, they really nailed the smoked meat flavor, it really does taste like bacon and ham. It's a little bit sweet, got a bit of a honey and molasses flavor, with smoke as well. There's no real hop flavor, but there is an oiliness to it.

This one is light, with a medium amount of carbonation, and a fairly crisp mouthfeel

It's a little bit too meaty for its lighter body, beef up the malts a bit and this would be better.

Photo of gonzo000
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Strange all around. Really liked Smoke and Dagger, but this is another level of smoke, with it being in the forefront. I did not care for it - OK.

Photo of LeRose
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA perfect pint.

Appearance - outstanding clarity with a nice golden color. Pretty dense, not very tall head, lingered a while, laced just a little bit.

Smell was outstanding. Not so much the campfire/woodsy, more liked a ham being nicely smoked. Suggests sweetness and succulence - not that you will be licking an ashtray. Very understated, slight hop notes, vaguely fruity, a little floral or herbal (?)

The taste follows in kind. Very balanced, not overwhelming on the smoke. First taste, my wife and I both said "bacon" but it isn't quite that strong. Light smoke but more than enough to gain attention. The hops are more of the floral type, slight bitternes on the finish, all riding along on the pale malt. Slight sweetness. It was medium bodied, moderately carbonated.

Overall this is a very, very good beer with a nicely balanced flavor. Winner.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Towering white head despite a gentle pour. Pale gold. Doesn't stick but great retention.

Smells liked smoked ham. Judging by the label that's what JA was going for and they nailed it. Either that or the name came 2nd. Intensely smokey.

Smokey yes, but with a sweet backbone. A bit too sweet in my opinion, it cuts down on the smoke some. Smooth, cushy mouthfeel.

I'm completely sold on Jack's Abbey. I had a 5 minute love fest with the clerk at the beer store today about how everything JA makes is good and reasonably priced.

Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 500ml bottle poured into a slender cylinder type pint glass. Just a bit of haze to the golden body. A massive, creamy white head forms in the top quarter of the glass and retains very well. Thick lace forms before I begin to sip and seems to coat a majority of the glass.

S- Reminds me of drinking other beers next to the campfire. Edgy smoked malt leads the nose off with hints of fire, bacon and just a bit of Scotch resemblance. Base lager is not smoked out (har-har) completely with notes of light fruit and malts.

T- The first sip reveals that the smoke takes slightly less of a roll than it does in the aroma. The base beer seems to fill the taste buds at first with smoke building in the after-taste. The base beer consists of white grape, apple and light cracker malt notes.

MF- Lighter-end body with a silky overall consistency. The carbonation is on the low-moderate end and helps the smoky complexity linger on the palate.

Balance of smoke and base beer, not an easy thing to do for some brewers. The smoked malts lends some great flavors while not killing the rest of this beer.

Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish. Bottled 10/12.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" foamy white head over the almost clear golden brew. Head sedately recedes, with sticky lacing. Aroma is Slim Jim-arific. Cool.

Taste starts smoky and sweet, soft and fluffy in the middle, and comes back with the smoke and a bit of hops bitter at the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is superb. I always think there's room for more smoke, but this one puts it together well, balanced, yet doesn't leave the bacon in the pan. Cheers!

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice creamy bubbly 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, nice lacing, over mostly clear slight chill hazed pale golden lighter colored beer, lighter than I normally expect for a rauchbier.

Nose def has a nice smoked aroma, campfire, light smoking logs, little smoked meat bacon like, light molasses and little bready malt, light crisp like lager underneath but hard to tell.

Taste continues with the smoke, plenty of smoked meat flavors, and with a hint of molasses gives it a nice bacon flavor, smokey bacon, and light campfire. Then little syrupy sticky sweet molasses and light bready malt base. There is a bit of a chewy like malt base, and light crisp lager that gets mostly overpowered by the smoke. Finish is a bit bitter from smoked malts and a bit of earthy hops, dry but sticky, lingering smokey campfire mostly, little bacon and crisp lager.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall decent beer, nice smoked flavors, nice smoked meat and bacon like flavors esp, a decent malt base but seems a bit too light overall for the smoked character, and the lager portion gets mostly drowned out, but seeing as they only make lagers it's hard to make a lager that wouldn't get drowned out by the smoke, unless its a big dark malty beer and then not much of a lager anyways.

Photo of SportsandJorts
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a light yellow, almost a pale straw. one to two fingers of a white head with strong retention and a good lacing. good crystal clear lager look.

Smell: smokey ham and bacon, some malty sweetness.

Taste: opens with some slight sweetness, quickly becomes a balance salty, smokey ham to bacon taste. hints at pilsner malt sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel: light, salty and dry.

Overall: this is usually one of my least favorite styles as it can easily become overly meaty, but this one balances out quite nicely. the smokiness is delicate as it should be and the malts provide just enough sweetness to balance everything out.

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent starting head that settles in a lumpy fashion. Leaves surprisingly little lace. The liquid is straw yellow with a chill haze.

This smells like hickory smoked bacon. Very dry.

Mildly sour with a dry, nearly astringent flavor. The smoke is in the background--I applaud this as most rauchbiers have too much smoke. Starts like a pale ale, with a touch of sweetness. Thin bodied and highly carbonated.

Photo of PatriotsRule
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This is a smoky beer!!!
A: Nice and light golden with lots of rising carbonation, and an off-white head that vanishes relatively quickly
S: Smoke and more smoke! A bit hoppy too
T: Heavenly campfire of hops
M: Mild malt backbone with substantial hop bite
O: Excellent brew. I prefer this over the Smoke and Dagger. Almost tastes like a super smoky Hoponius Union in its smootheness. Try this when you get a chance! Its vegan-friendly as well.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint .9oz. bottle poured into large Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Comes out a straw light yellow color with perfect clarity. Large huge white head with decent lacing and glass retention. Sticks around quite a bit.

Smell is perfect, literally for the style. Nice fall outside campfire smokey. Smoked ham jerky (if that's a thing) and slightly salted. The smoke malts are the dominant feature but there is still a nice citrus fruity backbone at the end. Super nice and balanced.

Flavor is really good. Smokiness is there again. Not too strong on the smoke front, but it's not overwhelming at all. Slight sweetness to go with the smokiness, bacony and hammy again not too overwhelming. Sort of a dry rub bbq. Super nice balance and again a nice finish from the hops.

Mouthfeel is good. Light bodied, crisp, and a good carbonation level. Digging the balance overall and it's really drinkable. Overally a great smoked beer. A must try if you're into the style.

Photo of Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a surprisingly golden yellow color, with a lager clean body that has a nice murky haze and tons of little carbonation bubbles racing to the surface. The head is huge and white, full of a gradually growing size of bubbles, which top out around medium sized. The beer’s lacing is fat and foamy on the sides of the glass, leaving long strings and fangs on the glass. On the nose, the beer smells terrifically meaty with smoke and a nice underlying caramel malt. This is not the most overpowering rauchbier, but it has a nice big nose that brings bacon and a tender malty beer into one’s mind. On the tongue, the beer tastes dry and salty and is terrifically complex with bacony smoked malts, light hay hops and a touch of salt. The beer begins with light hayish hops and a touch of caramel malts, which quickly open into big smoked malts with a salty bacon flavor that really just lingers in the mouth, moving into smoked duck flavors and then mellowing into meaty salt. The aftertaste rings with meaty salt and a touch of hayish hops. On the mouth, the beer feels light and almost watery on the finish, leaving the mouth dry yet slightly sticky. Overall, this is a nice rauchbier that I could slug back a lot of. Terrific meaty flavors and wonderful drinkability, though I do wish the mouthfeel was a little thicker, if only because my mind sees that as matching the flavors better. Another great beer from Jack’s Abby! Try this beer!

Photo of Damian
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint .9 fl. oz./.5 liters bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
October 2012
Served in a pint glass

Sightly hazed, straw yellow in appearance. A bubbly, one-finger crop of bright white froth topped the liquid. The head dissolved rather quickly, leaving behind drops of lacing.

Aroma-wise, this beer definitely lived up to its name. When I smelled it, the first thing that came to mind was a smoked ham. Perhaps some bacon. The rauchbiers I have sampled in this past have had a very strong beechwood smoked character, but this one was much more meaty. Had the label not stated that this beer is vegan, I definitely would have assumed otherwise.

The taste was similar to the nose, except perhaps less one-dimensional. Bright, crisp, lemony notes melded seamlessly with a smoky, salty, ham-like flavor. Bacon came through as well. Lager yeast notes were apparent along with a grainy malt base. The beer finished crisp and dry with a good dose of earthy and piney hops. Surprisingly refreshing and quaffable.

The mouthfeel was light and crisp with a lively, bubbly effervescence.

This was definitely one of the most "meaty" beer I have ever tried. Quite an interesting take on the style and worth a shot if you can get your hands on a bottle.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Matt for sharing this tonight!
Pours a slightly hazy medium golden color with a wisp of a white head that never really materializes, but never really leaves either. Yup that is a smokey aroma. It smells like a cross between a day old campfire and old bacon with a hint of melanoid and pilsner malt. The flavor is a hint of sweet up front with some grainy and sweet pilsner malt able to come forward before an onslaught of smokey meaty goodness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick smokey sweet mouthfeel. This is a bit over the top for my taste, but I can appreciate the greatness here. This is a really nice smoked beer with a lot of complexity even if this is not my favorite style.

Photo of Seanniek91
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 16.9oz bottle into a Belhaven imperial pint glass.

Apparance- Very nice hazy yellow golden color with quick one finger bubbly white head that left some nice lacing. For some reason, I was expecting this to be more of a dunkle lager?

Smell- Smokey campfire, pilsner malts, pine, oak, lemon, wheat, clove. Nice well balanced aroma.

Taste- Medium smokeyness up front, pilsner malts and light lemon. Pretty well balanced for the smoke still being pretty prevalent. Refreshing actually.

Mouthfeel-Medium-full carbonation, light body, and quite drinkable. A nice early fall beer.

Overall- I'm surprised by this one. Not really into Smoked beers that much, but this is solid.

Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into SA perfect pint. Thanks AutumBeerLove!

A: Pours a fairly clear chalky lemon color with a finger of bright white head that slowly faded into a faint collar.
S: Smoke scent dominates and is savory and meaty. I get a blend of forest fire and grilled bacon. Smells delicious.
T: More smoke on the palate with flavors reminiscent of smoked ham and camp fire. Some bready malt pokes through the finish, and there is a vague sweetness and maybe some citrus in the still smoky aftertaste. Slight mineral quality.
M: Clean mouthfeel, tight fizzy carbonation that is soft and smooth, with a medium-full body that is viscous but not heavy.
O: Really well balance and easy to drink. Smoke dominates and is deliciously flavored. Thanks again, Kevin.

Photo of jdejoannis
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Nice smoke balance and not fake tasting but the ham flavor doesn't work for me

Photo of Chico1985
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Have had this a few times before, always enjoyed it. This is from what I believe to be a pretty fresh batch.

Pour is dark yellow with some haze and slow rising bubbles. White head is around a couple fingers to start, quickly drops to a nearly full cap and stays that way for the duration.

Scent is pure, unadulterated ham and bacon cookin' on a grill. Gristle, grease. You can imagine the sizzle.

Taste also brings on lots of hammy and campfire flavors, though a little less intense than the nose. Definitely getting more actual cooked meat tastes than smokiness. Nicely joined by molasses, some toasted bread and crackery malts.

Smooth and full-bodied with carbonation a bit on the lower side. Intense meatiness makes this one a sipper.

I definitely dig the unabashed bacon flavors, the sweet malts blend nicely as well making this feel especially breakfast-y. I would prefer some more complexities and lager qualities however.

Photo of irishevans
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light gold/straw color, the white head pours the proper 2 fingers, but fades to about a quarter finger, and leaves a fairly thick lace.

N- Smoked meat baby, the only way I can think to describe it. sparks memories of Easter suppers.

T- smoke dominates, with a mild hop presance. the good fellas at Jack's weren't messing around with the smoked malts in this one. and I must say, I'm for it!

M- light end of medium bodied. Leathery. and crisp, with a fairly dry, though not cotton-mouth inducing finish.

O- I dig this brew. Smoked malt left home alone to run a muck, in the best possible way. though I liked Blabber & Smoke more, this is a close 2nd in the rauchbier category in my opinion/according to my palate. I will definitely be drinking this one again.

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Fire In The Ham from Jack's Abby Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.