Fire In The Ham - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Fire In The HamFire In The Ham

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very good

56 Reviews
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 286
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 29.22%
Wants: 20
Gots: 23 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 286
Photo of PatriotsRule
4.95/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

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Photo of horshack7
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's golden with light cloudiness and a head around two fingers thick.

Aroma: Large amounts of smokiness oh and even larger amounts of bacon oh hell yeah lots of bacon. Charred wood, floral hop not much trace of citrus in this one. Roasted malts that are oh did I mention smokey.

Taste: Quite a smooth mouthfeel with alot of bacon fattiness. Extremely smokey, charred wood, roasted malts, woody and earthy tones all through it. It's like drinking bacon it's so dam wonderful.

Notes: Wow this one is quite and experience and a dam amazing one. It's bacon, pork and wood in a bottle and would make an incredible breakfast. I will definitely pick this one up again. Cheers.

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Photo of abagofit
4.66/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is based on the description, as I have never had another rauchbier to compare to.

WOW! Tastes like smoked ham wrapped in smoked bacon. That's really all there is to say about this beer. Very unique, never had anything like it. Smoke flavor is not overpowering like other smokey beers I've had. Not something I could drink that often, but something I would definitely encourage everyone to try at least once.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

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Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 2012

A: Clear, straw golden-yellow in color with a big, fluffy, frothy, white head that leaves behind good lacing and retention. Lighter than most Rauchbiers that I've drank.

S: Roasted, smoked malt, smoked wood, smoked meats, salted/cured meats, but none of this is too strong, which is good, in my opinion.

T: All the characteristics of the nose come out stronger in the flavor. Heavily smoked malt, smoked meat, and wood/earth dominate with a faint hop presence in the finish. The smokiness of this beer is spot on seeing as this isn't straight out of Bamberg. A more focused Rauchbier than the Smoke & Dagger.

M: Smooth, clean, refreshing, and a good bite from the carbonation. Easy to drink and would be a pleasure to put down a few in one sitting.

O: This is a very well-crafted Rauchbier. Almost near the level that Schlenkerla is on. A smoky, tasty, fresh lager that is wonderful for the season. Jack's Abby knows how to make a lager!

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Photo of greenmtn1111
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of -Rick
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours a reddish brown color. Smells like straight up bacon being cooked over a camp fire. The tastes are smokey sausage, with a little malty sweetness. I am sure this beer is not for everyone, but I loved it!

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Photo of irishevans
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
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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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a dull straw yellow color with great clarity. Three inches of rocky white head retain extremely well. Clumpy rings of lacing and the odd glob here and there remain on the glass.

S: Intense beechwood smoke: campfire, wood, and hints of smoked ham/jerky. Soft doughy and sweet malt scents underneath, floral and slightly spicy hops. This smells excellent.

T: Doughy and sweet malt tastes act as a foundation for the smoked malts. Campfire, smoke, jerky, and more smoke. Green hop oils and some floral tastes barely make it through the curtain of smoke. The smoke intensifies as the malt tastes dry toward the finish. Finishes with dry woody, acrid smoke, a hint of malt, and a dash of green, oily hops.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy texture. Full and a bit lush in the mouth. Moderately high level of carbonation adds a bit of a scrubbing effect.

O: Seems to be going for a smoked Helles lager, and it hits its mark. Intensely smokey and very authentic. Tastes like it could have come from Bamberg. It's right up there with the Schlenkerla stuff.

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Photo of DonFrap
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a Tree House snifter. I am a rauchhead, so this may be a biased review. Smell is amazing. Campfire mixed with a little ham and bacon. I could sniff this all day. Pours light amber color, about a 1 inch head with very little retention. Taste is also awesome. The smoke is actually lighter than it is on the nose, but there is definitely a pork/bacon taste here. This is insanely drinkable for a rauchbier. If you like smoked beer at all, try this. It's a step below the best schlenkerla beers, but its still great, and like all JA beers, great value.

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Photo of AirBob
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Notes from 9/29

A - Three fingers of fizzy white head. Slightly hazy apple juice colored body. So-so head retention and lacing.

S - Sweet maltiness. Subtle smoke notes like a wood burning stove or smoker.

T - More sweet breadiness and some orange/honey sweetness. Touch of smoke. Finish is intensely smokey like a camp fire.

M - Lighter body and medium carbonation.

O- Way more balanced than I expected after reading reviews. The smoke is intense and unique, but not as intense as advertised in my opinion.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks go out to Yamar 18 for this bottle....cheers, Kevin!

It pours a hazy straw gold with a couple of inches of foam, some awesome lacing left behind as the foam shrinks slowly.

It smells like a lovely breakfast minus the eggs; smoked ham, big on bacon aromas, it has my attention 100%.

Tastes just like what I smelled. Big bacon, ham, yeah, the smoke IS intense and is not for the timid but I've never been accused of being timid. It comes in a 16.9 oz bottle and I'm sure, after I'm finished, I would not yearn for another but that's no slant on the brew at all. Sometimes one and done works.

Medium bodied with perfect carbonation.

This beer was, as I have finished, a real treat for me. Thanks again, Kevin!

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Photo of Auror
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in October, consumed October 12th. Poured into a small snifter.

Appearance- Much paler than I expected. Clear golden color. Medium head on pour, with okay retention…very small head ring on top.

Smell- Could smell the smoke from a sitting position. Getting in closer…delicious ham and bacon. The name speaks the truth. Even some of the Schlenkerla beers I’ve had didn’t smell this much like tasty meat.

Taste- Lifelong vegetarians should drink this to experience bacon for the first time. It’s all-bacon, all-the-time. As I grow acclimated to the smoke level, a nice crisp lager appears beneath the smoke and bacon.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and medium carbonation. Coats the mouth a bit, but not unreasonably so. Mostly just gets out of the way of the flavors.

Overall- This is a pretty simple beer. Super smoke flavors on top of a solid lager base. I bumped up the overall score because the taste was a 4.25.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.21/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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Photo of LeRose
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4 oz pour at Jack’s Abby in a tasting glass at cellar temperature.

L – Pale gold color with a 1-finger bubbly white head. Decent retention and some patchy lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles. The light color surprises me for a rauchbier with ham in it.

S – The name says it all. This smells like wonderful smoked ham. I’m trying to find more in this aroma and I can get some cereal malt, but this is smoky ham or bacon.

T – Once again this tastes like sweet, savory, and smoky ham. Even though I can’t get much else, the taste is not overbearing at all. There is the perfect amount of smoke and the perfect amount of ham here. They could maybe fit in a little bit more smoke and I wouldn’t complain.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky but smooth mouthfeel, and a spicy, smoky finish.

O – This is a very tasty beer. I wish I could appreciate some more aromas or flavors, but the aromas and flavors that are here are very well done. This is an extremely drinkable beer, especially for something that tastes like smoked ham.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - a pale clover honey color, with a thin white head that fades to lace quickly, a few scant streams of steady carbonation

S - smoky cured meats even dominate the aroma, hickory, bacon, glazed ham stuck full with cloves, slightly sweet conjures up maple bacon

T - FARRR smokier than the aroma let on. Like the smoky, cured, pork goodness went and got all their friends and ganged up my tastebuds. The blurb on this beer's profile page here on BA is not to be taken lightly. It is super smoky. That element is dominant, but doesn't kill your palate. The malt/hop profile provides enough support to keep this from being aone trick pony of a beer.

M&D&O - you have to love it when a beer exemplifies a particular style this well without losing its soul of a beer, and this beer is one of those beers. If you are a fan of Rauchbiers try to get this one!

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Photo of taez555
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a surprisingly crystal clear yellow pale body with a thick white head. If I didn't know any better I'd think it was a typical macro lager.

Nose hits you with the immediate pork/ham/smoke smell of a rauch bier. Big and meaty, but at the same time there's a strong sweet malt flavor that peaks through.

Taste is very similar to the nose. Very very clean and crisp with a great mix of smooth fresh fruity malt and even some floral hops then combined with a nice meaty smokey barbaque flavor. The sweetness really throws you off if you're used to the more traditional German smoked lagers. It's a lot more like JA's normal Jabby Brau but with a massive malting of smoke. Bitterness is kept in check and the smoke is what really shines through in this beer. Ends with a nice smoke finish, but actually subsides quickly and lets the fresh round malt flow through.

Yet again (I'm starting to sound like a broken record) another great beer by Jack's Abby. If you're a fan of Aecht Schlenkerla beers, you'll love having a local American version. A real winner here. I'm glad I picked up 2 growlers. :-)

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Photo of Damian
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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!

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Photo of Bierman9
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a 0.5l bottle of this ($4.49) in Winooski VT and quaffed it last eve (22AUG15) while watching Good Will Hunting.

It was a light to medium golden color, with a scattered amount of carbo heading topside. Seemed rather light for the style, closer to a Spezial than a Schlenkerla, for sure. Head was a 1/4" layer of creaminess which lasted decently. Lacing was there, though on the light side. Nose was wonderful, with a big hit of smoked beechwood wafting forth. Felt fairly smooth going down, though the body was a smidge thinner than medium.

Flavor had a light hit of bready malt, with some subtle caramel sweetness present. The rauch character, though, was solid all the way. The finish, like a good rauch should, was dry all the way. Was smokier than the subtlety of Spezial, though not in the class of Schlenkerla. A pretty good rendition, overall. Prosit!!

4.04/5 rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


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Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a fingers worth of head that fairly quickly fizzles down to small bubbles

S: Nice and smokey. Campfire, bacon, smoked meat, and some saltiness are all present. Light bread present behind the wall of smoke

T: Starts off with a good deal of smokiness that slowly fades off to reveal a nice bready maltiness. Finishes with a very light bitterness from the hops and a lingering smoke presence

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nicely executed American-brewed rauchbier that provides plenty of smoke in the nose while not being completely one-dimensional in the taste. Easy to quaff and drink lots of. Track some down if you're a fan of smoked beers

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Fire In The Ham from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.