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Fire In The Ham - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Fire In The HamFire In The Ham

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

57 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 300
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 29.29%
Wants: 18
Gots: 24 | 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: 57 | Hads: 300
Photo of PicoPapa
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle. Pours a slightly hazy darkish yellow with an inch of head. Lots of lacing. Smokey, earthy aroma with lots of burnt wood, ham, bacon and malts. The taste isn't as smokey as I'd hoped. Somewhat lighter and watery. Salted and cured meat, ham, bacon and the smoked malt flavors, but not as in your face as I like in a Rauchbier. Cherrywood and meaty finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Almost tastes like a Pilsner with some meat added to it. Overall, not great but not bad.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.25] Dense packed 2 fingers of white head. Really tight bubbles look creamy. Cloudy apricot colored brew. The bottle lists the ABV (5.4%). I can't find any date info.

S: [3.75] Ever sit by a campfire all night then drop your sweatshirt on the floor before you go to bed... then put that sweatshirt on the next morning? That smell. Campfire. Burning oak. Bacon wafting from breakfast. There are some malty/bready tones under all of that.

T: [3.75] Pretty close to the nose. Dominated by the smokey bacon flavor. There is a bit of a malt backbone in there giving a bit of balance and sweetness.

M: [3.75] Decent body and carbonation. The finish is crisp.

O: [3.75] Like a nice lager with a bacon ice cube - in a good way! This might be a polarizing beer that you either love or hate. I really like it. I am a big fan of Jack's Abby Cloak and Dagger (another smoked beer). This is another winner - if you enjoy the style.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smokiness at an appealing level of taste and smell. This does not overwhelm the palate with smoked peat like malt but gives a dose of smoke that actually accentuates the clean fresh malt forward beer. This naturally paired well with many foods like chicken, BBQ, pizza, aged cheeses etc.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy, light golden color with a creamy pure-white head, with just the slightest bit of lacing.

The aroma is smoked hickory ham, with some notes of cloves and a hint of citrus.

The taste is lightly smokey, with notes of banana and ham (what an odd combination, but that's what I get) as well as a sweet malt character on the back end. Very crisp and a bit dry.

The feel is a bit heavier than expected with medium carbonation. Relatively smooth, with no alcohol present.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. I'm not overly familiar with Rauchbiers but it's an interesting concept and I definitely enjoy the smokey character found throughout the nose and the flavor.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on draft at Parker Pie after a trip to Hill Farmstead.

This beer is a novelty drink that you order once just to say that you have tried it.

The nose and flavor are all smoke, which by association reminds you of ham, but there is not a whole lot going on with this beer.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Weird! Now I've had a Rauchbier from Schlenkerla before but forgot to log it on BA. This one was just plain weird. Poured a nice and clear Pale yellow with a nice white head. The nose is of mild smoke character and a bit porky. Smoked ham, bacon and sausage. The taste is just a more intense version of the nose. Very porky with tons of ham and piggy character. Smoke is everywhere, very campfire like. It is surprisingly well balanced, tasty and highly drinkable. It isn't as smokey as the one I tried years ago and I'd love to give that one another go but this was a nice beer and my first from Jacks Abby.

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Photo of Roguer
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly clear, orange-tinged amber brew, topped by a modest white head with excellent retention.

Aroma is nearly all smoke, with a bit of caramel malt and grain in the background.

Flavor follows, albeit more nuanced than the aroma. Still, the smoke dominates, in a way that is far from unpleasant, but also doesn't really allow the non-smoke flavors room to breathe.

Extremely drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.04/5  rDev +2%
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 Greatheil
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25

Pale gold, slightly hazy. Faint aroma, no smoke, a little nutty with a bit of what might be peach. Taste is quite sweet. White bread, banana, with lemon or grapefruit notes. Reminds me a bit of a saison or wit. It's very tasty, except I get no smoke. If it's subtle, it's too subtle especially since their own description touts it as "intensely smokey". I get a good bit of it in the finish, but that's just not good enough.

Good price tho. You should try it, just don't expect it to taste like an Aecht schlenkerla.

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Photo of -Rick
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
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 markdrinksbeer
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Too smokey for me. I've had other rauchbiers and this was just over the top smokey. It overpowered the beer and made it seem like I was drinking a bottle of liquid smoke.

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Photo of abagofit
4.66/5  rDev +17.7%
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 AirBob
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

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 SportsandJorts
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

From 09/16/14 notes. 0.5L pour in a mug at Lord Hobo up in MA.

Pours a murky bright yellow-amber color with one inch of white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Smells of smoke, bacon, ham, roasted malts, charcoal. Tastes has more meat and smoke to it. Medium body and low to no carbonation. Smooth.

Overall a nice beer but .5 of a Liter was way too much for me; I'd have to cap it at 4-6 oz. personally. If you love super smokey beers check it out but a bit too much for me to want a full glass of again.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

This is a fine Rauchbier, but far from the caution advertised, and hoped for. Smoke is clear, but subdued IMO. By all other counts this is a fine beer for a crisp Autumn day. Even if it is still the 13th of September.

A grilled McCadam cheddar, horseradish dill havarti on multi grain bread with tomato cheddar bisque, definitely helped bring out the earthiness of this beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

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Photo of Durge
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This specialty brew is a cloudy golden hue with a respectable white cover and very little to show for lacing. The aroma offers a clear perfume of hickory smoke with a subtle ham and wheat idea to inspire the palate. And the flavor follows but my first impression is that it's a bit watered down from what the aroma suggested. In fact this brew seems to be aiming for a lighter, sessionable appeal with a decidedly frisky feel from pin point carbonation and a generally medium-light body. This is solid stuff that will translate very well into the summer months or to accompany an appropriate meal, but the flavor hits up front and then seems to quickly dissipate into the heavy carbonation. Likeable enough, one I'd definitely drink again, but not a show stopper creation as some of these Abby beers are. However, I don't think they were aiming for that anyway.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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 stakem
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with this. 500ml bottle into a snifter. The bree appears a clear golden color with a firm white cap. Some patchy lace hangs on the walls.

The aroma contains a smells of smoke like the obligatory enjoyable campfire and cured meats. A little bit of fruity hop/alcohol undertone is also present to break things up. By no means is the aroma obnoxious or over-done with smoke. It is apporachable and enjoyable with some added complexity beyond just smoked malt.

The flavor is equally smokey with some herbal hops to break things up. It boasts a dry grain base but bitter and herbal in the finish from the finish. The smoke quality is the leading profile of the flavor but it is not excessive and has enough other characteristics to take in an enjoy.

This is a medium bodied bree with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall an interesting mix and enjoyable. This is easy to approach and really easy drinking. I would not mind having this again. Thanks Heath.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a crystal clear gold color with some amber hues tucked in. 2 fingers of white foam which slowly dissipate. Leaves some big chunks of lacing against the glass.

S - classic rauchbier as far as smokey character. Bold though not as intense as those from bamberg. It is more wood driven. Oak, campfire, mesquite. Meaty notes lay underneath giving complexity. Mostly salty beef jerky, bacon and smoky ham. Sweet grainy malts and some slight notes of corn.

T - faint notes of corn and overall grainy flavors make up the base malt. Smokey flavors enter center palate. Flavors are much more meaty on the tongue. Salty beef jerky and bacon mingles with woody notes of bbq smoke. Finish is surprisingly clean. Just a hint of smoke.

M - lighter side of medium. Surprisingly crisp. Slick texture. Medium carb.

O - very nice take on a rauchbier. Much lighter than expected and quite the easy drink. Good show jacks!

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
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 BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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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Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Fire In The Ham from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.