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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 jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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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 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 johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
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.


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

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Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
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 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 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 VelvetExtract
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Crystal clear and the color of hay. Like most of the brews from Jack's Abby, this one is quite a vixen. Huge, sudsy head that doesn't wither away. Armies of bubbles feed the bleached cap in a determined and aggressive fashion. Clumpy lacing scars are left.

S-Smoked, cured, salted meat. Smokiness is pungent. The pig roast aroma soars out of the glass. Further dissection of the aroma yields a very strong Lager yeast component and a well hidden, yet respectable Noble hop dimension. I don't love the Rauch style, but this aroma offers enough secondary elements for me to enjoy and appreciate.

T-The Lager aspect is more easily understood in the flavor. There is plenty of smoke, but the yeast, hop and understated sweetness blossom on the palate. The aftertaste is phenomenally meaty. Roasted ham and bacon. 'Liquid Pig Roast' just keeps popping up in my head.

M-Feels fuller than a 5.4% Lager. Drinkability is moderate. Salt and smoke stick on my tongue. Bubbles are soft but plentiful.

O/D-I am very limited in my Rauch experience. I am limited because I don't really like the style. This is quite cool and super-unique. I did not love it. Well crafted, but not my style. I like their Smoke & Dagger considerably more. It tastes like it should be a beer that is pitch black in color. This brew is a great example of the abundance of talent at Jack's Abby; but this one really isn't for me.

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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 tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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 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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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 Dope
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden-orange pour. Decent fizzy white head.

S: Smoky and meaty.

T: Mild smoke up front but turns acrid in the middle with a strong meatiness. Not quite identifiable as pork product but it's definitely there. Not overly smoky but it's there.

M: Medium body, smooth.

O: Smoke doesn't overpower as it does in most rauchbiers. Overall a decent, albeit simple and interesting beer.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden yellow color with a large white head and decent lacing

S-smoked meat, malt, hints of sweetness and herbal

T-smoked pork, bready malt, hint of molasses, light herbal flavors, mild bitter dry finish

F-medium body with lively carbonation, crisp

O-a decent smoked beer with intense flavor and a backbone to support it

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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.

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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 OtherShoe2
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale yellow with a head that dissipates to a faint ring. No lace.

Nice smoke nose. Close to bacon.

Smoke up front, some ham notes, but not a lot. Expected this to be a real meatball, but it isn't. Moreover, the malt isn't here either. Mild and somewhat dry, it becomes an off balance beer that lacks complexity. Dries out and is smoky and mildly bitter with a slight malt note.

Lighter bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Has alot of hits, and a few big whiffs at the plate.

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Photo of DonFrap
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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 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 jaasen64
4/5  rDev +1%
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 .

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, October 2012
White wine glass

A: Pours out an almost BMC looking yellow color. It's slightly hazy though. I got about a 1/4 finger of bright white head. Good carbonation on this brew. There a little lacing after the swirl.

S: Definitely pulling that smoked meat/campfire note on this beer as soon as I cracked it. But underneath it, you do get that grassy, grainy malt and hop profile ala lagers. A cleanness.

T: Initially, you do get a little bit of hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Then that smoked malt: bacon, campfire, etc. hits you. It continues to the mid-palate, then converts over to the more lager like grassy, grainy malt bill. The finish is clean and dry, although some of that smoked malt flavor doesn't linger a bit.

M: It's a light-medium bodied brew. Without the smoked meatiness, it would be crisp and light I believe.

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