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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: 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: 57 | Hads: 300
Photo of LeRose
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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 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 greenmtn1111
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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 Chico1985
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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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 Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
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 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 BlackBelt5112203
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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 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 sinstaineddemon
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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 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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Photo of horshack7
4.74/5  rDev +19.7%
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 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 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 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 ryan1788a5
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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 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 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 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 AndyAvalanche
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
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 PeterIngemi
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a dfh snifter.

A: pours a slightly hazy golden with half a finger if white head.... Nice amount of lacing...

S: deep smoke and a light toasty grain, defiantly has notes of smoked ham and bacon.
Keeps from being overly campfire like however which is nice.

T: very similar to the nose, lots of smoke here, adding nice smoke ham and bacon notes. There are some light grain flavors here as well but the smoke is deffinatly the major show here.

M: nice medium body creamy medium carbonation and dry.

O: a very good rauch bier, there is pleanty of smoke going on here but it somehow keeps from being overbearing in a way... Some beers of this style infin to be far to much campfire smoke going on, but this is nicley done....

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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 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 taez555
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
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 +2.8%
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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Fire In The Ham from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.