1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Jack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple Lager - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Jack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple LagerJack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

437 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 22
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 437 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by Chazari99:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: orange-brown in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation, hazy

Smell: toasted malt and rauch smoke

Taste: toasted malt, rauch smoke, with a sugary slightly maple backbone

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium body, sweet and smoky

Overall: Way more rauch-like than maple like. The maple adds a sweetness, but you need to search for the flavor..the flavor before the smoke reminds me of a good marzen..A complex brew and one that I would get again, although I prefer Fire in the Ham..Love a brewery that does so many rauchbiers.

Photo of ehammond1
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via NBA LIF victory
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

A copper and dark amber without much of a head. There's a thin film of off-white bubbles atop. Leaves the glass nearly clean on the way down. Unremarkable and somewhat lifeless.

A nice maple and honey sweetness leads in the aroma, along with mild smoke and toast in the background. Simple, straightforward, but remarkably present.

Low bitterness, maple-dipped, toasted waffle leads the way in the flavor with a little bit of a lingering, almost meat-like smoke character on the finish. The smoke character lingers longer than the rest of the flavors. Moderately refreshing.

Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation.

An easily crushable bottle of an interesting lager, but I wouldn't necessarily seek it out specifically in the future.

Photo of hagbergl
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint on tap at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA.

Appearance (3.5/5): Amber and a one finger, creamy off white head.

Smell (4/5): Smells a little peaty and lightly sweet. Has a good clean lagery aroma and unlike any beer I've ever smelled. It has elements that remind me of Schlenkerla's rauchbiers but the maple character adds a completely different element to this beer. Really interesting, though some might rather call it "weird."

Taste (4/5): Wow. This beer is a lot different than expected. The maple flavor is not as intense as I thought it would be. The light maple flavor combines with the smoked malt to actually create a bacon-like flavor in the aftertaste. Very crisp. The flavor also has a bit of a sweet potato- or squash-like flavor. This would be perfect around the Thanksgiving table.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Light body and nice, medium carbonation that adds just enough effervescence to the beer. It has a very lagery feel to it–clean and crisp–and the smoked malt is not overwhelming at all.

Overall (4/5): This beer is actually quite easy to drink, despite what the name might make one think. The smoked malt and maple flavors separate this beer from the pack, and in a good way. This beer has the flavor of acorn squash with maple syrup. The one point I will make about this beer is that it might be best enjoyed in a smaller serving, say, 9 or 10 ounces instead of the full 12. Good stuff, nonetheless; something I expect every time from Jack's Abby and Lawson's.

Photo of greenmtn1111
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard pub glass.

A: 4.25 - Medium amber in color with a small cream colored head that dissipates within a minute. Beer is opaque with no visible sediment.

S: 3.75 - I get chocolate malts right off the bat and then a hint of maple.

T: 4.00 - I can definitely taste the lactose sugars its says were used on the bottle. The smoke is definitely present but not overpowering, enough so that it's pretty refreshing and easy to drink. I wish the maple stood out a little bit more, though. That's my only complaint.

M: 4.50 - Very crisp and clean on the palate - typical of a Lager from Jack's Abbey.

O: 4.25 - It's great to be able to purchase something touched by Lawson's here in Massachusetts. I don't drink smoked beers very often but this one I could see drinking all the time.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear amber. Not much of a head. Settles to nothing.

Smell - Smoke and lots of maple. Not a lot else going on. Caramel.

Taste - Sharp smoke. Lots of caramel and maple. Clean.

Mouthfeel - Smooth clean finish. A little drab.

Overall - Smoke and maple are the only interesting characteristics.

Photo of bum732
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

S: Smoky BBQ up front, hint of maple sweetness, bacon like, but fairly mild

L: Hazy, dark burnt orange. Creamy white head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Smoke up front with a soft maple candy like sweetness. Low bitterness with a slight grain note in the middle. Maple wood like dryness in the finish. Fairly clean on the palate into the end.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Not bad, more smoke than maple. I think i prefer Smoke and Dagger over this beer.

Photo of Treyliff
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A- pours a bright & clear copper color with ruby hue, small fizzy white head that reduces to leave a few patches of lace

S- smoky roasted malt with notes of campfire, coffee bean and earthy aromas, sweet maple. This actually smells very similar to a nice smoked porter

T- caramel malt, sweet honey, baked apples, glazed ham. The smoke actually becomes most prominent after the finish with a camp-fire-ash smokiness that lingers on the palate

M- medium body with moderate prickly carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry, crisp finish

O- definitely the most drinkable Rauchbier that I've had. It's sweet up front and smoky on the finish

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Prohibition Pig.

A - Cloudy orange/brown colour with a thin layer of cream coloured head

S - Smoke and sweet maple. Lighter nose than expected. But nice.

T - Perfect amount of smoke and maple. Great flavour integration with some sweetness and breadiness.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

O - One of the better smoked beers I've had. Very well done.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: auburn, tawny red, off white head, no lacing really.

Aroma: maple, smoked meats, caramel, nuttiness.

Taste: caramel and bits of maple sugar come through the most, with hints of smoke.

Mouthfeel: medium body for a lager, creamy, moderate carbonation.

Overall: unique, smells great, a little lacking in taste, but good nonetheless.

Photo of mcintire78
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a: Medium Amber to deep amber with little carbonation or lacing.

s: Noticeable scent of smoke up front with a sweet malty smell in the back.

t: A slight malty taste up front, maybe a little bit thin, which fades into a moderate carbonation.

m: Smooth up front and carbonated in the back.

d: High level of drinkability, if sweet and smoky is your style.

Photo of take_it_sleazy
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured this into good nature snifter. I really enjoy everything ive had from both breweries so far.

A: a nice, deep copper color. Minimal head that dissipated pretty instantly. No lacing.

S: maple hits me instantly, with smoked malts following subtly in the background. Not getting much hop aroma in this one.

T: not nearly as much maple as I thought I was going to get. Nice, mellow beer that works very well with the selected malts. A crisp refreshing taste. A lunch meat like aftertaste with spice lingering.

M: light bodied, plenty of carbonation. A surprisingly good beer for a warm summer day. Normally maple is associated with porters, but the subtleness of the maple allows the body to be a large presence in the enjoyment of this beer. An astringent like after effect that coats the inside of the cheeks. Interesting beer in this respect.

O: got this one along with the 2nd anniversary and I must say I enjoyed the double ipl more. That being said I find this beer highly enjoyable, but I was expecting a bit more from a collab effort from two of my favorite breweries. A great option if you are craving something sweet and malty.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 11/29/13, originally saved for Thanksgiving night, but I was too drunk on pie

Appearance: Somewhere between medium amber and dark copper in color, lightly hazy with some clarity, pours with a medium-sized, light beige head, fades to a nearly solid cap - leaves some nice streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Light smoke and maple aromas on top of a nicely complex malt profile - smoke, smoked malts, and some general roastiness - some maple, not a ton - some nice caramel malts, biscuits, and some molasses - light sweetness - light hint of hops - very clean overall, especially for a Rauchbier

Taste: Remarkably balanced considering the big flavors here - nice, low amount of smoke - might be disappointing to someone looking to drink an ashtray, but it works for me - lightly smoky with some nicely smoked malts - some maple syrup and molasses - caramel, caramel malts, and some toasty grains - ultimately, the flavor profile is like biscuits drizzled with maple syrup and then heated up over a campfire - nice depth for the malts, finishes very clean

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, finishes crisp and clean

Overall: Pairs best with pancakes, beards, and flannel

I've only had a few beers from Lawson's, but I think I have had enough (along with beers from Jack's Abby) to claim that this is a remarkable fusion of what I would expect from these breweries. This is a very nice beer, and I'm glad I was able to find it on the shelves months after it first appeared.

Photo of MRsojourner
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

nice clear light brown appearance with a semi off white 1 1/2 inch head.

aroma is mainly very light smoke hints and a touch of caramel. a little lacking.

taste is a total different story. for a lager i'm impressed with the mouthfeel and the smoke is not as prevalent as it is in the aroma. I believe the maple does shine through making up for the malty feel in the beer. its somewhat sweet followed by the smoke finishing semi dry with little to no hop presence. I have to think some of this would be great barrel aged.

very good job with such an intriguing combination of ingredients

Photo of N17shelfside
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Maybe rating a little high because I really like maple syrup, but this is interesting for the "rauchbier" style that it emulates with the syrup variation. Not a lot going on with the initial smell, maybe because the beer is a little old now? On the pour the head appears and disappears fairly quickly. The smokiness was very light compared to something like Aecht Scherlanka, and stronger than something like Boson de Higgs, although it lingers softly in a pleasant way with the extra sweetness that the syrup imparts. Overall a nice summer drinker.

Photo of LeRose
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half liter bottle poured into lager glass.

Poured a deep bronze color, about three fingers of white head that only persisted for a short a while.

Aroma was a little muted until it warmed up. Not overpowering in any aspect. Slightly smokey, a little maple, malt sweetness.

Taste is light. There is a little maple, a little smokiness, a little malt, and sweetness. Maybe a slight bit of acidity, hardly any bitterness. I think it could use a touch more maple. It seems very balanced and mellow, laid back with nothing over the top. Intensified just a bit as it warmed.

Mouth feel is smooth and creamy, not syrupy as expected. Light, not overly carbonated. Very drinkable. Dry and sweet on the finish, slight maple sweet/stickiness in the aftertaste.

Overall, enjoyable and drinkable brew. I would rarely say this, but it is one I think could use a bit of the more is better attitude. Think they could bring up the smoke and the maple just a notch. I will go find some more - think it will work well during grilling season for lighter fare.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange with a smooth blanket of tan foam. Smells like smokey maple candy, brown sugar cured bacon and one odd whiff of orange juice. Big, full body. Tastewise, maple and smoke backbone with little brown sugar honey sweetness underneath. A little bready as it warms. Very woodsy.

Usually maple ales suck because the maple sweetness ferments out and and tastes like burnt fruit. I'm not sure if it's the lactose, brown malt or whatever but this maple ale actually tastes like maple.

Photo of cbutova
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2nd time enjoying this one.

A- Dark amber beer comes out of the 16oz bottle into a medium sized snifter. A foamy, fine bubbled white head forms to about a finger and retains decently. It all falls to a small ring eventually and it leaves spotty lace.

S- Aroma reminds me of both Browns and Smoked beers. A good smoked but not overly burnt or campfire like malt note up front. This melds with toasted nutty malts, light caramel and some maple sweetness.

T- Smoked malt forward again at a moderate level I would say compared to most other smoked beers I have had. These malts give some bacon, campfire and woody notes. Balancing this out is some nice earthy maple, nutty malts, caramel, sweetness and some spicy dark fruit.

MF- Silky light-moderately thick body. Carbonation is at a medium level and feels really smooth on the palate. Tiny bitterness in the finish.

A little bit sweeter than I usually like but still a nice easy going maple beer. Love the smoked aspect too.

Photo of abraxel
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 8, courtesy of Auror. Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep, coppery, slightly hazy orange with a small amount of off-white head that recedes to a thin film with a ring around the sides.

S - Savory, a little smoky, with maybe some caramelized sugar like in a scotch ale. Intriguing.

T - Very smooth, toasty, bready, slightly fruity malt, sweet but not overwhelmingly so. There's just a subtle touch of smoke at first, but it becomes more obvious as it lingers. I'm thinking it might be a smoked bock of some sort?

M - Moderately thick and quite smooth, with a prickle of carbonation.

Overall, I like it! It's an interesting and quite tasty beer.

Non-blind comments: The maple is really subtle, I completely missed it. I know it's tough to get a strong maple flavor, but I would have liked more.

Photo of MNishCT77
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle obtained on trade (thanks, Greg R.), 2013 vintage but unclear bottling date, poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 10/31/13 over an hour.

A: 2/3 - amber-red coloration, moderate clarity (could not read or see through), one finger head resolves into a subtle glass lacing persisting throughout pour, minor alcohol legs

S: 9/12 - intense smoke/rauchbier aroma admixed with caramel and maple notes

T: 16/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's an intense smokiness with some minor Noble hop spiciness; in the middle of the mouth, the malts start to emerge that matches the aroma perfectly - again, maple, caramel, toffee; little aftertaste that invites another sip quickly; little-to-no lager yeast flavors on my palate

M: 3/5 - moderate-bodied; appropriate carbonation; little alcohol aroma

O: 8/10 - I am not a big fan of rauchbiers and smoked flavors in other styles; however, this beer comes correct due to the balance of the malts, maple and clean lager yeast; I'm drinking this beer from Framingham on Halloween, which seems appropriate; solid Fall New England beer here from two excellent New England breweries

TOTAL = 38/50

Photo of jsg978
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

Another great beer form an amazing brewery.

The Maple provides the perfect sweetness that most Rauchbiers ultimately lack to balance out the smokiness.
Had from the bottle plenty of times. Finally got to try it on tap. Draught puts this beer into the phenomenal category. The Maple comes through and flourishes. Never overpowering, a nice compliment to this style of beer.
Very smooth drinking and can be drank in both the dog days of summer and the snowy days of a New England Winter.

Can't wait to see what Jack's Abby comes up with next.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Red gold body with fluffy finger of marshmallow head.

Nose is smoky and sweet. Mouthwatering.

Flavor is light but sweet. Not a usual combination. Smokiness is very present, but not over-powering. Maple sweetness really hits the mark here, without being cloying.

Pretty thin overall. Mouthfeel is slick and lightly coating.

Drinkability is very high. The mild flavors and light body make it very easy to enjoy.

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzy head, hazy maple amber color.

Nose starts with smoke, smoked malt, light campfire, a maple syrup and caramel molasses but not a lot, bit of smoked candy. Not much else.

Taste starts again with smoke, smoldering log and campfire, smoked malt, etc. Then maple, light syrupy maple and molasses malt like, semi sweet, toasty. Finish is dry but sticky, lingering maple and light smoke.

Mouth is med bod but syrupy, decent carb.

Overall ok but nothing too special. Just smoke and maple, nothing else, narrow minded and maple is in the light side for a Lawson beer. Underwhelming.

Photo of WillCarrera
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, thanks Matt!

A- Pours a clear amber color, a bit of white head that recedes pretty quickly.

S- Actually smells very nice, great blend of smoke and maple, which works really nicely together.

T- Similar to the aroma, with maple and smoke, but unfortunately the flavors are quite a bit more watered down and thin compared to the aroma.

M- Light-bodied, has a thin, slightly watery feel.

O- An enjoyable beer, the aroma is really great, and I would recommend picking this up just to try, but it could use a bigger dose of smoke and maple in the flavor department.

Photo of jdhowe
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of JOSHMAN -- thanks! :)

I'm a little excited about this, but also a little worried because it reminds me a bit of the Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale, and that one wasn't really my thing.

A: Pours a cloudy amber with minimal fluffy off-white head that quickly dissipates. Unsurprisingly looks not too much unlike maple syrup, but a much thinner version.

S: Slightly smokey, and a little syrupy sweetness, but lots of malt and yeast aromas. Not as strong and sweet as the maple bacon ale (thankfully), but not incomparable in aroma.

T/M: Flavors are nicely subdued. Much more drinkable than I had thought it might be from the smell. Well carbonated light to medium body with a slightly drying lager finish and a lingering smokiness. A nice crisp bite starts and finishes the sip, and the alcohol is not evident. Flavors over the middle are nicely balanced... syrup and malt provide a sweetness that is not overwhelming and the smokiness that begins there and lingers to swell as an aftertaste provides a little complexity to the profile. A much better approach to this combination of flavors than Rogue's.

O: The best smoked maple beer I've had, but that's not saying a whole lot. I definitely am not overly sad to have 2/3 a glass of this left to sip over the next hour, but this is not one I see myself going back to. Jack's Abby is doing some excellent and interesting things with lagers, and I've enjoyed both beers by them that I've had.

Photo of davey101
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Has the remnants of a bottle on date but it is too far gone, it's definitely fresh though.

A - Pours a hazy burnt amber/red body that lets some light through to show some rising carbonation. A fingers worth of light tan foam fades away quickly but leaves a thick edging that sticks around forever. Decent lacing and meh retention.

S - Last year I discovered the magic of drenching bacon with syrup. This is pretty much spot on. Plenty of that smoked ham/bacon meat thing with some light chocolate malts. The end of the nose is a subtle yet insanely phenomenal maple sweetness. This is the thing of breakfast wet dreams.

T - Smoked meats, grainy malts, a sort of light metal thing that I get in some bocks, and then finally the maple sweetness on the end. Not as great as the nose but still awfully tasty. Most rauchbiers aren't my thing but balancing the smoke with sweetness is really the key here. This is nowhere close to being "over the top" or "like chewing on cigarette butts". Mmmmm, maple bacon.

M - Smooth and creamy with a certain crispness and lightness to it. Dat Jack's Abby lager voodoo magic. However the flavors are somewhat bold so it gets a bit tiring to drink towards the end.

O - Like most people I was very pumped to try a collaboration between two highly coveted New England breweries. When I saw the less than stellar reviews piling in I was left with low expectations. This was a good thing because I totally love it for what it is. This is the beer that Rogue wishes they could have made. If you go into it expecting something ala Fayston's Maple stout you need not apply. But if you like approachable rauchbiers with some nice maple sweetness then you might just dig this.

to view more.
Jack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple Lager from Jack's Abby Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.