Jack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple Lager - Jack's Abby Brewing
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Ratings: 400 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
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4.05/5 rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks, angrybabboon. Poured out of a 500ml bottle into a snifter. Bottling date is November, I believe.
Dark amber in color, ranging on some redness throughout. Pours a decently fluffed up white head filled with large bubbles and slight stickiness throughout, but that dies down rather quickly. Carbonation, as always, is very good, with a cascade of bubbles that drift to the top. No faults here, although I'd never guess this was brewed with maple or smoked based on the appearance.
Oh yeah! THIS is a rauchbier, unlike the Coffee Smoke & Dagger I had right before this one in the same evening. Big notes of smokiness, often resembling honey glazed ham (Virginia ham, maybe?) and bacon rinds, alongside a caramel sweetness (again, no maple), pears, apples, and some grassy zesty flavors at the end. The power of suggestion would lead to me to believe that I was smelling some maple syrup here, but I believe its long gone at this point. This mainly shines for its smoky, savory flavor, alongside the undeniable touch of sweetness that this brewery's selection of lagers is known for.
The flavor is a blast of smoked honey and caramel glazed ham, some gaminess, pepper, and some creaminess from the malts at the finish. Slightly savory and hearty in character at first, this dies down and is replaced with some nicely balanced cider notes, pears, apricots, and lemon and grass zest at the finish. A caramel-like sweetness cleanses the palate and subdues the stronger smoky notes of the beer. The carbonation is stronger and cleaner based on how this beer was made, and the character is slightly refreshing and yet simultaneously biscuit-like, which makes it an easy (albeit steady) effort to consume. Really unique, and really fantastic to see domestic breweries making beers like this.
Man, I haven't had too many domestically smoked beers, but this one really hits the spot for now. I really wish they continue to make this, as I would love to have a fresher bottle of this and hopefully expect fresher maple notes within the beer. Otherwise, as savory as it is, I really enjoy how refreshing and crisp its build is.
Serving type: bottle
02-06-2014 19:47:20 | More by magictacosinus
4.14/5 rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Nice bright and clear auburn color with a hint of amber and cayenne. No real head. Definitely notice the maple and lots of smoke. Smells like a smoky gouda or sweet smoked bacon.
Tastes really bright and crisp. Good sweet maple up front then a lot of smoky char, but not burnt tasting. Really just smoked, with some hickory and cedar flavors. Finishes with a soft malt back bone.
Feel is perfect lager style. Refreshingly light but with a little oomph.
Really unique flavors and super drinkable. Great for BBQ or in the fall.
Serving type: bottle
12-13-2013 00:19:19 | More by dheacck11
4.19/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
Serving type: bottle
11-29-2013 21:15:27 | More by angrybabboon
Jack's Abby / Lawson's Smoked Maple Lager from Jack's Abby Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.