Smoked Märzen | Jack's Abby Brewing

very good
23 Reviews
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Smoked MärzenSmoked Märzen

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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. A large proportion of Munich malts were used to create a Fest style beer with amber hue. We used specially smoked barley from Valley Malt. Prost!

Added by CloudStrife on 02-15-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 137
Photo of predikit
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt sienna, left a small fizzy white head that dissipated quickly, leaves minimal lacing behind.

Powerful smokey scent, I can't believe this is coming off of a beer.

Compared to the scent, the smoke in the flavor is much more balanced and not overpowering one whit. Has a biscuity finish, with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Medium bodied, leaves a very light residue, alcohol is completely hidden.

A very good brew in my book, but I prefer their Smoke and Dagger.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish light brown color, with a large frothy off white head. There is good carbonation and quite a big of lacing. The odor is intensely smoky, almost a salty ham, spices, malty, woods, slightly bread like. The taste is unique for me, very smoky, again almost ham/bacon like, herbal, very malty sweet on the back, not bitter at all.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev -0.2%

I come to this beer biased. I've not liked most of the smoked beers I've tried, but I love a good marzen/Oktoberfest and I'm a fan of Jack's Abbey (they know how to do lagers!).

A: Impressive head builds in my glass, only to quickly fade. Deeper color than most other Marzens, and a good deal cloudier.

S. WHOA! Camp fire! Huge smoke bouquet. Like barbeque over a wood fire. The only natural response is salivation, or there's something wrong with you. The smoke overwhelms the nose. I get some grain and some biscuit and cracker, but it's hard to tell with the smokiness. It's overwhelming, but not overpowering, if that makes sense. Like good barbeque.

T: The smoke hits the pallet first and last and carries everything through the middle. I've never had a smoked beer with such great balance. The middle brings forward the bready, cracker, and biscuit flavors. The grain is there, with a full, round character, that is nicely framed by the smokiness. The finish is long, with deep resinous smoke, slowly fading into a doughiness. Great.

M: Typical for a marzen, on the lighter side, but very smooth. Clean, were it not for the pleasant "dirtiness" of the smoke, which almost bring a gritiness to the table.

O: Great brew and a nice twist on a standard marzen. If you are going camping in fall, this is the brew to take with you!

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Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +6%

The smoke and tart toffee are a great combo in this beer. The ABV isn't listed on the .5 liter bottle, however, the body is fairly light and leads to high drinkability. If you're looking for the run of the mill Marzen, then pass this by. It's more Rauchbier, which I happen to have enjoyed.

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Photo of Reegze79
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

An absolutely fantastic rauchbier/ marzen. Pours slightly hazy orange, copper color with nice carbonation levels. Rich smokey, malt aroma that is just a hint of what is to follow. The beer is medium body and you are immediately hit with the intense smokey flavor that segues to the sweet mealtimes you expect in the Oktoberfest. I believe that the tastes evened out a bit and were less aggressive once the beer warmed up in the glass for 10 minutes or so. Nice smokey aftertaste; won't need a cigar after this beer

Again, I greatly admire the guys in Framingham that continue to expand their lager offerings and interpretations of Classic German styles.

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Photo of far333
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Burnished copper color with red highlights and a low orangey-yellow head that rises up minimally and settles out quickly. Low aroma of phenolics and smoke, a faint yeast note.

Rich flavor of bready, biscuity malt punctuated with distinct smokey flavors. Some noticeable phenols, a little meaty even, but very well balanced with the malt. Even mouthfeel, somewhat full and satisfying. Like being in Bamberg. Great beer.

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Photo of Theheroguy
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smokey flavors and smells have conquered this beer. It is like being immersed in a smoke house. I'm not the kind of person who can tell you what tree this woody flavor is from just that it is very prominent. Sweet malts come through on the nose but the flavorwise the malt is primarily bready. The body is light approaching medium. I'm getting a little spicyness from the hops. I want to say it is tettnanger but in reality I don't have enough information to know for sure. I would appreciate this beer more if the smoke flavor backed off a fair amount and if the hops and breadyness were more pronounced. Its a good beer. Not exceptional but good.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from Adams Hometown Market, Monson, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" blonde head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head pops away slowly, with sporadic lacing. Aroma is smoke and light fruitiness.

Taste is sweet to start, smokes comes on in the middle, and intensifiers through the close. Way smooth mouthfeel, and drinkability is nice and easy. Will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep amber body. Pours with a medium off-white head, but it dissipates quickly. A few bubbles pop up on the surface, but nothing sustains. Not even a collar.

Smell - The smoke dominates. It's not a burnt smell. More meaty. Some caramel malt back there.

Taste - Not anywhere near as smokey here. Much more caramel malt. Nutty. Kinda toasty. Sweet, really. In the middle, a little bit of that meaty smoke comes out, but some sugars quickly oppress it and it's back to malt and a bit of bitterness. The smoke comes out in the aftertaste, though. When the other flavors die down, smoke is left on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, but I think it's a little too sugary. Makes it a bit sluggish. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - I'm enjoying it, but it's more of an investment than I expected.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Mildly hazy golden-orange color. A creamy pillow of lacing stands at two fingers and doesn't fall. Globs of sticky lacing.

S: Campfire, smoke. Malt aromas of sweet pilsner malt and Portuguese sweet bread. oily and herbal hops.

T: Smoke and campfire blanket everything. Sweet, bready malt flavors underneath. Suggestions of hay and grassy hops. Hops go herbal and oily with a mild bite toward the ends. Vague hint of fruit. Woody smoke and sweet malts on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a firm malt backbone. Low carbonation and a creamy yet slightly frothy texture.

O: An enjoyable interpretation of the Bamberg style marzen. Not quite as tightly constructed as the famous Schlenkerla marzen, but a great stab at it.

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Photo of MacCherry
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Half liter bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Pours a beautiful, slightly cloudy copper with a nice off-white head. The head thins fairly quickly.The smokey malt nose is pervasive. Tough to pick up anything outside of smokey malt. Marginal caramel malt is quickly overtaken by smoke. Finishes with smoke. Smokey tail hangs around... indefinitely. Appropriate body for a marzen; fairly light. Pretty good, and if I didn't mention it before, smokey.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on June 6, 2014.

The pour is a cloudy copper-amber with a small off-white head that lingers for awhile.

I love the way smells and am not afraid to give it the top grade for that. Smoke, smoke, and more smoked malts, which is the way I like my Smoked beers to beer. So totally satisfying as far as I am concerned.

The body is a bit better than medium but it is also smooth.

While the smoked malts are the main force in the taste, the clean hop finish plays up a bit. I enjoyed this one but it is a style that is high my list of favorites.

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Photo of tviz33
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a .5 liter bottle in to a snifter.

A- Clear copper/brown body with a sort head which disappears quickly.

S- Mostly smoke and a little fruity candy-like sweetness if you dig deep enough.

T- Pretty much all smoke and malt. Not nearly as intense as Aecht Schlenkerla, but more drinkable.

M- Medium-light feel and medium-light carbonation.

O- Just what I wanted to satisfy my smoke craving tonight

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Photo of brureview
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a light copper color in a stein with a 4F head which resolved itself within a few minutes.

I could smell the smoke from the bottle. Quite intense smoky aroma, coupled with some light fruit from the malt. The aroma carries strongly throughout most of the tasting.

Mouth feel: very pleasant and not too carbonated.

Taste- smoke and malt. The fruit didn't carry to the taste.

Finish- slightly bitter and smoky.

Although beer advocate recommends 50-55F, I prefer the beer at 45-50F.

Overall: an excellent Rauchbier. Although this is brewed in the Bamberg style à la Schlenkerla, there is an American twist to the style. Great to taste Massachusett's own Valley Malt in the beer.

An excellent beer- I will buy another bottle. Jacks Abby continues to be in the American Lager vanguard.

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Photo of mynie
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jack's Abby are the east coat lager kings, imho, and so when I saw they had smoked a marzen I jumped at the chance to try it.

Pours like a crisp, copper marzen with a gorgeous and retentive white head.

I've only had a couple of smoked marzens before, and each time the smoke nodes completely blotted out the nutty, rich maltiness I associate with smokeless versions of the style. Here, the aroma retains some of the marzen malt depth that I so enjoy--but smoked nodes still dominate.

Starts off tasting like a HIckory Farms sampler, ends tasting like a medium-sweet Oktoberfest. Nice balance and super drinkable.

One of the most easily quaffed smoked beers I've ever had. I could drink it all day.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured out of a half liter bottle into a tall tasting glass

Off-white head and very spongy and thick. The body is very clear and amber colored

Smells like Jolly rancher candy with a nice whiff of Hickory like smoke

Very nice smoky flavor throughout that definitely pervades the beer. However underneath the beer is a very nice balance between malt and hops

Medium mouth feel

I like the spear a lot I like the fact that the smoke is not faint or subtle but rather forward. Yet the Marsen underneath that is the base of the beer is well balanced and detectable

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Photo of Duff27
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Off-white head recedes to a cap and collar. Body is a translucent dark orange color. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

S- Present campfire smoke in the aroma.

T- Short blast of smoke on the tail end of each sip...not overpowering but definitely unmistakeable. Biscuity, bready malts as well. Hints of alcohol... Drinks around 5.5%abv.

M- Medium to medium-low carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

D/O- Mmm, recommended to any Schlenkerla fans out there who need a lighter smoke fix. Highly drinkable for the style. Thanks for this one mj0126!

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Photo of Mark_Robinson
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Great burnt orange color straight out of the bottle. A fair two fingers of head that dissipates quickly leaving a slight lacing throughout the drink.

S: Very strong roasted malt aroma but not much else.

T: Tastes pretty much the same way it smells. Enjoyable roasted malt with a crisp clean finish and not any after taste.

M: Light on the palate and well carbonated.

O: For my first Rauchbier I'm very pleased. The taste wasn't overwhelming, it was well maintained so that you do not feel like your drinking liquid smoke. I would have enjoyed a more complex taste, maybe pairing the roasted malt with a nut of some sort. Still pleased and would recommend this beer to others.

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Photo of DrJay
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear orange with a bit of a reddish hue, topped by a short, fine cap of beige bubbles. Good head retention and lacing. Smoky! Wood smoke aroma with a hint of malt. Low bitterness with sweet, doughy malt and a bit of smoke in the flavour. Faint green hoppiness in the finish. Medium bodied with fine, creamy carbonation. Quite good overall. Very drinkable, and I'm not a huge smoked beer fan.

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Photo of Abra
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very beautiful burnt orange color with a generous frothy head.

Smell is smokey with a hint of caramel.

Taste is intensely smokey, as should be expected. The smoke flavor is pretty much the only thing I'm getting out of this one. There is a little bit of hops bitterness at the end, but it's difficult to distinguish any other flavors due to the intensity of the smoke.

I love the smoked flavor in general and this being my first Rauchbier, it definitely impressed at providing that "classic right of out of the smoker" flavor.

However, the more i drink it, the less I like it. The first few sips were really great though.

Overall, it achieved its purpose and any smoke fan should give it try.

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Photo of Dope
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Released recently but no bottling date. No ABV for that matter. WTF?

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber. Tall and fluffy light tan head. Great head retention and moderate fluffy little chunks of lacing.

S: Smoky, smoky, smoky. Not acrid, it's a smoky wood with decent sweet bready malt to balance it.

T: Smoke and more smoke. Kind of a sweet smokiness like a smoked bbq sauce. Very similar in fact, you even get a little umami like bbq'd chicken. Some mildly sweet caramel in the finish. There is a lightly acrid bitter smoke in the finish.

M: Somewhat light bodied. Unsure of ABV but I'm guessing 5-6%. Fairly smooth, slightly acrid at times.

O: Pretty simple and to the point. It's a smoked marzen. Period. Pretty tasty even though I'm not a fan of smoked beers. This isn't super bitter or acrid at all which makes it tolerable. Jack's Abby somehow makes the best smoked beers on top of everything else, who'da thunk it?

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Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I tend to find the majority of rauchbiers overly smokey. This one is definitely and exception. It has a really nice smoke aroma to it. It has some really nice smoke flavor as well, but as i said, not overpowering. I get a fair amount of malty sweetness, a hint of coppery flavor, and a bit of lingering bitterness. Solid stuff as always from these guys.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a light copper gold with a slightly yellowed head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Immediate smokiness is noticeable as soon as you put your nose to the bottle. Campfire smoke and burning wood combine with a slightly sweet carmely malt.

T: As with the aroma there is a serious smokiness to this beer. Doesnt overwhelm as much as some rauchbiers can instead it maintains a nice balance. A bit of sweet malts make up the backend.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation. Pretty easy drinking beer for all the flavor.

Overall I went in unsure and am pretty impressed. Real smooth flavor with a smokiness that adds depth.

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Smoked Märzen from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.01 out of 5 based on 137 ratings.
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