Smoke & Dagger
Jack's Abby Brewing

Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger
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Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Smoked Beer
Ranked #20
Ranked #14,427
3.93 | pDev: 10.18%
Sep 29, 2023
Jul 30, 2011
Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke,and coffee accompany a full bodied-and sweet chocolately malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally grown unmalted barley from MA.

25 IBU
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Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
16oz can poured into a Sam Adams glass

A- pours deep brown in color with a ruby hue sneaking through the glass, one-finger creamy khaki head has great retention

S- roasted brown malts gives aromas of light coffee, chocolate, cereal grains, bread crust and just a hint of meaty smoke

T- crisp and chocolaty up front, immediately followed by roasted grains that adds notes of coffee, brown bread crust and a hint of dried dark fruits. The finish brings out light smoke, that adds a hint of smoked pork, which continues into the linger along with more chocolate and roast

M- medium body with medium carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a creamy finish, high drinkability
Sep 29, 2023
Photo of bubseymour
Rated by bubseymour from Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Really nice and sublety smoked lager. Not too roasty nor ashy. They did this one delicate. Well done.
Sep 01, 2023
Photo of Trilliji
Rated by Trilliji from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
A new favorite! Reminds me of Otter Creek Black Ale. It's like finding an old friend.

An excellent surprise when tubing on the Juniata River.
Jul 23, 2023
Photo of DarkPassport
Reviewed by DarkPassport

4.89/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Appearance: Draft into refrigerated pint glass (not by choice). 98% black, with the remaining 2% being red/brown. 1cm of tan head that receded in 1 minute. Good lacing.

Aroma: Smoky roast, like when you’re sitting on the patio while someone is smoking meat in the backyard and you catch a whiff of it.

Taste: Smoked bacon, coffee, chocolate, dark dried fruit, roasted peanuts.

Overall: Not quite as smoky as a typical Schwarzbier, but still very good. In fact, consider this a stepping stone to a Schwarzbier.

Pairing: Fantastic with a bacon cheeseburger topped with sauteed onions. Paired equally well with macaroni and cheese (smoked mac ‘n cheese is great, beer mac ‘n cheese is delicious, pork with mac ‘n cheese is lovely, so this pairing only makes sense). This beer was born to be paired with food.
Jun 03, 2023
Rated: 4.15 by beerrat from Virginia

Jun 01, 2023
Rated: 3.73 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

May 28, 2023
Photo of JayQue
Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I have yet to have a disappointing beer from this brewery and this one is no exception. I love smoke beer with Alaskan Smoked Porter as the top one the various Schlenkerla lagers right behind them. Smoke and Dagger is not far behind Schlenkerla!!!! Poured into a Pilsner glass from a 16 oz. can, this beer features a medium brown body with a lot of reddish light coming through when held to a light. The light tan head is frothy with good retention and there is some foamy rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma and taste are simple: bready malt, smokiness and a little coffee. Very well done, the smokiness level is just right, maybe just a bit less pronounced than the Schlenkerla brews. Alaskan Smoked Porter and some Schlenkerla beers have a kind of "smoked meat" aspect that is not apparent here, but that in no way affected my enjoyment of this beer. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, with the smoke level just right. Very well done!!!
Apr 12, 2023
Photo of Nass
Rated by Nass from Florida

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
The pour is dark brown with a moderate amount of carbonation. The taste is similar to coca cola soda pop. Cheers! B
Mar 26, 2023
Photo of LarryV
Reviewed by LarryV from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights and a fine textured 1/2 inch, tan head - almost looks like a porter. Aroma of roasted malt with a subtle hint of smokiness. Taste is big roasty malt with a nice bit of smokiness, but subtle and not overdone. Mouthfeel is on the creamy side with a fine carbonation. Really liked this and at $10 for a 4 pack it's a stellar deal.
Feb 21, 2023
Photo of BitteNochEinWeissbier
Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Very dark brown with a tan head. The head dissipates relatively rapidly leaving OK lacing.

Light smoke with some ash and char. Dark roasted malts. Faint notes of coffee.

Follows the nose with some bittersweet chocolate and a touch of earth added in.

Smooth but also crisp and quite dry. The body is medium

A slow sipper that is nice on a chilly night. The smoke is not prominent (much) and is nowhere near what a Schlenkerla delivers in that department. As the beer warms the Schwarzbier backbone becomes more prominent and the smoke less so.
Jan 24, 2023
Photo of hman43
Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look: It pours brown with a tan head. Head retention is good.

Smell: It has a complex smokiness to it in the aroma that features a bit of bacon and a woody smoke. There are some light chocolate notes.

Taste: It has pleasant bacon flavors with a slight bit of ash. There are some background coffee notes with a bit of chocolate.

Feel: It has a medium body.

Overall, a nice smoked beer with a nice balance of flavors.
Nov 24, 2022
Rated: 4.34 by Taenim from Maine

Oct 10, 2022
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Nearly black, crimson edged appearance with a large tan head that faded away in a hurry. Roasted malt aroma, light smoke, bittersweet chocolate and a healthy dose of coffee. Taste is a balancing act between a smoked beer and a schwarzbier. Smoke is evident but not harsh, the roasted malt add a dimension of caramel and chicory, while a subtle hop footprint helps provide the bitterness. Intriguing.
Aug 21, 2022
Rated: 3.84 by PaleAleWalt from New York

Jul 28, 2022
Photo of Bouleboubier
Reviewed by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
(16 oz can, 5.6% abv, no date/code; purchased single off shelf... poured into a 14 oz mug, with top-ups)

L: beautiful, clear, deep dark ruby-colored liquid; must be highly carbonated (or infected) as a lot of foam rose up on the first pour, necessitating a couple top-ups at the start... the head doesn't quite hold, but a tan collar stays; virtually no lace

S: beechwood smoked roasted barley and not much else, aside from a subtle dark grape-y malt undertone... pretty excellent expression and bold intensity... an earthy dark roast coffee bean overtone emerges later on

T: all smoke up front, with that raisiny caramelized malt note flaring up a bit in the middle, but soon giving way to the roasted barley char... all those flavors eventually coalesce and coexist in the aftertaste, along with perhaps a vague umami note which, combined with the roast/smoke gives the impression of smoked herring... second sip shows more of a black-bready base malt character, mildly peppery bitterness hanging in the aft... some bitter dark chocolate and ash gradually develop in the aftertaste

F: bit of a buoyant bounce to its body up front with tiny trails of residual legs and malty mud in the finish... delicately lip-smacky... the booze and smoke team to stoke a moderate embery warmth on the palate; the alluded to ample carbonation percolates with each sip, giving enough lift to help clear out the joint... gulpable, though I'd prefer more of a lighter bounce

O: perhaps lacks a bit of the malt depth (decoction?) that a Schlenkerla possesses, but it's otherwise more than a fine substitute when considering price... could've sworn I'd tried this before; swear I'll try it again more sooner than later (1956)
Jul 26, 2022
Photo of dano213
Reviewed by dano213 from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
16oz can purchased from the shelf as a 4-pack for $10.49 plus tax. Canned on date is 1/25/22, so this is one day shy of 6 months old.

Look: Pours a nice dark brown color; looks black in the glass even though it's not opaque. There was a nice, frothy, compact-bubbled cafe-au-lait head that slowly dissipated to almost nothing. Looks intriguing.

Smell: Nice aromas on the nose - chocolate, coffee, some smoke/char, licorice (think Good & Plenty candies). Lots of roasted malts. Secondary notes of raisins, dark cherries, figs, and red wine barrels. This smells very much like a porter or Baltic porter to me. I think that the smoke flavor on the finish of this beer is more pronounced. This beer smells rich, yet I know that it is going to be easy to drink.

Taste: That is delicious. It packs a ton of flavor in for a 5.6% black lager. I am also impressed that the smoke flavor is not overpowering. The flavors pretty much mirror the nose. Up front, there is a bit of welcome acidity and some prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and significant without being heavy. The finish has lots of lingering tobacco, charcoal, smoke, licorice, baker's chocolate, and coffee notes. Notes of Russian black bread with raisins. It's delightfully complex and also pleasantly simple at the same time. The finish is dry, and there are lots of nice malty notes on the finish that are held in check by the smoke, charcoal, and tobacco notes.

Feel: The mouthfeel is really nice. Not thin and not heavy. It's easy drinking with the right amount of carbonation, a moderate creaminess, and a lingering yet crisp and dry finish. The mouthfeel also has a slight chewiness, which is nice.

Overall: This is my second Jack's Abby beer review and my third Jack's Abby beer. I need to buy more of this brewery's beers! What is the distinction between this beer and a Baltic Porter style? I am thinking that a Rauchbier like this has a lower ABV, a lighter mouthfeel, and more smoke. Whatever it is, we need more of it!
Jul 25, 2022
Rated: 3.78 by Beer_Goblin from New York

Jul 14, 2022
Rated: 3.58 by emptyglassagain from Massachusetts

Jun 24, 2022
Rated: 4.36 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 24, 2022
Rated: 3.95 by Stignacious from New York

Jan 19, 2022
Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1157 ratings