Smoke & Dagger
Jack's Abby Brewing

Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger
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German Rauchbier
Ranked #14
Ranked #9,455
3.95 | pDev: 10.13%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger
Notes: 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
Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 1,113 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours dark brown with tall, long-lasting, fluffy beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of smoke, toasted malt, and noble hops. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of smoked wood, grassy hops and toasted malt. Finish is medium and smoky. Nice brew.

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Photo of FBarber
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish black color. Completely opaque and pretty shiny. Thin off-white head dissipates pretty quickly leaving no residual head.

Aroma has notes of smoked malts, smoked bacon, hints of cocoa and malts. The smoke is really dominant on the nose here.

Taste follows the nose with a strong presence of smoked malts, smoked ham and grainy malts. Some light chocolate malts come through towards the middle through the back end of the flavor. Light earthy, spicy hops are present on the back end.

Feel is medium bodied with mild carbonation. Pretty dry finish.

Overall a lovely beer and definitely a must try.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-ebony can pour with a tall tan foam cap. The aroma is of toasted malt with some char.
The flavor is primarily of toasted malts an some wood smoke (not too much) with a hint of caramel or dark maple syrup in the finish. This is somewhat slick and light-bodied, not a normative combination. This will be enjoyed by anyone who welcomes the style.

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Photo of KRug
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 3/6/19

Very deep brown in the glass with a finger and a half of tan head that leaves nice lacing

The nose is sweet malt with subtle smoke. I'm picking up breadniess, maple, and fresh burning wood

Damn is this stuff smooth, a nice light, lager-y taste with sweet malt and the subtle smokiness leading way to mild bitterness

The feel is lighter than I expected, only a little sticky at the end of the sip

Overall this brew is very unique and well worth the $1.99 single. I'd have to imagine this would be great on tap, I might have to make a trip up to Framingham soon. All flavors and aromas mingle very well to create an easier drinking beer than I expected, I can't wait to have this again

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Photo of Act25
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Like Jack's and smoke beers - so had me at first whiff.
s) And what a whiff! Wood fire, charcoal, malt, chocolate, cocoa, grass, fall earth.
a) Over a brown-black body, that keeps a tan cap and laces dots.
t) "smoky chocolate" as a BA-er wrote Layers of wood fire, peat, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, irish whiskey - much more going on in a 5.8% ABV makes for taste heaven. Finishes clean with grass and wood hops and peppercorn at the camp fire.
f) creamy but drying in finale
o) 4.25 across the board. Winner.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jack's Abby Brewing "Smoke & Dagger"
16 fl. oz. can, "CANNED ON 02/04/19" and sampled on 04/30/19

Notes via stream of consciousness: Seeing as how the name is "Smoke & Dagger" I'm expecting this to be at least a little smoky, but what's the rest of the beer like? All it says on the label is "black lager". I guess we'll find out. It's poured a very, very dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights beneath a full head of tan foam. It does appear black in the full glass, and holding the glass to the light I can see that it's a bit hazy. The aroma certainly suggests smoke. It seems to be Beechwood to me and reminds me of the stronger smoked beers from Schlenkerla in Bamberg. There are some dark malts beyond the smoke suggesting light chocolate but it's really the smokiness that dominates. The flavor is much fuller than the aroma suggests, and less smoky. It's sweetish upfront, and then you find bacon and golden caramel, followed by darker caramel, light chocolate, and a bit of roastiness. It's got a median bitterness to it (25 IBUs as per the label), and it finishes with a touch of sweet caramelish malt, smokiness, milk chocolate, drying roastiness, and a very light touch of earthiness and bitterness lingering. At this point I would definitely label this as a rauchbier although I've never tasted one that had a chocolate component before. It's quite smoky and flavorful, and very smooth. In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently crisp-then-smooth. Nicely done!
Review #6,567

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Photo of beertunes
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CanConPhilly for this one. 16oz can poured into 12oz tulip. Poured a solid black color with about 2 inches of tan head that had great retention and good lacing.

A nice, rich smoke scent greets the nose first, with solid grans underneath. The same profile on the tongue, with some gentle floral hops in the background.

The body was light, crisp, and smooth, with a semi-dry finish. Drinkability was very good, i could knock back a few of these, with ease. Overall, a very nice brew. A must try if you see it.

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Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark chestnut body with tan head

Smell - smoked malts, dark chocolate, molasses

Taste - molasses, dark chocolate, smoked malts, whole grain bread, hint of black licorice

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, smoky upfront and on the back end, middle has hints of molasses, dark chocolate and black licorice

Overall - this was an enjoyable beer that I will be sure to re-visit from time to time. Worth a try

price Point - $2.29/16 oz can

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Photo of Gajo74
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a rich creamy foamy head that shows great retention and yields lacing.
I’m hooked on this smoky aroma. It evokes smoked wood, bacon and smoked cheese. The presence of chocolate malts compliments it beautifully. Modest amount of grassy hops aroma.
Clean tasting at first, the smoked malt flavors soon open up, meaty, woody and rich. The development of chocolate malt flavors is lovely and sublime, hinting at chocolate covered bacon. Very low bitterness but a nice hint of noble grassy hops spice.
Finishes clean. Medium bodied and crisp.
A delightful smoked beer with elements of porter. I’m loving the chocolate and smoky flavors. Pairs well with BBQ. Gotta get some more!

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Photo of StanleysCup
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Have always loved rauchbiers and especially this offering. Scored a nitro version at Valhalla Beer Bar In Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

A: jet black with thin (1/4”) lacing around the edge of the glass;
S: somewhat lacking but still with sweet malts and a hint of dry smokiness. Was hoping for a stronger hue;
T: off the charts delicious with dark, toffee malts and a hint of smoke;
F: everything you’d expect from a nitro and that makes this already good beer eminently sessionable
O: perfect beer to welcome in fall.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like Coca-Cola. Black with dark brown edges. The head is small, fizzy, and tan, dying away after a few minutes to leave a thin ring and spotty lacing.
The aroma is massive pumpernickel bread and sweet black tea. Hints of dark chocolate, a whole lot of molasses, and some hints of dried cherry, prune, and raisin.
The taste follows the smell. Very rich pumpernickel bread with black tea and subtle savory smoke. The molasses and dried dark fruits sneak in, offering dried sweet cherry, plum and raisin in abundance. It finishes with a slight bite of black licorice/star anise spice, but the ends very abruptly, cleanly, crisply, and balanced.
The beer feels relatively light but is smooth and fizzy with a good level of carbonation. It drinks very easily, yet rolls around the palate to keep the flavors residual.
Overall, this is a complex and delicious beer, incredibly well made.

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Photo of Amendm
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16-oz. can needed a strong pour into a 20-oz. mug to get a ½ finger sized rocky tan head made up of large and fine bubbles. Head was short lived with minimal lacing.
Vintage rosewood dark brown, semi translucent shows amber-brown in front of light.
Smell features roasted malt with a hint of banana, semi-sweet malt and a touch of smoke.
Taste has added chocolate and roasted coffee with a very malty middle. The smoke flavor is light with a slight hop bitterness at the finish. Alcohol is well disguised.
Although it is very malty the body is on the lighter side with low carbonation. The drink starts out semi-sweet and finishes semi-dry with a short lived bitter and smoky after taste.
Octoberfest-like due to the roasted malt taste minus the smoke, Porter like in body and smokiness.
Big taste profile, not to smoky with a nice balance between semi-sweet and bitter flavors.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 12/27/17. Received from connecticutpoet. Poured into New Belgium snifter.

Dark black pour as expected with a nice firm finger of beige head. Hilly lace skirts the glass.

Lovely smokey aromas - meat locker, campfire, slight plum and apple. Yum.

Comes across a little thin on the flavor, although that could be due to the age. I get definite puffs of smoke, with hints of roast beef, apple, and plum. slight chewing tobacco, prune, slight metallic, faint herbal. Teetering between a 3.75 and 4 on this.

Feel is nice and creamy yet lends a smokey feel with a good carbonation, Nice dryness on the finish. Lingering dryness and parch.

Overall an enjoyable smoked beer with nice hints of apple, pear, and plum. Recommended if you're not sensitive to smoked beers (most are).

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Black Lager.

A: Beautiful burnt auburn pour sits an almost dark plum in the vessel accompanied by a slight saddle brown capping that was whispy and quick to dissipate.

S: Aroma of dark fruit, black cherries, dark malts, with an underlying smokiness factor. Soft eloquent roastiness, lightly oily, freshly grounded, medium roast, is earthy and very silky smooth with light charred hints of toasts. A faint background of fruitiness, perhaps from the yeast, has some smoky apples, and lightly charred pine that was very smooth with a nice awareness.

T: The flavor was very smooth and roasty, oily with some bitterness and smoked malt. Charred toast with some notes of fruit, apples. Some lightly smoked pine hops, silty smooth ash, earthy with some deep chocolate notes.

M: Tight and tingly carbonation bubbles, slick oily texture, with a malty feel. Silty smooth roasted warmth.

O: Overall in terms of craftsmanship its hard to bet against Jack's Abbey. Lagers refinement is their specialty. Eloquently brewed, silky roast, makes for a slow methodical drinker that impress with its nuances.

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Photo of twosheds
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a light tan head.

Smells like fire and burnt wood with some malty sweetness.

Very malt forward with chocolate and dried fruit flavors coming through. The smoke is less present in the taste but more noticeable in the nose and the aftertaste.

This is a great go to beer for me. Dark and malty, but not heavy, and just enough smoke to give it some edge.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the can, it pours a nice black with a modest light tan head. The head eventually dissipates to a nice ring. I get licorice in the nose and mouth. Hmm.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer poured a shiny black color with aggressive tan foam crowning the glass.

Smell - A light hickory smoke nose crowns glass.

Taste - The hickory smoke comes at the front with a hint of sweetness. The dark coffee malts come with a light sweetness. The bitterness lingers with the smoke being oddly sweet in the finish.

Mouthfeel - The feel, which is already thin, seems even more thoroughly with the carbonation.

Overall - This is a nice version of the style.

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Photo of CanConPhilly
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoke & Dagger - Jack’s Abby
Black Lager - 5.6% abv
Purchased for $2.49 at Monde Market

L - 1-finger tan head atop a translucent black body.

S - campfire smoke, roast, sweet malt, molasses, caramel, chocolate.

T - Mildly smoky, but with balancing sweetness.

F - medium-light body with medium carb.

O -I’ll take this smoky lager over a normal everyday brew without hesitation.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance – Thin layer of head on a dark brown clear body.

Aroma – Smoky, dark malts, a little coffee.

Taste – Dark malts, dark fruits, a little smoky, not quite like bacon but close. Not bitter.

Mouthfeel – Not thick but good for the style. Not too heavy.

Overall – Good beer and not overly smoky. Well done.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) can into a snifter glass; no production date on the can, but purchased at the brewery within the last two weeks.
A: Pours a very dark brown, think strong black coffee, with a minimal head, little retention, and soapy lacing.
S: Aroma initially of mocha gradually overwhelmed by bacon/roast pork. Maybe vanilla and/or caramel notes tucked in there.
T: Smoked/roasted flavor, again bacon/roast pork, predominately, although coffee/chocolate evident. Rather light bitterness and strong roasted aftertaste.
M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Meaty.
O: I have tried many rauchbiers, as well as several stouts and porters using smoked barleys. This is the first American made beer in the category that passes must and, Wow, did it ever. Kudos to Jack's Abby.

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Photo of Mineo
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

smoke and pepper on the nose with some chocolate. easy drinking feel, with roasted malts taking center stage. light aftertaste considering the style, making this highly drinkable despite being a bit one-dimensional.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Can

Pours out totally black , frothy tan colored chunky foam. Slow but sure dissipation ends with a decent thin cover left over.

Roasty barley malt, vanilla and cream sweetness with grassy and herbal hop aroma's popping out of the nose. Roasted grains, dried leafy hops combine for a very unique black lager thing.

A very easy drinking, mellow bodied dark lager, big and roasty barley malt, charred grains with a subtle creamy edge. Sweet n'sour lager yeast with earthy, leafy and grassy hops make for a rather bold concoction. Beechwood smoke and toasty, bitter chocolate sure makes it's addition known!

A smokey , black lager is just perfect for the dark part of autumn. Black cats and black lagers season!

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Photo of Antg8989
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice rauchbier. Smokey chocolatey, coffee aroma and taste. Pours brown not much head no lacing. Overall, my favorite selection from Jack's Abbey!

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pilsener glass. The appearance was a dark brown color with hues of hazy burnt brown coloring around the sides. A one finger white foamy head started and strolled down the sides of the glass. The smell started off with the "meaty" portion and light smoke. As it warmed, a light chocolate aligned to balance. The taste was a balance between the smoke, meaty, and a slight roasty quality to let in a tad of chocolate to balance nicely. There’s no aftertaste nor finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a pretty good sessionability about it. Carbonated finely, a nice smooth roasty quality strolls nicely over my tongue. Overall, pretty good as a well done beer but didn't necessarily see it as a true "rauchbier."

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

P- Poured from a 12 oz can,into a Cigar City pint glass.Fourth beer sampled from a Jack's Abby mixed 12 pack.Date on the package is MAR 24 2017.

L- Thick creamy light khaki colored head that stands just under a finger width tall.Moderate retention on the head,with a light sticky lacing.Black colored body with a ruby red hue,and very little light showing through the glass.High amount of carbonation.

S- On the nose I get smoked beech wood,roasted malt,dark roasted coffee,and sweet chocolate notes.

T- The palate follows the nose with roasted malt and coffee up front.Smoke beech wood and roasted malt are in the middle.The back end is sweet chocolate and smoked beech wood.

F- The mouth feel is thick heavy and sticky.Light amount of oxidation on the tongue,with a smooth,yet slightly dry finish.

O- This is a very nice beer.I do not believe I have tried any other offerings of this style before.That makes it hard to compare,but I know I like it.I will drink this again,and recommend at least giving it a one time try.

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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1113 ratings