Smoke & Dagger | Jack's Abby Brewing

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Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

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

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by mduncan on 07-29-2011

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 1,017
Photo of edward_boumil
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark black, head disappears quickly. Can see a lot of carbonation.
S: Smokey, like smoked meat, roasted grainy, nice cereal character, slightly sweet. Nutty, chocolately.
T: Notes of cacao, almonds/nuts. Smokiness is less prominent here but is present on the back end of things. Less sweet than the nose.
F: Despite a robust, appearance, this is a light, refreshing, easy drinking beer.
O: I enjoyed this beer a lot. Not as robust as something like scherlenka (or however you spell it) but has a nice amount of flavor while maintaining drinkability. Good winter beer for sure.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 12 oz. bottle poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: 1F+ head with good retention, leaves spotty lacing, but nice cap and ring. Beer is just about 100% dark when held up to light except at very edges.

S: Smoky, malty, coffee, and chocolate. Quite nice. A little muted.

T: Follows nose. Lots of coffee plus chocolate malt melding into smoky maltiness. Enough hops to keep it a bit dank and bitter.

F: Light to mediumish body, light to medium carbonation. Lingers a while on the palate. Good construction and balance.

O: Very nice black/smoked lager. Not even sure what the style is exactly, when it comes down to it, but it tastes good.

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

On nitro. Poured dark burnt red, almost black. Smells of roasted malt with a hint of hops. Taste is same but stronger than expected. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Damn good beer.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pitch black color with a creamy medium brown head and a few fingers of lacing on the glass.

S: Quite a bit of smoke and chocolate malt, some toasted malt. Some dark stone fruits in the nose too.

T: Quite a bit of smoke, notes of smoked meat, chocolate and toasted malt. A bitter chocolate bitterness.

F: Pretty full body and creamy carbonation.

O: Ths beer is very smoke forward, but I really like it.

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Photo of beergoot
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown body and produces a thick, fluffy, light tan head. The aroma presents a light blend of chocolate and faint suggestion of ash and wood smoke. The flavor delivers some cocoa sweetness; minor hop bitterness. Smooth body; slightly watery.

This is a decent beer that brings on more of light, chocolate porter quality more so than any kind of smoked or rauchbier character. It offers a nice roasted grain and cocoa flavor, leaning more towards the sweeter side of things. Nice.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque dark brown bordering on black. The head is one finger and dark tan. Retention is moderate and there are some whispy spots of lacing left behind.

Smell is very grainy. Roasted grain aggressively takes over while chocolate and coffee are left in the background.

Taste is much better and more balanced. Coffee, chocolate and roasted grain all play their part and then there is a nice bit of smokiness mid sip that lingers into the finish and even the aftertaste.

Feel is medium and slightly oily with low carbonation.

Overall a good beer. The smell is disappointing, but everything else about it is solid.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Order in a sampler at Jack's Abby. The beer had a thick, slightly light brown head, and was black in appearance. Not too much smoke in the aroma, but a good amount of coffee, cocoa, and malt. The smokey vibe was more felt in the taste, which was toasty with some malt, oatmeal grain, and coffee flavors. Nice and creamy overall with a good texture and carbonation. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer, probably the most, in my 4 beer sampler.

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Photo of PDonahue92
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Inky Black/ very dark. Clear. thin foam large bubbles. low carb. short lasting head retention and no lacing
S: chocolate, toasty, very light smoke
T: Roasty, smoke, chocolate, ready, restrained hop bitterness, light roast coffee
F: light body, low carb, medium length finish
O: this is one confused beer. it wants to be a Rauchbier with its use of beechwood smoked malts but doesn't lend itself to a smokey smell or overbearing taste. I would just call this a Schwarzbier. It better fits the profile of this style being darker in color, with notes of roastiness, coffee, and chocolate. Yet it does have a slight hint of smoke I would still say it falls far from a Rauchbier.

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Photo of Holderness
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L -- Like a porter but with a weaker head. Incredibly dark for a lager
S -- Oatmeal and wheat
T -- Like a light oatmeal stout with more fizziness
F -- A light take on a dark style
O -- One of the more interesting offerings from Jack's Abby

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with tan head - looks almost like Guinness.
Smell and taste is all coffee and chocolate, like a stout, but with a lighter body and feel.
The smoke is subtle -- it's like they're reconstructing the intense flavors of an imperial stout in something that's borderline sessionable or at least drinkable in the summer without weighing you down. Would totally get this again.

 384 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle
No date

Pours an impenetrable black with three fingers of tan foam. Head is pretty solid, slowly settles, gloppy sheets of lace with good retention. The aroma is of lightly smoky wood, black tea and cream, there is a vein of brown sugar that holds the some up. Flavors of toasty malt, bark, minerals, slight roast/smoke astringency, hint of burning sweetgrass. Nice and smooth to drink, medium minis body, same for carbonation. This is a tasty beer. It is not too strong on the smoke, could even be a touch more but I like beers like this a little on the weak end of the sausage spectrum. Tasty, drinkable, nothing flashy, well-made.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip
the bottle says 10/16/15 so if that is bottling date then 10 months old, which should be fine being that this is a smoked beer, but we will find out
L- pours a dark brown, looks black in the glass quickly dissipating tan head
S- coffee and light grain in the nose, along with some smoke
T- light grain, syrupy coffee, slight smokiness, going back to that coarse grain on the finish
F- light bodied, above-average carbo.
O- this is an easy drinking dark beer (shwarzbier), with some smokiness so definitely made to style but maybe it's the age but the coarseness of the malt doesn't sit well with me

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Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I tried this from the bottle chilled in a willybecker.

The color is an appropriate dark cola brown with thick khaki head and copious lace with very fine bead. The smell has a plethora of malt aromas with both roast and smoke and slight caramel sweetness in the aroma yet a mostly dark toasted grain fragrance is perceived. The feel is very mild with smoke and mild sweetness up front too with moderate carbonation and light creamy texture mid palate with roast coming later toward the finish with mostly dry quality.

The taste is great almost as good as it smells with an excellent flavor that has layered malt that is round with light roasted and smoke elements that are counterbalanced by slight caramel flavors. The sweetness is not overdone it is a mild accent with a nutty toast flavor as it finishes semi-dry with subtle special roast type dark sugar quality. This is a great beer -one of the best black lagers I have tasted, just fantastic in every way. The flavor is subtle yet refined with low abv in the taste and lots of malt complexity with an almost porter-like robustness.

 1,091 characters

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

From a 12oz bottle, undated. Served in a tulip.

Pours nearly opaque, the colour of maple syrup, with a finger of pebbly tan foam. Retention is fleeting, leaving scant spotty lacing.

Nose isn't as prominent as I expected. Maybe it's me; I don't seem to be smelling anything lately. I should start crowd-sourcing smell from other peoples' reviews. Anyway... toasted cereal, rum-soaked raisins and hot sidewalks after it rains.

Taste is roasted, toasted cheerios with currants and dates, just a little bacon, a little orange peel, a little medicinal herb bitterness.

Feel is light-to-medium bodied, crisp, with a fuckton of fine, fizzy carbonation.

Overall, an accessible, easy-drinking rauchbier with under-powering smokiness. Definitely on the light end of the rauchbier spectrum - but that just means that you can enjoy several of them. And I did.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ Barcade in New York, NY.

Dark brown with a small light tan head. Ruby highlights and clarity around the edges when held up to the light. Mild roasted malt abound in the aroma with light chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Light herbal hops tie it all together. Clean, roasted malt flavor and the smoke becomes more noticeable. The chocolate flavors help make this beer smooth, yet it remains light and "lager-y." Very clean finish with no bitterness at all.

This really reminded me of a schwarzbier with the addition of smoked malt. You'd be hard pressed to find a better beer to pair with the delicious chili cheese fries or duck nachos at Barcade!

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Photo of Sabtos
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark cola brown with a thin, tan blanket.

Smokey nose, but not an ash tray, more like a fireplace, which at times can be too much for me, other times not.

Flavors of frothy bacon with nutty caramel and faint chocolate.

Not the most complex or surprising brew given the name and expectation, but I've had worse smoked beers that are downright undrinkable. While not offensive, I'm not on the bacon and chocolate bandwagon, and this didn't stand out as a repeater for me.

 472 characters

Photo of 57md
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with half a finger of head. The nose has a good dose of smoke along with some roast. The flavor is the reverse of the nose with the roast playing a more dominant role. The body is just hearty enough to ensure that the smoke does not become overbearing.

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Photo of tempest
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer can be boiled down to bacon and chocolate, and that's awesome. This lager still has a good crisp edge to it and it's medium bodied. I'll have another.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like you'd expect or like it should. The looks are proper on this one. Black with tan head. It smells like a campfire. May be more meat than smokey, though. The smoke is prominent, giving it the taste of a pork product. There is a tough of roast and chocolate, but it could be more pronounced. It's still very clean as most JA beers. Pleasant to drink, wish I had some charcuterie to drink this with.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. It pours a dark cola color with a thin, light tan head and lacing. It smells of roasted malt and campfire smoke. The smoke is present in the taste but more subdued than many Rauchbiers I've had. There is a nice malty backbone with noticeable wheat and touches of chocolate and caramel. It has a nice mouth feel: medium-bodied and lightly carbonated, and with an ABV of 5.8%, it is super-drinkable. Overall, this is a fun beer to drink, particularly for someone who can't take too much smoke.

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Photo of nanertak
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber, thinnish head. Smell is restrained campfire smoke, malt backing. Taste mirrors smell, but has more of a smoke presence. Mouthfeel is excellent, not too heavy and not too light. Pleasantly chewy but not sweet.

Well crafted beer. Slow sipper for sure, packs a punch of smoke flavor that makes you take your time.

 336 characters

Photo of Lembeh
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always good to see an American brewery making this tasty style. This beer smells like camp fire, smoked meat, roasted malts. In the mood for some BBQ but dont have a smoker? In the mood for beer but dont have access to a good local smokehouse? Get the Smoke and Dagger. This is a delicious beer that imo can compete with some of the best rauchbiers from the land of the teutonic. Get it if you can.

 399 characters

Photo of crisis1290
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jack's Abby Brewing Smoke and Dagger was different for sure ! Jet black on the pour. Not a lot of carbonation or head. This beer has many layered flavors. Not a big fan of smoke beers but it was worth the try . But..I am a huge fan of this brewery. Nice amount of carbonation. the nose follows the taste for sure !Very well balanced .

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is black with a medium khaki-colored head. Not a lot of retention but some nice lacing.

The aroma is lightly smokey, with faint hints of firewood. I also get some roasted coffee and dark chocolate on the back end.

The taste brings flavors of wheat grain and oats, as well as some sweet chocolate. The smokey flavors are far more subtle than the nose, but still present.

The feel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very crisp and surprisingly refreshing.

Overall, a very good black lager. The smokey notes are not at all overpowering and they really accompany the other flavors and aromas. A very good beer for a camping trip.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A -jet black with one finger tan head
S- smokey with toasted malt
T- roasted maltiness
M- Smooth and creamy
O- love this beer. It is included in every mixed 12 pack. Unique and delicious .

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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,017 ratings.
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