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: 1,015
Photo of Botulizard
4.81/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Rich, deep, dark brown. Bears a strong resemblance to black coffee. A slightly lighter color, I'd call it a very dark amber, becomes visible at the very top and bottom of the glass or when viewed in the right light. An initial head of about one half-inch dissipates fairly quickly, leaving minimal lacing (if any at all) around the edge of the glass.

S: The nose is predominantly smoky, and very pleasant. Complimentary to the smoke, the nose has an almost, I might say, meatiness to it. Reminds me very much of smoked ham or bacon.

T: Taste is very similar to the nose, with a pleasantly bitter, almost chocolatey finish.

M: Like most dark beers, there's a heavy, sort of chewy mouthfeel here.

O: This is a great beer with a lot of character and very pleasant qualities. I really enjoy the smokiness. Despite being heavy, I feel that this beer can be enjoyed any time of the year. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of MCImes
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

this beer is done right in pretty much every way. the smoke is very subtle but detectable, the body is a perfect balance of dry, sweet, and thick. it's not too bitter or over hopped. to me, this is like a single strength plead the fifth with a hint of smoke. it's become a regular buy for me and deserves more than the 88 score that it had at the time of my review

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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 predikit
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

This beer caught my eye, and since I'm a sucker for renaissance fare, I picked it up.

Definitely a lot of smoke in the scent, pours dark brown, sits in the glass nearly black. Spawns a small tan head that settles quickly. Leaves a fair amount of lacing behind as I drink.

Smokey flavor at the forefront, I could even go so far to say that it's similar to hickory. Hints of coffee, and caramel in the back.

Rather thin feeling, leaves a bit of sparkle on the back of the tongue before dissipating. Very smooth and drinkable.

This brew fits my tongue very well, very pleased. Would buy this again.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown beer with a deep ruby hue and excellent clarity. The head is persistent and pours with two fingers of fine tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass.

S: A moderately-light Munich malt aroma with a lesser amount of smoke, light notes of dark roast malt and clean malt sweetness along with a hint of chocolate.

T: The German malt dominates with a light malt sweetness and smoke flavors. There is a light chocolate flavor along with some dark malt character. There is a moderate hops bitterness and the clean malt sweetness fades mid palate making for a balance the is slight towards the bitter. The finish is off-dry with an aftertaste of smoke and dark malt.

M: A lightly creamy, medium-light bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A very well crafter beer with an excellent balance of flavors; the smoke flavor builds as you enjoy the beer but the other elements come through as well. The brew combined the best elements of Smoked Porter and Schwarzerbier.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with about a finger of foam. Nice nose of roasted malts, wood, and smokiness. Very complex taste follows the nose with notes of smoked meat, chocolate, coffee and caramel. Ridiculously rich taste but very easy to drink because it's so well balanced. I love this beer!

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Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked it up in a Mix Six. Bottle poured into a glass.

A: Beautiful very dark brown/black. Small head.

S: Mostly roasted malt smell, not overpowering.

T: I have never had a beer with such a complex taste. It isn't something I could drink all night but it is phenomenal. I usually don't like the toasted flavors but the hints of smoke even it out perfectly.

M: Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth.

O: This is a great treat beer. I would absolutely buy this any day.

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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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark cola brown with ruby highlights (SRM 20-22). A short, cascading, golden brown head builds to five inches of creamy ochre that occupies a Siegl stange glass for a long time. Thick patches of sea-foam lace remain.

Subtle, yet distinct, bacon accentuates the toasted malt.

Sweet with late bitterness in the finish. This one is malt forward with bacon flavors mixing well with caramel. Some oak before a subtle, lingering finish that guilds to become bitter.

The body is medium to full with a soft texture. Crisp and clean with light alcohol and modest carbonation.

This is a relaxing beer, great for a cool, mid-summer Friday night. I imagine it would be perfect for an autumn afternoon session while leaved rustle through the yard.

This definitely resembles a porter, albeit a smoked porter. The turbidity produced by a slight roll of the stange accentuates and focuses the flavor with each sip.

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Photo of horshack7
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: On top is an light beige head two fingers thick beneath that is a wonderful black cauldron of goodness.

Aroma: Lots of smokiness, bits of char, dark roasted hops and malts. Oakiness that gives a slight dryness. As for anything citrusy well that's all swimming and hiding in all the wonderful smokiness.

Taste: Crisp mouthfeel at the start. Oh then comes the smokiness of oak with a nice char. Incredible bready malts roasted so very wonderfully dark. Subtle notes of chocolate malts. Hops are roasted rather well too top every thing off.

Notes: This big boy is all malt and very drinkable and very tasty. Cheers.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the nose on this. Hints of smoke with what almost seems like pork? Maybe I've had too many here. But it reminds me very much of a meat smokehouse, and on great subtle ways and not overly obnoxious. (I took these notes before seeing the beer was a rauchbier.) Very easy drinker. Superb smoked beer.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the brewery in Framingham. Served in a 4oz tasting glass, cool.

A-off-white head and a dark brown body.

S-chocolate and smoky scent.

T-wonderful flavor. nice campfire smoke and varied grain flavor. Enough hops but be there in the background and not allow the brew to be too sweet.

M-medium to light

D-Just an awesome beer. So clean and yet so flavorful. I would not only drink this again but I would seek it out.

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Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark coca cola, but darker, body wit an off-white head. I'd say you can't see through it, but held up to the light it has a mild opaqueness.

Nose has a nice mild roasted dark malt and mild smoke smell.

Taste is medium bodied and very smooth and easy drinking. There's an immediate smoked malt taste, but not overpowering at all. Lots of mild chocolate, coffee and mild roasted bitter malt flavors. Hops aren't over the top, but keep things mildly in check. The mild smoke flavor gives it almost hint at a rauch beer, but it never really goes there, just sits nicely on the pallate. Ends very smooth (it is a lager after all).

Another fabulous beer from Jack's Abby. Almost runs the fine line between black lager and mildy smoked porter. The meaty smoke flavor in this beer is absolutely stunning. Good stuff.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz unlabeled bottle provided by Gogriz (thanks Cody!). Apparently not distributed, this bottle was filled at the brewery for Cody.

It pours dark brown and opaque looking, at least until held to a light. With light behind this showcases a dark auburn color with clean translucent character. The aroma is really good, smoked meats and sweet roasted malts. Rich smelling even though the smoke isn't overbearing.

This tastes really accesible, lots of smoked malt but not oppressive or acrid. Clean tasting, with a dry finish. Wow, another delicious beer from Jack's Abby. Medium bodied, not too heavy and again pretty accessible.

I highly recommend this beer for rauchbier lovers, its delicious.

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Photo of liamt07
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Boston Wine Exchange, 500ml into a tulip. Bottled March 7, 2013.

Dark brown, tan head. Light roast and chocolate on the nose, along with some lightly bready and doughy notes. Taste is chocolatey, roasty, lightly sweet, smoke is peripheral. Lager yeast qualities come through. Medium light body, perfectly medium light carbonation. More of a schwarzbier, and perhaps the best I've ever had.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells of darker malts, mostly chocolatie. Clean yeast aroma. Thin khaki colored head composed of tiny bubbles. Holding like a champ and lacing the glass nicely. Opaque black beer. Up to the light it has a faint reddish hue.

Solid malt and chocolate flavors. Ph is higher than I expected. A touch of sweetness mixed with the smoked charcoal flavor towards the end of the sip. After taste is outstanding; leaves coating of malty deliciousness on the tongue. Mouthfeel is really smooth light. Mild bitterness and carbonation. Refreshing for a dark beer. I really like it.

Smokiness is quite mild and palatable. If you've never tried a rauchbier, not a bad first one to try.

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Photo of illpass78
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a near black with a big two-finger tan/off-white head. Some spotty lacing. Some notes of ruby when held to the light.

Aroma: Inviting, complex aromas. Wood chips, charcoal, vague smoked meat, and definitely ash and firewood. Also some sweet malt and a molasses-type note.

Taste: Malty, smokey, and surprisingly a little sweet. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Looks stout-like but definitely isn't one.

Overall: Pretty great smoked lager. It's great that this is available in six packs at a pretty reasonable price. It's a style you tend to see more of in bigger bottles only.

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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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into my 2008 Pioneer stein, formed a 1 1/2" tan head over the slightly cloudy orangey brown brew. Pillowy head lasts nicely, with chunky lacing. Aroma is sweet and smoky.

Taste begins with a shot of smoke, goes quite sweet in the middle, coupled with a shot of citrus, and then closes with a light bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is great. Seemed maybe too sweet, but it came together nicely for me in the end.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is named after Jack’s Abby’s two brewery cats, Smoke and Dagger. It pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black, but sits in the glass as just plain clean black with a light white fluffy head that has the barest hints of tan in it. On the nose, the beer smells nicely smoked with rich beechwood notes and slight chocolate and black coffee. The beer smells very much of woodsy smoke, but the smell still carries the clean lager aromatics that are expect from the style. I was hoping for a little more pungency, but now that the beer is before me I think too much smell would off-put its lager qualities and ruin the beer. On the taste, the beer is richly layered with woodsy smoke. In the initial gulp there is big Beachwood notes that are slowly enveloped with rich smoke and then roasted chocolate malts, and then rich dark coffee, all the while shinning with the rich complexities of the beechwood. In the middle of the taste the chocolate malts do provide a slight burp of sweet that borders on strange, but is quickly enveloped by the other complexities of the beer, and dutifully managed. Citrus is also present in the taste as a faint ghost that haunts the latter half of the swallow. The aftertaste of this beer is light with Beechwood smoke and hints of coffee, but nothing more. This beer is meaty with flavor, and deliciously easy to sip. On the mouth, the beer feels thin, crisp, and refreshing, as all lagers should. Carbonation is effervescent but not prickly, working to nicely cleanse the palate and ready it for another sip. After each sip the mouth is left only slightly dry with woodsy smoke and with the faintest hints of sticky saliva griming the tongue and roof of the mouth with the sweet smoke taste. Overall this beer is another success from Jack’s Abby, I think I like it more than the version brewed with coffee, as this beer stands perfectly on its own, and I feel that the coffee cuts through some of the complex flavors of this beer. This beer is very drinkable and completely worthy of a try, with great locally sourced ingredients and an even better taste. It even pairs well with Gorgonzola cheese! Try this beer!

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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.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4 oz pour at Jack’s Abby in a tasting glass at cellar temperature.

L – Brown color with a 2-finger frothy tan head. Great retention and really nice lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles as far as I can see.

S – Chocolate malt and a good amount of smokiness as well.

T – Starts off sweet with chocolate and caramel malt and gains spicy smokiness that is almost reminiscent of rye. As the spice mellows at the finish, smooth and sweet cocoa becomes apparent.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with great prickling carbonation, a mouth-coating but crisp feel, and a sweet finish. Sweet chocolaty malt lingers nicely.

O – This is a great smoked beer. It smells nice and tastes great with much more complexity than expected from the nose. This is really tasty and very drinkable, especially for a smoky beer like this.

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Photo of Gwalchgwynn67
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with just a hint of ruby on the edges. Aromas of roasted coffee and dark cocoa nibs. Very nice balance of hoppy character and malty sweetness. It's bitter coffee up front and a clean, crisp finish that leaves a resiny hops bite on the back palate. The description of it being a cross between a rauch and a schwartzbier is apt. The smokiness is there, especially on the nose, but it's not all in your face. The flavor and body are much more schwarzbier.

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Photo of khoff5
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nitro on tap. Great look and feel, I was worried about smoke in the name as I don't typically like smokey tastes, but this smoke was very subtle, all around complex and very likeable.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Champions. Seems Jacks Abbey is everywhere these days. This was billed as a smokey dark beer, which I am always hit or miss with. This poured a very dark color with little head. Very malty and caramels smell, and the taste doesn't disappoint. Nice crisp taste and the hints of smoke are not overwhelming which I like. I could have a couple of these. Like this a lot

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Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,015 ratings.
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