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: 178 | Ratings: 1,015
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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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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Photo of EGM1105
1.1/5  rDev -72.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I don't know why people thought it was a good idea to mix chocolate flavor with beer... Picked up a 6 pack yesterday in the mood to try something new. I didn't read the bottle, only the name. Had I known it was a chocolate beer I would've never bought it. There are 2 left. This will be the 2nd beer I ever pour down the drain. The first one was Chocolate Bock. Ugh. If beer and chocolate sounds like a good mix to you then by all means try it. It's not for me. I'd rather have a Jack's Abby Leisure Time Lager. Now that is a damn good beer.

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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 StoutElk_92
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head. Smells of smoky, dark fruit and roasted coffee. Tastes like smoked meat and roasted coffee. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey with smoky dark roasted coffee. It feels light-medium with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice, smoky brew. Good beer with bbq.

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

Had on tap at Barnum Publick House in Bridgeport, pours a brown color with ruby highlights, clear, nice tannish head that leaves some lacing. Great aroma on this of big, sweet malts with a backbone of smoke. Great rauchbier flavor, sweet and caramel malt middle, nice smokiness and meat flavor near the end. The smoke isn't overpowering which is great, it's honestly the perfect amount. Body is solid, filling, maybe a bit too sticky with the sweetness. A great cold weather rauchbier.

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Photo of dd43
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Wasn't very familiar with this style when I tried it. I will have to have a few more tastings to acclimate to the smoked quality. It's interesting and worth trying, and I actually found myself enjoying it, but I'm not rushing to the store to pick up a six pack.

The flavors in this beer to me were more of the roasted and smoked grain variety. Chocolate was present but in the background. I suppose I would have appreciated this beer a little more if that bittersweet chocolate note had asserted itself a little more.

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

Not a bad little lager, though I was hoping for a little bit more a smoky punch (a la Schlenkerla). This one is lager first, smoked beer second, to be sure. I definitely get a little chocolate/coffee character, but the feel is a touch watery, and that lessens the impact of those notes, or at least makes them less appealing. Love the idea here, and it's not poorly done, but I think it could be fine tuned a bit more.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tall Belcher Tulip like glass.

Big cascading light tan and creamy topped four to three finger head. Ballons up nicely, and clumps with big island retention. Good uniform pinhead sized bubbles in the head as well. Body color is very dark but just barely light enough to see through suprisingly, through a dark red walnut sheen.

Real nice aroma of milk chocolate. Moderate smoke tones a little bit of ash and wood like character but just slightly. One follows the other with the sweetness of chocolate coming first.

Tangy body and a bit unexpected. Very light lager body and almost crisp but gives plenty to the palate. Surprising and unexpected amounts of flavors going on. Moderate phenols, almost getting medicinal but stays on the edge of a mild sourness, then fills with a very good light cream sweetness. Chocolate rains down on the aftertaste, from milky sweet and a nice lingering bitter darkness that turns to bitter berried fruit in a way. The chocolate flavors on the finish are very impressive, going from milk to dark, and then a very dusty dark powdered cocoa aroma. Clean finish to go with it as well.

Real interesting smoke beer seems more closer to a Schwarzbier but with a bigger chocolate Porter like presence. Real delicious either way.

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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 sprat1960
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark chestnut dark in color; transparent if held to light but due to dark color does not appear so in the glass. Pours with a rich light tan 2+ finger head that dies down leaving a thin, uneven layer of foam on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Smoke, malt, molasses, mild hops. Appealing aroma.

Taste: Malt, smoke, molasses, mild hops. Slight bitter finish. Delicious.

Feel: Lighter body; slightly watery feel. Nice mild carbonation. Slight dry finish.

Overall: Nice, smokey, flavorful black lager. I really enjoyed this and will definitely purchase again.

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