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 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 .

 188 characters

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.

 541 characters

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.

 288 characters

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.

 485 characters

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.

 418 characters

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.

 1,304 characters

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.

 909 characters

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.

 184 characters

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

Wow I'm really enjoying this one!

Poured gently into a wine glass, one finger tan head recedes after a minute to leave a foamy ring around the edge of the glass, Look is black with just a bit of light coming through the bottom to reveal a brownish color.

Smell is awesome, spicy smoked beef and beechwood are entangled in coffee, very inviting!

Taste is similar to smell but supported by some sweetness and toasted barley makes itself known, wrapped up in a rather heavy but perfect amount of carbonation, great feel!

This is a very unique beer and I'd recommend it to anybody!

 583 characters

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!

 282 characters

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.

 302 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is smokey, meaty. Taste is very smokey up front, firewood, meats, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a different and pretty good beer.

 240 characters

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

A - Cola brown with cranberry highlights. Beautiful light tan head with great retention and lace.

S - Soft charcoal smoke with a touch of ham. Light caramel malt background.

T - Really nice flavor profile with great balance. Caramel and brown bread blend with a bitter and woody hop. The smoke character builds throughout the drink with an ashy finish.

M - Smooth with a medium-light frame.

O - An awesome and extremely sessionable smoke beer.

 455 characters

Photo of hopsputin
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: the color is a mixture of deep purple and mahogany. there are some dull ruby red notes as well. 2 finger tan marshmellow-like head. looks like you could rest a coin on it

s: it has a very pleasant campfire smell up front. campfire wood ashes, meaty bacon, thick toffee, brown sugar, coriander, a hint of dark chocolate, and roasted malts. its funny how something that smells like this can make your mouth water

t: sweet malts, figs, caramel upfront. there is a roasted malt and powdered chocolate note as well. the smoke comes as a subtle aftertaste - its smokey and reminiscent of how i imagine charred wood tastes. a bit watery in the flavor as well. ends clean

m: its light, with low carbonation

o: its ok. the mouthfeel is a little watery, and i might like to see the smoke featured a tad more, BUT it is quite delicious on its own. the subtlety of the smoke is nice, and balances out the sweetness well. worth a try

 939 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with amber hues. finger of tan head

S: aroma of smoked malt, alderwood like aromas, light lager hints. Some nuts and earthy.

T: Lightly smoked wood and porter flavors come together nicely. This is an easy drinking complicated lager that I really can enjoy even in the spring. Walnuts and earth flavors blend in the back of the mouth.

M: High carbonation levels with a light airy lagery mouthfeel.

O: Having the more malt forward flavors of a lager and the lightness of a lager is very enjoyable for me after seeing mostly IPA's and or stouts. Its lightly flavored for a Rauchbier, but I think thats the point. Its not over the top, doesnt have too much of that bacon / saltiness, and is quite refreshing.

 727 characters

Photo of mnrider
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a smidgen of red tint. One finger of light tan head. Thin lacing
and the retention is also on the thin and watery side.

S: Dark chocolate and smokey coffee aromas. Strong. Dark fruits come in.

T/M: Taste is not dissimilar to the smell. Dark chocolate, malts are smokey and
roasted. Very malty. Toffee and hints of sweet caramel. Sugary. Bitterness seems
to come from the coffee taste. Medium bodied. Creamy at first, bitter and dry at
the end.

O: Complex. Seems to be a blend of a few different German styles. Nice change
from all the IPA's abound.


 582 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint.

Deep chestnut brown with 1+ fingers of fluffy khaki head. Great retention with lively carbonation.

Semi-sweet chocolate, caramel, roasted barley, and hints of smoke.

Roasted barley, semi-sweet bakers chocolate, and caramel. Light roasty char with hints of smoked beechwood.

Medium bodied, smooth, and semi-silky with a slight roast bitterness.

Easily one of the best Schwarzbiers or whatever it is that I've had. Well balanced and incredibly smooth.

 533 characters

Photo of CoffeePorter
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, kind of resembles the color of root beer.
Smells like toasted bread, some caramel like sweetness and a bit nutty.
Tastes a bit burnt, some mild bitterness and hints of bread along with a nice sweet tasting finish.
Some mild carbonation, smooth mouthfeel, light like a lager.
Definitely the best lager i've had up to this point!

 348 characters

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