Would you like some Smoke with your Beer?

Jack’s Abby Smoked Maple LagerImage

Tonight’s beer was an offering from a local but well known brewery from Framingham, MA, Jack’s Abbey. Famous for their outstanding selection of lagers, Jack’s Abbey brews in the traditional German style with an American twist.

Maple Smoked Lager is brewed in a unique style called a Rauchbeer, noted for it’s smokey, charred character. Here’s an excerpt from Beer Advocate regarding this style:

“Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness (“rauch” is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine a smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.”

And assertive it was. Here’s my review:

Final Rating: 4.31/5
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance- Pours a cloudy, dark amber body with golden highlights. Has a 2″ white head that reduces fairly quickly to nothing. No lacing.

Smell- The aroma is very smokey.. campfire, charred malt, burnt coffee, and almost a burnt sugar/toffee scent.

Taste- Where do I begin.. the first impression is like drinking a campfire – there’s a super potent smokiness to this beer but it’s not overbearing. This transcends into burnt sugar, toffee, and caramel notes. The maple shows up on the finish.. very subtle maple but it’s definitely there and adds complexity, and for that +1/2 point for taste!

Mouthfeel- Could be a little heavier, light-ish body with a little too much carbonation. Doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment though.

This was a very good interpretation of a less common style. The Germans would be proud. Complex and extremely flavorful.

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