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Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

132 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 132
Hads: 198
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

An Imperial Brown Ale with chocolate, cocoa nibs, vanilla & chili peppers.
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Reviews: 132 | Hads: 198
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Licorice, yeast and chocolate. Pours a reddish brown and possesses a big soapy head. Malty, some vanilla, the chili kicks in at the end.A tad of sourness. a good chocolate. A bit above average mouthfeel. Besides the subdued flavors, its like an English brown.Decent drinkability.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a 2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap. Random patterns of dots form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, chocolate syrup, and vanilla aromas. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa powder, vanilla flavors, and a distinct cinnamon flavor with the aftertaste. I am not getting any chili in either the smell or taste of this one. However, this beer does have a warming in the back of the throat with each sip which I assume is from the chili. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat and watery mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice smells and flavors but the mouthfeel is a bit lacking.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle indicates 7.3% abv.

Pours black with a thin tan/khaki head.

Brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla and chile peppers, the nose is interestingly sweet plum/cinnamon in character with some light undertones sweet black chocolate. There is almost some "Belgian Ale esters" in the nose and more and more vanilla comes forth with air and as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium creamy and rich and while the flavor profile is "conroversial," the mouthfeel leaves you wanting more.

Flavors are complex and initially bumbling but become integrated with air and as it warms. Roasted grains, coffee, chocolate with nice undertones of vanilla and a pretty solid chile flavored backbone. I can't say that I really enjoyed the flavor profile, yet I was compelled to keep going back for more.

Finish is a chile/coffee/roasted black chocolate character. A complex and interesting effort.

Designated a "dark imperial ale" on the label, I'd call it more of a chile beer than anything else.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

This beer pours a clear dark brassy cola hue, with two fingers of thin foamy, puffy tan head, which settles evenly, leaving a twisted chain of lace around the glass. It smells rather lightly of vanilla, chocolate, caramel malt, and a slight edgy twinge. The taste is bittersweet caramel, a bit of toffee, baker’s chocolate, and a nice subtle, evolving singular spiciness, which has no real concurrent vegetable flavour to go with it. The carbonation is present, and restrained seeming, the body medium-light in weight, although a bit too sharp and zippy to be considered all that smooth. It finishes with a nice, gently rising spiciness, over a generally sturdy choco-vanil-toffee maltiness.

A nicely balanced chili and confection beer, enjoyable to drink, and for a worthy cause.

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Photo of emerge077
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black body with mahogany edges. Sticky tan foam, long lasting head that hangs around for the duration of the glass in some form or another.

Sweet vanilla aroma, slightly artificial like sarsaparilla or cream soda. Mild powdered cocoa.

Thin body, sweet cocoa and vanilla flavors. Slight astringency, vaguely chocolatey with a feeble bitterness on the back end. Seems like one of those vanilla mocha creamer flavorings you'd put into coffee. Where are the chiles? Not even a tingle. Kinda meh overall, but fairly drinkable. Needs more roast and bitterness to balance the sweet artificial flavors.

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Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a two-finger, light brown head of thick bubbly foam. It left sticky, thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate and malty notes with a touch of vanilla.

T - It tasted of cocoa. Really strong chocolate flavors with subtle vanilla flavors. I could barely detect some heat from the peppers as the beer warmed up.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice beer, but the chocolate was too dominant for a 22 oz beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank the Terrapin Reunion offering earlier and did notice a few subtle differences between the two brown ales.First off this is 7.3% abv.Second this poures a deeper more of a mahogany brown with a large blooming beige colored head,aromas are alike in both have a real caramel toffee element to them.This is more carbonated and sharper in the mouth,not quite as smooth as the other.This is a little more dry on the palate with the vanilla/caramel toffee a little more subdued and the chili much more subdued in the finish.This is a good brown ale,not as good as its partner but still no slouch.

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Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two and a half fingers of light brown foam on top of a black body with some clear, amber highlights. The head settles fairly slowly and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Dark, sweet malt with notes of caramel, toffee, and lots of molasses. There is also a spicy quality in the background with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

T - Dark caramel and molasses up front with a little bit of cinnamon. Some bittersweet chocolate comes out in the middle with a surprisingly strong note of vanilla. The brown, sugary malt intensifies in the finish with more molasses and some dark, rye bread character. Lingering toasted malt and dark caramel coat the palate in the aftertaste with vanilla, allspice, and nutmeg notes.

M - A somewhat thick body, moderate carbonation, and a surprisingly well balanced finish.

D - I was a bit skeptical going into this; dark, spiced beers are not usually my cup of tea. However, this is surprisingly pleasant for what it is. The spices and dark malt are on the edge of overwhelming the palate and becoming cloying, but they manage to just barely avoid getting there. The vanilla is a nice touch that seems to help brighten things up a bit. Very nice, overall; I might even consider cellaring this if I come across another bottle.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a larger 2 finger head that fades fairly quickly at first then slows, over dark molasses brown almost black colored beer.

Nose has darker malts, molasses and brown sugar, toasty brown malts, slight creamy brown black malts and hints of chocolate, some vanilla starts to come through more and more, then a bit of hop character.

Taste starts with lots of chocolate, cocoa nibs galore, fresh chocolate flavors and cocoa! With that is some vanilla, lots of vanilla flavors come through following the cocoa, with a touch of spicy pepper taste. Some malts follow all that, darker malts with lots of caramel flavors, dark crystal malts, then some slight syrup like caramel flavors. A slight hop character comes through with a little bitterness and slight earthy hops. Finishes with a spicy hot pepper flavor, then some lingering vanilla and light chocolate, as well as hint of syrupy caramel, and a touch of warming booze.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carbonation, and hint of warming booze.

Overall it's pretty good, nice tasty flavors with chocolate and vanilla, but I think the vanilla is a bit overboard. some nice malts but I also think the malts were a bit too light overall, and it should have had a bit more body and been creamier as well. The hot pepper spice was a nice addition as well.

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Photo of mactrail
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich near-black beer with a brown edge. Very fine lacing and foam. The malt is well-roasted and rather dry for the fullness of barleyness. I wonder what kind of peppers? They start out faint but the warmth is fanned a little as you sip. They do add a little depth as well as a hint to the nose. Fortunately the advertised cocoa and vanilla are even more subtle. Fine highly drinkable stuff. Less pretension, more filling. After a glass I love the warm peppery aftertaste with the whiff of curry.

Call it an American Strong Ale. Interesting that the Shmaltz news release from September called it a "Dark Imperial Brown Ale" while the actual label just says "Dark Imperial Ale."

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Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ebony tinged brown with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Cocoa & woody note, some sarsaparilla as well

T: Follows the nose, leafy hops & vanilla notes, some sarsaparilla as well up front. A touch of cream soda flavor lurks in the background as this warms along with bitterness from the cocoa nibs, some heat from the chilies is evident as well, along with dryness. Fairly big powdery cocoa finish, some peppery heat & woody notes as well

MF: Medium bodied, somewhat over carbonated, love the malt backbone of this

Liked this, didn't love it. Nice big brown ale, my bottle indicates 7.3% abv

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with dark red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is full of roasted and chocolate malt, with not too much else coming through. The flavor is more complex. I get some milk chocolate and roasted malt, as well a a little bit of spice from the chili peppers. All three characteristics work well together and give the beer a unique flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crush that Hanukkah gift cap! Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice off tan head in color, with a foamy retention body, seems to fall fairly slowly. Body color is very dark, almost black as all get out. Clumpy head after some time, and minimal lacing.

Nose is a small roasted malt, but a good bit of chocolate. Kind of subtle and dense, pretty nice.

Char roasting coffee sense on the finish, with a good bit of carbon. Mid palate is bitter chocolate with a small hint of hop. Light char continues throughout on the finish. A little carbonated but also a nice dense chocolate sense.

Overall pretty solid and enjoyable, nothing crazy but pretty tasty and luckily not a collaboration nightmare.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle

Dark dark brown, large khaki head, slowly goes to a fine film and thin collar.

Nose of dark malts and dark chocolate.

More chocolate, dark burnt malts, chili quite faintly shimmering late in the finish. Dense flavors, sweet up front, dry and grainy in the finish. Brown ale with better then average complexity, interest and balls. And for a good cause. Glad I could help out-I enjoyed it

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm all for charity, so I bought this guy. Looks interesting.

Dark brown (brown ale?) pour. Very big head, off-brown/tan. Foamed up about six miles. Slick lacing mostly, but with some crystalization going on too

Aroma is mostly subtle cocoa and chocolate. Some caramel and bourbon-esque stuff going on, too. Made with cocoa, vanilla and chili...I don't get the last one.

Nor in the taste. Vanilla dominates here. The cocoa/chocolate is wimpy in the mouth. It amazes me how dominate the vanilla is. From start to finish, although booze comes in at the end. For a brown ale, this misses completely. Caramel, nuts? Nerp. Vanilla and toffee bomb. Which is alright, just didn't expect it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a firm off-white head offering up some good lace.

S: Heavy dry chile smell with some chocolate.

T: Chocolate heavy, some dark malt, with a spicy chile character that comes in towards the back. A nice mix of flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, quite chalky which I wasn't too fond of. Spicy, soft carbonation.

O: A nice beer overall, I like what the chiles brought to the table. Well made.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, ruby-highlighted brown color with a tall head on the pour that settles slowly into a thin, dense, small bubbled, tan head. Sparse lacing along the glass as you drink. Aromas are muddled, with a slightly watered down roasted nut sweetness, some bitter cocoa scents, and an earthy character. Flavors are rich and sweet, with a nutty and butterscotch backbone riding a smooth, light body. SOme roasty characteristics throughout give some complexity to the brew. The aftertaste continues with the complex malt profile, again with a touch of roast/smoke to enhance the butterscotch and toffee flavors. Surprisingly light finish with a moderate linger. Decent brew.

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Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown colored ale with a tall tan colored head. No real way to make it look better without special effects.

Smell is spicy with strong chocolate and brown sugar. Sweet caramel and I can smell the chili peppers in this. This irritates my nose a little bit probably the chilies.

Starts out semi dry with a spicy and woody flavor, vanilla and chocolate in the aftertaste. Tastes spicy almost like a Winter Warmer. Absolutely no indication that this is a strong beer, alcohol is completely hidden. Beer seems to have no real flavor beyond the chilies, chocolate and vanilla. This would be a good Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is tasty but nothing out of the ballpark. I could see buying this again as a Christmas Beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a stemmed strange)

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a light tan foam that is thick and last a good bit. There is a gentle tiny bubble carbonation that appears through the murky body.

S- The brown malt aroma has a nougat and vanilla extract note with some cardboard caramel notes. There is an odd vanilla cream note that grows in the finish with an earthy imitation quality to it.

T- The brown malt flavor is a little flat tasting with a nougat quality. There is a powdery characteristic in the finish with a Tootsie roll note to it. Then there is a bitter heat that hits the back of the throat without any other chili flavors for support.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a gentle fizz in the finish.

O- This beer has lots of odd flavors with the strange vanilla and the coco is more tootsie roll that chocolate and the chili is only heat. This is a bit of a mess but none of the flavors are really strong so it is not obnoxious.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 picked up last night at Brewforia... shared tonight with Inflatablechair... Poured into my HotD goblet.... great 2 finger tan head initially, but it drops pretty quickly leaving a decent cap and drapes of splotchy lace... the brew is dark brown with nice clear garnet highlights.

Big brown sugar and vanilla.. light sorta artificial chocolate aroma and something that is fruity that I wasn't expecting and seems out of place..

Flavor.... I have to mention the finish first just because it is so off-putting... a lingering synthetic vanilla trails on forever.

Up front is a pretty flimsy malt profile... and the same weird chocolate flavors that I picked up in the aroma.. no where near enough "real beer" flavors to make this interesting (let along good) for me... almost no chili..

The body is a bit thin.. carbonation is fine, but the overall product is just okay at best.

I respect the "Beer For Hope" series for sure... and I am glad there are brewers out there that make a sacrifice for their passions.. but I honestly just don't care at all for this beer.


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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an extremely dark red brown, appearing black. Two finger light fine light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving lots of lacing. Aroma very malty with a hint of chocolate. Wow, interesting taste. A chocolate with chili flavor like mexican chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, a hint of chocolate, malt is present but very secondary to the other flavors very smooth and integrated. Finishes with a spicy hop bite. Creamy like a chocolate milk shake. This is very tasty and different. I love it!

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Photo of aasher
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this one. It has to be the first time that anything Terrapin related has been distributed in Indiana. The bottle says that it is "A Dark Imperial Ale brewed with Cocoa nibs, Vanilla, and Chilipeppers". That's enough to hook me in. Also, the bottle says that this is 7.3% abv, not the 8.5% abv listed on BA.

This one pours a medium bodied chestnut brown in color with a really nice and creamy dark khaki head. It pours like a medium bodied brown ale. The aromas are soft and more subtle than I imagined. You get some soft and creamy light chocolate with a light, dark malty sweetness with a hint of vanilla. You don't get any spice at all. The flavors are interesting as well. You get some nice smooth chocolate but I'd say that Vanilla is the dominant flavor in this one. It isn't like barrel aging vanilla either. It's more of a vanilla cream, almost like coffee creamer. You get some light chocolate from the dark malts and a light pepper aspect in the finish, ala Chocolated Oak Aged Yeti. I expected more pepper but otherwise it's a refreshing combination of chocolate and vanilla. I don't know that I've had another beer that featured vanilla in such a manner before. It drinks very smoothly and has a nice blend of flavors. It's a solid beer and for $8.99 I really can't complain.

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Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber-chestnut with a light tan head, good retention & lace.

S: Faint aroma of cocoa, roasted nut and bread with hints of vanilla.

T: The cocoa, vanilla and chilli are all there, but they're fairly subtle... just enough to tell what the are. Fairly bready, nutty, hints of caramel, balanced bitterness and alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.

M: Moderate body has a hint of residual sweetness with an off-dry finish.

D/O: Overall I thought this was really well-crafted and very drinkable (not something you often find in a unique brew that's outside the traditional style guidelines).

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Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip 22/12/11

A dark cola with red hues when held to the light, thick finger of mocha foam retains for a little while leaving just a few patches of lace

S coco and vanilla as written on bottle no chilli though but I like the chocolate notes, just a little raisin and molasses

T some cola to go with what I smell and very faint peppery spice and just a little coffee, pretty solid stuff

M medium bodied, lots of little bubbles but not too many, very faint spicy heat and a nice chocolaty aftertaste and slight heat from the booze or chilli I can't quite tell

O pretty well concealed booze and well rounded flavors, an interesting combination but it works pretty well

I liked this one but I better be blown away by the 15 for it to make up for this overpriced Gift Pack

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown color; dark ruby to strong light. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a thick skim. Laced in random patches.

S: Cocoa and rich dark fruit; subtle, but not sweet. Floral character as well.

T: Dark, rich chocolate and dark, dried fruit. Resiny middle followed by more chocolate in a sharp, peppery finish.

M: Light to medium body; a little viscus on the palate. Surprising level of carbonation, moderate-to-high, but it works. Sharply bitter and crisp with a little lingering cocoa.

O: A lot going on, but not overly complex.

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Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.