Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

132 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 132
Hads: 198
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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. (279 characters)

Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a filmy ecru head that leaves thin sheets of lace on the glass. Rich roasty malt, vanilla and mole sauce in the nose with a touch of honeycomb. Vanilla is the first flavor I taste with a touch of the cocoa and the peppery heat in the finish. All the flavors really meld together well and don't overpower each other. Medium light bodied with mild carbonation, a little more heft would have bumped my score up a tad but I'm nitpicking. This beer really exceeded my expectations. I tip my hat to the brewers of this beer as I really enjoyed it. (577 characters)

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! (536 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid portion comes out a medium brown color. When you hold it up to the light, you can see highlights of brown, light brown, and red. Where the highlights are the lightest you can see that the beer has good clarity to it. Nice tan to off white colored head that has a lot of different sized bubbles and rises nice from a reasonably agressive pour. Good looking beer.

The smell on this beer is both wonderful and truly unique. Big malt backbone here, nothing weak about it. Vanilla is potent, but mellowed out nicely by the cocoa nibs. I know it says chili pepper is in there too, but it's not very strong. It could be because the pepper balances out the sweetness. As it warms up there are some slight floral and even earthy hop aromas. Overall it smells awesome!

Taste is also very good and equally unique. Very sweet malty, good, but not exactly the same complexity as the smell. Initial sweetness from the vanilla (tastes natural, not extract to me, then the cocoa nibs come out a little stronger in the flavor than in the smell. Chili peppers provide a little spicy kick that is pretty nice. Interesting and very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is really good. Good carbonation level. Pretty smooth, but not the whole way through. Starts sweet, stays that way most of the way, then there's some heat from the chili pepper, then finishes sweet. Overall this is really a great, yet underrated beer. Pretty unique all around.

Great beer, but my only knock is that it doesn't hold up all that great in time. I've had it both fresh and with a little time, it's better fresh, but that's to be said about many a beer. (1,668 characters)

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. (598 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of EBF 2012. Poured into a Southampton oversize snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a off-white cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark brown-purple. Lace is stringy with decent stick. Pretty good for the style.

Cocoa powder, chili, moderate nuttiness. Some caramel and brown sugar too. Decent.

Cocoa nib graininess. Chili peppers are tart and with a moderate kick. Sweet with a roasted malt balance. Finishes cocoa powder and chili sweet/fruitiness. Awkward.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Prickly, lively in the mouth and aggressive going down. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste. Pretty standard.

While this beer's not bad by any means, something with the flavor profile just doesn't sit well with me. The chili is prominent but so are the grainy cocoa nibs. Worth a try since its certainly interesting, but again, not for me. (914 characters)

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

12 fl oz brown bottle served in a nonic.

Slightly opaque, chocolate in color beneath a creamy, light coffee colored head with good retention as an intact sheet. Condensed lacing with not much strength.

Semi-sweet, rich milk chocolate aroma; light toffee. Peanut brittle and almond add a slight musty, airy quality. Faint, vinous fruit: cherry, plum.

Rich, milk chocolate and vanilla notes that are very pronounced, but not overpowering or too sweet. Once the richness subsides a bit, a dry herb and saffron spice make for a bland finish. Floral hops provide a hefty bitterness followed by an herb and vanilla aftertaste.

Full bodied. Initially, smooth and creamy on the palate; however, by mid sip it turns dry and airy.

A very interesting beer. Unique and flavorful, yet not one that really hits the mark as a session beer. (829 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 7 Oct 2011. Served in the 0.3 L Herren Pils snifter.

Small light brown head. Medium carbonation. Clear dark brown in color. Aroma of dark chocolate, some vanilla, faint whiff of chili. Tastes of cocoa, oats, and vanilla. Cocoa is dominant. A slight bit of chili is evident as heat in the back of the throat. Medium to light body. Moderate alcohol. Finish and aftertaste are dominated by chocolate with a hint of chili.

A says a slightly acrid aftertaste. But she liked it a bit more. (505 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Lager glass]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a slight mahogany hue and a thick frothy light brown head that dissipated slowly down to a layer of fluffy residue that puddled on top and lasted throughout, which created some really excellent sheeting of lace on the glass.

The aroma was upfront with a strong alcohol scent followed by a dark roasted malt and a sweaty doughy yeast with notes of chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee, some dark fruit and a peppery spice (probably from the chili's).

The taste was mildly sweet and very malty with hints of chocolate and vanilla at first and then had a nice dose of coffee and dark fruit take hold with a pronounced peppery finish. The flavor lasted a short while after the swallow leaving behind a chili pepper bite to linger on well after everything else faded.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and a bit oily and quite creamy in texture with a soft carbonation.

Overall definitely a different twist on a brew, bold tasting with a surprising spicy finish. (1,024 characters)

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours rich brown into a tulip with 3 full fingers of frothy head. When held to the light, almost takes on a cranberry red color.

S - Hints of Dutch Cocoa powder and dried chilies.

T - WOW!! Alot of chili there. I was thinking this was going to be a brown ale equivalent of Hunahpu, but damn am I wrong. The chili is overwhelming. Very dry finish, with just a hint of the cocoa nib. Vanilla is a fleeting essence right before the swallow. .

M - Very vigorously carbonated, but the creamy head mellows it out.

O - I'm not a chili head, but I do like some heat. This is over peppered. Almost to the point of being unappealing. The cocoa nibs and vanilla take second fiddle to the chili and that's a real disappointment. (724 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Split 3 ways at dinner last week.

Pours dark brown with a thin brown head.

Aroma is faint chocolate and vanilla. Don't get much chile from the nose and all smells are kind of muted and bland.

Rich chocolate flavor hits at first. Not as much vanilla as the nose would indicate, but the chiles are more noticable especially as it warms. Always just a complement though, they never take on too much heat. A little astringency in the aftertaste.

A touch light bodied for the style with medium carbonation.

A little bit of a harsh finish and not overwhelmingly great flavors or combinations. Not horrible, but probably won't seek out again. (661 characters)

Photo of sommersb
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 01-10-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Dogfish Head signature glass
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, with garnet highlights when held to the light. Head is tan, with small tight bubbles about 2 and a half fingers high. Good head retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Rich aromas of dark toasted malts, with chocolates, chili peppers, and some alcohol.

Taste: Up front has chili spices and some heat. Also taste sweet chocolate and vanilla. I like the balance here of chili and chocolate, sweet and heat. Some alcohol warmth as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with a creamy texture. Carbonation is medium to high. Finish is lightly sweet with some lingering heat and a hint of the vanilla.

Overall: Very interesting and well-constructed brew. I think this one compares well with the Terrapin version.

Thanks to DrewShal9 for this one! (925 characters)

Photo of Ratman197
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Total Beverage Westminster poured a clear reddish brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of carmel, cocoa, vanilla and light chilies. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of cocoa, vanilla, carmel and chilies with a smooth warming lingering cocoa finish. (276 characters)

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

A-a medium brown color with minimal chestnut highlights and a good two fingers worth of tan head

S-the smell is pretty decent, medium malts, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of chili spiciness

T-the taste is much roastier than I expected. Medium roast malts, vanilla, light milk chocolate, and a bitter coffee finish. As the beer warms I am picking up the spicy chili peppers on the tongue.

M-medium body, medium carbonation, a dry finish

Overall I liked this one. I have not tasted the Terrapin Reunion so can't compare the two, but I thought this was a good and interesting beer that supports a good cause. (619 characters)

Photo of Fishman007
4.83/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is packed with flavor. Plenty of characteristics to leave you pondering for a moment. Vanilla, chocolate are very noticeable. However, the chilli pepper was hardly noticeable in my opinion. After several sips, still struggling to find that chilli feel.
The color was a dark "stout" appearance. The foam head was quite thick at about 2" high, then slowly dispersed.

The taste was smooth enough that I questioned if it was flat. However, it obviously was not. Very drinkable.

My favorite characteristics about this beer is the taste that is leaves in the mouth. Almost as if I had a piece of chocolate but not overwhelming. I'd almost go out and buy the Hebrew sample pack again just to share this particular beer with my beer enthusiast friend. (757 characters)

Photo of 9InchNails
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Copper Mine

Nice creamy light brown head. It looks pretty dark. It leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, floral and caramel with the nose but is quite faint.

Wow! What a taste! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, gramcrackers, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruits like cherries. I don't get too much chili that everyone was mentioning (maybe that was the taste I couldn't figure out) but I don't care because this is quite a complex and delicious collaboration.

Silky, smooth, easy to drink but is something you'd want to sip.

Holy smokes, this beer almost made me fall out of my seat! Delicious and shocking because the aroma I had an idea what it was going to taste like but this was mind blowing-ly different from the smell. So many different tastes at once. A must try. (796 characters)

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

A: This poured a clear black ruby with thick light tan head.
S: It smelled like strong chili peppers, with some vanilla beans and toffee and dark chocolate, and a little copper and cinnamon.
T: It tasted like roasted barley and copper hops, with some vanilla beans and chili peppers and dark chocolate, and a bit of toffee and cinnamon. It had a clean and sweet aftertaste that was a little bitter.
M: It was oily with moderate carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a very tasty beer with well balanced scent and taste, and great body. The alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink. I'm not sure if it would improve with age, but it was enjoyable fresh. Ultimately, this had a lot of great elements that were pretty well executed, but it wasn't big or bold enough to be excellent. Still a nice brew, and recommended to try once. (839 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown, near black. Light tan head of maybe a finger. Dissipates to a tan ring.

S- There's a bit of roast, and some cocoa powder. There is a touch of chili heat on the end.

T- Cocoa powder, the vanilla actually makes an appearance here where it didn't in the aroma. The chili's provide a mild spice in the back of the throat on the finish.

M- It has an average, lightly creamy, near medium body.

O- Not bad. It's a pretty decent, interesting brew. (462 characters)

Photo of HoosBrews
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really good. I had it a few weeks ago and thought it was good, but had to take a second take and it's as good, if not better than I thought.

Dark in color, but of a brown, not a stout. Nose has hints of coconut, but mostly the sweet, pure smell of chocolate. Body starts out like a brown but quickly turns your palate with a very light body finish and pepper. Wow, pale jalapeño getting beat down with cocoa. Brilliantly subtle and obnoxious at the same time. This beer is delightful to drink on Christmas eve! (525 characters)

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. (717 characters)

Photo of Jammies
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a brownish black with an inch of foam.

S-a carmelly smell that's evident from a foot away.

T-hints of chocolate and vanilla are detectable. A little sloppy on the balance.

M-slightly malty, but pretty good body.

O-good flavor, just a little off on the balance. Overall very glad that I tried this one. (314 characters)

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

Pours a very deep brown almost black.

smell has a hint of vanilla but chilli pepper really comes through.

Taste is.... bizarre. All the flavors their list on the bottle come through, and it is akin to putting peanut butter on fish. But they somehow work out alright.

Mouthfeel, needs a bit more carbonation. Otherwise smooth feel.

A good beer, but what makes it awesome is its uniqueness. I'm still something of a novice with only a little over 100 beers under my belt, but this is the most unique so far. Give it a try if you want something new.

Sidenote: Tortilla chips go well with it. (594 characters)

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 (800 characters)

Photo of Hopstout
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep brown with a nice light brown caramelized head.

Aroma - Sweet, light and fluffy french silk pie.

Taste - Complex yet beautiful flavor! Earthy with sharp black pepper. Dark notes of chocolate. Hard malt driven taste. Liquid dessert. Ever so faint chili pepper through the swallows.

Mouthfeel - Easy to drink and surprisingly light with a fading dark chocolate Hershey kiss aftertaste. Feels a bit over-carbonated at first, but actually has the perfect level of carbonation. Numbing.

Overall - The medium head is best when sipped with ale. Mixes a sweet dessert like taste to the complex flavors of the beer.
Very delicious indeed! I will definitely be buying this dark ale again. I highly recommend this beer. Your tongue will hate to say goodbye... (771 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In case you were curious (I was) "shakar" is Hebrew for beer.

Dark brown with a chunky, big bubble tan and beige spotted head. Looks like a glass of hearty root beer. Fair retention leaves a few ant trails of lace.

Smells like woody, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla like a sugary, generic jelly bean shell. The chiles were obvious at first but then faded as the beer warmed.

Tastes like silky milk chocolate. Chiles come through as a subtly warming aftertaste. Vanilla-ish?

A well executed grocery list beer. Some ingredients such as cocoa nibs obviously shine more than others but I'm impressed. (603 characters)

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