1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 - Shmaltz Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

An Imperial Brown Ale with chocolate, cocoa nibs, vanilla & chili peppers.

(Beer added by: Jason on 05-13-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbossman
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint and a steady brown head and pretty nice lacing

S: Quite a lot going on here: chocolate and vanilla and peppers for sure plus some darker fruits and some slight vinous qualities but mostly this is a sweet chocolate and vanilla bomb

T: The sweetness from the aromas luckily isn't nearly as prevalent; a dry semi-sweet chocolate flavor is present up front with noticeable vanilla flavors on the back end; some roasted malt flavors; a touch of pepper and dark fruits--raisins especially (there is a slight port-like quality here that I like); sweetness does get a bit cloying in the end, however

F: A touch thin on back end but fairly creamy still

O: An interesting beer that I was glad to try--the chocolate definitely makes this beer but I wish the peppers were more dominant

dbossman, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

polishkaz, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on sale at Gary's in Wayne a week or two ago, intrigued by what was on the bottle. After having this last night, I can honestly say that I've never had anything like this, but at the same time, there was just a bit too much going on here to make this fully enjoyable. I'd have this again if offered this beer but I'd need some crackers and water to help wash the chili pepper taste down!

This poured dark with a pretty frothy head that lasted for quite a while. That was the best aspect of this beer as it was a bit thinner than I envisioned. Not a large aroma up front but the vanilla could be felt along with a roasted cocoa flavor that was stronger in the mouthfeel. This beer was quite creamy and almost reminded me of an Irish Dry Stout, because of how light it was. The spice wasn't that prevalent but there was a chili backbone to this that the chocolate faded into, although it was a bit awkward to have a beer finish on such a warm and mouth-watering kick.

The alcohol was spot-on for this beer and could only be felt when it came to the warming aspects in the aftertaste. I applaud the effort on the part of Shmaltz and Terrapin to push the boundaries with this but there's just a bit too much going on here. A few of the chili recipes that I have here call for cocoa powder but because the sweetness of vanilla is in this beer, it makes the transition to the aftertaste a bit awkward. A beer that starts sweet and ends spicy and mouth-watering is not the best transition for me, but as a one-time deal, this works and it is different from the norm. Maybe the opposite would have worked better but on its own, this is worth a try once since it's unlike anything else currently available.

JerzDevl2000, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Bilco for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Brown and decidedly so. Head is a dark tan and drops pretty quickly. Clear.

Smell: Hints of vanilla amidst an otherwise neutral malt profile. Some roasted notes coupled with a touch of caramel sweetness. Almost vegetal quality to the pepper addition. Definitely unique. Lingering cocoa notes come through the back, but have a hard time punching through.

Taste: More of what the nose gives you. Vanilla feels artificial and doesn't blend with the mild sweetness from the malts. A touch of biscuit, but just a touch. Cocoa makes a more assertive effort here, but ultimately falls short and comes across a little syrupy sweet. Chili peppers add a drop of heat, but if I didn't know to look for it, I'd probably miss it. Some roasted malts. Very mild overall.

Mouthfeel: Almost drinks like water, but a touch heavier. Carbonation is good though. Nice moderate carbonation.

Overall: I feel bad for this beer. It has a lot of potential, but falls short in the long run. The flavors could use a bit more aggression. Amp it up a couple notches and it would be worth it.

Goblinmunkey7, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I did not plan to drink this on Passover, it just worked out that way.

Brown, not black, body. Ruby highlights. Medium tan baseball size head. Minimal lacing.

Inviting but not assertive chocolate aroma. Hint of vanilla.

Taste is brown ale with Hershey's syrup. Vanilla hit at the swallow. Then after the liquid is safely settled in your belly, a warming wave from the chili pepper rises on the tongue.

Big smooth mouthfeel. Good richness.

An interesting beer, but I would like to try it with more vanilla and without the chili pepper.

RonfromJersey, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of Bilco
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Bilco, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -6%
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.

Sammy, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of beerbrains
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

beerbrains, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

biggred1, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of jpajpajeff
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

jpajpajeff, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of sludgegnome
4/5  rDev +5%

sludgegnome, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.73/5  rDev +24.1%
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!

LiquidAmber, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

AndyAvalanche, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of jk3
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

jk3, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of kaelingirl
3/5  rDev -21.3%

kaelingirl, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5%

superspak, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of pgaveau
4/5  rDev +5%

pgaveau, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev +5%

SFC21, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of emerge077
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

emerge077, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Tyrawlings, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

SpeedwayJim, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of NEhophead
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

NEhophead, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of hippityhophead24
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

hippityhophead24, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

htomsirveaux, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of KajII
3.43/5  rDev -10%
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.

KajII, Jan 21, 2012
Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.