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Reunion Ale '12 - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Reunion Ale '12Reunion Ale '12

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

57 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 243
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 24.87%
Wants: 3
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WastingFreetime on 08-12-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 243
Photo of babaracas
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange tinted dark brown, clear, with thin fizzy khaki-colored head. Smell: toast, sugary, a big blast of vanilla, plum, pie spice. Taste: sweet upfront with caramel and a little fig, then gritty cinnamon with cocoa powder... add a lot of vanilla to this and I get more of a cheap boozy spiced rum flavor that overwhelms from midsip to the finish. Slick feel. Not very good, liked some of the past years' much better.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours brown with ruby highlights and a medium pillowy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate with some cinnamon and sweet floral vanilla.

The flavor is nutty roasted malts with lots of cinnamon and slight chocolate and a medium bitter finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and pretty watery.

Overall, interesting but the flavors didn't really come together for me - a bit of an acidic mess.

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Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an impy nonic a deep dark chesnut brown with a amber tinge,a thinner but well retained light beige head atop.I was really taken back at the lack of aromas to this beer,I picked up some earthiness and mild bitter chocolate,that was the most dissapointing part of this beer.Vanilla really stands out in the palate with bitter chocolate underneath,some cinnamon and earth finish it out.Last year's beer was great,this is a little uninspiring,it's not horrible but it lacks depth in the aromas and the flavors to me.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with faint ruby highlights and a huge fluffy off white head that sticks around forever. Smells of caramel and chocolate malts with a spicy earthy herbal edge. I'm reminded of patchouli with a hint of vanilla. The flavor is is sweet and malty with lots of caramel and chocolate. The cinnamon comes out a bit in the flavor as well as some vanilla and a hint of earth. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This tastes better than it smells, but the spices make it seem like a Christmas beer. Not my favorite, but not bad.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Part of a BOTMC this one was cellared for about a year and a half, time to give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a very hearty waft of heavy malt and chocolate and spice. Pours to a barely translucent tannic acid river brown with a nice deep tan two finger head. Taste is very unique, a big hop belt with some black licorice and dark chocolate hitting up front then a smooth transition to mostly choclate and a slightly bitter finish. Very smooth and heavy in the mouthfeel. Taste is hearty but yet a little funky, maybe from the chili peppers? A good brew to try but not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into a tulip style glass. It is very dark. If you hold the Reunion up to the light, you can barely see some red and brown in there.

This beer smells really unusual. You get coffee and some berries in there. I also smell the chocolate and cinnamon in there. It is a lot of different smells, but they don't work off of each other really well. The flavor is equally oddly imbalanced. I really don't understand what is going on in this one. This is really unusual.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - Poured medium brown, settled dark brown with one finger of fluffy light brown head.

S - Roasted malts followed bya heavy does of vanilla and cinnamon. Chocoalte is buried in the background behind the other elemetns of the beer. Very sweet overall.

T - Massive hit of sweet vanilla up front, followed immediately by a spciy cinnamon kick. Base beer is very much secondary but shows up mid-palate along with a lighter cocoa flavour. Fairly sweet overall. The finish has a lingering cinnamon kick.

M - Medium body, creamy. moderate carbonation.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Mahogany brown color. Two and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is good and plenty of irregular lacing is left.

4.0 S: Flavor explosion of everything listed on the label. Lots of cocoa, even more cinnamon, and just as much vanilla. Can't really smell anything else besides a moderate neutral maltiness and perhaps a touch of toastiness. In any case, it smells good.

3.5 T: Cinnamon is the most aggressive flavor in the taste. Cocoa and vanilla aren't far behind though. Moderate sweetness, caramel, light toastiness, and a mild bitterness. It's tasty, but it isn't "beery" enough for me.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess, but otherwise smooth.

3.5 D: Good beer if you are in the mood for a combination of bold ancillary flavors. Otherwise, just decent. Drink when you are burnt out from the typical.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left a thin ring which was gone halfway through the beer. the body was a bright mahogany color.
s - burnt chocolate and vanilla.
t - chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and some spice.
m - click and slightly on the thinner side.
o - had high hopes for this beer but was a little disappointed. it had some good features but overall fell short of a really good brown ale.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Just appeared on shelves, so probably bottled quite recently.

A - Pours maple syrup brown with two fingers of beige head. The foam shows great retention and leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. Good looking beer.

S - Chocolate, french toast, and roasted malt. I usually don't pick up all of the "special" ingredients listed on the bottle, but in this case it smells like I would expect (cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon). The cinnamon is very strong and sort of drowns out the other aromas. A little much, but not bad.

T - The flavor is not as cinnamon forward as the nose, but it is certainly a main player. Starts initially sweet with vanilla and cinnamon. Transitions to some nice toasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. The finish and aftertaste is primarily of cinnamon. Good at first, but my palate is tired of the cinnamon by the end.

M - Medium bodied, with good carbonation.

O - This is an interesting experimental brew. It represents the cocoa nibs, vanilla, and certainly cinnamon. I enjoyed it less as I drank and a 12 oz. format probably would have left me with a better impression. Still, it was pretty good and this collaboration beer supports a good cause.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at E.B.I. beverage, right across the street from the brewery in Saratoga,NY where this is brewed.

A- Deep dark mahogany with touches of ruby. It starts with a nice thick tan head poured into my Ithaca Excelcior tulip. A ton of sticky kahki lacing drips all down the side and never lets go.

S- Fresh cut vanilla beans, milk chocolate, and woody cinnamon. No hops, no yeast... just a ton of cinnamon/cocoa/vanilla and sweet malts. Hints of sweet cream and coffee. Jeez... I'd almost like to have this hot while sitting next to the fire this winter.

T- Like vanilla/cinnamon cocoa! Really nice notes of bitter coffee and sweet cream. Not a ton of depth or complexity, but what it has is really nice. Reminds me of a fantastic iced coffee.

M- A touch bitter, nice creamy feel. Just a bit too much cinnamon for me. I wonder if that would settle down with some time and let the let the vanilla beans and cocoa shine thru.

O- I wanna revisit this with some time on it instead of so fresh. If the cinnamon and coffee mellow out a bit, this could be really nice! The vanilla, milk chocolate and some dried fruit may shine thru with some time. Well worth trying.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a great brown ale color with a massive head, some lacing and heavy head retention.

S: Aroma is of a heavy dosing of cinnamon, some nutmeg and vanilla as well as a medium brown malt backbone.

T: This is a nice brown ale base with a heavy dash of a few spices. Perhaps a little too much, but I still can enjoy it. The Cinnamon might be a bit overbearing while the vanilla is welcome while a bit weak and the cocoa is clearly present and slightly reminiscent of Swiss Miss cocoa mix. The cinnamon, like most beers with a lot of cinnamon is slightly warming. There is also a bit of toffee in the back.

M: Mouthfeel is slightly light for a brown ale, and a bit dry, with a mild to high carbonation. While it poured rather rigorously, it does not taste overcarbonated or sting my tastebuds.

O: I think this was a success and as with a lot of Shmaltz's beers, is reasonably priced - Imagine that!! I still wish more breweries would get on the same page as Shmaltz. I am completely over paying 12-15$ for a bomber and have basically stopped doing so when it is not a beer that is phenomenal.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Brown in color with amber hues. Thick foamy, off-white head. Very nice retention and lacing.

Aroma: Cocoa, vanilla,cinnamon, hazelnut, pumpkin pie. Very nice.

Taste: Dark cocoa hits up front, cinnamon kicks in through the middle with the vanilla flavor holding up the backend. Man that cinnamon and vanilla really sticks with you well after the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, medium thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft and smooth. Once again, lingering finish of cinnamon and vanilla. Not bad and rather interesting big bad brown ale.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance> Much darker than I anticipated. Almost black. The head is a creamy pale brown, but dissipates quickly. Hard to judge the livliness. Not very lacy. Looks rather average apart from the deep dark color.

Smell> A lovely almost heady vanilla. The cocoa really comes through strongly. I feel like I'm about to drink a homemade chocolate cake.

Taste> I didn't expect so much cinnamon to come through. A lovely warm chocolate middle, but really the beer is overpowered with heat from the cinnamon.

Mouf> Pretty great for the style.

Drinkability> I could probably only have one or two of these, but if I could make this into a scented candle and have it all over my house.=)

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Photo of Reappropriated
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Overall this was a pleasant beer, one that I would never turn down, but probably not one that I am going to go out of my way to find either. Poured from 22oz bottle.

The appearance was a nice dark brown, with off white head. The immediate aroma of chocolate and malt, with hints of spice. Appearance and smell were both very good.

Taste was good, with immediate cocoa and chocolate, which lingered to the detriment of other flavors. I enjoyed the immediate chocolate, and at the very end the vanilla would push through, but the cinnamon got lost amongst the overpowering chocolate. It was enjoyable, and maybe with age the cocoa would mellow a little allowing for more of the other favors to push through. The beer is a bit thin, but overall a pleasurable experience.

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Photo of hackmann
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: black body with a half finger tan head

Aroma: their inspiration to make this beer was a dessert and it smells like a tasty one at that. To me I am thinking – cheese cake with some vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon on top – oh, maybe tiramisu. Whichever it smells very good.

Flavors: just as tasty as the nose, nice chocolate with a touch of coffee, roasted vanilla bean, dusty cinnamon, lightly toasted malts, a hint of hops on the back of the tongue – light spice

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, almost creamy, sweet but not in your face sweet, lingering cinnamon and light bitterness

To the Point: very interesting, liquid dessert beer style, I could not handle the Sweet 16 but this I would buy again because it is unique.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours nice rich chocolately brown with a huge 3 finger hazelnut fluffy head.

S: Big chocolate aroma. Bitter coco, vanilla, cookie bready-ness. Sweet chocolatey smelling beer.

T: Follows the aroma, chocoately on the palate. Has a slight coffee undertone and is a nice tasting beer.

M: Nice and velvety, though lacks in the body. Its a bit thin for what I'd want. Its the body of a porter in a stout looking beer. The lack of body really detracts from the beer and makes me wishing it were thicker. Could have been an excellent beer, but just ends up being decent.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, cinnamon, roasted malt, nuttiness, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of toffee, vanilla, caramel, toast, cinnamon, chocolate, roasted malt, clove, and light pepper. Lingering notes of vanilla, toffee, chocolate, toast, cinnamon, and light pepper on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors with a good amount of robustness. No cloying sweetness at all after the finish. Flavor was not as robust as I expected for 8%. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial brown ale. Nice flavor balance and complexity; very smooth to drink with no cloying sweetness. Seemed a bit weak for 8%, but was still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Etan
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a murky mahogany with a large off-white head.

S: Heavy cinnamon in the nose, but it's pleasant and not overpowering. A tiny bit of maltiness detectable underneath.

T: Cinnamon, dry and slightly bitter roasted malt, mild caramel, slight vanilla. The nibs and vanilla become more palpable as the beer warms.

M: Light-bodied with active carbonation.

O: I liked the cinnamon quite a bit, but more body and balance would have benefited the beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a fun collaboration for charity with terrapin, and the 2012 has held up well. looks awesome in a beer mug, churning tan head tops a turbulent clear brown liquid with just a smattering of yeast particulate settling out. creamy rich nose like a milk stout, sweet, and retaining a lot of vanilla and cocoa, while the cinnamon is relaxed and just a complimentary addition. sweet brown malt is the base for a very flavorful ale. vanilla all the way through, but it doesn't add any unneeded sweetness. again, the cinnamon is soft, and the cocoa sort of fleshes out the beer with a bitter earthy bakers chocolate complexion. there is a lot going on here, but I admire the balance as well as the cause here. full bodied and candy sweet at the start but finishing a lot more reasonable. enough carbonation to keep it moving too. a nice winter beer that can definitely handle a year in the cellar.

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Photo of dudecandle
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass:

A: Quite dark body, creamy, long-lasting head.

S/T: As the bottle describes, so it is: Cocoa nibs give a very dark chocolate base, but there's some significant dose of vanilla beans, and some cinnamon. The combination gives off something of a false coffee vibe. It's particularly strange in that the flavors don't really seem to mesh at first, but really hit one after the next. Ultimately, as it warms up, they blend pretty well, and it ends up being quite rich. A little on the sweet end, with a touch of an alcoholic burn, but still with that bittersweetness from the nibs.

M: Moderate cream, but with a touch of a burning finish.

O: Weird, weird beer. I'm glad I tried it and am unsure how interested I am in having it again. It's an interesting flavor combination that I at least would normally associate with whiskeys. I would have expected a beer like this from DFH, and I think if it were slightly less rough around the edges, and if the flavors meshed quicker, it could really be something special. Overall, still good work by two unique breweries.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Glad to finally sample this cool collaboration.

A: A rich, dark brown with a one finger tan head that dissipates slowly. Curtain-y sticky lacing.

S: Coffee strong, followed by dark chocolate and cinnamon. Picking up a hint of vanilla, too.

T: Follows nose with a sweet, robust feel. Coffee really dominates. Spices work in nicely.

M: Medium with medium, creamy carbonation.

O: A great brown ale. Goes down easy.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A finger of head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt and milk, pretty nice.
The taste is great. Chocolate, spice, roasted malt; lots of borderline sweetness but maintains a good balance.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
Pretty good.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another year, another collaboration between Shmaltz and Terrapin. There are two versions of this beer, each brewed at either of the two breweries (The producing brewery is indicated by being first on the billing order on the label and by the color of the foil top). This review is for the version of 2012 Reunion Ale produced at Shmaltz.

"Dark Imperial Ale brewed with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and vanilla." says the label. So this is not a chile beer like last year's Reunion Ale was.

Pours out a dark brown with a 1 cm skim layer of tan foam that lasts for several minutes and has mild lacing properties.

Aroma is a blunt beating about the face made mostly out of equal parts fresh cinnamon and musty earthy dark chocolate. As it warms up, lighter amounts of smoke, vanilla, and black coffee appear in the nose.

Flavor starts out as a brief yet strong hit of woody cinnamon sticks that quickly shifts to a semi-char malt and dark chocolate / dark fruit-underpinning combination. Vanilla nuances are wispy and thin, but the ever-present cinnamon sweetens up somewhat by midsip to provide good counterbalance to the black coffee finish. Fleeting glimpses of herbal and earthy garnishes are present from time to time.

If I had to pick something to criticize, it would be the sluggish carbonation which makes the lighter body actually present as closer to medium body on the tongue. There is a bit of a mineral aftertaste to the finish as well, making me wonder if this was made with hard water.

I'd recommend trying this one if you really like a lot of cinnamon flavor and aroma in your dark beer, because the cinnamon is the featured star in this brew.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep brown topped by a light tan head and decent retention as it fades to a small pool and collar around the glass into a snifter
S: smells of lightly toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon
T: tastes of cinnamon, bitter dark chocolate, slight coffee and vanilla. aftertaste is more chocolate, vanilla and some cinnamon. Fairly sweet but the bitterness from the cocoa nibs keeps it from cloying
M: barely prickly carbonation with a mouthfeel a touch above medium
O: A fairly unique beer. The side of the bottle says it was inspired from a dessert and this beer is certainly like drinking a sweet dessert with some cinnamon. The flavors work well but some more malt flavors would have been nice. They definitely wanted the additions to shine and they do. It's pretty tasty if you know what you're getting into when you crack open the bottle. I have one to age that I'll probably drink fresh before the vanilla fades.

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Reunion Ale '12 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.