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Schell's Schmaltz's Alt - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's Schmaltz's AltSchell's Schmaltz's Alt

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

112 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 181
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 11
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-05-2001

One of Warren's favorite pastimes back in the 30's was a trip to the city dump to shoot rats–so much that it was a common date for him and his wife-to-be, Casey. The manager of the city dump was John Schmaltz–hence the nickname "Schmaltz" Marti. We hope you enjoy our Schmaltz's Alt, a creamy smooth dark alt brewed even better than before.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 181
Photo of frank4sail
2.38/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Slight smell of musty shoe leather. Slight pale tan head. Deep dark purple color. Flat plainish malt taste that is not interesting at all.. there is a slightly sour burnt kettle finish to the taste as well. Shockingly tranparent mouth as well. not one i think is very drinkable... (280 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's says on the label a dark German style ale, I was expecting a deep copper due to the alt style, but this one takes on a similar appearance as a Schwarzbier. deep ruby with a tan head leaves efficient lacing nice full rings at that. Aroma contains some fruity tones based from the malt but there is an astringent metallic offness in the background. Taste conists of darker roasts subtle fruit notes and a standoftish hop character, overall quite nice rolling toasted malts. Mouthfeel conists of soft chewy texture medium bodied ale not bad at all. Drinkability I am fine with just one nice beer but I prefer more pronounced flavors nothing from the August Schell Brewing is of Shock and Awe nature. (701 characters)

Photo of proc
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting beer, but not very complex. Pours out to a amber, almost brown color. Somewhat sweet with a light hop presence on the finish. I honestly can say I liked it but wished it were a little more flavorful. The Schell Brewery is a nice thing for the folks in Minnesota and the Midwest to have around. (308 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The last time I had this was close to five years ago and I remember liking it even back then. My experience tonight is not so good. I get a definite fruity aroma, and sweet fruity taste with some chocolate tones. This in no-way compares to the Alaskan Alt I had a few weeks ago. I thought I may have a bad date but after checking the code thanks to a post on the forum it appears it is relatively fresh...Certainly not a horrible experience but I expected much more. One of my least favorite Schell's beers. I will try the rest and upgrade this review if it is warranted but right now this slightly above 3.0 rating may be a bit steep. (641 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a deep brown color with an off-white head. Leaves a nice lace-work when sipped down. The nose is one of roasted malt. The taste is rich, malty, roasty, with hints of chocolate. The malt flavors are nicely balanced by the hop flavor and bitterness. Unfortunately in the bottle I tasted I detected a metallic flavor in the finish. This was a medium-full bodied beer, big and malty; overall a tastey beer. (411 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a huge, thick, rich, foamy, light tan, luscious, textured head and lots of lace. Odd aroma and flavor of Bavarian weisse beer. Otherwise pretty good beer.Opaque brownish black. Very soft flavors and body. Very good carbonation. Could be a session beer. (264 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly murky hazelnut color with a frothy light brown head.

Aroma: Bready malt with hints of toffee. Some yeast but quite a clean aroma overall.

Taste: Starts with some bread and lots of caramel malt flavor. Real light on bitterness with no placeable hop flavor. Disappointed in the finish and aftertaste which give a really metallic tinge like sucking on a penny along with the flavor of blue cheese. It's unfortunate because the lead up to the finish is pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Just above medium in body which is quite an accomplishment for a 5.1% ABV beer. Low carbonation and a bit cloying in its dryness. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Definitely ruined by the aftertaste. I have a hard time believing there was anything wrong with the bottle though because the rest of the sixer was consumed by my friends who didn't seem to take issue with its flavor. Would I drink it again? Maybe, at the brewery. (927 characters)

Photo of PieOhMy
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into imperial pint glass.

A Dark ruby. No transparency. Fat tan head. Fades quickly but a little foam and lacing remain on the surface.

S Just what they were going for - Malty. Sugar. Small hint of fruitiness, apple and pear.

T Sweet malts right up front. Chocolaty and toffee flavors that I do not pick up in the scent. A subdued bitterness hangs around slightly but no strong lasting aftertaste.

M It is a little chewy but more on the light side. Smooth watery finish.

O The initial flavor, the malty backbone and the sweetness is nice but there really isn't much holding this together. The flavor dies to quickly. I got this as part of variety pack, which is good because even though this is an OK beer, I would not by this in a six or twelve pack. (764 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark-brown, with a bit of red when held to the light.

Smell: Slight bread smell.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor to start, moves towards a bitter finish. Tastes like a porter to me.

Mouthfeel: Average, a little lighter than most porters (I haven't had many alts).

Drinkability: Again, average. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing bad either.

I picked this up as part of a mixed 6 pack in order to try another variety of Schell's. This was decent, but nothing special. I felt that this was very similar to a porter as evidenced from my comments above. Slightly above average. (600 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Dark malts, caramel, toffee, cherry, dark fruits, cocoa, wood chips, and a subtle earthy spiciness.

T: Dark malts, chocolate, caramel, cherry, toffee, fig, and some subtle hops in the background.

M: Light bodied, low-to-mid carbonation. Fairly watery and to smooth. The feel ruins an otherwise solid brew.

O: I really like August Schell but some of the beers are just to light and watery in the mouth. Sadly this is one of those brews. Great pour, decent nose, solid flavor just goes down like water. (641 characters)

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with garnet highlights, maybe too dark for this style. Kind of falls into the "dark beer" category, but then there's a surprising smoky quality, too. A taste of adjunct also appears to be involved. I guess Schell's is trying to stride that middle line between liquor stores and beer geeks (I got mine at an Iowa liquor store because the ones in Minnesota were closed for Sunday), so this comes off a little less than it could be. (435 characters)

Photo of marc77
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep garnet hue, with brilliant, cold conditioned clarity. Light tan, frothy head settles into a thin, muddled layer that manages loose lace. Caramel sweetness with a hint of roasted malt along with mildly herbal hops in aroma. Mellow, dryish waft of cocoa adds depth. Stately, caramel malt sweetness initially in flavor is immediately tapered by hop and roasted grain bitterness. Dominate malt character mirrors the aroma, being comprised of powered cocoa. Slight, raisiny fruitiness complements the mild roasted grain presence, adding complexity. Dry, well attenuated, perhaps overly so. Trace floral noble hop presence. Roasted grain bitterness grows progressively stronger and by the finish becomes lightly astringent. A crisp, well bittered alt akin to the Sticke style, but just a bit shy in malt character. A touch rough, but certainly quite drinkable. A welcome change of pace. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the delivery. (927 characters)

Photo of bakeller
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: dark brown with a reddish hue when held up to the light. Pours with a half finger light brown head that disappears quickly.

N: Not very aromatic. All I really get is faint roasted malt and an earthy smell.

T: Roasted malt with a slight caramel character. Has a hoppy finish

M: Light and crisp, goes down smooth. Perfect amount of carbonation.

D: While there is not much to the taste, you could drink this all night because of the light body and crisp, smooth mouth-feel. (505 characters)

Photo of Weli
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Deep copper color with good clarity, thin off-white head with good lacing

S-Slight corn DMS, munich malt

T-Hit of malt upfront, but brief, then hit of smooth hop bitterness and roasted/toasted barley, slight astringency, dry finish

M-Medium to light bodied and dry

O-Decent Alt, but a perhaps a bit to bitter and dark, could use more malt aroma. (353 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cheers to mothman for this one, thanks Ben! I remember this beer from the mid 90s & thought I had it back then, but not sure if Schell was brewing it then...

Pours an effervescent ebony tinged chestnut with a pinky of tan head. Head drops away quickly
, zero head retention & lacing

S: Jammy fruit & a touch of herbal hops

T: Jammy fruit, a touch of molasses & leafy hops & dryness up front. More fruittyness & leafy hops as this warms. Apricot & raisin mingle in the finish along with some woody hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, moderate carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty easy, not a classic alt IMO, but sessionable enough (634 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've never had an alt before. Time to give one a try for a solid local brewery.

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany color in my glass. A creamy off white head sits atop. As the light shines through you see shades of ruby. The aroma was pleasant but not overly powerful. Some malty sweetness, toffee, caramel and a slight fruitiness. The flavor is definitely in favor of the malts with some mild sweetness. Toasy breadiness in the end. There was a strong caramel presence and some slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, so very nice.

Overall a pretty good beer. Not exactly what I was in the mood for. I may pick this up in doppelbock season. It seemed kind of bockish, but not quite as powerful. This beer didn't make me want to seek an alt out, but I'd give one a try if I saw it. (797 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a large ceramic stein. Fluffy head. Smells of malt with a hint of brown sugar. Dry, but smooth. Delicate but dank caramel malt flavors dominate this dark version of alt. Goes down easy, with a faint bitter finish accented by slick bits of toffee that quickly fade. Good easy-going spring beer. (303 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a really pretty almost black with a creamy, beige head.

Smell: The smell is very malt focused. There is a suprising woody quality to it, but nothing really stands out.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor is of smoky, almost roasted meats with a huge malt focus to it. The balance is nice, but nothing about the flavor is anything special or stand-out. The mouthfeel is nice and rich though.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad beer, but suffers from the same problem most Shcell brews do - lack of anything special. It's nothing great, nothing to seek out, but still a decent, solid brew. (611 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer from Brix in Omaha, NE
"042012" stamped on bottle - best by April 2012?
Poured into an Ayinger willi glass

With Schmaltz's Alt, Schell's has produced a solid version of the style that makes an interesting blend of toasted and roasted malt characters with some modest hop contributions. While I enjoyed the beer overall, I thought its aroma and taste could be more pronounced and still not do the beer any harm.

Able to pour a fairly tall, ~4cm head of light tan, small and dense bubbles; this creates a very fluffy-looking and pillowy mass of foam. Head descends gradually, leaving spots of lacing with it, and ultimately fading to a 0.2cm cap atop the body. Body is a dark brown when out of light, holding it up to light reveals a deep ruby-mahogany color.

Aroma has some bread character mixed with fairly sweet, moderately dark malt. Not detecting nuttiness, yeastiness, or estery ale notes, and the scents I do pick up are a bit muted. I feel this area could be improved upon, at least in my bottle.

Taste is a mix of a brown ale meets porter: mild char, cocoa, burnt sugars, and tanginess from roasted malt flavors meet equally mild caramel and toasted malt flavors. Slight metallic notes, nuttiness, and some hops must be contributing to the mild tangy, spicy taste. An altogether noticeable and pleasant taste profile, but still a bit too subtle for me.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with a medium-level of carbonation that is still quite soft on the palate. The resultant mouthfeel is generally smooth and creamy, well-flowing. Finish is dry, making you want another sip. (1,598 characters)

Photo of skybluewater
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby color. Smells of bubblegummy malt. Taste is malty, with a bit of juicy-fruit (I may be imagining that...). All in all, not an impressive beer here. It's tasty enough that I downed it in no time flat, but it's not one I'd buy on a regular basis. Just a decent brew, nothing more. (301 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep dark brown color with auburn streaks and nice fluffy 2 finger tan head.lacing on side of glass..smell is roasted malts.toffee.raisins,and bread..taste follows the nose its a roasted hit of malts smoothed out by some caramel malts ..mouth feel is warm and medium + well carbonated... as it warms the palate with a wave of malt and some hops ,,the flavor is good but not robust..its a nice winter brew that went down fast and got better more flavorful as it warmed (475 characters)

Photo of CPeterson
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A deep mahogany brew that pours into a vigorous head and leaves a nice foam on top and thick lacing.

S -- Mild caramel essence backed with roasty malt notes. Hints of toffee and vanilla.

T -- Matches the nose with a nice prominence of roasted malts, lightly hopped finish represented with earthy tones.

M -- Robust yet smooth and not abusive to the palate. Well suited for the style.

D -- Very nice, excellent representation of the style and worth a purchase. (468 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Deep tawny brown with reddish hues, thick and sticky light tan lace that foams up well and leaves a decent lace in its wake.

Smell: Clean dark malt aroma of unsweetened chocolate, caramel and a mild husk in the nose. Very little hop in the smell though some alcohol in noticeable.

Taste: Creamy and smooth on the palate, shows off lots of malt character right away. Full in body with a moderate carbonation. Big splashes of unsweetened chocolate and lightly roasted coffee take control of the flavour threshold. Hop bitterness is right on the cusp of keeping things balanced, nice chewy middle of malt sweetness, mellow alcohol and caramel. A bite both from the hops and dark malts jump out of the carbonation to bring on the finish. There is somewhat of a carob-like finish, quite clean and does not dry up that much at all.

Notes: One of the more robust altbiers out there, perhaps a bit too much in the roasted malt flavours. This could easily be confused with a brown porter. None the less a tasty brew that should be tried by all. (1,126 characters)

Photo of happygnome
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a nice very dark black color reminiscent of a stout but it does show dark mahogany colors when held to the light, the head is about a half inch high but it comes down fairly quickly leaving a good amound of lacing
s: nice toasty caramel malts with sweet notes like reminiscent of honey also there is a certain breadiness to this that makes it a little more inviting because the sweetness is not overwhelming
t: toasted caramle malts followed by a little bitterness, maybe citrusy sweet bitter taste and then the finish is creamy and a little sweet
m: medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, i really enjoyed this brew and may buy it again in the future (684 characters)

Photo of blackearth
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours are dark black color with reddish hues in the bottom corners of the glass. Almost no head to speak of. Aroma is sweet and caramel. On the fuller side of medium bodied, this beer has a smooth, sweet taste with an understated hop aftertaste and a nutty finish. Good beer overall. (329 characters)

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Schell's Schmaltz's Alt from August Schell Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.