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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.
very good

112 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 181
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 12
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 morimech
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a substantial off-white head that slowly recedes to a thin cap. Thick lacing is left down the glass.

The first thing I noticed in the smell was the roasted malt but as it warmed a thick caramel and fruity aroma dominated.

The taste is surprisingly sweet. The caramel and dark fruit are upfront being backed up by a roasted, slightly smokey malt flavor. I would of prefered the malt to be more pronounced and the sweetness cut back. But it still is a very nice tasting beer. No hint of alcohol. It has a medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is slightly out of whack by being heavily carbonated for the style. I would buy this again.

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Photo of alexgash
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Significantly dark maple syrup amber. Pinkie finger of creamy, light khaki head. Very nice lacing up the glass. Not a lot of retention though. Subdued nose of light roasted malts, toast, a hint of chocolate, and slightly herbal hops.

Toasted, slightly astringent malts up front. Mild herbal, vegetal bitterness comes in. Biscuit and light caramel malt sweetness. Flashes of cocoa, nuts, and tobacco near the finish. Moderate body with a slightly oily feel. Decently made and pretty drinkable.

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

12 oz. bottle: This one pours a very dark brown color. Some light manages to pass through it. There was very liottle head on my example. What was there was tan and died out quickly. The aroma is mainly that of chocolate. Some sweetness coming through also. The taste is a bit roasty, with a subdued sweetness. A hint of fruits in the tsate also. I’m sure that ther are hops in there, but they are overpowered by everything else. Decent.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the first beers I tried from this brewery and have always had a fondness for it, although it may not be a classic example for the style, and not the best Schell's beer. The label has always appealed to me. Color is dark brown with reddish-amber hue in the light. Head is sufficient and darker in color. Aroma is light overall, mostly malt with light fruitiness and a bit of hops. Taste is fairly full, much more malt than hops and not particularly bitter. Finish is somewhat dry with a quality of hard water and slightly metalic taste. Nice medium mouthfeel, and some richness to the drink. A beer I'll continue to buy.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with some ruby red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big three finger light tan head which slowly fades into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet dark malt forward aroma with good hints of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. Upfront roasted malts with hints of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. Fruity hints of apple and pear along with dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, cherry, prune, and dates. Sweet hints of brown sugar as well as some licorice spicing. Subtle hints of earthy hops. A very solid malty aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a sweet and roasty dark malt driven taste with good notes of chocolate, sweet caramel, and fruits. Roasted bready malts with good notes of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, yeast, nuts, and grains. Big mix of fruity notes with some apple and pear along with dark fruit notes of cherry, raisin, fig, dates, and prune. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Some subtle anise licorice spice as well. Light presence of hops in the background. A very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and slightly slick with a drying finish.

Overall: A very solid malty Alt. Good toasty biscuit malt notes with a very nice presence of fruits.

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

August Schell Schmalt's Alt has a reddish brown body that is fairly translucent. The head is a tan color with pretty good retention. A few scraps of lacing are on the glass.

Lots of bread and malty sweetness in the aroma.

Lots of malt in flavor. A good bit of bread and substantial sweetness. Maybe a bit of toffee. The middle has a little bit of fruit from the yeast, and toward the finish a dash of hops bring a little bit of earthy flavor and bitterness. There is a hint of warmth that I can almost taste in the finish.

Lots of body on this one, with moderate carbonation and some warmth.

This is another solid beer from August Schell. For the price, this brewery makes some solid beers that hit their style pretty well.

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Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I look forward to Alts but this one was a little dissappointing in its bold but undefined flavors...good but almost greasy mouthfeel, nice aroma and color...was looking for a little more hop and dryness...too dark and with a more highly defined chocolate tone than any other Alt I have had, and not really to style. Not bad to drink though...

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Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brunette with ruby highlights, fairly deep. Brown head, moderately fast to dissipate, soapy retention, some lace. Coarse roasted malt, dry-unsweetened chocolate with a faint suggestion of hops. Inviting. The palate is most noticeably roasty, somewhat coarse, malty, dry, very little bitterness but very little sweetness too. Simple yet complex. Medium-body at best. Nice lingering dry maltiness, ideal carbonation, meandering finish… decent. This is a robust Alt beer, worth a try for any session beer needs.

Thanks feloniousmonk for the bottle!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This reminds me of that movie, Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Back from it's nearly 2 year brewing hiatus, this is from my first sixer of the newly reintroduced Schmaltz' Alt.
Pours a nearly black, dark brown body that loks more like a porter than anything else. Pours with a nice creamy 1/2" of tan head that has very good retention. Smell is robust with roasted malt and a slight coffee scent. Taste and mouthfeel approach the porter/stout level of body and taste. Good coffee and bready malt flavors with mild acidity present. A truely great beer, and one that I am happy so see return to the Schell's lineup.

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Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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

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Photo of sholland119
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in trade from kittywamp. Thanks, Kathryn.

A-Pours a hazy medium brown with a thin tan head. Not much lacing.

S-Sweet caramel and roasted malt with a bit of figginess.

T-Roasted malt dominates the taste, with some sweet malt in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with a very nice creaminess.

D-A very nice sessionable dark beer from Schell.


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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark brown, almost black in color. After being poured it leaves a two finger foamy head which stays and leaves a nice lace on the side of the glass.

Smell - Malt and caramel with chocolate.

Taste - Caramel and malt with coffee and bitter chocolate, quite good.

Mouthfeel - Smooth medium bodied and creamy.

Drinkablity - very drinkable. It would be easy to drink several bottles of this. Well made.

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Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a Summit pint glass - seems inappropriate to drink Schell's from a Summit glass, oh well.

Appearance: Reddish-brown with persistent thin head; very little lacing.

Smell: Noble hops, metallic, dark fruits, smells good but a little faint.

Taste: Somewhat similar to smell. Reminds me of a roasty brown ale crossed with a Vienna Lager, but with a higher level of hops. Metallic bitterness, especially in the aftertaste, and the bitterness becomes more apparent after continued sipping.

Feel: This is the most interesting part of the beer. Smooth and clean like a lager, but creamier like many ales. Very little familiarity with Altbiers, but this makes sense as it is essentially a lagered ale. Medium bodied with a decent level of carbonation - almost spritzy. Ultimately, I am left with creamy but spritzy - very unique, a little strange, but mostly good.

Drinkability: Easy drinking but flavorful.

This will be worth revisiting every late winter.

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Photo of budgood1
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

looks like a porter without much head. the nose is restrained which could lead to a variety of perceived aromas if you think hard enough. this is also evident in the taste and mouthfeel. it's too restrained. the usual depth of coffee, chocolate, caramel, raisins, molasses, fruitcake, with the lightly hopped finish are their.....but it leaves you wanting more. nothing outrageous, nothing offending.

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Photo of marc77
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from my notebook.

I found a variety pack of Schell's brews at the store, thought I'd explore their offerings and take down some tasting notes while I'm at it... Pours out dark brown with reddish highlights at the fringes of the glass. There is a sand colored craggy single finger head, leaving behind decent lacing. Body is much lighter than I had expected from the darkness of the appearance, tastes and smells of heavy breadiness, malts, some minor roasted character than finishes bitter on the palate along with a light earthy hop tone. Pretty good.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad offering from Schell. Poured out to a very dark brown color with a think white head and some notes of lace. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of malt, toffee and tamed hops were present. Nice. Flavor was nice but lighter that I expected. Flavors of roasted malts and hops, with wood overtones were very present. Slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel was generally good, but nothing special. A decent level of drinkability. This is not what I would think of when someone mentions the Altbier style, but it is rather good nonetheless. Recommended.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark ruby brown with bright highlights when held up to light. Very clean appaerance. Big creamy light brown head with excellent retention. Leaves sheets of lace behind.

S - Lightly roasted malt aroma. Little bits of chocolate and a little huskiness. Very muted aroma.

T - Roasted malts, chocoalte, and just a touch of coffee open this beer up. A surprisingly sweet chocoaltiness comes through mid drink before the roasted coffee and roasted malt taste really comes back through. A light spiciness at the finish that lingers along with a lasting roastiness. Very different from the other alts I have tried. Almost porter like here.

M/D - Medium bodied, a touch on the creamy side. Crisp carbonation which seems a little out of place. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of Mdog
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a deep brown beer with a huge head that required several minutes to subside.

The aroma was of rich roasted malts, some coffee overtones. No hop notes to speak of, which I would have expected from an altbier.

The taste was of roasted malts and coffee. Again, without the hop bite I expected.

I would have rated this higher if I was rating in general terms, but versus others in the style it just didn't have the hops. I think it would have been better classified as a brown ale or almost a porter.

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

Poured from the bottle to an opaque dark brown with medium tan head that lingers well and leaves okay lacing. Nose is malty roasted nuts with hints of smoked wood, and the mouthfeel of this medium bodied beer is full and sweet. Flavor accentuates the sweet malty roasted nuts of the nose, and the finish of medium duration and slightly warming.

Alcohol could have been a tad higher for a winter warmer, but an oll round decent beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a clear deep brown color with lots of rising carbonation that forms a once inch off-white head on top. Moderate lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is very malty, lots of caramel, dark fruits - raisins and cherries, a slight roasted character. Very much like a bock. I like it.

Taste is sweet and caramelly up front with light dark fruit coming out in the middle again, raisins come to mind. Some bready malt then towards the finish there are some herbal hops and a bit of a toffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and creamy as the label claims. Great feel and drinkable to boot.

My second beer from Schell's and I am impressed again. Very sessionable beer that I wish was available to me.

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Photo of maxpower
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown color with a nice frothy head ,roasty malty caremel aroma, , taste of chocolate and caremel, a very balanced Alt, not bad, very good for the style, at $5.99 a sixer I would buy this one agian, great price for a decent beer.

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Photo of KeefD
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a decent tan colored head that falls slowly leaving some good, chunky lacing. Nuttiness and cocoa in the aroma with just a hint of citrusy hops in the background. Flavor is of some toasted malts, lightly bready, and the slightest hints of nuts, fruit and cocoa powder. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but it's light on the carbonation and goes down super smooth. This is a nice alt, but there are many other great ones out there. It's very easy to drink and a very good dark(er) session beer for the winter into spring time, although spring is far away from us here in MN.

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