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Schell's Chimney Sweep - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's Chimney SweepSchell's Chimney Sweep

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

48 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 174
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 1
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 11-16-2012

Dark and mysterious, with an intriguing wisp of smoke, a chimney sweep has long been considered a source of good luck. Schell’s Chimney Sweep draws its inspiration from these lucky individuals and the rich dark lagers of Upper Franconia in Germany. Expect a black lager with a roasty maltiness, sturdy hop bitterness and an underlying subtle smokiness.

31 IBU
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 174
Photo of ANiklaus
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

I see some of these reviews and wonder what some of these people are expecting. This beer has smokiness, but not more than other beers. How people are commenting it's like they think it should be classified as a grätzer. Don't let them fool you. This beer is appropriately smokey and carries the taste to be expected of a black lagers. This beer isn't trying too hard and you shouldn't expect a ton from it but it delivers for being usually under $10 for a 12 pack. Look: Extremely dark. As dark as most stouts, pours with a few fingers of foam into a pint glass. No problems here. Smell: Worst quality of the beer. Doesn't give out much but smells kind of cheap actually. Taste: Tastes as good as many other 'craft' beer black lagers. Nothing too complex but there's a little smoke, but mostly malts with some hop. I can't complain, it's not like it's a fancy craft beer that promises the world. Feel: A good overall feel to the beer, not much to say here. There's nothing to complain about the beer. It's good for winter to spring and will warm you up. It's tasty and not too much that you can only drink one or two. I recommend the beer for anyone looking for something that delivers and is cheap. (1,243 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a single into an imperial pint glass

A: dark mahogany with ruby at the edges when held to the light; 1 finger khaki head
S: toasted grain, lager yeast, a hint of smokey meats
T: Like the nose, though there's also an edge of grassy hops toward the end, and there's a bit of dark fruit and caramel malt in the middle; the smokiness isn't too strong, but it is present from the middle of the mouthful all the way through the end. The grain notes that I get from most of Schell's beers is here throughout, but it isn't working to pull everything together quite as well (for me) with the other flavors as it does in other beers.
M: medium to low carbonation, a little flat despite the faint hoppy zest that gives the mouthful an edge. About right, for style, in terms of chewiness.

overall: this has all the elements, some of which are emphasized just right, but... the way it all adds up leaves me wanting something to be a little different. I did it side by side with the Bauhaus Schwarz, which doesn't have as much smokiness and has more mellow chocolate, which I preferred a bit. In the right mood, this is a solid choice and I don't turn it down. (1,161 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a nonic from a 12 oz bottle.

Color is dark mahogany with a huge tan head that lingers for quite a while before settling into a thin foam. Semi-sticky lacing. Smell is roasted malt with dark fruit and a hint of some smoked meat. Flavor is caramel malt with some chocolate that finishes with some smoke and hop bitterness. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Its a very creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, it's very good. (433 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A mighty impressive pour indeed, with a bubble show producing a fist of foam on top of the mahogany colored liquid; gobs of splashy lacing hang around

Smell: Hints of black bread, caramel, chocolate and, to an even lesser extent, meaty smoke

Taste: Toasted black bread, caramel and a touch of chocolate, up front; a hint of meaty smoke builds in the middle, though the finish brings some sweeter tones rather than smokey ones; clean, though, like a lager should be

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice twist on the style; I like the touch of smoke here that makes the beer interesting

Thanks, DaftPatrick, for the opportunity (675 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured into a fiesta ware glass.

Appearance (4) : A dark plum/black body, 80% opaque, with a three fingered khaki colored head on top. Head remains steady and recedes very slowly.

Aroma (4) : Oat, blueberry, wheat, plum, and a faint dusty smell. Some grape stem, too. Bouquet is medium to strong.

Taste (4) : A rich roasted flavor with a hint of smoke at the end. In the middle are fire-roasted plums, fig, hop leaf, and barley malts. It finishes strong and robust, with the smokey character remaining on the palate.

Mouthfeel (4) : Light to medium bodied, stiff and woody, lightly carbonated with a parched finish.

Overall (4) : This beer is a double edged sword - great for easy-drinking beer nights, and great for rich and flavorful beer nights. It drinks like a lager, but tastes like a hand crafted ale. I highly recommend Schell's Chimney Sweep. Cheers! (866 characters)

Photo of mcrow24
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark nearly black, with a finger's worth brown tinted head.

S: Light smells of malty bread and roasted grain.

T: Roasted malt, charred flavors with a caramel hint an a nice hit of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, slight creamy feel with low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Good dark beer, with a good bitterness but not overly strong in comparison to other styles. (372 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chimney Sweep was swept into a nonic pint. Chim-chim-chi-roo!

A fluffy mass of ecru foam billows to about two-fingers in width, atop a dark brown body with solid streaks of crimson.

The nose softly expresses some wheat, milk chocolate, and barely there roastiness. Some estery notes swirl in and out as well, different. This nose just needs to be bold!

Oh, so much better! Nice to meet you smoked dark lager! The palate is engulfed by smoked ham straight away, revealing the smoked quality that the beer drinker was so hopefully expecting in the aroma profile. The finish expresses a roasted quality with some caramel malt sweetness. That sweetness contributes a milk chocolate note kiss that hangs long after the swallow.

Chimney Sweep feels heavier where medium bodied beers are concerned, creaminess providing a nice lift off the tongue. A crisp lager that goes down smooth.

Chimney Sweep mucks about on the nose for sure, too soft and not smokey at all. The palate finally introduces the smokiness and roasted qualities, with a pleasant splash of sweetness. Again, the flavors could be more bold, but try to drink this and not enjoy it! (1,147 characters)

Photo of shadetree67
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - A dark brown / garnet red color. A strong pour yielded a 2.5 finger headed. Not much in the way of lacing the head dissipated quickly

Smell - The isn't much aroma with this one. Bready / roasted malts. Baker's chocolate

Taste - Roasted malts, a slight hint of smoke / char, and hint of bitterness from the hops. The finish is a nice toffee which lingers on the tongue for awhile.

Mouthfeel - Thin to medium body and low to medium carbonation.

Overall - Pretty decent beer but was hoping for more smoke (519 characters)

Photo of drpimento
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I think this beer is misclassified; it should be a smoked beer. To me there's nothing "subtle" about the smokiness. Poured at a good temperature with a modest light tan head that soon settled to a large island, ring, and some lace. Color is a clear mahogany with some tiny bubble trails. Aroma is smoke dominated and then malt and a bit of spice. Flavor's like nose plus has some tart. Fairly dry. Body is slightly thin, carbonation ok. Finish is like flavor, some change to medicinal, gradual taper, not really for me. Wish it had been a traditional schwarzbier (562 characters)

Photo of steveh
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Had the stocker find this in the back of the Kenosha Woodman's -- lucky they had it, I don't think they're too aware of everything Schell brews.

A -- Clear, deep ruby to chestnut brown with a firm, long-lasting, light tan head.

S -- Lightly smoky character, mildly bready malts. Pretty light aroma overall. Some good toasted breadiness comes thru with warming.

T -- Smoked malt hits the palate first with a mildly astringent character, but not offensive at all -- folding into a nearly sweet bready character and finishing with a mellow roastiness and lightly spicy hops for accent. The roastiness and smokiness linger nicely balanced in the aftertaste -- even some mild dark fruit characters. A Rauchbier character akin to Schlenkerla's Ur Bock.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth and slick with a medium-robust body that finishes lightly dry.

O -- Overall this is a great seasonal brew for the cold weather months. Not the typical spiced, strong seasonal, but very flavorful and robust to stand up to the winter air. (1,013 characters)

Photo of BryanCarey
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chimney Sweep pours to a dark garnet color with a well- filtered, see through body. The nose on this beer is one of light roasted malt, a hint of coffee, and light smoke. The tan- colored foam looks nice and does manage to hold its own.

This beer has a flavor profile that is about what you expect based on the nose. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee, and smoke are certainly present, and they are matched with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and some dark fruit. The body of the beer is medium and the beer finishes clean.

This is a nice effort for a schwarzbier and I noticed that it is less bitter than others of this style. Some of these black lagers are so bitter that I can tolerate them only in small doses. But Schell took things a little easier with its version of this German specialty brew and this is evident by the moderate to low hop bitterness and more easy- drinking nature.

Chimney Sweep is a good, medium bodied black lager and a beer definitely worthy of a try. It’s considered a seasonal brew, but it is bottled and sold over both the Fall and Winter so there is plenty of time to seek it out and give it sample. Give it a shot- you won’t be disappointed. (1,179 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Small light brown head settles into a lice lacing above a clear reddish brown colored beer.

Sweet roasted toffee, caramel, dark almost burnt chocolate, a french liqueur aroma and more.

Dark roasted malts with toffee, a bit of dark bakers chocolates, caramelized sugars come through in the taste.

A light dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the darker aspects of the taste with this medium bodied drink.

Surprisingly good, I had a few Schell's beers that really weren't that good. (493 characters)

Photo of PieOhMy
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an old friend that I am just getting around to reviewing.

Poured into snifter.

A Black. Thick creamy tan head remains. Lacing follows down the glass.

S Sweet dark fruit. Smokey. Chocolate. Roasted malt and almonds. Nutmeg.

T Awesome! Roasted malts right up front. Sweetness (maybe some plum or cherry). Subdued spice. Smoke but not that messy in your face smoke that some beers of the style have. A hint of bitterness follows.

M Pretty full. Nice and creamy. Finish is smooth. The burnt/roastiness lingers.

O Great beer. Schell's puts out some top-notch stuff and this may be my favorite of their's. They stay true to the style but still find a way to expand and leave their personal mark. (704 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Schell's chimney sweep

A - pours a deep chocolatey brown with about two fingers worth of light tan foam on top.

S - nose is a bit muted but still quite pleasant. Very malt forward. Notes of bakers chocolate and mocha with grindy city roast coffee around the edges.

T - silky smooth flavors. Dusty cocoa, dark chocolate syrup and grainy cereal up front. Notes of coffee-like bitterness enter in the middle creating a balance to the malty sweetness. A hint of herbal bitterness toward the backend. Finish is bittersweet with the touch of the herbal hop character.

M-medium bodied. Silky smooth texture. Medium-high carbonation.

O - nice schwartzbeer. I have always liked this style and this is a pleasant american version. Would definitely drink again. (755 characters)

Photo of Foam
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Got a couple single bottles to try . Didn't know it was a schwarzbier until I looked at b.a.
Definetly not at the level of Monchshof / Kostritzer but an ok American take on the style ...
I'd say it's a good session schwarzbier seeing as how it's just 5.2% abv .
Probably good with roasted meat and other hearty dishes . Probably a good cheddar cheese pairing, as well, something tells me .
A fairly thin consistency unlike its German counter-parts which seem to have more soul and heft to them .
A slighty caramel roasty aroma when sniffed .
Taste is roasted malt lager darkness .
Mouthfeel is perhaps its best attribute . A nice rounded slightly fruity thing going on .
I'd be in no hurry to probably ever buy this again but , oh well . (738 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in the glass though some light gets through around the edges, rendering a slightly brownish clear highlight. Thin layer of soft offwhite foam across the surface, that parts fairly soon without much lacing to speak of. MInor sudsy spots after a swirl and sip.

Softly roasty aroma, sweet fruity plum, carob or cocoa. Dry taste, less sweet than the aroma lets on, though there is a slight amount. Dry cocoa, light unsweetened chocolate, dried dark fruit. Light and drinkable, though not without substantial flavor. Drinks like a nice porter more than a schwarzbier, and that's a good thing. (595 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by 14JUN13

It's near black with some nut brown hues below a fine creamy toasted sheet. Smells nice and roasty with soil, char, toast, some prunes and cocoa. Flavor follows suit with some nice roasted malts, dry soil, some hints of cocoa and leather - a really nice beer. Nice light body with a crispy carbonation and a wet finish (surprisingly). I like this beer quite a bit. (381 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle out of a 6-pack sampler (a schell's sampler, not a mix six), no date on the bottle although i have a hunch it's near the 'best by' date

dark brown amber, soapy khaki head. smell is light and grainy. taste starts light and grainy, with a smooth roasted malt kick at the finish. vanilla, cocoa beans, and charred wood. (329 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From: France44 dot com
Date: Best by 04/12/2013
Glass: Tulip

Chimney Sweep is an excellent, sessionable black lager from Schell's that balances Munich and roasted malt with caramel and cracker-like bread. The hops only accentuate each flavor character, making this all the more enticing. With a fairly low ethanol content and pleasantly complex roasted-sweet character, Chimney Sweep is an excellent session beer for the fall through spring months.

Pours a generous 2cm head of khaki tan foam, retention at about two minutes, well above average. The head declines to a thin cap atop the body of the beer for the duration of the drink. Lacing is excellent, a sheet of beige foam wrapped around the entire inside of the glass. The body is very dark brown to black, with light bringing out slight amber brown highlights around the edges. Carbonation is not visible through the opaque beer, but it can be seen moving along the sides of the glass at fair quantity and pace.

Aroma is of moderate intensity, with scents of caramel, lightly roasted malt, and slight hints of smoke, all with a cracker and bread-like backbone. It's almost as if someone made saltines from dark and caramel malts. Quite nice for this highly sessionable dark lager.

The beer's flavors are best described by caramel, rich bread, slightly acrid roasted malt, light chocolate and smoke. Tasting opens with a nearly bock-like breadiness and sweetness of caramel malt, but one that's been influenced by chocolate, Munich, and smoked malt as well as all these malts lend their associated flavors to this lager. Mid-palate finds tastes of rich caramel malt, Munich malt, baker's chocolate, slightly acrid cracker-like flavors, and smoke. Slight European hop bitterness accentuates the light roast of the malt. Back of palate finds increased flavors of roasted and Munich malt, with underlying caramel and bread-like sweetness with continued mild bitterness. Aftertaste is quite substantial, though fading, of crackers and lightly roasted malt, actually quite delicious.

The body is medium-light in weight, with carbonation of medium intensity, leading to a surprisingly full, foamy, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel. Closes semi-dry with a bit of astringency from the dark malts and hops used. (2,259 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big, soft head that is light tan that leaves nice lacing. Mostly smoke in the nose, a touch of the acidic schwarzbier in the back. Black. Starts acidic, with notes of chocolate, but a building smokey quality wells up from behind this. A touch of hop bitterness. The smoke flavor builds as the malt middle takes the center stage. As always, Schell's lagers are velvety smooth with great carbonation!

Overall, this is pretty good. It's a pretty good Schwarzbier, but the addition of the smoke makes me really enjoy it! (525 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper brown with tan head.

Flavor is very smokey with notes of bacon and roasted malts. Some vanilla and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smoked and roasted. Medium bodied with a bit high on the carbonation z ends dry but clean.

Great beer. Easy to drink. I love the smoke! (274 characters)

Photo of Serick507
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from a bottle into a silo glass

A: Black right away, deep ruby/ amber in the light with one finger of a cream colored head and a small amount of bubbles

S: Roasted malts with a smokey charcoal grill tone

T: Classic Schell's malt forwardness,roasted malts, little bit of chocolate, and a nice smokiness like camp fire or cook outs.

M: light with less carbonation.

O: It's a good black lager, nice balance, not to smokey for my taste, would go great with a burger or brat. It's warm smokey, clean and dry. The mouth could be a little more for me and the flavor isn't so bold. But it's another solid well crafted beer from Schell's. (646 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schell's Emerald Rye Lager, August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, Minnesota. Best by January 3, 2013. Beyond that, no other information. Gratefully, too, no gobbledgook.

So, then, let's crack 'er open. And see what we find.

First off, what's "emerald" about it? This is no green beer. It's poetic license, the green standing for hops, maybe? It's a clear, rich, amber brew, close to crimson. Sizeable, cream-toned head sits atop, leaving lace.

Aroma: Hops are here, and grow louder with time. Grassy, grapefruity, lime and lemon, …lovely, lovely stuff.

Taste: Spicy rye malt greets the tongue first, tasting like liquid pumpernickel. Which hops are hanging on top? Can't tell, don't know, but it's keeping things tasty. Some caramel malt flavors shine through, a trickle of cocoa, traces of toffee.
Medium-bodied, but fully flavored. Sturdy mouthfeel. Solid. Absolutely solid. Soft, malty finish, hops hang in there through it all, without sticking out or making a scene.

This one's a unique effort from August Schell. It fits no particular style, and doesn't try to …there's nothing to say but, "it is how it is." And it's sessional and delicious. That fits into their wheelhouse, as people like to say these days.

Mmmm, mmm, good beer and you can drink it. (1,270 characters)

Photo of darky
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: deep caramel brown, medium head

S: Lots of chocolate on the nose, smoke, with dare I say, a hint of very high-quality peppered beef jerky(!) -no joke...

T: Direct reflection of the nose; chocolate and dried peppered beef. This is my second try of this beer, and I gotta say, it's far better than first. Maybe it's because I'm using a pilsener glass instead of a basic pint, maybe it's because I'm consciously trying it again for the first time, either way, it's really showing it's true colors here. To clarify, the peppered beef comparison should not suggest that this beer is spiced, it's not. I just find it highly reminiscent of the smell and overall flavor of the finest beef jerky I've ever had with a wonderfully subtle smoke quality.

M: Full-bodied and creamy; plays well with the smokiness.

O: This is a perfect example of what Schell's is good at; making incredible lager beers that drink like ales. If you've never tried Schell's, this is an GREAT place to start. (982 characters)

Photo of maximum12
1.92/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Always happy to pick up a single of a new Schell's beer to find out if it's the next Emerald Rye (i.e. excellent). 12 oz. bottle.

Pour is about 87% schwarz, with mit ein bisschen rot...I'm going to have to brush up on my German before I hit the Rhein this summer. Nose is interesting. The first wave is all smoke, campfire smoke to be specific, & to be even more specific, the precise smell that sticks in your clothes the next morning. Ham. Smoke masks anything else that might be hanging around.

Chimney Sweep is one of those smoked beers that leans right into the hog. Too much smoke turns this into a bacon-fest; I read the reviews & hoped most were accurate ("a touch of smoke") but this is like standing in the middle of a barn full of pigs. That are all on spits. While the barn is burning. Smoke overwhelms any other subtleties.

Not a fan of liquid smoke. A rare Schell's miss for me. Not a good beer. (915 characters)

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Schell's Chimney Sweep from August Schell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.