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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.
very good

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 181
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 24.74%
Wants: 1
Gots: 24 | 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: 52 | Hads: 181
Photo of Lostbeer35
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer.

The look is a very dark amber. Beautiful creamy head formation and retention. The smell is a rich, malty one; no smokiness/ hops in the smell. The taste is not roasty, but it is smokey. The smokey taste is immediate upon sip. The taste then transitions to a nice combination of malt. The feel is relatively full bodied, but not weighing you down by any means. Overall, fantastic change of pace beer. The strong smokey notes could make interesting combinations with food. I used this beer as a base in my "hot as hell" chili and it turned out quite sinister. Get sweeping!

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark brown color with ruby hues along the edges of the glass. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, roasted malt, toast, smoke, and hints of milk chocolate. There is a lot going on in the aroma of this beer, and the taste is no exception to that. There are lots of caramel and roasted malt notes with a subtle yet apparent smokiness that permeates the palate tying everything together. Like the aroma, there are some nice backing notes of toast and chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a chewy texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a really, really well done beer in a style (Munich Dunkel/Schwarzbier) that I enjoy immensely. I can see myself drinking a lot of this over the course of a tough winter and wet spring.

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Photo of bmike86
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 12 pack of Schell’s Chimney Sweep from South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis, MN.

Appearance --- a dark black color, when lifted towards the light it appears to be more of a very dark brownish red/clear light golden yellow color. Two to three finger cream-ish head, a nice looking lace left trailing down the glass

Smell --- roasted malts, with some subtle smokiness to it

Taste --- roasted malts and an enjoyable smoke to it, background appears to have some chocolate and caramel to it

Mouth feel --- nice medium body with all around smoothness to it, carbonation up front and dry finish

Overall --- I did not know what to expect from this, but figured I would give it a chance. I was initially curious about it, and the description on the packaging sold me on the purchase. Smoked beers are generally hit or miss for me, but this one I genuinely enjoyed. It is easily my new favorite winter seasonal. A very well done offering by Schell’s. If anyone is on the fence when coming across this one, I definitely recommend a try. Prost!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a hint of ruby. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge five finger light tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty malt driven aroma that is smokey and fairly sweet. Roasted malts with good hints of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, biscuit, cream, coffee, and smoke with a subtle beef jerky like scent. Decent hints of earthy and grassy hops that provide a nice balancing bitterness to the dark sweetness. A pretty good dark lager aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a roasty and smokey taste that is well balanced. Dark roasted malts with a taste of dark and milk chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, cream, biscuit, coffee, and a nice kick of smoke.A little bit of nuts and burnt sugars also is tasted. A fairly earthy background with a decent amount of earthy hop bitterness providing some dryness. A really nice balanced taste with some smoke lingering throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and silky. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A really good version of a dark Germain style lager. Good dark roasty taste while still keeping it fairly light and balanced.

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Photo of steveh
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of budgood1
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a dark brown colour with garnet hues topped with a thick and rich tan head. ample lacing. roasted malt aroma..with hints of smoke and malted milk balls. sort of a coffee creamer touch to it. taste follows suit...more dark roasted malts with smoky overtones, sort of reminds me of a milk stout in lager form, yet slightly astringent...descending into a creamy, ever so slightly bitter and dryish finish. medium lager like body with an incredible smooth and creamy mouthfeel. very nice drinkability....it's unique enough to keep one interested.

overall i'm yet again impressed by another new offering from Schell's. definitely recommended. a great winter drinker here.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant ceep dark brown under a moderate light tan head that takes 2 minutes to reduce to 1/3 its original size. Foam has a very fine bead. S: moderately high rich malts, traces of caramel and clean fermentation aromas. Roast is subdued with some prune and light chocolate. Nothing harsh or burnt. Hop aromas are medium light. T: Moderately to moderately high rich malt flavors with traces of chocolate and prune. Nothing harsh or burn. Very mellow, well rounded, roast malt flavors with a medium low biter hop accent. Hop flavors are low to none. F: Medium body to medium light, medium to medium high carbonation. O: A nicely done Schwartzbier that is flavorful and easy to drink.

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Photo of hardy008
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with ruby highlights, and a 3 finger beige head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma has roasted malt, chocolate, and smoke.

Roasted malt is the most dominant flavor, followed by smoke, some chocolate malt, and light caramel. Not really sweet, or biter, but nicely balanced.

Medium bodied with average carbonation and a slight roasted malt and smoke aftertaste. A nice subtle beer which accommodates food nicely. This would be great with pizza.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown body with an off-white head of suds. Good retention.
S: Rich malty aroma. Chocolate, licorice and lager yeast. Smells almost as good as some of my favorite doppelbocks.
T: In contrast to the sweeter (suggesting) nose, flavor packs an assertive initial smokeyness. Not rauchbeer level, but more than a hint. A big dose of black and roasted malts follow the smoke, ending with a bit of sweetness that seems to pick up as it warms.
M: Body is on the medium to heavy side with full, fine carbonation. Works well with the flavors. Despite sweetness, it still maintains a fairly dry feel.

Enjoying how this beer packs a dense load of flavors without being a huge, highly alcoholic imperial. A great beer in a style lacking for great, widely available options in the U.S. This is up there with Black Bavarian.

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Photo of darky
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown black...tan lace..

S-Coffee roastiness...cream....light caramel..

T-Very tasty....Nice coffee roastiness with caramel creamer added flavor...

M-Light side of medium bodied...clean....lager like...finishes with light sweetness.

O-This is a really nice beer. i enjoyed it the first time I had it and am enjoying it again as I review...relatively unique in the U.S. beer landscape these days...

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Photo of bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with moderate tan head.

Smell: Quite roasty, with coffee and bitter chocolate. Some dark fruit and smoke.

Taste: Mix of coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruit upfront. Lingering smokiness on the finish that is light but noticeable.

Feel: Crisp and clean like a lager but with additional smoothness. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: Fantastic Schwarzbier with some Rauchbier thrown in for shits and giggles. This is the fifth new beer I have had from Schell's this year, and it is the best.

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Photo of PieOhMy
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of morimech
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with an attractive two finger head that caps the glass off nicely. The head settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Interesting aroma that consists of chocolate and caramel with a pleasant smoke component. Maybe a little noble hops as well.

In the flavor there are notes of chocolate, caramel, a touch of roast, and smoke. The smoke flavor is just like what you get from rauchbiers from Bamberg but just not as strong. Solid bitterness with some grassy hop flavor.

Light body with adequate carbonation. Feels just like almost all August Schell lagers. Good but nothing spectacular.

A combination of a schwarzbier and a rauchbier. Not as refreshing and easy to drink as other schwarzbiers because of the smoke and roast, but this is unique and should definately pique the interest of smokey beer lovers.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of mjryan
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark, lightly smoked lager bier from New Ulm Mn. Mild dark chocolate, caramel and smoke aromas. Milk chocolate, honey and bacon flavours. Um, yeah, sweet smokey bacon goodness. Not raw and in your face. Very subtle. Delicious. Finish is balanced, slightly sweet, vague smokey astringency. Did I say delicious? Is this what they drink in Franconia? Lucky Deutchelanders.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a Crimson Tinge. Has some great lacing and good head retention.

Smell - Barley, Malts, Slight Smoked Ham and a Pils-Grassy scent.

Taste - Rather different than the smell. Rich & Sweet Smoked Ham, Malts, Barley and a strong hoppy flavor that goes very well with the flavor

Mouthfeel - Body is moderate and the carbonation has a slight bite; Which adds to the flavor rather than distract

Overall - This was pretty good. The flavor is nice and balanced and it's easy to drink. The scent lead me off at first but the end result was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Schell's

"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."

Pours out the deepest mahogany color possible with a velvety khaki head of foam that has terrific retention and leaves loads of lace all around the glass.

Sweet caramel malt with a light chocolate presence and a hint of smoke underneath.

Moderately malty sweet with some graininess up front followed by subtle notes of chocolate, toasted malt and smoke. The finish has a bit of smoke with a solid hop bitterness.

Medium feel with lots of velvety soft carbonation washing across the palate. The finish is drier.

A really nice beer here that drinks wonderfully. I could easily consume a few of these in a sitting. I was personally hoping for more of the smoke to come through, but that's just me. A wonderful addition the the winter lineup for Schells.

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Photo of Mdog
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with red highlights, huge head.

Smell: Moderate roasted aroma, bit of sweetness like sweetened cream.

Taste: Roasted flavor, bit of sweetness and chocolate flavor, hint of smoke in the background.

Feel: Creamy feel.

Overall: This is a tasty schwarzbier, I wish I had picked up a Sprecher to compare it to. Nice balanced flavor with sweetness and roasted notes. Not as much smokiness as I was hoping for, but it does show up. Creamy, easy to drink. A good one.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of Tone
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, hint of hop, slight caramel malt, and a hint of adjunct. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight smoke, slight roasted malt, yeast, hint of hop, slight caramel malt, and a hint of adjunct. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and feel.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Common Schell's lager aroma (it must be the water as it is unique and frequent). Darker malt aroma softly swirls around softly.
Attractive and classic looking lager. Brilliantly clear. Full rich dark head. Deep garnet colors. Nice.
Full malt flavor with hints of smokiness rolling through the palate. Mmmmm. Reasonably drying and holding a quite long finish (esp. for a lager). Just enough hop presence in both flavor and cutting of some of the sweetness.
Classically rich lager Schell's beer. Helps smooth this out, but does limit drinkability somewhat, although I could do two fairly easily. Soft and full carbonation.
This warms nicely too- the caramel flavors start to show through without any excess sweetness. Seems to hold some ale qualities, but clearly a lager, and an enjoyable one too.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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!

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Four Firkins and paired it with a piece of Thanksgiving pecan pie. The aroma has a clean mix of caramel and cocoa malts, with a mild roasted edge. The flavor mixes in a touch of smoke to the dry chocolate and toffee to make a tasty black lager that's not too thick, but by no means simple. Give it a try.

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Schell's Chimney Sweep from August Schell Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.