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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
View: Beers (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 181
Photo of maximum12
1.92/5  rDev -50%
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.

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Photo of drpimento
2.77/5  rDev -27.9%
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

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Photo of Foam
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
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 .

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.39/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 021515 at 42 degrees into Imperial pint
Aroma of roasted malt and smoke; malt weakens and smoke disappears by the end
Head large (seven cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to four mm frothy ring and layer
Lacing fair – partial rings of partial curtains of tiny to large bubbles
Body very dark amber, clear
Flavor of burnt malt (Hence the smokiness?); no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of JamesMN
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark nut brown with decent clarity and visible effervescence. Pours a foamy two finger tan head.

Aroma: Smoke and charred oak. There may be other aromas here but the smoke covers them up.

Taste: Starts with a mellow mix of medium to dark malts with a bit of a bready flavor. There is some hop bitterness along with a slight grassy character. In the second half the bitterness increases and the flavor becomes very smokey. The finish is more of the same with a feeling like you've inhaled the fumes from a wet bonfire pit. It's an interesting flavor but there are other beers that achieve the same effect with more balance and a more refined smoke flavor. At 5.2% ABV it doesn't skimp on flavor, it is decently robust.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium in body with lots of carbonation that adds to the bitterness giving the palate a bit of a punch right before the finish. Average drinkability but the smokey flavor makes it a one and done scenario.

Final Thoughts: If it's offered as part of a variety six-pack or you can find one bottle it would be worth the purchase. However, I couldn't see myself drinking more than one of these in an evening. If you like smoked beers (and lagers) then this would be one to 'tick' for you. Would I drink it again? Doubtful.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle.

Dark, reddish-black in colour with a tan head. Smells like a standard black-ale. Subtle hop nose with a fair bit of smokiness. The taste was much more mellow than expected. It was malty and smokey with a clean finish.

Would I buy it again? Probably.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of Serick507
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of Weli
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark black lager with good clarity. 1/2" light tan head when poured into a pint glass.

S-Slightly smokey, hint of sulphur and spruce

T-Smoke flavor up front, not much malt sweetness. Toasted malt characteristics with some caramel, slightly creamy. Some piney spruce like hop flavor evident in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Smooth on the palate and pretty easy drinking

O-Other than the smokiness, which is rather subdued this is kinda a disappointment from Schell's. I had there schwarzbier a few years ago at a pub and remember it being a bit better than this.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of shadetree67
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
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

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Photo of TheSSG
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Wow is this a dark Schwarbier! Pitch black like a stout or imperial with a full inch of opaque colored head. Great sticky lacing too.

S - Smell is rather nice some mild roast and grains, yet it's much lighter than German counterparts.

T - Much more balanced with chocolate malts, some toasted grains, mild skunk (which is not that harsh) and some roasted malt giving it a mild smoky finish. Not great but not bad.

M - Much drier than I expected with a light to medium body.

Overall it's not that great but an above average take on the style. Worth picking up for a cheap Schwarbier.

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Photo of ANiklaus
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of mcrow24
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.8/5  rDev -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!

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Photo of mothman
3.84/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of harrymel
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown color with a slight, light brown head. Some roasted malts in the aroma; otherwise it’s just a slight smoked scent. The flavor is quite bold with deep, rich malt flavors. Lots of bread tones with a hint of smoke in the flavor. Finishes with a chalky after taste. Pretty decent winter brew that if full of flavor and yet is easy to drink!

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Photo of mr-jj
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of herman77
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown and near black when its in the glass. Smaller off white/khaki head.

S: Carmel, chocolate and a nice mild smokiness.

T: Lots of bread, carmel and roasted malts up front. A little sweet, more sweet than I would think. Then some smoke comes and balances that out. Not smokey like a rauchbier or, but it's there for sure. Some hop bitterness in the finish balances with a lingering smokiness. Still has a bit of that nice lager crispness to it just like most of Schell's beers do.

M: Medium body. Average carbonation. Somewhat smooth.

O: Fairly solid. Decent drinkability. I'm a little bummed this replaced Schell's Stout though. Looking forward to see what they replace this with once Spring roles around since this is their extended winter seasonal.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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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.