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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: 182
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 24.94%
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: 182
Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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

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Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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 zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown colored head. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fairly smokey with chocolate and caramel notes.

T - It tasted of smoke, chocolate and roasted maltiness. A touch of caramel, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied brew with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice schwarzbier. Another good beer from August Schell in a style that most overlook.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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 feloniousmonk
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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 mothman
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
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 tempest
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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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Photo of Tone
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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 pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
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 DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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 drpimento
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
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 ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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 maximum12
1.92/5  rDev -50.1%
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 KarlHungus
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
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 jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +6%
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 morimech
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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 garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
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 MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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 harrymel
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
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 hardy008
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
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 herman77
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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 bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
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 budgood1
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Ozzylizard
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
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 Mdog
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Schell's Chimney Sweep from August Schell Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.