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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 shadow1961
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

August Schell's Chimney Sweep pours a deep cola-colored brew under a cap of loose tan foam. The nose is dark malt and a bare hint of smoke- applewood, maybe? Up front is a good dark roasty/bready flavor and that note of smoke, off the back, mildly bitter herbal hops for balance. It has a medium body to my taste, off dry, and very drinkable. I'll miss Schell's Stout (which Chimney Sweep is replacing)- I imagine it was a bit out of August Schell's institutional contort zone, though their Chimney Sweep is German all the way…

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