Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 | Shmaltz Brewing Company

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Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011
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198 Ratings
Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Imperial Brown Ale with chocolate, cocoa nibs, vanilla & chili peppers.

Added by Jason on 05-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 132
Reviews by Johnnyfacelift:
Photo of Johnnyfacelift
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking pour that's dark reddish amber and a nice foamy head that sticks around... literally.
The aroma has a sweet malty aroma with hints of vanilla and raisin present. The darker malts shine alongside the chocolate nibs that push it forward.
The taste is everything the bottle says it is! You get the dark malt character with a burnt cocoa and vanilla sweetness and just a hint of the chili pepper.
The mouth feel is full but leaves quite a bit of residual sweetness behind that coats your mouth and makes this beer more of a one time deal (which it is) rather than a drinkable beer that makes you want another.
Overall a great collaboration brew that tries some new and interesting ideas that are just short of the target. These are the kinds of brews that keeps beer interesting and creative.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank the Terrapin Reunion offering earlier and did notice a few subtle differences between the two brown ales.First off this is 7.3% abv.Second this poures a deeper more of a mahogany brown with a large blooming beige colored head,aromas are alike in both have a real caramel toffee element to them.This is more carbonated and sharper in the mouth,not quite as smooth as the other.This is a little more dry on the palate with the vanilla/caramel toffee a little more subdued and the chili much more subdued in the finish.This is a good brown ale,not as good as its partner but still no slouch.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle

Dark dark brown, large khaki head, slowly goes to a fine film and thin collar.

Nose of dark malts and dark chocolate.

More chocolate, dark burnt malts, chili quite faintly shimmering late in the finish. Dense flavors, sweet up front, dry and grainy in the finish. Brown ale with better then average complexity, interest and balls. And for a good cause. Glad I could help out-I enjoyed it

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with dark red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is full of roasted and chocolate malt, with not too much else coming through. The flavor is more complex. I get some milk chocolate and roasted malt, as well a a little bit of spice from the chili peppers. All three characteristics work well together and give the beer a unique flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of 1Adam12
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this today, even though I was slightly scared to try it. My only other time I've had any kind of pepper in a beer was yeti w cayenne peppers, and I thought it was horrible. So here goes.

Pours dark reddish brown with a 1 inch head. Looks creamy as it pours. Smell has a lot of pepper on it, which is scaring me. There's also an obvious vanilla smell, as well as the maltiness of a typical brown ale. The taste however, very vanilla forward, yum! Followed up by creamy chocolate, and the finish is more vanilla backed up by just a hint of spice from the peppers. The peppers are there, but definitely not the main aspect of this beer. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Fairly creamy. Very nice balance. I'm impressed and a bit shocked. This is quite tasty. I didn't expect this much vanilla. Really glad I picked a bottle up.

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Photo of jaminjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of pat61
3.22/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From tasting notes L: Pours bright dark chestnut under a frothy, sudsy tan foam collar. S: Strong cocoa and vanilla aromas. T: Vanilla and cocoa flavors overwhelm the malt creating the impression of a cloying vanilla chocolate water sweetened with malt and alcohol. Some pepper heat and vegetal taste on the finish. F: Medium light body, medium carbonation. O: Hard to finish the whole bottle and would not buy again.

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Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Deep dark brown with a thin light brown head. Plenty of lacing left down the glass. The beer looks somewhat thick and heavy.

Sweet aroma consisting of lots of vanilla, some caramel and toffee, roasted malt, and bittersweet chocolate.

A very sweet brown ale and the vanilla really shines. The bitter and sweet chocolate presents a nice balance. I tried to find chili pepper but could not. Well balanced.

Medium to thick bodied, and while sweet, still drinkable.

A tasty, though very sweet, vanilla brown ale.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a stemmed strange)

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a light tan foam that is thick and last a good bit. There is a gentle tiny bubble carbonation that appears through the murky body.

S- The brown malt aroma has a nougat and vanilla extract note with some cardboard caramel notes. There is an odd vanilla cream note that grows in the finish with an earthy imitation quality to it.

T- The brown malt flavor is a little flat tasting with a nougat quality. There is a powdery characteristic in the finish with a Tootsie roll note to it. Then there is a bitter heat that hits the back of the throat without any other chili flavors for support.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a gentle fizz in the finish.

O- This beer has lots of odd flavors with the strange vanilla and the coco is more tootsie roll that chocolate and the chili is only heat. This is a bit of a mess but none of the flavors are really strong so it is not obnoxious.

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Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark sienna hue with light filtering through the edges. There's a big, cream-colored head that's quite fluffy, thanks to a generous pour. It dissipates quickly, leaving light, soapy lacing. The initial whiff is generally sweet, with some of the darker malt essences coming to the forefront. There are mild hints of vanilla along with a substantial chocolate overtone towards the end. Little dash of pepper to round out an interesting smell.

The taste is a mirror image of the nose, almost down to the very last detail. There's sweet roasty malts to start off, followed by the vanilla nuances. Just a touch of bitterness tingles the palate as the hops show up on the backend. The dark cocoa nibs provide their own brand of bitterness and blend with the hops to provide a unique counterbalance to the sweetness. The advertised pepper shows up after all this, but it doesn't crash the party. It's subdued, but definitely there, giving this brew a distinctive bite at the end. Mouthfeel is on the creamy side, with a good body to it and a nice, effervescent finish.

Reunion '11 is a fascinating take on an American Brown Ale. Shmaltz and Terrapin have collaborated to make a pleasant-tasting brew for a good cause. I'm glad to have bought this beer to support what it stands for, and the fact that it's pretty good is just gravy on the cake.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

This beer pours a clear dark brassy cola hue, with two fingers of thin foamy, puffy tan head, which settles evenly, leaving a twisted chain of lace around the glass. It smells rather lightly of vanilla, chocolate, caramel malt, and a slight edgy twinge. The taste is bittersweet caramel, a bit of toffee, baker’s chocolate, and a nice subtle, evolving singular spiciness, which has no real concurrent vegetable flavour to go with it. The carbonation is present, and restrained seeming, the body medium-light in weight, although a bit too sharp and zippy to be considered all that smooth. It finishes with a nice, gently rising spiciness, over a generally sturdy choco-vanil-toffee maltiness.

A nicely balanced chili and confection beer, enjoyable to drink, and for a worthy cause.

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Photo of beerbrains
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany brown with a moderate rise of beige froth, which both retains and laces moderately well.
Cocoa nibs and vanilla are both immediately evident in the aroma, but not overbearing or artificially so. There's a treacle-y dark malt base, with liquorice and dark fruit and jammy vinous overtones.
That same treacle/liquorice is the hallmark of the flavor. Some small toasty/roasty notes, then a burst of treacle and fudge. Vanilla is subdued, but noticeable. Plum-like as it warms, and the chili pops out just a bit (and only as it gains temperature, I was totally ignorant to them when this was chilled down). Hopping is a quiet nonfactor.
Full bodied, and a little grabby sweet as the carbonation fizzles itself out rather fast, though once it warms, the chilis help cut through any cloying aspects. Let that be a lesson, this is much better as it nears cellar or even room temperature.
Overall, a somewhat strange but pretty good beer that grew on me with its intriguing moments, and its for a great cause. We can all drink to that.

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Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Licorice, yeast and chocolate. Pours a reddish brown and possesses a big soapy head. Malty, some vanilla, the chili kicks in at the end.A tad of sourness. a good chocolate. A bit above average mouthfeel. Besides the subdued flavors, its like an English brown.Decent drinkability.

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Photo of socon67
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Chocolate brown pour. Tan foam settles quickly and with minimal lacing. Very little carbonation.

S - Nice smell of milk chocolate and vanilla. Over time the cinnamon came through nicely. I really did not get much from the chili peppers at all.

T - Rich chocolate flavor; very malty. Sweet flavor of vanilla rounds this one out well. Finish has a spicy feel.

M - Very flavorful brown ale. I'd have loved ot try this again, though I doubt its possible. Plenty of flavor, and smooth feel.

O - This was a highlight of my tasting event. I'd look for future colaborations from these two.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of EBF 2012. Poured into a Southampton oversize snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a off-white cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark brown-purple. Lace is stringy with decent stick. Pretty good for the style.

Cocoa powder, chili, moderate nuttiness. Some caramel and brown sugar too. Decent.

Cocoa nib graininess. Chili peppers are tart and with a moderate kick. Sweet with a roasted malt balance. Finishes cocoa powder and chili sweet/fruitiness. Awkward.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Prickly, lively in the mouth and aggressive going down. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste. Pretty standard.

While this beer's not bad by any means, something with the flavor profile just doesn't sit well with me. The chili is prominent but so are the grainy cocoa nibs. Worth a try since its certainly interesting, but again, not for me.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours rich brown into a tulip with 3 full fingers of frothy head. When held to the light, almost takes on a cranberry red color.

S - Hints of Dutch Cocoa powder and dried chilies.

T - WOW!! Alot of chili there. I was thinking this was going to be a brown ale equivalent of Hunahpu, but damn am I wrong. The chili is overwhelming. Very dry finish, with just a hint of the cocoa nib. Vanilla is a fleeting essence right before the swallow. .

M - Very vigorously carbonated, but the creamy head mellows it out.

O - I'm not a chili head, but I do like some heat. This is over peppered. Almost to the point of being unappealing. The cocoa nibs and vanilla take second fiddle to the chili and that's a real disappointment.

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Photo of dbossman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint and a steady brown head and pretty nice lacing

S: Quite a lot going on here: chocolate and vanilla and peppers for sure plus some darker fruits and some slight vinous qualities but mostly this is a sweet chocolate and vanilla bomb

T: The sweetness from the aromas luckily isn't nearly as prevalent; a dry semi-sweet chocolate flavor is present up front with noticeable vanilla flavors on the back end; some roasted malt flavors; a touch of pepper and dark fruits--raisins especially (there is a slight port-like quality here that I like); sweetness does get a bit cloying in the end, however

F: A touch thin on back end but fairly creamy still

O: An interesting beer that I was glad to try--the chocolate definitely makes this beer but I wish the peppers were more dominant

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Photo of KMcG
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured with a 1/2 inch head that was light tan in color that disappeared and left a thin tan foam on the beer and glass sides. The color of the beer is clear and dark brown in which light will not fully penetrate. The beer has very sweet aromas of molasses and chocolate. The taste begins with the sweetness of a chocolaty malt, hints of smooth vanilla and caramel, and a slight tingle of chili spice on the tongue at the end. The pepper is really quite mild and could missed by some. The aftertaste is chocolate, chili pepper and subtle hops. It's quite drinkable and probably best for dessert.  

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Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ebony tinged brown with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Cocoa & woody note, some sarsaparilla as well

T: Follows the nose, leafy hops & vanilla notes, some sarsaparilla as well up front. A touch of cream soda flavor lurks in the background as this warms along with bitterness from the cocoa nibs, some heat from the chilies is evident as well, along with dryness. Fairly big powdery cocoa finish, some peppery heat & woody notes as well

MF: Medium bodied, somewhat over carbonated, love the malt backbone of this

Liked this, didn't love it. Nice big brown ale, my bottle indicates 7.3% abv

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Photo of wscaffe
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A - Dark brown in color with a light tan head. Leaves a bit of lacing on glass. Head slowly dissipates.

S - I expected a lot more on the nose of this one. I get a pleasant roast aroma. There is some chocolate and vanilla as well. The chili aroma is present but very slight. I also get some coffee and caramel aromas.

T - Wonderful chocolate malty backbone that is more evident as the beer warms up. A perfect amount of chili that lingers on the palate but not in an unpleasant way. I get some toasty biscuit flavors as well. Definitely not like any other brown I have tasted before. The vanilla is there but not very intense. Both the vanilla and chili complement the chocolate flavors well.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely a well balanced beer.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. I expected a little more out of the vanilla and chili but they were there. A very interesting take on a brown ale. I would drink this beer again but probably wouldn't go out of my way to hunt it down. A great collaboration beer.

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Photo of Gmann
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a fluffy and puffy light brown head that settles down into a solid cap.

The aroma is of a dark malt, perhaps with some raisin sweetness. The next wave is a pleasant chocolately note. There is a bit on an odd spice from the peppers. Nice aroma, not super strong though.

The taste is quite bold. Strong chocolate notes from the cocoa nibs, with a smooth vanilla presence. There is a rough barky bitterness that is unwanted. The malt brings some light nuttiness but gets overshadowed by the cocoa and vanilla. Some chili pepper pops through but doesn't add to much. The taste while bold is a bit jumbled.

Moderate body with spritzy carbonation. Starts off smooth but gets bitter towards the middle. The aftertaste is a combination of artifical sweetness, bitterness and a small burn from the chilis, perhaps the ABV. Kind of dry.

I wanted to really like this beer as it has some bold flavors but I didn't think they meshed all that well. The aftertaste is a bit of a bummer. It's interesting.

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Photo of FrankyLikesIt
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Keene
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle indicates 7.3% abv.

Pours black with a thin tan/khaki head.

Brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla and chile peppers, the nose is interestingly sweet plum/cinnamon in character with some light undertones sweet black chocolate. There is almost some "Belgian Ale esters" in the nose and more and more vanilla comes forth with air and as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium creamy and rich and while the flavor profile is "conroversial," the mouthfeel leaves you wanting more.

Flavors are complex and initially bumbling but become integrated with air and as it warms. Roasted grains, coffee, chocolate with nice undertones of vanilla and a pretty solid chile flavored backbone. I can't say that I really enjoyed the flavor profile, yet I was compelled to keep going back for more.

Finish is a chile/coffee/roasted black chocolate character. A complex and interesting effort.

Designated a "dark imperial ale" on the label, I'd call it more of a chile beer than anything else.

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Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 198 ratings