Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 | Shmaltz Brewing Company

very good
132 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 197
Photo of Fishman007
4.83/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is packed with flavor. Plenty of characteristics to leave you pondering for a moment. Vanilla, chocolate are very noticeable. However, the chilli pepper was hardly noticeable in my opinion. After several sips, still struggling to find that chilli feel.
The color was a dark "stout" appearance. The foam head was quite thick at about 2" high, then slowly dispersed.

The taste was smooth enough that I questioned if it was flat. However, it obviously was not. Very drinkable.

My favorite characteristics about this beer is the taste that is leaves in the mouth. Almost as if I had a piece of chocolate but not overwhelming. I'd almost go out and buy the Hebrew sample pack again just to share this particular beer with my beer enthusiast friend.

 757 characters

Photo of HoosBrews
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really good. I had it a few weeks ago and thought it was good, but had to take a second take and it's as good, if not better than I thought.

Dark in color, but of a brown, not a stout. Nose has hints of coconut, but mostly the sweet, pure smell of chocolate. Body starts out like a brown but quickly turns your palate with a very light body finish and pepper. Wow, pale jalapeño getting beat down with cocoa. Brilliantly subtle and obnoxious at the same time. This beer is delightful to drink on Christmas eve!

 525 characters

Photo of Hopstout
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep brown with a nice light brown caramelized head.

Aroma - Sweet, light and fluffy french silk pie.

Taste - Complex yet beautiful flavor! Earthy with sharp black pepper. Dark notes of chocolate. Hard malt driven taste. Liquid dessert. Ever so faint chili pepper through the swallows.

Mouthfeel - Easy to drink and surprisingly light with a fading dark chocolate Hershey kiss aftertaste. Feels a bit over-carbonated at first, but actually has the perfect level of carbonation. Numbing.

Overall - The medium head is best when sipped with ale. Mixes a sweet dessert like taste to the complex flavors of the beer.
Very delicious indeed! I will definitely be buying this dark ale again. I highly recommend this beer. Your tongue will hate to say goodbye...

 771 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an extremely dark red brown, appearing black. Two finger light fine light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving lots of lacing. Aroma very malty with a hint of chocolate. Wow, interesting taste. A chocolate with chili flavor like mexican chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, a hint of chocolate, malt is present but very secondary to the other flavors very smooth and integrated. Finishes with a spicy hop bite. Creamy like a chocolate milk shake. This is very tasty and different. I love it!

 536 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Copper Mine

Nice creamy light brown head. It looks pretty dark. It leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, floral and caramel with the nose but is quite faint.

Wow! What a taste! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, gramcrackers, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruits like cherries. I don't get too much chili that everyone was mentioning (maybe that was the taste I couldn't figure out) but I don't care because this is quite a complex and delicious collaboration.

Silky, smooth, easy to drink but is something you'd want to sip.

Holy smokes, this beer almost made me fall out of my seat! Delicious and shocking because the aroma I had an idea what it was going to taste like but this was mind blowing-ly different from the smell. So many different tastes at once. A must try.

 796 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cola color with a huge, creamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves walls of thick lace.

The aroma is sweet, dark malts, some roasted and nutty hints with cocoa, vanilla, and brown sugar notes. Subtle hints of earthy hops.

The flavor is awesomely rich with molasis, dark brown sugar, dark chocolate, vanilla touches, and some earthy pepper skins. Not much heat as I expected, but loads of delicious chocolate and vanilla like a chocolate bar with hints of coffee.
Stout like flavor complexities but thinner. As it warms up the chili is more noticeable. A slight kick in the throat, but nothing warming or any kind of heat. More earthy and vegetal than hot.

Medium bodied, creamy, rich, and smooth.

Absolutely delicious!

 737 characters

Photo of TheSarge
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always enjoy trying new He'Brew beers. Every single one is different an usually tips the ABV up a bit, and typically makes each beer complex and not boring at all.

This is labled a brown ale, but needs to be reviewed in a style all its own. Poured this one into a standard pint glass, and the brew makes three fingers of dark tan head, and the body is nearly opaque except for black tea like hues, which are only visible on the outside edges of the glass.

In the aroma the cocoa and chili are evident, but there are dark dried fruit notes here too. Somewhat like raisons or something like that.

Drinking this brew is like taking a handfull of bridge mix, and shoving it into one's mouth and chew it altogether. Very chocolaty, nutty, fruity... What more can I say except for the burn of chili in the end.

Feels full in body, good carbonation, leaves the palate dry and slightly burning from the chili.

 907 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown color with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, some chilies, vanilla, and some dark fruits and coffee.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some vanilla and dark fruit sweetness and a bit of spicy chili. Through the middle, the heat from the chili comes through a bit more with a bit of roasted coffee, molasses, and black licorice. The finish is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some dark fruit, vanilla, chili, and molasses.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a spicy, sweet, and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Interesting mix of flavors with the chilis adding some nice complexity. Surprisingly well balanced.

 838 characters

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.

 590 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich near-black beer with a brown edge. Very fine lacing and foam. The malt is well-roasted and rather dry for the fullness of barleyness. I wonder what kind of peppers? They start out faint but the warmth is fanned a little as you sip. They do add a little depth as well as a hint to the nose. Fortunately the advertised cocoa and vanilla are even more subtle. Fine highly drinkable stuff. Less pretension, more filling. After a glass I love the warm peppery aftertaste with the whiff of curry.

Call it an American Strong Ale. Interesting that the Shmaltz news release from September called it a "Dark Imperial Brown Ale" while the actual label just says "Dark Imperial Ale."

 677 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very nice large foamy tan head. Brew is very thin black color. Some nice spotty lacing too.

S - Lots of killer vanilla and chocolate. I'm not picking up on many any Chilies...but, they're there, they just lie low.

T - SMOOTH. Drinks like a Milk Stout. Awesome for the collaboration. Very vanilla, almost too much.

M - Heavy carbonation. Thin bodied. Zero bitterness, slight sweetness. Pretty dry, eventful.

O - Awesome brew collab... I've heard good things about terrapin, good to finally try them... Worthy.

 526 characters

Photo of Docer
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice somewhat cloudy dark molasses colored ale with a big frothy beige head that has settled to a thin spotty thicket of foam. Lace all about the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Very light, but good grainy smell. Oats, woody grain and light cocoa. Lovely vanilla and floral aromas as well. All together it smells light, but very good. Little burn back in the sinuses too from the peppers.

Taste: (4.5)
- Smooth creamy vanilla over a bed of light bready grain. Light cocoa, and grassy bitter hops. Nice slightly tart finish and a subtle pepper burn. Will warm up nicely I am sure. Little roasty touch, and woody earthiness. Very well balanced and light.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Medium bodied brew which is a bit chewy and dry. Overall very easy to drink, and is well carbonated with what seems to be a killer yeast. Very small bubbles, and a perfect match for the creamy body and flavor. Little chalky.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is an impressive beer. No flavor addition overrides the other in character. It is a very well brewed beer, and very balanced... and is for a great cause. This beer represents a true art form, and mastery in brewing. It is for me, a must have.

 1,178 characters

Photo of bcostner1
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent trip to Florida. Hope it makes it to Nashville...

A: Dark brown with a thick, aggressive 2-3 finger tan head. Looks delicious.

S: Mostly chocolate and malt. Just the slightest, slightest hint of chili pepper maybe? And a little vanilla. Interesting...

T: When I bought this, I was like "Cocoa? Sure. Vanilla? Absolutely. Chili peppers??! I don't know about that but I'll give it a shot..." Well, I have to say, it really works. Mostly what you get is a lot of chocolate and malt up front which gives way to subtle, smooth vanilla. The chili peppers serve just to give it a little bit of a bite on the back end that blends with the chocolate to make it taste like a bitter, dark chocolate aftertaste. I didn't think this would work well together, but it absolutely does!

M: Smooth, perfect carbonation. Drinks very easily.

Overall, a winner for sure! I would buy a couple more of these if I can find them. Reminiscent of the He'Brew Vertical Jewbelation (which is one of my all time favorites) combined with that Olive and Sinclair Chocolate element that you find in Terrapin Moo Hoo (also one of my favorites). What's not to love??

 1,163 characters

Photo of Beerbuddha
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer poured a nice dark chocolate color with a huge, rocky off white head. Amazing lacing throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of molasses, dark brown sugar and chocolate

Taste: You are immediately hit with a dry, chocolate/cocoa flavor. What follows is an amazing interplay of flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, caramel, tobacco and cane syrup. The beer leaves an amazing chocolate bitterness in your mouth and leaves your tongue with the slightest tingle from the chili pepper. You immediately want more.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: An amazing beer with wonderful flavors. Perfect for those cold winter nights. This would make an amazing winter seasonal.

 707 characters

Photo of sommersb
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 01-10-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Dogfish Head signature glass
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, with garnet highlights when held to the light. Head is tan, with small tight bubbles about 2 and a half fingers high. Good head retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Rich aromas of dark toasted malts, with chocolates, chili peppers, and some alcohol.

Taste: Up front has chili spices and some heat. Also taste sweet chocolate and vanilla. I like the balance here of chili and chocolate, sweet and heat. Some alcohol warmth as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with a creamy texture. Carbonation is medium to high. Finish is lightly sweet with some lingering heat and a hint of the vanilla.

Overall: Very interesting and well-constructed brew. I think this one compares well with the Terrapin version.

Thanks to DrewShal9 for this one!

 925 characters

Photo of steve8robin
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one made it to MA so I figured I'd give it a try. 22oz bottle...

A: A nice clear deep dark brownish ruby red. A small 1/2 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: A nice malty vanilla and cocao upfront with some nice earthiness, probably from the chilies, in the middle and a mild chocolate on the backend. Good.

T: An awesome tootsie roll chocolate upfront followed by a mild bitterness form the chilies. A nice maltiness with a bitter chocolate blended in. Very good!

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A bitter creamy chocolate finish. Good.

O: All in all, bravo! Good job. Best beer I've ever had from Terrapin or Shmaltz. It has a very Southern Tier Choklat type taste, but with more a bitterness and a harder carbonation to it. Great beer indeed!

 779 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: onyx body, finger tan head, great lacing

S: big cocoa nibs + vanilla, toasted nuts

T: sweet dark chocolate, malt, roasted nuts, vanilla,
creamy nice chili spice finish

M: med/heavy, smooth + creamy mouth

O: WOW! What a fascinating beer and
for a great cause. This limited brew is
worth seeking out and the price is so
worth it. If I see this again, I will
grab another bottle.
Love the balance of sweet
with a subtle chili finish. Big Brown
ales this complex are rare.


 508 characters

Photo of rebel1771
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color with a frothy tan head.

S: Strong aroma of chocolate with hints of vanilla.

T: Roasted coffee flavor up front with nutty flavors coming through as well. Finishes with a slight burn from the chilies coating your throat.

O: Very unique brew. Although I liked it, most of the other people I shared it with did not.

 350 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 7.3% abv. Very deep brown, mahogany in color. Looks almost black. Good looking, creamy tan head. Excellent retention and lace.

Lots of toffee and caramel up front. Cocoa and vanilla come in and blend very well. Not picking up any pepper in the nose. Very nice so far.

Toffee flavor comes in first, followed by some cocoa powder, and a bit of vanilla. An interesting spice feel from the peppers, which adds a nice complexity. Spicy note lingers for a while.

Medium body, with a great creamy feel. Alcohol seems hidden pretty well. A very nice, complex, and interesting beer for a good cause.

 610 characters

Photo of sweethome
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour from bomber bottle.

Nice cocoa color, tan head dissipates quickly. Nose of chocolate, vanilla and slight hint of hops.

Entry is soft, pillowy. Rich cocoa flavors envelope the palate, followed by a vanilla charachter through mid mouth - finish has a hint of the chili that leaves a somewhat dissatisfying aspect as it numbs the tongue. The chili flavor is minimal, but a nice addition with the chocolate.

A well rounded and full flavored beer. Nice flow. The chili detracts from the mouthfeel in my opinion, but a well conceived beer that is constructed even better. A collaboration that works.

 602 characters

Photo of flannelman808
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very extremely burnt copper brown and while it is quite dark it seems clear. Topped with a rather good sized two finger head and has pretty good lacing too.

S: A subtle nose but an interesting one. Dark powdered unsweetened coco and Cacao nib meet a hop pollen note of resin.

T: Rich on the fore-palate but finishing almost zesty and light feeling. This has a real Szechuan peppercorn quality to it. Starting off its intense dark chocolate and vanilla and bittersweet notes all the while getting cleaned up by a Szechuan peppercorn zesty numbing finish.

M: Viscus but highly carbonic.

O: I like this stuff quite a bit and really enjoy the flavors going on. My only real negative is that its pretty simple and straightforward. The chili pepper is really pretty overshadowed by the other things going on. Pretty good overall though. Id drink it again.

 857 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two and a half fingers of light brown foam on top of a black body with some clear, amber highlights. The head settles fairly slowly and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Dark, sweet malt with notes of caramel, toffee, and lots of molasses. There is also a spicy quality in the background with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

T - Dark caramel and molasses up front with a little bit of cinnamon. Some bittersweet chocolate comes out in the middle with a surprisingly strong note of vanilla. The brown, sugary malt intensifies in the finish with more molasses and some dark, rye bread character. Lingering toasted malt and dark caramel coat the palate in the aftertaste with vanilla, allspice, and nutmeg notes.

M - A somewhat thick body, moderate carbonation, and a surprisingly well balanced finish.

D - I was a bit skeptical going into this; dark, spiced beers are not usually my cup of tea. However, this is surprisingly pleasant for what it is. The spices and dark malt are on the edge of overwhelming the palate and becoming cloying, but they manage to just barely avoid getting there. The vanilla is a nice touch that seems to help brighten things up a bit. Very nice, overall; I might even consider cellaring this if I come across another bottle.

 1,280 characters

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.  

 601 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid portion comes out a medium brown color. When you hold it up to the light, you can see highlights of brown, light brown, and red. Where the highlights are the lightest you can see that the beer has good clarity to it. Nice tan to off white colored head that has a lot of different sized bubbles and rises nice from a reasonably agressive pour. Good looking beer.

The smell on this beer is both wonderful and truly unique. Big malt backbone here, nothing weak about it. Vanilla is potent, but mellowed out nicely by the cocoa nibs. I know it says chili pepper is in there too, but it's not very strong. It could be because the pepper balances out the sweetness. As it warms up there are some slight floral and even earthy hop aromas. Overall it smells awesome!

Taste is also very good and equally unique. Very sweet malty, good, but not exactly the same complexity as the smell. Initial sweetness from the vanilla (tastes natural, not extract to me, then the cocoa nibs come out a little stronger in the flavor than in the smell. Chili peppers provide a little spicy kick that is pretty nice. Interesting and very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is really good. Good carbonation level. Pretty smooth, but not the whole way through. Starts sweet, stays that way most of the way, then there's some heat from the chili pepper, then finishes sweet. Overall this is really a great, yet underrated beer. Pretty unique all around.

Great beer, but my only knock is that it doesn't hold up all that great in time. I've had it both fresh and with a little time, it's better fresh, but that's to be said about many a beer.

 1,668 characters

Photo of nsmartell
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the bomber bottle to an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a little bit of light coming through the glass. There's a big, fluffy, cream-colored head that disappears quickly.

Smell: Sweet and malty, with hints of vanilla, cocoa and pepper. Interesting.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma. Chocolate malts with a hint of pepper and bitterness from the cocoa/chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy and dry.

Drinkability: Very drinkable ale, but hard to keep in the brown ale category for me. Although that is not how the label describes this beer. The abv is not overwhelming and was enjoyable to sip through the evening.

 722 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2011 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.