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:
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 132
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 BoosPackage
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with subtle mahogany color. Light brown head and substantial lacing. Well carbonated with tight bubbles. Smells of cocoa, nuts, and a tad of vanilla. Tastes of roasted malt and light cocoa. Nice balance of cocoa and vanilla. Flavor of chile on the finish but not as much heat as stated. Overall a really good brown ale but i was left wanting more....

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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!

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

Pours a larger 2 finger head that fades fairly quickly at first then slows, over dark molasses brown almost black colored beer.

Nose has darker malts, molasses and brown sugar, toasty brown malts, slight creamy brown black malts and hints of chocolate, some vanilla starts to come through more and more, then a bit of hop character.

Taste starts with lots of chocolate, cocoa nibs galore, fresh chocolate flavors and cocoa! With that is some vanilla, lots of vanilla flavors come through following the cocoa, with a touch of spicy pepper taste. Some malts follow all that, darker malts with lots of caramel flavors, dark crystal malts, then some slight syrup like caramel flavors. A slight hop character comes through with a little bitterness and slight earthy hops. Finishes with a spicy hot pepper flavor, then some lingering vanilla and light chocolate, as well as hint of syrupy caramel, and a touch of warming booze.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carbonation, and hint of warming booze.

Overall it's pretty good, nice tasty flavors with chocolate and vanilla, but I think the vanilla is a bit overboard. some nice malts but I also think the malts were a bit too light overall, and it should have had a bit more body and been creamier as well. The hot pepper spice was a nice addition as well.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany color with a pretty massive head that quickly dissipates but holds a small head across the surface of the beer. Wonderful lacing on the glass

S - Smells of chocolate and vanilla pretty faint, I can detect pepper of some sort.

T - Lots of cocoa and caramel up front, then noticible vanilla characteristics and back to the pepper, although the pepper is not dominating at all which is nice. Toffee flavors in there as well, nice aftertaste..

M - Medium to light bodied, appropriated carbonated

O - Overall pretty good, not amazing but a solid beer and a good cause! Drinkable and enjoyable but it will not rock your socks

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Photo of Preismj
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Dark brown in color with a fluffy tan head. head is thick on a light pour, soft large bubbles. Liquid is dark, no light gets through.

s: mild aroma with hints of toffee and cocoa, slight vanilla. really faint scents on the nose.

t: taste is bolder, rich brown ale with toffee notes and light hints of chocolate. vanilla, caramel sweetness from the malt profile is nicely tapped into by the finishing flavor from the peppers. nicely blended...and the lingering taste from the pepper makes the cocoa really come forward on the tongue. Nutty background here, very subtle flavors of almond biscotti blend in.

m: light body and good carbonation help the drinkability here. flavors aren't too strong.

o: overall, a solid pick. not too thick. the peppery flavor may come in a bit too strong once this warms, though it is nicely balanced at the lower temp. I like the lighter body on this, slightly higher carb than it needs distracts from the flavor and makes it a bit chewier.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Churchkey DC for #DCBW11. Happy to help a charity along the way!

A: Foamy light brown head with a lot of lacing. Retention on my friend's glass is a lot better than mine 4

S: Malty. Chocolate. Really doesn't smell like it has been aged in
everything it says so 3.5

T: The malts from the smell come first, followed by the coco nibs and at the very backend the chile peppers. 4

MF: Heavy medium to low carbonation. Very dry overall 4

O: Pretty good. Not great but good. 3.5

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

deep muddy brown pour with a huge mocha head that sticks around a bit and laces very well.

a kind of subdued aroma brings in typical nut brown scents of roasted nuts, some chocolate, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. a slight tingle left from the chiles is detectable, but only because I'm looking for it.

flavor brings a lot more cocoa than the aroma which works well with the peppers on the back end that cut through the sweetness but stay subtle. vanilla isn't too noticeable, but roasted nuts toffee and caramel are present. the interplay between sweet, roasty, and spicy is done very well. as it warms, the chiles move a bit to the forefront.

kinda medium bodied with a nice soft carbonation and a slight pepper spice that sits at the base of your nose instead of on your palate.

pretty well done. bold, yet subtle. sweet, yet spicy. complex, yet drinkable. I'm impressed and would drink this again.

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

Presentation: 1 pint 6 oz bottle into a nonic. *Bottle indicates 7.3% ABV.

A- Brown with ruby highlights. Pours with a massive light brown head, which settles gradually to a thin cap. Fair amount of lacing.

S- Toasty, nutty, and a lightly spicy note. Lightly sweet chocolate and caramel notes follow.

T- The cocoa hits you straight away, followed by the caramel sweetness. A sturdy spicy kick coats the tongue and throat on the finish, and gives a perception of crispness. Vanilla really starts to stand out a few pulls in.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium light feel.

O- Good. Fairly easy drinking...pleasing and interesting.

Future outlook: An enjoyable take on a big brown beer. Happy to have tried.

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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.

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Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near-opaque very dark brown with two fingers worth of khaki colored foam, settles to a quarter inch or so and leaves a few rings of lace down the glass. Smell: chocolate liquor, caramel, slightly nutty, with a raw pepper note. Taste: a ton of chocolate upfront, vanilla, then toasty and nutty, with a nice chocolate + chili kick at the end of the sip. The chili spice is somewhat cumulative but never gets beyond a mild heat. Very creamy, luxurious feel. A really nice dessert beer.

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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!

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle (label says the ABV is 7.3%), $7.99 a bomber. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a dark ruby red/brown color with about an inch and a half tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is mostly sweet, it smells like chocolate, vanilla and roasted malt. I don't pick up any of the chilies in the aroma. Luckily, I can taste the chilies! The brew tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, chilies and vanilla. The chili pepper flavor isn't overpowering at all, but the spicy heat is mostly noticable in the finish. There's a good balance between the sweet and spicy flavors, although I think overall the sweet flavors are stronger. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has moderate carbonation. I think this is a good enough beer, it's worth a try.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a firm off-white head offering up some good lace.

S: Heavy dry chile smell with some chocolate.

T: Chocolate heavy, some dark malt, with a spicy chile character that comes in towards the back. A nice mix of flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, quite chalky which I wasn't too fond of. Spicy, soft carbonation.

O: A nice beer overall, I like what the chiles brought to the table. Well made.

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Photo of JCellars
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz btl into Duvel tulip at 45-50 degrees. Pours dark brown with two finger light brown head, slight amberish haze to the head as well.

Nutty, roast malt aromas with slight fig or raisin fruit esters. Subtle undertones of coffee and dark chocolate as well as vegetive bell pepper and jalapeno.

Chocolate, coffee, and toasty malt springs onto the tongue with a touch of sweetness at first, then settles into an almost latte like flavor with a bright, hoppy chili pepper finish. The tiny amount of chili pepper heat definitely helps to hold off the sweetness of the chocolate.

Clean, yet complex finish that lingers. Only fault is the beer is a little disconnected from start to finish. Still a fun 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 nassaubeercop
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A- Dark brown to black with a 2 finger white head which dissipates pretty quickly leaving a 1/4 in head and leaves some lacing.

S- Vanilla and cocoa and a touch of spice.

T- Dry with chocolate, caramel and a little salt. A little spice burn in the back of the throat.

M- A little thin but with a butterscotch stickyness on the roof of the mouth that lingers as an aftertaste.

O- A good beer I suppose, even though the beer had a lot of flavor, those flavors were subtle. I prefer something a little bolder.

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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 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.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours medium brown hue with hits of orange, slight haze, and a whispy beige head.

Smell -- Bland. Some roast malt, cocoa, and vanilla. Really no chile character to speak of. No off-flavors are detectable, but there's just not much going on.

Taste -- Medium roast malt, some cocoa sweetness. The vanilla and chile are both incredibly faint, and indeed there is really no chile heat. Well-made, but ho-hum for a chile-infused beer.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation. It works.

Overall -- Snooze. Nothing distracting, certainly, but for something with so many flavorful additions (cocoa, vanilla, chiles), this is such a ho-hum beer. After having a locally-brewed chile-infused brown ale, I had high hopes for this beer being the one to change my opinion of both Smaltz and Terrapin, but this was not the case. Sometimes more really is more.

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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 aasher
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this one. It has to be the first time that anything Terrapin related has been distributed in Indiana. The bottle says that it is "A Dark Imperial Ale brewed with Cocoa nibs, Vanilla, and Chilipeppers". That's enough to hook me in. Also, the bottle says that this is 7.3% abv, not the 8.5% abv listed on BA.

This one pours a medium bodied chestnut brown in color with a really nice and creamy dark khaki head. It pours like a medium bodied brown ale. The aromas are soft and more subtle than I imagined. You get some soft and creamy light chocolate with a light, dark malty sweetness with a hint of vanilla. You don't get any spice at all. The flavors are interesting as well. You get some nice smooth chocolate but I'd say that Vanilla is the dominant flavor in this one. It isn't like barrel aging vanilla either. It's more of a vanilla cream, almost like coffee creamer. You get some light chocolate from the dark malts and a light pepper aspect in the finish, ala Chocolated Oak Aged Yeti. I expected more pepper but otherwise it's a refreshing combination of chocolate and vanilla. I don't know that I've had another beer that featured vanilla in such a manner before. It drinks very smoothly and has a nice blend of flavors. It's a solid beer and for $8.99 I really can't complain.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this beer up a few weeks ago. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Solid brown, with a near black nature. Light is still visible when held to a lamp, so it still falls well into the "brown" category. Head is offwhite, and head is a good 2 fingers. Lacking and retention is quite low, even nonexistent after a few minutes.

Nose is a mix of the roasted malts and chocolate, accented by a faint heat from the chilis and a small bit of vanilla. Was expecting more, but still a great nose. As it warms, the roasted chocolate and coffee malt nature of the beer really shines through.

The taste starts off as a brown, with a nice flourish of roasted malts with coffee and mocha notes starting off the show, but quickly moves into the chocolate base to the beer. The cocoa nibs are the biggest player without a doubt, adding a near chocolate milk flavor in the mid body. The vanilla and chilis only accent, adding a touch of heat to the finish, while the vanilla bridges the two together. Yet, it is still a brown ale, with a solid bit of roasted malt throughout. The finish is a resurgence of malt, with a bit of heat from the chilis. Roasted coffee and earthy finish. A bit astringent, though not harsh.

Mild carbonation with a very clean mouthfeel. Light bodied and a very nice brown ale quality about it.

Overall, very well done. Surprised at how well they married the flavors. I would not expect this one to hold up well with age, so might as well drink while its fresh.

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