Reunion Ale '13 - A Beer For Hope | Shmaltz Brewing Company

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Reunion Ale '13 - A Beer For HopeReunion Ale '13 - A Beer For Hope

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by teromous on 09-26-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 198
Photo of cjgiant
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with perhaps a reddish hue, head remains around edges, some lacing.
S: a toasty roasted backbone with coffee and nutmeg and maybe some clove. Wonderful aroma
T: much like the smell, but there is also a nuttiness (hazelnut? pecan?) up front before the coffee taste comes in
M: mild bitter coffee ending that has a slight dryness (think its the Terrapin side)
O: I agree with previous review, a solidly complex brown that is tending towards the stout range. Will have to have this again.

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Photo of tmm313
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Opaque dark brown color with minimal head that settles into nice ring around the glass. Good lacing.
S- Roasted malts and dark fruits. Cherry and plum come to mind. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon are all there as advertised and blend beautifully. Each smell seems to bring a different combination of flavors.
T- Pretty much follows the nose. Dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of vanilla followed by coffee and hint of cinnamon. Aftertaste is reminiscent of a cappuccino and the flavor you get when you mix chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Each sip brought a different, and beautifully balanced, combination of flavors. Very nice.
M- Medium bodied, creamy, with crisp carbonation. Leaves the mouth dry with a nice slightly bitter chocolate/vanilla aftertaste.
O- I am a sucker for all the flavors advertised, and this beer delivered them all. Each smell and taste you took was slightly different, yet wonderfully mixed and balanced. I am a big fan of Terrapin's sweet stout experiments, and this one belongs with the best of them. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with hints of amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid two fingers of light tan head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A very roasty aroma stout like aroma with big hints of coffee, chocolate, and spices. Big scent of dark roasted barley malts with upfront hints of coffee beans, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, toasted bread, nuts, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and grains. Sweet hints of vanilla and molasses. Big spice hints of cinnamon along with some nutmeg. Subtle dark fruit hints of fig, dates, plum, and cherry. A very good roasty aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a very roasty malt forward taste with big notes of dark chocolate, coffee, nuts, and spices. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with a taste of coffee beans, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, nuts, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and grains. Sweet taste of vanilla, brown sugar, and molasses. Big spice presence with a taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a chile like heat. Dark fruit undertones with notes of fig, plum, dates, raisin, and cherry. The burnt roasty coffee stands out the most.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very roasty and fairly spicy and hot. Drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A very good coffee bold imperial brown ale/stout. Its like Founders Breakfast Stout with some spicy cinnamon added.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay goblet

A- pours a very dark brown, nearly black, with a one finger tan head. Looks pretty nice, almost stout-like

S- huge nutty aroma, along with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and chilies. Oh yes, I like this.

T- tons of coffee and chocolate, a little bit of vanilla and a bitter finish from the coffee. A little bit of cinnamon in there too. Very complex, delicious brew

M- medium bodied, on the thicker side. Not syrupy at all, super chewy. Love it

O- awesome beer all-around. Terrapin knows how to brew stouts, and they don't screw around here. It's almost like a blend of Moo Hoo and WNB.

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Photo of teromous
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: This beer is not the same as the one brewed last year. The old recipe contained cocoa nibs, vanilla, and natural flavors. The new recipe has cocoa nibs, vanilla, and coffee. I feel it is important to distinguish that the vintages are not 100% similar.

A: The body is a dark brown color, with red hues where light shines through. The head is a creamy off-white color. It leaves some spotted lacing on the glass.

S: I get a strong coffee scent, with a bit of chocolate in the mix. Nothing else comes through for me. It is nice smelling though.

T: It tastes like I'm drinking a mochachino. I seriously get a ton of coffee and chocolate flavor out of this beer. It's very delicious. I don't pick up any of the cinnamon or vanilla that is mentioned on the label. It's crazy good though. I highly recommend it if you enjoy sweet coffee drinks. This is hardly even beer. The only reason I don't give it a 5 is that I'm not getting any of the other flavors or even much "beery" flavor out of it.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and finishes relatively dry. Very smooth and subtle carbonation. It works well with the beer.

O: Overall I highly recommend the beer. As always it's hard to tell how the beer will end up next year, but this year it is fantastic. The beer doesn't need aging at all, so feel free to drink this delicious coffee chocolate bomb fresh. I would buy it again.

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Photo of MarkJBurch
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark brown that transcends to near black as beer fills the glass. Khaki head sticks around for awhile, leaving bits of splotchy lacing here and there.

Mm-hmm, that's nice. Smells like a Dutch breakfast of sweet poffertjes, drizzled with stroop syrup and dusted in powdered sugar. Chocolate and espresso are also present.

Sweet caramel and slight vanilla bean up front, a lot of chocolate, faint cinnamon spice, and a dry bitterness in the finish. Hints of coffee, brown sugar, and molasses present themselves after a few more sips. Fairly well balanced, alcohol is unnoticeable.

This reunion ale is full bodied and anything but boring, a pleasure to drink. My only complaint is the lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, apart from that this is quite a nice brown ale.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown appearing black in the glass with a dense lightly tanned head. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Great aroma, cinnamon, coffee and chocolate all going on here. Reminds me of one of the aztec hot cocoa's. Dark fruits come out as it warms up. Dont get much hoppiness.

T: As anticipated from the aroma there are some real nice coffee notes. Chocolate smoothes things out nicely adding a bit of stout character. The cinnamon isnt as dominate in the flavor as it is in the aroma.

M: Full body with mild carbonation. Has a nice creamy aspect to it. Finish is clean not leaving much stickiness.

Overall this is really good for an American brown ale. The flavors are complex and blend nicely together. Certainly worth picking up.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had the Terrapin version of this beer last night, so tonight was selected for the Schmaltz version. The color of the beer was reddish brown, a lot darker than what I recall from yesterday, and the body looked a bit more cloudy today as well. The head on the other hand was much bigger than yesterday, at two finger thick, and was much more durable. The smell of the beer today was a lot less chocolate laden, and actually featured coffee and cinnamon much more prominently. The vanilla was quite hidden in the nose. The taste was more coffee driven as well, although the chocolate was quite noticeable as a second flavor. Cinnamon was much more aggressive here than the Terrapin version, and the vanilla much more muted. The body felt a little thinner than the beer from yesterday. There was astringency, but it was more of a steady feel from the beginning to the end, rather than a turn from sweetness to it, as was the case yesterday. I commented yesterday that the beer felt more like a Schmaltz offering than a Terrapin release. Oddly the one today, that was actually from Schmaltz, felt closer to the Terrapin Wake N' Bake beer. Isn't collaboration great?

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a He'brew small shaker pint. Bottle from the holiday pack (a really good one this year). Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fine one finger tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark moderately toasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon and hints of coffee, nice. Flavor is dominated by Mexican chocolate (cocoa and mild chili, brown sugar), vanilla, coffee, finishes with a moderate hop and chili finish with residual cocoa flavors. Somewhat light body for the depth of flavor, but active carbonation. This beer blew my mind when I first tried the 2011 version, and I still find it enjoyable and different. I've always had a soft spot for Mexican style chocolate and this is the closest I've come to it in a beer. Nicely made and flavorful. Different in a good way. It's nice when a beer with a purpose is also a good beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

A bit of a cross between a brown ale, a stout, and a strong ale.

Pours dark brown, with a tan colored 1 inch head, that settles quickly. Good lacing down the glass.

Strong cinnamon aroma on this one, with vanilla and chocolate as well.

Cinnamon and chocolate are the dominant flavors here, with a little bit of ashy smoke like flavor as well. The roasted malt is pretty bitter, which is offset by vanilla bean sweetness.

Medium bodied, wish it was a little thicker. Creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable, no present alcohol.

An interesting little beer- if it was beefed up it would be even more interesting.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle in Holiday Gift Pack into Belgian ale glass.

A: Dark brown with two-finger foamy, soapy head that lingers, leaving sticky lacing and a ring.

S: Lots of coffee, some cocoa. Vague elements of vanilla and cinnamon. A bit of a charred smell...

T: Holy coffee, Batman! Your preference of this is likely to hinge on whether you like strong coffee. Definitely front and center, quite bitter. A little bit of cocoa as well.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly well-carbonated.

O: Significantly improved over the 2012 effort, but needs more balance.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 8% ABV. Nice to see these two breweries doing this for a few years now.

This beer pours a murky dark russet brown hue, with dim reddish cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, foamy, and moderately rocky beige head, which leaves some nice layered snow rime lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of herbal dry-roast coffee beans, dark chocolate, metallic cinnamon spice, vanilla pods, a softly biscuity smoked grainy malt, bean sprouts, and leafy, straw-like hops. The taste is cinnamon-laced black coffee, semi-sweet boozy vanilla, crackery caramel malt, still rather dark and bitter chocolate, lightly smoking tobacco ash, a dry oily nuttiness, and mildly spicy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is generally tame and somewhat frothy, the body an adequately sturdy medium weight, and smooth in the face of a lingering cinnamon spiciness. It finishes off-dry, the punchy toasted caramel malt not willing to give up the ghost just yet, even with all of the concurrent coffee, spice, and dry roast.

A decent coffee and spice-enhanced dry brown ale, the remaining chocolate and vanilla guest ingredients coming off as rather innocuous through their lack of typical sweetness. And the 16-proof booze is well integrated, always a nice thing. Worthy of trying, at the very least to support a worthy cause, and to try something relatively different.

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Photo of Reckage
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Don't know how I came across this one at my local store last week but I'm glad I grabbed it. Very tasty, getting the cocoa and cinnamon, coffee and some vanilla. Smells very good, coffee, cocoa and cinnamon. Vanilla is faint but makes a presence. Don't know if the age mellowed the flavors but it all goes well. Good brew for a great cause.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmaltz / Terrapin collaboration 'Reunion Ale '13' @ 8.0% , served from 650 ml bottle purchased for $6.50 , a beer for hope

A-pour is a light brown from the bottle to a dark brown in the glass with a lot of ruby red along the glass edge peeking thru , a small tan/off white head that is dissapating quickly leaving no lace along the pint

S-coffee , hint of cinnamon in the background

T-so similar to an English Porter , with a sweet vanilla start to the swallow

MF-ok carbonation , bit strong ABV leads to the full body

Ov-ok beer , has that Brown ale bitterness well hidden

prost LampertLand

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Photo of bmwats
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a thin layer of foam and a thick beer ring. Thick, persistent peak and valley lacing.

S: The malt component is a little smoked and roasty. The cocoa nibs and cinnamon are prominent.

T: Char roasted grains. Hints of espresso and dark unsweetened chocolate, and cinnamon.

M: Hearty and roasty. Slightly sweet, but not too much so. Slightly bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice hue, fair head, and some thick persistent lacing. Nose is roasty with strong presence of cocoa nibs and cinnamon. Grains are char roasted, with slight bit of espresso, and nicely balanced with the cocoa nibs and cinnamon present in the nose. Hearty and full. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of RickS95
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The pour is extremely dark brown. Not a black beer, but the very darkest shade on the brown spectrum. Very light tan head resides up top, but lacks retention so you have to view it quickly. Thin spotty lace.

Being a brown ale, you don't expect much in the way of hops and you don't get any. Instead, you pick up a variety of malts, all dark including chocolate. The faintest of spice notes, the bottle confirming it's cinnamon.

Slightly more hop presence in the taste, which helps balance the malt forward beer. Cocoa nibs present, as does the cinnamon on a slightly greater scale. The bottles references a dessert was part of the inspiration for the beer and it's easy to see why.

Not quite as smooth as most brown ales, but I believe the cinnamon causes that. Sweet, then a combination of spice and bitter. Despite the lack of head and retention, very carbonated feel.

It's a good beer, would make a good dessert, or even a beer for the colder months. I could drink it year round and not have a problem. Becomes even more tasty as it warms.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours black with a large creamy off white head that has excellent retention and lacing.
S-the aroma is very interesting and complex. I pick up on the coffee and cocoa nibs first then in the back is the cinnamon and vanilla for sure. I believe I can get some earthy hop notes as well. Very Impressive.
T-the flavor is a little on the week side at first, then as it warms up a little comes through better. Flavors of cocoa nibs and coffee are in the front and the hops are more prevalent in flavor. I pick up on the vanilla but the cinnamon is hard to find. Lots of roasty malt notes and the hops seem to have a minty/pine characteristic to it. Very complex for sure.
M-the mouthfeel is silky and medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.
O-overall, I'm glad I got to try this collaboration. Very nice for a winter beer.

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Photo of Amalak
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. A very dark brown--to almost black--color with a big foamy, light-tan head and good lacing. Some bubbles can be seen on the edge, but it's thick and opaque.

S. A bit of cherry and a smokey coffee scent. The burnt scent is strong.

T/M. Very flavorful and refreshing brew. It is smokey and full bodied. Carbonated but not overly. A hint of cherry and chocolate.

O. It's extremely flavorful, but kind of lacks direction. Nice, but in small amounts.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I happened upon Reunion '13 at Goebel in Wichita, KS. They had several cases that just arrived so I figured what the hey, sounds good. I've been mostly underwhelmed by coffee-laden brews over the years and this one is really no different for me. It looked great in a Euro nonic glass with its dark mahogany-brown body crested by an barely tan two finger head. Lace was scant. Coffee always takes over the nose as this one does, hints of dark choco malts coming through. Flavors of roasted coffee beans are the main attraction overshadowing everything else with dark chocolate and vanilla barely making themselves known. Never detected the cinnamon at all. The beer feels fine, medium bodied and nice smooth carb. With the coffee curbed down some, this might be great.

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Photo of leaddog
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of foamy beige head.

Smell - coffee bean, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted malts.

Taste - Starts off with a lot of bitterness from the coffee bean and cocoa then warms to the roasted malts. Although present in the aroma, the vanilla and cinnamon are quite subdued.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall - A brew that showcases good quality roasted and bitter flavours. I would have liked the vanilla and cinnamon to be more present in the taste.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep brown glass looks almost black but lets some light through to show some clarity. Thin cover of brown foam doesn't last.

Smell: Coffee, cocoa powder, light whiff of alcohol and chocolate. The vanilla and cinnamon fuse into a fairly generic "spiced" background.

Taste: Pretty much like the nose, the spiced notes are on top, and overwhelm the beer base pretty firmly. What does come through in beer is a sweet brown ale, mild.

Mouthfeel: A bit oily in the finish, bubbly, almost fizzy but a slightly heavier than medium body holds it together.

Overall: A good sipping beer. A bit over spiced to be among the greats, but an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of SawDog505
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16 snifter, abv 8%. Pours dark brown, a one inch tan head that leaves behind some lace.

Smell starts with cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla, roasted coffee beans, and almonds.

Taste is cinnamon, chocolate, and fig upfront and coffee beans and hazelnut in the lingering finish.

Body is maybe medium, plenty of carbonation, a little dry, and goes down easy.

Overall this is a bit different and that is good think. Not sure how to classify this beer.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Schmaltz (He'brew) and Terrapin's Reunion Ale '13, brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee. 8% ABV.

A: About 1.5 fingers of slightly tan head. Decent lacing. Nearly black, with a very deep red inner glow. Golden yellow in the dimple.

S: Lighter roasted coffee, floral vanilla, Mayan chocolate. Slight tobacco leaf. Pretty much what I expected.

T/MF: Very bitter cocoa, with just a touch of coffee and cinnamon. Fairly creamy. Light hop bitterness in the background.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into an American pub glass. This is a dark reddish black brew, like a good porter in appearance, with a decent quantity of brown head. The nose features a good amount of wood char and tobacco ash, dry and acrid with a little sweetish floral vanilla and raisins, molasses and rum-like alcohol. Tastes even less sweet than it smells, with acidic dark roast coffee, ashtray, walnuts, and milk chocolate predominating, with a thick and chunky but not syrupy body, moderate to high carbonation and a dry bitter finish that includes lingering earthy hops and coffee ground notes. The cacao nubs do not taste sweet here but seem to add yet more chalky dry bitterness to the equation and the cinnamon is just barely detectable to me. Not what I was expecting ... Unique in terms of 1) its emphasis on cacao and spice additions yet 2) diligently avoids provoking anything sweet on the taste buds, despite the mental associations most of us are going to have with concepts like "vanilla" and "cinnamon".

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee bean, vanilla bean, and cinnamon aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla and slightly acidic cocoa and coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but the flavors don't mesh together as well I would have hoped based on the smell.

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Reunion Ale '13 - A Beer For Hope from Shmaltz Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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