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): 8.00%

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 mearner
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours dark, but when held up to the light it has tawny/red tint that was surprising. The carbonation was moderate and the head was off-white to brown in color, appropriate in size and hung around for a while. Ultimately, the head ended up dwindling slowly to a set of small bumpy bubbles that rested nicely on the top of the brew leading to quality lacing as I sipped. The beer was generally clear and free of particles.

All the scents noted in its description: cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee, were present. They were all there but the coffee and cinnamon stuck out for me, with the cinnamon clearly out front. As I sipped, the flavors blended nicely and there was a taste of tobacco and leather which I found to be pleasing. The body was medium a bit slick, and slightly acidic.

Although this was a fairly tasty beer to sip, it’s probably best as a limited release. I think it would be far less appealing if it were available year round. I’m glad they release it to benefit a good cause though. I know the novelty of it, and its potential evolution will keep me trying it each year. Although this is an American Brown Ale, I think this could reach the far corner somewhere near where it could easily be confused with a porter (in my opinion).

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle into a pint glass, from notes.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a one finger mocha-colored head. The latter has a nice creaminess, which allows it to leave some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Wow. Nice. Tons of vanilla and chocolate make itself known immediately, with an underlying tone of brown sugar. The coffee really comes out strong when allowed to warm up.

T: At first, it's slightly chocolaty. Then BOOM! Coffee hits the palate hard. Normally, this would be great, but the coffee here is stale and vegetal. There are also hoppy and vanilla hints hanging around the finish. Shame about the stale coffee, because this is pretty decent otherwise.

M: Light and fairly crisp, and quite dry. The coffee's really going to work on the palate, giving this beer nice drinkability, even without the presence of assertive carbonation.

O: Not bad, but it could have been so much more if the coffee here was 'fresher'. Incidentally, my friend who I drank this with enjoys stale coffee, meaning he loved it. YMMV, natch.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice dark, brown ale, mostly opaque, with a tan head that fades to a ring that produces significant lacing.

S - Roasted malts and strong bitter coffee notes, with an odd tobacco and ash undercurrent that detracts.

T - The malt and coffee remain, but so do the ash and char elements. It improved a bit as it warmed, as nutty and malt notes flower a bit and the ash elements recede. They don't disappear, though.

M - Nice, silky feel, but not cloying.

O - A strange brew here. I like brown ales, and I'm a huge fan of coffee and chocolate notes, but I think someone got a bit over-eager when roasting, resulting in discordant notes of ash and char that detract from the final product.

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Photo of cvm4
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark cola color with a light khaki head. Okay retention and lacing.

S - Cinnamon and coffee interwoven with each other. I'd give the dominance to the cinnamon. Faint sweetness may'be from the cocoa nibs or vanilla beans. But, I wouldn't say they were noticeable.

T - A bit of cocoa nibs right off the bat and then a good amount of coffee. But, as noted in an earlier review, the coffee seems stale and slightly vegetable. It's not a robust coffee character at all. The cinnamon hits you on the backend and because of the stale coffee, everything just seems off.

M - Light bodied and light carbonation. It's has a dry finish and is watery on the palette.

O - This is really a muddled beer compared to prior releases. I think they're trying too much for a style that really can't support it.

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Photo of Pencible
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black ruby with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like strong chili peppers and roasted coffee, with some cocoa powder and copper hops.
T: It tasted like roasted coffee and cocoa powder, with some chili pepper and copper hops and pumpernickel bread. It had a mostly clean spicy aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This was an interesting beer, with bold scent and taste. Definitely not a typical brown ale, but not quite delicious either. The body was a little weak, and the finish wasn't entirely smooth either, so it wasn't super easy to drink. Nice to try once, but far from a great brew.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My friend brought over a bottle of Shmaltz's Reunion Ale '13 to share with me so I took some notes on it. I've been wanting to try something from Terrapin for a while and I like the concept behind this beer, so lets see how it goes. 13 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a good look to it and each brewery is represented evenly and there's also good information on what this beer is all about, I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a dark brown color that took on some ruby highlights when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking Brown Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that's followed by the malts which are the first to show up and they impart a roasted malt, slightly charred, light chocolate and light grainy aromas with a pretty noticeable smokey aroma in the background. Up next comes the coffee which has an aroma similar to an over roasted coffee bean and it imparts this weird coffee aroma that smells like it was brewed with blackened chili peppers and there a really light vanilla aroma in the background along with a slightly noticeable cinnamon aroma. This beer had a nice aroma, but I thought the coffee aspect was a little odd..

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart all the aspects that they did in the aroma. but there's also a light nutty flavor. Up next comes the coffee which still imparts that odd coffee flavor but its's not as heavy on the peppers as it was in the aroma. On the finish comes a very light cinnamon flavor followed by a lower amount of medium bitterness with a grainy, smokey, odd coffee and roasted malt like aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, but the coffee flavor wasn't the most appealing.

M- Fairly smooth, slightly rich, slightly creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and while it wasn't the most true to style or that recognizable as a Brown Ale there was still a light nutty aspect to it that worked well with the other flavors, but it just seemed a little too roasty and smokey for a Brown Ale. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little rich, a little creamy, a little filling, and the taste did an ok job at holding my attention, I think a pint would be the perfect amount for me, I think I would rather split the bottle then drink it all to myself. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and the light cinnamon aspect, I thought they both worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the coffee aspect, it wasn't bad, but it tasted a little odd to me. I don't think I would buy this batch again, but I would be willing to try a fresh bottle if they release it again next year and if I can find it. I would recommend this if the ingredients sound good to you. All in all I thought this beer was pretty solid, but if the coffee aspect wasn't so odd I this would be a better beer. Nice job guys, keep up the solid work and thanks for making a beer for a good cause.

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