Schell's Schmaltz's Alt | August Schell Brewing Company

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84
good
116 Reviews
THE BROS
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Schell's Schmaltz's AltSchell's Schmaltz's Alt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
One of Warren's favorite pastimes back in the 30's was a trip to the city dump to shoot rats–so much that it was a common date for him and his wife-to-be, Casey. The manager of the city dump was John Schmaltz–hence the nickname "Schmaltz" Marti. We hope you enjoy our Schmaltz's Alt, a creamy smooth dark alt brewed even better than before.

Added by kbub6f on 11-05-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
116
Ratings:
191
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
10.96%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 191
Photo of frank4sail
2.38/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Slight smell of musty shoe leather. Slight pale tan head. Deep dark purple color. Flat plainish malt taste that is not interesting at all.. there is a slightly sour burnt kettle finish to the taste as well. Shockingly tranparent mouth as well. not one i think is very drinkable...

 280 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's says on the label a dark German style ale, I was expecting a deep copper due to the alt style, but this one takes on a similar appearance as a Schwarzbier. deep ruby with a tan head leaves efficient lacing nice full rings at that. Aroma contains some fruity tones based from the malt but there is an astringent metallic offness in the background. Taste conists of darker roasts subtle fruit notes and a standoftish hop character, overall quite nice rolling toasted malts. Mouthfeel conists of soft chewy texture medium bodied ale not bad at all. Drinkability I am fine with just one nice beer but I prefer more pronounced flavors nothing from the August Schell Brewing is of Shock and Awe nature.

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Photo of proc
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting beer, but not very complex. Pours out to a amber, almost brown color. Somewhat sweet with a light hop presence on the finish. I honestly can say I liked it but wished it were a little more flavorful. The Schell Brewery is a nice thing for the folks in Minnesota and the Midwest to have around.

 308 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The last time I had this was close to five years ago and I remember liking it even back then. My experience tonight is not so good. I get a definite fruity aroma, and sweet fruity taste with some chocolate tones. This in no-way compares to the Alaskan Alt I had a few weeks ago. I thought I may have a bad date but after checking the code thanks to a post on the forum it appears it is relatively fresh...Certainly not a horrible experience but I expected much more. One of my least favorite Schell's beers. I will try the rest and upgrade this review if it is warranted but right now this slightly above 3.0 rating may be a bit steep.

 641 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a deep brown color with an off-white head. Leaves a nice lace-work when sipped down. The nose is one of roasted malt. The taste is rich, malty, roasty, with hints of chocolate. The malt flavors are nicely balanced by the hop flavor and bitterness. Unfortunately in the bottle I tasted I detected a metallic flavor in the finish. This was a medium-full bodied beer, big and malty; overall a tastey beer.

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Photo of drpimento
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a huge, thick, rich, foamy, light tan, luscious, textured head and lots of lace. Odd aroma and flavor of Bavarian weisse beer. Otherwise pretty good beer.Opaque brownish black. Very soft flavors and body. Very good carbonation. Could be a session beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly murky hazelnut color with a frothy light brown head.

Aroma: Bready malt with hints of toffee. Some yeast but quite a clean aroma overall.

Taste: Starts with some bread and lots of caramel malt flavor. Real light on bitterness with no placeable hop flavor. Disappointed in the finish and aftertaste which give a really metallic tinge like sucking on a penny along with the flavor of blue cheese. It's unfortunate because the lead up to the finish is pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Just above medium in body which is quite an accomplishment for a 5.1% ABV beer. Low carbonation and a bit cloying in its dryness. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Definitely ruined by the aftertaste. I have a hard time believing there was anything wrong with the bottle though because the rest of the sixer was consumed by my friends who didn't seem to take issue with its flavor. Would I drink it again? Maybe, at the brewery.

 927 characters

Photo of PieOhMy
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into imperial pint glass.

A Dark ruby. No transparency. Fat tan head. Fades quickly but a little foam and lacing remain on the surface.

S Just what they were going for - Malty. Sugar. Small hint of fruitiness, apple and pear.

T Sweet malts right up front. Chocolaty and toffee flavors that I do not pick up in the scent. A subdued bitterness hangs around slightly but no strong lasting aftertaste.

M It is a little chewy but more on the light side. Smooth watery finish.

O The initial flavor, the malty backbone and the sweetness is nice but there really isn't much holding this together. The flavor dies to quickly. I got this as part of variety pack, which is good because even though this is an OK beer, I would not by this in a six or twelve pack.

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Photo of Mdog
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark-brown, with a bit of red when held to the light.

Smell: Slight bread smell.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor to start, moves towards a bitter finish. Tastes like a porter to me.

Mouthfeel: Average, a little lighter than most porters (I haven't had many alts).

Drinkability: Again, average. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing bad either.

I picked this up as part of a mixed 6 pack in order to try another variety of Schell's. This was decent, but nothing special. I felt that this was very similar to a porter as evidenced from my comments above. Slightly above average.

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Photo of stevoj
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Altbier? This is as black as a schwarzbier. Flavor is more remisniscent of a schwarz than an altbier. This would be a decent schwarzbier if classified as such, Altbier? No....

 175 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with garnet highlights, maybe too dark for this style. Kind of falls into the "dark beer" category, but then there's a surprising smoky quality, too. A taste of adjunct also appears to be involved. I guess Schell's is trying to stride that middle line between liquor stores and beer geeks (I got mine at an Iowa liquor store because the ones in Minnesota were closed for Sunday), so this comes off a little less than it could be.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Dark malts, caramel, toffee, cherry, dark fruits, cocoa, wood chips, and a subtle earthy spiciness.

T: Dark malts, chocolate, caramel, cherry, toffee, fig, and some subtle hops in the background.

M: Light bodied, low-to-mid carbonation. Fairly watery and to smooth. The feel ruins an otherwise solid brew.

O: I really like August Schell but some of the beers are just to light and watery in the mouth. Sadly this is one of those brews. Great pour, decent nose, solid flavor just goes down like water.

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Photo of marc77
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep garnet hue, with brilliant, cold conditioned clarity. Light tan, frothy head settles into a thin, muddled layer that manages loose lace. Caramel sweetness with a hint of roasted malt along with mildly herbal hops in aroma. Mellow, dryish waft of cocoa adds depth. Stately, caramel malt sweetness initially in flavor is immediately tapered by hop and roasted grain bitterness. Dominate malt character mirrors the aroma, being comprised of powered cocoa. Slight, raisiny fruitiness complements the mild roasted grain presence, adding complexity. Dry, well attenuated, perhaps overly so. Trace floral noble hop presence. Roasted grain bitterness grows progressively stronger and by the finish becomes lightly astringent. A crisp, well bittered alt akin to the Sticke style, but just a bit shy in malt character. A touch rough, but certainly quite drinkable. A welcome change of pace. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the delivery.

 927 characters

Photo of Chaz
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, clear cola brown in color, topped with a medium-tan colored head. Lacing is good, and the carbonation is evident in the glass.

Malty-sweet nose, and a with a fairly neutral yeast profile. Some light cocoa/chocolate malt notes, but no hops presence in the modern day "WOW! Dig those crazy hops, man!" sense. Nope, this one is a very, very subtle and malty brew all around as I recall.

Scrubbing carbonation punctuates the first couple of moments of the first sip, followed by a touch of sweet toffee on top of a lighter biscuit malt character. A tiny bit of a smokiness and sharp-bitterness from the mid-palate to the end, and a bit dry in the finish, too. "Minerally".

Yep, this one is as subtle as I recall it being. Last year's batch had a bit more of a sweet malt character (and notes of anise!), but at any rate it's a beer which has always exhibited a nice range of flavors typical of the dark (or at least darker) malts which are used. And the malt is absolutely a focus more than the hops. But there are SOME hops in here, so it's not a total 'malt bomb', after all!

As it warms there's a little more smokiness, a bit more roundness to the (malt character) in the flavor profile, and something dairy-like, in the yeast. So again: by no means is this one very plain and simple, but instead very subtle and engaging.

I have sampled a range of (fresh) imports over the years, and there is quite a range in terms of how the different breweries interpret Germany's native "Brown Ale" style. The least interesting to me are those which are either too sweet or too light and crisp!

The most interesting (to me) are those Altbiers which possess malt and hop bitterness in good balance, and Schmaltz's Alt is very much in keeping with these. While it may not be the very best example of an Altbier, it is certainly a sentimental favorite, and one I look forward to each year.

Served chilled in a goblet. Best By: August 20, 2016

 1,968 characters

Photo of bakeller
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: dark brown with a reddish hue when held up to the light. Pours with a half finger light brown head that disappears quickly.

N: Not very aromatic. All I really get is faint roasted malt and an earthy smell.

T: Roasted malt with a slight caramel character. Has a hoppy finish

M: Light and crisp, goes down smooth. Perfect amount of carbonation.

D: While there is not much to the taste, you could drink this all night because of the light body and crisp, smooth mouth-feel.

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Photo of Weli
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Deep copper color with good clarity, thin off-white head with good lacing

S-Slight corn DMS, munich malt

T-Hit of malt upfront, but brief, then hit of smooth hop bitterness and roasted/toasted barley, slight astringency, dry finish

M-Medium to light bodied and dry

O-Decent Alt, but a perhaps a bit to bitter and dark, could use more malt aroma.

 353 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cheers to mothman for this one, thanks Ben! I remember this beer from the mid 90s & thought I had it back then, but not sure if Schell was brewing it then...

Pours an effervescent ebony tinged chestnut with a pinky of tan head. Head drops away quickly
, zero head retention & lacing

S: Jammy fruit & a touch of herbal hops

T: Jammy fruit, a touch of molasses & leafy hops & dryness up front. More fruittyness & leafy hops as this warms. Apricot & raisin mingle in the finish along with some woody hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, moderate carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty easy, not a classic alt IMO, but sessionable enough

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've never had an alt before. Time to give one a try for a solid local brewery.

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany color in my glass. A creamy off white head sits atop. As the light shines through you see shades of ruby. The aroma was pleasant but not overly powerful. Some malty sweetness, toffee, caramel and a slight fruitiness. The flavor is definitely in favor of the malts with some mild sweetness. Toasy breadiness in the end. There was a strong caramel presence and some slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, so very nice.

Overall a pretty good beer. Not exactly what I was in the mood for. I may pick this up in doppelbock season. It seemed kind of bockish, but not quite as powerful. This beer didn't make me want to seek an alt out, but I'd give one a try if I saw it.

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Photo of Sconnie25
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I purchased a bottle of this from a Hy-Vee grocery store in New Ulm, MN. Schmaltz's Alt pours a dark brown hue with very little head but a nice lacing. The aroma is fainter than expected with hints of caramel malt. The taste is somewhat sweet and malty at first and finishes with a watery roast malt. This is a decent beer but Schell's has made better.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a large ceramic stein. Fluffy head. Smells of malt with a hint of brown sugar. Dry, but smooth. Delicate but dank caramel malt flavors dominate this dark version of alt. Goes down easy, with a faint bitter finish accented by slick bits of toffee that quickly fade. Good easy-going spring beer.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a really pretty almost black with a creamy, beige head.

Smell: The smell is very malt focused. There is a suprising woody quality to it, but nothing really stands out.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor is of smoky, almost roasted meats with a huge malt focus to it. The balance is nice, but nothing about the flavor is anything special or stand-out. The mouthfeel is nice and rich though.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad beer, but suffers from the same problem most Shcell brews do - lack of anything special. It's nothing great, nothing to seek out, but still a decent, solid brew.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer from Brix in Omaha, NE
"042012" stamped on bottle - best by April 2012?
Poured into an Ayinger willi glass

With Schmaltz's Alt, Schell's has produced a solid version of the style that makes an interesting blend of toasted and roasted malt characters with some modest hop contributions. While I enjoyed the beer overall, I thought its aroma and taste could be more pronounced and still not do the beer any harm.

Able to pour a fairly tall, ~4cm head of light tan, small and dense bubbles; this creates a very fluffy-looking and pillowy mass of foam. Head descends gradually, leaving spots of lacing with it, and ultimately fading to a 0.2cm cap atop the body. Body is a dark brown when out of light, holding it up to light reveals a deep ruby-mahogany color.

Aroma has some bread character mixed with fairly sweet, moderately dark malt. Not detecting nuttiness, yeastiness, or estery ale notes, and the scents I do pick up are a bit muted. I feel this area could be improved upon, at least in my bottle.

Taste is a mix of a brown ale meets porter: mild char, cocoa, burnt sugars, and tanginess from roasted malt flavors meet equally mild caramel and toasted malt flavors. Slight metallic notes, nuttiness, and some hops must be contributing to the mild tangy, spicy taste. An altogether noticeable and pleasant taste profile, but still a bit too subtle for me.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with a medium-level of carbonation that is still quite soft on the palate. The resultant mouthfeel is generally smooth and creamy, well-flowing. Finish is dry, making you want another sip.

 1,598 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby color. Smells of bubblegummy malt. Taste is malty, with a bit of juicy-fruit (I may be imagining that...). All in all, not an impressive beer here. It's tasty enough that I downed it in no time flat, but it's not one I'd buy on a regular basis. Just a decent brew, nothing more.

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Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep dark brown color with auburn streaks and nice fluffy 2 finger tan head.lacing on side of glass..smell is roasted malts.toffee.raisins,and bread..taste follows the nose its a roasted hit of malts smoothed out by some caramel malts ..mouth feel is warm and medium + well carbonated... as it warms the palate with a wave of malt and some hops ,,the flavor is good but not robust..its a nice winter brew that went down fast and got better more flavorful as it warmed

 475 characters

Photo of CPeterson
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A deep mahogany brew that pours into a vigorous head and leaves a nice foam on top and thick lacing.

S -- Mild caramel essence backed with roasty malt notes. Hints of toffee and vanilla.

T -- Matches the nose with a nice prominence of roasted malts, lightly hopped finish represented with earthy tones.

M -- Robust yet smooth and not abusive to the palate. Well suited for the style.

D -- Very nice, excellent representation of the style and worth a purchase.

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Schell's Schmaltz's Alt from August Schell Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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