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

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BA SCORE
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 Wer34truh
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Tiny head with a bold black body.

Roasted bready malts dominate the smell. I don't get a lot of nuance.

Just like the smell, the taste is incredibly subtle. And yet this is a very enjoyable beer. Mouthfeel is outrageously light, and carbonation low. This is not an exciting beer, but it's a pretty damn solid one.

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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 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

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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....

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant chestnut under a rocky and clingy 2” cream colored foam collar that leaves thick lace.
S: A range of malt aromas and malt spice, some faint fruit.
T: Rich malts, attack has some sweetness, some hints of root beer, some more sweetness and then it dries out in the finish and then in the aftertaste it oscillates between malt and dry and finally it settles down to a mild lingering sweetness backed by a moderate chocolate bitter accent.
F: Medium body and medium to medium high carbonation.
O: I’ve been drinking this for 20 or 30 years and it has always been a great beer.

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Photo of steveh
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been quite a while since I've had some of this fresh -- a good choice for beer 500 in my BA portfolio.

Bottled on 06/05/15 -- not too shabby.

A -- Pours a very dark, clear ruby-brown with a firm, dense, long-lasting light tan head. Seems a bit dark for an Alt -- even if the Schell's site calls this a "double" Alt.

S -- Rich, dark bread crust aroma with light vanilla character. No real hops to note, but no off roastiness or strong fruit esters either. Very nice.

T -- Bready to light, bittersweet chocolate character that finishes clean with a light, balanced hop spiciness. There is the vaguest dark cherry character in the finish and aftertaste, but it's not so overwhelming as to be a fault. There's a light bitterness in the aftertaste that *could* be from roasted malt, or it could be from hops. Also a light nuttiness in the aftertaste, but malt is king with this beer.

F -- Medium bodied and very smooth.

O -- A terrific rendition of the style without becoming just another U.S. Brown Ale. I need to remember this beer whenever I'm in the Schell distribution radius, it's quite nice.

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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 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 jwc215
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours dark brown with a ruby hue. A thin tan head leaves some lacing.

The smell is of toffee/caramel with dark-ish fruits.

The taste is of dark caramel/toffee notes - towards a hint of chocolate with a restrained dark fruit character in the back. Alcohol is very well hidden. Finish doesn't linger long.

Very creamy and smooth, making this an enjoyable malty brew!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It looks : Generous pillowy head with a rather dark, exotic cherry or mahogany wood colored body. The head leaves lots of lacing and is slow to recede.

It smells : woody, with fig and cherry notes, generous toasted barley malts, a little coriander and chocolate. Very rich, very exquisite smelling.

It tastes : there's a persistent chocolate note here, but it's surrounded by cherry, clove, toasted oat, black olive, and barley malt. The hop is also there but very faint, buried in the malts. I would say the most consistent flavors are the chocolate, fig/olive, and barley malt.

It feels : a bit watery at first, and a little smidge of carbonation comes in, with a creamy and still watery finish.

What I think : it's a decent beer and I'd have it again, but I can't exactly put a finger on what is going on with this beer. I mean it tastes like a beer, but I can't pinpoint the style, hence the "alt" categorization.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled last night on 1/4/15 while watching NFL football. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a tulip glass.

This 'Altbier' (Old beer) style brew pours a very deep reddish-mahogany in color with a good 2-3 finger off-white foamy and creamy head that finally settled down to a good 3mm or so after a good bit. A good amount of ring-like lacing is seen as well as some sheets when sipped. The aroma is of dark malts with some hints of caramel, cocoa and biscuit. Bit more going on with the taste as there is some dark fruits (figs, cherries, plums) with some brown sugar also. Very tasty and smooth. A very light dry hoppy finish is noted but is very slight which actually added some character. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall another very tasty brew from this brewery.

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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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with some ruby red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big three finger light tan head which slowly fades into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet dark malt forward aroma with good hints of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. Upfront roasted malts with hints of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. Fruity hints of apple and pear along with dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, cherry, prune, and dates. Sweet hints of brown sugar as well as some licorice spicing. Subtle hints of earthy hops. A very solid malty aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a sweet and roasty dark malt driven taste with good notes of chocolate, sweet caramel, and fruits. Roasted bready malts with good notes of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, yeast, nuts, and grains. Big mix of fruity notes with some apple and pear along with dark fruit notes of cherry, raisin, fig, dates, and prune. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Some subtle anise licorice spice as well. Light presence of hops in the background. A very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and slightly slick with a drying finish.

Overall: A very solid malty Alt. Good toasty biscuit malt notes with a very nice presence of fruits.

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Photo of Timmah11
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown with red highlights. Small frothy light brown head. Some lacing.
Smell: Faint bready malt. A little sweet; not quite toffee or caramel; maybe coffee (not cinnamon) cake?
Taste: Follows the smell - bready malt. Toasted bread. Touch of sweetness. Some caramel and chocolate in the background. Slight bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: (4.0) On the lighter side which is a bit of surprise if you judge by the color. Creamy and smooth.
Overall: The best way I can describe it is a brown ale meets a German Dunkel. Qualities of both; True to style. A nice take.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small to medium sized light tan head stays a bit at a quarter inch frothy layer covering a clear darker brown with some deep wine reddish hints colored beer.

Dark well roasted grain malts aroma that seem to have a earthy quality.

Earthy dark roasted malts taste, with traces of dark chocolates coming through. Seems like they might be a bit more prominent if the beer were to warm a bit, but I doubt that's going to happen.

A dryish almost chalky aftertaste, almost like the feel of a small taste of dark bakers chocolate, with a bit of the roasted malts tastes hanging around with this medium to medium full bodied beer.

Pretty decent tasting beer considering it's in the less than $10 six-pack range of beers.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date. had the 6-pack sampler, which is really cool. more breweries should do it.

look is darkish, with a lot of sudsy foam. smell is cooked corn, grain, barnyard. taste is toasted grain, sweet amber malt.

good for what it is, a very malty brew with light herbal hops.

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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 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.

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Photo of Serick507
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a bottle into a silo glass

A: Deep ruby red (when held to light), touch above black (when not), small cream head, moderate amount of streaming bubbles, nice lacing

S: Faint, clean choc and caramel malts

T: Jumps out at you, very malt forward, bready, roasted chocolate, coffee and caramel malts, grassy/ hops at on the finish.

M: Medium with just the right amount of carbonation for me (medium carbonation)

O: Love the Schell's style of malt forward, this one doesn't disappoint, bold, deep, interesting but simple, flavors, brewed the old style way. Done right. Great for cold nights. Very Good Altbier!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark, clear brown color with a tan head. The aroma, as expected, is very malty. I get a lot of bread and toffee, with not too much else going on. The flavor is also very malty. There is a lot of toffee and caramel, with a little bit of chocolate thrown in. There is also a touch of grass from the hops. Overall, the beer is very dry. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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.

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Photo of cagocubs
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours light brown but darkens as glass fills. The brown hue is complimented by a 1.5 finger ivory/bone white head that retains nicely and also laces.

S: Roasted malt, some strong bread scent, and some sweet caramel/dark fruit tones.

T: The roasted malt and dark fruit sweetness are present. The taste has lasting effect. Some roasted sweetness make this an interesting drink.

M: Wet throughout the sip but it gives way for some nice drying. Aftertaste is pleasant.

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Photo of c1377
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

EYE
dark burnt amber

NOSE
toasted malt

BUBBLE
slightly foamy

MOUTH
not quite creamy

TASTE
bready, toasted malt; just a nip of CO2; slight warmth; a hint of toffe; and ever so subtle hop

This brew simply avoids bitterness, and compensates with extra malt character. Like eating crackers when you were a kid... sometimes simple is tasty!

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Photo of dbossman
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful dark brown with a slight reddish tint; head is thin--though foamy at first--but steady and lacing is gorgeous

S: Very bready with some faint dark fruits and toffee but mostly bread--some slightly burnt malts and a bit subdued but the bready aroma does get more complex as the drinking progresses

T: Roasted malts and quite bready--not as sweet as I imagined--it actually finishes surprisingly dry; some dark fruits, coffee, and toffee in end but mostly bread

F: A touch thin but still a decent amount of creamy texture

O: A nice interpretation of the style and a great bready beer that you can drink a few of

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this alliterative alt in the closest thing I have to a stange glass.

Appearance- This dark chocolate colored body has barely enough room to allow slim, ruby highlights through. The filmy, soapy head got to almost a finger in width and has decent retention. The foam is a sandy brown in color.

Smell- The buttery malt that comes through coincides with a faint grassy hop. There is even a sweet toffee and vanilla scent present. It may be soft, but the scents are very complimentary.

Taste- Something about this drink gives it a tangy tinge. The flavors are very malty and have hints of cherry, roasted malt, and some nuttiness.The finish has an earthy character and grassy hop feel.

Mouth feel- This medium bodied alt has great carbonation that allows the beer to just slide over the tongue. The creaminess factor is pretty impressive. I wish it stuck a little more to the cheeks and extended the flavor profiles.

Overall- This alt has a nice balance of sweet and roasted malts, that does not let either get too out of hand. The balance also allows for a tangy note to come through that adds a nice touch.

I think that this balance could also be interpreted as making the beer too muddled, and I do agree that some of these flavors could be more pronounced than they are. Schmaltz's Alt shows, once again, Schell's really knows how to craft solid beers.

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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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