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

very good
115 Reviews
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Schell's Schmaltz's AltSchell's Schmaltz's Alt

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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

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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 190
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The deepest shade of amber possible. Could call it brown. Nice little cap of tan colored foam on top with some sticky lacing.

The nose is a nice mix of grainy and caramel malt with some earthy and floral hops.

A nice lighter malt profile with some very light roasted grain notes and subtle caramel sweetness. Some light hopping in there also with earthiness. A hint of coffee and alcohol peeking out at the end.

A light-medium feel with some mildly abrasive carbonation and a dry finish.

This is a nice beer that could probably be sessionable. Really approachable and easy drinking. I would have no problem tipping several of these back. Makes a nice "lighter" winter brew than the typical crowd.

 700 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from my notebook.

I found a variety pack of Schell's brews at the store, thought I'd explore their offerings and take down some tasting notes while I'm at it... Pours out dark brown with reddish highlights at the fringes of the glass. There is a sand colored craggy single finger head, leaving behind decent lacing. Body is much lighter than I had expected from the darkness of the appearance, tastes and smells of heavy breadiness, malts, some minor roasted character than finishes bitter on the palate along with a light earthy hop tone. Pretty good.

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Photo of kittywamp
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a copper color with a white head

S:floral like smell with malt that are sweet

T:roasted malts, a note of citrus with a hint of something i couldnt put my finger on.

M: smooth and wonderful

O: I had to drive all over town to find this beer. it is a great beer. needs nothing added or taken away.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

August Schell Schmalt's Alt has a reddish brown body that is fairly translucent. The head is a tan color with pretty good retention. A few scraps of lacing are on the glass.

Lots of bread and malty sweetness in the aroma.

Lots of malt in flavor. A good bit of bread and substantial sweetness. Maybe a bit of toffee. The middle has a little bit of fruit from the yeast, and toward the finish a dash of hops bring a little bit of earthy flavor and bitterness. There is a hint of warmth that I can almost taste in the finish.

Lots of body on this one, with moderate carbonation and some warmth.

This is another solid beer from August Schell. For the price, this brewery makes some solid beers that hit their style pretty well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very clear copper amber with some small visible carbonation and a decent two finger high head of white fomay lace. Decent retention left behind some nice side glass lace and a decent film across the top. The aroma was really packed with tons of bready malts. Cereal grains taking over as it warms up with a decent musty sort of smell. Very much full of malt hear with a touch of barley.

Very sort of muted. A quick clean taste that really did not have much of a follow though to it. It really kinda was dominated by the cereal grains and earthy bread like malts that drown out anything else that might have been trying to make a run at coming forward. Very smooth with a crisp clean finish. Not a ton of carbnation and the body itself was very light Very nice actually as there was nothing really holding you back from having multiples of this. Low abv and a very smooth flavor with a crisp finish lend itself well tothis.

Overall this was a decent beer, nothing really spectaculat just a decent beer, I would go to it in a pinch for sure. But faced with other options I would probably not.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with average body. Produces a thick two-fingers of light brown head that lingers for quite some time. Reduces to a decent top foam that is shimmering. Leaves plenty of lace. Plum brown dark appearance that needs lightening. Clear which is good.

Aroma of bittering hops and spec. malts. Malt aroma is pleasantly balanced in the nose. Touch of raisin

Taste - bittering hops are very well balanced . Sweet-ish but rounded. Could use a bit more malt flavor.

Finishes lower on body but very drinkable. This would pass by anyone who just drinks it. Not very complex but well worth it. This is a lagered ale so it is crisp and along the lines if a dunkel.

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Photo of tmcelvain
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite a dark beer with a small head. Smell is malty and just slightly sour.
My first sip of this was bland and boring, but as I drank it really opened up. Very malty, with a bit of roasty flavor and hints of caramel. a bit of spice comes through and finishes with some hop bitterness.
A fairly lively beer - very carbonated, but just too watery - it really lacks body.
Overall and average drinkability for this one. The flavors are a little too strong for a session, yet not bold enough just to keep drinking out of interest.

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Photo of exonthebottle
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at ed's I have to say this not a bad beer and certainly above average. black brown color no head or lacing

Ok bread malt smell not much to smell here somewhat roasted

wow this tastes way better than it smells good bitter malts nice creme texture and is not a bland beer

Bit to watery like most schell's beers but it is creamy enough since it has a nice filling body but still lager like

I would be happy to drink this at the bar But I would not seek it out unless I had few options although this is really drinkable

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Photo of Strix
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky orangish-brown, decent initial head, no lacing.

Pleasant bready smell, with caramel malt.

Caramel malt, bready notes, and earthy hops. Flavor is pretty decent, and on par for the style.

Suffers from a somewhat thin mouthfeel.

This was passable, but not really notable.

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Photo of brewdub17
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dense brown with burgundy hues in lit areas. A dark beige head rests atop and leaves good lacing.

Smell: Fruity notes with a mixture of sweet bread-like characteristics. Malty/creamy overall, not overpowering nor bland.

Taste: Sweet biscuit/bread flavors up front with small amounts of subtle roastyness towards the back the end finally with a dry/very subtle bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Covers well and is complementary to most taste buds. Small amounts of a watery feel are noticed towards the back, overall has a decently appealing mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Good amount of characteristics to become appealing to a wide variety of people and not necessarily off-putting in any sense.

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Photo of uwmgdman
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours very dark brown bordering on black with a deep garnet hue and a clingy tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is medium-low malt; bready and grainy. The flavor is moderately malty, sweet, bready, and a little roasty. The beer finishes just a bit dry and hop bitterness is low, but combined with dry, subtly roasted flavors it is well balanced. The carbonation is moderate and body medium-full. Overall a well made, flavorful North German Alt that is quite drinkable.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a mixed Winter 12 pack.

A - A very clear brew with a burgundy color. Its cappuccino-like head was bubbly and foam lasted fairly long and left some wisps of lace on the glass.

S - Aroma was rich and malty sweet. There was a very mild floral presence.

T - A very good alt. Malty with caramel and sweet bread flavors. It had enough grassy hop bite to add bitterness and balance.

M - A very smooth lager with a crisp dry finish. It is light to medium-bodied.

D - This is another solid brew from August Schell that really nails the style.

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Photo of CPeterson
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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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Photo of alexgash
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Significantly dark maple syrup amber. Pinkie finger of creamy, light khaki head. Very nice lacing up the glass. Not a lot of retention though. Subdued nose of light roasted malts, toast, a hint of chocolate, and slightly herbal hops.

Toasted, slightly astringent malts up front. Mild herbal, vegetal bitterness comes in. Biscuit and light caramel malt sweetness. Flashes of cocoa, nuts, and tobacco near the finish. Moderate body with a slightly oily feel. Decently made and pretty drinkable.

 509 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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 ForWhatAlesYou
4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle in a 12 oz pint glass

A: Foamy, bready head that leaves a pretty decent lace at intervals. Beautiful dark brown/mahogany color.

S: Alcohol smell noticeable. Raisins, caramel, and sweet malt syrup.

T: Smooth. No harsh notes at any point in the tasting. Hops seem to round everything out rather than assert themselves. Slight bitter. Sweet caramel malts with hints of prune and liquer.

M: Fills the entire mouth with an explosion of YUM!

D: Great. I am not versed in this style so I may not see the deviation like other may, but I really like this beer. One of the finest from the "Second-Oldest family owned brewery in the United States".

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

Pours very dark with a hint of red. Nice tan head falls slow to a minimal one. Thin lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with a slight tinny character.

Nice roasted flavor to this beer. Nice malts with a hint of chocolate.

Ends slightly bitter. Medium bodied to mildly full in the mouth.

Decent beer by Schell's.

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Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
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 Tone
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with lighter amber along the bottom of the glass. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, slight roasted malt, and slight hops. Fits the style of an Altbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of yeast up front, sweet malt, roasted malt, and slight hop in the finish. Overall, one of the better Altbier's I've had - smooth, good blend, and a nice body.

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Photo of jlb307
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A: Pours a deep brown with a reddish hue. Frothy tan head that retained for a long time and left decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Malty and smokey. Slightly hoppy and fruity.

T: Dark caramel flavor with a dark chocolate aftertaste. Tons and tons of malt.

M: A bit thinner than I was expecting, but still pretty creamy. Medium bodied.

D: Very good beer. Lighter than one would expect, so it can be enjoyed all night.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark ruby brown with bright highlights when held up to light. Very clean appaerance. Big creamy light brown head with excellent retention. Leaves sheets of lace behind.

S - Lightly roasted malt aroma. Little bits of chocolate and a little huskiness. Very muted aroma.

T - Roasted malts, chocoalte, and just a touch of coffee open this beer up. A surprisingly sweet chocoaltiness comes through mid drink before the roasted coffee and roasted malt taste really comes back through. A light spiciness at the finish that lingers along with a lasting roastiness. Very different from the other alts I have tried. Almost porter like here.

M/D - Medium bodied, a touch on the creamy side. Crisp carbonation which seems a little out of place. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of blackearth
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours are dark black color with reddish hues in the bottom corners of the glass. Almost no head to speak of. Aroma is sweet and caramel. On the fuller side of medium bodied, this beer has a smooth, sweet taste with an understated hop aftertaste and a nutty finish. Good beer overall.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a clear deep brown color with lots of rising carbonation that forms a once inch off-white head on top. Moderate lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is very malty, lots of caramel, dark fruits - raisins and cherries, a slight roasted character. Very much like a bock. I like it.

Taste is sweet and caramelly up front with light dark fruit coming out in the middle again, raisins come to mind. Some bready malt then towards the finish there are some herbal hops and a bit of a toffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and creamy as the label claims. Great feel and drinkable to boot.

My second beer from Schell's and I am impressed again. Very sessionable beer that I wish was available to me.

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Photo of disastermouse
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my third Altbier, and of the three, this is the most complex. Best By date of 05/15/09.

A - Beautiful brown - like a light porter. Off-white to light brown head, a ring of which stays with it all the way down.

S - Strong smell of roast malt. Distinct caramel and faint chocolate. Very faint alcohol smell.

T - I think that maybe this is what a beer of this style is supposed to taste like. It's definitely more flavorful than the other two. A dry malty taste hits first after the carbonation fades. The bitter hops is subdued, there at the back - but it's totally dominated by the dry malt flavor. The two intermingle in such a way that they are hard to distinguish until the end, as the hops outlast the malt at the finish and in the aftertaste.

MF - Kind of thin - but I think it's normal for the style. This one has a stronger flavor but a watery mouthfeel like the other two altbiers I've tried. If you like a full body, skip this beer - it's the Kate Moss of beer styles.

D - Personally, I could drink it all day, but I like the style. This would make an excellent camping beer and the caramelly malt would go great with baked beans and roasted brats.

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Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a Summit pint glass - seems inappropriate to drink Schell's from a Summit glass, oh well.

Appearance: Reddish-brown with persistent thin head; very little lacing.

Smell: Noble hops, metallic, dark fruits, smells good but a little faint.

Taste: Somewhat similar to smell. Reminds me of a roasty brown ale crossed with a Vienna Lager, but with a higher level of hops. Metallic bitterness, especially in the aftertaste, and the bitterness becomes more apparent after continued sipping.

Feel: This is the most interesting part of the beer. Smooth and clean like a lager, but creamier like many ales. Very little familiarity with Altbiers, but this makes sense as it is essentially a lagered ale. Medium bodied with a decent level of carbonation - almost spritzy. Ultimately, I am left with creamy but spritzy - very unique, a little strange, but mostly good.

Drinkability: Easy drinking but flavorful.

This will be worth revisiting every late winter.

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Schell's Schmaltz's Alt from August Schell Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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