Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
39 Reviews
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Barrel Aged Schmaltz's AltBarrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 05-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 45
Photo of DrewHodges
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/20/10 tasting; 22-oz bomber poured to glass German krug.

A--really dark brown, small cream-colored foam head, good retention, some lacing;

S--smell fruits, plums, red wine, oak, malt;

T--fairly sweet from smells mentioned, some sour acidity in the finish;

M--smooth, creamy, but sticky;

D--pretty good drinkability for the bottle, but wouldn't go after another one right away. Schell's is off to a great start with the Stag Series, really cool to have Batch No. 1 for the Schmaltz's Alt!

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Photo of morimech
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with one inch of head that had very good retention. Curtains of lacing is left on the glass. Pleasant subtle of chocolate, oak, and wine. Smells like Schmatlz Alt with just a faint hint of well intregrated wine. The two really seem to belong together. The flavor does not live up to the aroma however. The wine flavor is the major player here with the Alt adding hints of chocolate and caramel. The flavors work together but is just too muted to garner higher scores. Maybe low ABV beers are not the best choice to be barrel aged. Light bodied and nicely carbonated. Good texture and a pleasant drinker. A nice low ABV beer that I wish I could give high drinkability but the "bang for your buck" component fails. Poor value.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleased to be able to give this one a go.
Batch #1 of the series pleases me too.
No Tom Collins glassware, so used a large 20 oz beer glass with a narrower based and wider mouth. Let's give it a go.
Light and soft fizz upon opening. Pours very dark with a delicious looking dense tan creamy head. Very clear with deep dark garnet color in light (otherwise looks close to black). Heavy malt notes with chocolate most prominent and mild fruit. Soft familiar yeast notes.
Right away a fruity tartness/sourness is noted and that must be the barrel aging impact. It's present from start to finish and initially, when the beer is colder, it masks the malt flavors. In time the malt flavors begin to show, slowly at first, but never quite to the balancing of the flavors. In time a mild chocolate flavor appears.
Somewhat light body, but smooth for its size and carbonated nicely.
This drinks very easily. Intense enough to enjoyed more slowly, but not so big to get through the bottle without complications. Subtle and nuanced, but ultimately too difficult to pull out the malt character. More in the sour beer category than as listed.
Enjoyed while watching Casablanca with my youngest. :)

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Photo of jjanega08
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= The pour is a dark brown color. When held to the light it's a bright bright amber. The head is a light brown color and rises to two fingers high falling to a half finger and staying there. The lacing is beautiful and sticky along the side of the glass.

S= Nice caramelly malts to it leading to a great sweetness. There is a little bready and biscuity malt as well. The barrel is very very very light on this one but it is noticable with a small amount of wood and a little wine sweetness.

T= Very nice. There is such subtle notes of the barrel as well as the beer underneath. Just a slight woody grapey note to it. The beer compliments it soooo well with the right amount of caramelly sweetness and a ever so slight bitterness. Really a lot of complexity for such a small beer.

M= This beers mouth is a little different. It's got a real good smooth character and perhaps some tannins to it?

D= Wonderful. This is an awesome beer. Barrel aged without being a super high alcohol beer. The subtle flavors of this beer are beautiful. I'll buy as much of this as I can before it dryes up even at the high price point.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep burgundy with a thin, cream-colored head that fades quickly, leaving some thin streaks on the surface and a bubbly ring around the perimeter. Little bit of lacing as it goes down.
Smell is faintly sweet, caramelly malts with a slightly toasted character. Some light hops in there as well. Faint bready notes come in shortly after the front. Definite red wine presence that takes part in exuding the sweet and toasted notes, as well as offering up some cherry notes. Touch of vanilla, chocolate, and some oak.
Taste is more lightly sweet and toasted malts, with some caramel and toffee notes. Little bit of oak and vanilla, with the bulk of the wine character coming in at the finish. A touch of hops and bready malts, and some faintly sweet notes at the finish as well. Wow, the wine aspect of this one is integrated extremely well. I thank my girlfriend for exposing me to so many good red wines, which helps me appreciate this beer that much more.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a slightly sticky finish. The moderate-to-low level of carbonation is just right. Light-to-medium body.
Drinkability is excellent. I wish this was more widely available, but I'm very happy that I got one of the few bottles out there.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark ruby color with a thick light tan head. Retention is low, but lacing is awesome.

On the nose malt is dominant with toasty notes, dark fruit, and roasted grain. There is just a hint of woodiness in the backround as hops lend some piney, floral aromas.

Flavors are immense, yet very balanced. Toast, caramel, and some dried friut character mingle with just a hint of oak and vinous quality. Hops are bittering, but just enough to even the flavor with hints of cedar and spice.

This beer is medium to full bodied and flavors dance around on the palate for quite some time. Complex, but very easy to drink. Excellent Product!

Schmaltz's Alt was always at the top on my favorite Schell's beers list, and this one rises even further above. I had been anticipating the release of this beer for some time now, and it was well worth the wait. Now it's time to acquire some more.

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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and ruby colors with a beautiful tan two finger head which has nice retention. Smells of chocolate, vanilla, and tart cherries.

The flavor is also chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherries. Somewhat sweet, balanced by tart cherries. Creamy, and smooth. Very easy to drink. Nice carbonation, and light to medium bodied. I love the idea of a low abv beer being aged in Pinot Noir wine barrels.

I think August Schell's produced a winner here. So many barrel aged beers have high abv, and are too similar to each other. This is a unique, and subtle barrel aged beer. I am glad that August Schell decided to take on this challenge.

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first from Schell's Stag Series, and this one excited me as Smaltz is possibly my favorite offering from them already.

Nice brown pour with a smallish light tan head that goes away, just never completely and leaves a nice lace down the glass.

Aroma is mostly grassy hops with a hint of roasted chocolate malts and very inviting.

Taste is where this one is at where the chocolate gives way to subtle dark fruits and a touch of vanilla. This one doesn't end there as there is a nice level of bitterness from the hops. Then as this one goes down the pinot barrels show their contribution and call you to ask for more.

Mouthfeel is a great balance and not too thin or vicious and a nice level of carbonation has been reached. Drinkability is beyond perfect on this one and there really isn't much else to say about it.

Schell's Stag Series has gotten off to a roaring start and may have set the bar too high on this one.

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Photo of jera1350
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Schell's website:
For the Stag Series first release, we took our Schmaltz's Alt and aged it for six months in French-oak, Pinot Noir wine barrels. This beer is dark, ruby-brown in color with a creamy tan head. It smells of dark cherries, vanilla and chocolate. The taste has an initial, slightly tart, dark cherry flavor which gives way to sweet malty chocolate body with a nice mellow vanilla oak flavor in the background.

Pours into a Duvel Tulip a deep ruby hued black with a nice creamy head on top. The tan head leaves some nice lace.

Quite complex nose. Sweet roasted malt, caramel, toffee. Dark fruit like dates, plum and raisin. Subtle red wine like oaky scent as well.

Mirrors the nose pretty well. The complexity is perfect. It's not in your face, bold and brazen. The malt is there with compliments of grapes and oak, chocolate, vanilla, sour cherry and blackberry. A medium sweetness that isn't overdone. Mild alcohol presence that adds some warmth.

Medium bodied and creamy smooth. A little red wine like warmth as well.

This is the most subtle barrel aged beer I've had, but it works splendidly. It's unlike other barrel aged beers and lends to outstanding drinkability. I commend what Schell's has done and look forward to the other beers in the series.

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Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt from August Schell Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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