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He’Brew Reunion - A Beer For Hope 2013 (Shmaltz Brewing)



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RATINGS: 81   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5/5   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 38   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
Teaming up with Terrapin Beer Co. for the third time, Schmaltz Brewing returns as a production partner for Reunion ’13. We brew Reunion each year in memory of our dear friend and partner in this venture - Virginia MacLean. Virginia lost her battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish that we continue to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (www.imbcr.org).

This year’s beer is a dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee from NYC and Upstate New York. It was originally inspired by a fantastic dessert that we used to share with Virginia at our favorite restaurant.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
williamherbert (1408) - Syracuse, New York, USA - MAY 9, 2014
Nose of sour raisins, cocoa, red wine tannins, dirt, cola. Very boozy aroma. Pours a cloudy brick red-brown color. Taste is pungent raisins, dusty mocha, grape skins, potting soil. Again, supremely boozy. Feels dry and earthy. This is a superior beer, period.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Cybercat (4287) - Georgia, USA - OCT 20, 2013
Strong aroma has notes of powdery semi-sweet chocolate, roast malt, coffee and licorice. Pours a clear sienna with a fairly thick, though not overly persistent, light tan head. Delightful flavor has caramel, chocolate, roast coffee, earthy, nutty and subtle licorice notes. It is also a little sweet, but has an almost peppery tone that balances the sweetness. Smooth texture is firm, thick, and fairly fizzy. Dear Terrapin: Please do more collabs!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ratman197 (11766) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - NOV 20, 2013
\Bomber poured a clear reddish brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of coffee, tobacco, cinnamon, vanilla and light cocoa. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of coffee, tobacco, light cinnamon and light cocoa with a smooth lingering coffee finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mikedR (1561) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2013
Not bad at all, even quite good. There's a lot going on here, but the complexity sways between symphony and cacophony. That said I like it. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1503) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 23, 2014
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date (my friend at the brewery tells me it was released in August of 2013). I bought it at the brewery for $7 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Seemingly opaque black but actually a deep blood/ruby red hue. Pours to a large, tan, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Definitely the brown malts plus sweet flavors of coconut, chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Everyone’s making imperial stouts these days, but why not imperial brown ales? It’s a style that’s under-utilized and overlooked, so it’s nice to see it given some proper respect in the form of “Reunion Ale ‘13” – a collaboration brew between Shmaltz and Terrapin. Though the bottle I’m reviewing is nearly a year old, it’s held up extremely well. Big bold flavors of toasted malts, milk chocolate and coffee. It’s definitely not a hop-forward beer so it hasn’t lost much by aging. If anything, it’s become more sweet, and that’s something I’m okay with.

Right away there’s a strong sweetness of dark toasted malt. It doesn’t have the intense bitterness or burnt-like flavor of deeply roasted malt, so the variation is quite interesting. There’s a taste akin to toasted coconut or baker’s chocolate, though that could be the cocoa nibs and cinnamon (there’s no coconut in this beer). Mild bitterness at the apex and on the back end, though not so much from hops (which don’t really stand out) but from coffee. A medium roast blend that’s lasted surprisingly well after a year in the bottle (coffee tends to fade quickly). Some bitter dark chocolate on the finish with just a minor alcohol warmth that ties up everything nicely. A great dessert beer, and a beer that’s commendable for its originality.

Drinkability: Judging by the label, Shmaltz/Terrapin Reunion Ale ’13 would seem to be the type of beer you have to prep for. However, after just a sip or two it’s clear that this is not intimidating at all. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and more of a medium body with no cloying characteristics at all. It’s calm and comfortable in the mouth with just the slightest warming sensation. Even at 8% ABV, I had no trouble drinking the entire bottle myself (and rather quickly, too).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (999) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - OCT 20, 2013
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?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jjgmd (1821) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - MAR 25, 2014
Bomber, with Zach, of course. Pours a deep dark reddish brown color with a very small head. Nose is strikingly cocoa, mocha, vanilla bean and some background allspice. Taste is sweet chocolate espresso, mocha and cinnamon. Full of flavor with a nice complexity and mix of ingredients. Finishes on sweet chocolate notes. Delicious. Kudos to the brewers, and to the end of myeloma and breast cancer ! Quaff Score 8 / 10

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Thisis12ptfont (1018) - Los Angeles, CA, California, USA - MAY 30, 2014
Aroma brings immense notes of nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, toffee, charred cocoa nibs, coffee bean oil and roasted malts. Darker shade of brown with a thin foam rim and decent lace. Taste follows nose as it is very nutty upfront with strong toffee, dark coffee roast, prominent cinnamon, herbs, toasted caramel and cocoa oils. Finish is rather dry with a lingering coffee bitterness and subtle booze. Overall, really impressive stuff. They really found a good balance where all the flavors are detectable yet, I feel the vanilla got drowned out. Really solid brew. A+ rating.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
JHeath99 (1521) - Warner Robins, Georgia, USA - DEC 1, 2013
Bottle from Lazy Dog. Pours dark brown with a nice layer of light tan head. Aroma of coffee and spice. Taste of dankness and coffee.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bamaboy1975 (242) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2013
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 ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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