Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beer Review: Shmaltz and Terrapin Reunion Ale '11

One of the great things about the craft beer community is that they will always take care of their own. There is an amazing camaraderie there that seems to be unmatched in other aspects of the drinking industry.

Reunion Ale is a perfect example of that spirit. Brewed on behalf of Virginia Maclean, this beer raises funds for Insititute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. I am not an eloquent writer so wouldn't do anyone justice by attempting to go into a long and drawn out story so here is what was on the side of the bottle:

Teaming up with Shmaltz Brewing for the first time, Terrapin Beer Co. returns for a third year as a production partner for Reunion ’11. 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 an awareness on behalf of The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research (

This year’s beer is a dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs [from Nashville-based Olive and Sinclair], vanilla and chili peppers. It was inspired by a fantastic dessert that we used to share with Virginia at our favorite restaurant. This brown ale leads with a sweet and subtle spicy aroma. The flavor begins with complex malt overtones and quickly gives way to a chocolate and vanilla mix of satisfying bliss. Just when you thought it was over, the heat from the chilies sneaks in and coats your tongue with tantalizing heat.

Many thanks to all who have supported this project and have helped us honor Virginia’s memory.

Cheers – Pete and Alan

To learn more you can also visit Reunion Beer: A Beer for Hope

Here is my review:

Brewery: Shmaltz and Terrapin

Beer: Reunion Ale '11

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 7.3%

Louisiana Availability: Yes. I bought mine at Steins Deli.

Price Range: $6.50

Appearance: The beer poured a nice dark chocolate color with a huge, rocky off white head. Amazing lacing throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of molasses, dark brown sugar and chocolate

Taste: You are immediately hit with a dry, chocolate/cocoa flavor. What follows is an amazing interplay of flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, caramel, tobacco and cane syrup. The beer leaves an amazing chocolate bitterness in your mouth and leaves your tongue with the slightest tingle from the chili pepper. You immediately want more.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: An amazing beer with wonderful flavors. Perfect for those cold winter nights. This would make an amazing winter seasonal.

Score: 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas Photobucket


The Beer Buddha

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