Shmaltz Brewing Co., Jewbelation 13th Anniversary

Grade: B+
Shmaltz Brewing Co.

You'd think that a beer advertising "13 malts, 13 hops, and 13% alcohol by volume" for a 13th anniversary would be nothing more than a marketing ploy. And if you looked at the labeling from Schmaltz Brewing Company, you might be more confidant in that assumption. He'Brew, The Chosen Beer is the line of ales that Schmaltz Brewing produces, with names like Rejewvenator, Genesis Ale, and this one, Jewbelation. If you want to see how far the shtick goes, simply pick up a bottle and read the label. The kitsch goes on, even into the small print. But don't dismiss this brewery simply by the stereotypical Jewish overtures.

Pours thick, viscous, and black as night with a creamy tan head. When held up to the light, blood red hues come through. The aroma is very aggressive, with dark fruit, molasses, raisins, plums, dates, some slight notes of chocolate, and caramel sweetness. There is a bit of spice and herb in there, but not overt at all. The alcohol is noticeable in the nose as well, which I guess is to be expected with a 13% beer.

The mouthfeel is thick with a little tingle of carbonation, but not nearly enough to cut through this beer. The fruit from the aroma is in the flavor as well, but the roast and bread flavors from the malts contend with them. The finish is slightly sweet, but there is certainly enough bitterness to balance it. Raisin, dark black strap molasses, roast coffee, very bitter chocolate, and dark maple syrup are the main players in the flavor. The sweetness throughout the beer is countered quite well by the bitterness, which isn't hoppy and floral like in an IPA, but is certainly there. The aftertaste as you smack your lips is almost as aggressive and flavor-forward as the actual beer.

While this is a massive beer, with a massive amount of ingredients, it doesn't drink badly. In fact, the alcohol is very well hidden in all the roast and sweetness. While it certainly isn't a lawnmower beer, I don't mind taking another sip of this. I find that the hop bitterness scrubs my palate clean of the sweet flavors, so I can take another sip without being overwhelmed.


Zak said...

Hey Mike. This is Zak Davis from Shmaltz Brewing Company. Thanks so much for picking up that bottle of Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. This is definitely a beer that you could cellar for a couple years. Will probably mellow out that alcohol heat. Hope you have a great holiday. L'Chaim!! ~Zak