He'Brew Funky Jewbelation '12 - Shmaltz Brewing Company

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He'Brew Funky Jewbelation '12He'Brew Funky Jewbelation '12

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130 Reviews
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Reviews: 130
Hads: 485
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 16.4%
Wants: 15
Gots: 73 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Pahn on 03-30-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A blend of 6 ales aged in 73% rye whiskey and 27% bourbon barrels. The blend consists of He'Brew Jewbelation 15, Vintage Jewbelation, Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA, He'Brew Origin, Reunion Ale '11, & He'Brew Messiah.
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Reviews: 130 | Hads: 485
Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3rd night of Hanukkah 2012...

a - poured a two-fingers thick creamy tan head into a tulip glass that left a thick ring and sheet throughout. the body was dark black with some red tinting.
s - tart fruits come through first with a hint of bourbon.
t - bourbon, rye, big malty flavors.
m - very chewy and creamy.
o - loved this beer, really well blended. i am a huge fan of their jewbelation beers and this one was no exception.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning a few weeks back. Always impressed by He'Brew, so I thought I'd splurg on an expensive one.

From a bomber into a snifter
BA release #6
Bottled 6 March 2012
Batch 001
999 Cases
Six Ales with 73% in rye whisky and 27% in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: A brown pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, fizzy, tan head with decent retention. Bistre brown in color with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a good frothy cap. A ring and splotchy wisp remain but leave no lacing down the glass. Fizzy head hurt a bit here.

SMELL: Medium nose of bourbon, whisky, oak, light vanilla and milk chocolate notes. Some caramel, dark fruits and light brett cherries on the nose as well. Quite complex with lots of elements for sure, but it could be a little bigger for the style.

TASTE: This is much bolder and more flavorful than the nose had advertised, and is also much funkier than expected as well. Funky notes of sour brett cherries up front, with some dark fruits and whisky flavors into the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of whisky, oak, light milk chocolate, some caramel sweetness, bitter dark chocolate and sour, brett cherries. Quite complex and much bolder than the nsoe. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Just enough weight and very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. Solid.

OVERALL: These guys always impress, and this beer is just another chapter in the story. The barrels, beers and brett really work well together. A creamy palate helped as well. A bolder nose would help bring this one way into the promise land, but regardless, this is a very complex and interesting beer that I was very happy with. Give it a chance if you can. Recommended.

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a solid two inch mocha head that dissipates fairly quickly into a half inch layer of foam, leaving spotty lacing.

Dark cherries and plums dominate the initial aroma, with rye, hints of chocolate, and today malt rounding out the profile. There's some ethanol notes that are offputting.

Flavor is far sweeter than anticipated, almost cloyingly so. Cola, sherry, and lightly roasted malt are at the forefront, accompanied by raisins, dark cherries, and booze. Toffee and rye emerge as it warms, along with perfumey hops. There's a complex vinous character.

Body is syrupy, with minimal carbonation. There's significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, a bit cloying. Interesting sherry qualities, and good dark fruit esters, but the sweetness detracts from the experience. Alcohol content is also not as inconspicuous as it could be. It has some great qualities, but unfortunately also has some pretty significant negative ones. To me, the positives are enough to redeem the brew.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Thin light brown head that dissipates to a ring around the glass with slight lacing. Aroma of caramel and toasted malt, whiskey, oak, light chocolate and dark dried fruit. A lot going on here. Flavor is dark and dried fruit, cherry juice with a caramel malt in the background, finishing with light, slightly sour fruit, vanilla, whiskey and oak. Nice complexity and the lgiht sour element is just enough to add interest to the other components. Moderate body with light creaminess. An unusual and fun to drink strong ale that I wouldn't mind seeing again. From the great 2012 gift pack.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this bottle from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley CA, and brought it back to Australia where I shared it with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a deep, thick, black, with a gorgeously dark head of chunky mocha-brown. Lacing is speckled but forms as the persistent chunky head moves around the glass. Body is thick and heavy, and leaves streaking streams of fine carbonation. All up, it's a pretty damn fine looking beer.

Nose is rich, sweet and deep, split by a pealing bright funk that lends acidity to the mix. Plenty of roast sweetness and a rounded barrel character to carry it through this, however, and it ends up more boozy, rich and sweet than funky or tart. Slight mineral characters round it off, always giving the suggestion that you're not fully aware of its full complexity. Lovely stuff.

Taste is deep and sweet, but again dogged by that persistent mild acidity that weaves its way amongst the barrel-aging, the mild roast astringency and the booziness, so you never really seem to see it out in the open. It leaves a smooth lemon-custard character: probably citric and biting, but also caught up with the sweetness and richness that surrounds it. It's an impressive beer.

Feel is pretty much perfect: smooth, clear and rich, providing just the right amount of weight for the flavours.

Overall, this is superb stuff. It blends all the oddities into a gorgeous, complex but coherent and balance whole. I think this is a step up even from the regular Jewbelations. Love it.

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Photo of cvm4
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark cola with a very frothy tan head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. There's not much lacing to speak of.

S - Dark fruits (raisins, figs, plums) along with sweet malts and a background of barrel aged goodness.

T - Sweet dark fruits as described in the smell with a slight cherry tartness all around. The malts are sweet and the barrels impart a nice oaky & vanilla character.

M - Low side of medium body & medium carbonation. Really wish it was a little heavier body.

O - This is a unique brew & can be all over the place. I like the way all the flavors bounce around.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark cola like pour, good head formation, not the greatest in terms of retention or lacing though. The aroma was interesting, reminiscient of Firestone XV, but with some cinnamon and more dark fruit going for it.

Taste, similar again to Firestone XV, had a nice sweetness going for it, a body and consistency that was more barleywine or old ale than it was imperial stout, despite the color. I thought more pomegranite and cinammon (I keep mentioning cinnamon, its not like it was oppressive, or even large, just the right amount). The barrel addition to the flavor profile is mild, but enjoyable. Definitely not getting any charre barrel remnants on this one, leans more towards the sweeter non charred whiskey barrels I would think. Alcohol relatively well disguised. More often than not, dark fruit notes don't sit well with me in a beer like this, they make it all 'quad' like, but thankfully, there's no yeast like quad notes, nor does the beer come off as dark fruit bitter, it just truly lends a small pomegranite like sweetness to the beer. Brown, black, even a little chocolate malt in short order. Some mild citrus notes, similar to the inclusion of double jack or wookie jack in a FFW blend, probably from the Rye IPA they use, here, blended in just the right amount.

I was pretty impressed with this. Sampled with greenkrusty101, who bought this for me about 6 months ago, finally put it down after a growler of Ephraim while watching Season 1 of Trailer Park Boys at the new house.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kinda on the dark side of mahogany, with modest tan head. Looks good enough. I'm more interested in how she tastes and smells.

Sour and sweet, with a jumbled mess of other influences that all sound awesome but in this case, to me, don't gain any synergistic benefit and just don't work as that well together. I sense cherry, barrels, grainy malty sweetness, and fairly strong boozy esters.

Tastes pretty much like the nose, except that the prominent sourness and cloying bitterness are more prominent. Maybe a tad too bitter as well, or it just doesn't balance right to me.

Good carbonation, full body, medium viscosity and some bitterness in the finish.

I really appreciate the effort and will try any of these that I find if I have the resources. But this one didn't work as anywhere near as well for me as the last one-off Jewbelation (don't recall which) I had. The taste is, to me, worthy of the strong descriptor cloying. And that didn't mesh well with the sourness. And those two elements overpowered most everything else. But I commend Shmaltz for the creative attempt.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours dark brown with a beige head of an inch that quickly fades to a placid surface and zero lacing.

Ripe malt, raisins, bourbon, port, and plums start the nose. Booze-laced figs and dark fruit follow through.

Medium to full bodied with a slick, sticky mouthfeel. A bit syrupy.

Sweet malt, ripe fruit, and plump raisins lead off the palate along with boozy, vineous notes. A faint tartness with cherries and dark rum run under.

Finishes with warming bourbon, port, cherries, and leathery malt.

Big, boozy beer and certainly cellar worthy.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. The head fades away fairly slowly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is full of oak, vanilla, and Bourbon, with some rye, molasses, dark fruits, cherries, chocolate, and a bit of black licorice, hops, and booze.

T - Starts off with sweet dark fruits with some raisin and sour cherries, with some chocolate, vanilla, and some black licorice. Through the middle, the Bourbon and oak comes through with some rye, molasses, and some more sour cherries. The finish is a mix of sour cherries and dark fruits, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, rye, with some molasses, chocolate, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly sour finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really interesting blend. Good bold and complex flavors with just the right amount of sourness.

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

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a murky dark brown almost black with a large (2-3 finger) light brown rocky head that reduced to a thick film with a medium collar and had excellent sheeting of lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted chocolate malt and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of coffee, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit (Raisons and plums), bourbon cask and a touch of vanilla.

The taste was rather malty and extremely sweet with hints of chocolate and toffee from the onset with the finish having notes of coffee, a big dark fruit sweetness and a lightly noticeable bourbon alcohol presence at the end. The flavor remained on the taste buds for a nice long while with a sweet fruity espresso taste left to linger.

Mouthfeel was a few shades past medium in body and oily in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall a very well put together brew, although I found it to be just a tad to much on the sweet side...


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Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours black into a snifter with a finger of light tan head and minimal retention
S: smells sweet and fruity with notes of caramel and vanilla as well
T: slight cherry/grape flavor, a bit of caramel sweetness, slight hop kick, a bit of chocolate, residual sugar. aftertaste is more bourbon flavor and fruit flavor
M: light and soft carbonation with a heavy and slick mouthfeel
O: I'm really not sure what happened with this beer but it seems to be a bit of a mess in my opinion. It tastes nothing like any Jewbelation and you can taste a lot of the constituent beers in this. Not a lot of rye character going on and some spicy rye would have been nice and would have done a lot to cut through the sweetness. the sweetness really overdid it for me and made the beer lack serious balance.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - near black and impenetrable, two fingers of mocha head retained nicely
S - a milky sweet & sour aroma, rye, toffee, and mild hops, definitely funky
T - this thing is all over the place, the milky sweetness is prominent, rye and woody notes, mild molasses, a hint of herbal hops
M - big and somewhat chewy, low carbonation, sticky sweet, with just a little dryness from the alcohol
O - I think this is a case of too much of a good thing, big respect for the forward thinking, but it seems unfocussed and that comes through in the flavours, but still worth a try for any curious beer advocate

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Photo of Etan
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip. Batch 1, bottled 3/6/12.

A: Pours a black-brown with a big tan head.

S: Caramel, mild chocolate and old hop leaf, sweet syrupy bourbon.

T: Very sweet. Grape, fig, chocolate and caramel, slight dry woody note followed by very sweet, almost brandy-like barrel notes (coconut, sherry, brown sugar).

M: Slight carbonation, thick.

O: The sweetness of the Fifteen definitely dominates, but the blending and barrel-aging make it a huge improvement over that beer. Not bad.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I shared at Tulune's Southside Saloon in Johnstown, PA

Batch # 001. Bottled 3/6/12.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, sour and tart fruit, and some punishing bourbon/whiskey aromas. Taste is powered by sweetness mixed with burbon and whisky....pretty much the same with a fruity and funky finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has an interesting blend of He’Brew beers.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of some black cherry and toffee, caramel and sweet malt.

T - Malty and sweet with toffee and caramel flavors. Some sour cherry is present and very mild.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is pretty good. I think letting it sit for a few months helped.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer.

I thought Vertical Jewbelation was fantastic and thought Genesis 15:15 was World Class. When I saw this was another Barrel product from HeBrew it was a no-brainer pulling the trigger for $12.99.

Funky I found to be a bit too sweet. The dark fruits were past vinous...into straight Welch's Grape juice territory, and I'm not a big fan of grapejuice. The stickiness from the barrel was apparent but slim to no barrel made itself known in the taste. Where's the Rye Whiskey and Bourbon the bottle promises?

Not sure what else to say other than I'm glad I only picked up one of these.

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Photo of DIM
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was all but black. It poured with a medium sized head that faded to a thin film.

s: Odd, but mostly in an appealing way. I find vinous soy sauce, some fruity chocolate, cheries, tobacco, vanilla, and sweet, sugary booze.

t: Sweet brown sugar up front and then mildly funky, vaguely chocolatey, vinous dark fruit. Plenty of booze and hints of tobacco and soy sauce at the end.

m: Big and chewy.

o: Well, its different. It just doesn't quite come together for me. Glad I tried it but I don't want another.

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Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001/999
Bottled in March of 2012

A- Totally opaque black pour with a finger and a half creamy off white head. Lacing is pretty good for a barrel aged beer.

S- Right up front you get a boat load of sour mash from the whiskey barrels. Dark malts, brown sugar, vanilla, licorice, black strap and some grape juice and apple skins. There is some shoe leather, a touch a peat and a bit of oak and tobacco. It's pretty funky, and very complex. There truly is a lot going on in here.

T- Brown sugar and sour mash compete for supremacy. Grape juice with apple skins than it shifts to super sweet. Brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, figs, dates and plums. The barrel ageing is evident and it really helps meld everything together.

M- Medium to full bodied, wonderful chew to it, carbonation is low as expected and the finish is sticky on the lips.

O- The He'Brew brand and me at first was a awful relationship. My first experience with them was their brown ale and it was a drain pour. I've bought every special beer they've released and have been floored with the results of them all. I think they should maybe stick to speciality beers only lol.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Right off you can tell this is something different. Six of He'Brew's ales, each of which had been aged a different period of time, and in different barrels, all combined for one strong ale. Is it the Harry Buffalo of beers? Or the Friday school cafeteria "meatloaf casserole" made up of the Monday through Thursday leftovers? Let's find out...

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. The bottle bears a bottling date of March 6, 2012, and states this is Batch No. 001/999. Pours a dark cola brown, with minimal tan head that survives as a thin wisp on the surface of the ale. This is a a very still, sedate looking brew, with no apparent carbonation keeping things active.

Smells quite malty, with notes of blackstrap, chocolate, whiskey, and dark rum. Smells a bit like one of those small bottles of extract you pull out once a year at Christmas to help flavor the spiced cookies.

Taste is much sweeter than expected, with a bit of a medicinal tang, like cherry cordial. The black licorice flavor carries through with notes of dark molasses, like Black Jack gum. The ale sweetens as it warms, bringing out hints of maple and brown sugar. A bit boozy, this has a bitter, dry finish that leaves you a bit thirsty.

Very full bodied, with a cloying sweetness that turns the tongue dry and leaves the teeth feeling as if they're wearing socks. The tang is prickling the roof of my mouth a bit.

Intense and full flavored, this is a very slow sipper of an ale. There's a lot going on, and this will definitely wear at you if you try to tackle it too quickly. Plus, clocking in at 9.8%, you begin to feel this just a few sips in. Enjoyable enough, but hard to finish at 22 ounces.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a tan head. In the aroma, a small sweet to sour fruitiness and a licorice. In the taste, sweet alcohol, fruity white grape, plum, green apple, and licorice. A small bite, but mainly smooth, with a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry note of licorice and a small fruitiness in the aftertaste. A bit boozy, nice fruit, licorice, that lingers nicely.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got an 8oz pour at Mosaic in Astoria. Man, this is a big beer. Honestly, I think it could do with less blending. It's a rich beer, but not much can stand out. I couldn't even tell off the bat that this had whiskey barrel aging. It's sweet and almost a little juicy with dark fruit up front. The dark barley adds a slight roast and eventually a little barrel vanilla rolls in. Still, it'd be easy to mistake this for a massive brown ale. The hops are mild, the malts and dark and fruity, and the barrel character is very light.

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Photo of acevenom
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours black with a tall, dark brown head. The head dissipates slowly. There is a little bit of lacing left on the side of the glass. As the namesake implies, this beer has a tart smell on the first sniff. The tartness is a bit fruity in nature. A little bit of alcohol comes through in the aroma as well. The malt also comes through in the smell. The taste follows the nose. It has the tart fruit taste mingled with roasted malts. It's mildly sweet, but not too sweet. The alcohol does come through in the taste as well, taking on a slightly boozy character. The flavors are definitely interesting. The body is medium to full with adequate carbonation. The beer sips very smoothly. This is an above average beer overall, which is disappointing.

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Photo of maximum12
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently since the big Shmaltz beers have been very good to us. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife after realizing, for the 935th time, that people are generally assholes. I'm not sure why this is, but it's true. Yeesh.

Pour is...well, mine's a lot shorter than my wife's, if I ever committed that sin I'd get an earful! Dark brown enough to kiss up to light black. Surprisingly frothy for a big strong ale. Bourbon is hearty on the nose, buttressed with a sigh of underlying funk. Simple but nice.

Funky Jewbelation is one odd character. Up front there's bourbon, but it short-circuits in a hurry. Big, tart fruits, slight souring cherry, offset strangely by a big helping of sweetness that strays into cloying. The barrel vanishes & those fruits have serious staying power in the aftertaste. Kind of like herpes. Heavy beer.

Well, this is uncomfortable. Not a bad effort, but the tart makes the barrel almost disappear, yet at the same time manages to balance the jazz with sweetness that goes a bit over the top. This might balance out more with age. As is, pretty good beer that feeds into the Shmaltz shtick & is, at least, unique.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a number of these beers, as it has been on tap at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for some time now. I'm surprised to see it listed as an american strong because this beer is very funky and quite sour. ...and overall great.

Appearance is a dark brown with a lighter brown/tan head. Carbonation is adequate, not huge but not flat either.

Aroma is of the dark fruit, roasted malt and some of the sourness comes through on the nose.

Flavor has all of the same characteristics but also a very sour presence. Pretty well balanced if you're ok with sour as one of the elements.

A great beer from a great brewer.

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He'Brew Funky Jewbelation '12 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.