He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16 Anniversary Ale - Shmaltz Brewing Company
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Ratings: 469 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SPThirtyThree:
2.95/5 rDev -24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5
A: Pours two shades lighter than pitch black, with a rich, deep brown, one-finger head. The foam soon settles to a wispy garnish that looks a bit like a Van Gogh. As it warms, any remaining head loses the battle to the alcohol. The thick liquid sticks to the sides of the glass like a strong scotch.
S: Oakey and complex. Sticky, sweet, malty, tarry. Caramel and root beer. Cinnamon. Hot fusels. Sour cherries. Gasoline. Burnt vanilla. All of the elements are well-balanced together. After warming, though, the balance is completely gone. Hot fusels sear my nostrils like huffing rubbing alcohol. Below 35°F, this beer was fine, but somewhere around the fifty-degree mark, it went horribly wrong. Smells like those crazy Jews over at He'Brew let the fermentation get a bit too warm.
T: Delicious. It's a warm, wintery stout. I'd expected something lighter, but the appearance and smell were clear indicators it would be a very dark, malty beer. The high alcohol content does not hide. The taste begins with a rich sweetness in the front of the tongue mixed with a hot harshness at the center to back. Hop astingency and tarry oak provide a powerful mouthfeel, and a warmth that borders on alcoholic sting linger. Served warmer, the same spoiling characteristics begin to dominate.
M: Kinda described above, but bitter from black malts. I'd venture a guess that there's a lot of roasted barley in here, either that or a questionably large dose of black patent. A stickiness from both sugar and alcohol combine for a nice mouthfeel. It's almost like drinking a slightly hopped white Russian, only made with Bourbon. (Is there a name for that?)
D: The drinkability of this beer is pretty low. While it's hot, charred richness might be good on a frigid, snowy day after a cold morning on the slopes, it's generally unpleasant, and the alcohol content is high enough to blast you far from sobriety, meaning it's only good for when you (and maybe a friend, depending on your alcohol tolerance) want to get drunk off one bottle. Nothing against that occasion, but a beer only good for that purpose isn't very versatile.
Overall, this beer is okay. I can't fault it too much for some of it's characteristics, but the solventy, harsh flavors and smells aren't desirable under any circumstances, for any style of beer. I served it colder than normal, making it initially acceptable, but at warmer temperatures, it was almost a pour-out. It had enough redeeming qualities aside from the fusels to make it just barely finishable, but if you can't enjoy the good qualities, what's the point of having them?
I don't know if BJCP still publishes guidelines, but I've never seen a description of what an American Strong Ale is supposed to be, so I'm not sure how to perceive some of the aspects of this beer. Knowing that it's a 16% ABV beer, I understand why some of these traits are present (and nearly inevitable), but that still doesn't justify this bomber from being so unpalatable.
Serving type: bottle
01-10-2013 02:20:01 | More by SPThirtyThree
More User Reviews:
4.41/5 rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Aged 18 months
Appearance: rock solid milk chocolate head with body as near to black as it gets
Aroma: port & dark chocolate, prunes; deep, dark, and addictive; rum; rich, sweet, dried fruit aromas are crazy
Taste & Mouthfeel: dark caramelized fruit flavours start things off, but rapidly transition to beautiful and strong cocoa that when paired with unrestrained alcohol burn make for a memorable finish; nothing held back, it's in your face intense flavour - small sips advised; velvety texture accentuates the sense of creamy hot chocolate - that's been liberally doused with port; the interplay between fruit and chocolate flavours is perfect and lacking any bitterness that can come the dark malts
Overall: this is for a cold winter night, paired with a rich chocolate cake, and throw in some raspberries/blackberries
Serving type: bottle
07-19-2014 19:04:22 | More by BGDrock
3.39/5 rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5
Consumed June 21st (first day of summer 2014!) from a bomber kept at 48 degrees F since purchase in June of 2013. Poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass.
Beer is totally black. Extremely deep ruby highlights when held to strong, intense light. A two finger light brown head forms during the pour and lingers for quite some time, aided and abetted by both good carbonation and the shape of the beer glass (I guess). Very nice, uniform sheeting that leaves nothing behind with each tilt of the glass.
Aroma notes include alcohol, subtle mint/herbal smell. Some cocoa, a trace of pepper, prunes. A dash of wet pennies on the pour dissipates quickly. As it warms, a nasty garlicy/onion note becomes prominent. Summit hops, perhaps? All in all, not a very aromatic beer and what is there is not very pleasing.
On the palate: slightly sour milk chocolate malt, alcohol heat then bigger and longer-lasting bitterness than I had been anticipating. A little anise and... nutmeg? Not very complex or deep. The panoply of flavors reported by other reviewers is either beyond my ability to discern or... let's just say that.
Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and smooth; my guess is that there are oats in here. Alcohol heat is front and center, close to but not crossing the threshold into overbearing.
A few sips and I'm feeling this one already. The advertised 16% ABV seems to be accurate. Not as good as Jewbelation 12, which was my introduction to Schmaltz and still my favorite beer from this brewery. As far as style goes: this might as well be a Russian Imperial Stout based on what I experienced.
Serving type: bottle
06-21-2014 18:13:06 | More by charlzm
He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16 Anniversary Ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 469 ratings.