He'Brew Death Of A Contract Brewer | Shmaltz Brewing Company

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He'Brew Death Of A Contract BrewerHe'Brew Death Of A Contract Brewer

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Death seems so obvious: the end of life, no mas, kaput. But Humans stand an optimistic animal. Many traditions suggest alternate endings: Resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth, afterlife. Even the atheist view of Eternal Oblivion doesn't seem quite final, more of a shift in spiritual states of (un)consciousness. As usual, Jewish tradition prescribes... Food. 7 days of family, community, and bagels (beer!), called, Shiva, meaning "7" in Hebrew. The flip side to the 7 days of Creation with the 7th as a holy day of rest. The first meal of Shiva is "the comfort meal." And the number 7 provides powerful mojo: 7 Jewish wedding blessings, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 Lucky Japanese gods, 7 stars of the Big Dipper, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 seas, 007 license to kill, 7 dwarves, We are 7 by Wordsworth with a child's view of death, 7 deadly sins, Best of 7 finals in NBA, NHL, MLB, 7th Inning stretch, no. 7 on Elway & Tiny Archibald. George Costanza yearned to name his firstborn, "7" as a living tribute to no. 7 Mickey Mantle. The 7 Award however must go to the immortal George Carlin for 7 Dirty Words, inspired by another hero Lenny Bruce. Coming into 17 years of beer, and Year no. 1 with our own Brewery, we commemorate this conversion with Death Of A Contract Brewer, our Shmaltz homage to new life - L'Chaim! Jeremy Cowan, proprietor

Added by Kendo on 10-25-2013

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 441
Reviews by Kendo:
Photo of Kendo
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bomber's been sitting in my beer fridge for at least a couple weeks (I bought it at Westmere Beverage); surprised to see it hasn't been added here on BA, as my understanding - from local news outlets - is that this was released when Shmaltz opened their local Clifton Park brewery this summer. Hence the name: Shmaltz is not a contract brewer anymore (at least, not solely a contract brewer), and they brewed (and named) this beer in celebration thereof. OK, enough of my yapping - on to the beer. . . .

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a 1.5-finger light-brown head that retains well, leaving behind a nice thick curtain of lace.

S: Very pleasant for this style: a modest amount of roastiness is followed by a heavy dose of hops - piney, citrusy hops. Some earthiness as well.

T: FIrst impression: the mouthfeel is too thin and the carbonation too active. However, once I get past that and a couple sips in, I can focus on the flavors. There's a heavy impression of burnt toast, burnt coffee, charcoal and a lingering taste of ash. There is also a pronounced hop juiciness that provides an offset or some balance to the burnt/char/roasty flavors. At times I get some sweetness underneath it all as well - some cocoa powder and molasses is noted. Interestingly, I don't get a sense of the (7% ABV) alcohol at all.

M: As noted above, it seems thin to me and the carbonation, while fine, is somewhat over-active.

O: Not bad, not great. I was hoping for better - I love this style when done right - but I'm not entirely disappointed and am having no problem putting down this bomber.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola color with a thick light beige head atop that settles ever so slowly into a frothy mass.Dark bread and earth stand out in the nose,very mild sweetness going on here.Dry and roasted on the palate,actually very dry with even a hint of smoke,although no big citrusy or piney hops the dryness stands out.There is almost a "meatiness" to this beer like an old school English porter wich is pretty cool but nothing like alot of the hoppy black ales you see right now.I like it but was taken back by the flavor profile.

 530 characters

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Beaver13
2/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours brown with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass a little.

The aroma is sweet cola, grains, chocolate malt and a little piney hops. Smelled a bit odd.

The flavor is sweet grains, dark fruit, leather, a little roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, a sweet odd black IPA.

 347 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Spotupfor3
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome. L: Pours black with a one finger light tan head that grips the side of the glass as it goes down. S: Spicy grain, some espresso. T: Some rye spiciness, light espresso, not a lot of caramel, bitter hop accent, nothing harsh or burnt. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: A flavorful American Black Ale that is refreshing and easy to drink.

 368 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours dark black with a slight hint of brownish amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid two fingers of light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty, hoppy, and fairly spicy black ale aroma. Earthy and herbal hops upfront with hints of dank pine resin spice and grass. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, tangerine, and lemon. Dark roasted barley malts with good hints of dark chocolate, roast coffee, burnt toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. A pretty good and balanced aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a hoppy, spicy, and roasty black ale taste with notes of chocolate and pine. Upfront earthy, herbal, and floral hops. Notes of spicy pine resin and grass. Citrus fruit notes of ripe grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, mango, pineapple, and tangerine. Dark roasted barley malts with notes of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, burnt toast, caramel, biscuit, grains, toffee, and yeast. A nicely sharp and balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a black ale. Good balance between the spicy hops and roasty malt.

 1,310 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of samtrillo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, nice subtle Jewish rebirth conceptual design. Yet they persist with the contradictory 'Black Pale Ale' nomenclature. Tsk.

This beer pours a brown-tinted deep black, with four fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat rocky mocha head, which leaves some broad patches of dried soap scum lace around the glass as things lazily recede.

It smells of meaty, lightly smoked bready caramel malt, musty orange rind and pine needles, a bit of spicy vegetal pepper, a touch of milky coffee, and a further herbal, grassy hoppiness. The taste is kicked off in no uncertain terms by a heady charred caramel and grainy rye-like spicy malt, followed by a gritty, soft chocolate sweetness, dry roast coffee beans, toasted dark bread, a pithy generic citrus and forest floor bitterness, and a hint of herbal, slightly perfumed alcohol warming.

The carbonation is a bit testy and sassy for the most part, the body a decent medium weight, and sort of clammy and pithy in its smoothness, a common problem for this style. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the lingering char, middling hops, and simmering alcohol colluding to push the remainder of the already lacking sweetness out for good.

A thorough enough version of this hybrid American style, the blackened malt and peppy hops playing well together, with a perhaps game-saving cocoa essence that has the good sense to not really let go of my palate. As always, He'Brew comes through, and this time, wholly on their own terms. Congrats!

 1,496 characters

Photo of Andyyyyyy
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look is dark and creamy, but the feel is not creamy. Not a whole lot as far as smell goes. Expected more hoppiness. Smooth, bitter taste as expected. Overall a good Ipa!

 169 characters

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of alphagnome
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is precisely what you want from a black IPA. Pitch black body allows zero light penetration while a healthy head (around an inch thick) sticks around for the duration of the drink. Beautiful lacing and legs and generous amounts of bubbly.

A healthy dose of earthy and piney hops wrapped in a blanket of roasted, semi-sweet malts. It's simple, but fantastic.

Big hop profile is potent and bitter - yet welcoming, even my friend who considers himself "anti-IPA" found himself truly enjoying this one. Thick, roasted malts provide some balance and brings a bit of cocoa to the party. No detectable alcohol.

Surprisingly smooth for an IPA. Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Finish is clean and a tad on the dry side but refreshing.

This might be one of the best (if not the best) black IPA I've had the pleasure of enjoying. Easy to drink and enjoy, and welcoming to those who would rather not drink a hoppy beer. This is a must have and will hopefully become a regular in the He'Brew stable!

 1,053 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of joeponte
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of socon67
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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He'Brew Death Of A Contract Brewer from Shmaltz Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 441 ratings.
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