He'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer
Shmaltz Brewing Company

He'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The BeerHe'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #227
Ranked #43,618
3.61 | pDev: 10.25%
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
He'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The BeerHe'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer
Notes: Chanukah Beer pours a rich crystal clear chestnut to ruby color with a light creamy head. The aroma and flavors lean toward a robust winter warmer, though brewed without any spices. Just all malt and hop goodness! Light caramel and toasty nuttiness as well as a hint of sweeter chocolate are rounded out by a healthy dose of European Noble and classic American new school hops. With 8 malts, 8 hops and 8% alcohol, this beer is real wonder with so many elements blending to create balanced and yet still distinct flavors. Hanukkah Beer is brewed as a celebration offering and sure to light up your holiday season. L'Chaim!
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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Extremely dark brown. One fat finger of thick tan head with excellent retention.

Smell: Strong piney hops and a touch of alcohol. Slight sweetness.

Taste: Balanced between a sweet, slightly roasted malt and a mild hop bitterness flavor. Simple but flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, heavy body with good carbonation.

Overall: Not a complex flavor, but sometimes you don’t have to be. Bold and balanced is good enough for the season.

Dec 07, 2019
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 release. 12 oz can from Brewers Haven. Slick, thick black pour, capped by a creamy beige head. Aroma is chocolatey, very chocolatey. Taste is more sweet chocolate, a touch of roasty malt bitterness and creamy milk sugar. Thick and creamy, starts sweet, finishes bitter.

Feb 15, 2019
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Taste: nice vanilla, cocoa, malty, coconut notes. Sweet malty and cocoa nose. Dark amber hue, clear, with a delicate lace in taster cup. Medium body. A dessert ale that kinda taste like German chocolate cake.

Sep 26, 2018
Photo of tigerinatrance
tigerinatrance from New York

4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Just scored two bottles of this for 25¢ each at a local beverage center who couldn’t sell it and man, am I glad I did. Subjectively, this beer is nostalgic and reminiscent of something non-alcoholic or even beer related that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s sweet, carb-loaded desserts, wood paneling and funk tapes with my morphine sedated maternal grandpa on the holidays as much as it is a pipe-smoking end-of-the-night gentleman’s sort of brew. It feels lively on the mouth, Dead center between dense and watery. A roasted nuttiness precedes a chocolatey minus the sweet sort of dessert flavor. There’s a woody, sweaty thing reminding me of when I like the smell of my own filthy socks, but my girlfriend does not. Definitely not sessionable, this semi-dark ruby/amber beer is indeed appealing to whatever it is I love about trying new beer. This is what it’s all about- freedom, nostalgia, flavor, and a quite adequate 8% alcohol in one deeee-licious bottle. Thanks, Shmaltz Brewing Co., and keep ‘em comin’.

Note: this beer was best by, like, a year ago. Actually, the day before my birthday which is 10/22. No shit. Cool.

Sep 10, 2018
Photo of StevenTowne
StevenTowne from New York

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a case of this for $20 at Schmaltz post season on a blow out deal. This is a great beer. Very smooth, drinkable, faint cocoa taste and effervescence. I am lucky being close to the brewery but this is a great beer.

Feb 12, 2018
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold orange color,medium body and carbonation. Aroma is unusual but pleasant,kind of an earthy smell with malt,malt candy,and just a bit of chocolate. Taste is similar but more complex than i can describe but the chocolate shows up very slightly at the end of every sip. Again this is a little different but really enjoyed it

Dec 19, 2017
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Mitchster from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 EDITION: Golden ale brewed with Cocoa nibs. 8 malts, 8 hops, 8% ABV.
Brewed with Premium 2-Row Malted Barley, Pilsner Malt, Caramel Pils, Kiln Amber, Crystal 10L, Honey Malt, Acidulated Malt, Flaked Oats. Hopped with Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Citra, Ahtanum, Liberty, Cascade, Amarillo.

Pours out to a slightly hazy peach, forming a nice slightly off white head with very good retention and nice solid lacing. The nose is not actually all that hoppy. I get mostly cocoa and biscuit malt toast, wet grain husk. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium dense bodied, slick, slightly syrupy. Carbonation is moderate , 2.25 carbs or so. The taste is quite interesting...malt forward with lots of husky grains, toast, a small degree of roast, I get aromatic and biscuit but neither of them are listed as ingredients. There is a soft chocolate note which is very subtle, then followed by a pleasant bitterness which rounds out the malt driven body. More toast in the finish.

Quite interesting. Worth trying. I can't say I've had anything like this. Schmaltz brewes great stuff and this is noe xception. It's not something I would drink often, but still quite interesting, unique, and tasty,

Mar 23, 2017
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ollie's Place, Dayton, OH.

Appearance: Clear dark copper to brown with ruby red highlights. Thin film and ring of white foam. Some persistent lacing noted, but not a lot.

Smell: Quite unusual: Leathery, a hint of smoke, some herbal notes, and every now and then a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Roasty, herbal and chicory bitterness, with a hint of chocolate, but the chocolate is muted. As the beer warms fully up to room temperature I can pick out more of the chocolate along with some caramelized malt, but this is definitely more of a savory winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light carbonation, nice thickness.

Overall / Drinkability: Not sure how I feel about this one. Maybe the point is to settle into an old leather chair with this beer on a winter night? Or maybe this beer was part of a "kill the keg" special for a reason - it's a bit past its prime. I might try again when its fresh and see how 8 hops and 8 malts hold up, but, it could be when you mix up that much stuff you're going to get unexpected and weird flavors. Normally I like that sort of weirdness from this brewery. In this case, I'm not sure.

Feb 02, 2017
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

2.96/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sparkling burnt gold with a thin khaki film.

Smell is light but meaty chestnut, Melba toast, and toffee--very unusual.

Taste is much better than smell, but definitely still unusual, with a nuttiness that includes the skin of the walnut and almond, and maybe even the woodiness of the shell, plus earthy soil, sweet grape and caramel.

Thin but softly fizzy, semi-wet.

Dec 31, 2016
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a brown, hazy, murky beer. The head is towering, dense, and medium tan in color. The aroma is malty, sweet, and has a little spice underneath. Full and intense in flavor and surprisingly well balanced. This is an enjoyable beer. Malty and luxurious. Nice.

May 14, 2016
Photo of Samlover55
Samlover55 from New York

3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 edition no exact date
12oz bttle into tulip
L- pours a dark brown almost black, no head just some bubbly brown lacing
S- strong caramel malty nose, a little boozy as well
T- hits the tongue with coffee notes, lingers with some mellowness and finishes with 8% abv along with some hop bitterness
F- medium bodied slightly carbonated, goes down nicely
O- nice winter warmer for what is hopefully one of last days of winter

Mar 16, 2016
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft.

Light brown color not too dark bordering on amber.

Slight roasted aroma lots of malt.

Taste matches aroma. A light roasted malt not much hops to balance it out.

Feb 02, 2016
Photo of stephens101
stephens101 from Oklahoma

3.01/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a mountain of unyielding tan froth. Very little aroma-wise. Perhaps malt and candied sugar. Taste is malt-forward with some gum, a slight dark fruitiness and a faint metallic finish. Medium in body. Faceless and tasteless.

Jan 23, 2016
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight hops, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of very strong alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight hops, and a hint of spice. Overall, great appearance, okay body and aroma, but the blend is way too alcohol-centric.

Jan 16, 2016
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

2.92/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

wow i really didnt like this at all. surprised to see it rated so highly here, i didnt care for this at all, and had a hard time finishing mine. its darker than described below, looks like a real dark brown ale, with a decent head on it that fades fast. aroma is off for me for some reason, i smell soy and strange yeast, stale hops, and sweet wort. notes of brown sugar and soy again in the flavor, seriously its almost salty to me. not hoppy at all for having eight hops in it, and truthfully just a busy mess. i cant believe these guys stay relevant, seems like every beer i ever have from them is average to bad. not sure how this happened, the yeast, the mash, it seems amateur. oddly thick though and weird in the mouth independent of the flavor. throat coating and just odd. maybe not messed up technically, but perhaps the recipe is just a dud. i really didnt care for this in the least. surprised to head their team talk it up too, they seemed to be rather proud of it. i dont get it, this was rotten.

Jan 15, 2016
Photo of Karibourgeois
Karibourgeois from Texas

3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour with some clear red highlights and a small tan head. Light wet bread and malt aroma. Taste is malt forward with bread and dark fruit flavors.

Jan 08, 2016
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Yard House Chino Hills on 01-03-15.

Pours translucent dark brown with a creamy tan head that remains throughout the drink down leaving strands of lace. The taste begins with caramel malt, faint cocoa and a hint of hazelnut up front with hop bitterness on the finish. Well balanced and easy drinking.

Jan 04, 2016
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours deep reddish brown with a small light brown head. Smells of winter spices and very slight chocolate. Tastes of light chocolate with slight spiciness and a tad bit of hop bite. Beer is light/medium bodied with a tad bit of overcarbonation, but still very clean and easy drinking. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

Jan 03, 2016
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Pour Taphouse in Asheville.

Pours very dark red-brown with a durable tan head that leaves spotty lacing
Aroma: seems a bit off but the flavor is much better. The high ABV is way too obvious in both mouthfeel and flavor.

O: Disappointing but perhaps not served at its prime.

Dec 31, 2015
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, a little hazy, with a fine one finger dark khaki head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of mild toasted, caramel and candi malt, light piney hops, raisins, plums; spicy but not typical winter spices, leaning towards licorice and root beer spicing. Flavor is an odd but interesting mixure of grain malts with suggestions of dark toasted malt, caramel malt and oats, dark fruit, particularly dates and figs, citron, brown sugar, nuts. Finish is rich dark malt and dark fruit with a mild hop bitterness. Nice medium body with pleasant creaminess. The taste was a little muddled at first, but I found myself liking this more and more. Somewhat reminiscent of a malty, rich fruitcake with a light hand on the dried fruit. I liked the drier, malty finish with a surprising light hop and spice bitterness that lingered. I enjoyed this and will get it again. Very appropriate for the season.

Dec 16, 2015
Photo of Myotus
Myotus from Texas

3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 50°F from a 12oz bottle (2015 edition) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger of khaki foam that halves itself after 35 seconds. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. Rising bubbles are subtle in quantity and very small in size. Lacing is subtle in quantity and both thin and thick in various areas.
SMELL: Mild aromas of molasses, figs, raisins, prunes, toasted malts, and caramel balance very well with subtle aromas of piney, floral, and spicy hops.
TASTE: Inital taste is of mild toasted malt, molasses, fig, prune, and raisin flavors. Subtle floral, spicy, and piney hops enter right after as toasted malt flavors grow stronger. Strong bitter hop flavors and hints of alcohol enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for piney hops, which grow stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: This was a very hoppy brew that didn't work well with the other flavors. The bitterness in this one was just too high leaving it with an unenjoyable ending.

Dec 14, 2015
Photo of SteveB24
SteveB24 from New York

3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look-color is a clear but very dark brown, pours a little bit of head that settles into thin lacing.
Smell-mild dark fruit and caramel.
Taste-flavors are kind of subtle but pleasant, there are notes of dark fruit, caramel, nutmeg, roasted malt. not getting any booze.
Feel-definitely heavy, but not oily. low carbonation.
overall-not only a very festive beer but tastes decent too.

Dec 14, 2015
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Yard House in Tucson. Poured into a pint glass.

L: Poured a clear dark brown color. Thin off-white head.

S: Cinnamon and cloves. Spicy and festive.

T/F: A malt forward spicy warmer. Caramel and figs, cloves and ginger. Semi-sweet and balanced by some alcoholic warmth. Flavors become more nuanced as it warms. Effervescent and zesty.

O: Overall a very nice warmer. Sweet and spicy and great for the holidays... whichever one you choose to celebrate.

Dec 10, 2015
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some fruits. Taste is roasted malts, hops are present, as is some alcohol, a bit of sweetness at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Dec 08, 2015
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hanukkah is the holiday of lights yet He'Brew's Hanukkah, Chanukah is actually rather dark. The pecan skin toned offering does display immaculate clarity but has, perhaps appropriately, only candle light-level highlighting. Also apt, it sports a round head that, like a kippah, covers some but not all of its top.

The use of 8 different malts and hops and the 8% alcohol are all obviously symbolic of the eight nights of Hanukkah, but I still feel the need to repeat that numbers lie. If craft beer champions anything it's quality over quantity. No to mention, it's not the number of malts or hops that matter - it's the amount.

Going by aroma, however, He'Brew didn't skimp out on either. Pine-y, spruce-y hops brush up against the nose while a fairly deep backdrop of molasses, hard dark toffee, toasted rye bread and chocolate maltiness settles in. It's nothing over-the-top but it's certainly worthy of celebration!

The palate is where flavour really comes to play; toasted nuts, fudge, brown sugar, praline, and hints of citrus and evergreen come together and are deserving of applause (maybe not standing, but certainly loud). And considering this 2014 vintage hasn't worn any thinner after a year's aging says something.

I don't want to feed into ignorant Jewish stereotypes by saying Hanukkah, Chanukah is rich but it's the substantial kind of winter warmer that's perfect for the holidays. And while the six-pack is actually really affordable, nothing else about this seasonal is cheap. Regardless of your faith, give the gift of good beer!

Dec 08, 2015
He'Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 173 ratings