He'Brew Jewbelation 18
Shmaltz Brewing Company

He'Brew Jewbelation 18He'Brew Jewbelation 18
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Barleywine
3.97 | pDev: 13.1%
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
He'Brew Jewbelation 18He'Brew Jewbelation 18
Notes: Our 10th annual tribute to extreme beer: Jewbelation 18 was indeed brewed with 18 malts and 18 hops and finally dropped to a "sessionable" 12.4% abv so we can sell to all our states. This year's monster emerges as a big, big juicy dessert of a beer with rich sweet blasts of chocolate and mocha with layers of dark fruit notes of black cherry, date and fig. More like a port or sherry - hints of what might come from barrel aging - but this year just from the enormous amount of malt, piles of hops and the 8 weeks of fermentation and aging that brought our 18th anniversary creation to life. If your "sessions" include sharing precious ounces of huge beers with good friends and family, grab one now, save one for later, and enjoy!
View: Beers
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by stakem:
Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

stakem from Pennsylvania, Feb 01, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of cichief
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Pours a very dark brown with little head, but the foam that is there stays well. Smells of roasted malt, no real hop aroma. Taste is rather malty sweet, but balanced. High alcohol even a hint of whiskey, but little burn. Too strong to drink much, but gets better as it warms.

 278 characters

cichief from Virginia, Dec 07, 2014
Photo of BKotch
2.83/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Two words: hot mess. Might be better with 6 months or a year, but I'm not holding my breath and won't spend the money. Hot on the nose, even hotter on the palate. Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of sweet beers. But bigger beer is not always better beer. And calling it a "dessert beer" is not an excuse.

 298 characters

BKotch from Texas, Dec 27, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Wow am I glad the Jewbelation series can be shipped to my state again!Pours a deep ruby hued walnut color with a thick one finger beige head that clings like glue to the glass as it settles very slowly into a frothy mass.Whoa...sweet alcohol and alcohol dipped dark fruit are large and in charge in the nose,wow.This thing is untamed on the palate,where to begin.Sweet alcohol fruit cake-like flavors with more brown sugar-like sweetness with a tad bit of coffee roast with more sweet alcohol in the finish.Thick and chewy with an almost dessert like element to it but a big alcoholic dessert.I have had many beers bigger but this is one that will knock ya back in your arm chair,wow.

 684 characters

oberon from North Carolina, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jzeilinger
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a deep, and very dark burgundy color with a thick lacing ring of toffee colored soapy cream.

S - Figs, dates, molasses, roasted brown sugar, cherries, hints of chocolate, and alcohol.

T - Layers of chocolate, cherries, and booziness dominate this beer. The first sip is a blast of flavor and booze with moderate warming on the way own. Between the previous layers you'll find some mocha, oak, toasted brown sugar, and some figs. Once you work partially through the bottle some citrus starts to show up at the very end of the sip.

M - Gentle carbonation dissipates rather quickly and makes this beer feel like silk. Heavy, full body, slippery, and lip smacking sticky.

O - Big, bold, unshy, indiscreet, extroverted, unabashed - I always enjoy this series from Shmaltz!

 786 characters

jzeilinger from Pennsylvania, Nov 26, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

Beautifully sculpted from eighteen different malt varieties and eighteen different hop varieties, Shmaltz's eighteenth anniversary ale is a monster! Lavish, dedadent and certainly not for the timid, its a transcendent taste meant for the connoisseur.

As the ale nestles into the snifter, something of viscous porter and oil catch the eye. Its dense blanket of foam carry mouthwatering aromas of chocolate, port and dark fruit. With the most supple of sips slather on the tastebuds, its succulent sweetness erupts- black-strap molasses, fudge, brownie batter, mild coffee, candied walnut and nougat sweetness all saturates the mouth without apology.

Its powerful taste says to proceed with caution. Those fudgy, molasses flavors trample over the middle and give the beer a dessert-like character. Balance from weathered tree bark, light pepper and coffee-type bitterness contend with part of the malt sweetness while the mild tangy tartness of black cherry, blackberry, plum, date and fig offer an earthen fruitiness offsets even more.

Still, the beer finishes long, savory and malty- much like chocolate cake in a glass. Just off of cloying, the beer's chewy, rich and full body brings on palate fatigue quite quickly despite its thinning of spicy alcohol, complex flavor spread, and hop bite pull the beer from a sticky-sweet closing.

 1,339 characters

BEERchitect from Kentucky, Dec 15, 2014
Photo of wflaro
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%

wflaro from New York, Nov 11, 2014
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, dark copper color with a small, off-white head of foam. This beer blurs the lines between Barleywine, Stout and Quadrupel. There's chocolate, sweet toffee/malt, dried fruits and piney bitterness.

 210 characters

zeff80 from Missouri, Nov 11, 2015
Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

SuomiHobbit from Connecticut, Jan 02, 2015
Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque black ruby with a little dark tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet honey wheat bread and dark fruits, blended with bitter citrus zest and roasted coffee and burnt sugar.
T: It tasted like sugary sweet dark fruit and molasses, with some bitter coffee and citrus zest and leathery malt. It had a clean and mostly sweet aftertaste with lots of alcohol warming.
M: It was super thick and chewy with a little carbonation. Gigantic body.
D: This was an over-the-top brew, as expected. The net effect of all the ingredients together almost smelled like latex paint. But upon closer inspection, the scent and taste were quite complex. The body was outrageously big. The finish was super hot, even though they scaled the ABV way back. So this was definitely a sipping beer. Age would definitely help...maybe a few decades or more. I think this series peaked around 14, but I still enjoy trying them each year.

 923 characters

Pencible from Virginia, Dec 28, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured out of the bottle like motor oil and is jet black in color. It initially had a short dark tan head that left some small patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits are present in the nose—dates, figs, and grapes seem to stand out in particular—along with notes of boozy sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the beer is like a malt bomb bursting with flavors of chocolate, dates, figs, grapes, plums, port wine, and soy sauce. There is also a light to moderate amount of malty sweetness. No hop flavors or bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels full-bodied and very thick on the mouthfeel, coating the inside of your mouth. There is a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice beer to sip and savor on a cold winter night as it has lots of different complexities. It is rather drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. The only thing that really makes this a sipping beer is its full body.

Serving type: bottle

 1,051 characters

metter98 from New York, Feb 26, 2015
Photo of Tone
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. One inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong alcohol, strong yeast, slight wood, dark citrus, and hops. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong sweet malt, slight roasted malt, dark citrus, hops, hint of coffee, yeast, and wood. Overall, great appearance, strong aroma, strong body, good blend, and a great feel.

 518 characters

Tone from Missouri, Mar 28, 2015
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.71/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really loved this out of the chute. Time to grab one from the cellar with a year on it.
look: Deep dark, nearly opaque brown. Full dark mocha head. Looks like liquid brownies.
smell: Chocolate port. Just decadent and inviting mocha, dark fruit and hints of booze.
taste: Liquid dessert. Like the nose, rich and decadent chocolate, and dark fruit.
overall: fantastic.

 366 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - too bad Shmaltz had to discontinue the hop/malt/ABV arms race at 17, I was looking forward to seeing how they would actually prolong it, but alas.

This beer pours a solid black, with the barest of basal red cola edges, and two fingers of weakly puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat bubbly brown head, which leaves some low-lying mountain scape relief lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, gooey caramel and toffee malt, black licorice, wet ashy tobacco, molasses, dark Middle Eastern fruit, oily nuts, some ethereal leafy, weedy hops, and a creepy, threatening estery booziness. The taste is big, big, big caramel/toffee/nougat/treacle sweetness off the top, with some dense plum, prune, and fig/date fruitiness, still damp and dank chewing tobacco, a slight smoked anise essence, medium-dark cocoa butter, a hint of filled whisky barrels, subtle cafe-au-lait notes, itchy pine and citrusy hops, and an alcohol measure that does its best Sword of Damocles impression.

The bubbles are surprisingly rather engaging, their lilting frothiness lifting this one from darker depths, the body a full heavyweight, thick, unctuous, and devilishly smooth, with a creaminess that warps the mind and palate even further. It finishes decidedly sweet, the caramel (and all its friends), chocolate, fruit, and let's face it, alcohol not seeing a whole lot in the way of opposition.

Not my first jig at the rodeo with this line of boundary-straining ales, so I know how to approach them - like a wild animal, ya gotta be quiet, but firm, and don't go running off (i.e. glugging is out of the question). Relatively speaking, and for good reason, Jewbelation 18 is not as challenging an elixir as the past 5 years or so have been, but that's all right, I am a-ok with the flavour packed into this one. Not to mention that the analogous effects of a wine bottle are easier to deal with, when compared to the fortified variety, eh?

 1,972 characters

biboergosum from Alberta (Canada), Dec 30, 2014
Photo of clayrock81
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%

Don't know why but sometimes these guys make beers that I absolutely love and this one was no exception (OK, I know why -they're real good in my opinion).
Poured a black body with one finger almost tan head and quite a viscous pour - motor oil thick.
Aroma is dark fruits like raisins and figs, some plums maybe, and the booze in this beer creeps into the nose.
While the dark fruits I smelt where in the taste as well, in a body that is thick and requires slow sipping, there seems to be a balance struck with minor chocolate and toffee sweetness and has a chewy breadiness and slightly boozed up finish, even a little velvety woody bourbon/vanilla action going on.
This beer could be described as too boozy, too messy or just plain too much by someone and I could completely concur, however, I really enjoyed sipping on this beer and it hit the spot.

 852 characters

clayrock81 from Florida, Dec 03, 2014
Photo of abriggs1
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Another beautiful mess. The Jewbalation line from He'Brew is my favorite series of beers ever crated. The 14th in particular is one of the best beers every brewed on planet earth, and the 15th is coming along very nicely. I'll try another in a year to see what it does.

These beers are meant to age, so I'm reviewing this offering based on it's potential 3-5 years down the road. That being said, this one is really very interesting fresh. There is a very nice combination of sweetness on the front, and a rich dryness on the end. It reminds me of a rainwater Madeira, but darker and with more deep cherry flavors. This is a very complex beer, but the complexity will really come out in a few years. There is "too much going on" in every year's version of Jewbilation, and that is intentional.

No other brewery is making beers like this. If you're into aging beer, you won't find a more interesting line of brews to put down for a few years. This one is better than most of them were fresh, but it remains to be seen if the 18th can measure up to the level of sheer awesomeness the others achieve after a few years.

 1,118 characters

abriggs1 from Connecticut, Dec 01, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle consumed on the high seas.

Dark pour looked black as used motor oil in the glass. A moderate pour only raised a thin head but this had a sustained ring and left decent lacing.

Aroma of sweet toffee and dark roasted malts. Hints of dates, prunes and other dark fruits.

Flavor: rich, sweet, fruity and boozy. Too sweet up front but some of those 18 hop varieties kick in and manage to produce mild then moderate bitterness in the aftertaste although some sweetness still lurks there too.

Feel: very full body, syrupy feel followed by an oily finish; adequate light carbonation. Sticky finish.

O: more or less a barrel-aged black barleywine with exceptional richness and sweetness. Too sweet and just too much going on for me but glad to have had a chance to try it.

 785 characters

chinchill from South Carolina, Dec 23, 2014
Photo of Grinky
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Grinky from Illinois, Dec 11, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

jaydoc from Kansas, Jan 16, 2015
Photo of rfgetz
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

rfgetz from New Jersey, Jan 19, 2015
Photo of CHickman
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours the darkest brown possible that looks black with a 2 finger thick foamy light brown head cascading up that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing and rings went down. A thick layer stayed on top and stuck around for a long time.

Smells of sweet dark fruit up front like cherries, plum, date, fig and chocolate dipped banana, followed by Hershey's chocolate syrup, toffee, molasses, cocoa powder, burnt coffee grinds, brown sugar, caramel, more dark fruit and a boozy sweetness like dark rum. The nose has none of the 18 hops listed on the bottle and is basically a giant sweet malt bomb that crosses over into cloyingly sweet. It smells good and complex to a degree, but it's so lopsided that it's nothing great to inhale.

Tastes just as sweet as it smells with the dark fruit leading the way front and center as the assault starts with cherries, fig, plum, date, grape and rotting pear, brown sugar, red wine like merlot, toffee, molasses, cocoa powder, syrup, coffee, caramel, and dark rum. The 12.4% ABV is well hidden, but it's so sweet I may need an insulin shot after this bottle. It's got some nice malty complexities, but the hops are non-existent and the sweetness is so overpowering that it's like a sugar drink mixed in a red wine with rotten fruit tossed in it.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick but the feel is very thick and almost like a syrup, with that level of sweetness. No carbonation in this viscous beer-soup, it's a lava type of booze that is very dense. Chewy does not describe how heavy this bad boy is. Overall this was too sweet, even for a slow sipper. Just too extreme in one direction, the malts could not pull off the sweetness alone and needed the complimentary hops or at least some spice bite to lessen the candy essence that just seemed like the fermentation turned this brew into a bag of sugar cane. This was like honey or a thick mead and missed the mark for me.

Cheers to 18 years Rabbi Cowan, the effort was appreciated.

 2,002 characters

CHickman from New York, Aug 26, 2015
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Four year old, properly cellared bottle. Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a fine, half finger light brown head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, dates, figs, a little plum and aged hops. Flavor is dark, lightly toasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, dates, figs, raisins, molasses, hints of cherry and plum. Light grassy, aged hops lightly in the malty, chocolatey finish. Excellent, medium body with moderate creaminess; soft silky mouth feel. Well, this one aged for longer than I anticipated and I wasn't sure what to expect, but it has aged very gracefully. I did not try it fresh, but liked the other annual incarnations. The hops have turned grassy and a bit tired, but are light enough to add a rustic note in the finish. The main taste is really chocolatey, which is enhanced by the creamy body; this is reminiscent of a foamed hot chocolate. There are fruit notes similar to port, lightly cherry and plum, but they meld nicely to the deep malt. I approached this with mild trepidation, but now I wish I had laid more of these away. Very nice and enjoyable and a cellaring success. The style is much closer to an American strong ale than a barleywine, in both depth of color and dark maltiness.

 1,331 characters

LiquidAmber from Washington, Jan 28, 2019
Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sweemzander from Illinois, Nov 11, 2015
Photo of Fatehunter
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a dark brown, if not black, body.
The aroma is chocolate, ripe cherries and dates, licorice and anise. It has a lot going on.
The taste is sweet all around: alcohol heat, ripe fruits, chocolate and black licorice.
The texture is thick but super smooth with low, but fizzy, carbonation.
It's a big beer that's good for sipping.

 348 characters

He'Brew Jewbelation 18 from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 99 ratings