Chanukah In Kentucky
Shmaltz Brewing Company

Chanukah In KentuckyChanukah In Kentucky
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #210
Ranked #41,479
3.61 | pDev: 11.36%
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
Chanukah In KentuckyChanukah In Kentucky
Notes: In early spring of 2015, we brewed a 50-barrel batch of Hanukkah, Chanukah Pass the Beer with 8 malts, 8 hops and 8% ABV. After fermentation we filled first use Heaven Hill and Jim Beam bourbon barrels to age the luscious dark ale. Eight months later, Chanukah in Kentucky was born. Chanukah in Kentucky pours dark chestnut in color with ruby highlights and a creamy beige head. The nose is big and slightly tart with a mix of toasted malt, dark chocolate, woody oak, and the noticeable aroma of barrel bourbon. The first taste is slightly sweet with notes of dark cherry and a confection of toffee, caramel, and hints of vanilla. As it warms, the bourbon character fades making the toffee, chocolate, sweet caramel, vanilla bean and woody oak become more pronounced. This rare and precious offering is smooth with medium body and a dry finish. Share a bottle with your favorite friends and family and delight in the warming of the season. L’Chaim!
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Vidblain from Minnesota

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

I hung on to this beer for a couple of years, not knowing what exactly might happen. I bought it when I initially began hoarding anything that was barrel-aged... a habit which I've since broken myself of, primarily because of beers like this.

I don't know why this beer was aged. It's quite thin, and while it certainly does have some nice caramel and toffee notes, it finishes dry and a bit tart. Who wants a tart caramel beer...? Is there actually demand for such a thing?

Carb is a bit heavier, more like a bock. Take away the tartness and dryness, and this might be decent. As-is, it's not good. Probably the last time I'll be buying any Shmaltz beers.

Feb 07, 2019
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Mitzvahman72 from California

4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottling date: 10-19-2015, Batch #: 1 Case #: 718

With a dark mahogany color, the flavors consists of dark, malty brandy with sweet toffee and a burst of flowery apricots and dark fruits. The aftertaste is on a slightly bitter side, although it has a minor hue of fondant. Meanwhile, the aroma is a little bit of everything in its flavor description, with a subtle set of fondant thrown in. For a barrel-aged offering, I really like how it has the actual flavors one would expect from bourbon barrel aging without getting too boozy. Don’t forget to try out other great barrel aged options, mainly the Barrel Aged Numbskull and Olde Ale/Special Reserve from Alesmith Brewing Company, Rye-on-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Company, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown Ale from New English Brewing Company and the Vanilla Bean Stout from Avery Brewing.

Jun 29, 2017
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Note: 2015 Vintage

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate ruby red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly heavier than moderate aromas of caramel malts, brown sugar, toasted oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Lighter aromas of toffee along with herbal, earthy, and spicy hops.

T: Upfront there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of caramel + bready malts with a lighter flavor of dark malts. There is a light to moderate amount of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee sweetness with a light to moderate amount of dark fruit (tart cherry). That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of toasted oak with light to moderate flavors of bourbon + vanilla. Light flavors of herbal, earthy, and spicy hops in the finish which contribute a light amount of bitterness but the lingering flavor is one of toasted oak.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Alcohol is well hidden in this beer but it is a touch unusual with the tart cherry/dark fruit and bourbon barrel. Brewer claims it to be a winter warmer without the spices but it just doesn't fit well into any category.

Nov 23, 2016
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larryarms847 from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly rusty hued brown with a thin quarter finger of frothy foam.

Cherry, dark fruit, oak, bourbon, caramel, and toffee.

Oaky bourbon notes are entangled in a slightly tart cherry fruitiness.

Medium-bodied, low-medium carbonation, slightly tart.

Overall, while certainly not a drain pour, the tartness throws you off and is odd for the particular style.

Jun 26, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque in the glass with a fine, two finger khaki head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark malt with a hint of caramel, bourbon, oaky vanilla. Flavor is dark malt with light roastiness, caramel, lots of bourbon and oak, with holiday spicing developing into a very odd bitter, stark finish with some light sour fruit notes. Lingering somewhat astringent bitterness, either from hops or spicing; this lingering taste is more like a well hopped winter warmer. Medium bodied with light creaminess and active carbonation. This one is a mixed bag. The start is pretty nice, with the malt, bourbon, woodiness and spicing I'd expect from a holiday strong ale. The finish is a bit too tart and bitter without the flavor support of the main body. I wanted to really like this each taste, but the finish was somewhat off-putting. An otherwise tasty big ale as expected from Shmaltz, but uneven with an odd finish.

Jun 16, 2016
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gatornation from Minnesota

2.84/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark Mahogany color with a tan head looks OK, smell is bitter malts and cheap bourbon, taste is the same a cheap bourbon, start with bitter roasted malts makes for a very odd BA WW, this brew really has no layers of flavor it is a struggle to finish, high carbonation makes me think infection, way , a bad brew skip this one

May 23, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/27/2015. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oak, bourbon, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, brown bread, herbal, light pepper/pine, light chocolate/nuttiness, and oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oak, bourbon, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, brown bread, herbal, light pepper/pine, light chocolate/nuttiness, and oak/toasted earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/pine bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oak, bourbon, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, brown bread, pepper, pine, and bourbon/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness that increases through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barrel aged English strong ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

May 08, 2016
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent auburn with 2+ fingers of rocky. Stellar lacing & head retention, stays effervescent throughout

S: Sourmash & figs, a little vanilla & honey once warm

T: Sourmash, figs, pears and oaky dryness up front. Herbal & woody bitterness, a touch of sourwood honey and pear as this warms along with a slight cakeyness, plus a little booze bite. Finishes with sourmash, a little oakyness & dryness

MF: Warming, slight carbonation, body isn't very thick & then thins more as it warms

This was a letdown expected way more, drinks alright, but not one I will buy again

Jan 24, 2016
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't get the low rating for this. It's mis-labeled as a Winter Warmer. I'd go with the catch all of American Strong Ale. It has no spicy Winter Warmer characteritics, but it's a good barrel aged dark beer.

Jan 21, 2016
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mactrail from Washington

3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This tastes a little burnt and buttery. Dark amber with a ruby glint and a little foam in the Delirium Tremens snifter. Just slightly sweet. Quite a lot of dark roasted grainy taste. There is a whiff of Bourbon but not much flavor. The hops seem to take over and the bitter aftertaste obliterates the malt. There is even a sourish hint at the finish.

Overall this is a rough-edged grainy brew that gets you in the back of the throat. I think of all the big and malty Shmaltz brews I used to have years ago, and I was looking forward to this one. They seem to have disappeared from the West Coast in recent years. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft for $14.45 and not worth it.

Jan 13, 2016
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schoolboy from Ohio

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

I bought two bottles of this and ended up not even getting a taste, so today I bought another just for me.

It's a really looker - brown; thick brown. With lovely thin lace and head around the perimeter. The aroma is a sweet, fruity smell with just a hint of the whiskey barrels.

The taste is a big sweet, bitter, and mildly boozy balance, with a bitter aftertaste. The malty, boozy taste is something I associate with Shmaltz. This one has that. A big taste for sure.

I don't know if this will be available in the future, but I do recommend it. It is a bit expensive, but I will attest that you get something pretty damn good for your money.

Jan 03, 2016
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HopHunter19 from Missouri

3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 3.5 - dark brown color that has mahogany hues on the edges, minimal to no head
S 3.75 - oak, vanilla, spicy rye note, some sweet malts, little bit of caramel
T 3.5 - oak, vanilla, rye spice, dark fruits, tart cherry, red wine, almost makes me worry about contamination? Not a big malt backbone but then again this is an 8% dark ale
M 3.5 - medium mouthfeel, little thin feeling, I'm not sure why they went with the dark ale instead of an imperial stout, alc covered, aftertaste is oak, dark fruits
O 3.5 - little dissapointing, I get the feeling they kind of slap dashed into a barrel aged beer here. Thin beer, barrel characteristics are very basic with not much depth, and there's some flavors that make me worry that if this sat for a few months it would be a vomit bomb. That said, for now, for what it is, it's ok.

Dec 31, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

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

L: Pours brilliant chestnut with a persistent and lacy 3” tan foam column.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, malt, and a hint of rye.

T: Rich and malty, a subtle wine note, fruit, bourbon, dark dried fruit, mildly sweet. The malt flavors are medium high, the fruit flavors are medium and the bitterness is medium.

F: Very creamy with fine soft carbonation and a medium full body.

O: A big, bold boozy beer.

Dec 30, 2015
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Bebum from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Covering lace.
Medium body, dense flavor, long and rich palate.
Bitter, touch of sweetness, nice and well dosed acidity.
Yeasty, malty, cola.
Very enjoyable.

Dec 23, 2015
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I’m surprised that the Donald hasn’t proposed banning the import of this beer yet based on its…whatever. I mean, you know. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The pour is dark red, half of a plaid shirt gone bad. The nose is surprisingly aroma-shy: there’s some whiskey, vanilla, bit of caramel, but not a whole lot of anything else. Including beer.

Chanukah in Kentucky might last me a day or two, but not all the way through. Whiskey soaks right through this & drowns the base in a boozy barrel; it’s belly warming, even at this relatively low ABV for a BA brew. Many board feet of wood before there finally a hint of beer: caramel, Christmas gingerbread cookie spicing. Alcohol, grain. A bit thin despite that, though easy to swig in a mindless, debate-watching sort of way.

There’s little to no beer in this: spices + barrel = Chanukah. Not bad, but minimal substance. Pretty good.

Dec 17, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Seventh night of Channukah, good night to do this. A lot of their big beers have been over the top and a mess in the past couple years, so hopefully they dialed this back into their comfort zone.

Pours a slightly off-white foamy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, super dark molasses brown almost black color.

Nose smells like a mess, some sweet candy, cherry sour notes, possibly infected, lots of oak tannins and messy oak flesh, some bourbon barrel juice, lots of fruit, fig paste, raisin, dried cranberry and dried cherry, etc, hint of booze, some candy sweet malts, caramel, toffee.

Taste brings a ton of oak and barrel, vanilla and buttery toasty oak, lots of oak, some oak tannins, oak flesh, with bourbon and straight barrel juice. A little warming booze comes out with the big sweet malts, caramel and big caramel cream candy, little toffee, etc. Lots of fruit, don't think it's infected like the nose hinted at, just strange yeast esters and booze notes, and barrel things, fruity again, brandy soaked raisin and more candied cherry flavor, a little yeasty note with lots of esters and a little phenolic note, booze tingle and a touch fusel even, then big spicy earthy hops and quite bitter in the background, clashing with the rest of the beer. Finish is sticky sweet, boozy again, more spicy earthy bitter hops clashing with the hot booze, vanilla buttery oak and the sweet caramel malts.

Mouth is fuller bod, caramel cream feel, nice carb at least, but big hot tingly booze.

Overall, sigh, this was like recent for them, it's a huge mess of everything. Not sure what's going on with these guys but it seems like they don't care anymore. The malts are nice to start at least, the barrel is decent and adds nice vanilla buttery oak and bourbon, but the rest is bad, the sour fruit is weird and not sure if it's from yeast off characters or some infection thing or what really... the bitter spicy hops clash with everything, and the booze is over the top especially for only 8%. Not very enjoyable guys, come on, go back to the magic that made the Bar-Mitzvah beer era.

Dec 13, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kentucky is plastered with Christian devotions that celebrate the holiday only one night of the year. But our Hanukkah bretheren have figured it out- how to extend the celebration through more than just a day, and even a week.

Chanukah In Kentucky is a beer well suited for the holiday with its deep chestnut, crimson pour and a sturdy off-white head. Rich aromatics of caramel, coffee, whisky and wood resonate with the nose while a toasty-sweet taste tantalized the early palate.

And as the flavors simmer on the middle, the malts awaken to share a toffee rich taste of over-cooked caramel, coffee grounds, marzipan and glimpses of earthy sorghum. While barre complexities play a soft background role, its oak spice, whisky, cherry and char offer up a tepid balance to the sweetness. Its woodsy hop counterpart is vaguely of citrus with hints of pine and tea.

Long and sweet, the dark ale finishes full and lax. Sitting laboriously on the tongue, its sweet and spice-laden sugars seep deeply into the tastebuds and saturate them fully with cola, butter pecan and wood soaked caramel, vanilla and cherry.

Dec 12, 2015
Chanukah In Kentucky from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 52 ratings