He'Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale | Shmaltz Brewing Company

250 Reviews
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He'Brew Origin Pomegranate AleHe'Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Celebrating our second decade of brewing, Shmaltz
Brewing presents ORIGIN Pomegranate Ale. A
renewal of our original HE'BREW Beer covenant,
brewed once again after 10 years with the juice
of over 10,000 luscious Pomegranates. ORIGIN is a
complex, rich and balanced Imperial Amber Ale
with a truly unique character. The only
Pomegranate Strong Ale in the country!

Added by ElGordo on 03-07-2007

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Reviews: 250 | Ratings: 423
Photo of SeamusLight
2.06/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I've had a few beers from the "He'Brew" line, and I remember them being fairly pleasant. But this year, something has gone wrong. It pours with practically no head, and a general lack of carbonation. Besides this, the taste most resembles Old Speckled Hen - which is not something I pay craft prices for.

Overall, a bitter disappointment.

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Photo of hreb
2.15/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Cold 22oz bottle poured into UK-size pint glass. Beer pours orange amber, slightly cloudy, with very little head. Initial aroma is citrusy and spicy, not at all beer-like. This must be the "luscious" pomegranate juice promised on the front label.

The first sip is immediately SOUR. Orange peel and...rancid garlic? I've had fresh pomegranate. It's viciously acidic, but tasty. I like acidic...I'll drink straight malt vinegar. But I admit I've never been a fan of the bottled pomegranate juices as much as orange or grapefruit or cranberry. I found this offering from He'brew and thought it was so insane it might just be good. You know, with a HINT of pomegranate.

Nope. This is fizzy alcoholic pomegranate juice with nothing to resemble beer to my palate. I wouldn't hold "not tasting like beer" against a legitimate ale beverage, which I'm sure this is, except that I like beer, and I don't like this. Other flavors? Grapefruit pith? There's a slightly fruity sweetness to it, but nothing that would remind me of an amber ale. Sorry. I would choose not to finish the bottle. I'll stick to Lenny's rye IPA.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.22/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz brown bottle. Poured into a duvel tulip it forms a modest loose off white head. Lacing is admirable and spider web like remnants are left behind. Nice to look at.

Hmmmm...I'm surprised at the subtleness of this brew considering their other anniversary/seasonal type offerings. This is by far the weakest of the bunch in both punch and flavor. Sweet unrefined type malt bill. Hops provide nothing more than a backdrop and the pomegranate is hardly detectable other than the sugar overtones.

Notes: Love the brewery, dislike this run.

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Photo of beerman21
2.33/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper red color with a pretty nice soap sud looking head, thickness is marginal with decent clarity only slightly hazy.

Smell- sweet beady malts, yes pomegranate, however very subtle. Still smells like a beer not a fruit cocktail. Would compare the aroma to maybe fruity rum cake.

Taste- Again more pomegranate, a little boozy for being 8%, Ive had beer 13% abv and taste less boozy then this. However i could be getting the pomegranate flavor mixed up. It does kind have a tart wine like flavor to it. More sweet maltness with minimal hop bitterness. Tasting some juicy fruit, rum cake, alcohol warmth finish.

Overall- unbalanced, boozy dry tartness. Maybe bring down the ABV a bit tone it down a notch it might be more palatable. Probably wont buy this again.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.35/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. No best-by date readily visible. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger white head with medium-to-low retention. Wet, drippy lacing. Orange-red color with low clarity. Some light permeates, but not a ton.

S- Fruity hop character and some syrup. Can't pick out pomegranate though. Unappealing smell.

T- Boozy, sour and unappealing. Can now pick out the pomegranate, not strong though. Not a good flavor.

M- Syrupy, finishes wet.

O- Oofah. This beer makes me shake. Not a fan. Had MUCH better strong ales.

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Photo of PatronWizard
2.42/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First time trying a product from this brewery. I like the play on words and grabbed a bomber. Here goes...

Pours an amber orange haze. Looks like orange marmalade. Unimpressive head.

Smells like orange marmalade. May be connected to the appearance as a smell expectation, but that's what I smell. Sue me. And I don't really like the smell.

Taste - I don't like it. I like pomegranate, but I can't detect that flavor here. It is after all the only ale of its kind. Good. I won't be buying this again. Sticky sweet syrup.

So that's my notes, and I'm sitting here now trying to give this a chance. What can I say, I'm a fair kinda dude. Bottle's a little over half gone and I still don't like it.

Overall: I'll definitely give this brewer another chance but not this product.

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Photo of Amalak
2.45/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Out of the bottle, a very slightly opaque clayish red. Decent foamy head that leaves a decent lace.

S: Smells like candy, kind of like a jolly rancher.

T: You know, I am a big fan of Pomegranate wine, but the beer...not so much. Way to sweet and bitter for my like.

M: Really, a sour taste in the back of the throat...no jokes.

D: With the above two, I really can say it has a high drinkability level.

I think if you like a fruitier tasting beer, you will like this. Not really my taste though.

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Photo of dvb
2.46/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another reviewer stated that he thought this beer tasted like a doppelbock. I am reminded more of an eisbock, but no point in splitting hairs.

ST: 22-ounce brown bomber.

A: This beer has an attractive copper color. Quite transparent. A nice tan head quickly vanishes, leaving almost no lacing.

S: I am getting a medicinal aroma. The alcohol is not well-hidden.

T: The pomegranate is pleasant enough, but is beaten over the head by alcohol. This would be better as a non-imperial.

M: Sticky.

Personally, I feel this recipe needs refinement. It is not without promise, but it just doesn't deliver the goods. Sorry, He'brew. I really wanted to like this, but it just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.51/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A poor offering with little, if anything, making it interesting, and a general range that falls short of mediocrity.

Presentation: 22 oz brow capped bottle. Red, orange, and blue label over the image of a pomegranate tree with a celebration of the founding of the brewery on the branches. Lacks any clear bottling or freshness date. Side narrative explains the history, content, and intent. Shows Alc. by Vol. (8%) and Kosher Certified emblem. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber pour with a good frothy head, medium to poor retention and lacing.

S - Nose ranges form nothing to a minimal range, rather poor, with a bit of lager skunkiness, bitter tones with the faintest of fruity hints in a very remote background.

T - Taste is one-dimensional and not all that enticing with a predominating bitter sense, rather aggressive lingering on bad lager tones, metallic touch and a faint and failing fruity touch buried under the mono-chord flatness.

M - Medium-light body with generous carbonation.

D - Nah, it hardly makes itself drinkable for a glass let alone a full bottle. Pomegranate if buried and almost non-existent and the rest is rather uninviting.

Notes: It´s not that their brews are particularly remarkable, other than from the identity and marketing standing point, but this is surely the poorest offering I have tried form this brewery, and well below a passable standard being not only a bit ugly but so unfortunately uninspiring.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.54/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bottle label identifies it as an "imperial amber ale" so I'm reviewing as such. 8% ABV confirmed. Brown glass bomber with flashy uninteresting label art and branded pry-off pressure cap purchased at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live Expectations are average given the brewery, which has yet to impress me and has put out some messy brews in the past.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of pale light khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Has a good luscious consistency and a fairly soft complexion. Head retention is average - about two minutes. Uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a dark auburn/some sort of pomegranate red. Nontransparent and non-translucent. No yeast particless are visible. Not particularly vibrant.

Overall, it looks pretty decent, but isn't amazing for an imperial amber. Not unique or special. I'd prefer it brighter. No egregious flaws here. I'm optimistic.

Sm: Ripe juicy pomegranate fruit. Surprisingly devoid of esters. Has a bizarrely powerful almost barleywine-like malty sweetness. Maybe even a tinge of oxidation? I do pick up a hint of cardboard. Yeah, it's way too malt-reliant for an imperial amber, with hardly any hop profile. I do get floral hops and fruity hops, but the hop character here lacks depth. Caramel. A bit on the sweeter side, with inadequate hop bitterness to balance it. Yeast attenuation seems way too low based on the sheer amount of sugars evident in the aroma.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. It's quite clean. I'm pretty unimpressed with the build; it's not quite right for an amber and not quite right for a fruit ale.

An inoffensive aroma of below average strength. I'm a bit suspicious of this.

T: Cardboard up front. Caramel. Toffee. Bready malts. Is this sounding more like a bad barleywine than an imperial amber? That's because it tastes like it.

Yes, there's a bit of pomegranate fruit, but it gets buried. Not juicy, luscious, or really even that fruity. It may as well be pomegranate flavour/extract.

Too sugary and sweet, and above all too malty. A poor build for an imperial amber. There's hardly any hop presence; all we get is some generic uninteresting floral and fruity character. I can't guess the hop strain, but it's obvious the choice of hops here is subpar - and downright wrong for an imperial amber. It really needs some hop bitterness to curb the sloppy maltiness.

A messy schizophrenic brew that doesn't really fit into imperial amber or fruit beer style conventions. I can see why it's currently classified as a strong ale, but let's be fair - there just isn't any focus or direction here. Not a gestalt or even cohesive build. Imbalanced and underwhelming. Poor depth of flavour. Below average duration and intensity of flavour. Complicates what should be a simple easily executed concept. Lacks subtlety, intricacy, and nuance.

No yeast character comes through. I do pick up some alcohol presence.

I'm not a big fan of this one. Hot damn, those hop notes are timid.

Mf: Smooth and wet up front, but the cardboard-y notes render it a bit coarser and dryer on the climax, which is unwelcome. Bad body. A bit too thick. A biteen overcarbonated. Not juicy or luscious or creamy. Unrefreshing. Weak. Poor presence on the palate. Badly executed texture. It doesn't suit the flavour profile well at all. A bit gushed.

Not astringent, oily, crisp, hot, or boozy.

Dr: I like the idea of a pomegranate imperial amber, but the execution just isn't good. For starters, even the base is badly done and just isn't hoppy enough or balanced enough to satisfy imperial amber conventions. Overall, it has an unbecoming artificial feel and taste to it that suggest artificial flavours/extracts were used. This is yet another disappointing beer from Shmaltz that I wouldn't recommend to friends.


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Photo of aasher
2.58/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, part of their Holiday pack.

This beer pours a light bodied amberish orange in color with a soapy lacing around the glass. The aromas are of faded amber malts with no fruit at all. The flavors are very sweet and malty, but again not reminiscent of any pomegranate or fruit juice. It's weird. It could be an extract. It drinks pretty light in body and doesn't have appealing flavor at all. It's odd and disjointed. The pomegranate doesn't show itself, and if you strained to believe that it was, then it's forced. This one is definitely a beer to avoid.

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Photo of largadeer
2.59/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark amber with an off-white head that didn't retain very well.

Smell - Alcohol and pomegranate juice.

Taste - Grainy malts, pomegranate juice and mild floral hops. Surprisingly powerful alcohol in the finish - something went wrong with this one, the alcohol is entirely too noticeable.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, a tad thin for the ABV. Bitter alcohol clings to the palate.

Notes - Pretty bad stuff, thankfully this was my friend's buy.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.61/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice woody brown with orange throughout. Tan head is on the small side.
Smell is hops with hints of apple and citrus.
Taste is little more involved with just hops, citrus and pine notes.
Aftertaste is all hop bitterness. Dry finish with a medium body and light effervescence. A decent beer but more IPA-like to my palate than an amber or strong ale. No pomegranate found either. Too bad.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.62/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Poured into a Watou chalice. Cloudy gold, with a touch of red. Very little foam. Not much of a pour, truth be told.

S - There's something fruity in the aroma, though I wouldn't immediately peg it as the pomegranate it is. Not unpleasant, but beyond that it doesn't have much aroma.

T - I'll start with the back end, because that's the best part of this beer. Only then do I get a tangy pomegranate taste. Up front, it tastes like a too-strong pale ale. Astringent bitter hop presence and a lot of perceived alcohol. I like the pomegranate on the back end, but I can get that in a glass of POM.

F - I kinda like the slightly thin feel. If it wasn't somewhat thin, I don't think I could finish a glass.

D - OK, I lied. I'm not going to finish a glass. I thought this beer was going to taste more like this brewery's 10:10, which I very much enjoyed. The interplay of bitter, tangy and alcoholic here isn't doing it for me, with very little malt taste to help smooth things out. Probably my least favorite beer from this brewery.

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Photo of midaszero
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Clean amber red with 2 fingers of white head

S - Faint caramel malts and some faint pomegranate

T - a little like fruit juice with some caramel malts, piny hops but with a bad after taste

M - Medium body with medium high carbonation

D - not to impressed or enjoyable

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up mostly because it was $5 for a bomber and I was curious about the rendering of pomegranate. I should have noted more carefully that it said amber ale on the label, seeing as how I have rarely ever liked anything in the style.
It's pretty on the pour, that much is certain. For me, the beer falls apart from there. There's a soapyness in the smell that extends to the flavor. Pomegranate flavor is lost in here. There's an edge to the bitterness that kinda reminds me of biting into pomegranate seeds but that's about it. Mouthfeel is thin. The overall experience is that of drinking over brewed, over sweetened black tea with a shot and a half of vodka thrown in for a boozy kick. I won't be getting this again and I can't think of anyone I could warmly recommend this to.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a cloudy copper-orange, with a thin head that surprisingly lasted.

S: Similar to many of the other Shmaltz offerings, this one's sweetness gets overpowering at times. Grapefruit, tropical fruit, and raisins all come to the forefront, with a subtle hint of tartness and spiciness, maybe coriander. The alcohol is also evident from the nose.

T: Another over-the-top sweet concoction, that surprisingly tastes a little more tart than it smells, but with a not-subtle-at-all alcohol presence, and a sour/spice finish. Ever so subtle hints of ginger and caraway seed in the finish.

M: Syrupy, with a strong presence of alcohol.

D: Not to sound like a broken record with these guys, but I'm one-&-done. Too syrupy sweet...like many of their beers.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
2.66/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: burnt copper/amber in color, quickly fading head, looks nice and dirty with all the dark haziness...

s: i expected more of the pomegranate in the nose, but i was impressed more by yeastiness, and a bit of malt...underwhelming, not what i expected.

t: tart and bittersweet, acidic, though the pomegranate itself hardly takes recognizable shape in the front or back end. malty and yeasty, this tastes like a project still in development, not a finished product.

m: acidic, aftertaste is a thick coat of malty oil.

d: luckily, i'm thirsty...so this will work for me right now. but i seriously doubt i'll ever pick it up again.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.67/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A half finger of head on a hazy, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is grain with some fruitiness thrown in.
The taste is not enjoyable. It has a strong bitter-sweetness that does not come across well.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Not fun.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First had: at Philly Craft Beer Fest '07

Somewhat better than the Genesis Ale, but only because pomegranates make everything better.

Poured a reddish amber with a bit of haze, and a small white head. Caramel malts of an amber ale in the nose, with some fruit coming through. Mostly malts in the taste at first, followed by some harsh bitterness, and a pomegranate sensation that reminded me of the fruit you get in a witbier. Light-medium body a little thin, and sort of a bitter aftertaste. Decent, but disappointing.

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Photo of bluHatter
2.74/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep thick cloudy red, very similar to apple cider. Pours very thick, rich.

S: Booze, sugar, some wood notes, and a hint of dark fruits

T: Sweet, with some caramel corners. Hoppy. Can barely taste the pomegranate influence in the back of the throat. Very boozy finish.

M: Good carbonation, maybe a little too much. Kind of thick. High acidity.

O: I can't say I really love this ale. It's just a little too strong tasting for only being 8% ABV, without a lot of interesting character to match. I would like to taste the barrel-aged variety, because that seems like it's exactly what this needs to really round it out perfectly.

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Photo of match1112
2.83/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: orangeish brown in color with a off white head that fizzes out rather quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

s: bready malts, pomegranate flavored cough medicine and alochol.

t: slightly bitter mostly sweet from malts and flavored cough syrup.

m: thin body with decent carbonation. left my mouth feeling a little dry.

o: the pomegranates did not shine in this beer, which is a shame. hopefully someone makes a chocolate pomagranate stout, that would be delicious. like i already said, it tastes like medicine to me.

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Photo of xav33
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

HeBrew Origin Pomegranate Ale
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in a shaker

Poured a clear orange amber, with a peculiar slight red brightness to it, with a medium white fizzy mostly diminishing head.

Smelt of strong caramel and pomegranate.

Taste was upfront sweet caramel malt and pomegranate with a moderate bitter grassy hops and toasted grain followed by a strong bitter pomegranate flesh and toasted grain on an average to long bitter pomegranate finish.

Palate was medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated and strongly astringent.

Overall, this beer captures the pomegranate taste very well, but it still somehow doesn't work. Sometimes it feels too sweet from the strong caramel malt backbone, and sometimes it feels too bitter and a bit tart from the pomegranate. It just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of elricorico
2.86/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear ruddy copper with a cream coloured, three finger head. Head is slow to fade and leaves a lot of lacing. Couldn't look much better.

First impression of the smell was that it was a very hoppy red ale, and it immediately brought to mind Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale. As I continue to smell it, the impression becomes soapy, and loses some of its appeal. Swirling the beer brings back some of that hoppy aroma, but the soap doesn't quite go away.

An unusual juicy sweetness makes itself very apparent from start to finish in the flavour. Almost syrupy, it is too much to be considered pleasant. Hops do show up in the finish, but they are really held back to the bitter end by that sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky, and the carbonation doesn't quite cut through. This, in addition to the cloying flavour, makes for a difficult beer to drink.

It all looked so good upon pouring, but this was a disappointment.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
2.89/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

He'Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale | 650 ml. | 8.0% ABV | 2011

Brewer: Shmaltz Brewing Company (He'Brew)
Style: American Strong Ale
Glass: crystal mug

Dazzling orange-amber under light, with a foamy, frothy head.

Musty fruitiness and caramel hops.

Caramel malts are most prominent, but I'm sure you're wondering about the pomegranate. Well it's there, but it tastes medicinal. Only in the aftertaste do I get a sort of bitter-sweet fruity essence.

Too carbonated I think.

Sort of cacophonous, and the pomegranate taste could have been stronger. What if this had been a pomegranate lambic?

Would I get it again?:

Bottled: ?
Served: October 15, 2011

Price = $5.99 at Whole Foods (NYC)

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He'Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 423 ratings.
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