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 AllForAugust
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: I'm going to make an attempt to factor in ocular fatigue with my judgement here. First, however, I must address the head. Poured right down the middle of a snifter only to produce a one finger head that dissipated fairly quickly, yet leaves a thin, yet pleasant cover over what remains in the glass. If you're searching for a nice frothy amber beer, perhaps look elsewhere. The high alcohol content does not allow head retention to be the highlighting factor of this brew's appearance. Lacing, however, is wonderful for the style. As far as color goes, the amber is present, but there is a certain brownness about it. Maybe hues of yellow. Fuck, the lighting in here is weird. Every time I look at the damn thing it's a different color. I swear it's fucking with me...

S: What the hell ever even is a pomdegramite? I smell fruit, but like a dirty fruit. Like, the fruit I've seen being sold in the dirty streets of a cloudy city in South America. Yeah, I'm sure it tastes good, but it kinda looks sketchy, ya barefooted bimbo. Nah, just kidding. It's alright. Not overpowering. Just how I like my infusions. The malt aroma is the second most present schmell. Pretty yummy. Pretty standard. After all, this is an amber ale.

T: Wait, what's the ABV on this sonuvabitch? That was my first question. The initial taste reveals very little as to the strength of this beer. Then the aftertaste kicks in, reassuring you that it's there, whilst sweeping any hint of the amber ale base under the rug and off the palate. (8.00%, bee tee dubs lol) If anything can be said about this beer, it's that it's ambitious. It wants to be better, but mixing pomegranate and an imperial amber is not exactly intuitive. It's ok.

M: It's smooth and very drinkable. This beer is light on the tongue and oh my shit fuck off spotify i dont want to upgrade to premium fuck a goat and leaves with grace. Usually, I equate ambers with being somewhat thicker, but the thinning effect of the alcohol must be considered.

O: My mother always says, "Remember there will always be those greater and lesser than yourself." Certainly the case with this beer. It's just ok. Props for brewing outside intuition, though. And more props for keeping the flavors from being overwhelming.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper with a hint of red. Head was a solid finger-plus of off-white, with decent lingering and fair lacing.

S: Sweet and malty. Also fruity, but I can't clearly say it's pomegranate.

T: Heavy on the sweet malt, maybe a little too sweet as it's not well balanced. Tart fruitiness is also evident, but again I wouldn't be able to identify it as pomegranate if the label didn't tell me so. The hops are faint, and not enough to make up for the heavy sweetness.

M: Crisp and refreshing -- if it weren't for the boozy presence, I'd have marked it even higher.

O: In spite of it being heavy on the sweetness and the pomegranate not being the star, it was a remarkably drinkable beer (which could be a dangerous thing, given the 8% ABV).

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I like this better than most other pomegranate beers out there, but it still has that characteristic Hebrew malt heaviness, even in a beer where it doesn't belong. all their beers seem to have this going on, even the session beer, its just a weird trademark than makes some of the beers not as good as they should be. this pours shiny copper in color like a new penny, boasting a half inch of dense white foam, although it fades out fast. the nose is sweet and tart from the fruit juice, and there is a hearty grain backing, dense like a bran muffin. the cereals and fruit work well in taste, like a bowl of granola or something, this beer has that sort of filling vibe. the fruit is subtle and complementary. alcohol is more intense and up front than it probably should be, but it is just a reminder of this brews strength. a good morning beer, and a good hangover beer. not epic, but better than the other Hebrew stuff ive had for the most part.

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Photo of GJ40
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a chalice. Purchased at Triangle Wine.

Beautiful copper color with a reddish hue and a small beige head. Aroma is a mix of sweet malt and pomegranate. The flavor though leans too heavily toward the sweet malt. The alcohol is pretty evident too. The pomegranate adds to a lingering bitterness but doesn't do much else. The mouth feel is moderate and the carbonation is as well.

Maybe it's just not my style but I found this one too malty with the pomegranate not bringing enough to the table.

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Photo of BeerEngineer
3.14/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

General - I used to live in Latham, NY, no more than 20 minutes away from the He'Brew brewery in Clifton Park, NY. When I was there (up to around 2006) I hadn't heard of this brewery. This is the first time that I'm trying any He'Brew beer. I poured this directly from the fridge into a SA Perfect Pint Glass. It was too chilled to enjoy it properly so I'm leaving i out for a few minutes to warm up before I review it.

Appearance - SRM color is around a 9, a touch light even for a standard Amber Ale let alone an imperial amber. The head is a light tan, doesn't hold that well or put up much lacing.

Aroma - There is a definite hint of pomegranate in the aroma, I like it because as far as the scent is concerned it's not overpowering. There is also a very nice malty background to this aroma. A slight hop scent, but this is much more balanced on the malt side of the scale, as I expect in any amber ale.

Taste - So there is a touch of pomegranate but just like the aroma it's not that present. It's more of just a hint of it, if I didn't know it was pomegranate I would be searching for what fruit it is. I like that aspect, it's nice when it's not overpowering. There is a strong maltiness in the flavor that is nicely rounded out by a touch of hop bitterness on the back end. There is a lot going on in this flavor, it seems like the more it warms the more bitter it becomes. There doesn't seem to be a lot of residual sweetness left in this, just a touch of it, which explains the 8.0% ABV. I feel like my palette is going to be fried after this big 22 oz. So many flavors are being thrown around.

Mouthfeel - A little thin for me. There really isn't any category for an Imperial Amber in BJCP but if you look at the American Amber category it should still be a little thicker. There is a good amount of carbonation for an amber style but just a little disappointing.

Overall - Not bad, not great. This is one of those beers that I would open up with some friends and say "hey let's try something different". I think that may be the best way to describe it, different. It's not what I would expect from either a pomegranate ale OR an imperial amber. I don't think that I'll be picking up this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours out an auburn color with not much sticking to the surface, in the line of foam. A thick-ish ring remains. Decent clarity. Looks drinkable.

Smells like dark berry and slightly-turned malts. Insinuation of pomegranante is duly noted. Moreso, notes of raisin, fig, and caramel. Has a tropical bent to it, but it almost smells like an Old Ale with maltiness reminiscent of an English sipper.

More of that English maltiness, with perhaps a touch of Fuggle. Earthy and only mildly fruity. Again, pomegranate is a bit of a stretch, but I'll stick to their word. It's really missing a lot. A bit cardboard-y. It's either super-hard to get this beer fresh around these parts, or everytime I drink one, I'm severly disappointed by the way it's seemed to have turned. Burnt toffee in the finish. Here I go again...

Has a mild sudsiness and a bushy body. A little slick, too. It's easy enough to finish. I must say, I like how the alcohol barely creeps up (for a Strong Ale, mind you).

I repeatedly shake my head after trying to enjoy this beer. So many times now, it has failed me. Has it failed you, too?

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber with light carbonation, and a good head that presents itself and fades to a minimum. Lacks lacing.
Smells of malts, leathery to me, hint of tropical fruit/ the pomegranate.
Tastes a bit better than my nose was suggesting it would. An earthy/ woody bready goodness with a fruity blend (pomegranate indeed, and this fruit works well with beer here it seems). Hops poke through. Not complex by any means, but i like what is there. Herbal flavoring bordering on medicinal, but in a balanced way. I am stuffed-up while sampling this so maybe I'd have a lesser opinion without a probable cold! Not a favorite style, ambers in general, but somehow this imperial effort tastes better than many to me.
Feels smooth and creamy, unlike its appearance in my pint. Medium carbonation. I do enjoy the bitterness in the finish.

Id probably try this again. Unique in that it centers on pomegranate. Maybe i will try more bold ambers in general.

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Photo of Auraan
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a good looking orange/red with a thing white head that dissipated. Scents of ale yeast, malt and slight pomegranate juice. The flavor begins with dark fruits, citrus and some sour fruity flavors, a mild hop bitterness is also present and allows the sweetness to shine through. There is a pronounced flavor of alcohol on the finish. It has a mildly carbonated mouthfeel with some slight stickiness. Overall it's a good beer, with a combination of bitter, sweet and sour flavors. It may not be everyone's thing, but I enjoyed it.

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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 ummswimmin
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer into my tulip glass. The Origin had about two fingers of foam over a light brown color.

This smells like a lager with a touch of sweetness. I get some euro hops on this one.

This tastes like a stock lager with a good dose of bitterness from the pommegranite. The pommegranites throws off the balance with this one.

Overall this is an off-tasting lager. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for it.

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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 wvsabbath
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark amber brown/tan with a nice 2 inch creamy,foamy head. Lots of lacing.

Smell - A rich blast of pomegranate, smells like a wine, or a wine cooler. Some yeasts, malts and minro hops.

Taste - Strong hops mixed with added pomegranate at first sip. Has a bitter hop backbone mixed with real pomegranate flavor, tart and a little sour. A little bready malt mixed in, and some alcohol warmth at the finish.

Mouth - Bitter hops and sour/tart pomegranate coats the tounge. The palate gets more of the same with bready caramel malts. The aftertaste is dry, sour and tart.

Overall - Well the plus is it has a real pomegranate flavor, the issue i have is its not fruity enough, the hops are bitter, mixed with the sour tart pomegranate gives it a extra tart, kinda bland flavor. Still its enjoyable but nothing to special. Nicely priced for the 22oz'er, but not the great summertime beer i was expecting.

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Photo of ESPNman
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into a Stone IRS snifter

A - Pours a cloudy, rusty amber. You can definitely tell that this is a beer that has been brewed with a significant amount of pomegranate. It produces a bit of thick, reddish head. Dissipates quickly, leaves moderate lacing, along with a small ring of head around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet fruits and some caramel sugars. Also a bit of biscuity cereal-like grain in the nose. A bit of pomegranate, but not a ton.

T - Much like the nose, there isn't as much pom as you'd expect here. A relatively inoffensive amber ale taste, with a bit of bready malt and an oddly bitter / sour finish. There isn't the sweet/tart pomegranate flavor that you'd expect, but perhaps it was just a poor match to put pomegranates together with a strong ale.

M - I actually really enjoyed the amount of carbonation that this brew has. It's more champagne-like than I would have expected, but it helps bring a liveliness to a beer that would otherwise have been pretty disappointing.

O - Not bad, but certainly a flawed beer. It was a good attempt at an experimental strong ale, but it just falls short in a few areas. The bready malt flavors seem out of place, and the lack of true pomegranate flavor is disappointing.

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Photo of Jemonster
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a nice amber with a tight off white head. Looks pretty nice in the light. It looks like they did a good job going for clarity.

S: Barely perceptible to me. Some yeast and a little bit of hops. Slight tart citrus.

T: Pretty pedestrian. Nothing really jumps out. Mid-level, simple hop character. Tastes pretty much like a generic American ale with some slight pomegranate notes at the end.

M: Not bad. Kind of thin and dry but nice compliment to the flavor of this beer.

O: Meh. I don't think I will look for it again. It's not as interesting as I was hoping for.

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Photo of Ford
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Not as sweet as I was expecting... truthfully I've never had pomegranate juice, so I'm not exactly sure what I was looking for..ha

Look and smell are great. Wish I liked the taste more, but it's just ok to me.. not bad, but not great or standout in any way.

It's 8 percent and the alcohol is very prevalent. I recently had a beer that was over 9 percent and you couldn't even perceive the alcohol.

I'd like to try this again later to see if my thoughts change on it. It's good, but could be better in my opinion.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love He'Brew's strong ales...its like "how much shit can we throw into a beer?" Also love pomagranate, so hoping for greatness here.

Original review. 8.6.11

A-Rich ruddy amber veiled pour with an eggshell head head that settles to a scuddy ring. Decent lacing

S-Pomegranate surely present here, as well as some caramel malts and dark fruits that one normally finds in barleywines.

T-This is a bit of an oddball. Taste opens with a big sweet barleywine infused with pomegranite juice, and ends rather abruptly in an astringent tangy hop finish. It is an 8 abv that drinks like a 10 abv and this may be it's downfall. I'd take this down a few notches to where it might be refreshing, but since we are reviewing a strong ale, I won't ding it for points on that. Another oddball like Hairy Eyeball.

M-Thick, chewy. Decent carbonation balance.

O-I love Shmaltz....they go way out on a limb, and either totally hit the cover off the ball (Bittersweet Lenny) or totally fuck things up. (Freaktoberfest). I did not expect a summer referesher with this, and will revisit it when in the mood for a heavy and ponderous brew...not bad, just not what I was after right now...

12.25.12 Re-review. I will stand by my earlier review of this. Taste is a cross between a barlewine and an IPA, but I really don't like it much better than I did last year. A shame, because I would really like a nice pomagranate ale.

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Photo of vinhgoh
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bottle, decorative right out of the holiday gift set.

Not too much froth during the pour out.

Hop flavor overcomes the "pomegranate taste"....can taste a fruitiness but not the pom.

But overall, not a bad ale to just sip...kind of disappointed that I can't taste the pom.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery orange amber with a fine, two-finger white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet and biscuit malt, and fresh pomegranite juice; very appealing. Flavor is malt, biscuits and pomegranite juice, finishing with well melded dry grassy hop bitterness, malt and residual sweet juice. The flavors are well integrated. Medium bodied with a nice mouth feel from carbonation. A uniquely flavored ale that was fun to drink and well made. I will revisit this one again. Shmaltz is one of a handful of breweries who are pushing the envelope for ingredients, having fun with the presentation and still producing top notch ales.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter that left a thin ring throughout. the body was a bright, ruby red color.
s - juicy pomegranate is the main aroma though it is somewhat muted.
t - juicy poms that give a hint of tartness with breadiness to balance.
m - thin and slick to begin with but has a bubbly and dry finish.
o - interesting take but not a beer that made me look forward to the next sip.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a He'Brew shaker pint glass. From the 2012 Holiday gift pack.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper amber color with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount pf lacing on the glass.

Smell: A fairly mild malt driven aroma. Toasted malts with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, yeast, toast, and a little butterscotch. A little burnt sugar and honey sweetness. Noticeable hints of pomegranate fruit although its kind of laid back. Fairly earthy with a light hop scent. Laid back aroma but decent.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a malty taste that is fairly subdued with the fruits and hops. Sweet toasted malts with a taste of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted bread, grains, butterscotch, and yeast. A light touch of honey and brown sugar. Taste of pomegranate fruit and a slight citrus taste. Earthy hops that provide some moderately drying bitterness. The malts stick out the most.

Mouthfeel:Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and pretty smooth. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A decent beer, but lighter than expected. Could of had a stronger fruit taste. It is really smooth for the ABV.

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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 ElCommodoro
4.42/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell and taste are very very reminiscent of a doppelbock, to me. Which is odd since this is an ale and doppelbocks, I believe, are lagers. It's got the same type of intense sweetness without quite being cloying. I mean, it's a bit cloying, but I like that doppelbock-style sweetness. So, I'm very much enjoying it. It is DEFINITELY desert beer, though. Didn't go very well with my dinner. I don't think it would go well with much of anything, really. It's a dessert in itself. It's got fruitiness to it, but I'm not tasting much pomegranate. I was thinking it would have a pomegranate-like bitterness and am pleasantly surprised that it does not. It's also a lot maltier than I was expecting from a fruit-flavoured beer. This is a must-try for fans of sweet beers.

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Photo of jsanford
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber-brown with a dense off-white head that fades to a slight cap, leaving a few spots of lacing. Mild aromas of sweet caramel malt, dark honey, and slightly tart pomegranate. Not much going on, honestly. Taste is spot-on with the nose, mainly malt, honey, and pomegranate. I suppose it's not bad, and you certainly get what they advertise, but it's just not a particularly tasty beer. Mouthfeel is a touch sticky, with a medium-full body and lowish carbonation. Won't be grabbing this again, just not too impressed.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper hue which leaves a two finger creamy and sporadic lacing,the smell is really sweet its Anzac biscuts,butterscotch,caramel candy and pomegranate,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with not much carbonation and has tastes of pomegranates first up followed by caramel candy,butterscotch and finished with a earthy herbal bitterness and overall its above average but i couldnt see myself buying it again anytime soon cheers.

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Photo of MeowTom
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Normal look, of a hazy brown with a head that goes away fairly quickly.

S- Fruity pomegranate, with a tart crack to it. Probably the highlight of the beer.

T- It taste a lot like a typical he'brew with a slight tartness to it. Average

M- Pretty full body and nice alcohol taste with it.

O- Just an average beer that I wish was more for it being a special ale.

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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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