He'Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale | Shmaltz Brewing Company

423 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 423 |  Reviews: 250
Photo of Seanibus
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh, Ok, I guess. It does capture some of the zingy acidic feel of a real pomegranate, but I am not sure it adds much to beer.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a very slight, late developing head (took quite a vigorous pour to get much of anything and it went down fast). The aroma is generically amber, malty, a little sweet, with a bit of unidentifiable acidic fruit. The flavor resolves better, with a clear pomegranate effect over a sweet, amber malty backbone, with some slight toffee and breadiness. But the effect is less like eating Pomegranate pips than mixing a little Campari with your Amber Ale. Not that it's a bad thing, just not quite what I had expected. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but not unpleasantly so.

Not bad, better than some others (such as the Saranac Pomegranate wheat), but still more of a gimmick than an enduring trend.

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Photo of JoePat
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22oz for a dollar at a local beer store so thought it might be worth a try.
Pours a copper red with a white head.
Smells like a spicy honey but the honey smell is strong.
Definately taste the pomegranante along with some spices.
Mouth feel is kind of dry/hard. Aside from that it is a drinkable beer.
I would say it is worth the dollar I spent...if not more.

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

Origin Pomegranate piqued my interest as I fished for sampling wares at the sterling Sun Singer. The price, as usual for He'Brew, was right--$5.29.

A fat slightly tan finger of froth caps a hazy amber-orange body. The head rapidly recedes, leaving modest lacing on the Duvel sampling tulip. The nose is unsurprisingly sweet, filled with sweet pomegranate, some caramel, and a whiff of piney hops that would be most welcome if it figured more prominently in OP.

Good taste, sweeter than most strong ales. Primarily pomegranate, some caramel, a hint of chocolate. Nice taste, and with a good strong ale kick from a strong but not overwhelming strong ale ABV (8.0%). The more I drink this, the more it reminds me of Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale.

At the same time, what sets Tommyknocker's INBA apart is a deep, complex set of flavors--coffee, chocolate, and a nutty glaze--that Origin Pomegranate lacks, despite its nice flavor and accessibility. It shares the creamy smooth mouthfeel, and I like what He'Brew is going for here with the sweeter strong ale--a nod to creativity. Yet He'Brew falls short in the mouthfeel, to me, for the brief but welcome advanced notice of piney hops--for that matter, any hops--does not materialize in the taste or texture. The dense, sweet malt negates that rich, wonderful side of strong ale--the hops that could be resiny, piney, gritty, but again the HOPS--that round out the special strong ales. Recently, when I enjoyed Founders' brilliant Curmudgeon, the hop-malt tango was masterful. Here, the dense, sweet, creative, and nice malt submerges what hops reside in OP, both in taste and texture.

In all, it's an innovative brew and a unique strong ale. But while I love He'Brew's big, bold, brawny beers and overall approach, this is one case when including 10,000 pomegranates was fine in theory, but in practice lacked some of the very elements in more balanced, hopped-up strong ales that I have come to know, enjoy, and love.

A fine effort, certainly worth a go, but probably not for everyone, especially people searching for a more hoppy strong ale.

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Photo of hophead247
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with an obvious tone of red-purple from the pomegranate. Aroma is sweet and sugary, some sourness, and pomegranate. Flavor is tart from the fruit and has a grapefruity bitterness, but also sweet with caramel tones. Palate is nicely carbonated with medium body. Not bad, though not exceptional.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, somewhat murky reddish-orange color. The off-white head is short but reasonably persistent, with a dense, creamy texture. There is a little lacing left along the glass.

S: A tangy, musky fruitiness is apparent in the nose. There are also notes of caramel and flowery hops. Some citrus and pomegranate aromas mingle well with a vaguely tart yeastiness.

T: A moderately malty caramel flavor up front. Fruity, but in a dry, tealike, hoppy sense, with citric and floral notes blending with mild juicy pomegranate flavors. Bitterness is moderately high, and sweetness is low. There's a bit of alcoholic punch toward the finish.

M: Fairly full-bodied, with low, soft carbonation. A generally smooth feel. A bit of booze in the finish, but it adds to the beer.

D: I've been waiting for this beer to open up a little as I've worked through the bomber, but it hasn't really. This is a fine beer, but it seems lightly flavored for a strong ale, and not nearly as fruity as I was expecting. I'm mildly disappointed, but this is still an interesting beer; it's not like there are dozens of imperial pomegranate amber ales.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a DFH Signature glass.

Deep reddish-amber in color with a bit of haze; this one was shaken up a bit on the ride home before being decanted, which may have contributed some to the clarity issue. Gives rise to a one-and-a-half fingered head of beige foam that shows excellent retention and sticks to the walls of the glass, leaving behind thick splotches of lacing.

In the nose, a light fruity essence is apparent, though not necessarily immediately attributable to pomegranate; its difficult to really pin down, being almost akin to raspberry in nature. Sweet malt takes the stage next to the tart fruitiness. No discernible hop aroma.

Body is medium-full, with a rather light level of carbonation in the mouthfeel. The fruit character is not nearly so noticeable as in the nose, though the sweetness is there alongside a firm body of malt. Lightly bitter, slightly resinous and herbaceous hops make themselves known in the middle, with a finish that leans on the sweet end with a light fruitiness and a lingering dryness; alcohol is well-hidden until the beer warms to room temperature, where it barely peeks through in the finish.

An interesting ale, but the pomegranate could perhaps be a bit more apparent; opponents of fruit beers may disagree, though, and so perhaps the malt-forward balance is a bit more appropriate for the masses. Still, from an ale in which pomegranate is so key a player, I'd like to see a bit more of the fruit's character.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours copperish, orange, hazy. Thinking I might be in hefe territory. Smells nice, the fruity essence of pomegranite and sugar isn't necessarily the most beercentric aroma, but its not offputting.

Taste, pomegranite not as noticeable, the sweet, much moreso, it almost dominates. More than a hint, but not like, lambic style. Meh.

Mouthfeel, sugar stays, big in the profile, not very drinkable, as it makes you treat it as more of a desert beer than desired.

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Photo of mrshoppy44
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

the binnys in the south loop has a great selection of hebrews. i tried the 13th and the pomegranate at the same time and i just fell in love with them both but there is something about the pomegranate. i love the look, smell, taste. it just set well with the tastes i was look for!
thanks hebrew for the wonderful selection keep up the wonderful job looking foward to the 14th as well.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appeared a clouded orange/copper color, aggressive pour only produced a 1 finger head. Retention was lacking & lacing was so little it's not worth mentioning. Smelled of big fruity pomegranate & berry upfront, good amount of detectable malty notes as well, I got caramel/cracker/biscuit & a touch of molasses, very nice and balanced aroma!

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tasted of, lots of lightly toasted malts throughout, caramel & biscuit, molasses, fruity pomegranate & berry notes are there but brighter on the finish. Very balanced flavor profile, some nice hop bitterness on the finish, as well as a bit of lingering molasses like malty flavors, there's some alcohol in there as well but nothing that makes it less drinkable. Mouthfeel was medium-full bodied but more so on the full side with some moderate carbonation that added a refreshing lite crispness, otherwise very smooth & complimenting to the flavor profile.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This beer was surprisingly drinkable, I expected it to be to fruity & overpowered with pomegranate, but I was wrong. I loved the balancing malty flavors with the nice touch of hop bitterness towards the finish, I could easily drink 2-3 pints of this before I got tired of it. I enjoyed this one & I think it's worth a try. Cheers to all!

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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 Tone
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown with a dark golden color along the bottom. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus, yeast, sweet malt, slight hop, toffee, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, citrus, slight hops, sweet malt, and slight alcohol. Overall, a good tartness level, nice blend, and good body.

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Photo of Kooz
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Friend had this at his house--I didn't expect much, figuring it was a novelty beer.

Poured into a regular pint glass--nice color! Honey brown, somewhat cloudy. Looks delicious!

Decent nose--fruit scents (not getting pomegranate though).

Tastes pretty good! About what the appearance suggests, and better than I initially expected. Nice aftertaste too.

Slightly creamy, but cut a bit by the carbonation. Not bad mouthfeel.

I could drink a few of these, but they might get too sweet over time. I noticed that as my pint wore on, the sweetness was rapidly developing.

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

I have never had a pomegranate beer before. I enjoyed the Messiah Bold, so thought I would give this a try. I am usually not a fan of fruit beers.

Poured from a bomber into a clear drinking glass. Head was minimal, fine and soon disappeared. Color was an orangish amber and very cloudy.

Aroma - Definitely alcohol, but with a fruity presence. I assume pomegranate, but I have never smelled them.

Taste - The first sip was a shock to my tastebuds. But it soon became a wheat beer with a moderate presence of pomegranate. Enjoyable, but not overpowering. Lingered on the palate for a few minutes.

I enjoyed this beer, and will have another. It's above average and far better than I expected for a fruit beer.

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Photo of callmescraps
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like pomegranates. I like beer. So why not?

Appearance - Apple cider color. Similar opacity. Two inches of off-white head clear quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Caramel malt, for sure. But also a hint of funkiness, of all things. A little barnyard. Also the pomegranate is there, a light fruit smell. Very nice.

Taste - Up front it seems like it's going to be the sweet caramel, but then the pomegranate comes and really mellows things out nicely. I'm loving the nice fruit note, but the finish has a little bitterness with lingering burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel - A little on the light side, but good.

Drinkability - Pretty solid for an imperial. I want to have more.

This is a quite tasty beer. I'm quite enjoying it. Certainly not knocking my socks off, but I'd have another.

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Photo of tipnsip
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shmaltz has become a favorite of mine over the last couple of years. In general I think they make some wonderful brews, but Origin is just phenomenal.

Its rich copper hue in the glass and slightly tan frothy head make it attractive to the eyes. The sharp citrus aroma entices the olfactory system and teases the tatse buds.

Its flavor is full (as its mouthfeel is too) and pleasing and then there's the surprise. That touch of pomegranate wrapped around hoppy goodness rounds out the flavor of Origin.

It goes quite well with fatty rich grilled meats because not only do the hops cut through, the unique flavor of the pomegranate adds a bit of sweetness but remains sharp and it's a great compliment to a slightly char-grilled ribeye steak.

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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 Metalmonk
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hoo boy...last beer before I begin a beerless 4-day odyssey into the dark night of the soul...or something. Better be a good one. Here's hoping.

If I didn't know better I'd think this was a double IPA by its appearance. Glowing rusty orange color with a foamy head that leaves lotsa lace stick on the glass.

Nice big blast of molasses/syrup in the nose, with the pomegranate very much in evidence and dancing on top of it all. Also reminds of candied figs and plums.

Flavor is hugely impressive, at first. Cleary a very sweet beer from the get-go (which I can handle) with a fruity/syrupy flavor and feel. The pomegranate works well for a little bit, but gets a little tiring, as it upstages the rest of the flavors and rides into the finish. Finishes tart and even heading over to sour territory. Hops do work their way in to provide some balance. Since I'd rather sip and contemplate an interesting beer even if it's far from perfect than something typical and dull but perfectly-brewed, I ended up enjoying this. An acquired taste, for sure.

The feel is just about right--very round, a bit creamy, dense but not heavy. A bit sticky too.

So you're getting a very plummy, raisiny, fruity beer here (pomegranatey!), full of overripe dark fruits and their accompanying sweetness. Ultimately Origin is very enjoyable, if taken slowly. But perhaps a bomber is a tad too big for this kind of thing.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an imperial.

Pours a medium amber with a nice head that settles to a thick cap that has staying power.

Aroma is hops and sweet, dark fruit. Smells like raisins and dates with a strong hop rider. Interesting.

Flavor is a sweeter and slightly acidic imperial IPA. The hop flavor is quite pronounced and well attenuated. Unfortuately I don't get much malt here.

Mouthfeel is a nice medium with active carbonation and a velvety feel.

Nice beer that hides it's ABV, I wouldn't put it in my top ten, but it's pretty tasty.

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Photo of bort11
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My buddy Kopper left this in the fridge. Mine now!

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk tulip. Quick flash of a white head, thin film of lace. Color is a toasted amber with a mild chill haze.

Smell has a uniquely fruity bitterness. It's like a rind of something that's too green. Taste has the pomegranate as it's core. Pomegranate is rare enough that I would say "it's pomegranate, I guess", rather than "this is pomegranate". It's not bad, just not something my palate recognizes. There are other beer characteristics that supports the fruit. There are pale malts that has a mild toastiness.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky like a fresh squeezed juice, not from concentrate. Medium body and pretty smooth. While it is unique and interesting, it's not a session beer or one that I would want on a regular basis.

Blipped "King Without a Crown" by Matisyahu

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright reddish amber with a little lacing on top. I think I picked out a pomegranate aroma on the nose, but that might just be because this beer is called a pomegranate ale and I really wanted to pick the smell out because it wasn't all that strong. Taste is a bit fruity, tangy, hoppy and malty. Overall pretty standard, nothing stuck out to me too much.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive copper-amber color, slightly hazy. Two-finger head that settles in a rocky fashion

Caramel malt provides a slight sweet smell along with a mild hop background.

The taste is very similar to the smell. It has a brandy-like richness and alcohol burn on the tongue. The aftertaste is more of the same. I can detect light hop. I cannot detect any pomegranate. Oily palate. Basically a near Barley Wine.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Brown pop-top bomber, cool label

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark golden/orange beer with a somewhat minimal cap which doesn't stick around too long

Smell: Lots of sweet bready malt...I was expecting a higher punch of pomegranate I guess...there's just a BIT in the background

Taste: Again, heavy on the sweet bready malts, a mid-palate with a decent hop kick, and just a faint hint of dark juicy fruit (pomegranate or raspberry) on the finish...it doesn't seem at all like a "fruit beer," but it's tasty

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy and smooth

Drinkability: I shared this with 2 people and the bomber was perfect sitting outside on an early summer night

Conclusion: I had no idea what to expect; this is definitely above average for an American-style fruit ale, even if it's not a home run

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Photo of MattChaos
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the most complex beers I've reviewed. Before I begin, I will preface by saying this particular tasting had been aged two years.

A - Bright and vibrant with a .25 - .5 inch head. Very little lace. Smooth amber coloration.

S - Fruity and floral. The scent of pomegranate is more notable than the taste. An extremely pleasant aroma that is perhaps even slightly more enjoyable than the mouthfeel itself.

T - Here is where this particular beer gets a little tricky. Drinking from a 22 ounce bottle poured into a goblet glass and ignoring poor reviews I've received from friends and fellow beersnobs, I was immediately turned off after the first several sips. I was disappointed in the almost over-bearing floral flavor. After letting the beer breathe for a few minutes, I found the flavor returning to subtlety and it drank as any light summertime beer should. The fruit is very nasal and almost completely overpasses the palette. Almost no back-end, but the instant (but not overbearing) rush of pomegranate in the front-end (just barely) compensates. Very tart. There are hints of other fruit (berries, perhaps?!) that I wish were a bit more prominent, and the flagship ingredient downplayed a bit.

M - Light and sweet. Extremely sweet. No "choppy jaw" here. An average example of how a summertime beer should leave the mouth and palette feeling. I would even go so far as to compare the mouthfeel to that of a seasibak Hefeweisen.

D - This one's up to you. I ranked it at a 3.5, but I fail at adequately describing it accurately. I apologize for this. Like I said...it's a damn complex beer.

Happy drinking!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my nonic pint glass. Appears a hazy deep copper color with about two fingers of off white foam. Aromas and flavors are of tart pomegranates, berries, toasted grains, a hint of citrus, sweet malts to cut the tartness. A bit thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of froghop
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-cloudy dark amber with a ruby tint, a small off-white head, and a very good creamy lacing.

smell is of grain, a hint of fruit and pumpkin, some spices, a little bit of caramel, and some nuts.

taste is a little tart, grain, graham cracker, earth, and malt, ends just a little sour.

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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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