He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13) | Shmaltz Brewing Company

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He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by spartanfan on 10-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 269
Photo of spartanfan
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a delirium snifter.

A: This beer pours an opaque black with a nice chocolaty head.

S: Smell is at first of overpowering hops, but there is also a lot of roasty and chocolaty smells too.

T: Taste is very big and complex. Chocolaty and roasty at first. Lingering bitterness from all the hops.

M: Mouthfeel is full and very smooth.

D: For 13% this one is as drinkable as it gets. I wanted another after I finished this one.

This is one excellent beer. Perhaps a little over the top, but all the flavors work well together. I think I'll pick up a couple more for the cellar.

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Photo of alkemy
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour was very dark brown with garnet/ruby highlights, especially when held up to direct light, with a finger of tan and faint burnt orange head. Smells of dark fruits such as cherries, plums, raisins, and fig. Also has sweet doughy malts, molasses, and a bit of caramel. There's really a lot going on. Taste is very complex as well. Deep roasted bready malts in front. The dark fruits are very prominent. It's very rich, but I never felt the sweetness to be too much. The hops have a really great effect on the bitter finish. There's also a slight taste of coffee that lingers after the swallow. Alcohol leaves a warming sensation in the pit of your stomach, but even at 13% it's not overpowering. The feel is thick and slick. This is a fantastic beer...one of the best I've had. It really suits my taste buds. I just wish I'd have brought more back from Florida. I love that I can buy a 100 proof bottle of vodka, but only a 24 proof beer here in the great state of Ohio!

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Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found the last bottle of this at Beers of the World and cellared it for 8 months.

22oz.bottle poured into a snifter

Pours an absolute black with a muddy/tan 1/8" of head, sticky spiderweb lacing all around the glass. Upon first whiff you catch the alcohol, then plums, dark chocolate, caramelized sugar, sweet cherries and a mild medicinal scent. The taste is perfect, so delicious and full. Tastes of dark chocolate, juicy pit fruit, molasses, dark roasted malts, caramel and a surprising mild hop flavor on the back. Super thick, sticky mouthfeel with a dry finish. I wish I could drink this beer forever, so sad it's retired.

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Photo of Pahn
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: Somewhat heavy pour yields a 2 inch silky, light tan head that sticks around a long time and leaves walls of lacing. Pours a dark black brown, and is amberish brown at the edges when held up to the light. Beer leaves webs of lacing around the glass and has great legs.

Smell: Deep roasted malt, coffee, toffee, caramel, some nuttiness, booze, and a nice grassy hop presence. This beer has a huge and delicious aroma. There's some cinnamon and dark fruits (plum? fig? fresh dates?). It's woody and sugary. The roasted malt, alcohol, dark fruit, and grassy hops play off each other incredibly well. This aroma promises an incredible taste.

Taste: Amazing. The taste is full and creamy with notes of caramel and coffee, dark fruit, and sugary cake. Really deep roasted malt. It starts creamy, develops into a nice grassy hop bitterness in the middle, then moves into big roasted malt, dark fruit, cake, and hot alcohol. There's a definite sweetness to the deep malt at the end, but it's not overwhelming or cloying. Also a pretty distinct plum note in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rather full-bodied, thick and creamy. The alcohol warmth builds up to be quite hot.

Drinkability: The 13% ABV is relatively hidden at first, but comes out as you get deeper into the bottle. This isn't a problem though; this a big, delicious, uncompromising beer. I can't give it anything but a 5. Ease of consumption? If this weren't brewed just once it would be a staple beer for me for a long time to come.

Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah was a highlight for me at the recent Night of the Barrels (up there with Black Tuesday, Utopias, and LA Angel's Share Grand Cru). Upon buying a few bombers, I briefly wondered if intoxication had caused me to overrate the beer at the EBF and half expected to be disappointed tonight. I wasn't. This is a world class beer, taking many of the best aspects of American craft beer (big hops, deep malts, high ABV) and combining them expertly. It screams celebration; if the brewery was trying to make something special for their 13th anniversary, they've emphatically succeeded.

As a side note, I bought 2 bombers of this beer for *$5.99* a piece at the Whole Foods at Union Square. $5.99!? That's unbelievable value. I would pay twice that or more for beer of this quality. I'll probably head back there and buy whatever they have left before I leave the city. As another sidenote, I let my non-beer drinking friend try some of this, and she thought it was divine. A special beer that I recommend you do everything in your power not to miss.


edit: Taste dropped from 5.0 to 4.5 to reflect subsequent bottles (i think i've had about 10 lifetime, and i would conjecture that 3~4 were 5.0s for taste, while 6~7 were 4s or even below, especially the rebrew for the gift set).

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Photo of nerow
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-An agressive pour into a standard snifter leaves a one finger head. Standard Imperial Stout appearance, almost opaque with good retention.

S-Smelling dark fruits and brown sugar. Some bready yeast aromas.

T-This one is a big ol' malty SOB. Plenty of plum flavour married with cocoa and brown sugar. Some toffee taste. Not a very apparent hoppy flavour except at the end with a bit of grapefruit. An oaky flavor shows up at some points. Almost similar to a port wine, as some other reviewers have noticed.

M-Big and rich, but not cloyingly syrupy unlike some other Imperials I've tasted. Not as large an alcohol burn as I would have expected. The flavour lingers for a bit, which with a beer like this one is not unwelcome.

D-Exceptionally good. Devastatingly good. How the fuck do they hide the 13% ABV so well?

A very well constructed dessert beer. Pleasant on it's own, this beer would compliment a chocolate or cheese platter. For 6$ a bomber, this is about as good as it gets. This beer deserves respecting, otherwise you'll be waking up with a nice hangover...hugging your toilet like it became your new best friend overnight. Mazel Tov to Schmaltz Brewing Company!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$5.79 for a 22oz bottle at Jacks. Brewed with 13 grains (specialty 2-row, Canadian Munich, caramunich 40, chocolate malt, crystal rye, dark crystal, flaked spelt, flaked oats, kiln amber, pilsner malt, rye ale malt, vienna, and wheat malt). Hopped with 13 hops (ahtanhum, amarillo, apollo, cascade, centennial, colombus, crystal, fuggles, goldings, palissade, simcoe, tettnang, and willamette)..you guessed it, 13% ABV.

Pours out to a very very dark brown mahogany, near black, forming a tall medium tan head with exceptional lacing and retention. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma will permeate the room...boatloads of prunes, raisins, dates, figs, walnuts, burnt blackstrap molasses, black licorice, dark bitter chocolate, vanilla, and herbal pungent hops. The mouthfeel is pillowy soft and smooth with a huge creamy cloying thick dense body. The taste opens with the dark fruits mentioned above, followed by a blast of nicely balanced pungent herbal hops, followed by a very nice roasted flavor with coffee and black patent notes lingering in the aftertaste with a mild to moderate bitterness. Touches of soy sauce throughout.

This is an amazing brew...although it isn't brewed with roasted barley or black patent, I would call it along the lines of a Russian Imperial Stout. Huge. Highly recommended. Considering the price, it's a no-brainer.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the hebrew vertical jewbelation glass

A: pours a deep brown with a slight reddish tint, pours with no head, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: sweet scent, deep malt notes, slight caramel scent

T: sweet notes, nice malt depth, slight alcohol burn

D/M: strong carbonation tingle, nice depth makes it enticing to drink, does go down very smooth

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Photo of Pencible
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nearly opaque black mahogany with some tan head. It smelled like creamy milk chocolate and honey wheat and pineapple, with some toffee and fig and a bit of light coffee and vanilla. It tasted like cherry and pineapple and copper hops balanced by rich chocolate and roasted barley and sweet caramel and toffee malts, along with a bit of creamy yeast and coffee. It was thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was basically the best of every beer from almost every style. It had so many different scents and flavors all mixed together in perfect harmony. The only thing it didn't have was funk or barrel aging. Otherwise, the depth and complexities seemed endless. It had excellent body as well, and the alcohol was amazingly hidden, so it was all too easy to drink. You really need to be careful with this one! An immense delight fresh, and it will possibly improve further with age. L'Chaim!

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Photo of djeffbee
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from Total Wine in Claymont, DE for $5.99.

A: Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of nuts, raisins, figs, plums, and something sweet like cherries and dark chocolate.

T: Was a bit tentative to taste this as I kept looking at the monstrous 13%ABV on the label. It tastes like it smells, very complex, sweet, yet balanced. Subtle hops up front, dark malts are prominent with figs, nuts and fruit follow.

M: Mouthfeel is excellent. It's a heavy beer, but smoother than I imagined. Carbonation is perfect for this type of brew, enough to give a good pop on the bottle, but not enough to take away from this beer.

D: Too good. I finished my glass and I could more, but I was wise to keep it to one.

I was very impressed with this beer, I imagine it will only improve with time. I have 4 more bombers that I will lay down until next holiday season.

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Photo of blackjack000
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle poured into goblet.

Appearance: As it pours, a dark oily brown. It sits black in the glass, chocolate at the edges through the light. Wispy thin head that laces the top with fine bubbles.

Smell: Dark chocolate, flowery, orange peels, honey suckle.

Taste: Bakers chocolate, thick coffee, grapefruit with peel, sweet malt.

Aftertaste: Heavy bakers chocolate and dark coffee, and a long lingering orange peel and pine needles.

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Photo of jsh420
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours dark brown with a big 2+ finger tan head that leaves spotted lacing

smell - what did they just clone palo santo?? roasted malts dark fruit vanilla chocolate coffee fruity hops

taste - yep pretty damn close to a palo santo clone - it might not have the pronounced notes the palo santo has from the barrel aging but like i said damn close - this beer is a bit sweeter brown sugar and some tropical hops - to me this beer might be too complex

mouthfeel - medium body very smooth but still with penty of carbonation

drinkability - crazy @13% abv it doesnt seem boozy to me - it is a sipper but after drinking all 22oz i think i could drink another - scary

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Menacing yet appealing opaque black body in appearance, however reveals a mahogany cola-like garnet highlight when held to direct light. Impressive tall creamy tan head with a retention that slowly recedes to a thick creamy, frothy cap.

Fruity sweet aroma possessing grapes, ripe cherries, plums and fresh dates. Light cocoa, mild roasted malt and some treacle in the background. Some green grassy, vegetable hops deep in the background, fresh and a bit vinous.

Creamy, roasty, toasty cocoa malt up front in the flavour, plum and grapes in the middle, treacle and creamy chocolate in the finish, some smooth roasted malt pops up in the aftertaste along with some lingering burnt and smoky notes, even some earthiness after a while.

Full-bodied but not thick or chewy, very smooth, velvety, rounded mouthfeel, a little bit sticky on the finish, yet then turns somewhat slick and oily, although the stickiness wins out in the end with a light coating on the palate.

Hell yeah, one of the most enjoyable, unique and highly drinkable Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had, especially at 13%. No alcohol warmth or bite whatsoever (well, just a little bit of warmth, but it's camouflaged well), yet still incredibly smooth, in both mouthfeel and flavour, everything is rounded but full. 13 *is* lucky, especially for this RIS, and for the most part as covered in the rambling, nearly stream-of-conscious blurb on the side of the label (I swear they're trying to compete with Lagunitas). Kudos to He'Brew for their Bar Mitzvah offering, I'm definitely getting them pleated navy slacks for this one. Screw it, they deserve a Blackberry or an Xbox...

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4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Dark amber in color but transparent. Mellow hops on the nose with malty goodness in the background. First drink heavy on the tongue but with a good finish. Hops are very complex as there are 13 different varieties. Gets better with each sip, which is the only way to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of bort11
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Mild mocha tan colored head rises about a half inch. As the head recedes thin stings of lace stick to the glass. Color is a thick black coffee brown. Good to look at.

The smell is very bold with dark coffee and some chocolate aromas. Taste is awesome. The label says it uses 13 different hops, but it's really the 14 different malts that stand out. Tons of layers. There's coffee, and chocolate, and rye, and oats, and toasted wheat bread, figs and raisins. It seems like it would be all over the place, but it is really controlled and balanced.

Mouthfeel as a thick creamy texture but finishes dry. The 13% ABV is hidden, but it is still a slow sipper from the complexity of the flavor. Really good stout and at $5 a bottle it's a great bargain.


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Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some of Shmaltz's previous anniversary ales were listed as brown ales on this site, and while this one is very brown, I'm thinking it has finally been classified properly here on BA: as an American Strong Ale. Or, more appropriately, a Jewish-American Strong Ale. The head is thin and settles to a long-lasting light golden-brown skim. The color is, as said, very brown. Just a couple shades from black.

Aroma brings in some vinous qualities, some alcohol heat, unsweetened/bitter baking chocolate, a ghost of fig, and dark bread. Nice, but nothing yet indicates the greatness that were their 10th and 12th anniversary ales (I missed 11, unfortunately).

The flavor, however, has it all. At least, all that a lover of big American strong ales could want. Immediately bringing to mind Bell's Third Coast Old Ale, this has a comforting, warming vibe about it. Gooey and rich without being overly so, it brings to mind chocolate syrup, figs, dark grapes, lightly charred wood, burnt chocolate, liqueur-filled chocolate candies, chocolate cake, chocolate-flavored coffee, and s'mores. So...yeah, pretty chocolate-y, which is apparently from some kind of primo chocolate malt used. Brewed with 13 malts, there's a good chance at least several are of the chocolate variety. The 13 different hop varieties, however, are embedded more subtly into the fabric of this complex ale. The alcohol underscores and makes warm the richer flavors, yet is surprisingly downplayed in the overall flavor profile. Wow...nice job, guys.

Texturally this is as gooey, chewy and rounded as you'd want it to be, but, like the alcohol presence, it's not at all overbearing. To achieve textural and flavor balance on a big-ass brew like this is an accomplishment, and the fact it's not a mess nor overbearing is remarkable.

I'm gonna give this a 4.5 for "drinkability," because for 13%, it goes down with exceptional smoothness--and because I would much rather nurse one of these for an hour or so than session a lesser, blander beer. So be it. I'll never miss another Shmaltz anniversary ale as long as they brew, and hopefully that's going to be a long, long time.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P-Cool celebratory look with the 15 in the back ground.

A-Pretty dark with little to no head. Light brown head and poured a little thin.

S-Greenn apples and some cinnamon as well. Little chocolate and smoky smell. Soft booze smell for 15% beer.

T-Really good. Has a nice sweet taste that comes from the booze. Dark chocolate and plums with also some almonds. Cinnamon and raisins as well.

M-A nice soft smooth silk like draw thats nice. Full bodied and stout like feel. Carbonation is low and should be. Dark roasts and chocolate stick to the palate.

O-A really nice beer overall. Like the complexity of the flavors and the stout like feel. Will probably get better with age.

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Photo of zplug123
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass:

A: Dark as night with only a glint of light being able to pass though, nice brown lacing with minimal head

S: Malty and chocolate, no hops aroma is apparent

T: Large chocolate/coffee with hops bitterness setting in from the beginning and middle, ending cleanly with only lingering hops in the end.

M: Extremely smooth for such a large beer, low carbonation and full-bodied.

D: This is a keeper, a pity it's seasonal. I can imagine this brew as a sipping beer, as the taste and alcohol would only allow that.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

For the record, this is in no way an imperial stout (which it is classified as at the time of this review) and it will not be reviewed as such.

A - Not quite black, but a very dark brown with small traces of light on the edges. Massive 5+ finger light brown head rises and sticks around for several minutes, even with the 13% ABV. A moderate cap remains throughout the duration. Decent lacing as well.

S - Lots of caramel, bread, toffee, brown sugar, traces of vanilla and chocolate; a really wide range of sweet malt. Nutty and almost woody tones make appearances alongside the minutely detectable alcohol. An herbal and indeed fruity character that I'm guessing is from the hops rides atop the sweet bready aromas and makes for somethign akin to a decadent, spicy dessert. Very layered and complex and so synergistic that's it's tough to pick apart. In a word, marvelous.

T - The taste doesn't disappoint. It's everything I was expecting from the nose. A mellow sort of burnt sugar taste begins things, slowly crescendoing into caramel, then butterscotch and toffee, falling to some mild caramel/molasses/chocolate colored fruits, and then settling into faint chocolate and coffee with a modest entrance of alcohol. That's the quick and dirty rundown, which is about the best I can do given the multitude of flavors harmonizing with each sip. Bitterness is minimal and only apparent late palate; the alcohol washes most of this away. A lingering roasty-ness with a bit of dark chocolate and char is all that remains in the aftertaste. Though the alcohol is noticeable, I've had 8% beers where the alcohol stood out more.

M - For a big boozy brew Jewbelation 13 sure does go down smooth. Sticky, caught somewhere between medium-heavy and heavy, if for nothing else due to the carbonation levels. Carbonation is a dead on medium and just may be the ultimate key to it's fantasticness. Sweet, sticky, and thick, it's never too sweet, sticky, or thick. Great balance here, though (minor complaint) the finish is a teeny bit weak from the combination of high ABV and a higher carbonation level than is usually seen in brews like this.

D - Good stuff, no problem polishing off this bomber, and at ~$5, probably a few more before it disappears. A superb beer. I got a little worried when I saw the imperial stout classification, but that isn't what 13 is at all. This would be better listed as an American Strong or even an American BW. Whatever you wanna call it, it certainly isn't any kind of stout, but it is a damn good beer. Grab one (or 10) while you can.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one comes out a cola color with a good lookin' tan top.

If the nose is any indicator, this is gonna be one big-bad and boozey ride. I get huge whiffs of alcohol immediately with citrus hops, caramel, toffee and fruits of the darker variety. I even get some raisin bread and understated chocolate.

The bitterness of this one is off the charts(although it becomes less prominent as it warms) Although it breaks for a hefty dose of fruity/malty sweetness it closes with a dry and yet lingering bitter end that reminds me of coffee.

This is definately full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation given the size of the brew, and an overall slippery-slick and oily feel in the mouth.

Some may argue that 13 varities of both hops and malts is a bit excessive, (and it is) however when the mood is right I really enjoy such a concoction. This is a very underated brewery IMHO and they make some of my favorite brews. I tried this one @ GABF and it was instantly a favorite of mine. It is good to now that for a small and reasonable price tag I can purchase this nectar and it holds up in bottle format. cheers!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've always enjoyed this brewers seasonal/on offs and this was no exception. Poured into a small tulip it is easily managed to whatever your desired appearance may be. Brown head is solid and falls to a skim coat after a few minutes.

It doesn't lack complexity but it is hard to sort out. I personally don't mind a massive beer that is a bit jumbled so this was fine for me. The malts take the lead throughout. It will clear out the respiratory system with a large alcohol lashing. It displays a big backbone of dark fruits muddied up and broken down to a mash of sorts.

Notes: Seek this brew out. Its unique. Its huge. Its excellent.

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Photo of kirkmichel
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark, dense, opaque blackish brown with a creamy tan head that adheres to the sides of the glass.
S-Sweet, fruity and yeasty, like cherries soaked in bourbon or a cherry rum cake.
T-Lots going on here: bread and sweet stone fruits along with raisins and currants and a strong caramel and dark liquor flavor. Super.

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Photo of mactrail
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Powerful flavors in a big burning fuel rod of a beer.

Deep reddish mahogany color in the Orval chalice. Head is modest, lacing swirls a bit. Pleasant carbonation on the tongue, if you still have one after wrapping it around this powerhouse. Deep, dark flavors of dried cherries, licorice, burnt caramel. Wonderful balance between the sweetness and the big hops, and a complexity unmatched by most barley wines.

This is so rich, so full of flavors, it has a rum-like feeling, but the alcohol is well integrated. Just a little hot on the tongue. But a great beer and a fine example of the "more is more" theory.

Tasted another 22 oz bottle from the cellar on 12/13/11 and it's sensational. The licorice comes out even more. This has to be one of the most strongly flavored beer ever-- if you ignore the hop slam varieties-- it's all done with a sensational amount of malt. Darker and darker flavors pile on. It's quite amazing.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having dropped into the great Sun Singer for some wares, Jewbelation 13 Bar Mitzvah looked mighty appealing, especially at $5.99 a bomber. I chose wisely, although as I will explain, I wondered at first if I had in fact done so.

A fat finger of mocha froth atop a rich black body with mahogany trim--yes, that dark of black to have a brown trim--adorns the sturdy, reliable Duvel tulip. The nose is lush, rife with molasses, fig, raisin, and dark chocolate--beautiful.

Rich, complex taste follows the smell quite well--molasses rule the roost with dried fruit, but plenty of caramel and chocolate malt--really delicious beer. Robust but very accessible flavor, smooth with a decent hint of chewy grit that I love in Strong Ale. The 13% ABV catches up eventually, but for the most part, Bar Mitzvah is a very amenable brew that lovers of big, brawny beer must grab. Outstanding.

I mentioned at the outset my concern about whether or not I had chosen wisely. This was based largely on my wondering, in the first half, where the nose and character of the beer was for, while He'Brew advertises 13 malts, 13 hops, and 13% ABV, when I tried this I feared that all the celebrated parts were greater than their sum. That is, the smell and taste were tucked away behind a veneer of molasses, with little else to speak for 13. Thankfully, as it warmed, this was not so, for as it settled into room temperature, 13 revealed its true character--robust, complex, but smooth and inviting--rich in molasses, coffee, and raisin. Well done.

In sum, one might need to afford 13 a little patience to let it unearth its hidden gems, for the latest concoction from He'Brew doesn't just pack the typical wallop that I have come to expect from this fine purveyor, but has created in 13 a delicious gem of a strong ale that lovers of big beer, especially brawny barleywine, should revere.

Great stuff.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. I think this stuff came out in October or November 2009.

Appearance: Its pretty dark. I'd call it black, but it does have some dark red highlighs at the edges of the snifter when held to the light. Light brown head with surprisingly good retention and lots of spotty lacing.

Smell: Huge load of sweet, dark fruit. Caramel malt. Some roasty aromas and hints of chocolate. Complex, malty, and slightly boozy. Very good.

Taste: Boozier than the smell suggests, but it is a 13% beer. Rich malt flavors with caramel and raisins dominating. A more subtle chocolate flavor. Minimal roast flavor. Bitterness from the ethanol helps to balance the flavors out. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Just huge. Thick, smooth, chewy. Long sweet finish.

Drinkability: A big, complex, delicious beer. Way, way more than what I was expecting. I didn't drink one fresh, but I think a year in the bottle has certainly not hurt anything.

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. From last winter's re-issue 8-pack. Served at cellar temp.

Pours a dark, murky oily brown. Stout-like. Thick finger of dense khaki head. Nice lacing and retention. Rich nose of dark rummy fruits, caramel, candied figs, molasses, and banana liqueur, with hints of licorice, milk chocolate, and sweetened coffee.

Some singed, roasty notes up front. Light coffee and herbal hop(?) bitterness sets the background for a sweet, boozy, malt surge. Lots of big, rummy fruits, chewy caramel, meaty molasses, and buttery toffee take center stage. Roasted notes come through near the finish, along with a little licorice, smoke, and tobacco. Herbal bitterness carries through the finish, with lingering malt sweetness. Full-bodied, with a smooth, creamy feel. Delicious and deceptively drinkable!

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He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13) from Shmaltz Brewing Company
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