He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16 Ohio Version vs. Regular

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dbc5, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. dbc5

    dbc5 Devotee (478) Jun 18, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Due to Ohio's antiquated ABV laws, the typical 16% version of this beer could not be distributed in the state. An alternative version with a different label (which lists the ABV as somewhere in the 11% range) can instead be found on our shelfs. I know there has been some speculation as to whether this Ohio version reflects a blend of the 16% version with a lower alcohol beer, a different recipe altogether, or simply some crafty labeling. While there does not appear to be any definitive information available regarding this, I wondered if anyone has done a side-by-side to at least taste whether there are discernable differences between the Ohio and Regular versions of this beer. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
    baconman91 likes this.
  2. Extravadanza

    Extravadanza Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2011 Ohio

    this is why living in Ohio makes me sad :slight_frown:
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  3. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    PA is a wee bit backwards :rolling_eyes: in many ways when it comes to alcohol sales, but thank god I can buy 18+% abv brews provided I have the $$$ and luck to find them.
    jhartley and Extravadanza like this.
  4. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    I've got both versions but have yet to try either. Should be a fun side by side!
  5. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I vote for doing that side by side alone.
  6. jriggins6

    jriggins6 Disciple (366) May 18, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I have heard that both are the same. I live in GA and we can only have 13% abv. Last year the 15 had a peel off label and it said it was 15%. I find it hard and would take a lot of $$ for them to brew 2 separate batches
  7. Jazzwalker

    Jazzwalker Initiate (138) Apr 2, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'd like to just add my little two cents. This is one amazing beer. Wonderful flavor and the mouth feel felt so full that, I wasn't sure whether to drink or chew it. A real sleeper of a beer. Thumbs up!
    fujindemon74 likes this.
  8. Retsinis

    Retsinis Champion (857) Sep 25, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Interesting to hear of all the variables with this beer. Here in CA, the label has the "Sweet" word blocked out by a "CA eidition/label" or something. Beer is the same I'm sure, but think they had an issue with the Sweet 16 label here, i.e. advertising to minors restrictions would be my guess. It's a Tasty beer, doing a 4 year of their anniversary beers this Friday too!
    UCLABrewN84 likes this.
  9. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I drank a bomber of this myself and think the Ohio version is the same as the other bottles. It took me two hours to drink and knocked me on my ass. Very good beer.
    fujindemon74 likes this.
  10. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (371) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    GA got the same 11.8% label, but I assure you it's the full strength version. We discussed this in the beer release section, there's not a lot of chance they could afford to brew two separate batches. Same with 15 last year, it was just a label change, the beer remained the same.
  11. dbc5

    dbc5 Devotee (478) Jun 18, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Excellent responses. Itsthepleats, let us know if you end up doing that side-by-side, although as others have mentioned, good luck if you attempt taking that on yourself. I appreciate all of the information from everyone. This is what I was hoping for.
  12. IKR

    IKR Defender (613) May 25, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm wondering at some point if threads continue to document what's going on with the Hebrew Jewbelation compliance with ABV limits, if BAs in States with ABV limits might be SOL.
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  13. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Zealot (586) Sep 16, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I had the Ohio version last night , It was a great beer . Hot and boozy
    dsal89 likes this.

    PABSTMASTER Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2009 Pennsylvania

    That takes away from the whole "16" thing.
    jhartley likes this.
  15. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    I just asked a knowledgeable beer shop owner what was up.... His response? "oh yeah, they just changed the label. Easy fix"

    I will report back once I perform this scientific side-by-side for a definitive answer.
  16. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (1,805) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I hope you have a friend to partake in this side by side with you. I know I was pretty much one and done with just wonder bomber of the regular, but oh was it delicious.
    fujindemon74 likes this.
  17. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    not sure if jesskidden and his encyclopedic knowledge of TTB and state regulations will chime in, but wouldn't a simple label change seem like a very risky thing in the legal sense?
  18. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    This would so not fly in Texas (if we had ABV restrictions). They physically test every beer for ABV before it can be sold to match the label.

    Of course, if you use the "proper" state-approved verbiage on the label ('ALE IN TX' for beers over 4%ABV and you can't say the word "BEER" on the label), you don't need to put ABV at all. DFH 120 does this.

    Luckily nowadays, if you put the ABV on the label, you can call it milk for all they care.
  19. jampics2

    jampics2 Meyvn (1,479) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Really? We're having this conversation online in a (basically) public forum??

    Seriously, why would anyone think it's a good idea to document something like this? Do you not want this or any more anniversary beers in OH in the future?? Do you want Jeremy and the crew to get in trouble???

    And, of course, the beer is what the label says. The brewers have been explicit that this was a special batch for Ohio and they're very honest people.
    Mavajo likes this.
  20. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    Jampics, as a fellow beer lover I can understand this reaction but frankly couldn’t disagree more with your stance. If you take a step back and consider what you’re suggesting….

    - It’s OK for brewers to blatantly break state law
    - It’s OK for brewers to falsely advertise their product
    - It’s OK for a 16% ABV beer to be peddled as 11.8%...which by the way could be somewhat dangerous to the beer drinker.

    We’re all Beer Advocates and I don’t think anyone would say these things are OK. I very much enjoy the sense of integrity/charity/camaraderie BA brings my beer drinking experience and I approach this situation with that in mind. Would I love to drink “12%” BCBS all year? Hell yeah! Do I think disregarding Ohio’s ridiculous ABV law is OK? No. If Shmaltz really is changing their label to sell in Ohio, which btw I really doubt, it shouldn’t be condoned by this community…..and, I would argue, runs counter to what BA is all about.

    OK, off the soapbox. Here’s the pic I snapped this morning showing the two labels. Subtle huh? Despite the discussion stimulating suggestion that this is the same beer, I for one will be surprised if my impending experiment shows these are the same beer. I’m fully expecting the honest guys at Shmaltz are just that.


  21. jampics2

    jampics2 Meyvn (1,479) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I never said that. I just don't think BA should be the place policing said law, I think the Ohio Div of Liquor Control should. Given that this product is already on the shelves, I think drawing any attention to it is a dumb move and could only hurt everyone in the long run - including real companies doing good things for Ohio beer.

    Again, never said that. I just think that this would be a better conversation had in private with said brewers. I personally reached out to Jeremy when I had the same question and he responded.

    Again, never said that either. But the LAST thing we need to do is to put more of a spotlight on it (if indeed something like this has happened).

    We are working to get Ohio's laws changed. Until that time, let's respect the businesses that DO choose to do business in Ohio and not conjecture on whether any particular business has done anything wrong.

    Bad_Trader likes this.
  22. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    To quote my avatar, "Agree to disagree".

    If the good brewers at Shmaltz aren't doing any of these things, then all these threads aren't a bad thing....just a little extra marketing/hype for their beer.

    And surely they didn't think us beer geeks wouldn't notice this difference and end up discussing it here?

    You are right in that you did not say those things. No hard feelings. Make it up to you with a 16%...or 11.8% tasting?

    jampics2 likes this.
  23. Kyleisdesign

    Kyleisdesign Initiate (48) Jan 27, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I was lucky enough to be able to do a side by side tasting of these beers. I live in Chicago (where we get the 16% version) and I had my dad (who lives in Ohio) bring the 11.9% version on his most recent visit. While I do not claim to be an expert beer judge I could not discern any difference in aroma or taste. Both mouthfeels were identical to me (even as the beer warmed). For what it is worth I did perceive a tiny amount of difference in the color of the small head on each of these (with the 16% version being a tad darker). The color difference may not necessarily reflect two different ABV beers and if I had to guess I would say these are the same beers. If somehow they did blend down the smaller ABV beer I applaud them on being able to match the flavor profile of the 16% ABV beer so well.
  24. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    If Scmaltz wants to re label a beer just so they can sell it in a State with a lower ABV, that's on them. I'm not going to pretend it's a different beer or keep quiet. I see no point in that. I know for a fact stuff like this happens all the time and the ABC does nothing, most likely because the rules they set(like many arbitrary government rules/laws) are virtually unenforceable for several different reasons.

    With all that said, the Ohio ABV really doesn't affect me much, as there are maybe 2-3 beers I would drink on a regular basis(Bourbon County is not one of them) over 12%. I would want it changed mainly so places like Jackie O's and Hoppin Frog could experiment more, but that's it.

    I would be shocked if this beer was 11%, or whatever they labeled it for Ohio. I drink quite a bit and it takes a booze monster to make me buzzed like this one did, especially since it was my only beer of the night.
  25. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,455) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I happen to know for a 100% positive fact that the lower alcohol editions sent to low ABV states are in fact a special batch brewed not to exceed any state laws. People suggesting otherwise in this thread are just flat out wrong, and I invite all these folks with their unsubstantiated accusations to send a sample of the lower ABV version to a testing lab and have what I am saying confirmed. Until one of you rumor mongering big mouths does this and posts the results on this thread, I suggest everyone just take my word for it, as many folks in low ABV states like this beer.
  26. jhartley

    jhartley Poo-Bah (2,438) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. We really need to get the laws changed in this state! Luckily I have a Wegman's and Abe's Cold Beer close by.
  27. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'm not rumor mongering. If it is it is, if it's not it's not. I don't care either way, but I'm not going to speak in hushed tones about any brewery on a beer related website. Whether or not Schmaltz Anny beer is legit low ABV, I know of other situations where brewers slip in beer over 12%.
  28. baconman91

    baconman91 Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2009 Ohio

    ...that Stinks. I'm stuck in OH, Really wanted to try this (Either version) can't find it. -- & i generally get a pretty good Hook-up @ my local dist.
  29. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I guess my overall feeling is that brewers should follow state law, no exceptions. If they don't, it is not up to me to cover for them. If they are sending beer under the cap, no amount of internet talking is going to cause them problems.
  30. Mavajo

    Mavajo Zealot (572) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    It's not about covering for them.

    It's about being smart enough to shut up so that you can continue to receive something you wouldn't otherwise have access to.

    That said, fortunately, in this case, it doesn't matter, since the Sweet 16 was blended down to 11%.
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  31. dbc5

    dbc5 Devotee (478) Jun 18, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Well this thread has taken a turn. I realize that posting this topic has rubbed some the wrong way, but my intent was not to provide public documentation of any infraction on the part of Shmaltz. That being said, I am also not of the opinion that it is the job of the consumer to keep such infractions quiet, if infractions occur. Breweries make decisions about how to distribute and market their products. While I am glad to have the opportunity to try these beers, I don't think I should be forced to not obtain information about the product I am purchasing because it may or may not shed light on a decision a business consciously made. Also, lets not act as if breweries deciding to distribute a beer to a legally questionable location are acting selflessly, their only intent being to bestow beer geeks with another shelf offering. There is a good deal of shelf real estate that is lost by cutting multiple states out of a particular beer's distribution circle and there is a clear correlation between shelf space and dollars made.

    I'm not trying to say anything definitive about the Sweet 16 situation or Shmaltz with the above points. Frankly, I have no evidence to stand on in supporting an argument about them or this beer specifically. To be honest, my entire reason for posting this thread was to determine whether it was worth making a trade for a non Ohio version if people were perceiving differences between the two. However, everyone seems to be offering opinions about the more general issue, so here is mine.
    miketd likes this.
  32. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    If you read my post correctly, you would see it's not necessarily something I want or need. We have some of the best brewers in the country brewing here and doing just fine with the cap.

    If Scmaltz or any other brewer is within the letter of the law, they have nothing to worry about. I have heard conflicting things from beer insiders and at this point I consider everything anecdotal.
  33. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I agree. My car goes past 70 mph, but I take a risk every time I drive over on an Ohio road. If brewers want to take the risk of shipping beer over 12% to Ohio, it is not my responsibility to help keep them on the right side of ABC.
  34. Mavajo

    Mavajo Zealot (572) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    So we've got two clowns that are too cool to just say "Oh my bad guys, I didn't really consider the fact that some of you enjoy being able to get this beer, and that by me broadcasting this on the internet, it could jeopardize that for you. Mea culpa."

    It's all good. I'm duly impressed by your ability to stand by your stubborn jackassery-masquerading-as-conviction.
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  35. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'm a clown for thinking breweries should respect the law instead of catering to entitled beer nerds their bottom line? Haha, whatever.
  36. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,455) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, the law, thank god you guys in Ohio are protected by that law that prevents the madness and rioting that alcoholic beverages above 12% will surely cause. Too bad that leaves you guys unable to purchase wine and liquor...oh, wait.

    If you really want to get rid of that feeling, why don't you just take your suspicions to the authorities. That won't be clowning around, will it? Probably make you feel much better too when you find out that this beer actually is an 11% beer.
    beerFool28607 and alelover like this.
  37. AnchorBaby

    AnchorBaby Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2010 California

    You guys are funny. After cavedave put the whole thing to rest, you just had to get out of bed and start the pillow-fight all over again.

    To Beer
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  38. miketd

    miketd Zealot (535) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I didn't say it was a good law, just that brewers should respect it until it's changed through proper channels.

    You keep going back to the beer being 11%. Great, then they have nothing to worry about. I might have had a bad night and the beer affected me more than it usually would.

    I don't care one way or the other... as I have already said. I wouldn't report a brewer for something like this, but I also won't stop giving my opinion that the law should be followed until changed.
  39. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Classic BA and I've been here less than a month :grimacing:

    In that time, I've gotten two "Inappropriate content" messages from Todd for...

    1) wishing a BA luck in his thread requesting advice but following that up with a reference to the thread crapping he was going to suffer (learned that one quick here). He actually thought my comment was humorous. Apparently some BA didn't. He told me he checked into it, and my comment was taken down for "lacking relevance or being meaningless" or something to that effect. I still disagree. Whatever.

    2) Yesterday I made the mistake of posting a "calm down bro" image into the BCS for beer thread (which was "liked" about 8 times in the time it was up) in response to some BA that came into the thread on a political/economic rant against another BA who said something to the effect that "he was at work on a Monday and was bored" and the thread was going to give him something to do for a bit.

    Apparently, it's a seniority thing around here on BA. The longer you've been on BA the more you can get away with.
  40. alelover

    alelover Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Michigan

    says the man that goes at least 1mph over the speed limit ever day he drives a automobile..shame on you for not following the law.
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