Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 195   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 420   ABV: 14%
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At age 14, is Shmaltz Brewing still in the throes of adolescence?  After publishing Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, a new small business saga, I’ll leave it up to you, Dear Reader.  As with many 14 year olds, this years Jewbelation is all about Hands, Hearts and Farts.  14 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for “hand.”  The human hand contains 14 digital bones and 14 joints.  14 items to fill the Passover seder plate, narrating the Exodus of the Hebrews – “and with a mighty hand did the Revolution bring us out of Egypt.” Jacob labored 14 years to earn marriage to Leah and Rachel.  Over a lifetime, the average American spends 14 days kissing.  Valentine’s day, Feb. 14, dates to a pagan festival for the she-wolf who suckled mythical founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.  14 lines structure a sonnet.  Romeo and Juliet unfolds 14 days before Juliet’s  14th birthday.  Carbon 14 dating proves the age of organic materials.  Woody Allen, now married to his once not-daughter and not a spokesman for American Apparel, received 14 Oscar nominations for best screenplay and directed 14 other actors in nominated performances.  14 Jews serve in the senate.  The current Dalai Lama is the 14th leader of the Tibetan people.  A hummingbird’s heart flutters about 1400 beats per minute.  Dr. Oz reported on Oprah that humans fart on average of 14 times a day.  At age 41 and in our 14th year of brewing, the numerical synchronicity will happen only once in my lifetime.  Here’s to being here now… L’Chaim!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Strykzone (4931) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2011
A dark brown pour with a thick tan head that has strong retention. The aroma is rich malt and sweet citrus fruit. Alcohol is only marginally tasted but the warming is felt. Feel is substantial. Fruit, again, is a major theme here and there are some background hops that give this beer plenty of personality. It also has background sourness. But rich and sweet malt is the backbone here. While I wish the ABV were much lower, this is a very tasty beer and is in my wheelhouse.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
italarican (1481) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - MAR 20, 2011
Bottle generously shared at Max’s FF winnings tasting. Pours essentially jet black with an oily looking tan head. Aroma is massive of marshmallow and toffee with a yeast background. Flavor has bourbon at the forefront with notes of toasted coconut, marshmallow, and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is awesome: like a pillow of chocolaty goodness. Once it hits your lips it’s so good!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 20, 2011
Bottle from the Vertical Jewbelation Pack. My last bottle from the pack, let’s see how the Big Papa is... Pours opaque, viscous black, as these things go up in alcohol, the more they pour out like dirty motor oil. I’m pretty sure I could turn the glass upside down and this stuff wouldn’t move. I won’t, because anything this dark and thick would be a BASTARD to get out of the carpet. Speaking of carpet... Where were we? Oh yes. Rating a beer - On with the show! The beer has a 1-finger thick tan head, which quickly dissipates, but the lacing hangs around quite well, where it does so at all, not really spotty lacing, let’s say patchy. Nose is Tootsie rolls, caramel-coated raisins, figs, smoke, tobacco, brandy. Oddly, this seems less boozy than some of the previous versions, specifically the Twelve. Again, light notes of dying hops, and an overall impression of weight. Flavours of toasty tobacco/rye/spice/toffee, really grooving on the spice/sweetness here. Alcohol is apparent (at 14% how could it not be) but it isn’t as offensive as I had feared. Long and weighty in the mouth, with lots of treacle and molasses and fudge characters. It’s no Vertical Jewbelation, which is the best of the lot, but considering this is 14% alcohol, I say it’s a masterfully well-done brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jtclockwork (8393) - , New Jersey, USA - MAR 19, 2011
Bottle at Max’s tasting. Pours black. Tan head. Nose of raisin, plum, brown sugar and toffee. Taste is thick sweet raisin puree, brown sugar and toffee. Almost sickeningly sweet at times. Good sipper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
deyholla (6633) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - MAR 9, 2011
Bottle. Pours a near black with a light brown head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has a combination of roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate with a bit of backing hop bitterness. Flavor starts with roasted malts but quickly becomes bitter with dark chocolate and hops.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Priorat63 (10) - Redding, California, USA - MAR 6, 2011
Appearance: Raisin brown color, rather full spongy creamy head (for 14%), good cap and lacing (does fade towards the end). Nose: Black-strap molasses, freshly toasted raisin bread, "C" grade maple syrup, light notes of Colombian Supremo @ medium-dark roast. Taste: Complex to say the least; very sweet malts, rosiny black-strap molasses, caramelly caffé macchiato, medjool dates, boozy west-indies dark Rhum (mon), dark English toffee, dark chocolate, slightly smoky violets & toasted-herbs on the light hop finish. Mouthfeel: Extremely full-bodied, creamy-syrupy, light carbonation. Drinkability/Overall: Absolutely complex, rich rich flavours. I could drink as much of this, as I could Aunt Jemimah’s & melted Coffee Haagen Daaz shakes!

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
unclemattie (4183) - Georgia, USA - MAR 3, 2011
22oz bottle. Black pour, brown foam. Aroma of malt syrup. Heavy sticky molasses smell. Some wooded hops, sugary malt flavor. IT IS ALL SUGAR. Some bitterness, some alcohol to help even out the malt. This beer needs lots of age to it, its just too sweet. Period.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - FEB 27, 2011
750ml bottle. Dark brown pour, thick and syrupy. Aroma and flavor are just too sweet to make this an enjoyable beer. With all the malts they used it’s no wonder this thing is super sweet. I’d like to see what some aging does to this beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cole (967) - , Alberta, CANADA - FEB 26, 2011
Pours almost black with a thick tall beige beige head. Strong hop aroma with deep roasted malt notes mingling through out. Thick creamy mouth feel. it has a great hop flavour followed by strong fruity malty notes. very thick and chewy. It is like a really nice raisin bread. The finish is very nice. Roasted malts come through here. The beer is very ell balanced. one of the most interesting beers I have ever had. It is the kind of complexity I would expect from a Belgian quad. But It is the perfect ASA. Grreat brew!!!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - FEB 21, 2011
22oz. Bottle. Pours almost like a stout with a uber dark brown color and a frothy beige colored foam. Nose lets you know immediately that its a malt bomb. Lots of dark fruit aroma with sugary caramel undertones. The taste is a bit muddled, but in a good way with no off flavors. Raisins, dates and figs are prevalent with big notes of toffee and caramel. Malt obviously dominates this one, but the hops are potent enough to keep it from being a sugary mess. The mouthfeel is heavy with a thick texture that is just right for this type of malt oriented strong ale. Finishes with a subtle warming alcohol flavor and a sparkling bright burnt sugar note reminiscent of Brandy. By far the best beer I have had from this brewery. Will be seeking out more to let sit in the cellar for awhile.

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