RATINGS: 199   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 420   ABV: 14%
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!

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 23, 2011
Appearance: black and brown and dense. Minimal head bordered by a thin tan collar. Swirls with a filmy puddle in the middle and spots.
Nose: earthy pitted dark fruits mingle with tar and sludge. Black root, black earth with a wisp of burnt baker’s chocolate. Generic dark fruit meatiness. Whole fresh black cherries and red uncooked rhubarb in the back. Fig cake.
Palate: meaty and dense as nose promised. Long lingering bakers chocolate finish, black and burnt. Thick and heavy in the middle. Dark prunes and leathery tannic bite along the edges; within we find fudge, figs, dates, black root, tar, and scorched earth. Plums whisper in the back of each swallow. Herbal with an almost gin quality to it. Old leather speaks of times past during an era of leather, wood, and gentry. Tobacco leaf.
Final Thoughts: this brew had me craving a cigar from first quaff to last. Yum and yum. Dense, decadent, and olden. Divine.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - APR 20, 2011
Thanks to bmanning for opening up this bottle. Served in a tulip. Pours near black with a thin mocha head that falls to a thin cap quite quickly. This eventually fades into a thin collar around the edges of the glass. The nose is a bit plain with a light bit of caramel and toffee as well as some chocolate plus a bit of booze. The taste is slightly boozy with some chocolate and moderately-sweet malt. The mouthfeel is smooth, especially considering the alcohol level of this one. Drinks pretty well and is one of the better beers I’ve had from Schmaltz. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 12-20-2010

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DuffMan (9645) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - APR 16, 2011
UPDATED: APR 17, 2011 Bottle. Hearty, viscous, opaque walnut brown, thick, finely bubbled golden head. Every now and then an immediate association comes to mind with the aroma of a particular beer. There is no searching the memory, there is no need for swishing in the mouth and repeat sips and critical thought. It’s just BOOM, instant association. This brew struck exactly that chord for me: warm chocolate-chip banana bread. Other things rolled out after that immediate impression, but chocolate, caramalized banana, and sweet bready malt remained the foundation. added to the flavours were molasses, raisin pie, hoisin, vanilla, and cream. Heavy and creamy mouthfeel. warming finish, but not harsh or alcoholic at all. these guys are fucking geniuses! These anniversary brews keep getting bigger every ear, yet they manage to continue striking a perfect balance time after time. I could see this being too sweet for some people, but this just nailed it for me. Awesome!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nearbeer (4993) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 29, 2011
Bomber. Nose of prunes, alcohol, cherry, licorice and chocolate. Flavor is the same but more alcohol than other flavors. Heavy body is sweet and sticky, with a big alcohol burn.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Strykzone (6860) - 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 (1543) - 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 (1706) - 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 (15268) - , 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 (10442) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, 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!

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