I’m not a member of The Tribe, but I do enjoy puns, and this beer packed a double whammy in He’brew Jewbelation 14 (the chosen beer). Beyond the name, it’s a pretty cool concept beer. Starting with Jewbelation 8, which had 8 different types of malt and hops, each year they add one more type of malt and one more variety of hops. This is the last year of the series, and they took the seven numbered Jewbelations (8-14), mixed them in a barrel and came out with Jewbelation Vertical. Now, they’re having a special where they’re releasing the 8 beers during the 8 days of Chanukah to 88 different bars. Silly puns, mixed with interesting brewing ideas and a high-minded, yet tongue in check concept? Sign me up for that beer!
Schmaltz lists the 28 different malts and hops that are in this beer on their website. It’s worth checking out and flipping through the evolution of the Jewbelation series. You can also check out if any local bar is Chosen. Anyway, as today is the beginning of Chanukah, I figured it was as good a time as ever to crack it open write a review.
Appearance: Dark, opaque copper with ruby notes when held up to the light. A nice, two finger, tan head that only reluctantly dissipates. This is a very good looking beer.
Aroma: Caramel malt with some floral, spicy hops and a fairly noticeable alcohol burn just in the nose. There’s something I can’t quite place, maybe a holiday spice, but it’s certainly intriguing.
Taste: The taste starts out with a rich, full caramel malt flavor. It’s not cloying, but it’s almost overpowering, not quite. After the rich malt, there’s a wave of balanced bitterness. It ends with a nice acrid note almost as an after taste. The acridity really helps the flavor from being too rich. There is a very pleasant, delayed alcohol warmth that hits me in the belly and throat.
Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. It leaves my lips sticky. The head is incredibly creamy, and really adds something to the sip.
Overall: This is a really ambitious beer. I think it hits a lot of the notes you want with a big, winter warmer/strong ale style beer. It has an amazing malt profile with enough hops to balance out and keep it from becoming cloying. The alcohol also works well with this ale, cutting through the richness and serving to warm your whole body. I kind of wish I had some of the previous vintages to compare.
Happy Chanukah everyone!