Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hebrew Jewbilation 14

Let me tell you a short story about my introduction to Hebrew. I was staying down in Raleigh North Carolina at my Uncle's house. He had invited his brother, my father, and I down to join him for Beer Magazine's World Beer Festival. This point in my life the largest beer festival I had been to was the microbrewery festival at Penn Brewery. I was not prepared for what I was about to witness. In the center of downtown Raleigh a large park was lined with tents. The eight foot tables were lined up butt up against each other two rows in each tent one brewer at each table. Brewers from each corner of the world US, Belgium, Japan, Germany, and back to the US again, not to mention damn near every place in between. Where to begin? I stepped up to the first table I saw. On it hung a simple banner for Schmaltz Brewery out of New York. They had samples of Hebrew, a sub band of theirs. I had my first sample of the day, Origin pomegranate ale. I must say that this small brewery with a penchant for Semitic jokes was a wonderful start to the day.

Schmaltz has released Jewbilation their chosen beer. It's somewhat similar to a barlywine in that it's a big beer, 14%ABV brig, and lots of strong flavor. This beer could almost be treated like a cask strength bourbon, but I would not want to water this down I want to taste the grandeur of this fine brew. This fine brew is made with 14 different kind of hops and 14 kinds of barley. Complex is an oversimplification. Upon first ease you get hit with chocolate, coffee, and molasses malt like you wouldn't believe and a nice alcohol burn on the sides of the tounge. As you feel it pass across the rest of your ease buds you pick up plum, butterscotch, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and slight hints of citrus mainly lemon. I could spend days describing the flavors that come through but I need to stop for a moment to describe the look. I have stated before I don't generally go on about the look of a beer, but I'll be damned if this didn't look just like someone pulled a giant shot of espresso. Lots of lacing is left on the glass after each sip.

I must say that this is one beer that you must be on the lookout for. Not just because it's a great drink, but because every year the formula changes. Each year the number increments and the recipe changes. Pick up a couple bottles of this. One to drink now, and the rest to seller until you can compare it to the future incarnations.