This week, we're continuing our focus on rich brews for the holiday season. But, instead of your standard spiced Christmas ale, we're celebrating a beer best enjoyed while spinning a dreidel under the light of a menorah. The brew is also a celebration of the "sweet 16th" anniversary of one of our homegrown breweries. So, it's certainly appropriate to break out a quinceanera-esque dress AND a yarmulke while enjoying this new offering from Shmaltz Brewing.
Following in the tradition of previous iterations of the Jewbelation series, the beer builds on past editions while increasing complexity and alcohol content. Shmaltz managed to squeeze 16 malts and 16 hop varieties into the brew, with a whopping 16% ABV. Needless to say, the beer isn't for the faint of heart. Unless you're seeking a raucous Chanukah night, you might consider splitting this bottle with a friend. The brew is viscous, boozy, and layered. If you can find a brandy snifter and a fireplace, you can certainly make a night out of this beer.
The beer pours deep brown with a thin mocha head. Aromas of roasted malt and dark fruits jump out of the glass. Flavors of dark chocolate, caramel, and molasses dominate the experience, with a slight alcohol burn in the finish. As the beer warms, notes of tobacco and leather come to the fore. If there was ever a good time to start smoking cigars, it might be in tandem with this beverage. This beer pairs nicely with dark chocolate, or would be an interesting partner with a caramel flan or tres leches cake.
Jewbelation Sweet 16 is on the shelves at better beer stores now. For a shot at trying the beer on draft alongside other Shmaltz rarities, head to Beer Revolution this weekend:
Shmaltz 16 Chosen Bars Event
Where: Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St., Oakland
When: December 8, 6-9pm
Cost: pay per drink
What: Shmaltz chose 16 bars through the country to partake in a tap takeover. 16 award-winning Shmaltz brews will be on tap alongside cupcakes and other treats.