Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. - This 10.0% ABV beer is a double IPA that is brewed with rye malt and in honor of Lenny Bruce. The beer pours a medium brown to very dark copper in color with a half-inch of creamy foam that is light brown in color and leaves lacing of a medium density down the glass. The aroma is malty, the spiciness of rye, with jammy fruit on top; lightly toasted rye bread with lots of red plum jelly. The taste follows the aroma, with a medium bitter finish and a lingering aftertaste that is true to the original flavor. This is a thick, intensely flavored beer.
Reunion Ale '11 - This 7.3% ABV beer is a collaboration between Shmaltz brewing and the Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Georgia. It is a dark imperial ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla and chili pepper. The proceeds benefit the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. The beer pours black in appearance, extremely dark brown if held to a light. There is a tiny bit of light brown head that dissipates almost immediately. The aroma is spicy, like a very strong cola or light Dr. Pepper, with notes of the cocoa and vanilla and an almost smokey coffee note. The taste is massive, dark roasted, toasted and nutty malt, coffee, toffee, dark chocolate, intense cola, sweetness, bitterness, and then at the end a slow and subtle build-up of heat from the chili. This is quite an interesting beer, and if you like a strong collection of full flavors, you should love this one.
Genesis Ale - This beer pours a light to medium brown with an orange tint. There is a half-inch of off-white to very light brown head. The aroma is malty, caramel and dark stone fruits, noticeable hops and a bit of spiciness. The taste is malty, caramel, slightly sweet, roasted and a bit nutty, with a nice bitter and dry finish. This is a really nice and drinkable ale.
Messiah Ale - This beer pours very dark brown to black in color. There is a short head of light brown foam. The aroma is slightly sweet, dark roasted malt, a touch of tartness. The taste is deep, dark roasted malt, coffee, dark cocoa, Guinness-like, but even more flavorful. Excellent.
Origin Pomegranate Ale - This 8.0% ABV beer is an imperial amber ale that is brewed with pomegranate juice. The beer pours a cloudy brown-dark orange-dark amber in color. There is a thin head of off-white to light brown foam. The aroma is malty, burnt caramel, old and oxidized sherry and port. The taste is bitter and burnt, following the aroma, with a bit of pomegranate in the back. I know that some people love beers that taste like this, but to me it is horrible and undrinkable.
Jewbelation Twelve - The Jewbelation beers are anniversary ales that He'brew makes. This is the 12th anniversary version, made with 12 malts and 12 hops and is 12% ABV. The 15 came out in 2011, so this must be from 2008. The beer pours black in color, dark brown with just a hint of ruby on the edges when held to the light. There is a half-inch of light brown, creamy head. The aroma is vanilla, dark caramel, molasses, alcohol, sweet and medicinal. The taste is intensely malty, dark roasted, burnt caramel, a bit of molasses, sweet, but with enough hop bitterness to not be cloying and to finish dry. There is an aftertaste like overly sweetened chicory coffee.
Jewbelation Fifteen - This is the 15th anniversary ale, with 15 malts and 15 hops and 15% ABV. Wow, they won't be able to keep this up too much longer. The beer pours very dark brown to black in color. There is a short head of dark brown foam. The aroma is roasted malt, dark caramel and vanilla. The taste is very sweet, tingling the back of the throat. There is caramel and roasted malt. Frankly, it is so sweet, it is hard to get a lot of differing flavors from it. The 12 was more interesting, perhaps this would do better with a couple of years age on it.
The glass came in the holiday gift pack that includes nine bottles, the Shamash bottle above is empty. The gift pack includes Hanukkah candles, the idea being that you can make a menorah with the candles and your empty beer bottles. The Shamash would hold the service candle, first lit and used to light the other candles, which are ignited in succession, one on each night of Hanukkah.