He’Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer

Reviewed by on January 26, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Shmaltz Brewing Company

  • Origin: Clifton Park, NY, US

  • Rated On: January 26, 2015

  • Best Before: Bottled July 13, 2014

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

It may be a month or so late to actually claim to be within the most recent 8 crazy nights, but memories and echoes of the holiday season abound around here, so, with apologies to Adam Sandler, I don’t want no gin and tonica, so pass me some Chanukah (beer).

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, dark reddish amber colour, with two chubby fingers of wanly puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some active storm cloud lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, brown sugar, old molasses, muddled dark orchard fruit, and tame leafy, weedy, and softly perfumed hops. The taste is grainy, crackery caramel malt, biscuity toffee, brown sugar-heavy brown bread (but not Christmas cake or gingerbread, natch), still understated dried black fruit – maybe some raisins, maybe some prunes, maybe some figs – gritty earthy, leafy hops, and a touch of metallic warming alcohol. The bubbles are fairly involved in their tight frothiness and occasional fizzy foray, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and so-so in the way of the smoothness, the booze getting some randy ideas, seemingly. It finishes off-dry, barely, as a strong bittering trend (8 crazy hops, fruit, and yes, bubbe, alcohol!) subverts the 8 crazy malts employed here, in the end.

Compared to some of the doozies previously released by this outfit, Pass the Beer comes off as rather understated and unassuming. I know that’s hard to come to terms with, without a deeper appreciation for said other brews, but it is what it is. Maybe if I’d opted for the whole 4-pack (why not an 8-pack, eh?), my attitude would differ – nah, I’d likely just fall over on the (virtual) menorah.  At any rate, a decent enough offering, no matter how you spell it – something to keep in mind until it rolls around again later this year.

Brady White

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