Black Chocolate Stout – Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Black Chocolate Stout (Limited Bottling – Winter 13-14) – Brooklyn Brewery, 10% ABV, 355ml., (Brooklyn, NY, USA)


on the neck label:

“In the last century, British brewers made strong stouts for the Czar’s Court. They were called Imperial Stouts. Our Black Chococlate Stout, brewed once yearly for the winter season, achieves a chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts.


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Heavy med-sweet roasted barley malt alcoholic burnt bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $4.25 CAD (after 10% off), February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: not after my 2nd tasting

Visual: Pours jet black with a smallish dissipating head, a big island w/ ringed retention, micro fine bubbles on top, barely visible slow micro bubble streams.

Nose: roasted caramelized barley, molasses, brown sugar, faint coffee/fig. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: slick-thick, slight crisp

Mid-palate: heavy malts, lingering (lvl-7-sweetness), espresso

Finish: sweet liquid roast barley, mild alcohol hit, burnt toast bitterness, mild chocolate notes

Summary: Although clocking in a whopping 10% ABV, this stout drinks pretty smooth and with some alcohol in the backend. The flavour is predominantly roasted barley and halfway through it becomes rather predictable. Above average, but there are more interesting imp stouts out there.

GoT Three-eyed Raven – Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY, USA)

Game of Thrones #5 Three-eyed Raven (Dark Saison Ale), 7.2% ABV, 750 ml., (Cooperstown, NY, USA)

-What does beer and Game of Thrones have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing; do I care? Absolutely not! I love GoT and Ommegang so of course I have to try this.


on the front-right label:

“From the darkness I watch you. All of you, all of your lives, with a thousand eyes, and one. Abiding in the shadows of this dark saison lie beguiling and entrancing aromas and flavors – girded by crisp, lasting herbal hop notes, and a yeasty, spicy finish. Pour slowly, to not disturb yeast sediment, but with vigor to make a luxurious head and free the bouquet.

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  • Style: (Dark) Saison
  • Taste: Sour tangy panela barley malt banana wheat malt airy toasty prune roasted exhale
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12.40 CAD – 750 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: interesting but not memorable

Visual: Hefty bottle, corked with a twisty steel cap. Pours dark cola brown with a large frothy head, good retention, just a bit of lacing, clusters of active streams.

Nose: lightly caramelized banana wheat malt, slight cotton candy (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp-smooth, light tingly fizzy

Mid-palate: panela barley malt, tangy banana wheat airy, (lvl-7-sweetness), toasty bready, dark fruit-prune, medium tangy-sour

Finish: light roasted malt exhale

Summary: Quite an interesting taste profile of tangy brown sugary banana wheat malt – all the while smooth and at a potent ABV. It’s just a bit too sour-tangy in the mids for my liking.

He’Brew Jewbelation Fifteen – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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Jewbelation Fifteen – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 15% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)

“15th Anniversary Ale – Brewed with 15 malts & 15 hops


He’Brew 2011 Holiday Gift Pack Summary:

  1. Miraculous Jewbelation 8th Anniversary Ale (American Strong Ale) – [B-]
  2. Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A (IIPA) – [A-]
  3. Hop Manna Test Batch #2 (IPA) – [B]
  4. Genesis Ale (Amber Ale) – [C+]
  5. Messiah Bold (Brown Ale) – [C+]
  6. Origin Pomegranate Ale (Fruit Beer) – [B]
  7. Reunion – A Beer for Hope 2011 (Spiced Ale) – [B+]
  8. Jewbelation Fifteen (American Strong Ale) – [B+]

on the front-left label:

In Jewish tradition, 15 marks major commemorations: Passover (the Exodus), Sukkot (40 years of wandering), and Tu Bishvat (the New Year for Mother Nature) all start on the 15th day of the Hebrew month. 15 suggests a certain wisdom from experience: “Old is always 15 years from now.” – Bill Cosby. “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for one talent we do not possess than 15 we do.” – Mark Twain. After Andy Warhol, does 15 forever sound profound or frivolous? “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” “Fame is the thirst of youth.” – Lord Byron. “The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has been extended is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.” – Barack Obama. For Matt EP: Hall of Famer Bart Starr rocked #15 as MVP in the Packers’ first two Super Bowl victories. “South Park” evolved from “Jesus vs. Santa” and is now entering its 15th season. “We’re rehabbed and ready for our 15 minutes of shame.” – Marilyn Manson. Lyrics from Barry Manilow’s 2011 album, 15 Minutes, released on QVC Network: “Make me a deal, I’ll sell my guts for glory.” “Fame and power are the objects of all men. Even their partial fruition is gained by very few, and that at the expense of social pleasure, health, conscience, life.” – Benjamin Disraeli. After 1,972,350 sets of 15 minutes of Shmaltz Brewing, I’ll hoist my Jewbelation Quinceañera and sing 15 rounds of ¡Viva la Evolución de He’brew! L’Chaim!

Jeremy Cowan, proprietor


  • Style: American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Heavy thick sweet sherry cherry chocolate alcoholic toffee molasses concentrated barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, be prepared for some heaviness

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours brownish-black with a super-creamy smallish head, thick ringed retention, half-sticky lacing, varied speed scattered streams.

Nose: heavy sweet caramel barley malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: very thick viscosity, half oily-slick

Mid-palate: cherry chocolate cake, creamy CO2, background tangy-zing subdued alcohol, (lvl-8-sweetness), molasses, concentrated barley malt, sherry, woody

Finish: light roasty caramel sweet exhale

Summary: A big bomb of thick heavy flavours with a touch of tangy-zing to keep it all in check. Although at 15% it’s surprisingly sippable. It does become taxing on the palate after 10 oz.

He’Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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Origin Pomegranate Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 8% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)

“Imperial amber ale brewed with luscious pomegranate juice


  • Style: (flavoured – pomegranate) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Balanced pomegranate tangy burnt brown sugar barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: pretty decent

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours translucent reddish brown with a very small dissipating head, ringed retention with thin island, fast steady big bubble streams.

Nose: acidic-tangy pomegranate mixed with sweet barley malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-fizzy-crisp

Mid-palate: dissipiting soft sour-sustained tangy acidity, (lvl-6-sweetness), burnt brown sugar & pomegranate, toasted barley malt

Finish: pomegranate fruity, toasted malt exhale, subtle soft bitter hops.

Summary: I very much liked the wide range of taste sensations incorporating sweet-tangy-acidic-sour-toasted-bitter-alcohol; lots to experience with a very nice balance and mouthfeel.

He’Brew Messiah Bold – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Messiah Bold (Retired) – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 5.6% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)


  • Style: Brown Ale
  • Taste: Brown sugar roasted barley malty sweet light cola licorice
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not outstanding

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours dark cola brown without much head, ringed micro retention, tight singular micro streams accompanied by fast sporadic ones.

Nose: brown sugar caramel malts, roasty toasty. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick, incoming malts

Mid-palate: mild coffee, roasted barley malt, brown sugar/caramel (lvl-5-sweetness), cola

Finish: mild licorice, residual malt sweetness

Summary: A solid drinkable brown ale with pleasant characteristics. Good balance but nothing remarkable.

He’Brew Genesis Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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Genesis Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Company (Brewed at Olde Saratoga Brewing), 6% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)


from ratebeer.com:

“Contract brewed for Shmaltz Brewing Company. Our First Creation

Crisp, smooth and perfectly balanced between a west coast style pale and amber ale, with a supple malt sweetness and a pronounced hop flourish.

Malts: 2-row, Caramel 40L, Dark Crystal, Munich, Wheat
Hops: Warrior, Northern Brewer, Willamette”


  • Style: Amber Ale
  • Taste: Sweet toasted barley malty sour-tangy astringent finish
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: solid, but won’t crave it

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours clear brown with no significant head, thin hazy ringed retention, some bubbles here and there, minor lacing.

Nose: sweet nutty caramel malts (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: tingly CO2, toasted barley malts, bready-biscuity (lvl-5-sweetness)

Finish: background gentle bitter hops, mild sour-tangy astringency.

Summary: A good thick mouthfeel akin to their other beers, but this one having some astringency in the background and emerging in the finish. A bit above average.

He’Brew Hop Manna IPA – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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He’Brew Hop Manna Test Batch Number 2 – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 6.8% ABV – 65 IBUs, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)


on the neck label:

Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Munich, Vienna, CaraMunich 40

Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Amarillo, Crystal, Centennial


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Smooth sweet toffee malt soft grapefruity bitter light tangy hop oils grassy soft bitter
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: solid, but won’t crave it

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours brown-orange without a head, just a spotty haze of retention, scattered steady singular streams.

Nose: faint toffee barley malt, hints of strawberry (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: thick viscosity/half-slick, stealth subtle CO2

Mid-palate: bright (lvl-5-sweetness), background grapefruit hoppy bitter, grassy, toffee barley malt

Finish: tangy lingering soft bitter hops

Summary: Solid brew with a thicker mouthfeel and “infused” carbonation. Very drinkable, good balance.

He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 10% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)


from ratebeer.com:

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the death of Lenny Bruce: A Rye based double IPA. Brewed with an obscene amount of malts and hops. Shocking flavors – Far beyond contemporary community standards. The Most Radical Jewish Tribute Beer ever created. 10% alc. — Malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 65, Wheat, Kiln Amber, Caramel 70 — Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial. Dry Hopped with Amarillo and Crystal


  • Style: Double / Imperial IPA
  • Taste: Superfine creamy resiny grapefruit bitter hop toffee malt smooth
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, try it to believe it

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours deep mahogany brown with a long lasting ultra-creamy small head, sticky micro lacing, super fine layer of 1mm retention, clusters of snail speed streams near the surface.

Nose: toffee barley malt. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: superfine creamy smooth, thick-dense mouthfeel, suspended micro CO2

Mid-palate: grapefruit bitter hops, (lvl-5-sweetness), toffee toasted barley malt, resiny, trace metallic

Finish: sweet-heavy alcohol hit, dry rye malt.

Summary: Super duper creamy mouthfeel unlike most others, stealth 10% ABV hits hard once it’s all over. Very drinkable, up there.

He’Brew Miraculous Jewbelation Eighth Anniversary Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Co. (NY, USA)

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He’Brew Miraculous Jewbelation 8th Anniversary Ale – Shmaltz Brewing Company – Brewed at Olde Saratoga Brewing, 8% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Clifton Park, NY, USA)


-I dug up an old Holiday Gift Pack from 2012! It includes 8 interesting beers, a rather simple commemorative glass, a box of cheap candles, and an empty bottle to boot!

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on the front-left label:

8 is a miraculous number in Jewish life. Chanukah. Passover, and Sukkot span 8 days. 8 humans survived the deluge on Noah’s ark. Maimonides delineated 8 levels of tzedakah (charity). A bris (circumcision) comes on day 8. King Solomon completed the First Temple in the 8th month of the 8th year…. ‘Seinfeld’ ran 8 years. Dylan has 8 Grammys; Babs, 8 Golden Globes. Einstein couldn’t write until age 8. Freud, the eldest of 8 children, took 8 years to complete his medical degree. Mel Brooks stole a cap gun from Woolworths at age 8, and ‘ The Producers,’ won 8 Other Critic Circle Awards. Winona Ryder had 8 prescription medications in her purse when arrested for shoplifting. 2004 brings a most personal miracle: The 8th Anniversary of HE’BREW – The Chosen Beer! Miraculous Jewbelation celebrates all he dedicated souls with the thutzpah to rise up and to risk lighting those final precious drops of sacred oil. To the courageous and the curious, the clowns and the creators. To all the Tribe of Shmaltz… To Life! L’Chaim!”

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  • Style: American Strong Ale
  • Taste: Dry roasted coffee sour molasses brown sugar caramel barley malt vanilla exhale
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $39 CAD (after 10% off) – 8 x 12 fl.oz. + glassware, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50, get a new bottle with more CO2

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours deep dark brown with a smallish dissipating head, ringed retetion w/ hazy layer, steady streams along the perimeter, suspended sediment.

Nose: thick liquid barley malts and other grains. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: thick viscosity, flat CO2

Mid-palate: dry roast, background coffee sour, (lvl-4-sweetness), molasses, brown sugar, thick liquid caramel barley malt

Finish: residual caramel malty sweet, roasted barley and vanilla exhale.

Summary: It drinks something like a sweeter dry Irish stout with a touch more coffee sourness and more complex roasted notes. Solid, but wished for more creaminess as it drank quite flat.

Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager 1988-2013 – Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

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  • My Rating: B-

Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager 1988-2013 – Brooklyn Brewery, 9% ABV – 1 Pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

on the back label:

“(front label artwork: Breathing Head, Fred Tomaselli, 2002)

I first met Fred Tomaselli in the early ’90s at Kasia’s, the Bedford Avenue diner that was the main meeting place for artists living and working in Williamsburg. The brewery was in its second year, and Fred’s painting career was just starting. Today, Fred’s painting is known all over the world, and so are our beers. This Silver Anniversary llabel is based on Fred’s 2002 painting, Breathing Head. In 1988, we introduced Brooklyn Lager, an American original inspired by the beers of 19th Century New York and Vienna. Today, we salute our beginnings with this Silver Anniversary Lager, brewed to a doppelbock intensity and re-fermented in the bottle.”

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  • Style: Doppelbock
  • Taste: creamy-sweet texture -> malts/honey/cola -> bittersweet hops/malty-sweet finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek Liquor Store
  • How much: $17 (after 10% off) – 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, it’s quite smooth

Visual: High quality cork seal and twisty-tie metal cap. Pours hazy medium-dark brown with a small but super long lasting ultra-foamy head, thin sticky lacing, a plethora of activity.

Nose: faint sweet malts and cola. (2/10)-aromatic strength.

Attack: lasting super-foamy texture,

Mid-palate: (8/10)-malty sweetness, (MAIN) caramel malts, honey, dark fruit/red fruit (HINT) cola

Finish: soft & mild-hop/malt bitterness, smooth sweet finish.

Summary: Good texture, drinkability, and flavour. Overall solid, but lacks  any memorable qualities imo.