Saturday, April 11, 2015

He'Brew Funky Jewbelation (2015 edition)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1322) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 11, 2015
Blending is an artform to be sure, though most breweries only blend two beers together. In the case of He’Brew Funky Jewbelation, it’s a blend of six ales and lagers which are then aged in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Somewhere along the way they pick up a sourness as well (I’m not sure if that’s natural or man-made). It’s a feat in brewing innovation to be sure and the result is always a delicious beer.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 2/18/15 and cost $12.49 ($0.57 per ounce).

Appearance: Seemingly black in color, but actually a deep shade of maroon. Pours to a fairly large, eggshell, frothy head that laces and retains rather well.

Smell: Lovely aroma of dark fruit, especially berries: raspberry, blackberry and black currant. Distinct sour scent, but nothing abrasive.

Taste: Trying to describe the palette of a beer made from six distinct brews is a challenge to be sure as no one flavor dominates. It’s an ever-changing, constantly evolving taste profile. I will say that it begins with a sweetness; dark malt but no roasty flavor along with dark fruits but no tartness. Mild bitterness through the middle finishing with a lovely sour tang on the finish reminiscent of black currants or any kind of tart, acidic fruit. Unlike previous vintages, the sourness is a tad light in this 2015 edition.

I notice that each swig is different. If I concentrate on one of the individual brews in the blend I can almost taste it. The “Death of a Contract Brewer” Black IPA is quite prominent with a resiny/piney hoppy character, as is “Rejewvenator” which is made with actual grape juice. The barrel character doesn’t seem to create for a lot of distinctiveness other than a light smokey/woody flavor. I’d imagine this is a beer that will definitely improve and involve with age, but as of this sampling it’s merely excellent instead of outstanding.

Drinkability: For a big beer, He’Brew Funky Jewbelation is surprisingly easy on the constitution. The mouthfeel is fairly light, crisp and bubbly but in no way thin or watery. Full-bodied as far as taste goes, but medium in actual presentation. There’s no cloying or sticky sensation to be found here despite the 9.4% ABV weight. The sourness, unfortunately, finishes a little too clean; dry bitter hops do linger, though. The alcohol does account for minor warmth in the throat, but this is still a remarkably drinkable brew (I was able to down the entire bottle without any trouble). 
Grade: 9/10