Beer of the Month: He’Brew Jewbelation 14

December is a great time to enjoy the company of friends, family, and a great beer. What should you be drinking during this cold month? The cold weather tells me to drink something with a little more flavor, body, and booze. The beer for this year is He’ Brew’s Jewbelation 14.

Now, you might be asking yourself what the 14 is for? It stands for the fourteenth year that He’Brew has been making beer. Jewbelation is their way of celebrating milestones that breweries hope to attain, and this is why it is a great choice for the season.

This might be an unorthodox choice for the holiday season, but I tell you, it’s great stuff. This beer is accepted not only around the Christmas tree but also around the menorah (or Festivus pole for that matter). Jewbelation 14 pours dark, dark brown. It’s nearly black with a dark tan head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, licorice, raisins, dates, and a hint of booze make up the bouquet. These are all flavors and smells I associate with the season (…booze too?) reminding me of days past when my mother would bake delicious treats to serve at our holiday gatherings. Call me nostalgic, but this beer takes me to my happy place.

Beyond the happy places of yesteryear, Jewbelation has a special treat. Each year has a different recipe containing the same amount of malts, hops, and abv as the year they are celebrating. So, Jewbelation 14 has fourteen different malts, fourteen different varieties of hops, and it clocks in at a surprisingly drinkable 14% alcohol by volume. It may sound a little gimmicky, but this beer is one you can drink now to savor the upfront hoppy and bitter flavor, or you can choose to put it away for a special occasion allowing the malty characteristics to come to the forefront. But how does this work? you might be asking. Well, I’m going to tell you all a secret: Craft beer ages in the bottle!

You might notice the hops in a hoppy beer dropping out in aroma, flavor, and bitterness. A beer such as Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot has a very aggressive bitterness when it’s new; waiting a few months or even years allows the hop characteristics fade and the malts to dominate. The only beers not changing in the bottle are pasteurized beers…but we will not speak of those here.

I knew He’Brew’s Jewbelation would be an excellent choice for December, especially after I heard about the gift sets they were sending out. This year, He’brew created what they are calling Vertical Jewbelation. This gift pack includes 12 oz bottles of Jewbelation 8 through 14. He’brew also has “Vertical Jewbelation.” This beer is a blend of the included seven beers that was then aged in a 6 year Sazerac Rye whisky barrel. I cannot speak for how good it is as I have not yet tried it, but I am really looking forward to taking it out of my fridge.

Have you had it? Let me know what you think below! Jewbelation 14 can be found in 22 oz bombers for about $6, and the Vertical Jewbelation gift set (eight 12 oz bottles) can be found for about $30. Don’t forget that the set comes with a glass and 44 Chanukah candles!