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Featured beer #2 comes to us from 2010, when Schmaltz Brewing Company was celebrating its 14th anniversary. Among the ways they celebrated were releasing their Jewbelation 14, and this beer:
To make this they blended 7 of their anniversary beers, starting with Jewbelation 8 all the way through 14, and aged it in 6 year Sazerac rye whiskey barrels.
It's part stout, part barleywine, a chimera that defies description. A strong ale, to be sure.
Because I actually have my shit together this year, and because we're not doing a blind horizontal or vertical as a core part of this year's tasting (I will not rule out some mini-blinds, because that's how I roll), I have the unique opportunity to show you in advance some of the gems we'll be tasting.
This beer was brewed in early 2009 to celebrate Bell's 9000th batch of beer. Legend goes that during the brewing process, they somehow miscalculated the amount of fermentables needed, which sent the brewers on a mad scramble for malts and adjuncts to add to the brew. As a result, the recipe for the beer wasn't properly documented, and they don't think they'll ever be able to make it again.
The ABV came in at 12.5%, and the beer was subsequently very boozy at first, so much so that Bell's sat on it for another 9 months waiting for the right time to release it. Finally, in January 2010, they bottled it and sent it out for distribution.
The beer was divisive fresh, some folks finding the flavors too aggressive, but I was personally a huge fan. This is a beer I remember buying nearly a case of at the time. I definitely remember sharing some with fellow Icrontians around St. Paddy's 2010.
So this beer is going on 8 years old, 7 in the bottle, but despite that, I can say that having had it fairly recently, it's still holding strong at or near its peak flavor. I'm excited to drink the last bottles I have with folks who can join me in a month.
If you want more detailed info (TASTING SPOILERS) you can read the tasting notes from some folks were crazy awesome enough to buy enough of it to do a cellar review every 6-12 months.
Let's please remember that 10+ really drunk people kind of drag down the sober people in terms of fun, especially when people pay to be here. It's why we instituted the no-liquor rule years ago. The intent wasn't to single out liquor, it was to prevent anything beyond "Happy buzz" at expo because it often devolves into drama, tears, and fun ruining.
And there are a lot of people who just simply aren't comfortable around alcohol or people who have been drinking, for a wide variety of reason. This community does have recovering alcoholics, people who suffered with alcoholic loved ones, etc, who are sensitive about these things but remain quiet because they don't want to be a downer. I'd really just rather keep it to one seating.
We have had multiple seatings at past EPICs; we did two seatings in 2015 because there were close to 30 people who wanted in and we could only do 18 people in the initially planned tasting. I have a feeling we would have had to do 2 seatings last year if I had my shit together sooner.
Ideally, for logistical reasons, it's best if they're on different days, as was the case last time. If ICHQ powers decide there's no room for a second seating on the calendar, that's no skin off my back, but if 40 people sign up, I can create delightful experiences for all of them if time permits.
The way I've done every tasting thus far has involved calculating the ABVs and sample sizes and typically, it works out to the equivalent of consuming a 16-20oz of a 6-8% beer in 1 hour. What happens before and after my tastings, are, of course, out of my control, but I have yet to see someone start the a tasting half in the tank, so at least there's that.
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