Today’s beer is a unique and wonderful concoction from the fine folks at Shmaltz. Much like Southern Tier’s Choklat, this beer lives up to its name. I’m not quite sure I’ve ever had a drink quite this bizarre. It’s not that I don’t like it, in fact it’s pretty awesome, it’s just that this beer has me totally confused. I guess I should have expected an odd experience from a blend of six different beers with a fellow sporting a wacky jewfro on the label.
The first oddity that comes to mind is the color of the beer. This beer is really dark in color but not in taste. It is quite malty, but has little of the thick and bitter taste that often comes from darker beers. Instead, this is a sweet and smooth experience with just a little kick on the side. It probably helps that I envision the Disco Heeb (as I’ve named him) brewing this in the back of some wild club at a Parliament after-party. It’s smooth and off-kilter just like its mascot. There’s definitely some strong cherry flavor, but not so much that it turns into a fruity drink. I’m also sensing a good bit of molasses or caramel, but once again, it’s part of a greater package, not a domineering beer-killer.
At nearly 10% ABV, this beer seems to be an experiment in duality. It’s sweeter than most any beer I’ve had, yet it’s not appallingly sweet. It tastes like it’s been aged in rye whiskey and bourbon barrels (because it has), yet it doesn’t have the bite of many similarly aged beers. While this is not something I’d grab for an every day drink, it’s the perfect beer for an evening when I can’t figure out what the hell I plan on drinking. I’ve only seen this one around a couple of times, so I definitely recommend trying a bottle if you spot it at your local liquor store. It may not be a welcome experience to the casual beer drinker, but you’ll never know how good the funk can be until you’ve tasted it for yourself.