Today I have an ale that I was lucky to find because I didn’t search for it until months after its release. Shmaltz the brewers of He’Brew “The Chosen Beer” out of Saratoga Springs, New York decided there was no better occasion than their 12th year of production to make one simply insane brew. Crafted with 12 varieties of hop, 12 varieties of malt and and an impressive 12% ABV. Boy golly I can’t wait to see what this ale has in store for me but if you want to see more iterations of the number 12 feel free to check out their website. I had the opportunity to sample a few “Freak Beers” from Shmaltz at the Autumn Brew Review but thanks to many samples prior I don’t recall much about them other than they tasted fine so lets get onto the important part. This ale pours a dark color that looks black until you bring it to light where you can see some ruby hues but just around the edges of the glass. The brew is incredibly opaque and produces about two fingers of creamy light brown head that lasts for a few minutes and leaves a bit of lacing around the glass and on the surface of the beer.Â Aroma includes some dark pitted fruits, mostly date, raisin and a bit of cherry with some alcohol on the nose, but not very much considering the 12% ABV. Sweet malt comes across most in the aroma though there is certainly more going on it is difficult to separate the scents with the amount of pitted fruits I am getting. Well done. Upon my first sip of this brew it is amazingly more balanced than I feared particularly after watching the guys over at Beer Tap TV review it, though they certainly do it justice. Flavor is of strong sweet dates, slightly sour cherries and a decent amount of hoppy bitterness near the finish though you are left with a sweet flavor in your mouth. There are so many flavors in this brew it is wonderful, yet it doesn’t seem confused because of the amazing malt backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy and the body is medium but relatively light for a beer with so much in it. The 12% ABV is undoubtedly there but only slightly noticeable in the taste. This is simply a marvelous ale though it is more malty than my staple brews I plan to return to a secret location and grab whatever stock they may have left (cross your fingers). Though of course if anyone here would like to sample some let me know, I’m always happy to share good brew. Those who enjoy big beers and dark pitted fruit flavors will most likely appreciate sampling this ale just be aware your not getting into something average. A great beer for connoisseurs who can handle their alcohol and enjoy expanding their palate. Give it a shot and ride your bike.