Beer from colleagues
Usually, I don’t often describe the beers of our local breweries – it’s not so ethical, and at work I often have to try competitors’ beers, and besides, we regularly cross paths at various festivals and try all the new products. But yesterday, my friends, knowing my liking for porters and stouts, got me a couple of interesting bottles and I decided to change tradition.
The first was an Oatmeal Stout brewed at the Shapira brewery. This is a very worthy and well-known craft brewery in Israel. Recently, Tempo Brewing Company acquired about 50% of their shares – the brewery got a wealthy “big brother”.
So, Shapira Oatmeal Stout, 5.2% alcohol. The beer is dark brown, almost black in color. Upon opening, the fine-grained light brown foam ran from the bottle so fast that I was afraid I wouldn’t have time to put the glass up. Fortunately, it was not gushing (“gushing foam” as a result of microbiology problems).
The foam had stood and collapsed and it was possible to smell the aroma of the beer, which did not please me at all. ☹ The first association is musty, and aroma of wet socks. Somewhere in the background you can smell the aroma of roasted, or rather burnt malt. There is no trace of the claimed coffee and dark chocolate in either aroma or flavor. The flavor is not empty, but also not full. Softness and creaminess, peculiar to oatmeal stout, is not felt at all neither in the taste nor in the aroma. By the way, its presence is not indicated on the label – only in the name. Boring beer…
The next beer was a good winter ale – Shapira Jack’s Winter Ale. This strong beer, containing 8.5% alcohol, is produced only in winter. To it, oak shavings are added, pre-soaked in Milk & Honey distillery. This wonderful winter ale has a reddish-brown color, there is almost no foam, as well as gas, but it doesn’t need it. The beer is very reminiscent of a good aged wine. The bright aroma of prunes, apricots and nuts is sensed at the start. The alcoholic bitterness is felt in the aftertaste, but it is absolutely not intrusive, if not harmonious. The beer, despite the high alcohol is drunk very softly, the alcohol is a pleasant warm wave to the face, softly and gently warming you. A truly worthy good beer!
This is the interesting Shabbat I had today!
P.S. Regular readers of my site have noticed that I rarely write reviews of Israeli beer, especially negative ones – I somehow feel uncomfortable doing it. Why? First of all, although we are all competitors, we have known each other well for many years and often cross paths. Secondly, I know firsthand how difficult it is to create a really good beer, how many restrictions arise until it reaches the customers, and that sometimes the end result is not what the creator dreamed of….