April 2, 2020

HaDubim Imperial Paradox ● Strawberry Fields from BeerBazaar

Two recently released beers are giving us some pleasant flavors: In this case, one with coffee, chocolate and fruits, and the other with strawberries.  Unfortunately, they were both brewed in very limited quantities, and one is already sold out until next winter.  But more about that later. 

From HaDubim ("The Bears") Brewery comes Imperial Paradox, a Double Black IPA.  (HaDubim beers are contract brewed at the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.)

HaDubim came out with their first Black IPA, called Paradox, about five years ago.  This "Imperial" version has the same IBU strength (63), but is much more alcoholic (8.5% vs. 5.6%).  It's made with Simcoe, Chinook and Cascade hops.  

Black IPA (also known as American Black Ale or Cascadian Dark Ale) is a recognized beer style, combining elements of Stout beer (very dark color, roasted malt aroma and flavor) and IPA (any of the strong hop aromas and flavors).

Imperial Paradox is very dark brown and opaque with a thin tan head.  The stout-IPA combination begins in the aroma, when you get citrusy hops and the roasted malt and coffee.  Goes well together.  The taste is deep and complex:  Very bitter with coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, dried fruits, and IPA-style citrus and pine.  The strong alcohol content is barely felt.  

Getting back to the bitterness, I felt it was exaggerated, to the point of eclipsing some of the other flavors which are in this beer.  This, however, is nit-picking.  Imperial Paradox is a brewing achievement which gives us a chance to taste and appreciate a little-known beer style.  The HaDubim brothers, Rotem and Dagan Bar Ilan, are never satisfied with "just another beer," and Imperial Paradox is anything but.

In these days of isolation and contagion, HaDubim has begun to deliver its beer direct to your home.  In the meantime, they deliver to the area between Ra'anana and Ashdod, but if you live elsewhere, you can leave a message and they will try to get to you.  You can order mixed cases of 24 bottles of their beers -- Imperial Paradox, Yonek Hadvash, Blackout, Typhoon and Phoenix.  The regular price of the case is 300 shekels, but each bottle of Imperial Paradox adds an extra two shekels.  Delivery is free.   

Send a WhatsApp to 054-2884735 or 054-8086565, leave your address and they will get back to you.

Our second flavorful beer is Strawberry Fields, a wheat beer direct from the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.  The beer is brewed with fresh strawberries and Barbe Rouge hops from France.  

It's the first time I know of that these hops are being used in an Israeli craft beer.  They are kind of experimental and are characterized by imparting the flavor of  . . . fresh strawberries.  So you would think that Barbe Rouge hops together with real strawberries would turn any beer into a strawberry bomb.

But it's not so.  The fruit taste in Strawberry Fields is very subdued.  It pours out a cloudy golden color; thin white head.  The aroma is minimal hops and strawberry in a jelly sort of a way.  

The taste is tart and juicy with sour berries in the background.  Slightly stronger is the sweetness from the malt, which makes this a very well balanced beer.  The finish is refreshing and mellow, with even more strawberries being "felt" on the exhale.  Interesting how that works.  The alcohol by volume is 6.5%, not weak, but hidden very well.

The BeerBazaar also does home delivery and they even have an internet page in English for ordering.


Unfortunately, there will be no more deliveries until after Pesach.  And as I said, there is no more Strawberry Fields until next winter.  

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