July 14, 2020

Shevet's 3rd Small Batch: Double Bock

The third beer from the Shevet Brewstillery (in Pardes Hanna) in its Small Batch series is a Double Bock.  Also known by its German appellation doppelbock, this style of beer is a strong lager whose origins are in 17th century Munich.  Monks had it as "liquid bread" over Lent (usually February or March to April), when they fasted from food but not from drink.

The religious origins of the double bock (which is the stronger sister of the regular bock lager) led to an early version being named Salvator.  The suffix -ator was later applied to other double bock beers, so we have through history names like Resonator, Celebrator, Optimator, Maximator, Terminator.  (Only joking about the last one!)  The only other commercially brewed double bock in Israel is from the Bazelet Brewery on the Golan.    
On a visit to the Shevet Brewstilley
in Pardes Hanna, the old blogger
met the partners:
Brewmaster Lior Balmas (center)
and chief distiller Neil Wasserman.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

(You can read about the Shevet Brewstillery here and the other Shevet Small Batch beers here and here.) 

On the bottle, you read that Shevet Double Bock is made with Carapils and Munich malts (hinting at a fuller mouthfeel and some malty, nutty notes) and two "Noble" hops: Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saphir (bringing something sweet and spicy into the mix).  Let's see how this works in reality.  

The beer pours a clear copper color, with a lively effervescence that produces a small, yellow-white head.  The dominant aroma is sweet malt, very appetizing, followed by bread, caramel and dark molasses.  The taste is sweet and heavy and full of complexities.  My drinking partner Moshe and I got notes of malt, wood, caramel, toffee and chestnuts.  Despite all the sweet notes, the finish is dry and bitter.   

We enjoyed every drop: very creamy, balanced and rich tasting.  The 8% alcohol is felt in the warm mouthfeel but not in the taste.

"This is not a summer beach beer," Moshe said.  And he was right.  This is a drink-alone beer for a cool evening.  But if you are having your double bock with food, enjoy it with only the most rich, roasty foods or with any chocolate candy or cake.

The Small Batch beers from Shevet continue to maintain their high level of innovation and quality.  Most of their beers, in fact, are the only examples of a style brewed in Israel.  That's what makes it so exciting to see what new beers will be coming next from Shevet.  Any guesses?    

1 comment:

Thanks for your comment. L'chayim!