|Malka Strong Ale:|
Belgian-style, 9% alcohol, winter-warmer.
It's always a pleasure to find a new beer that's made to fit the season. So I was happy to find out about, and get a bottle of, the new Strong Ale from the Malka Brewery in the Migdal Tefen Industrial Park, just as our winter seemed to be reaching its peak. This is a limited edition, seasonal beer. It's in the family of strong Belgian ales, and could probably qualify as either a Strong Pale (or Golden) Ale, or a Belgian Tripel. The dividing line between these two styles is quite ambiguous. Certainly the 9% alcohol by volume fits the bill for both.
Wherever you place it, the Malka Strong Ale is strong, flavorful and warming. I would call the color a ruby-amber, since there are red highlights in the sunlight. It is clear and well carbonated. I got aromas of yeast, malt, some dark bread and even anise. The taste is sweet with pepper spice, and very alcoholic. The alcohol warmth dominates the mouthfeel, along with a full, smooth body and a dry, bitter finish. Maybe there's even some pine resin in the finish.
In short, a good, Belgian-style strong beer for the winter. Sip it; no chugging. Enjoy it at warmer temperatures (around 8°- 12° C) to experience all the flavors and nuances. These kinds of beer go well with spicy foods, strong cheeses and many (non-chocolate) desserts and cakes.
|A panoramic view of the Malka Brewery|
in the Migdal Tefen Industrial Park.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
One other point: Several brewers who have taken part in beer festivals (before the plague) have told me that Israelis' first question is the alcoholic content of the beer. If the answer is too low, they say "thank you" and move on. They're looking for high-alcohol beers that will get them more shicker for their shekel. [Translation: More inebriated for their buck!]
If that's the case, then Malka Strong Ale should be very popular with the locals. Not only do you get the alcohol, but you taste it and you feel it going down. What could be better in these colder months?