Arava ערבה, Amber Ale 4.6%

Arava ערבה, Amber Ale 4.6%

This week’s tasting review takes me back to the first time I put finger to keyboard and enthusiastically belted out a ‘featured people’ piece. Fresh and brimming with beer infused artistic license, I jumped at the opportunity to cover Hadas and Ofer’s small operation down south in desert land, Tsukim. It was a family member of the Katz’s and a friend of mine who pointed me in their direction at the time, and although I hadn’t so much as tasted a sip of their goods, their modest brewing enterprise stirred the romantic within and the resulting work will ever be a fond memory. You can read that by clicking here.

Today however; I drink. Less of the literature and more of the glass tilting; toward the old shnoz to note that…

THE SMELL:

Has a lovely Caramel maltiness to it, strong, robust with hints of coffee. Hint: if you take your time and swirl this in a stemmed and funnel glass, you will get an increasingly stronger hoppy aroma as the glass becomes less full.

POURS

Quite thick, dark amber. In the UK you would call this ‘Penny Colour’ drawing comparison to the dirty copper coins for 1 and 2 penny pieces. A nice airy and frothy head, about half a fingers height. An average clinging lace and noticeable sediment.

I have actually done this backward you may have noted, because frankly, my interlude into the tasting notes worked better this way ;)

THE TASTE

I didn’t find that this beer had any immediate punch. Actually, its quite neutral and well balanced. First there is an English sourness about it, and a stale maltiness. Wort. I expected more caramel and toffee sugars – a bit more umph!

Then comes the mouth feel, which didnt fill all the right corners with full flavours and it lagged a little here. I took a moment at this juncture to consider that I may have done something wrong, because it was washing off my pallet and not really penetrating with any of the real characteristic an Amber ale is know to have.

So I ate some salty pretzels (‘Bagel-eh’ in Hebrew), rubbed my eyes and went for it again.

The first half of the taste improved, but its the aftertaste gives this beer some serious credit Like a sleepy pianist which bores the hell out of a half interested audience, it suddenly bursts into live with a combination of caramel malt flavour and bitter hops crescendo-ing in…

THE BURP.

Hello!! I think I have found this beers core strength. Without exaggeration, I got more flavour and aroma from this, than the conventional sipping. Now, don’t get to thinking that you need to burp your way through this beer to enjoy it, I am referring to simply exhaling deep from within and pay attention to what your senses tell you. Some beers have an aftertaste worth noting and this is certainly one of them.

AFTER THOUGHTS

I found my appreciation of this beer to be in the modest balance of hops and malts in the aroma from about half way down the glass, and the aftertaste exhale (or burp). The actual mouth-feel I thought would needed some work to bring forward the flavours. A well balanced beer overall with the nose doing most of the work, so don’t drink this if you have a cold ;)

Where to buy it

Beer and beyond
Beer Market
Beer Bazaar

And of course if you ever fancy a nice road trip into the wilderness (Tsukim) accompanied by warm hospitality, go and visit them yourself.

Arava Brewery Facebook

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