“Black India Pale Ale’ – just mull those words over in your mind for a second and try to realise the absurdity of such a random and conflicting name slash statement. Is it black or is it pale? Is it Indian or African? The only none contradictory part of the whole thing is ‘ALE’ – and well, that’s all that counts now isn’t it?
Actually, its because of the above thought pattern, I have always associated BIPA’s as a bit of a fad. A bit of a craze, a school pitch trend if you will. The kind that has the old guard rolling in their graves. A snobbish outlook for sure, but also backed by the few I had tasted which left an unimpressive mark on my beer pallet. Now, Basha-Flom Brewery have jumped on the bandwagon (so named after the surnames of two great young lads who are taking the craft brewing world in Israel in a whirlwind of daring beer styles. Honestly, they handed me about 9 different types of beer for my tasting pleasure.) And so what started as an obligatory taste turned into a obligatory full on review which would have me gushing with possessive beery type things to say about it.
The location was pond-side, under the shade of a tree which had 3 parrots squawking in a pleasant way in the breeze, on a picnic blanket. Not a soul in sight (besides the Mrs), a terribly healthy salad, home made rustic Italian bread and ‘NELSON’ - the BIPA to change my attitude forever. ‘NELSON’ is of course named after Nelson Mandela. Colour objectification? I thought so too, but Omer (Basha) assures me that irregardless of the colour of this brew, they chose to name it after the great man because brewing it coincided with his death earlier this year. Do with that explanation what you like…but get yourself a bottle and notice how it;
Thick, black, rich exciting with a medium creamy head.
Amerillo and Simcoe used for that pungent mind-blowing aroma. Sweet chocolate and roasted, toasted porter goodness. It’s deep, you know its going to follow through on the taster EXACTLY as the aroma suggests. No chance of it being one of those unpredictable west-coast IPAs where the aroma tells you one thing and the taste spells a different story all together. Not at all, from the first sniff, you know this is going to be an honest working class brew.
Rich, sweet, creamy, blasts of hops (as fresh tasting as you can ever wish for your hops to be. Obvious dry hopping). I love it. I think Omer once mentioned to me that he gets his hops via mail direct form the states to avoid it being cut further for sales and subsequently exposed to the elements too often. I think its evident in this beer, I believe him. I did not get other characteristic flavours of a lot of porters, such as coffee, and if this was a conscious decision when choosing the specialty malts, its genius. Strong coffee just would not have worked.
The balance is expert to allow the creaminess to border stout but still stay in the realms of a porter and wash around your mouth in such a way that without exaggeration, I continuously hesitated for far longer than usual before I swallowed and brought the mouthful to a reluctant end and allowed time for;
Again, it follows through from the aroma and the taste, more of the same.
Balancing a heavy chocolate creamy porter with fresh american aromatic and fruity hops, couldn’t have been easy getting the balance right. Bash and Flom (Omer and Dvir), take a bow because you have not only utterly convinced me that its possible, but you have given me a new favorite Israeli beer. I have already had 4 just on this weekend.
Its 9% but not evident in the taste so be careful when you choose to drink it.
The Basha-Flom boys are always attending beer festivals in Israel so keep an eye out.
If you wish to purchase their beers (they have a good few other beer types available), make sure to get in touch by visiting the facebook page.