Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Israeli beers: Maccabee & Goldstar

Tempo (טמפו) is Israel's largest brewing company. Tempo produces Maccabee, Goldstar and Nesher Malt non-alcoholic beer.

Maccabee (מכבי), is a 4.9% abv Pilsner which began production in 1968 and is sold in Israel, Europe and the US.

Presentation 500 ml green glass bottle with freshness date stamped below the neck.

Appearance- Light gold with a thin bubbly head which leaves a little lacing on the glass. Big bubbles cling to the side of the glass along side streams of little bubbles

Smell- Malty, Grainy, hint of sweetness, Bitter, grassy.

Taste - Crisp, grainy, malty with a hint of sweetness balanced by a "hoppy" bitterness, a hint of smoke and a slightly metallic taste.

Mouth- thin-medium body, low-medium carbonation

Bottom line: a decent beer which can be consumed easily in quantities. I remember Maccabee being worse, very watery, I recently tasted it and it either has improved or I got a lucky with that specific bottle.

** (out of 5 *)

Goldstar (גולדסטאר), is a 4.9% abv Munich Dunkel Lager which has been in production since the 1950's. Each year Tempo sells 30 million bottles of Goldstar

Presentation- 500 ml brown glass bottle with freshness date marked on the glass just below the neck.

Appearance- Produces a nice thick white creamy head which lasts for a short while and then becomes close cropped and thin. There is some lacing. The color can be described as dark amber. Lots of tiny bubbles.

Smell- Malty, some hops, grassy and some bitterness.

Taste- Malty sweetness, some hops, bread, slightly bitter finish.

Mouth- Lively, lots carbonation, medium bodied with a nice creamy feel.

Bottom line: Not outstanding, but, it lives up to its expectations as a beer which was meant to be consumed in large quantities at Mangals (Israeli BBQ s). I cold have a few of these along with some kebabs and skewers of meat.

** 3/4 (out of 5 *)

These two beers were not outstanding but neither were they horrible by any means. They work well as an accompaniment to grilled meats and fish but would not be sipped on their own. I would like to try some other Israeli offerings such as Layla and Dancing Camel should I come across them.

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