If you’ve ever visited Israel, you must know Goldstar, a very popular mass produced amber lager, which most Israelis grew on (Growing up in Israel of the 8o’s local beer selection was quite limited..). Yes, it has won awards, and it’s not so bad but it’s not extremely good either.
At any rate as a beer geek (or beer lover), I am not a big fan of this style of beers right now , but I was quite intrigued by the latest endeavor by Tempo (the brewery that brews Goldstar) – a distilled beer by the name of “Brewer’s Gold”.
As you can expect , Goldstar have used their own ‘unfiltered’ version of the beer, to distill this liquid, at the M&H distillery in Tel-Aviv. Goldstar is a very mildly hopped beer, but it’s still a bit different than the regular non-hopped mash used by M&H. Distillation was the same as for M&H whisky, meaning a double distillation process in pot stills.
Tempo have also chosen to bottle this new-make at its basic form, that is – un-aged and clear, just as new make. They have also chosen to use a Jenever-like ceramic bottle , which is also something quite unique, as most new makes are bottled in clear glass bottles, but that is a marketing decision I guess.
So, a new make-ish distillate from a very popular local beer. will it live to the expectations? Let’s see.
Goldstar Brewer’s Gold, 43% abv, 150 ILS , 1881 bottles
Nose: Very gentle and clean, and very newmake-ish with the classic apple / pear combination , and quite a lot of banana candy (the sort we used to like when kids), bubblegum and alcohol. very gentle, round and lovely. nice work by M&H.
Palate: Richer and fuller than the nose suggested: alcohol bite, a bit of bitterness (not sure if from the hoppy beer), pear schnapps, grapefruit pith, spices and sweet dough.
Finish : Short with citrus peel, nice bitterness, and apples.
Conclusion: Very nice stuff, quite new-makish, and fresh, gentle and fruity just as can be expected. The Hops are there, but it’s not a hoppy distillate at all. Good stuff, and a nice sipper if you ask me.
Will it succeed? Hard to tell, the new make sector is not very popular locally (and not only in Israel), and most people think of new make as a base for mixing, and not as a neat drink in a copita glass. I tend to agree. Only 1881 bottles made, so it’s essentially small batch. It’s also quite expensive. 150 ILS RRP, and I’ve seen it sold at 189 ILS in some places. You can get a 12 year old aged single malt in local liqour shops for the same amount, or less.
No score? well no score. It’s a new make spirit, and as such I can not rate it as whiskies.
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