A few days ago The Secret Agent and I drank Herzl. Created by Maor Helfman and brewed at Mivshelet Ha’am (The People’s Brewery). We’ve heard a lot about Herzl, but couldn’t really find it in the usual beerfest circles, except Samuel Adams Longshot finals last summer. We drank it there, liked it but were too pissed to remember WHY we liked it.
It’s not as if now that the beer is brewed in Mivshelet Ha’am bottles of Herzl are offered in local pubs and at the supermarkets, but, well, it’s a little less scarce. We tasted two bottles: Herzl Del Habano, brewed with real Cuban cigar leaves and Herzl Katamon, named after either Katamon neighbourhood in Jerusalem or after Hapoel Katamon basketball team. The beer being red ale and Hapoel Katamon’s uniforms being red, I’d suspect the latter.
Katamon is cloudy ruby-brown beer, with sweet aroma that reminds me dried figs. Its flavours are rich and sweet with a bitter finish, medium body and fine carbonation. Well balanced and good. Herzl Del Habano is brown and opaque, with a small brown head. I smelled roastiness, burnt wood, smoke and fruit. Herzl Del Habano is much more bitter and dry, but despite all the wood and the smoke, it is rather light-bodied and easily drinkable. Its finish is sweet and a little burning.
Both are really good, but the Del Habano is better. I hope to get to drink Maor Helfman’s creations more often.