The Beer Gatherer

Blogging about Israeli beer in general and Israeli craft beer in particular, following 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die and other beer musings.

Archive for the tag “Harviestoun”


Writing about Beer #100 in the middle of summer madness. who would’ve thought I’d make it that far? I never doubted my drinking capacity, mind you, it’s the ongoing documentation that surprises me. It’s 9:59 p.m now. Back home after a full and exhausting day at work and an evening on campus. Since I came home I took the bottles and the paper out to recycling, washed dishes,cut and froze bananas and tidied up a little for tomorrow’s tasting (a little. Flat’s still a mess). Now I’m sitting on the kitchen floor and blogging as I’m burning eggplants for dinner. When The Secret Agent returns home we’ll watch the final episode of Game of Thrones season I. I’ll organize reading material for tomorrow’s commuting and we’ll taste a beer or two. This false sense of accomplishment or GTD even is a reason to celebrate with a bottle of beer, isn’t it?
Anyway, enough of the Fly Lady rant, you’re here for the beer and so am I, especially since the 100th beer in my project is a real beauty. Brought to the tasting table by the actuarial community’s Patron Saint of Great Beer is a bottle of Harviestoun Brewery Ola Dubh 40. Matured in casks used to age Highland Park 40, this is a rare gem and a feast to all senses. To all of my senses, who are keen on smoke, wood, dark colours and Scotland. Ola Dubh is black, opaque and has a brownish head when poured. It has a strong wooden aroma but I also noted smoke, soy sauce and some acetone. Flavour-wise this is a sweetish beer with hints of vanilla and a dry tendency. Its body is full and its texture is sleek, with hardly any carbonation. I loved every single little sip. Thank you Mr. Actuary for treating us all to such a great experience and for doing it on time for this post.
Ola Dubh (40!!!) is Beer #100 I Must Try Before I Die. Here’s to the next 901.

Today’s beer porn is courtesy of Beerandbeyond.

The Twistier The Better

Harviestoun’s Bitter and Twisted is one of the coolest beers you can get here in Israel, if and when you can get it. Distributed by one Benny Krieger, a Glasgow Celtics fan who fell in love with Scottish beer and imports beer for self-consumption and pocket money for his trips to one of my top-3 favourite cities (together with Berlin and Montreal).

Like a few other beer importers in this country, Benny does it out of passion. It’s not his main business, supply is not always steady and after The Secret Agent drank the bottle of Bitter and Twister we had in our stash a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t find it at the shops. Hunting was easy, though. The Big Bear’s brewery, HaDubim, was pouring at Benny’s village, so he dropped by at Benny’s for a visit. I called the latter in the morning and got the Big Bear delivering me a couple of bottles. Thanks, guys!

Why do I like Bitter and Twisted so much (besides the obvious – the cute mouse on the label)? Because it tastes great when it’s fresh, bitter, grainy and malty, with matching grainy, biscuit and caramel aroma. It has a medium body and it’s super-easy and refreshing to drink, perfect for the summer. We drank Harviestoun’s lager, Schiehallion, at the BrewDog tasting not too long ago. I hope both become more available at stores and in pubs this summer.

Meanwhile, here’s beer #60 I must try before I die. And here, to your right, on the sidebar, is a link to The Beer Gatherer’s new Facebook page. If you like us, Like us.

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