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Posts Tagged ‘can’

Big Black Berry Chew Chew

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

A second Fallen beer in quick succession and one that follows on from their Grapevine pale ale that I reviewed here recently, this one however is a slightly stronger beer that comes in and 10% abv. and is labelled as a “salted caramel, blackberry and blackcurrant milk stout” which certainly isn’t a style of beer that you see very often. I spotted this one in a local bottle shop alongside the brewery’s raspberry version of the beer and was tempted to pick that one up as well but opted to see how this one goes before grabbing that one as well, so hopefully this one turns out to be as good as the last beer from the brewery that I tried.

Appearance (4/5): Dark ruby with an almost purple hue in places and topped with a quarter-inch foamy head that took a fairly aggressive pour to form and is a light brown colour with purple hues through that as well. It is patchy towards the centre but I don’t have too many complaints given the strength of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Surprisingly fruity to begin with, there is obviously a lot of the blackcurrant and blackberries coming through in the early going with a subtle hint of cherry too. The beer seems fresher than I’m used to for an imperial stout with some good sweetness and tart notes in the early going as well. There are followed up by the salted caramel advertised on the can as well as some lighter fruits that give the beer a juicy aroma to it. There’s some milky notes further on with some darker malts and roasted notes seeing things out but it’s a lighter smell than expected from such a strong beer with the fruits dominating for the most part and it is certainly something different too.
Taste (7/10): Slightly darker than the nose with lactose and milk flavours coming more to the front alongside the berries from the nose and the blackcurrant too. It’s again sweet and fresh, very juicy too with and little caramel towards the middle that only added to the sweetness before some of the tart from the nose started to come through and eventually eclipsed what was showing on the nose. Again it was an unusual beer for an imperial stout and definitely something different to what I’m used to, it was enjoyable as well which was nice but I’m not totally convinced by it in truth.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and definitely a little lighter than you would expect from a 10% abv. beer but at least it wasn’t a thin offering. The beer was fruity with some nice sweetness and tart showing in both the nose and the taste plus there was good variety to the beer whilst the balance wasn’t too bad either; it was perhaps a little too sweet at times but it remained drinkable throughout anyway. Despite coming through at 10% abv. and being labelled as an imperial stout, the beer was surprisingly light on alcohol flavours and grain, the rest of the fruits seemingly masking the alcohol content completely.

Overall (14/20): Quite an unusual beer here, this one is labelled as an imperial stout but at times seemed closer to a sour or fruit beer with plenty of blackcurrant and berries coming through in the early going, accompanied by some caramel and milk flavours but both of these definitely seemed to take a back seat to the fruits. The alcohol content of the beer in particular was well hidden and it was surprisingly easy to drink, although the sweetness did seem a little overdone at times sadly. It was a varied beer with a lot going on and it was unlike anything I’d tried before but I’m not convinced that it would be a beer that I’d rush back to again I’m afraid since there is already a lot of better imperial stouts out there waiting to be tried.

Brewed In: Kippen, Stirling, Scotland
Brewery: Fallen Brewing
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.80

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Asahi Red Eye

November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 1.65

The final beer from those that I managed to try on my recent trip to Japan now and one that I tried on my last morning in the country before heading home; I do at least have a couple more Japanese beers to review though after picking some up on my final day in the country. This beer isn’t really one that I was holding out much hope for when I first picked it up but it was a new an unusual beer so I decided to give it a go given I’d likely never see it outside of Japan. Described as part tomato juice and part beer, this one was my fifth Asahi beer and follows on from their Super Dry Black offering that I reviewed here recently but sadly this one wasn’t anywhere near as good as that one.

Appearance (2/5): A light tomato red colour that was pretty much what I’d expected, there was a small foamy lacing on top for a head but this disappeared completely after about twenty seconds though and the beer was an opaque looking one that looked pretty much like a glass of tomato juice after the head vanished.
Aroma (3/10): Opening with tonnes of tomato notes initially, there wasn’t really much to this one beyond that in the early going but further on some background malts did feature, they were very faint though.
Taste (3/10): The initial taste was a very close relation to the nose with tonnes of tomatoes opening and dominating the early going before some basic sweet malts and a tiny bit of citrus started to come through towards the end with subtle grassy flavours too.
Palate (2/5): Surprisingly this one was quite a thin bodied beer with a lot more carbonation than expected too, it was quite a lively but ultimately a basic beer on the way down. There was some touches of sweetness towards the end thanks to the malts but that was about it really.

Overall (5/20): Not a great beer at all, this one was basically an alcoholic tomato juice that was miles behind even a poor Bloody Mary. The beer did have some basic sweet malts and hints of citrus and grassy flavours further on with the taste but it was almost completely dominated by tomato juice flavours and was a struggle to drink. Definitely one that I’d avoid in future, even if you’re usually a tomato juice fan because I can’t see how anyone would enjoy this when the real stuff is probably miles better as well.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Asahi Breweries
First Brewed:  circa. 2012
Type: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
ABV: 3.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Don Quijote (Sihinbuya, Tokyo)
Price:¥153 (£1.01 approx.)

Sapporo That’s Hop Mosaic & Citra

November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.2

The second beer in Sapporo’s Innovative Brewer That’s Hop series now, this one a Mosaic and Citra pale ale that follows on from their Nelson Sauvin version that I reviewed here last after picking both up on the same day from a Tokyo Family Mart store while nearer the end of my time in the city. To be honest, this one wasn’t a beer that I was expecting a lot from but like its predecessor I picked it up because it was one of the few Japanese beers left in the store that I hadn’t already tried at some point over the previous two weeks so I thought I’d give it a go.

Appearance (3/5): A touch lighter than the brewery’s Nelson Sauvin offering in this series but only just, the beer is a golden amber colour that has a half centimetre, bubbly white head with some foamy areas but it holds relatively well initially and covers the majority of the surface too, with only a tiny patch missing at the side too.
Aroma (4/10): Opening with some nice citrus notes and quite a resinous, almost pungent nose that has quite a lot pine coming through in the early going as well. It’s a somewhat skunky offering that seemed slightly unbalanced in the early going, although there was some biscuit and earth notes towards the middle as well. It was lighter and more basic than anticipated and there really wasn’t a lot to the nose in truth.
Taste (4/10):
Subdued citrus flavours with the pine and resinous notes from the nose taking more of a backseat this time around, it also seemed a lighter beer than the nose indicated. Around the middle there was again some biscuit and earthy malts with some grassy hops coming through as well but not much else until some grapes and the odd tropical fruit flavour featured at the end.
Palate (2/5):
Medium bodied, perhaps a little lighter at times with some citrus showing and a floral bitterness throughout as well. The beer was basic and didn’t have the best balance with it seeming gassy at times, although it did remain drinkable for the most part but it’s not one I’d go back to.

Overall (8/20): Quite a basic beer and one that sadly wasn’t that enjoyable either, the beer was actually a lot like the Nelson Sauvin in this Sapporo series that came before it and one that was more difficult to drink than I’d have liked. It was an unbalanced offering with some citrus and pine flavours but little else coming through for the most part expect the usual grassy hops and biscuit malts; a cheap and poor offering that I’d avoid in future.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Sapporo Breweries
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Sapporo Innovative Brewer That’s Hop Zetsumyo no Mosaic & Citra
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Shin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥262 (£1.74 approx.)

Sapporo That’s Hop Nelson Sauvin

November 23, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 2.35

The first of two Sapporo beers I tried in Tokyo last month that fall under their Innovative Brewer That’s Hop series, this one being a Nelson Sauvin American pale ale from the brewery that I picked up at a Family Mart store near our accommodation in the Shin-Okubo area of Tokyo towards the end of my holiday in Japan. The beer is one that I’d spotted once or twice while in Japan but had overlooked in favour of most well-known offerings but with only a day or two left in the country I opted to give it a go and see how it compared to other Japanese craft beers that I tried when in the country. The beer looked to be quite a new offering from Sapporo and the first reviews online are only dated from around the time I tried the can so I can only assume it was a new release when I picked it up and I can’t be sure if it’s a seasonal, limited release or year-round offering either but it’s definitely not one that I’m glad I picked up sadly.

Appearance (3/5): This one sits a golden amber in the glass with a large, centimetre and a half tall head that is frothy looking and white but it took quite an aggressive pour for it to reach such heights. There was okay retention that followed with the beer topped with a thin surface lacing after a minute or so with a tiny bit of break up at this point too.
Aroma (4/10): The beer opens with strong, almost pungent citrus and pine hops that seemed a little harsh and uneven but at least it wasn’t a weak offering. There was some grape and lemon with lighter grassy notes towards the middle and some fusty notes as well sadly. Towards the end I got some biscuit malts and a few more earthy hops which made for quite a strange nose overall.
Taste (5/10):
Following on in a similar vein to the nose, although thankfully a little better tasting, this one opened with some citrus and a couple of pines hops with an almost resinous taste but one that was less pungent than the nose seemed to be. There was some background fruits with touches of grapefruits, some tropical flavours and a hint of grape but none really seemed to jump out at you. The taste was rounded off with some biscuit flavours and a floral bitterness and although an improvement on the nose, it still wasn’t all that good of a beer.
Palate (2/5):
Light-medium and quite hoppy to start, the beer was fresh initially too but soon faded towards the middle and seemed slightly weaker at this point too. There wasn’t much in the way of balance with a pungent hop nose kicking things off and lots of resinous pine dominating the taste early on too, sadly it was also a little gassy with the carbonation levels almost seeming overdone which made it quite a disappointing beer overall.

Overall (9/20): An interesting change up from the usual pale lagers and dark lagers that I’ve tried from Sapporo but ultimately this one ended up being another poor offering from the brewery and one that seemed unbalanced, cheap and a little basic at times. It started with some citrus and pine but both seemed overdone and didn’t help the balance of the beer much either. There was some background fruits and basic malts adding a little sweetness towards the end but it was over-carbonated and hard to drink at times; definitely not one that I’d pick up again I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Sapporo Breweries
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Sapporo Innovative Brewer That’s Hop Nelson Sauvin no Shinzui
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Shin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥262 (£1.74 approx.)

Grand Kirin IPA

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.4

The second beer in this series from the Kirin brewery now, this one is a new beer from them for 2017 that was released around the same time as their Grand Kirin White Ale that I reviewed here a short time ago. This one is actually a beer that I tried earlier on during my trip to Japan without review it but eventually I got around to it when I returned to Tokyo towards the end of my holiday and was struggling to find new beers in the local convenience stores late at night. This beer will be my sixth review of a Kirin beer here as well, with the majority of those being beers that I found in Japan so I imagine this will be my last new one from the brewery for quite some time too.

Appearance (3/5): A slightly darker than average amber colour for the style that had a clear body and a thin, foamy white head on top that was more of a surface lacing than anything else but it did at least cover the surface of the beer without any patches initially.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some light hops and citrus, there was some grapefruit and lime in the early going with this one too and it had quite a zesty, fresh feel on the nose with some biscuit and bread malts coming through further on. Around the middle I got some pleasant grassy notes and a subtle tropical sweetness with the odd sugar in there too.
Taste (6/10):
Fresh and quite zesty tasting initially with some citrus, lime and orange flavours coming through alongside a resinous pine taste and some grapefruit. Towards the middle these flavours were backed up by a few tropical fruits; most notably some mango and apricot but neither were particularly strong. Towards the end some biscuit malts from the nose came through to see things out alongside some earthy malts too.
Palate (4/5):
Somewhere around medium bodied with a fresh feel than anticipated for a mass-market beer like this one but it was helped with the zesty touches and citrus that featured in the early going. There was a solid bitterness throughout the beer with a nice balance and a sessionable feel that had some nice sweetness from the middle on which made it a basic but easy-going IPA that I’d happily have again.

Overall (14/20): This one was definitely a better than expected IPA from Kirin , particularly when you consider they are more at home putting out cheap pale lagers but this one wasn’t too bad at all. It was quite a fresh beer with a liveliness about it that went well with a hop bitterness and citrus that featured from the start. It was definitely an easy beer to drink as well, going down nicely thanks to the balance with a subtle tropical sweetness leveling out the bitterness and some nice malts towards the end too; this is one that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Sin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥297 (£1.97 approx.)

Grand Kirin White Ale

November 8, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.2

One of two craft style offerings from the Kirin brewery that I managed to try over the course of my last few days in Japan last month now, this one a witbier offering from the brewery that I finally picked up in a Tokyo Family Mart store after seeing it a few times over the course of my holiday. Along with their Grand Kirin IPA that I’ve still to review here, this one appears to be a new offering from the brewery for 2017 and was released sometime around March, probably to get in on the craft beer market since it’s was one of the few craft style beers that wasn’t from the Yo-Ho Brewing Company that was fairly easy to find in convenience stores in the country, although this one obviously has a head start given it’s brewed by one of Japan’s largest breweries.

Appearance (3/5): Pouring with quite a clear body, this one is a light amber colour that is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that has a little more build-up around the sides and left some lacing there as I started drinking the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with a little wheat and some lemon, the main aroma is a citrus one that has some oranges in there too but seemed relatively basic. There was some grapes and faint pine a little further on with touches of earthy malt towards the end too.
Taste (6/10):
Opening with more pine than the nose hinted at, there was a few floral hops and a zesty bitterness to this one towards the middle with it seeming closer to an IPA in style than a witbier. Some earthy hops featured further on with a few burst of citrus and grassy hops with some hay and background fruits seeing things out.
Palate (3/5):
Medium bodied and quite zesty with a well carbonated feel that came through with plenty citrus to add a nice tang to proceedings. The beer hinted at being a dry one towards the end and there was a faint sweetness throughout that helped the balance some too, although it was a relatively basic beer throughout.

Overall (14/20): This one was actually quite an enjoyable offering from Kirin and one of the better from the brewery that I’ve tried, although it wasn’t quite a classic or one that I’d run back to on a regular basis. It started with a solid wheat beer nose that had plenty of citrus and wheat coming through but the taste was closer to an American IPA at times with more grassy hops and bitterness than usual for a wheat beer. It was quite a drinkable offering that had a pleasantly zesty feel, although it was definitely basic for the most part.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Witbier
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Sin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥297 (£1.97 approx.)

Tokyo Black Porter (367 of 1001)

November 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.2

Another Japanese offering from the 1001 beers list, this one being fifth from the Yo-Ho brewery and one that follows from their Yona Yona Ale as the second of their beers from the list that I’ll have tried. This one is an American style porter that will be my first dark beer from the Nagano based brewery and it is one that I spotted in a number of stores throughout Japan but waited until nearer the end of my trip to finally pick up a can in a Bic Camera store when I was back in Tokyo. As the final of Yo-Ho’s beers to feature on the 1001 beers list, this is also the last of their beers that I’m likely to review here for some time since I’ve yet to see anything from them available in the UK sadly but at least I got to try it and check it off for myself.

Appearance (5/5): Very dark mahogany to black in colour with a larger than expected head starting about two centimetres tall ans sitting a beige colour in the glass. Retention wasn’t too bad from the beer either, there wasn’t much initial movement and it looked quite a thick head with some light residue on the sides of the glass as I worked my way down the beer.
Aroma (8/10): A pleasantly strong aroma started things here with a nice combination of roasted malts and chocolate that made the beer one of the stronger Japanese beers on the nose that I’ve reviewed here recently. There was some liquorice and touches of vanilla a little further on with a subtle malt bitterness and some lactose with the odd creamy note following on behind. Towards the end some faint caramel and a touch of spice came through to see things out; this one was enjoyable and exactly what I was after on the nose going in.
Taste (8/10):
Roasted malts and a solid sweetness that featured some vanilla and butterscotch kicked things off with the taste here, both coming through stronger and earlier than they did with the nose before some creamy flavours and touches of lactose followed them up. Around the middle some coffee flavours showed themselves alongside a faint hint of milk chocolate and an earthy malt sweetness as well as some caramel further on that made for quite an enjoyable but varied tasting beer.
Palate (4/5):
Somewhere around medium bodied, perhaps very slightly lighter than expected for the style but it was quite a sweet and creamy offering with a nice balance as well. It had light-medium carbonation levels and was very easy to drink with the vanilla, chocolate and caramel all adding to the sweetness with any of them overdoing it; it was also quite a clean beer with a subtle dryness right at the end.

Overall (16/20): Quite an enjoyable porter and definitely one of the better dark beers that I’ve tried from Japan, this one coming through with quite a sweet but balanced taste than had a great combination of caramel malts and milk chocolate flavours as well as some earthy malts and vanilla in there. The beer was exactly what I was expecting from the style and it went down smoothly too, it’s definitely one I’d have again if I could find it outside of Japan.

Brewed In: Nagano, Japan
Brewery: Yo-Ho Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2005
Type: American Porter
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Bic Camera (Akihabara, Tokyo)
Price: ¥288 (£1.91 approx.)