Posts Tagged ‘lager’

Backyard Brew Bee 17

December 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

A random birthday gift beer that I received recently, this one is the first from Carlsberg Sverige (or Carlsberg in Sweden) that I’ll that tried and was a beer that I’d never seen or heard of when I was given it just over a month ago. Labelled as a dry-hopped pilsner, this was one that I was initially quite excited about given the can design and that it was one that I’d not seen before but that excitement quickly subsided when I discovered it was a Carlsberg offering; although I’ve had the odd decent beer from the brewery in the past so hopefully this proves itself to be another.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber with a clear body and a centimetre tall, foamy head that was white and held well over the opening minute with some bubbles on the surface too.
Aroma (6/10): A fairly standard offering on the nose, the beer opened with some light grassy notes and a background citrus before some earthy malts showed towards the middle. There wasn’t a lot going on really but some grain and bread malts did show towards the end with a slight freshness at that point too.
Taste (5/10): Very basic and quite bland, the beer was light with some hay and grassy flavours showing but it wasn’t an overly varied offering. Around the middle some faint sweetness and touches of caramel showed with a some earthy malts seeing things out but that was about it sadly.
Palate (2/5): Light-medium bodied and moderately carbonated with quite a basic feel that was uninspiring for the most part. There’s some faint citrus and a little sweetness further on from the caramel but it wasn’t a great one by any means.

Overall (9/20): Disappointing stuff here sadly, this one was quite a bland and light offering that thankfully didn’t have any skunk or off-flavours showing but wasn’t really that enjoyable either. It opened with some grassy flavours, hay and basic citrus with a little caramel sweetness further on but it was unexciting and had a poor balance; not a beer that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Årstadvägen, Falkenberg, Sweden
Brewery: Carlsberg Sverige
First Brewed: 2012
Type: Pilsner
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Cam (330ml)
Purchased: Home Bargains (Scotland)
Price: Gift


Harvestmoon Schwarz (369 of 1001)

December 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

One of my last few Japanese beers for a while now, this one being another offering that features in the 1001 beers list and is a bottle that I managed to pick up on my last day in Japan when I spotted it after two plus weeks of looking, finding it in a Liquors Hasegawa store in Tokyo Station before heading back to the airport for my flight home. The bottle I picked up appears to be a 2014 release from the brewery, one from a year that also seen the beer win a silver medal at the Monde Selection awards and this one also marks the fifteenth Japanese beer from the 1001 list that I’ll have reviewed here with the majority being beers that I tried in Japan and leaves another seven to go, although I do have a bottle of one of those still waiting to be tried soon.

Appearance (4/5): Pitch black and opaque looking, this one was very dark with a thin head that sat about half a centimetre tall and was a light beige colour, fading to a thin lacing after a minute or so with some break up around the edges too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite an unexpected nose from this one, there was a lot of roasted malts and dark notes in the early going with far more smoke than anticipated too. Further on there was a coffee bitterness that had a subtle sweetness sitting behind it and some dark, rich smells before a hint of caramel featured towards the end and some grains rounded things off.
Taste (7/10): Caramel malts and a nice sweetness kick things off with the taste, there was a lot of roasted malts and grains not too far behind though with most of them carrying over from the nose. It was again quite a rich beer with some chocolate and earthy flavours around the middle then some of the smoke from the nose making itself known. Towards the end some wood flavours and a little cocoa featured with further sweetness from some vanilla pods seeing things out alongside hints of coffee bitterness.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied, bordering on full at times with a thick feel and plenty of smoke featuring through. This one was a dark and rich offering that was dry towards the end and had plenty of bitterness, mainly from the coffee and roasted malts but it was balanced with some sweetness in there as well thankfully and wasn’t too hard to drink.

Overall (14/20): This one turned out to be quite an interesting offering with nice variety to the beer and a good balance too that helped make it relatively easy to drink. It seemed like it was a stronger offering than the 4.5% abv. on the bottle but this was mainly down to the complexity of the beer rather than any strong alcohol flavours but it was quite a dark and smoky beer too. Further on and some nice sweetness helped to balance things out with the beer, some chocolate flavours featuring to help out but it was the vanilla pods that contributed most in this respect and kept things interesting through; a solid effort and one worth looking out for if you’re in Japan but probably not a beer that I’d go searching for again.

Brewed In: Maihama, Chiba, Japan
Brewery: Roti’s House Harvestmoon Brewery
First Brewed: 2000
Type: Schwarzbier
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Liquors Hasegawa (Tokyo Station, Tokyo)
Price: ¥518 (£3.43 approx.)

Asahi Super Dry Black

November 14, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.4

Not to be confused with the similarly named Asahi Black that I reviewed here a few years ago, this one is another dark beer from the brewery that I managed to try in Japan last month and one that is also my penultimate new offering from the brewery that I tried in the country. Seemingly a 2012 release, this one is a newer beer that their Asahi Black (or Asahi Kuronama as it is sometimes known) but unlike that offering, this one isn’t a beer that features in the 1001 beers list sadly. I managed to try this one in a Tokyo whale meat restaurant on my last full night in Japan and opted for it as the only non-pale lager on the menu despite it being one that I had already tried early on my trip to Japan; it is also a nice one to check off since it doesn’t appear to be an Asahi beer that is readily available in the UK either.

Appearance (4/5): Really dark mahogany to black in colour and sitting with an opaque body, this one has quite a thin head on top that sits just under a centimetre tall but fades to a thin surface lacing after about thirty seconds, with a little more build up around the edges at least.
Aroma (6/10): Darker malts and some roasted notes kick things off here, there was some earthy bitterness and light coffee in the early going too but neither overpowered thankfully. A little further on there was some grassy smells and a little sweetness but it was quite a basic, almost weak nose at times.
Taste (7/10): The beer opens with some dark and roasted malts, there was some chocolate showing too which provided an early sweetness that only showed towards the end of the taste. Around the middle some grains and subtle hops featured with a few touches of hay before coffee and earthy malts seen things out nicely.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and not overly dry despite the name, the beer was dark and bordered on fresh with a subtle hop bitterness that fades and turns almost watery further on. It was however an easy to drink beer with a nice balance without it being anything overly special on the way down.

Overall (14/20): This one was a fairly enjoyable offering from Asahi and a nice change from the usual pale lagers I was drinking with dinner most nights in Japan, this one was lively and fresh with a slightly dry feel at the end. There was plenty of roasted and dark malts throughout with some grains, hay and grassy hops working well together to help this one go down easily enough.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Asahi Breweries
First Brewed:  2012
Type: Schwarzbier/Black Lager
ABV: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (334ml)
Purchased: Kujiraya, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Price: ¥450 (£2.98 approx.)


October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.5

Another review of a beer that I tried in Japan now, this one being the only non-Japanese beer that I tried in just over two weeks in the country and the only reason I ended up trying this one is because the bar at the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka only sold beers from around the world (mainly other Asian and Oceanic offerings). This one is a beer that I went for mainly because it would be the first from Tahiti that I will have tried and my thinking was that I’d probably never see it again or get another chance to try it; although I did end up seeing it in a couple of convenience stores later on into my trip but likely wouldn’t have tried it then since there was other Japanese beers on offer too. Brewed in the capital of Tahiti, Papeete since 1955 and using ingredients from Europe, the beer is probably the only one from Tahiti that I’m likely to try since I can’t imagine stumbling across many more from the French Polynesia area without travelling there either so in that sense this one is a good beer to try despite it not being a Japanese one.

Appearance (4/5): Clear, golden amber coloured and topped with a half centimetre tall, foamy white head that held well initially with some visible carbonation showing too.
Aroma (6/10): Light on the nose as expected, there was some corn and basic adjuncts coming through alongside touches of maize and subtle biscuit malts. I detected a few hints of sweetness and the odd grassy notes as well as some citrus seeing things out.
Taste (6/10): The taste matches the nose with this one, there’s some biscuit malts and light lager ones kicking things off alongside subtle citrus flavours then some hay and grassy hops a little further on. The taste is definitely a basic one but the subtle hop bitterness towards the end was quite good too.
Palate (4/5): Light bodied and quite thin but it was fresh with some light sweetness coming through as well. It’s definitely an easy and refreshing one to drink with a nice balance too and it was a lot better than I’d expected going in.

Overall (14/20): Quite an enjoyable beer that was basic but surprisingly fresh and drinkable, going down easily with little sign of any skunk or off-flavours. There was some subtle sweetness from the corn and touches of biscuit malt worked well with the usual grassy hops and hay flavours. It’s enjoyable for what it was and is definitely one of the better mass-market pale lagers out there, I’m glad I stumbled across this one.

Brewed In: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Brewery: Brasserie de Tahiti
First Brewed: 1955
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Japan
Price: ¥500 (£3.31 approx.)

Kirin Classic Lager

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

My fourth beer to fall under the Kirin banner now and the third of which I managed to try on my recent trip to Japan, eventually picking this one up about a week into my trip when I bought a bottle from a shop in the Dotonbori area of Osaka. Following on from Kirin’s Tanrei Green Label and their Ichiban Shibori Stout, this one is the third of five new Kirin beers that I sampled whilst travelling round Japan but I can’t imagine it’s a brand I’ll have many more from after I finish adding the reviews of those that I’ve already tried, mainly because very few of their beers make it to the UK despite the brewery’s beers being amongst the most readily available in Japan. The beer is one that I spotted countless times on my trip and despite it being a beer I hadn’t tried previously, I was initially reluctant to pick it up thinking it would be too similar to their Kirin Ichiban offering I reviewed here about six years ago and have been avoiding ever since.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a clear and light beer with a golden amber colour that was fizzy looking and had a lot of bubbles rising to the surface. There was a centimetre tall, foamy white head that was wavy and held quite well over the opening minutes as well.
Aroma (5/10): There wasn’t a huge amount coming through with the nose of this one other than some corn and basic adjuncts, a few grassy hops appeared near the middle of proceedings with touches of hay as well. Towards the end I got some citrus showing with maize and subtle biscuit notes but it’s one that would be hard to tell apart from most other Japanese marco pale lagers really.
Taste (5/10):
Matching the nose and coming through with quite a light taste, this one started with a combination of pale malts and biscuit before touches of maize and corn adjuncts started to come through alongside some rice as well. The beer was basic but had some biscuit and the odd grassy hop further on but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a standard pale lager I’m afraid.
Palate (2/5):
Quite a light bodied lager that bordered on thin and basic; there was some earthy hops in the early going to impart a subtle bitterness at least though. The beer was smooth for the most part and it was moderately carbonated as well but it didn’t seem overly crisp despite still being quite easy to drink.

Overall (11/20): Very much a basic pale lager with the usual corn and maize adjuncts coming through with touches of maize and rice not far behind. There was a faint sweetness to this one at points and I managed to get some hay and grassy hops further on but there wasn’t a whole lot to this beer and it’s one that I could have lived without trying.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 1888
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Price: ¥280 (£1.86)

Kure Shimanowa Pilsner

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.8

The first beer that I managed to try on a recent visit to Hiroshima now, this one being my first beer from the local Kure brewery and one that I was actually on the look out for after reading a little about it before heading off on my trip. Brewed with oranges and lemons, this was definitely one that I went into expecting a refreshing, lively taste and thankfully it didn’t really disappoint either.

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber with a semi-cloudy body and a thin, white head on top that was foamy and covered the surface well, sitting just under a centimetre tall.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh and coming through with plenty citrus in the early going, the beer had some lemon notes with a little yeast and spice not far behind. There was some lively touches initially with some coriander that made it seem almost witbier like at times before some pale malts and grassy hops started to come through further on.
Taste (7/10): Fresh with some lemon and orange in the early going, there was a solid citrus taste that was backed up by some biscuit and pale malts with the odd grassy flavour towards the middle. It was a zesty beer with subtle yeast and hay further on alongside some tropical fruits and a hop-bitterness right at the end.
Palate (4/5): Quite a dry and fresh beer that was tangy with some citrus zest in there too. I found this one to be a well-balanced and drinkable beer that seemed refreshing and quite lively too, it was a well carbonated offering that I found very easy to drink.

Overall (16/20): A very nice, citrus style lager that was an excellent introduction to beer in Hiroshima and one of the best beers I’d tried in Japan up until that point. The beer went down very easily with a fresh, tangy feel that was well-carbonated but balanced and easy to drink; a subtle hop-bitterness and some background fruits keeping things interesting throughout. The nose could perhaps have been a little stronger at times but overall it was a very enjoyable beer and one that I’d happily have again.

Brewed In: Kure, Hiroshima, Japan
Brewery: Kure Beer
Type: Pilsner
First Brewed: 2004
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Keg (280ml)
Purchased: Golden Garden, Hiroshima, Japan
Price:‎ ¥700 (£4.64 approx.)

Kirin Tanrei Green Label

October 18, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 1.95

A fourth beer review from my recent trip to Japan now and one that follows on from the Kirin Ichiban that I reviewed here previously as my second from the Kirin brewery. For all intents and purposes, this offering is another pale lager from the brewery but in Japan it is known as a happoshu drink which is taxed lower than beers and is therefore quite popular and cheaper than beer; basically the key ingredient can’t be malt or the malt ratio has to be less than 67% to qualify as a happoshu.

Appearance (3/5): After an aggressive pour the beer sat with a two centimetre tall head that was bone white and foamy looking, leaving a little lacing on the sides of the glass too. The body was a clear one with a light, golden straw colour to it and head retention was okay too; not a bad start for the style.
Aroma (5/10): A lively beer on the nose, this one opened with some citrus lemon and a few floral touches before the odd background fruit showed itself; definitely fresher than anticipated but there wasn’t much else to it really.
Taste (4/10):
Quite a basic and very cheap tasting beer that was loaded with corn and vegetable adjuncts, there was some faint citrus at point but it was also quite a weak beer when compared with the nose. Towards the end the beer seemed a little watery with a subtle bitterness here too but generally it was a poor offering.
Palate (1/5):
Basic and cheap throughout, this one was loaded with adjuncts and seemed quite watery and bland later on. It was a weak, poorly carbonated beer with a faint bitterness towards the end.

Overall (5/20): Terrible stuff from Kirin here and a beer that I will definitely not be returning to in future, it was quite a weak and poorly balanced beer with the taste a massive step down from an already poor aroma. There wasn’t much of anything going on really, save for some basic corn and citrus flavours which made it one-dimensional and not very enjoyable; one of the worst I tried in Japan.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2002
Type: Happoshu (Pale Lager)
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Hanzomon, Tokyo)
Price: ¥138 (£0.92 approx.)