#206 Ise Kadoya – Genmai Ale

Name: Genmai Ale
Brewery: Ise Kadoya (Ise, Mie Prefecture, Japan)
Style: Specialty grain
ABV: 5%
Source: The Beer Store

My favourite way to feel about a beer when I first taste it — especially at this point in the blog when things can start to get a bit same-y — is puzzled.

It seems the more beer I drink, the less frequently I get surprised or confused by new flavours. It does still happen fairly reguarly because beer is amazing like that, but it’s not the same as five years ago when even flavour itself was a novelty.

Anyway, what I’m getting at in a roundabout way is that this beer took me by surprise, and I liked it.

The first surprise was that it gushed like crazy when I opened it. Unfortunately I have this bad habit (acquired during my Aquila-swilling high school days, I suspect) of shoving my mouth over the bottle and trying to drink all the foam, rather than just putting it over the sink like an adult.

So there I was choking on foam when I got the second surprise – the beer was sour! Not mouth-puckeringly sour like a Lambic, but sour enough that I panicked and thought that there might be something seriously wrong with it and nearly spat the foam all over the kitchen floor. (Didn’t.)

Once it had settled down and I’d poured what was left into a glass I discover that it really was quite an unusual beer. Genmai means brown rice, which this is brewed with, and I was expecting something similar to the Moromito Soba Ale.

It wasn’t anything like that. The aroma was subtle, kind of like a dusty old bag of fizzy sherbert lollies. In the mouth it was really interesting — sort of Belgian tasting with some fruit (pineapple especially), with more mustiness and a tart finish. It was really nicely balanced (sweet and sour with a little hop bitterness, but none of it aggressive), and quite refreshing with a medium mouthfeel.

It’s hard to explain actually, but I liked it, and I’d recommend anyone who likes uniquely flavoured beers to try it out. I also recommend you don’t do as I do and just open it over a bloody sink.

Published in: on March 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

#57 Baird – Angry Boy Brown Ale

Baird Angry Boy Brown AleName: Angry Boy Brown Ale
Brewery: Baird (Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan)
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 6.2%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

Me: Brown ale. Ugh. I hate brown ale.

*takes sip of Baird Angry Boy Brown Ale*

Me: Oh no wait, maybe I like brown ale.

That a little transcript of my thoughts (I’m a simple soul) as I went to drink yesterday’s beer. It’s becoming a regular thing, as every time I come to any kind of conclusion about a beer style, something comes along and turns it all upside down.

For example, I thought I didn’t like brown ale because the last two I’ve order have been a bit sweet and sluggish for me, so much so that I didn’t even finish them which is saying quite a lot. (I’m not a spittoon kinda gal.)

So I probably wouldn’t have picked this one (and in fact I didn’t – Kieran at Regionals did), but I’m glad I tried it because it was actually damn good.

It came in a bottle with super-cool artwork, and poured a hazy chocolaty-amber, with a loose, fluffy tan head.

The aroma took me by surprise – much more fragrant and hoppy than the brown ales I’ve had before. It smelled to me like caramel and citrus – mostly grapefruit I think.

On the tongue there was an initial hit of sweetness – malt, toffee, chocolate, then a burst of citrusy hops (I guess that’s the angry bit) which carries through to a lasting dry finish. Carbonation was quite low and the mouthfeel was velvety and smooth.

This is definitely the hoppiest and (I think) the most interesting brown ale that I’ve tried, but then again, I really haven’t had many at all. Can anyone recommend some others?

And now, here’s a video of me as a baby.

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 10:41 am  Comments (4)  

#43 Baird – Rising Sun Pale Ale

Baird Pale Ale Name: Rising Sun
Brewery: Baird (Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.1%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

I know my beer photos aren’t great at the best of times, but I have to apologise for the sudden dive that they’ve taken since my phone went flat (this one is from Photo Booth). Hopefully I’ll get my charger tomorrow and the pics will be back to their usual mediocre standard!

So today’s beer was from Japan, which is a bit exciting because a) Japan rocks and b) I’ve had hardly any beers from there. I chose to drink it tonight because I thought it might be nice to write a post with a clear head for once, and this was the only beer in my ever-growing stockpile that wasn’t going to knock me on my arse.

It poured a nice hazy golden colour with a big foamy head, which is my favourite way for a beer to look. I know some people like their beer to be as clear as crystal, but personally I think there’s something rustic and appetizing about a bit of cloud.

It smelled nice – slightly floral and soapy, with citrusy (orange I think) and herby hops. The taste was similar, but less sweet than I was expecting and with a lot of bitterness at the finish. It was really clean, dry, and refreshing, with subtler flavours than other APA’s I’ve had recently (Tuatara & Anchor), making it really easy-drinking stuff. Since I’ve finished it and I can focus on the letters as I type for once, I actually wish I had another one…

This beer was bought to you (or to me, really) by Hashigo Zake, Kieran at Regionals, and my mum. Thanks to all!

Published in: on September 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm  Comments (1)