Poured a dark brown color, a bit murky, with a beige head with a good retention.Smell of sweet malt with some piney hops, and touches of condiments.Flavors of sweet toasted malts and oak with spicy, citric, piney and fruity from its hops. Hints of plum and predominant oak with sake liquor that lingers until its finish, along with a bitterness and dryness.
Full body with a medium carbonation and small bubbles. The 8% ABV is fairly hidden.Really interesting beer, I was not expecting such complexity from a Japanese beer.
Pours an amber orange hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass. The aroma is sweet and tart citrus with a hoppy and malty backbone. The taste is similar to the aroma, sweet and tart and almost wine like. Fruity mix and finishes on the sweet side. The mouth feel is very strong and boozy with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.
This is highly sought after in Canada, yet I didn't find anything special about it. I didn't hate it, but for the style, it doesn't have the wow factor I need. There are plenty of Belgians out there that surpass this one in aroma and flavour
From Firefly. Poured a thick, foamy tan head over a heavily sedimented dark copper body. Aroma was mostly malt, and taste was a nice hop/malt meld. ABV was most obvious to the taste. Good, smmoth mouthfeel.
Pours a nice, slightly hazy golden amber with a decent, fine-bubbled off-white head. Aroma is yeasty and malty with just a hint of fruit, not anything special but still appetizing. Flavor has a strong alcohol bite, perhaps a result of maturing in sake barrels. Otherwise it is fairly malty, a little fruity, a little yeasty and slightly sweet. Texture is smooth, edgy and quite lively.
The body is amber in color, hazy with a LARGE 3" head. Took awhile for the beer to lay down a bit. Aroma is fruity (mostly light flesh fruit), subtle tartness, woody, and yeasty. I could also pick-up a faint acidic/vinegary smell. Peaches, malty caramel, orange peel, woody and herbal notes round out the flavor.
Pours out in a hazy reddish amber colour with rich sticky tan coloured foam. Peculiar and really well-rounded strong yeasty and fruity aroma of raspberries, cherries, pears, peaches, flowers, perfume and spicy cedar. Medium to full-bodied with notes of perfumy ricey and cedary spicy yeast with sweetish notes of raisins, orange-blossoms, rose-petals and fudge. Long balanced aftertaste of flowers, toasted malts, almonds, cedar and starfruits. This was a special little thing with all of the distinctly different flavours which melted so well with each other. Unique. Seek it out, I will do it again for sure.
Sampled March 2009
This foams up slowly as soon as I pop the cap. A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a dense, two-finger thick, amber tinged, light tan colored head. As the head slowly subsides it leaves some nice lacing patterns on the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, plum color that shows an almost opaque, golden cherry-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite interesting, not at all what I expected, even given that I didn’t know what to expect. The nose has a light tartness to it, a ripe fruitiness that reminds me a bit of a desert wine and some definite plum; there is an earthy maltiness that is something like raisins, perhaps a touch of musty damp cellar like notes and, as I dig deeper, a bright cinnamon note that mixes with the rich fruity aromatics. There seems a back note to the spiciness that reminds me a bit of cedar somehow, though this is quite subtle and difficult to grasp at times.
The taste has a certain sweetness to it, but really is more rich and complex than simply sweet. The body is fairly full, and is viscous enough to weigh down what would otherwise be a very effervescent level of carbonation. The finish has a touch of astringency to it as well as a distinct, though soft, note that definitely reminds me of the after-taste of sake. This has flavors from the sake that remind me of a flint-like, white wine, and when combined with some of the other sweet fruity notes from the beer can remind me of raisins at times. The finish has a note of brown sugar, as well as a touch of rum that lingers. Cedar like flavors add a spiciness to this beer that is a mix of pepper, ginger, allspice and cinnamon, though not really any of these things exactly.
When I come back to the nose I get a much stronger presence of cedar, though it is still fairly soft; I really wonder where this is coming from, is a traditional Sake cask made of cedar? A quick google search shows that this is indeed the wood that is traditionally used for Sake and could explain its flavor presence in this beer. Some further research though suggests that this was aged in oak barrels. Either way there is an interesting wood-influenced character to this beer that is a bit different from anything I have experienced before in beer.
This is a very interesting beer, the sake cask aging definitely adds a distinct, interesting signature to this beer. The base beer easily stands up to this though, and the two combine to form a pretty well integrated, interesting whole that is likely greater than the just the sum of the two spirits.
Aroma a bit thin and is sweet with some funk as well as some dark vibrant fruits coming through with maybe some slight spice and yeastiness. Appearance is a rich ruby red in color when held to the light with a full, carbonated head on top that is light-brown in color and leaves very creamy lacing on the glass. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body with good complexity as well as funky balance with a palate that is creamy and smooth and tasty. Flavor here is a combination of Belgian house yeast with spiciness and some caramel overtones with an aftertaste that is tart and refreshing with a finish that is clean and light and doesn't stick around long. Overall, not a bad beer here and reminds me of some of the Jolly Pumpkin beers out there.