Ungstrup (27687) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - SEP 13, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled as Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale. A hazy golden beer with a thin white head. The aroma has notes of sweet malt, fruit - peaches, and spices - ginger. The flavor is sweet with notes of fruit peaches and grapefruit, as well as malt and some spices, leading to a bitter finish.
Pinball (10137) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - SEP 13, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
hazy yellow, small white head.
flowery aroma, yellow fruity. alc. well hidden.
flavor is very dry, flowery faint bitter.
madsberg (9337) - Søborg, DENMARK - SEP 13, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottled. Golden coloured. Unclear. Light white head. Sweetness, fruits, light citrus and light sourness in the aroma. Flavour is fruty, citric and has some sweetness. Vague sourness. Medium bodied. dry. Ends on a grapish note.
yespr (28663) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - SEP 13, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 fl oz bottle. Pours cloudy dark orange with a small white head. Aroma is citrusy, peachy and smooth fruity hoppy. Flavour mild citric, crisp fruity and with a mild sweetness coming through. Smooth citrus fruity flavoured finish.
Papsoe (25113) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - SEP 13, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle 65 cl. Comes as "Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale". Hazy golden with an off-white head leaving laces. Sweet, fruity citrusy aroma. Medium body, fresh fruitiness, citrusy but not overly bitter. Discreet underlying sweetness. Ends a little dry. Very fresh, you get the citrus without the bitterness. 130909
Radek Kliber (6287) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - SEP 11, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle 633 ml
Appearance: deep murky amber , bright loose frothy light top. 3-
Nose: Slight citric , fruity soft yet with kind of bite , soda on top.
Flavor/Palate : Light bodied , slight citrus , fresh fruity ale. Sweet at finish.
Sammy (7720) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 2, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber from Captain Couger and rated at 6%. Medium orange with a soapy white fead. Fruity aroma. Appropriate understated carbonation. Taste is tangerine and orange, with other citruys.Fruity aroma. Easy drinking, sweet but not too sweet nor too malty.
kp (10887) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - AUG 31, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Name: Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale
Date: August 15, 2009
Appearance: hazy orange, frothy off white head
Aroma: sweet fruity aroma, light floral, earthy balance, touch of honey
Flavor: sweet and fruity flavor, earthy balance, light bitterness
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 11/20
BlackDonald (1126) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 9, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
You have to really have a couple of these to really appreciate all it’s nuances that are there for the taking. The Natsumikan is a Japanese Tangerine, and it gives an interesting nuance to the nose. Known mostly in its home prefecture for its juice in ice cream. Tangy and sour and extremely refreshing for a great summer time beer.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Japan is known for many things: anime, manga, sushi, sake, samurai, bushido, tamagotchi, onsens, whisky, and yes, beer. Until the last few years though, the Japanese beer scene was as dull, bland, and barren as ours was just a couple decades ago. Archaic laws stunted any desire and ability to craft brew on a small scale similar to here in the states. That is changing, and at a progressively faster pace. Just recently, Japan changed the minimum output a brewery had to produce to be legally recognized as a business. In the wake of and despite of, an outcry for good beer, for craft beer has fueled the growth of many artisanal breweries scattered throughout Japan. As with all things Japanese, imported and native, the rebellious and innovative Japanese craft brewers are drawing their inspiration from Europe and the West, all while retaining a unique Japanese personality when it comes to styles, tastes, and ingredients. This brings me to the Baird Brewery in Shizuoka, Japan and their Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale, aka Baird Summer Ale.
She poured a hazy, almost dirty straw into my glass. Little head or carbonation to speak of at the moment, but a few playful swirls produces an impressive white head. Still no lace though. Her appearance might be off-putting to some who rely too much on visual stimuli to formulate a pre-conclusive decision, but I am not such. At least, I try not to be. Her nose is tossed with mushrooms, oranges, moss, and damp leather while sour zest and lemon drops tease and tingle in the background. Further interesting players of sliced cucumber, mint leaves, buckwheat noodles, and dank, wet wood. Fascinatingly different, my curiosity has been piqued and my interest intrigued. This is a virgin beer voyage on many levels; multiple native Japanese ingredients that are foreign to one such as myself are evident in her nose which I am sure applies to her palate, also. All of my beer geek senses are tingling. My first quaff is clean, light, and mild. Gentle waves of cucumber and mint leaves leave a tinge of dryness on top of my tongue while spruce and herbs continue to flesh out her developing palate. What I had thought was clean is still true, but simple, not hardly. Her palate is a double challenge also in that I am trying to place my finger on as many aromas and tastes as I can, even despite the fact that a good many of them I have never heard of, touched, smelled, or tasted. A subtle undercurrent of sour esters carries her palate past my tastebuds each time, though she doesn’t have a long, lingering presence at all. Besides being clean, her body is soft and earthy, resembling the buckwheat noodles, mushrooms, and oranges I smelled earlier. Wow. I could spend forever trying to break apart this fabulous beer, and never be able to get everything down. This is as foreign as a foreign beer can get. Placing my pen and pad down, I close my eyes to savor the last of my Baird Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale, and as I open them, for just a moment, I am in Japan.
I seriously cannot rave about this beer enough. It may be very hard to approach for a lot of people because it is just so different, but for me, that draws me ever closer. It’s not often I get to enjoy a beer that so expertly represents its people, its culture, and its passion, and yet, at one time, it was as foreign in Japan as sushi and sake were here in America. Truly, we are an international world, and Baird Brewing is pushing the borders with their Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale and others.