Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - FEB 7, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft. Pours an amber body with a white head. Note of ginger, lightly fruity body with some caramel. Allspice, clove, ginger, root, and sage. Lightly floral bouquet.
GarrettB (1220) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 5, 2009
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Despite my credentials in Japanese studies, I’ve had a difficult time warming up to Kiuchi brewery’s style. Aside from their New Year’s Ale, which I fondly recall being a sweet and spicy brew to joyfully and flavorfully herald the New Year, most of their product line has been too strange or adventurous for my palate. The Red Rice Ale was a miserable, drinkable sekihan, and the Weizen was very average. I’ve been on a Japanese culinary kick as of late, keeping fresh ginger roots in my refrigerator at all times, and relishing the opportunity to stick my nose into its freshly grated pulp, so I had some budding enthusiasm for this beer. But the Ginger Ale (not to be confused with ginger beer) takes the same strange and awkward tact - like a new born deer, it sort of stumbles around, crumpling to the ground in an inelegant dance of confusion and discord. It pours with a dense but short creme brulee colored head, topping a very murky, hazy and lively brown beer. The aroma is strikingly herbal, pushing brown sugar, ginger and some more savory herbs like parsley and sage. I sense a blood relationship with the New Year’s Ale here, but an inferior phenotype. The flavor attacks from a different vantage point, with a bubbly, tangy and frankly somewhat shocking flavor profile. It has a yogurt tang familiar to Korean soft serve gripping the tongue, and then the ginger ale hits you with cinnamon, clove, and generous squeezes of both lemon and lime, making the rest of the flavors somewhat wan in comparison. Tastes a bit like those lime flavored beers that were popular awhile ago. The ginger ale doesn’t like like a beer, it’s not very drinkable, but it certainly is unique. Noticeably absent from the eclectic crowd of flavors is the ginger, which I think remains relegated to the aromatics. I’ll continue to hope for a repeat of the New Year’s Ale from Kiuchi, but this is not it.
Slipstream (2226) - USA - JAN 22, 2009
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Grass, citrus, honey, and spice in the aroma, but there is a touch of skank too. Amber pour with impressive lid, Cool label on the bottle. The flavor has lots of citrus, noticeable ginger, roots and herbs, and roasted grain. Oh yeah, there maybe some hops in there too. Definitely unusual. This is the first Japanese craft beer I am rating. It is good, and I look forward to trying more.
Plan9 (5) - Apopka, Florida, USA - JAN 9, 2009 does not count
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
24.3oz bottle from Knighlty Spirits. Pours a bark copper color with a thick tan head. Nose of pickled ginger. Sweet maltyness with a strong ginger flavor. Would be good with sushi, it’s a little much on it’s own.
IrishBoy (3956) - Bakersfield, California, USA - DEC 25, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle from Country Club Liquors. Nose is caramel, ginger, and floral hops. Cloudy copper with a medium offwhite head. Flavor ginger, light bitterness, and caramel maltiness. Finish is light bitterness.
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - DEC 25, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Amber with a nice off white head. Aroma is ginger, light caramel, malt, light alcohol. Taste is an interesting ginger, light soapiness, light alcohol.
TheBeerGod (5568) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - DEC 25, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Orange amber pour with a small white head. Nose is ginger, some herbal notes, yeast, light medicine (aspirin like bitter notes), and sweet malts. Taste is herbal and spicy with more ginger, medicine, sweet candy, caramel and yeast. Body is light and very bubbly. Some medicinal notes there as well. Finishes with more ginger, sort of a sweet ginger ale type taste, some herbs and spices, candy and yeast notes. The ginger throughout this did not seem too artificial, thankfully. Overall, not a bad beer.
Floback (540) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 24, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Knightly Spirits. This pours a thumbnail of tan head over a dark orange amber body with tight curtains of lace. The nose is sour and full of yeast, flowers, and a subtle note of ginger. Ginger hits the palate up front and all-around in the flavor, finishing with toasty caramel, malts, subtle soy sauce, and banana. Lively carbonation and medium body. This brew is quite different and tasty. I have enjoyed everything sampled thus far by this brewery.
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 17, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle...murky caramel colored pour. Nose is mainly caramel malt, citrus, candied sugar and fresh ginger. Medium bodied...heavily carbonated. Sweet toffee, massive amounts of ginger and some biscuit malts apparent in the taste. Decent brew.
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 15, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from Sun Devil. Such an odd beer. I may have had it too warm. Much less ginger than I was expecting. It ends up a rather round berry-type ale with a souring fruit aroma. Resiny sweet hops.