maekchu (1093) - Hirakata, - NOV 10, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. 2012 vintage. "Toretate Hop" Just appeared on the shelves in Japan. Strong grass aroma, with an above-average hoppiness (not so much, but decidely more than the regular Ichiban Shibori). Clear medium straw color, large head, and clumpy thick lace. Mild sweet initial flavor; mid palate is balanced with hops; final trickles away fairly quickly. Thin-medium body, with a good bit of carbonation. Quite pleasant, but not exceptional. I wonder how soon, really, a macro brewer can get harvest hops into the brewing process.
GoufCustom (224) - HONG KONG - JAN 28, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: FEB 6, 2013
500 ml can labeled ‘2012 Limited Brew’. Light amber gold colour; Medium head and decent looking white foam which last for about 2 minutes; Minimal lacing and slight carbonation. Strong smell of malt with aroma of straw and herbs; Full body, with taste of strong malt and light grass. Hop bitterness comes in a punch but pleasant, still on the low side. Brief sweetness being swept by waves of malt and hoppiness. Dry after taste, bitterness is okay so it’s fairly easy to mouth.
Comments: Unlike most Asian macro lagers, this one is free of adjuncts, good body, is malty and quite hoppy and easily enjoyable. If only Asian macros are willing to do these nice neat stuffs all year round. Seasonal? I’ll take it any day.
Frank (2188) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 21, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fresh and fruity lager beer. Reminds me of an American craft brew lager. Clean and really tasty with a bit of citrus character.
johnnnniee (1501) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 11, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Another can smuggled in country by my sister in law, thanks Terry!
Pours a deep clear golden color with a nice bubbly bone white head that slowly recedes after sticking some lace. The aroma is very weak. Faint grain with sweet malt and floral hop and skunk. Taste is sweet and grainy with a hint of spicy earthy hops. Light honey and green apple flavors in there as well. Light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet watery mouthfeel. This one is actually not to bad. A bit thin and lacking pizazz but I actually tasted hops for a second there and that can’t be a bad thing.
jonno (2013) - JAPAN - DEC 1, 2011
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I am assuming this is the same as the ’Tohoku’ green hop beer for 2011. Quite a grassy/grainy nose. Very pale colour. Chemical bread with a solid bitter finish. Not as good as say edelpils, but still better than the average pale lager.
Theis (11081) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - NOV 5, 2010
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Can (2010 Version) at Sunroute Shinjuku Hotel - shared with Mette. Clear golden - white head. Ok fresh hoppy, grassy, light citrus, light bitterness, light malty, white bread, light hay. Plain.
improvjock (290) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 16, 2009
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tall boy can. Pours a clear golden yellow with medium white head that disappears somewhat quickly. Malts and spicy hops on the nose. Flavor is malty, with a nice hoppy punch. I actually appreciated the lack of bitterness in the finish, personally. This beer is SOOOO much better than the original Ichiban. Still a macro, but definitely a step in the right direction.
rayg1 (525) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - NOV 10, 2009
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Damnit, KyotoLefty beat me to this new one from Kirin!!! Indeed the hops are present in this one, although mind you this is still a macro we are talking about but the beer has more character than would otherwise be expected. Once you crack the can a waft of hops hits your nostrils and you know it at least had a bit more loving than normal. Pours a pale and clear yellow with a finger thick white head that diminishes to about a quarter finger width but remains throughout the glass. A touch of pine and a touch of grapefruit. KyotoLefty is right, the hops are appreciated upfront but the finish is almost a letdown. Still Kirin’s best effort so far from what I have sampled in Japan over the past 2 years.
KyotoLefty (4735) - Kyoto, JAPAN - OCT 26, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: OCT 30, 2009 350 ml can. The first fresh hop Kirin since they went all-malt.
Medium gold with a medium head. Good noble hop aroma, fragrant. Good, rich malt flavor with lots of aromatic hops. Very nice, full-flavored and rich. Great citrus hops. An impressively hoppy beer for a major. Definitely one of the best they’ve made, though it could use a bit more bitterness in the finish.