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Minamishinshu Christmas Ale

Brewed by Minamishinshu Beer Company
Style: English Strong Ale
Komagane, Japan


on tap


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RATINGS: 10   MEAN: 3.41/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.14   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TBone (12816) - Pori, FINLAND - JUL 20, 2014
Tap at Popeye, Tokyo. 7.5 %. Clear deep amber color, small off-white head. Aroma has caramel and vanilla. Medium-bodied, soft palate. Caramel, green apple, vanilla, woody hops. Nice complex strong ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
shoulderbroken (2107) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 19, 2012
Tap at Shinshu Sake Mura. Murky orange brown colour with small golden head. Aroma is bit stinky, bit of spice, malty, bit of apple. Taste is similar, more apple, nice Christmassy spice, subtle clove maybe, more fruits, bit of orange. Malty sweetness. Quite strange but quite nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
motelpogo (6701) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - FEB 18, 2012
labelled as winter ale, served at popeye’s in the middle of summer. dark amber, steady head; hint of rum’n’raisin in the aroma, vanilla; a bit dull with a chewy sultana finish

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
jonno (2345) - JAPAN - NOV 10, 2011
Didn’t think much of this. Really plain higher alcohol beer. Dull flavours - maybe some apple and alcohol. Doesn’t improve or go anywhere as it warms. Almost home brew esc.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
thebeertourist (4859) - Oslo, NORWAY - APR 20, 2010
On tap at Popeye as Winter Ale. Hazy copper with a small head. Great raisins and nuts. Good dryness towards the finish after a sweet start. A treat.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
omhper (19667) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAY 26, 2009
Draught at Popeye, Tokyo. Clear amber, no head. Black cherries covered in caramel dominate the nose. Near full bodied with rounded mouthfeel. Mildy warming wit lots and lots of caramel and growing piney bitterness. Well made!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
KyotoLefty (6569) - Kyoto, JAPAN - MAY 14, 2009
Tap at Popeye’s. They were calling it "Winter Ale" but the brewery makes no such beer. Dark amber color. No head. Sweet, fruity, aroma with cherries and noticeable alcohol. Very malty and rich flavor with lots of caramel and biscuity cereals. Rather light palate, silky smooth. Very easy to drink and enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - OCT 7, 2007
Tap @ Popeye’s: Dark ebony color, nearly bourbon. Nose of spicy hop and a plum coated sweet malt. Decent flavor, more chewy caramel and some vague bitterness creeping around. Good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MartinT (7952) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 26, 2007
My Bottom Line:
This full-bodied, styleless strong ale presents plenty of toasted and caramel maltiness in a smooth integration nearly balanced out by supporting wooden hoppiness.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam surfs the misty dark amber.
-The soft effervescence works with the ample maltiness to form a rich mouthfeel.
-The flavor profile is astonishingly similar to a Dunkel Weizen (not theirs though), but without the estery yeast strain the style uses.
-More of that sweet maltiness is prolonged in the finish; a nice touch.
-The brewer wants to start aging this yearly creation for 5 to 10 years, but I’m not sure it can withstand such aging...

On tap at the brewery restaurant.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TimE (3261) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 23, 2005
Dark amber color. No head, spiced floral nose with seasalt and caramel. The nose starts surpisingly hoppy then the malts come into balance things out. Somewhat of indescribable Christmasy taste in the mouth and a malty finish of caramel pudding.

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