Sekinoichi Shuzo (Iwate Kura Beer) Reviews

Iwate Kura Weizen Bock 3.2
Banana, clove and light caramel notes. Some banana bread with raisin comes out as it warms. Body is a little too thin and boozy. Lingering pepper and spiced finish, but not overpowering. Sweet, but not cloying.
Sunday, February 07, 2016

Iwate Kura Pale Ale 3.2
Light grass hop nose with some fruity yeast esters: peach and apricot. Some caramel on the palate. Balanced, but more malt in the mouth. More twigs and a bit of grassy, light bitterness in the finish. The fruit flavors come out a little more as it warms.
Saturday, February 06, 2016

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3.5
Pours a deep brownish black from the bottle with bubbly tan head that dissipates to leave light lace. Aroma and taste of dark roasted malts, toasted earthy notes, and a hint of saltiness. Thicker mouth, medium carbonation, decent oyster stout.
Monday, February 01, 2016

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3.6
Pours black with a tan head. Aroma of toffee, chocolate and coffee. Taste is coffee, chocolate and a little salt.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Iwate Kura Japanese Herb Ale Sansho 2.9
Bottle. Clear golden color, white head. Aroma has light ginger and subtle black pepper. Taste is lightly herbal straw. Plain.
Monday, January 11, 2016

Iwate Kura Fukukou Ale 3.1
Bottle from Tanakaya. Pours a slightly hazy glowing neon yellow with a small sparkling wine-like head. Looks almost like a light cider or perry. Light bark and hay aromas with some grass, honey and light pepper. Dry on the palate with above average carbonation. The yeast seems a little harsh and has that peppery, sandpaper like thing going on when the beer is too yeasty. Still enjoyable, but might have been better in summer on a hot day. In no way sour, more musty or hay like.
Thursday, December 24, 2015

Iwate Kura Bravo! Masaji R-IPA ~Ookini, shacho 3.4
Bottle from Tanakaya. Pours a deep reddish-brown with a small half finger of off-white foam. Grass and light citrus on the nose with pepper and caramel malt standing out. Some light peach and pear as it warms up. Average body with medium carbonation. Well-balanced if not boring. Prickly, peppery finish with caramel malt. Not bad.
Thursday, December 17, 2015

Iwate Kura Bravo! Masaji R-IPA ~Ookini, shacho 3.4
Intense, deep red colour, small tan head. Hoppy aroma, pine, some citrus. Taste is soft, mildly bitter towards the end. Smooth mouthfeel, very little carbonation. Decent but not impressive in any way.
Thursday, December 17, 2015

Iwate Kura Classical Pale Ale 3.1
Tap at Craft Hands. Pours a deep orange to brown with a small half-finger beige head of foam that lingers. Soft tea-like aromas with some light sugar and malty notes. Body is very tea-like with some sweetness on the palate. Well-rounded and balanced, but a little too boring for me style-wise. Finish is fruity with a sweet taste that dissipates fairly quickly on the palate.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Iwate Kura Classical Pale Ale 3.2
Pours dark brown with no head into a tall shaker. The nose shows a sweet tea forwardness. The palate shows a tea forwardness that is slightly sweet but for the most party, dry. Light carbonation and medium bodied, a very British style Pale Ale with lots of malts on the finish.
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Iwate Kura Yoitsugi 3.3
Bottle at MikkellerTokyo - Thanks to Hamilton. Clear amber/golden - white head. Bread. Malty aroma. Sweet. Light soapy. Cardboard. Light light bitterness. Light citrus.
Friday, November 20, 2015

Iwate Kura Stout 4
Can from Brunnsbe, cheers! Chockolate and some roast in aroma. Very good! Taste has choko and a hint of chili. Palate is medium full with very little carbonation and long lasting aftertaste. Excellent stout!
Saturday, November 07, 2015

Iwate Kura Classical Pale Ale 3.6
As Fresh Hop Classical Pale Ale. 4.5% 28 IBU and apparently made for the Spring Valley fresh hop event. On tap at Molto. A nice orange-gold with brown highlights & beige head. The minty fruity hop bouquet is really nice. The taste is very earthy then you get a sweet hit. Quite good. Seeing it listed as a Bitter makes more sense than Pale Ale.
Thursday, October 29, 2015

Iwate Kura Classical Pale Ale 3.5
Tap at Bungalow. Nose of tobacco, grass, leaves. Uk hops all the way. Light caramel. Lovely, deep reddish brown color with a fine, low head. Nice nutty UK malt flavor, biscuit, a bit of caramel, great hops, tobacco and leaves. Oily palate and nice bitterness.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Iwate Kura Belgian Pumpkin Ale 3.2
Under the name Pumpkin Ale at CBM Koenji. Slightly hazy straw color with a big soapy head. Light pumpkin, squash aroma with some light malt and grass. Taste is pretty mild with a super thin body. No fall spices here, only beer with a hint of pumpkin. Very active carbonation, but super bland. Not much flavor comes out to be honest. Dry finish.
Thursday, October 08, 2015

Iwate Kura Hoya Ale 3.3
Tap at Molto. Has some kind of shellfish in it. Amber-orange, clear, with a low, fine head. SMoky nose with some caramel and minerals. Peat smoke flavor, minerals, caramel malt. Clean and light. Ok, but I wish they would forget the gimmicks and concentrate on real beer.
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Iwate Kura Shizen Hakko Beer 3.8
Bottle from Tanakaya. Pours a clear, light gold with a small carbonated head that leaves a ring around the edge. Light funk aromas with some pear, grape cobwebs and horse blanket. Taste is more of the same, good funk but kind of one dimensional. Nice and dry with active carbonation. Almost like a dry saison. I like it. Not really sour or tart at all, just basement saison-like with a touch of pear. Very interesting.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Iwate Kura Yoitsugi 3.1
medium amber color. Fairly malty nose, bready with oranges. Ok, but too malty for my liking
Friday, September 11, 2015

Iwate Kura Yoitsugi 3.3
Tap at Yellow Ape. Hazy, dark orange with a tall, fine head. BIg barley nose, a bit worty, very grainy, with oranges. Lemony, malty flavor, crackers and biscuits. Rather like a maibock. Earthy, bitter finish that is rather harsh and gets raunchy. Interesting but needs work.
Friday, August 28, 2015

Iwate Kura Yoitsugi 3.2
Bottle from Tanakaya, 08/25/2015. Pours a bronzed amber color, thin white head with nice lacing. Aroma of toasted wheat cracker, grassy hops, light lemon citrus. Taste again light citrus, moderate resinous pine bitterness, caramel malts. Light medium body, crisp carbonation. Decent, but doesn’t particularly stand out in any dimension.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Iwate Kura Wasan Ale 3.5
very cloudy milky white color. Tons of Yuzu jam, tons of herbs. Slightly sour. Long herbal finish. Actually very good despite how nasty it looks
Friday, August 21, 2015

Iwate Kura Egoma IPA 3.7
Pours dark amber, bit of foam. Aroma has some hop freshness but what I am really looking for is "egoma". Not that I know how it should smell. I know what is "coma" (sesame) and I know that in Fukushima they feed "egoma" to pigs to get "egoma" flavored pork. This beer really has some sesame aroma, nicely balanced and not too overpowering. IPA hop character is maybe not so strong but the beer is fresh nicely drinkable and fully enjoyable. Maybe some herbal tea flavours instead of hops, genmaicha? Anyway, this beer went down fast. I applaud for the use of local ingredients and for doing that in a skilful way.
Sunday, August 09, 2015

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3.6
7 August 2015, bottle. Dirty brown. Nose is sweet, slightly bitter dark chocolate. Med body and mildly fizzy. Acidic, dark, dry, dark chocolate. Nice.
Saturday, August 08, 2015

Iwate Kura Wasan Ale 3.7
Draught at The Griffon. A pleasant surprise, refreshing yuzu zest and numbing sansho spice stand out quite nicely with some round sake-like sweet edge. Really different, quite a delicious Japanese character.
Sunday, July 05, 2015

Iwate Kura Seian 3.3
smooth golden malty mouth with some stone fruit note. Middle of the road and not unlike iwatekura’s other seasonal beers
Sunday, July 05, 2015

Iwate Kura Red Ale 3.2
Can from Shin Tanabe supermarket. Clear, rusty red with an off-white head. Sweet malty aroma. Has a surprisingly dry finish with a nice hint of spice.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Iwate Kura Red Ale 3.5
Can (35 cl), courtesy of Ingo. CLear copper, medium white head. Caramelly, nutty aroma, floral and citric hops. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Semi dry, medium bitterness.
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Iwate Kura Kin Kura Pilsner 3.1
Can from Foodshow in Shibuya. Drank straight from the can on the train ride home. Light biscuit and honey aromas with some pepper present as well. Average carbonation with a nice mouthfeel. Taste is biscuity with the honey and pepper working together well. A little sweet, but nice for the price. Finish starts sweet then picks up some bitterness at the end.
Friday, June 26, 2015

Iwate Kura Red Ale 3.1
350 ml can, thanks to Ingo! Sampled on June 12, 2015. Marked 5.5%.
Clear copper color, small teal head. Malty, sweet, caramel scent. Malty, mineral taste. Thin mouthfeel, medium low bitterness.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3
330 ml bottle, thanks to Ingo! Sampled on June 12, 2015. Marked 27. 6.23.
Dark brown to black color, light brown head. Sweet, chocolate scent. Chocolate, alcohol taste. Light roasted aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, medium bitterness.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Iwate Kura Fujiyama Lambic 2.2
On tap into a tulip glass, showing a highly opaque orange peel with a finger of white foam. The nose shows a first impression of the barnyard and lambic funk but fades very quickly into the sweet, round lager-like malts. The palate is full bodied with a barely perceivable tart note at the end. But drinks like a typical Japanese macro-lager showing thick and sweet malts. A complete failure as a lambic because of fear of straying from the Japanese/German tradition/palate of lagers. God this is awful.
Sunday, June 07, 2015

Iwate Kura Something Blue 2.8
Draft sampler at CBM Koenji. Clear ocean blue color with a champagne-like fizzy carbonated head. Nose is all lemon with some light lemonade and orange notes as well. Fizzy carbonation with a lemonade-like sweetness (but not overly so). Lightly sweet with a hint of pepper in the finish. Tastes very much like lemonade. Not that great, but refreshing and dry.
Friday, June 05, 2015

Iwate Kura Golden Ale 3.4
Draft at Spring Keyaki 2015. Under the name Golden Bitter (maybe a name change). Deep golden color with a small white head. Orange, grapefruit and grassy hop nose with some malt noticeable as well. Taste is more of the same with nice bitterness. Bitter finish. Not bad.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Iwate Kura Smoked Ale 3.2
Draft at Keyaki Spring 2015 under the name iburi ale. I’m going to assume this is the same smoked ale with a new fancy name. Dark golden brown color with almost no head. Light smoked aroma with some toasted grain on the nose. Bacon and bacon fat on the palate. Slightly thin and oily at the same time. Not bad, but kind of interesting and different.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Iwate Kura IPA 3.3
Draft at Keyaki Spring 2015. Slightly hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Malty aroma with some grapefruit and apricot on the nose. Medium body with a sticky mouthfeel. Average carbonation. Good bitterness with some slight sweetness. Quite mild for an IPA. Malts really shine though. Easy drinking though and a nice bitter finish.
Monday, May 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Wasan Ale 3.4
Draft at Keyaki Spring 2015. Sort a milky egg yolk yellow color with a tiny head. Big aromas of yuzu with a touch of sansho and grain on the nose. Creamy mouthfeel (almost like a nigori sake) with a thin body. No carbonation to speak of really. Flavor is all yuzu with some herbal qualities. The sansho comes out in the finish. Interesting.
Monday, May 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Wasan Ale 2.4
On tap at the Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2015. Citrusy. lemony nose. Thin light hazy off-white color. Very thin flavors througout, primarily yuzu, some spice. Very little malt. Exceptionally thin body, and fizzy. Not very beer like -- more like a carbonated fruit drink.
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Iwate Kura Golden Ale 2.6
On tap at the Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2015. Unusual aroma, light fruit and what seems to be smoke. Rich gold straw color. Big bitterness right off, then a sourish note, somewhat malty in mid, very thin finish. Mouthfeel is flat and dull. Okay. Kind of homebrew-like stuff. Not really impressive at all.
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Iwate Kura Weizen 3.2
On tap at CBM Koenji. Nice hazy golden color with a big, beautiful soapy off-white head. Aromas of clove and banana cream pie present. Sweet on the palate with a touch of spice on the finish, but overall quite sweet. Creamy mouthfeel as well. Not bad.
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Iwate Kura Japanese Herb Ale Sansho 3.6
이와테 쿠라 브루어리- 재패니스 허브 에일 산쇼 5% ABV 산초가 들어간 스파이스 허브 에일.입으로 들어가 목으로 넘기는 과정보다 마시고 기다리는 엔딩후가 포인트.맥주가 지나간 혀위에 남는 알알한 산초의 기운 병꼭지에서 도는 엷은 시트러스+흑후추의 스파이시향. 황금빛 바디, 조밀하지만 재빨리 사그라드는 헤드,드라이한 시작, 유자-감귤류, 비터한 테일.마시고 나면 목구멍안까지 화한기분. 파인스파이스의 홉이나 후추류의 스파이스 감과는 완연히 다른 산초의 매력 오사카, 일본
Friday, May 01, 2015

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3.4
Bottle, at Miga in Champain. Dark walnut brown, light brown head. Aroma is husky dark malts, a touch of metal. Roasty palate, coffee, bitter chocolate, hint of aniseed. Solid.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Iwate Kura Wasan Ale 3.6
Tap at Marciero. Very cloudy, pale peach-gold, with a low, airy head. Big yuzu nose, lightly spicy, sansho, some rice. All yuzu at first, with sansho coming in the end, a bit of grain, bead or rice. Spicy, peppery finish. Not very beery, but good. Light, crisp and fruity.
Monday, April 27, 2015

Sekinoichi Shuzo (Iwate Kura Beer) 3.4
Muddy brown color with no head. A bit of milk chocolate in the nose, but it is overwhelmingly dominated by smokey smokey malt and oak. Not enough body to give the beer balance (I would guess the ABV isn’t that high, which rarely works in barrel aged beers). Lingering smokey finish. Not overly complex, but not too bad.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Iwate Kura Kaki No Stout (Oyster Stout) 3.3
Tap at Yellow Ape, Osaka. Dark with ruby hints. Thin tan coloured head. Aroma quite light with baking chocolate notes. Taste is slick, roasty, chocolatey. Hint of red fruit in there too. Fine and quite drinkable, not too exciting though.
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Iwate Kura Coffee Golden 3.6
golden color. Coffee with a touch of citrus in the nose. Very light body. Tons of coffee. Light. Very interesting mix of coffee and hops that works fairly well. Enjoyable.
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Sansho IPA 3.4
amber brown color. Big sansho and citrus hit the nose in perfect melody. Very unique nose. Very big sansho start, too the point of being too much, citrus tickles the back of the throat. This beer would be awesome with unagi. Full body. Too much sansho. The sansho just lingers too much. Blah. A love hate beer for me.
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Shizen Hakko Beer 3.4
light golden color. No nose, but the mouth is full of funk. Cobweb, barnyard , funk. Wow. It has no body and totally lacks tartness, which would take this to the next level. Still very interesting.
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Apple Ale 3.5
cloudy brown and amber color. Light apple notes with just a touch of hops. Light body, moderate amount of apple character but really focused on just being refreshing. Slightly tart. Some cinnamon notes, got better as it warmed.
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Stout 3.4
Can under the name Kuro Kura which is listed at 7% ABV bought at Ito Yokado. Drank straight from the can. Nice roasted malt aroma with a hint of coffee on the nose. Slightly creamy mouthfeel initially then the body starts to thin out. Tastes of roasted cacao, toasted kitkat and coffee. The 7% ABV is noticeable and boozy on the finish. Really not bad at all for a can that is starting to pop up a lot more places this year.
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iwate Kura Japanese Herb Ale Sansho 3.4
Bottle from the little standing bar/bottle shop in the basement of Tokyo station. Hazy gold with a medium-sized off-white head. Slight sansho aroma with a hint of herbal aroma (oregano)? Medium body with a good light and crisp refreshing feel on the palate. Spice comes through really nicely and melds with the peppery dry finish.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015