Nose: Black walnut, peanut, and mild fruity esters.
Taste: Green apple tartness on a nutty roast background. Peanuts again on the finish.
Overall: Very solid beer. Good balance of sourness and roastiness.
Taste: Sweet honey hits immediately, very floral and citrusy again. Not much hop flavour evident at first, mainly getting some herbal notes and a faint bitterness. As I get used to the sticky sweetness more hops are coming through, with a citrusy American IPA flavour and slight vegetal notes.
Overall: I don’t regret drinking it, but it’s too sweet to really recommend.
Nose: Very floral, with hints of citrus and tropical fruit.
Taste: Sweet red apple, melon, and passion fruit. Still a familiar floral influence that I can’t place. Thin body, slightly harsh hop bitterness (particularly in the finish).
Overall: A very interesting and highly drinkable beer.
Nose: Sweet and fruity, with minor funk.
Taste: Not notably sour. Esters hit first, with tropical fruit and a hint of bubblegum. Solid malt background. Medium brett influence, mainly coming through as horsy phenols. Very dry finish.
Overall: It’s interesting, but the dryness gets a bit much after a while. A glass is about my limit. I’d drink it occasionally.
Nose: Mild alcohol presence, fruitiness. A hint of brown sugar.
Taste: Rounded malt with molasses hints. Mild bitterness, no appreciable hop flavour. Moderate fruity esters. An odd funk in the finish, like a touch of barnyard brettiness.
Overall: Punched-up version of a classic mild. Very drinkable.
Nose: Juniper, gingery spice, and orange peel.
Taste: Mellow and vanilla-influenced, with a fair amount of citrus that doesn’t overpower the juniper. Also a distinct impression of coriander.
Overall: Better than I expected. For the price this is going to be a hard one to beat; while the flavour is a bit flat it’s still pleasant and gin-like.
Nose: Strong ginger, sweet florals.
Taste: Pleasantly sweet, very mild bite. Despite the nearly nonexistent bite, the ginger flavour is in full force, backed up by sugary sweetness and a bit of fruitiness.
Overall: Very pleasant.
Nose: Rich vanilla, walnut, banana, and coconut.
Taste: Silky oats and sugar, with soft fruitiness and a lingering finish.
Overall: It’s okay. It doesn’t sing on the tongue, but it’s an interesting occasional change of pace.
Background: Yatsushika are mainly a sake producer, but they also do a few varieties of shōchū, including this 100% barley specimen clocking in at 20% ABV.
Nose: Soft and fruity.
Taste: Oily and soft, lightly sweet with a lingering fruity finish.
Overall: Very enjoyable. Smooth and light.
Nose: Sugary green apple and pear.
Taste: Lightly sweet candied apple, with a nicely acidic backbone. Hints of tropical fruit.
Overall: Slightly offbeat, very drinkable. Drinking with chipotle hummus and whole wheat pitas.