Total Score: 5.4/10
Last stop on the Japanese macro Lager train is: Sapporo Premium Beer, which I’ve already reviewed in the bottle – I’ll save you the time: It was shit, this time I’m reviewing an actual imported 650ml can – which, not being brewed in Australia (by Coopers mind you, who know their stuff), should hopefully be a truer representation of a Japanese macro Lager. If that’s a sentence with a lot of commas for you, I agree – there are too many provisos in this review, however I have a feeling this almost-giant (you need to see a Danish beer called “Faxe” if you want to see a giant) can will win me over with its canny, un-skunked goodness, KAMPAI! [which must always be yelled out at the top of your lungs]
Poured from a 650ml can into a Sapporo stein [some brand bias there].
A: Largely the same as Kirin: Clear golden body with a white head that sits pretty firm at around 1 centimetre. I’ll tell you what – I don’t think blind taste testing is required in Japan, least not with macro Lagers, though I could level that same accusation at Aussie macro brewers too. 7/10.
S: The aroma of the imported can version has a general overriding floral/honey fragrance… particularly light and not easy to place, but it is certainly pleasant, and after the skunk-bomb that was Kirin it is most welcome… though muted. 6/10.
T: Starts off dry, throws in grain and floral notes, mirin (sweet rice wine condiment) gives it sweetness mid-palate, then it finishes with dry crackers and a very unfortunate metallic note that is rather off-setting. Much like Asahi it carries the dry and crisp ethos throughout to give you that overall sense of palate-cleansing with a delicate touch. That metallic note however simply reminded me of how many dental fillings I have, and that I am overdue for a check-up, thanks a lot metallic note! 5/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a fairly active carbonation – it’s a good balance here, not too fizzy, not too flat. 8/10.
D: Hmmm, made in Vietnam, so this isn’t even a real Japanese Lager – unless you count Saigon as a suburb of Tokyo. Seriously what do I have to do to get a real Japanese macro Lager? Fly to Japan? In all fairness this would have been a cracking… well not good, but OK Lager to go with some sushi, however that metallic note really holds it back – I mean I get enough metal in sushi from the mercury found in fish – I don’t need it in my beer as well. Mark of shame to the maker of these draconian non-plastic-lined cans. 4/10.
Food match: Edomae chirashizushi.