Total Score: 7.6/10
This was a gift from a craft beer drinking friend who regularly goes to Japan and we have similar taste in beer (we both like NEIPAs and decent Stouts). Out of the many Japanese Stouts he has tried this is the best he’s had. I take a recommendation like that pretty seriously, so yeah I’m going to give it a red-hot review. I’m kinda hoping it’s not that great – as there doesn’t appear to be any way of getting it in to Australia. The label is cool. In typical Japanese style it has “STOUT” written in massive letters, jeez Japanese brewers aren’t subtle with what’s inside the bottle. It’s got some pedigree too – winner of the World Beer Cup Dry Stout award in 2009, 2014, and 2016. Says “exceedingly moreish!” – I’ll be the judge of that thank you Minoh.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Opaque jet black body with a sizable 3 centimetre mocha coloured head that reasonably dense (think latte foam). The head slowly disintegrates with large bubbles forming and popping, leaves a reasonably sticky lace on the way down. Felt dense and creamy on the pour, this looks pretty-pretty good. 8/10.
S: Earthy character, roasted barley with a hint of filter coffee, there’s almost a soft sake note in the background, I wouldn’t be surprised if some rice had been used somewhere in the brewing process. Aroma is a mix of Western and Japanese characters, like an Irishman in a kimono. 7/10.
T: Yep, as noted above: earthy character, roasted barley with a hint of filter coffee, and that soft sake note in the background. Finish is well balanced between sweet/dry/bitter with a slight herbal/tobacco note in the finish. It’s fairly moreish, I could definitely go another, though there are other Dry Stouts I would classify as “exceedingly moreish!” over this one, e.g. … no wait, there’s really not many Dry Stouts that I’ve rated highly, this one wins by de-fault, the two sweetest words in the English language “DE-FAULT! DE-FAULT!”. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a dense but soft carbonation, it could definitely benefit from more body and texture, though it’s nowhere near as watery as today’s Guinness. 6/10.
D: So yeah, let’s hear it for winner by default of the “now Doc’s favourite Dry Stout” award of 2017: Minoh Stout. It’s tasty, it’s got a nice Japanese twist on a Western style, and it’s difficult to tell that it’s 5.5% ABV. Yay Minoh! 8/10.
Food match: Wagyu tataki with a blob of wasabi mayonnaise.