Japanese Name: アサヒ くつろぎ仕込 4VG
Release: Sept. 14, 2010
Purchase Price: ￥108? @Jusco
On the table last night was Asahi Kutsurogi-Jikomi 4VG, which is Asahi’s most recent venture into the popular dai-san happousei relm. Kutsurogi-jikomi basically means “brewing relaxation (making yourself at home),” and Asahi has been plastering television with this concept featuring talent Keiko Kitagawa in point-of-view style at home action.
So what the heck is 4VG? It stands for 4-vinyl guaiacol and because it’s been a decade since my last organic chemistry class in university, take it straight from the pros:
4-vinyl guaiacol is a phenolic aromatic compound produced by enzymatic decarboxylation or thermal decomposition of ferulic acid. This 4-vinyl guaiacol has a pungent clove-like aroma that is sometimes sensed as an offensive odor. People are said to be able to smell 4-vinyl guaiacol at a low concentration of 200 ppb. Consequently, 4-vinyl guaiacol exerts a large influence on the flavor of beer. Also, some wild yeasts and bacteria have the ferulic acid decarboxylase, but saccharomyces cerevisiae used in beer production does not have this enzyme. Therefore, the analysis of 4-vinyl guaiacol in beer can be regarded as an indicator of contamination due to wild yeast and bacteria in breweries. (click for further scientific enjoyment)
After a long day, I was excited to “get settled at home” and try this dai-san beer from Asahi. Pouring it out of the can, it had a very light straw color, a little different than a lot of dai-san beers on the market today which are a bit darker. The aroma is pleasant with a faint scent of hops, along with a “tangy” yeast-like aroma (4VG??). Going down the hatch, it’s got lots of effervescence and is very smooth without a bitter or sweet aftertaste. I would liken this to a typical American light beer.
All in all, I have a positive outlook for this happousei, it’s got the components for a nice daily drinker on a budget. Kuturogi-jikomi 4VG provides a refreshing drink that will appeal to Asahi Super Dry lovers.