Japanese Name: 琥珀ヱビス
Release: Nov. 10, 2010
Purchase Price: ￥225 @Jusco
Deriving its name from the color of the beer (kohaku meaning amber), Kohaku Yebisu was first released in October of 2006, and is normally only available at fine dining/drinking establishments in 10L kegs. It often, however, graces the store shelves in somewhat regular intervals. As with all Yebisu beers, 100% select “crystal malt” and hops are its only ingredients.
If packaging is an indication of content, Kohaku Yebisu provides an excellent example. The can is almost like a Christmas tree ornament with its shiny ruby red coloring and very simple branding, a perfect statement of “less is more.” Just looking at the can, you get the feeling something special is in there.
The deep red color from the roasted crystal malt sets this beer apart from other Japanese lagers. It has an elegant hoppy aroma, and a very smooth almost creamy mouth-feel. Upon drinking Kohaku Yebisu, the effervescence carries the malt flavor and hoppy aroma throughout your mouth with a wonderful, not overbearingly bitter finish. I love how the flavors linger long after you’ve had your first gulp, unlike your standard dry beer.
Kohaku Yebisu is one of the perennial favorites of Japanese beer lovers. It’s got plenty of flavor, beautiful color, and that “limited production” label makes Japanese consumers want open their wallets. Perfect for celebrating this holiday season.