Japanese Name: サントリー 穫れたて素材 生ビール
Release: Dec. 8, 2010
Purchase Price: ￥238 @7-Eleven
Talk about a stealth beer, Suntory Toretate Sozai Nama Beer completely flew under my radar, and was discovered at Benoa in Japan via a hand-dandy Google alert. The reason being was this beer is produced by Suntory for Seven & i Holdings, aka 7-Eleven Japan as a private label like their The Brew happousei, only Toretate Sozai is “real beer.” Not only is it real, it’s an all malt beer, staying true to the Suntory lineage brewed with Mikamo Golden [美醸ゴールデン大麦] barley malt and Saaz hops from the Czech Republic harvested last summer (2010). Suntory also incorporated late hopping and infusion mashing to their brewing process for additional wholesome goodness.
Poured into the glass, and we have the pale golden color of our traditional Japanese lager. Right out of the can the freshness of the Saaz hops was detectable, but soon dissipates. Getting to my first gulp, there was a lot fresh flavors that I can only describe as “green” from the newly harvested ingredients, with the flavor of the malt being showcased. These flavors oxidized during the course of my glass, growing into a more medium bodied, well rounded lager. There was a bit of bitterness on the mid to back palate, and the slight effervescence carried the long lasting flavors to the back of the throat.
Suntory Toretate is quite different from other “toretate” beers currently on the shelves. Where the former really show off the freshness and fragrance of the hops, it’s just on the forefront of Suntory’s. Toretate Sozai is more of a straight forward lager, with BEER written all over it. You can taste the freshness, but for sure it’s heavier and has more body than the rest of the pack.
Suntory is available at your local 7-Eleven Japan while supplies last. Give it a go!