Japanese Name: サントリ・モルツ・ザ・ビター
Release: Aug. 2010
Purchase Price: ￥183 @Jusco
Apparently, Suntory Malt’s The Bitter was created exclusively for the Aeon Group of supermarkets and was sold at Aeon, Jusco, and the like here in Japan. After quite an extensive search neither I, nor any of the other Japanese bloggers I found were able to come up with a news release. As far as I can tell, this beer was released sometime in early August 2010. The first time I tried The Bitter was on August 22nd, but was not doing this blog at the time. I’ve had an extra can sitting in my fridge for a while now, so it’s time to break out a review. Here we go!
Popping the can, I immediately noticed the fruity fragrance of the bitter hops. The color is perfectly golden, not too light, not to dark. My first gulp I tasted lots of flavor up front, with just a little bitterness up to the mid-palate, slightly lingering on the back. There was also a little sweetness. All around a nice full bodied beer with great flavor.
The genius of Suntory The Bitter is how the flavors build over the course of drinking the can. It starts off very mild, but I found the taste getting stronger and the bitterness building after each gulp. I’ve never experienced this sensation in other Japanese brews, so it was quite an exciting find. Being that this beer was released in Summer and it’s winter now, it will probably be hard to find in the grocery store. However, if you do come across The Bitter, I highly recommend picking up a can or two.