Japanese Name: アサヒ 一番麦
Release: Mar. 1, 2011
Purchase Price: ￥108 (Jusco)
Just released at the beginning of the month is Asahi Beer’s newest entry into the “new genre” of alcoholic beverages in Japan, Asahi Ichiban Mugi. This new happousei touts the use of 100% barley and barley byproducts (minus the 0.5% hops) in its ingredient list. Let’s see what Asahi’s got up its sleeve.
Pouring this happousei into the glass, it starts off with a very light color that slowly builds up to the expected golden straw of your standard lager. Fragrance-wise, there’s not much to state; it smells beer-ish. On my first sip, there was lots of effervescence on the tip of the tongue, and consequently that is where the flavors of malt and slight bitterness were all concentrated. The finish was clean, a little hint of sweetness.
With Ichiban Mugi, Asahi has created a dry beer-like experience for the Super Dry drinker on a budget. For my palate I prefer a little more bitterness, and a longer finish. At the same time, I struggle to comprehend Asahi’s aim for this happousei, given its current 7 “new genre” offerings. In the end, while a decent happousei, there are plenty of others that I would turn to first. People in Japan, if you miss this one, you won’t be disappointed.