Japanese Name: サントリ 新「ザ・プレミアム・モルツ」
Release: Mar. 13, 2012
Type: Japanese Beer
Purchase Price: ￥238 @Sankus
Sadly, I was not expecting Suntory to revamp its flagship The Premium Malt’s beer, and never did a review of the original version. I did drink it on occasion, but was never a true fan of The Premium Malt’s, finding it to have a very sharp bitterness that was not offset by any pleasant flavors. In short, I could only drink a can or two before having to switch to something else. In March 2012, Suntory released a new version of The Premium Malt’s line, which can be found on the store shelves now. Perhaps the biggest change is the new label of “Pilsner Beer.” For this new version of The Premium Malt’s, Suntory has chosen to use European Aroma Hops (Saaz) from Czech and Germany and Diamond Malt grown in Czech and surrounding areas. Let’s see if Suntory’s New The Premium Malt’s can find a permanent spot in my refrigerator.
In the glass, it’s the usual pale straw, nothing different there. The nose shows off the malt and hops. I took a big gulp, and to my surprise they’ve really toned down the unpleasant bitterness. It still has the bitterness you come to appreciate in a Japanese lager, but in a much more palatable level compared to the former The Premium Malt’s. The first gulp had some tanginess, and a nice full flavor that lingers well after downing that first gulp; those aroma hops must also bring in a little citrus flavor to the table. A pleasant effervescence also lingered on the tongue.
After the daily dose of new genre offerings, it’s a great feeling to gulp down a truly Japanese beer. I must say that Suntory The Premium Malt’s has improved on its formula, and has created a premium beer that I would be happy to stock in my refrigerator given the means were available. Alas, I cannot afford such luxuries, but will definitely look forward to seeing the Suntory The Premium Malt’s label on restaurant menus in the future.