Japanese Name: アサヒスーパードライ ドライプレミアム 香りの琥珀
Release: Nov. 5, 2014
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Purchase Price: ￥224 @Aeon
Asahi’s newest edition to the Premium Dry line was Kaori no Kohaku (The Aroma of Amber), first released in November last year in special Oseibo gift packs. Since I was not about to purchase a gift pack for myself, I never imagined I’d be able to sample this beer until one evening perusing the beer aisle of my local Aeon. They had broken apart a gift pack and were selling the cans individually. Unusual for a premium beer, Kaori no Kohaku is not all malt and is brewed with the standard Asahi ingredients (rice lager) with the exception of the use of seven types of select hops and rye malt extract. The packaging is quite striking in gold and purple, displaying Japanese cranes on the back. I’ve got high hopes for this one, so I hope Kaori no Kohaku does not disappoint.
Kaori no Kohaku pours a dark brownish hue and forms a decent head which dissipates quickly. Roasted malt and mellow hops are in the first gulp. The flavor is quite light given the color, perhaps toned down per Super Dry standards. A rich bitterness lingers gulp to gulp ever present throughout the course of the glass. There’s slight burnt coffee-like bitterness in the background.
Speaking of coffee, those of you who have had a properly roasted, hand ground cup might notice that within the bitterness there lies some sweetness and creaminess, a balance of flavors. Well, with Kaori no Kohaku this balance is just not there. The bitterness from the hops is just a little bit much with the dryness that Asahi is famous for. In the end, I have to judge this one harshly given its price point and exclusivity. There are much more appealing brews on the market right now.