Japanese Name: サントリー クラフトセレクト スペシャルビター
Release: Jul. 21, 2015
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Purchase Price: ￥257 @Circle K
Suntory’s third release from its Craft Select series is Special Bitter. This all malt ale features North American Bitter Hops for, you guessed it, bitterness as well as Citra Hops for their citrus notes. If this English style ale is comparable to the previous Pale Ale, it should be tasty.
Special Bitter pours out a deep burnt orange. The fruitiness of the hops really stands out and is reminiscent of the microbrews back home. Strong bitterness hits you on the front end, crosses tongue then downs the throat, making the first gulp pure joy. As you breath out, the fruitiness from the hops show their stuff. The bitterness sticks around on the finish as well, which is also where the bready-yeasty accents come through.
The flavors in Suntory’s Special Bitter really say, “This is Beer!” It’s rare that one would encounter a beer like this on the Japanese mass market. Fruity hops up front and a strong bitterness throughout make this beer outstanding, while its dry finish make it a beer that I could drink all night.