Seven & i Gold (Kirin) | Maroyaka Ale

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Japanese Name: セブンゴールド まろやかエール<無濾過>
Brewer: Kirin
Release: Jun. 9, 2015
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Alcohol: 5%
Purchase Price: ¥228 (305mL) @7-eleven

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Tasting Notes:
For 7&i Holdings latest beer in its 7&i Gold line, they have teamed up with Kirin to brew Maroyaka Ale. In addition to select top fermenting yeast from Kirin’s vast collection, this beer was brewed with barley and wheat malt. Unfortunately, the hop selection remains unknown.

Maroyaka Ale has an opaque golden hue in the glass. On the nose is a buttery, earthy aroma from the hops. The first gulp has tons of flavor, a spicy mix of cinnamon and clove, and an orange peel like fruitiness. The tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth is coated in a smooth silkiness. Mid-to-back, the flavors dissipate quite rapidly not leaving much on the back end but hints of bitterness and a fruity cider-like aftertaste.

Sans the effervescence, Maroyaka Ale would best be compared to a mulled wine. It has a ton of flavor from various spices that come through. While this ale might appeal to a certain population here in Japan, it was not one that I particularly enjoyed. However, if you’re looking for a beer with an adventurous taste, Maroyaka Ale is right up your alley.

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6 Responses to Seven & i Gold (Kirin) | Maroyaka Ale

  1. Tavis says:

    What do you prefer then? I ask because I often think about cultures and the flavors/tastes they prefer. I mainly drink bourbon, and certainly the Japanese like all kinds of whisk(e)y, but what sells best here isn’t usually what I’d prefer.

    In regards to beer, happoshu, and the like, despite the welcome addition of craft and “craft” brews, the overall flavor spectrum is (still) narrow. I try many offerings, but when I splurge a bit on, for example, an Anchor Steam, I still feel most Japanese breweries aren’t there yet.

    • DM says:

      >>Tavis, first of all thanks for reading the blog, and thank you very much for your comment.

      The thing about Maroyaka Ale that I felt was lacking was a fuller backend. I would like to see the flavors carry across the palate and down the throat, leaving more bitterness. Maroyaka Ale in many ways was comparable to Sapporo’s Shifuku no Brown Ale, released last year, however it didn’t get the finish down like Shifuku did.

      If you read my past posts, I do admit that I probably have a bias towards Sapporo’s beers, but I really feel that they get that well-rounded front to back “beer” flavor in all their limited releases, and that’s what I really look for in a Japanese brew.

      I absolutely agree with you that the Japanese flavor spectrum is narrow, but the tastes of the Japanese are slowly changing… it’s just baby steps, but with the explosion of craft brewers, things will change eventually. Personally, I’ll probably just stick with the Big Four most of the time 😉

      • Tavis says:

        My pleasure. I often feel “bad” for reading review sites that interest me, and then leaving without contributing. Reviewers put time into their posts, so why shouldn’t the reader give something back.

        I’ve searched a bit into your previous posts, but not deep enough to pick up on the Sapporo preference. It’s been a while since my last Sapporo, as I seldom drink beer, so I’ll have one the next time. I tend to drink beers with only malt and hops, maybe mistakenly thinking they will be “better” than adjunct beers, such as Asahi and Sapporo.

        Down here in Kagoshima, sweet potatoes, and therefore shochu, rule the roost. There is a brewery http://www.satsuma.co.jp/english/con-shouhin-ichiran-craftbeer.html that does sweet potato beer. At ¥540, I’ve yet to succumb to the urge to try one.

  2. DM says:

    I’m a fan of all types of alcohol, from wine to bourbon to vodka and gin. However, I’ve never really gotten into shochu and I know there are some really tasty ones out there. I’ve tried some aged shochus that were wonderful, never an imo-jochu from Kagoshima though… I’m sure they’re wonderful. I wouldn’t mind hearing about your recommendations for bourbon and Japanese whisky, though. I’m partial to Woodford Reserve for my bourbon and keep a bottle of Yamazaki, 12yr on hand. Cheers!

    • Tavis says:

      There’s a liquor shop here that is surprisingly well-stocked with all manner of alcohol, whisk(e)y in particular, but no Woodford Reserve. I recently finished off a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel. I generally go for higher proof offerings, and this doesn’t disappoint. There is a lot going on with this one. That said, not all of the more potent stuff passes muster. Booker’s (Jim Beam) is fairly one-note. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is good, but not much better than 101. It isn’t worth the premium. If memory serves correct, Old Grand Dad 114 has too much kick, and not enough flavor.

      Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch is quite the mouthful, both in labeling and taste. It’s more than a great value for the money. I’ll likely go back to this next.

      Imo shochu–I don’t get it. Most of what I’ve had is subtle, and very similar to well, any other imo shochu. I don’t dislike it, but it seems to me best with food, and not as a standalone drink.

      Kokuto, liquor distilled from sugar cane, is worth a try. The 3-7 year-old bottles such as Captain Kidd and Sato no Akebono, which comes in a striking black glass bottle, are quite good. It’s similar to rum, yet has its own flavor.

  3. rodel says:

    would you say this has got kind of a Belgiumy thing going on? I’m just getting started with the Japanese beers myself and only have one more month here, but for the good of all I will consume as many different beers as I can here !! I have just tried Kirin’s “Aroma” and “kiwi IPA” and am very very pleased with them, Kirin is doing great things for macrobreweries!! I will for sure do a good write up on them soon. I currently have a descent write up for Okinawa Brewing Company’s Beni-imp ale (yes, sweet potato !!) and not very creatively named “American IPA” here at :http://www.rhizomecomic.com/okinawa-brewing-company-american-ipa-and-beni-imo-ale/

    But aside from the American run companys in Japan such as Okinawa Brewing and Baird of Tokyo I think, it is hard to find something as rudely flavorful as what i’m used to in America. But they do exist !! such as the Aooni IPA and it does seem that many Japanese breweries put out some dope hefeweizens, which I’m not into but I enjoy them for amusemeant, plus the last one had a cool cat painting on it.

    Your webpage is awesome, I’m new to webpages but i see you use wordpress too, I don’t know how following other wordpressers work, but I guess I’ll just bookmark for now and check often since you seem to be quite the update beast.

    By the way Woodford is awesome!! Nikka From the Barrel is my favorite whisky here and almost tastes like it has the soul of bourbon but the pretty face of Japanese whisky.

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