Japanese Name: サントリー ザ・プレミアム・モルツ “初摘みホップ” ヌーヴォー
Release: Nov. 17, 2015
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Purchase Price: ￥232 @Aeon
Starting with Suntory’s famed spring water, Diamond malt, and ending with freshly harvested Saaz Fine Aroma hops, the ingredient list is short and sweet with Hatsu Tsumami Hop Nouveau. This beer is in its second season of production, so I think we may have a trend going on at Suntory. Last year’s release was just average, but with some nouveau naming let’s see how this Japanese beer stacks up.
This premium beer pours with a fresh hoppy fragrance in addition to its malty richness. It’s very thick and bitter right up front, with the bitterness slowly giving way to the deep malt flavors layered underneath. That hoppy bitterness comes back on the back end with a nice cut-grass like freshness.
Hatsu Tsumami Hop Nouveau is really different from anything I’ve had recently. Its depth and bitterness are truly pronounced and are bolder than any beer in recent memory. This beer is a stand out among the Japanese store-shelf offerings for its power and grace… a beer that drinks like a wine.