Japanese Name: キリン 一番搾り 若葉香るホップ
Release: Mar. 21, 2017
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Purchase Price: ￥223 @FamilyMart
Kirin’s 2017 spring limited is Wakaba Kaoru Hop. This all malt beer features Japanese Ibuki hops which are stated to have a refined floral green aroma, and are the same variety used in last years Toretate Hop release. Of note is the packaging, designed by art director Chie Morimoto and a poem on back penned by Shuntaro Tanikawa.
Pouring a straw color in the glass, Wakaba Kaoru Hop has tangy citrus hints on the nose. The first mouthful is very light at the start, but mid to back a sweet floral flavor comes through. It’s a very mellow full flavor that doesn’t really taste like a beer, almost like a smooth lemonade and is very citrusy throughout. The back end is not terribly bitter, but does finish with some tang.
Wakaba Kaoru Hop is an interesting beer and one that does not have a comparable flavor profile on the market. This is surprising, considering it is an all-malt beer. It has a smooth easy drinking fruitiness to it, which some drinkers may enjoy. I, on the other hand, prefer something with more of a fuller body and less fruit, so Wakaba Kaoru Hop just wasn’t up my alley.