Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ao Oni (Blue Demon)

I'm sitting here, having what is in my mind a delicious beer (but apparently not according to the users on BeerAdvocate), but perhaps my tastes have been tainted by the lackluster Japanese market.

The beer is unfiltered and has a full bodied taste unlike many other beers on the Japanese market. The nose is malty with some hints of citrus (but mostly malts). Once it hits your tongue its still pretty malty (as far as west coast IPAs go) but has a good amount of hops to balance it out. I would comment on the mouth feel, but no one cares.

Apparently the owner of this brewery worked at Stone Brewery for three years, which means this beer is very bitter by Japanese standards. Importantly, this actually tastes like an American beer and is not as light and "empty" as many other Japanese beers I've had. Even the very hoppy beers I've had that are trying to copy the West Coast IPA style seem to go just for insane bitterness and forget that there are other tastes that one might like to find in a beer to balance the tastes.

I only bought one can of this (for 410 yen which is more than it goes for in America) but I think I'll be buying some more in the near future.

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