Hakusekikan Beer’s Tennenhachimitsukoubou Shizen Bakushu. Whew. Wild yeast from Kyushu Honey is used in this one. I’ve had their Shizen Bakushu previously and was looking forward to this one. Smoke and honey, I originally thought it was a straightforward ale with maybe some honey from the yeast, upon further inspection I’m picking up all this smoke, not what I was expecting but I dig it. The smoke adds a little more depth and range in the aroma I can really get into. What looks like a nearly flat witbier actually has nice carbonation, just not much of a head. The spices and banana become more apparent as it warms, so does the sweet yeast…all of which begin to over power the smoke. A touch of honey and some weizen notes round out the aroma. Body is a tad thin, but it’s not distracting and makes for an easy drinking beer. The flavor is where the whole thing get a bit odd. No smoke at all (a little disappointing), the spices mix well as does the light banana/fruity notes. Yeast becomes a player as you go. A bit of honey sweetness is detectable, but not strong. The hops show their presence in the finish and they want to bite you, I can tell. But this little guy doesn’t have any teeth. Interesting beer to say the least; I can’t imagine having more than one t a time, but I’d come back to this one.
Toned down compared to the original Shizen Bakushu. Not as spicy, no tartness to speak of, and less complex overall. Regardless this is another great output from Hakusekikan.
On the web: Hakusekikan Beer