Beer Is Good – Hokkaido Beer Pirkawakka Stout

pirka_stout_frontpirka_stout_colorThis Stout from Hokkaido Beer Pirkawakka brewery in Chitose, South of Sapporo, is a thickly rich example of the variety. The aroma is mildly hoppy, and the flavor malty, with an almost chewy mouthfeel. Since Guinness is the base standard by which other stouts are often judged, let me compare the two. Being in a non-widgeted can, this stout is slightly carbonated so it can form a head, not unlike the Guinness Original Extra Stout. Similarly, there is the associated bitter, dryness from the carbonation, and less of the creaminess of the nitrogen enriched Guinness Draught. When poured, it forms a 15mm head, but beyond that, there is no “bubbling” from the light carbonation. The color is almost opaque dark chocolate. The chosen hops are more bitter than flowery, so like Guinness, the dark roasted malt flavor takes the forefront. The initial taste is smoky, with a malty middle with a bitter back-throat undertone, with a unbelievably smooth, sweeter malty finish. The taste is generally more bitter when cold, and more sweet as the temperature rises. Insofar as Japanese Stouts go, this is the best I’ve experienced, although this is a more uncommon variety amongst Japanese brewers. Compared to the most recent example that I tried, Kirin Stout, this one is significantly better. I would rank this one closer to the Irish Beamish, Guinness, or Murphy’s counterparts. This is a delicious, well-balanced stout. After this and the Pirkawakka Pilsner, I have become thoroughly impressed by Pirkawakka brewery!

5% ABV

Not available outside the JDM

Highly recommended

Four out of four drunken monkeys


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