Forgive my naïveté, but I’ve seldom heard of much in the way of stouts from Japan, so when I happened upon this, I had to give it a try. Ise Kadoya Stout is an English-style stout with an ABV of 5% and an out-of-control head that just won’t quit.
It pours a deep, dark brown—near black, but not quite— with that billowing, creamy, tan-colored head I mentioned above. Its aroma was of fresh, roasted coffee. If someone had wafted this under my nose in the morning, I would’ve mistaken it for a fresh pot, no lie. There was also a tiny touch of chocolate at the end of each sip.
The hint of sweetness I noticed in the aroma is not present at all in the flavor. This stout is straight-up bitter, roasty coffee, but not bitter in an undrinkable way, just in an English-style stout sort of way, if you catch my drift. The brew isn’t as creamy as I expected from the pour either; rather, it’s medium-light with a fair amount of medium-bubbled, tingly carbonation. Easy to down, this would make a pretty good session beer. The bitterness and carbonation keep it refreshing and its moderate ABV keeps you from feeling too much too quickly.
Jay noted that it’s well blended and tastes good, but it’s pretty much a general example of an English stout, and I have to agree; nothing distinguishable about Ise Kadoya, in regards to other stouts. However, for only having been brewed with 3 ingredients, those being water, barley malt and hops, it IS quite delicious in its simplicity.
All in all, I wouldn’t go off searching for this in faraway lands, but I wouldn’t turn it down if offered to me.
[techtags:STOUTS, JAPANESE STOUT, ISE KADOYA, BEER REVIEWS]