Saturday, March 23, 2013
Aooni - Yo-Ho Brewing (Japan - Nagano) 7.0%
A crystal clear rusty orange colour in a glass with a big frothy head with good resilience and it comes in an extremely cool can. A very light hops aroma of resin and cedar.
Quite bitter, a touch metallic, and the alcohol also comes through quite clearly. There really isn't as much in the way of a hops character as I expected; mostly just bitterness and some cedar. The malt dimension is also fairly muted, toasty and somewhat sweet but mostly unremarkable.
This beer is a little bit of a let down. It's not a bad beer by any means but it doesn't have much depth of flavour beyond bitterness with a touch of toasty malt. It is possible that the beer is old and that the flavour has faded but Aooni tastes like it was designed this way; it is not unbalanced and doesn't have any off-flavours. Also, and most importantly, the timing doesn't make sense for it to be too old: it was purchased three weeks ago from a store in Japan and then hand carried to Canada by my fiancee. So I guess it is just a bitter, high-alcohol beer with an otherwise relatively tame flavour, definitely more English IPA than American IPA. However, considering the high-alcohol content, Aooni is very drinkable for a beer this strong.