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Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
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Review by SAP on 01/10/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
60 3 7 11 4 5 2008
According to the can, a "New Zealand hop is included", does that mean there is a hop bud in my can, I am a bit skeptical, but hopefully pop the tab anyway. Alas, there is no hop bud to be seen. The beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that is just able to leave some lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, dark gold color that shows a bright, pale gold color when held up to the light. The aroma smells like a macro lager that is a bit heavy on the adjunct side; this has a heavy grain-like scent, though as is expected the grain character is washed out, it is just the most noticeable part of the aroma. A kiss of sweet grain and a touch of spicy hop character adds a touch of something else, but really doesn't intrude enough.

Lightly sweet up front, the beer is a bit crisp in the middle (though it could use more of a hop bite) and it finishes dry at first, but then with a grassy grain, light sweetness. This has me flashing back to the high school days when the cheapest light beer was a major score. I wasn't particularly interested in the beer then, and I don't find this particularly interesting now. I can't even say I am in this for the cheap buzz. The carbonation helps to provide some bite, which helps cover for the lacking hop character and balance the sweet grain notes just a bit. While the sweet grain is noticeable, it is more for lack of other flavors as this beer is pretty dry over all. The body of this beer is almost non-existent, which is not a bad thing as it makes this something that would be easy refreshment on a hot day if water was not available. This does seem to have a bit more adjunct / graininess to it than your typical macro-lager, and this in fact becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up. Despite being named sparkling hop, this only has a touch of a light bitterness and perhaps a wisp of some spiciness to it.

Not bad, mostly inoffensive, which is likely what the brewery was going for. This is nice and clean, and if you don't mind graininess this doesn't have any flaws. Too bad there wasn't really a "New Zealand Hop Included" in the can, that would have been pretty cool. Perhaps they meant they used one New Zealand hop in the entire batch of this beer, you be the judge.

Served In: Tulip

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