Baird Namakemono is an 11.4% American strong ale brewed as a colloboration between Baird Beer, based in Shizuoka, and Country Boy Brewing, based in Kentucky. It was brewed in May 2016 and reached the shores of Japan in June though it’s only on sale at Baird Beer Taprooms and some select bars, though those have to be pretty special as such little was shipped over. The beer was stored in aged rye whiskey barrels, with the Namakemono name roughly translating to “a lazy person” in English.
Baird Namakemono Aroma and Taste
The last beer of the night was almost a no-go but with McGuffin failing us for the second time in a row, having run out of draft beer, so off to the Bashamichi Taproom we went in search of a beer. And would you believe it, Baird Namakemono was on tap and at a reasonable price. 400ml cost ¥1,100 and that included tax as well.
Baird Namakemono poured out a pitch black colour though it appeared dark brown when held up to the light. It had an off-white, slightly tan-coloured head that didn’t last long. First complaint coming up is that Baird Namakemono was served too damn cold. It was so cold that you could easily knock it back without realising then suddenly falling down drunk. In fact, that was one the stories I heard from one of the bar staff as I drunk this beer a tad too quickly. Wait 10 minutes – perhaps order a different beer while you’re waiting for this to warm up as the aroma develops to something more complex. The whiskey aromatics – some spicy rye aromas with caramel, hints of vanilla, and chocolate came through too – when it had warmed up.
Likewise, if you drink Baird Namakemono, then you’ll bound to miss out on most of the flavours as I first did. It was disappointing when chilled, with the booze being undetectably dangerous. When you do, the whiskey flavours pound at your tastebuds, unrelenting from the first (warm) drop until the very end. It’s potent peppery rye tones will not be for everyone and will put a lot of people off though if you do manage to get through it all, it ends up being a warm beer. Then the booziness will hit you like a sledgehammer to the head. It finishes off with a long caramel and woody aftertaste that doesn’t give you a minutes peace.
Baird Namakemono The Bottom Line
Baird Namakemono is a mixed bag: I was disappointed with the flavours when it was served chilled though when it had warmed up, it was much nicer.