We all have our favourite styles of beer that we can always rely on.
You know, the old standards for when you’re standing in the beer section of Seijo Ishii or Minemart with a rapidly warming bottle of Brewdog Cocoa Psycho in one hand (900 yen a pop) and 5 cans of chuhai in the other (total price: 900 yen) and your significant other is telling you to get a move on and you think briefly of mentioning the 45 minutes you waited the last time you went clothes shopping with them then decide against it and chuck them all back and grab some Aooni instead.
Most of you, like me, head to the IPA or stout end of the spectrum for our go-to beers. Occasionally, though, through no fault of our own (usually souvenir-wielding coworkers and family members are to blame), we will end up with something outside our wheelhouse. Sometimes it’ll be bad, and sometimes so bad it’ll make even the people who like it angry. Most of the time it’s an inoffensive brew of a style of beer that you wouldn’t otherwise have drunk.
Case in point: I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly drunk a helles. There’s one here, though, and I can’t remember how I came to be in possession of it. Anyway, here I go! Nagisa Heaven is a 5% summer seasonal.
Nagisa Heaven Aroma and Taste
Nagisa Heaven pours out with – quoting directly from my notes here – a “fucking bonkers joke-beer head”. Look at the bloody picture if you don’t believe me. Now, I know this is a terrible faux pas on my part (call yourself a beer reviewer, Robson? You’re not even using your regulation pewter tankard!), but I did a modicum of research and found out that these giant heads of foam have a more practical origin besides allowing the aroma to waft around and irritating the crumpets off Rob’s sense of Britishness.
You see, at the bottom of this bottle was – from the notes again – “a big load of dirty crap”. Not very appealing. Helleseses were therefore designed to have a big fluffy head to hide this gunk from the drinker. It’s also the reason why it was served in ceramic tankards, so you can’t see inside. Sneaky. When you’re pouring it yourself, though, just stop pouring once you get down to the “dirty swamp” region of the beer.
Regular readers (or should I say readers who remember back in the mists of time when I wrote my last article) will remember that “old-world” beers do not agree with me on the best of days. So I was a bit wary of drinking this, ignorant of the arcane Purity Laws governing the recipe that means it can only be brewed underneath a cow on the first Tuesday before the schnitzel herds come home (or something like that), resulting in some, ahem, well, let’s just say that the old ways aren’t always the best (Also you’d think the Germans of all people would be the first to rename something called the “purity law”. Yeesh).
I also found in my research that Helleseseseses are apparently less hop-bitter than pilsners and lean more towards the malt sweetness. They’re right about that, this beer is all about the malt. It’s grainier than a VHS copy of the Star Wars Christmas Special. Fortunately there were no fart smells this time (unlike the grainy and trouser-trumpet-tastic Yorimichi). The aftertaste is dry and malty.
Nagisa Heaven is quite refreshing (I drank this in summer, it was 8pm and 28 degrees in my kitchen as I wrote my notes). I don’t know though, it’s really not inspiring me to write an epic love poem (or change my profile picture to an anime character and send the brewer death threats on Twitter).
Nagisa Heaven The Bottom Line
If you like the style, you’ll like this one, I suppose. It’s just not very imaginative. Just like that recommendation I gave.
Where to Buy Nagisa Heaven
Nagisa Heaven can be bought online at the following places: