Hakkaisan Izumi Porter is a 5% English porter from Hakkaisan Izumi Beer, based in Niigata, Japan. It’s part of their winter seasonal range of beer and can be found in both bottles and on tap across Japan. It’s brewed using imported English pale malt, along with four different dark roasted malts, most likely chosen from chocolate, roasted barley, black malt, and black wheat.
Hakkaisan Izumi Porter Aroma and Taste
I have to admit, the only times I’ve seen Hakkaisan Izumi Porter is when I’ve been snowboarding in Niigata and found this at Echigo Yuzawa station. It was only on a shopping trip that I found an alcohol store that had bottles of this in stock. An instant purchase due to the fond memories I have of this beer, and sitting down with some yakitori waiting for the shinkansen to arrive. In those days, I was rather uncouth and would swig it straight from the bottle as I never realised the store (Ponshukan) sold plastic cups.
Hakkaisan Izumi Porter poured out a dark brown, almost black colour, with a surprisingly frothy white head on top. I say surprisingly as I’ve found stouts and porters in the past to have a tan head. Most surprising. The head also lingered for quite a long time, before fading to about a quarter of the size of its original volume. It had an aroma of chocolate and coffee, with hints of acrid black malts giving it a nutty aroma too. A fair straight-forward porter really, not veering too much from the tried and tested path.
I like my stouts and porter thick so that they can carry the, often, bold flavours the black malts give them. Unfortunately, Hakkaisan Izumi Porter was too thin and dry to support all the flavours going on, and as such, the flavours faded fast from the palette. They weren’t bad flavours by any means – chocolate and coffee, mixed in with a little bitterness, but the only aftertaste that was left was a hint of acrid black malt.
Hakkaisan Izumi Porter The Bottom Line
My hazy snowboarding memories had obviously got the better of me – Hakkaisan Izumi Porter just pales in comparison to other porters out there. A shame.
Where to Buy Hakkaisan Izumi Porter
Hakkaisan Izumi Porter can be bought online at the following places:
Hakkaisan Izumi have also got a list of shops where you can buy it.