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Kizakura Lucky Cat by Kizakura Brewery

Kizakura Lucky Cat

Kizakura Lucky Cat is a 5% White Ale from Kizakura Brewery. It’s made with yuzu (citron) and sansho, which is a species of Sichuan pepper. Sansho has a pungent, tangy flavour and is usually used as a condiment for pork dishes. The combination of yuzu and sansho is many Japanese brewers’ version of the usual white ale ingredients- orange peel and coriander seeds. I might start calling white ales made with yuzu and sansho “Japanese White Ales”. New style!

Kizakura Lucky Cat (and its navy-blue brother Kizakura Lucky Dog, with the review coming up in two days) popped up in my local offie (that’s British for liquor store – we also call them “Takey-Homey Drink Wardrobes”) recently, to much puzzlement and scratching of body parts. They were in the craft beer section, but also among the Macro beers, so I thought they could possibly be some seasonal tomfuckery by Asahi. Rob was also flummoxed, unusually.

So in the spirit of adventure I pulled my socks up, took the plunge and bit the bullet. I bravely picked up the can and powerfully turned it round to see that it was from Kizakura. Then I bought the beers. The end.

Don’t mention that other Lucky Cat.

Kizakura Lucky Cat Aroma and Taste

Post credits sequence! No Sam Jackson in an eyepatch here, though. I am in my kitchen. Kizakura Lucky Cat pours out a slightly hazy straw colour with a bright-white minimal head. The nose is wheaty, with a juicy, fresh fruit tang to it. The yuzu gives it a sour and acidic edge as well, which troublingly reminded me of the taste of bile rising in your throat just before you vomit. Not a good start, Lucky Cat.

Know what Kizakura Lucky Cat tastes like? It’s a little bready, quite hop-bitter and dry, with an ever-so-slight spiciness in the aftertaste. The main flavour is of the fruit, but not overwhelmingly so.

Notice I said “fruit” rather than “yuzu” there. Yuzu has a very distinctive flavour, which I have come intimately acquainted with after I discovered that Yo-Ho Brewing had made a second batch of their goddamn delicious Yuzu Salt session ale. I’m on my second case of it. So if there’s anyone who can tell you what yuzu and beer tastes like, it’s this guy with the thumbs here.

Kizakura Lucky Cat tastes not of yuzu, but of a sweeter and more meaty fruit like an apricot. It’s an oddity and could be attributed to the beer being unfiltered. As it approaches room temperature (which in mid-July is currently 34 degrees, yeesh), though, the acidic citrus does begin to cut through, as too does the pungent spice of the sansho.

Kizakura Lucky Cat The Bottom Line

Kizakura Lucky Cat is a nice, juicy Japanese White Ale (trying to get that style name off the ground). If you can get past the chunderous aroma. Maybe let it air?

Where to Buy Kizakura Lucky Cat

Kizakura Lucky Cat can be bought online at the following places:

About the Author

Joe Robson

Pompous elitist and occasional beard owner Joe lives in Kanagawa, Japan. He enjoys a nice stout, a book and a good bowl of ramen. He never carries more than 10000yen in cash and always washes his hands.

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Comments 2

  1. they might have used the flesh of the fruit, giving rise to that bile inducing image. just the peel and perhaps the juice, guys. alos drop that yeast out, another factor that can give that kind of flavor, wit yeast being not so flocculant (no thats not dirty fucking word) and all. a bit of sulphur and a coatig of yeast mixed wiht exotic fruit can make anyone wretch.
    I love yuzu ales, I think yuzu goes well in a weizen, wit, pale ale, even a stout.
    Japan is a great country for fruit and perhaps Hideji does it better than anyone.
    Kinkan lager for the win!

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