Karuizawa Kogen ESB (2017) is a 5.5% American style ESB, also known as an extra special bitter, from Yo-Ho Brewing. It’s part of the Karuizawa Kogen seasonal range though it has seen repeated releases over the last 10 – 15 years. It’s brewed using American hops to impart a stronger bitterness and citrus flavour than is usually found in the typical English style of ESBs.
Karuizawa Kogen ESB (2017) Aroma and Taste
Karuizawa Kogen ESB pours out a transparent deep amber colour with a fluffy white head on top that faded fast. From the aroma alone, it’s obvious that Karuizawa Kogen ESB is not your usual English-style ESB as the massive citrus aromas of lemon and grapefruit came through, and it lacked the typical earthy aroma from your usual ESB. There were hints of caramel coming through but were muted compared to the hops.
The hoppy bitterness was more pronounced, perhaps due to the lemon flavours inducing a slight tartness to the beer. Karuizawa Kogen ESB had some caramel-like flavours coming through but the American influence on it was far too obvious – whack in some hops and make it more bitter. Nothing spectacular in the aftertaste either with the lingering bitterness fading slowly.
Karuizawa Kogen ESB (2017) The Bottom Line
Some beer styles don’t need changing – and ESBs are that style. Just a hopped ESB really.
Where to Buy Karuizawa Kogen ESB (2017)
Karuizawa Kogen ESB can be bought online at the following places: