This year’s edition of the Shiga Kogen Snow Monkey IPA is a 5.5% NE IPA – who’d have thought it – from Tamamura Honten. They bring out a different version each year so it seems they buckled to the common call. It’s brewed using oats and spelt though what hops are used in this iteration are unknown.
I’ll get this out of the way – I did not know this was a NE IPA before buying it. I was in Kyoto for the BTinKyoto trip and came across it in Yamaoka Saketen and picked up a few bottles. When it poured out this hazy turbid brown colour, I was not impressed. I honestly thought I had bought a bad batch, especially with the bits of yeast floating around too. It had a strong orange, mango, and pineapple aroma, with some sweetness coming off of it, but nothing besides fruit juice stood out.
NE IPA – let’s be honest – they’re just bottles of orange juice with bits and some alcohol thrown in. A more “lad friendly” version of some vodka orange juice really. It’s a fad that I hope passes quickly and people can drink something maltier. Shiga Kogen Snow Monkey IPA (2018) just tastes like that – lots of mango, orange, pineapple, with a smidgen of wheat thrown in there too for good measure. There was an inkling of bitterness to it but not enough to compensate for the sweetness.
Shiga Kogen Snow Monkey IPA (2018) The Bottom Line
If you like NE IPA then you’ll like this. Otherwise it won’t convince anyone that NE IPA is a worthy style.
Where to Buy Shiga Kogen Snow Monkey IPA (2018)
Shiga Kogen Snow Monkey IPA (2018) can be bought online at the following places