Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale is a 5% spiced beer from Iwate Kura, based in Iwate, Japan. It’s part of their Autumn seasonal lineup, and can be found in both bottles and on tap when on sale. Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale was originally made using imported American pumpkins; however, since 2016, Iwate Kura have been using kabocha, which is often translated into Japanese pumpkin and is also far sweeter than the usual bright orange American imports. All of the kabochas are sourced from the local Nambu Ichiro farms in the Iwate area.
Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale Aroma and Taste
“I hate pumpkin beers”.
Now before you jump on me and start swearing about how they are the best kind of beer since the latest fad let me explain. I’m from the UK and pumpkin just isn’t a big deal for me – even less so in beers. On numerous occasions when I’ve turned my nose up at pumpkin beers, both from Japan and the US, I’ve had my sanity, taste in beer, and intelligence questioned. Most, if not all, have reminded me of some turgid invention that could be found at Starbucks – gloopy, overly sweet, and too spiced up for my liking.
Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale was different from the get go – it poured out a light golden straw colour that resembled the picture of the pumpkin on the label. And it didn’t reek of sugar and spice and all things nice. There was the typical Japanese pumpkin sweetness to it that you’d recognise straight away but the spices were far more subdued with only a faint hint of cinnamon in there. It was actually a decent smelling beer – though the malts were just about present in the aroma with a hint of caramel coming through.
Drinking Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale felt like a pale ale that had been stuck with some pumpkin in the fermenters. A very smooth tinge of pumpkin came through which brought some nutty sweetness to it, that was balanced with a slight bitterness. The taste didn’t develop anymore than the pumpkin and a slight cinnamon kick to it, making Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale an easy drinking beer, before leaving a creamy sweet aftertaste on the tongue.
Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale The Bottom Line
Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale isn’t going to get you craving pumpkin beers – heck, one was enough for me – but if someone bought this for me, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down as it’s perhaps one of the best of a style of beer that I don’t care for.
Where to Buy Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale
Iwate Kura Pumpkin Ale can be bought online at the following places: