Smoked beer, such as Inawashiro Rauch, are not a well-known style of beer in Japan, with Fujizakura Heights Rauch being the best of a small bunch so far, with that bunch totalling one. Inawashiro Rauch has been part of the Inawashiro Ji-Beer range since 1997 and is brewed using beech tips in smoking the malt. It is brewed all year round and it has been seen on tap at various bars but can also be bought in bottles. (Note: even though this beer says best before 6th April, it was drunk before then)
Inawashiro Rauch Aroma and Taste
Inawashiro Rauch poured out a dark reddish-brown colour with a fair amount of hard though it did not last very long before breaking down into a thin layer around the edge of the glass. It is hard not to comment on the strong smoky aroma as it is so strong and it gradually works its way up towards your nose and dominates over it. The malt aroma followed soon after but had a hard time in trying to beat that smoke aroma. With a strong smoky sweet smell, Inawashiro Rauch is already at odds with most people’s idea of what a beer should smell like. Those readers coming off a pilsner will find Inawashiro Rauch’s initial punch to be offensive and hard going.
However, the body of Inawashiro Rauch lets the beer down after such a strong introduction. The smoky malts are still present with a fair bit of bite to them along with the caramel taste that provides a subtle edge of sweetness to take some of the smoke off though the body feels thin. With such bold flavours, I expected a thick, heavy body to be present but Inawashiro Rauch had the texture of a flavoured lager. A thin aftertaste to Inawashiro Rauch of caramel also felt lacklustre without much punch going on.
Inawashiro Rauch One Line Review
Inawashiro Rauch starts off well but lacks stamina. Go for the Fujizakura Heights Rauch instead.