Never heard of haskap? You’re not the only person, but North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde is brewed with “lots of haskap” according to NorthIslandDan (@northislanddan on Twitter). North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde is a collaboration beer between North Island Beer and those brewing gypsies from Denmark, Mikkeller. After much research, we found out that haskap is a kind of berry that looks similar to a blueberry, and is blueish-purple in color, but is far more sour. As a result, this beer is a 6.6% fruit beer that has also been brewed with Belgian yeast. And I had to try two bottles.
North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde Aroma and Taste
I’ll be honest. The first bottle I had of North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde I hated. I complained about it to Joe about the weird sourness, the bitter pungency that burnt my nostrils, and the lack of beerness to it. I was determined to hate this beer and write the most negative review I have ever done in my life but I thought it deserved a second chance. So off I traipsed, back to Le Collier to get another bottle to make sure that I could write a fair review of North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde.
Fruit beers and me just don’t get one. Fruit and wine is fine, a la sangria. Fruit and liquor, some Pimms in the park. But fruit and beer. North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde poured out a deep purple with a purplish head that was frothy and tasted like mashed up blueberries that had gone sorry. (I’ve never had a haskap in my life and am still trying to find some to eat). The aroma was pretty sour with the jelly like aroma chasing after a tartness that smelt like fermenting grapes.
North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde’s tartness on the first time around really put me off as sour beers are not ones that are popular, or even close to being well-known in Japan. Even though this is a fruit beer, the tartness of those haskap berries can not be ignored and this beer is simply not for everyone. The fruit taste was powerful with the tartness that will make your face screw up and pucker your lips. It’s not lip-smacking delicious, but it could be if you like these kinds of beers. North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde was sour all the way through to the end and didn’t let up.
North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde One Line Review
North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde is a true Marmite / Vegemite beer. You’ll love it or hate it. But it’s unique and North Island Beer should be commended for trying something new.
Where to Buy North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde
North Island / Mikkeller Haskap Blonde can be bought from Liquors Hasegawa in Yaesu or Le Collier in Tokyo station.