Altbiers are not that popular in Japan, with our last review of an altbier being the Karuizawa Asuma Kougen Alt, but let’s not use that as a yardstick. Tazawako Alt is an award-winning altbier from Tazawako Beer in Akita, Japan. It has won awards from Europe to Japan and around the world over, with the last count being at twelve awards in 2015. Tazawako Alt has an abv of 5% and comes both in bottles as well as on draft, though the latter is harder to find outside of Akita it seems.
Tazawako Alt Aroma and Taste
The first thing I noticed about Tazawako Alt is the clear, deep reddish brown colour of the body, perhaps the darkest I’ve had for a while. The head contrasted nicely with a brownish tinge to it along with a thickness to it that was unusual instead of an expected frothiness to it that never came. The hops came through but it was the caramel sweetness from the malt that was most prominent in the whole mix, followed up a richness that reminded me of Christmas cake.
Tazawako Alt followed up this up in the body and I could easily imagine having this beer with some smoked sausage or salami. The bitterness was also a welcome addition though it didn’t last long. It wasn’t a heavily carbonated beer so the malts couldn’t quite punch through the bitter hops.
Tazawako Alt One Line Review
I would really recommend serving Tazawako Alt warm or at least cellar temperature and not fridge cold as you would be doing a disservice to the aromas and taste that come through.