Sansho is fast becoming a popular adjunct in Japanese beers and with Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho, Sekinoichi Shuzo have produced an spring seasonal spiced herb beer. It’s a 5% beer that is made with locally sourced sansho, known as mountain pepper, locally sourced from Ichinoseki. Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho is on sale from mid February and has a long shelf life so it should be around still at the time of writing. It also won Asia’s Best Stong Wheat Beer in 2014….less said about that the better.
Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho Aroma and Taste
The last time I had a sansho-inspired beer was at a Minoh takeover event at Gold’n Bub in Tsujido. It was peculiar yet intriguing with hints of spicy pepper punctuating the hoppiness of the Minoh W-IPA. It was good but the peppery spice was dulled out by the malts and hops of the W-IPA.
With Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho, Sekinoichi Shuzo have produced a beer that is very much geared towards the sansho-side of the beer. It poured out a deep deep reddish brown colour with a reddish-white head on top. Get your nose in there though and the sansho immediately hits you with a spicy, citrus kick rounded off with some herbs.
The level of sanshoness is only really apparent when you start drinking Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho as the flavour reminded me of fresh ginger beer, the stuff that’s warming and spicy. Along with a bitter, creamy body, the flavours are very well balanced and the heat that is typically associated with peppers is non-existent. It all rounds off with a gentle bitter aftertaste that doesn’t linger very long as the ginger flavour comes forward. As a beer, I couldn’t imagine a session on Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho as it would get a bit too much but two or three would be good.
Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho One Line Review
Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho is an intriguing beer that is worth finding.
Where to Buy Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho
Iwate Kura Japanese Ale Sansho can be bought from the following places: