Home Beer Review Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown by Tamamura Honten

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown by Tamamura Honten

by BeerTengoku Writer
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Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown is a 6.5% smoked ale from Tamamura Honten, based in Nagano. If you’ve read our review about the Shiga Kogen and Pizza Port (a craft beer brewery in the USA) collaborative beer, So Sexy Brown, you will be more than familiar with this beer. The difference? The malts used in the malting process have been smoked, hence the name, Smoky Brown. It is part of their limited edition line up, so there is no idea whether Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown will be released again in the future.

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown

So sexy. So smoky. So brown. So boring.

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown Aroma and Taste

Like other beers that have been slightly altered, such as the Shiga Kogen x Trunk Coffee Drunk Coffee, it would have been nice to try Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown alongside the Shiga Kogen x Pizza Port So Sexy Brown but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. However, as soon as I opened the bottle, the smoky malts were immediately apparent as they were potent. It poured out a deep brown colour with light hints of red and orange when held up to the light though the head was much closer to white than the picture above shows. There was some chocolate notes to it along with a bitter hoppiness to it as well.

Perhaps they had got a massive shipment of smoked malts in at Tamamura Honten that they wanted to change the beer but adding smoked malts to a beer can cause havoc. It’s a big strong flavour change that doesn’t always suit a beer – one reason why rauch beers are not overly popular in Japan. Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown does navigate the line between OTT smokiness and sweet malts well but after a while, it became too much for me really. The smoke flavour is nice at first, but it started to overpower the coffee and peat flavours I liked in the beer. The aftertaste reminded me of when I was smoking some bacon a couple of days before writing this and couldn’t get it off my tongue – pleasant in small doses but not in this large amount.

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown One Line Review

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown could have been a nice beer but the large smoky flavours became too much, much to the detriment of the other flavours.


Where to Buy Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown

Shiga Kogen Smoky Brown can be bought online at the following places:

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