Shimane Rihaku Orochi is a 9% barleywine from Shimane Beer Company that was first brewed in 2014 and is part of their winter seasonal beer range. While it is a barleywine, Shimane Beer Company collaborated with Rihaku Sake Brewery and used sake yeast so making it a rice barleywine beer. It’s on sale from December onwards and can be found in bottles and cans, while also making rare appearances on tap as well. It is however only limited to 200 bottles and 300 cans.
Shimane Rihaku Orochi Aroma and Taste
Thanks to Liquors Hasegawa, they kindly kept a couple of cans of this in stock for me while I procrastinated getting into Tokyo. It’s not that I don’t like Tokyo but it can be a pain to get in when I don’t need to. I had one can on the way home, not realising it was 9% and stumbled off the train when I had missed my stop. Perhaps that’s why wandering poets wander if they have drunk this.
Shimane Rihaku Orochi poured out a golden bronze colour with a small amount of head on top, which didn’t last very long. The aroma though was most definitely of a barleywine with a strong plum and raisin aroma to it, as well as caramel tones too. While the rice / sake aspect to it was present, it was incredibly subtle compared to the boldness of the malts. A shame as I thought it would have been a nice take on a tried-and-tested style of beer.
The body though was much lighter than usual for a barleywine and it had a creamy, peach-like flavour to it. The rice / sake flavours were more prominent but I guess it’s easy to find something if you are looking for it? If I hadn’t had known Shimane Beer Company had used sake yeast then I more than likely wouldn’t have guessed. Shimane Orochi finished off quite sweet and light on the aftertaste and didn’t outstay its welcome.
Shimane Rihaku Orochi One Line Review
Shimane Rihaku Orochi was a good take on a barleywine; however, the inclusion of sake yeast seems to have been lost on a beer with a high abv.
Where to Buy Shimane Rihaku Orochi
Shimane Rihaku Orochi can be bought online at the following places: