Ushitora #70 First Impact is a 7.3% American Black IPA or a Belgian strong ale from Ushitora Brewery, based in Tochigi. Why have we given it two different styles? Well, I’ve had it twice in less than a week and both places (Maltan in Kanda and Sakura Taps in Yokohama) had listed under two different styles. This beer is a renewal of the previous batch (#55 for those keeping count) which was originally 5.5%. At the time of writing, Ushitora #70 First Impact can only be found on tap only.
Ushitora #70 First Impact Aroma and Taste
Black IPAs always confuse me as the multiple levels of aroma leave me thinking if I really want a stout / porter or an IPA and thus couldn’t decide on either, leaving me with this beer. Ushitora #70 First Impact poured out with a deep brown, almost black, body and had a slightly off-white head on top as well. The aroma coming off it was certainly an IPA with some citrus lemony aroma and a slight pine nose to it as well. The roasted caramel flavour came through as well as a subtle layer of charcoal and chocolate as well.
The initial flavour in the body was a slight charcoal nuttiness to it though the hops brought the citrus lemon aroma back and an edge of bitterness to it. I was expecting something with a punch to it as Ushitora #70 First Impact is listed having an IBU of 62, but I guess the black malts may have taken the edge off of it. There was a wee amount of caramel sweetness to the aftertaste but it was the charcoal edge to it that stuck out along with the faint chocolate flavour too.
Ushitora #70 First Impact One Line Review
If Black IPAs are the in-vogue beer, then you could do a lot worse than Ushitora #70 First Impact.