Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws is a 12% barleywine from Tamamura Honten, based in Nagano, that was the second of two beers with Hair of the Dog brewery from the USA, with the other being Shiga Kogen Adamu. It’s released annually in January in limited quantities with the 2016 edition only having 1,800 bottles released. At the time of writing, it can be found in both bottles and on draft though it does sell out extremely quickly. Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws is named after the monkeys that habitat the Yamanouchi town, Nagano though the original recipe is based on the the Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws recipe though with different yeast and more hops.
Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws Aroma and Taste
Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws poured out a deep amber colour with a slightly off-white head which dissipated quickly. I was most surprised with this head as in the past, previous barleywines have not poured out with much head, if any at all. It had all the hallmarks of your typical barleywine; full of caramel sweetness with a rich plum backbone to it as well. While it was sweet, it wasn’t overpowering nor sickening either. The most interesting thing about it was the pine aroma that came off of it as well – perhaps a nod to American IPAs?
The body was as sweet as the nose though as it warmed up, it started to become a tad sticky on the tongue.The bitterness and pine flavours from the hops came through nicely and helped to balance the sweet flavours until it warmed up to room temperature. The flavours unfortunately didn’t develop as much as I would have hoped for when warming up and the booziness came through strongly as well. It left a sticky, bitter aftertaste on the palate that left me wondering – did I really like this?
Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws One Line Review
Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws is a peculiar barleywine – it’s drinkable when chilled but when room temperature, it’s a bit too boozy for my liking.
Where to Buy Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws
Shiga Kogen Monkey Claws can be bought online at the following places: