Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane is an 8.5% barleywine from Minamishinshu Beer Company, based in Nagano. It’s a collaborative beer with WoWoW TV network, which goes somewhere in explaining the random English phrases on the front of the bottle. It was first released in September 2015 but with most barleywines, it’s nice to let them sit and age for a bit before drinking. At the time of writing, it is a limited edition beer and it’s unknown whether Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane will make another appearance or if it’s a one-off.
Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane Aroma and Taste
A bit of a late review for Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane but it’s hard to get in the right frame of mind for drinking a barleywine – they’re usually so strong that one is more than enough to either get your drunk or put you over the edge. Moreover, I’ve seen that some of their flavours change for the better, with Sankt Gallen’s El Diablo proven to be a strong indicator of that.
Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane poured out a muddy light brown colour in places with a minimal amount of head, but that was to be expected as it is a barleywine. The aroma coming off of it was a strong caramel malty aroma that only got stronger as the beer warmed up. There was lashings of fruity aromas as well with orange being one of the more interesting ones besides the dried fruits of raisins and figs. Strangely, some hints of Belgian yeast funk were also in the mix but with so little information out about this beer, it’s unknown whether that was supposed to be there or not.
The body was much thinner than I had expected, but at 8.5%, it does clock in at the lower end of the ABV for a barleywine. It had the usual caramel malty flavour along with a smoothness that was overwhelmed by the booziness coming through in the end. It seemed nice when it was slightly chilled but when Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane had warmed up, then the flavours were a big mix of plums, raisins, alcohol heat and sweetness. It didn’t linger in the aftertaste, instead just fading away.
Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane The Bottom Line
I don’t know what Minamishinshu Beer were aiming for with Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane but if it was a barleywine, then it needs adjusting.
Where to Buy Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane
At the time of writing, Minamishinshu Wonder Barley Akane is a limited edition beer. I got my bottle from Shinshu Osake Mura in Shimbashi.