Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA is a 4.5% session IPA from Yo-Ho Brewing, based in Nagano. The beer is part of the Karuizawa Kogen Beer range though with Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA, Yo-Ho Brewing decided to bring back a seasonal beer for a second time. Their summer range of beers are usually one-offs. At the time of writing, it can be found in cans and also on tap at some of the Yona Yona Beer Works across Tokyo.
Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA Aroma and Taste
Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA poured out a light straw colour with a couple of fingers of light, frothy white head that clung to the side of the glass as it was drunk. There were hints of hops – some citrus and some pine notes – but it was very much an IPA-lite style beer. Where was the punch of Aooni IPA? Where was the large citrus kick I was hoping for? Even the malts were faded in comparison and felt lacklustre on nose as nothing of them really came through.
If the nose hadn’t been a giveaway then the body was a much bigger surprise – it was too thin and watery for it to really be a decent session IPA. While there was some bitterness, Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA really was a lite-session IPA. Everything you could want from an IPA – the alcohol punch, the skunky, piney notes or citrus punch, or event the caramel sweetness – had been watered down so much that the flavours just didn’t really do much besides exist. The aftertaste was slightly bitter and left some hints of citrus and tropical fruits but faded as quickly as it came on.
Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA The Bottom Line
Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA was a disappointing session IPA as it didn’t tick any of the boxes I look for.
Where to Buy Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA
Karuizawa Kogen Session IPA was picked up in our favourite satellite bar – Shinshu Osake Mura – on a whim of the moment. I was trying to kill time before meeting some friends in Shibuya so made the trek around in the hope of finding some Takashi Ichiro from Shiga Kogen but ended up with this instead.