Oh god, here we go again. The sublime and ridiculous Abashiri Beer are at it again. Abashiri, as you know, make the blue beer – Ryuhyo Draft – which is simultaneously the reason why we started BeerTengoku, one of the worst beers we’ve ever tasted, the NUMBER ONE MOST POPULAR BEER REVIEW ON THE SITE, and the source of my first Anonymous Internet Abusive Comment (apparently I’m only allowed to have an opinion as long as it’s the right one).
It’s kind of appropriate that such a shitstorm of a beer would produce such a chaotic mix of love and hate, revulsion, admiration and curiosity. But enough! I’m in danger of being branded a pompous elitist with such fancy talk. Again.
This time, we’ve got a more sensible beer for you. This one is a 4.5% witbier / wheat ale, made with your bog standard wheat, orange peel and coriander seeds. The wheat used is locally-sourced Kitahonami wheat, which is commonly used to make udon, and is said to have a strong flavour and chewy texture.
Abashiri White Ale Nose and Taste
Abashiri White Ale pours smoothly out of its bomb-proof can (really, it was absolutely rock solid, I thought it was going to explode and blow my head off. Now that would be a fun Crimewatch to reenact). It has a great head, and then a big lump of goo towards the end. Gross. The nose is of orange and coriander, obviously, but the predominant aroma is the wheat.
Fresh out the can, there was a distinctive metallic taste to the beer, along with a wheaty chewiness. The spice of the coriander and tang of the orange remain, but the wheat taste almost overpowers them. It didn’t start smelling like a sweaty izakaya kitchen floor like Yorimichi did, though.
The metallic taste diminished as the beer approached room temperature, but the chunky wheat taste remained, and reminded me of the meaty mouthfeel of Umami IPA. There was also some hop bitterness towards the end.
Abashiri White Ale Bottom Line
Abashiri White Ale isn’t terrible. There, I said it. If you like a white ale that’s more on the wheat side than the orange and coriander side- so, if you’re wrong, basically- then get this. I just can’t see anyone diving for this when they see it on the shelf, though.
I made a video in my kitchen of me drinking this and kind-of reviewing it, because I thought it would explode and wanted to have evidence of that happening. Let me know if you want to see the video.
Post Post Script
In researching this I found that Abashiri has made more beer abominations than previously thought; I knew about Bilk (beer made with milk), but also there has been Konbu Draft (made with seaweed, bleargh) and Hotate Draft (made with scallops, uuurghgg). Good grief.
Where to Buy Abashiri White Ale
Abashiri White Ale can be bought online at the following places: