Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout is a 7.5% stout from Hakone Beer in Hakone, Kanagawa. It’s their winter seasonal, and is named after Kazamatsuri, the area in Hakone where the brewery is located.
FULL DISCLOSURE If you have any experience with Hakone Beer, erm, beers, you’ll know that their best-before dates are an astonishing two weeks after production. That used to be understandable when the beers came in screw-top Boss Coffee-looking cans, but now they’re using proper bottles so what gives?! Anyway, I’m drinking this a day past its best before date, so who knows what terrifying parasites are burrowing into my heart as I drink this.
Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout Aroma and Taste
Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout pours out a thick black with a fluffy beige head that whittled down to about half a centimetre in the time it took me to write that intro. Yes, I’m writing this in real time for once!
The nose isn’t overpowering, and mainly smells of treacle with a boozy edge. It tastes sweet and treacly, with a slight black malt aftertaste. It’s not a complex bouquet- it’s pretty one-note, but it fortunately isn’t thin and watery, which is great.
As it warms up (which, you know, you have to do with stouts, and I’m writing this in real time, so let’s go and watch some Youtube), the taste opens up a bit and I can taste some licorice, sweet coffee, condensed milk and, if you’re British, Black Jack chewy sweets. The boozy aftertaste is coming through more as well.
Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout The Bottom Line
Kazamatsuri Stout is a fine dark beer. Not too bitter or dry, and nicely full-bodied. Get it when it comes back in Winter! And drink it sharpish!
Where to buy Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout
Hakone Kazamatsuri Stout is available throughout winter at Hakone Beer’s bar in Kazamatsuri, near Hakone, as well as in their adjoining restaurant Elena Gosso and the Kamaboko Village shopping centre. All three can be reached from Kazamatsuri station on the Hakone Tozan line, two stops from Odawara.
It can also be found in Odawara station and in Suzuhiro Kamaboko store in Asakusa, Tokyo.