Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox is an 11% barley wine from Nasu Kohgen Beer. It’s billed as a “Vintage Beer”, has a whopping TWENTY FIVE year expiration date and comes in a ceramic bottle nestled in wood shavings in a wooden box. Proper fancy.
Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox has kind of a mythical reputation in the world of Japanese craft beer. It’s quite expensive- my bottle cost 3500 yen (3780 yen with tax) for 1500ml, and is only available in limited quantities and only at certain times of the year. The brewery has numerous vintages available for sale on their online shop as well, though at time of writing only three years are available: 2015 for 4500 yen, 2006 for 9000 yen and 2000 for an eye-watering 12,000 yen. I’d decided that without a benchmark I wouldn’t know how this beer changed over time, so I drank mine as fresh as possible- the same month it was brewed, December 2017 (Also, you know, I just really wanted to drink this beer instead of putting it under my house until I’m 60). Pop that top!
Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox Aroma and Taste
Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox poured out a really beautiful deep gold colour, like golden syrup. It had quite a frothy head and significant legs as well (you know, after you swirl the beer around to coat the inside of the glass, the amount of little rivulets of liquid running down is an indication of how much alcohol is in the drink). I was really enjoying this colour, orange like a sunrise, that I almost forgot to take a whiff- and, well, when I did, there wasn’t much there. It’s obviously because this beer is brand new, a baby, that the nose was still quite “green”. There was strong alcohol, and a fruity yeast aspect to it, but nothing like any other barley wine I’ve ever had. There’s absolutely no malty flavour to this at all.
I decided to let it warm up, and it begins to open up a bit- the fruity, somewhat citrusy nose starts to peek through the yeastiness, but it’s still very subtle.
Tasting it, it was more like an old ale than a barley wine; or, at least, like I said, one I’ve had before. A little fruity, quite estery but mainly alcoholic in taste. Despite this it’s very easy to drink, and reminded me of a triple-distilled vodka the way something this high-alcohol could go down so creamily smooth. A great tipple for the winter, for sure.
Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox: The Bottom Line
So, now I have my benchmark. I wouldn’t recommend drinking Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox as fresh as this, and you have to get rid of all your preconceived notions of what a barley wine should taste like. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was a really nice ale, though, and I’ll definitely be buying more of it in the future to squirrel away. If you’re going to do the same, take my word for it and let it age for at least a year.
Where To Buy Nasu Kogen Nine Tailed Fox
Numerous vintages are available from Nasu Kohgen’s online shop.