Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt is a 12% American strong ale from Tamamura Honten, based in Yamanouchi, in Nagano, Japan. It’s part of their collaborative range, with this beer being brewed with Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, based in Portland. For those people who have forgotten, Shiga Kogen have already brewed with them on their Shiga Kogen / Hair of The Dog Adamu back in 2016. This collaboration was first brewed back in March 2017, with an initial release after one year. This edition Shiga Kogen Eckhardt has been aged for over two years in barrels before being bottled up for sale.
Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt poured out a dark amber colour with a really sticky white head on top that really clung to the side of the glass. The beer appeared to be really thick and gloopy too as it came out – almost like cough syrup to be honest, and I don’t have good memories of cough syrup. Those memories were unfounded as Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt smelt a lot nicer than it too – toffee and caramel when chilled, with some pears and apples once it had been given the chance to warm up. At 12%, there was some hints of booziness to it, with a warming brandy-like taste to it, and some hints of vanilla but the aromas were all were balanced.
The body though – wow – really smooth. Though Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt has an IBU of 71, with this kind of beer, that’s pretty meaningless due to the malt flavours kicking that supposed bitterness away. Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt is sweet but not in a cloying way – it’s way more balanced than that. The caramel and toffee flavours were smooth, and the hints of brandy and vanilla meant this beer is for sipping on. There was also some rye pepperiness going on too once the beer had really opened up. Time has really helped this beer age and I can only imagine what it would have tasted like when younger. It finished off with a lingering sticky alcohol warming taste but after a bottle and a bit, I was smiling from ear to ear.
Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt The Bottom Line
Shiga Kogen did the right thing by aging Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt as it really has helped mellow it out. A definite purchase.
Where to Buy Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt
Shiga Kogen / Hair of the Dog Eckhardt can be bought online at the following places: