Nara 8-Bit is an 8.6% Belgian Strong Ale from Nara Brewing Company, based in Nara, Japan. It’s part of their regular lineup, though its availability at the time of writing is unknown. It is the 2nd collaboration beer with Mr. Nishinaka who is the head brewer and Belgian beer professional of Kakegawa Farm Brewing in Kakegawa, Shizuoka. The beer is brewed using Pilsner Malt, Cara50, Special B, Caraaroma, and Carafa malts along with Liberty, Merkur, and Cascade hops, and adjuncts in the form of sugar and coriander.
Nara 8-Bit Aroma and Taste
Nara 8-Bit poured out a ruby brown colour with a medium amount of off-white, tan coloured head that faded to a few bubbles around the side of the glass during drinking. The aroma coming off of Nara 8-Bit was a rich Belgian phenolic one that reminded me of that classic Belgian beer – Chimay Purple. Out of the aroma came dried fruit, brown sugar, and banana esters, with the flavours changing in balance as Nara 8-Bit got warmer. At almost 9%, there was a subtle alcohol heat to the beer but it wasn’t boozy or overpowering. In spite of the hops, there was no distinct hoppy aroma coming off the beer – so hop heads would best move on.
Drinking Nara 8-Bit chilled was a mistake as all of the flavours were muted so I had to let Nara 8-Bit warm up for a good 30mins or so before bravely taking one for the drinkers and having some more of it. Once the beer had begun to warm up, the flavours in the body also opened up, with the dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, coming through more, along with the banana esters from the yeast, and a deep, roasted sugar flavour, that was neither cloying nor overly sweet. The alcohol also brought a gentle warming sensation to the throat and helped tie everything together well. The dried fruits and sugar lingered into the aftertaste before leaving a subtle sweetness on the palate.
Nara 8-Bit The Bottom Line
A top-notch beer that is worth hunting down. Let it age too if you can.
Where to Buy Nara 8-Bit
Nara 8-Bit can be bought online at the following places: