Nomcraft Daimao is a 7.5% hazy IPA from Nomcraft Brewing, based in Aridagawa, in Wakayama, Japan. It’s part of their limited edition lineup and can be found in both bottles and on tap across Japan. Nomcraft Daimao is also part of their collaborative range, with Yakima Chief Hops bringing along HBC 630, an experimental hop from the Hop Breeding Company (hence the HBC part of the name). Daimao roughly translates into “Great Devil” in English or some might even go so far as to say “Big Satan” – what have I let myself in for with his beer?
At A Glance
Style: Hazy IPA
Hops: HBC 630
Price: From 600yen
On Sale: From July 2021
Notable Aromas: Citrusy with lemon and grapefruit along with cherries. Caramel from the malt but not cloying.
Nomcraft Daimao : Aroma and Taste
Nomcraft Daimao poured out a much deeper colour than expected – I was expecting something light and vibrant, but it came out looking more like a West Coast IPA with it’s amber brown colour. The head was fluffy and bountiful with it leaving streaks down the side of the glass; however, I had been wrong to judge Nomcraft Daimao by its appearance as the aroma was plentiful. It started off with a lemon and grapefruit aroma, something that I like a lot in my IPAs if you hadn’t had guessed by now, and then segued into a cherry-like one, something that I hadn’t noticed before in an IPA. As the colour hinted at, Nomcraft Daimao did have some caramel tones to it, but they were background sounds in the plethora of hop aromas.
In spite of being labelled as a Juicy IPA, there was some sharp bitterness to the first sip of the beer, but it was fast and fleeting as the hop flavours took over, with once again, a lemon and grapefruit combination being the most prominent to the taste. The flavours were smooth, with a warming up opening the hops to produce a cherry flavour that sat just behind the citrusy flavours. As the beer warmed up, there was an interesting peach-like flavour to the beer – not an off flavour as it lacked the plasticky profile that sometimes peach flavours have, but it was very much unexpected.
With the malts bringing a supporting caramel flavour that was present but not cloying, overall Nomcraft Daimao was nicely balanced. The hops left a lingering berry and citrus flavour that was pleasant and soft, with no noticeable alcohol heat to the beer.
Why no name?
HBC, known as the Hop Breeding Company, is partly owned by Yakima Chief, and won’t give a hop a proper known until the main customers: breweries, demand more of it.
So HBC 630 could become a stalwart over the next few years, as long as there is demand for it. If not, then it will be resigned to being just a number.
Nomcraft Daimao : The Bottom Line
Not knowing anything about HBC 630, I was skeptical but Nomcraft Daimao proved me wrong and I really liked the flavours in this beer.