Hino Shishimai Porter is an 8% Baltic Porter from Hino Brewing, based in Hino city, Tokyo, in Japan. It’s part of their bottled lineup, though its unknown if it is a seasonal beer or all-year round. Hino Shishimai Porter is brewed using a Polish recipe, a the head brewer is from Poland, and as a result, it uses imported Polish Lubelski hops, known for being more herbal than citrusy.
Hino Shishimai Porter : At A Glance
- Alcohol : 8%
- Style : Baltic Porter
- IBU : N/A
- Hops : Polish Lubelski
- Availability : Unknown
- Size : 330ml bottle
- Price : From 650 yen
- On Sale : From September 2021
- Notable Aroms : Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Slight ashen nose, Light booziness
Hino Shishimai Porter : Aroma and Taste
Hino Shishimai Porter poured out a pitch black colour with a large, frothy head on top that was an off-white brownish colour that lingered throughout drinking. It clung to the side of the glass as well, leaving some tan coloured streaks down the side of it.
The aroma was an expected Baltic Porter one with a big bold caramel and chocolate one that was smooth and warming, though inoffensive on the olfactory senses. Once Hino Shishimai Porter had been given the chance to warm up, there were hints of cinnamon and spice that brought a depth to the aroma of the beer. Moreover, there was a touch of booziness to it.
Hino Shishimai Porter had a smooth start to the taste with the merging of the caramel and chocolate flavours, but there was a grainy ashen flavour / texture to it that I couldn’t quite get my head around.
What is a shishimai?
The beer is named after the lion dance, shishimai, and is a messenger from Ise Jingu, in Omi, Hino. It supposedly plays a role in visiting each house in the area since the Edo period and purifying the safety of the family.
Hino Brewing named the beer after this with the aim of the lion dance also helping to purify the beer and showing the different characteristics of the lion and its efforts.
It wasn’t an unpleasant flavour to it, but it was peculiar and not something I’ve really had before in a Baltic porter, though some friends have mentioned about it. Besides that, Hino Shishimai Porter was a nice drinking beer with the cinnamon and spice bringing some warmth and depth of flavour to it. Combined with the hint of booziness, Hino Shishimai Porter was good to have on a cool Autumn evening. The flavours lingered into the aftertaste, but that ashen grainy texture would not go away.
Hino Shishimai Porter : The Bottom Line
I did enjoy Hino Shishimai Porter in spite of that ashen quality to it and would drink it again.
Hino Shishimai Porter : Where To Buy
Hino Shishimai Porter can be bought online at the following places: