Nara Sweet Memories is a %% English Brown Ale from Nara Brewing, based in Nara, Japan. It’s part of their canned and draught lineup, thought its availability is unknown at the time of writing. Nara Sweet Memories is brewed using locally sourced chestnuts and the canned version is also a nitro form of the beer – and I do enjoy a well made nitro beer from time to time. On top of the chestnuts, Nara Sweet Memories also containts other adjuncts in the form of flaked oats, lactose, and vanilla essense with the aim of making something that resembles a chestnut cake.
Nara Sweet Memories : At A Glance
- Alcohol : 5%
- Style : English Brown Ale
- IBU : 12
- Hops : Merkur
- Availability : Autumn Seasonal
- Size : 350ml can
- Price : From 720 yen
- On Sale : From October 2021
- Notable Aromas : Sweet creamy aroma of chestnuts and lactose, with some hints of caramel from the malts. Light dusting of vanilla.
Nara Sweet Memories : Aroma and Taste
A Quick Side Track – I promise!
I have to admit that one of my favourite beers in Japan is Hideji Dark Chestnut Ale and whenever I can find it, I’ll pick up a pint or some bottles of the stuff. However, at over 9%, it’s more of a desert beer than a session beer, which leaves me in a quandary – drink a pint and it’s goodnight, or buy a bottle at almost a 1,000yen.
Then I saw Nara Sweet Memories and saw a few pictures from Sakamichi Brewing that piqued my interest. An English brown ale with chestnuts added – could this be something that was missing in my life? So off I cycled to the wonderous 7/11 to pick up a can of this stuff and some other beers.
Nito Without a Widget?
Most beers are carbonated using carbon dioixde, which can occur naturally through fermentation and then the collection of the gas that gets readded later or by carbonating the beer at a later date.
The addition of nitrogen – generally an insoluble gas – creates smaller bubbles than carbon dioxide, which then helps to give a smoother body and mouthfeel compared to carbon dixoide.
Nara Sweet Memories : Aroma and Taste – Without A Quick Side Track
Nara Sweet Memories poured out a silky smooth light rusty brown colour with a very plump and soft foamy tan head on top that left streaks down the side of the glass throughout drinking. The aroma was exactly as I had expected, a whiff of creamy chestnuts akin to a puree, with some sweet lactose aroma coming through as Nara Sweet Memories warmed up. This was followed by some caramel and vanilla notes also coming through; however, the hop aroma were non-existant, that that was just fine by me.
Some people have said in the past that Nara Brewing’s beers finish off fermenting a bit too high, which means there are residual sugars left that make a beer sweeter than it should be. In the case of Nara Sweet Memories, that works perfect well – it’s a brown ale, which tend to be a bit sweeter than pale ales, and with the chestnut and nitro, gives you a soft and soothing flavour on the palate. Of course, the comparison to Hideji Dark Chestnut can not go amiss and Nara Sweet Memories is kind of like a light version of that beer – it’s got the flavours, but half the booze and perhaps half as bold.
The body finished off with a lingering creamy texture on the palate, with some sweet caramel and chestnut also remaining, but it wasn’t long after that I was already going for the second can.
Nara Sweet Memories : The Bottom Line
Nara Sweet Memories is a cracking little beer that is smooth and flavourful – with the addition of the nitro, it elevates from a nice beer to a great beer. Well worthy of trying.
Nara Sweet Memories : Where to Get It
Nara Sweet Memories can be bought online at the following places: