Choryo ESB is a 5% extra special bitter from Choryo Shuzo, based in Koryou, in Nara, Japan. It’s part of their canned and draught lineup, though its availability is unknown at the time of writing. Choryo ESB is brewed using British and German malt, along with some rye malt for good measure. In terms of hops, it used East Kent Goldings from the UK.
Choryo ESB : At A Glance
- Alcohol: 5%
- Style: ESB / Extra special bitter
- Hops: East Kent Goldings
- Adjuncts: Rye malt
- IBU: 16
- Availability: Unknown
- On Sale: From September 2022
- Size: 350 ml
- Price: From ¥559
Aroma & Taste
- Notable Aroma: Nutty and earthy aroma with a light caramel note.
- Notable Taste: Low bitterness with a smooth body. Nutty and earthy flavour with a low caramel smokiness.
Choryo ESB : Aroma & Taste
ESBs are not common beers in Japan, though being from the UK, if I do see one in Japan, I am normally running over to pick up a can or two. The problem with Choryo ESB is that it was the last one on the shelf as Choryo Shuzo recommend that their beers have a lifespan of 30 days, which seems rather short but it’s to ensure that their beers are consumed in the best possible condition.
Choryo ESB poured out a deep reddish brown colour with a small amount of white head on top. I did try to invert the can a few times to see if that would help develop but it didn’t. The aroma was bang on for an ESB with a dalliance of aroma from the malt and hops. The malts brought a nutty, caramel quality to the nose, and the hops were earthy without any oxidised notes to them.
In spite of the name, Choryo ESB was not prominently bitter, with that quality just lingering under the body of malts and hops. The body, like in the nose, was nutty and caramel like, alongside a smokiness to it, with the hop bringing the earthy flavour. As Choryo ESB warmed up, the flavours stayed well-balanced, but more importantly there were no off flavours to the beer.
Choryo ESB : The Bottom Line
Not many people would be excited by an ESB but if you find Choryo ESB, then definitely don’t make my mistake and pick up a few cans.
Choryo ESB : Where to Buy
Choryo ESB can be bought online at the following places: