Nara Underwater is a 11.5% sake beer from Nara Brewing Company, based in Nara, in Nara, Japan. It’s part of their bottled lineup and draught lineup though in terms of availability, I am going to put this as a annual limited edition, though who knows what the future holds. Nara Underwater is a collaboration with Yucho Shuzo, a Japanese sake brewery in Gose of Nara. To quote Nara Brewing “The Sake Yeast and Koji used in “Kazenomori” which is a flagship sake of Yucho Shuzo, and also water from Yucho Shuzo is pumped into tanks and transported to NBCo. As a beer it is dry, but as a sake it has plenty of sweetness.”
Nara Underwater : At A Glance
- Alcohol : 11.5%
- Style : Sake beer
- Hops : None used
- IBU : –
- Availability : Annual limited
- On Sale : From January 2023
- Size : 375 ml
- Price : From 1,100 yen
Aroma & Taste
- Notable Aromas : Sake like with white wine aroma, along with light strawberry and pineapple notes.
- Notable Tastes : No bitterness but sake flavours throughout. Very dry and light flavoured with more sake qualities than beer. White wine, with ginjo notes of sake, pineapple and berries.
Nara Underwater : Aroma & Taste
Nara Underwater poured out a light golden straw colour with a slight chill haze to the beer, and a meagre amount of white head on top that dissipated fairly quickly. The aroma though coming off it was nothing like a beer – it is probably better to think of Nara Underwater as a beer flavoured sake, rather than an actual beer itself. The aroma was something like 90% sake-like – lots of ginjo yeast aromas coming off with rice aroma being a predominant one, along with a dry white wine quality lingering just behind. As Nara Underwater warmed up, more of the fruitiness came through, with some light berry notes – more strawberry than anything else – along with a tart pineapple aroma. As for the idea of this being a beer flavoured sake, as there were no hops used in the making of this beer, the only beer quality that came though was a touch of light malt sweetness, but even then, it was fleeting and only made an appearance as Nara Underwater warmed up.
The body was as equally as peculiar as the nose – and I don’t know if I mean peculiar in a good or bad way to be completely honest. There was no bitterness at all during the drinking of Nara Underwater. Even when I am drinking a pilsner or macro lager, I expect a touch of it to come through, but with Nara Underwater, the absence of any really confused my brain – and it doesn’t need that. Approaching Nara Underwater as a sake with some beer influence did help calm down the poor neurons that were trying to compute what the heck was going on – even Data would have had some problems with this. The body was very dry, with just a smidgen of sweetness being present, and was about 95% sake in the taste. It had the unmistakable twang of ginjo yeast flavours – dry white wine notes along with some strawberry fruitiness. The pineapple made a reappearance as Nara Underwater warmed up, along with a slight creaminess to the body which had some rice-like properties to it.
Nara Underwater : The Bottom Line
I was left wondering what the hell I had drunk and I really don’t know how to sum this up. Nara Underwater was an interesting experience that I would have like to have shared with others, just to see their reaction. Would I buy this again? Not in bottle form, I must say, though I would like to try a small sample of it on tap – if it comes out again.
Nara Underwater : Where to Buy
Nara Underwater can be bought online at the following places:
- Nara Brewing Online Store
- Fujikawa Saketen
- MMM Booze Shop
- Nobori Sake
- Sake Maruhachi