Tag Archive: Coedo


coedo-kyara

Coedo: Kyara (Japan: Pilsner: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellow gold with moderate white head and no real carbonation.

Nose: Malt caramel. Light nutty hops. Milky coffee. Dried apricot.

Body: Milky coffee. Honey. Creamy lemon. Light hop crispness. Quite malt led. Creamy. Oats. Nutty. Slight stewed fruit. Dried apricot. Raisins. Hop oils.

Finish: Toffee. Light bitterness. Milky coffee. Porridge. Moderate hop prickle. Walnuts. Slight chalk. Honey. Madeira.

Conclusion: I was not expecting this to have quite as thick body as it does. It packs in lots of caramel, lots of toffee, honey – even some nuttiness in there. I was expecting a crisp, fresh lager – this is a comparatively full force, sweet sipping, thing with a touch of hops layered on too.

Now as I have reference in the background, I tried this when it was just a few days older than it should have been – but despite that it still has some good, but not excessive, bitterness to it, and some light citrus notes working in there as well. Now the citrus would probably be more emphasised if tried when the beer was young but right now it seems like a sweet fruity dusting over the sweet malt base, leading out into a pretty nutty finish.

It is very easy drinking big sweetness. Light chalk and nutty character rises with the bitterness over time which gives a slight grounding to what is a predominantly sweet beer. If you want a refreshing lager then, as indicated before, you might find this a tad of a disappointment. However this still isn’t hard drinking, and gives a good chunk of flavour in exchange for that. While not a world shaker it actually had got quite a bit of range to with with darker fruity notes below. I think if I had it fresher there would probably be a bit more hop prickle to contrast as well, though that is just conjecture on my side at the moment.

A solid thick lager – on the heavier end of the style and better off for it. I approve.

Background: Haven’t had Coedo since I was last in Japan, which is a few years ago now – so when I saw this in Independent Spirit I thought I would grab it. Now it turns out this was very close to best before date when I grabbed it, so when I drank it, it was about a week past its best before date. When I noticed that I considered not putting the notes up – but decided against that for a couple of reasons 1) I still enjoyed it 2) Looking at the profile on the bottle and other notes it seems I have very close matches to theirs, so it doesn’t look like it was hurt too much and 3) beers have to travel a long way from Japan, so they tend to be a few months old by the time they get here anyway. Any which way, just keep that in mind when you are reading these notes. Drunk while listening to Meshuggah – Obzen – fucking brutally heavy, technically awesome metal.

Shikkoku

Coedo: Shikkoku (Japan: Schwarzbier: 5% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black. Loose coffee brown bubbled head.

Nose: Roasted nuts. Roasted barley. Slight charring. Fudge underneath all that.

Body: Roasted nuts. Slight chalk. Smooth texture. Toffee notes under. Charring and slight charred bacon. Black cherry.

Finish: Roasted. Peppermint. Light chalk and smoke.

Conclusion: Hmm, I’m in two minds on this one. Possibly due to comparisons with my favourite of the German Schwarzbiers.

This one is nice and very roasted. The nuts, smoke and charred touches give a slight harsh edge, and the rough edges of flavour are counterpointed (that is a verb now, honest) by the smooth texture. There is very subtle sweet contrast as well, some toffee and black cherry but it is very deep down under the roasted elements.

What makes me in two minds is for all the smoothness of texture it doesn’t quite have that grip and slight thickness of feel that really puts a beer in the top class of the style. The feel is a bit too clean which doesn’t quite work with the flavours.

Though, as indicated, the actual flavours are very good, especially on the roasted spectrum. The beer is also better cool, but not heavily so. You get some nice flavour as it warms up in your hand.

So, I will conclude that it is a reasonable beer of the style and uses its smoothness well but doesn’t bring the grip. It has some unexpected elements, most notably a welcome almost charred bacon like flavour. So sorted on the flavour, touch let down on texture. While Germany still has the best of the Schwarzbiers I’ve tried I will note they have a huge range to pick from, and many years of experience. While not the best this competes very well with your average every day beer in the style.

Background: Schwarzbier! Been a while since I had one of these, back in 2011 was the last review. Since I found this, which is currently one of rate beers listed top 50 Japanese beers, I thought I’d give it a try. This one was found in a food market under Shibuya station. Food markets are surprisingly good places to find craft beer in Japan. Also a lot of train stations have far better selections than you average dedicated booze store. Go figure. Coedo seem another reasonably common beer to find around Japan, especially in the aforementioned places. Drunk back at the hotel chilled down against the heavy duty Japanese heat of the day.

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