Fujizakura Heights (富士桜高原麦酒 ラオホ) Rauch: Smoke Gets in Your Nose

We were reminded recently of that old song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1933). Yes, it is a bit of an irritant when it creeps into your peepers, but when it meanders up your nose, as it does with this beer, it is not unappealing. This drink has an almost peaty aroma, which is not what most people expect from a beer. The smoke flavor in Rauchbier (German for “smoked beer”) is imparted by drying malted barley over an open flame in a smoke kiln. Apparently, it is a very old method of drying malt. One of us here at drinkingjapan.org thought that this would prove to be a harbinger of richness on the palate. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. The expected complexity failed to make an appearance, and the body did not have much heft, perhaps owing to the relatively low alcohol content of 5.5% abv. Whatever bitterness, sweetness, or sourness might be present here was not discernible, as the primary note is unmistakably medicinal. The smell bears a striking resemblance to Seirogan (正露丸), an old Japanese medicine used for a variety of ailments, which is made from beechwood creosote. If you like Seirogan, you will enjoy this beer.

#drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #FujizakuraHeights #rauchbeer #yamanashi

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