Name: Shiga Kogen (志賀高原) E2SB 1
Brewer: Tamamura Honten Co. /Shiga Kogen (Japan)
Style: Strong Bitter
Review Year: 2021
Shiga Kogen (志賀高原) E2SB 1 is the take of Tamamura Honten (Japan) on the classic British beer style, the Strong Bitter. Aside from English hops, Fuggle and East Kent Goldings, this beer features the relatively new American hop variety, Zappa.
This beer is being evaluated as a Strong Bitter (11C) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The said guidelines were used since we reviewed this beer before 29 December 2021, the date of publishing of the 2021 update. The most current version can be found on the BJCP website.
Clear pale amber, white head with fair retention. The aroma profile combined moderate earthy notes and equally intense vibrant fruits (e.g., orange citrus, cherries, peach, and honeydew) with hints of caramel and cereal. Medium-bodied; moderate carbonation. Flavor was malt-forward as moderate coffee, caramel, and some toasty character surfaced. A moderately-low earthy flavor was accompanied by sweet fruity undertones (reminiscent of blueberry jam and longan). Bitterness was moderate, while sweetness was a notch lower. This Strong Bitter concluded with lingering impressions of toasty caramel and coffee.
E2SB 1 is a Strong Bitter brewed with classic English hops and the relatively new American variety, Zappa. The outcome is this moderately bitter British ale exhibiting a delicate balance between characteristics associated with the classic style, particularly earthy hops and toasty-caramel malt, and the vibrant fruity qualities accentuated likely by the Zappa hops.
Bitterness of this beer is firm but does not diminish its drinkability. In fact, E2SB 1, despite being hopped with an American hop, is relatively more drinkable than a typical hoppy-bitter American IPA based on our experience. Excellent.
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