I love Japan. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe it’s because the food is amazing, maybe it’s because I’ve done Karate since I was 6 years old, or maybe it’s because Tokyo is the most insanely-fantastic-mind-orgasm of a city that I’ve ever visited. I love japanese film, anime, and crazy Japanese game shows. I’d move to Japan at a moments notice if I could (and there’s still a chance of that happening one day). I love Japan, and beer number 153 from the epic list, Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale, was brewed in Japan. So I love it before I’ve even popped the cap.
What’s on the bottle?
The label on this bottle is a standout. It’s done in a cool ink brush painting crossed with a stained glass window style, with a picture of fuji yama with the eponymous red rising sun on it, coupled with some hops descending from the heavens. There’s stuff written on the label as well, but it’s in Japanese. I tried deciphering it, but since I only know about ten hiragana characters it was a bit of a failure.
What’s in the bottle?
My first thought was “I’ve smelt this before” – anyone who’s had a Little Creatures Pale Ale (i.e. everyone) will recognise this. Everything about the flavor initially seems very quick – a solid malt that’s quickly cut down by a sharp bitterness, hitting your tongue and then disappearing like a ninja. There’s a lovely citrus kick in there as well, some sweet apricot, and some gobstopper in the aftertaste that eventually melds with the citrus to leave a lemonade affair happening. It’s nice, but nothing that you haven’t seen before; this is a tasty and well-balanced, if a little standard, pale ale that’s perfect for enjoying on a hot day in the sun.
For my final thoughts, I wrote a haiku:
Malt driven backbone
With a bitterness that cuts
Like a Katana
Fact from the book…
At the time that the book was written, Rising Sun Pale Ale was the best-selling beer out of Bairds seven regulars. Even so, it only made up 25% of the total sales – it’s always good to share the popularity around I guess.