I tried Hitachino Red Rice beer recently, and here's another one from Japan, courtesy of Shelton Brothers. It appears to be new to the US. Baird Brewing doesn't sound like a Japanese brewery, but whether beermaster Bryan Baird is native Japanese or not, Jubilation Ale does seem to be Japanese in style. Or at least it isn't Western.
17 January 2009
"Japanese ale brewed with figs an cinnamon," says the label, as well as "emblematic of the good cheer and renewed energy with which Japanese celebrate the coming of each New Year." I'm guessing it's a seasonal. It pours the reddish side of amber, ultimately clear, with a ice head. Medium bodied (a little slick) and properly carbonated. Figs and cinnamon? What hits first is big caramel, the real deal, not just caramel malts. Some cinnamon comes through, and this is certainly a heavily spiced brew. It's not too sweet, IMO, thanks to some hops. But there is that odd, rough aftertaste...
Jubilation Ale is a beer blogger's beer. It's good, but mostly, it's different. Something you'll want to try at least once. It's also expensive at around $10 for 633 ml. I'd like to try some other stuff from Baird.