We haven’t yet reviewed the standard Daisen G Weizen, so we’ll do that today along with their limited smoked version of that beer, the Daisen G Rauch Weizen.
Daisen G Weizen (大山Gビール・ヴァイツェン)
Package: 330mL bottle
Pour – Very hazy and cloudy, creamy and frothy, pale apple-juice gold
Aroma – Spicy banana and cloves, yeasty
Flavor – Spicy at first, good banana in the middle, finish is wheaty but also somewhat malty, good balance, slightly citrus tangy as well, loses a lot as it warms up
While Daisen G make some fantastic beers of different styles (see their Bock, Dubbel, and Grand Saison, Wheat Wine, and Yago), their good beers are usually their limited brews while their standard lineup is actually quite mediocre. Consisting of this weizen, a pale ale, a pilsner, and a stout, if my memory serves me correctly none of them even remotely approach the heights that some of their other beers reach. With that not-so-optimistic lead-in, let’s see how the official review of their weizen turns out.
I enjoyed the Daisen G Weizen a lot more than I remembered from before, and found it to be a very well-balanced weizen with a good amount of flavor. I liked the spice and banana aspect to it, but also thought that there was a good solid maltiness that balanced out the banana fairly well – often I find that some weizen have a lot of banana but not much else to match it with, leaving a very one-sided beer. This one also had a bit of citrus to go with it, so that was also a nice touch. It did suffer a little bit as it warmed up, though, losing some flavor across the board in terms of spice, banana, and citrus. That does necessitate docking it a fair amount, as it does really lose a lot over time. That’s quite a shame in this case, as when fresh it’s a very good weizen.
So while we have a mixed result here, it’s still the best of the Daisen G regular offerings in my view and worth checking out once. It’s a little pricey for what it is, running me 540 yen at the Tottori Okayama Shinbashi-kan satellite shop. If you do manage to make it to that satellite shop (which as you might guess from its name carries local products from both Tottori and Okayama), it’s a great place for picking up regular beers from both Daisen G (from Tottori) and Doppo (from Okayama), including their slightly harder-to-track-down Imperial Ale.
Daisen G Rauch Weizen (大山Gビール・ラオホヴァイツェン)
No RateBeer entry yet!
Package: 330mL bottle
Pour – Deep and vivid reddish-orange, hazy, solid foam that sticks around
Aroma – Very mild, malty, slight smoke
Flavor – Tangy and citrusy, a little spicy, finish has slight smoky bitterness and lots of citrus, malty
Now that we’ve reviewed their regular weizen, this is probably a good time to check out their limited brew Rauch Weizen. On top of their base weizen recipe they’ve basically added roasted malts and malts smoked in buna. Buna is a Japanese beech tree native to Japan, and while it is quite widespread and can be found almost everywhere in Japan it hasn’t traditionally found too many human applications, due to its mass density and also its tendency to rot quickly. Will it finally find its purpose as a key ingredient for local smoked weizens? Let’s find out.
The Daisen G Rauch Weizen is a decent effort, but it didn’t quite have the smoky punch I expected it to (are we going to blame the poor buna for this?). It’s very mild all around, and doesn’t differ all that much from its regular forebear. It’s malty and tangy with some spice and citrus, and then the rauch part of the beer comes through in the finish with a mild but noticeable smokiness that lingers a bit. Overall I’d say that the balance and flavors are fine, but I was expecting a bit more excitement here, especially given that Daisen G are usually quite good.
So ultimately we came away a little disappointed with the lack of impact from the smoked buna here (it’s no Aecht Schlenkerla), and it certainly wasn’t cheap at 648 yen (at Tanakaya). However, it’s a pretty rare style in general and especially in Japan, so if you come across it it’s probably worth a shot. On the other hand, it isn’t too far off from its base weizen, so you might want to try the regular Daisen G Weizen first and see how you like it before spending the money on the smoked version.
There isn’t a huge tradition of smoked beers here in Japan, so we’ll definitely keep an eye out for them. On the other hand, there are tons of weizens here, so we’ll have more of those reviews coming up, so stay tuned!