Echigo is proudly advertising itself as Japan’s first micro-brewery, so I was understandably looking forward to one of their major products, a rice lager.

Echigo Koshihikari

It’s pale straw color, and the head disappears really quickly after poured out, leaving only some weak lacing behind.

It smells lager. The hops are clearly there, but I didn’t expect any overwhelming bitterness from it.

The body’s light, but with a soft touch, which teamed with the medium carb makes the mouthfeel quite refreshing. The taste is…

The taste is above me. I know that rice is famous for its tastelessness, but after all it promised to my nose I expected something more bold. It’s well balanced, that much is for sure, with a mild bitterness and a matching sweetness. Most likely I’m simply not good enough to pick up tastes this faint… It really felt like there was nothing in addition to the neutral malt-hop balance. I could notice some characteristic lager tones if I focused really strong, but that was my limit.

After the bit disappointing taste, the finish makes sure to end the day on a positive note. It’s dry, with a grainy aftertaste.

I guess it’s a good summer drink, but I’d like something with a bit more taste to it…