I’ve only had alt beer once before opening this can of Unazuki Torokko, back at Banji Kaicho. Must say that Torokko is a whole different world. I’d hesitate to even put it the same category as Shonan Beer’s alt, they are so different.
Not the color though. Torokko is hazy with an amber color, and a small, solid head that leaves behind lacing all along.
It smells malty sweet, with notes that I could only identify as some kind of wood.
Torokko has a light body and similarly light carbonation. The taste can be summed up as smooth bitterness and a caramellish, burnt sweetness. It kind of reminds me of a dense forest after rain with the earthy and wood hints.
The label says alt is all about the caramel and the color – that much is in place. The light sweetness is there too, but I can’t find the thick bitter, or any thickness in this beer at all. They also proudly advertise the use of the Edohigan sakura, the famous local tree of Kurobe. While I don’t know in what form exactly they used the tree, it must be the source of the woody notes.
The aftertaste is about that roasted caramel, with the bitterness sentenced to a short appearance in the background. It’s weirdly light and tasteless for an alt.