The Karuizawa brewery is one of the top Japanese craft beer makers, so understandably I had quite the expectations for their alt. It didn’t let me down.

Karuizawa Asama Kougen alt

It pours a clear amber body with an off-white medium-sized, solid head. The head’s feel reflects in the quite strong, smooth lacing.

The nose is dominated by the caramel malts, and there is also a clear, fruity blueberry note.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with a smooth, light-medium body with matching light carbonation. There is a caramel sweetness to it, balanced by a smoky bitterness. The fruity berry note makes its return, playing a central role once again. The smooth roasted tone of the malts matches with the smoky feel of the bitter too.

The aftertaste is about the drier end of the bitter, accompanied by the caramel for some weight. It’s a nice autumn beer, would have again.