The brews of the Osaka Minoh Beer have been winning the world beer awards for years now. Not that I was aware of this when I picked up this stout, but it was worth mentioning nonetheless (and it kind of explains the price tag).
The Minoh Stout’s black. The brown of its color only shows around the edges when its held against the light. It’s got no head, but its bubble rings leaves medium lacing.
The nose can be summed up in one word: smoky. There is a vague presence of the traditional stout C-tastes (caramel, coffee, cocoa), but it’s subtle.
It has a thick body emphasized by a lighter carbonation. Just as with the nose, smokiness is defining in the palate as well. Under that, there are light caramel and coffee notes. Bitterness is (sadly for me) pretty much absent.
Its smoky, dry taste lingers for a while. It’s worth just contemplating for minutes after the beer’s gone, because a fair amount of its more interesting tones become easier to notice with time. Coffee becomes obvious, and blueberry shows up.
I guess this is a more “adult” take on the stout genre, as compared to the general smooth sweetness of other brews. Its dry, smoky taste is characteristic and unfolds into impressive depths, but it lacks first impact.