Monday, June 25, 2012

Sapporo Ice Lager 7

Summer is upon us and as another new season rolls in so do the new “flavors” of happoshus. I am lightening up on the concept of beer-like alcohol beverages like happoshu and have been pretty open to trying new things again. Sapporo has been fairly consistent with pleasing my taste buds so when I came across their new “strong” happoshu I knew I had to give it a try.

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Weighing in at 350ml and 106yen, this happoshu holds a higher alcohol content than most beers and other happoshu at a whopping 7 percent. What really drew me to the can was the “polar” cool look it had to it. It’s not particularly fancy or interesting to look at but it made me feel like somehow this beer would feel colder in my gut than the rest. Of course the Ice part of the name Ice Lager 7 has more to do with it being brewed in a super cooled zero Celsius environment.

So let’s crack this bad boy open. The first thing I always do when opening any beer like drink is getting a whiff of it from the can. This particular drink seemed to not have such an appalling smell but it wasn’t all that welcoming either. It poured like any other light colored happoshu out there with a fizzy head that disappears within a minute or so. I couldn’t really tell that it was spiked with more alcohol from its smell which was good I guess.

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My first sip of Ice Lager 7 was hopeful as it trickled down the back of my throat. My first reaction was that it was a tad bitter on the tongue. But as time passed it seemed to leave an acceptable aftertaste, something many happoshus fail to do for me. A really interesting thing about Ice Lager 7 is that it kind of makes me have the same thirsty feeling as I do with Asahi Super Dry. I really don’t like feeling thirsty when I am drinking a beer or beer like drink so this would usually turn me off but Ice Lager 7 seems to not keep that feeling too long and let me get back into drinking it.
As for the 7% alcohol, the additional alcohol content didn’t seem to affect the taste much, or at least I couldn’t tell. I feel like it was any stronger than an average happoshu but that may just be due to me being desensitized to alcohol. Maybe if I drank on an empty stomach I might have noticed more but I am not doing this scientifically so yeah, whatever.

Bottom line, I was satisfied. Seasonal drinks are usually a big hit or miss but it turned out OK. Sapporo seems to be my brewer of choice and I will gladly try any other new product they introduce next season as well.

Edit: I realised this beer isn’t exactly new it has just been repackaged. Last year around the same time it was released in a more modestly designed can.

Also, I think its time I start chilling my glasses or get a beer coozie to keep my stuff cool. Japan summers sap cool drinks quickly and I think I may have liked this drink a bit more if I could have kept the glass cooler longer.

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