Stout revisited

So, my recent post about Asahi Stout has apparently gotten a few of us beer lovers excited. (At least, I’m excited.) In the comments field, I mentioned another beer called Tokyo Black Porter, a lovely brew from the same people that make Yona Yona Ale. The more I thought about that porter, the more I wanted one … and considering I’m doing bugger-all at work right now, I said “Screw it” and decided to go get one.

As soon as noon rolled around, I headed to the snobby supermarket a short distance from my office — and was denied. They stocked Yona Yona but not the porter. I had to settle for a canned Kirin Stout, which is a completely different animal from the original bottled variety that seems to have disappeared. The canned stout is bland, sort of like unsweetened cocoa, and has an almost mealy mouthfeel. Not at all satisfying. By the end of it, I was actually feeling a bit peeved — and then I remembered the import liquor store waaay the hell in the other direction in Shimbashi. Once again, I said “Screw it” and decided to go take a look.

foreign-extra1They didn’t have what I was looking for, but they did have this strange beast, which I’d never seen before. I’m not all that big on Guinness, but the “foreign extra” bit caught my eye. I took a look at the label and sure enough, 7.5% ABV, making it a stronger brew than regular old Guinness. I forked over my 260 yen and popped it open, making a U-turn and heading back toward the office.

Guinness Foreign Extra is a strange brew indeed. When it first hits your tongue, it has the trademark Guinness bitterness, but a second later it ramps up into a barleywine-like sweetness. It is literally a bittersweet beer. Not a bad brew, I suppose, but not one I think I’ll be trying again. (最初で最後 as the Japanese say — “The first and last time.”)

While I was in Shimbashi, I decided to head over to World Beer Bakusyu and snap a photo of their sign, which you’ll see below. I have yet to visit the place, but if the beer bottles on the counter are an accurate indicator of what’s in stock, I’ll have to be stopping by very soon indeed. Aside from the requisite Duvels and Chimays was Anchor Steam, which I haven’t had in ages and would happily punch someone for, and at least one offering from Rogue brewery. The bar is essentially a straight line from Shimbashi Station Karasumori Exit, on the corner past the movie theater with the brazenly pornographic posters.

In summary, I basically spent my entire lunch hour walking around and drinking beer. There are worse ways to spend one’s time, I suppose. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t seen not one but two Mr. Slippers. I really hate those guys.

Be seeing you. Oh, yes...

Be seeing you. Oh, yes...


6 Responses

  1. Is that world beer place a bar or a shop? Shimbashi is on my way home, so I may be tempted to stop off and have a look in there one day.

    BTW there’s some interesting info about Guinness Foreign Extra on wikipedia:

    “Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with abv over 7%, are perhaps closest to the original in character.”

  2. That is interesting re: Foreign Extra. I hadn’t heard that before.

    And World Beer is a bar. Shimbashi’s on my way home as well — let me know when you plan on stopping by and I’ll join you. 🙂

  3. Shinbashi is on my way home if I take the trains which run around the inside pair of rails, so if you are in need of moral support in warding off the slipper-wearing salarypersons who infest the area, let me know.

  4. Up here in the frozen wasteland of Tohoku, there’s not much in the way of places to buy good beer. These posts don’t make life any easier for me. Stick a bottle in the mail for me, will ya?

  5. We’re going to link you, come and check us out!!!!!

  6. In shimbashi, for some good beer, I recommend this place:
    Nagano Sake. THey have yaho beer in cans and shiga kogen, minami shinshu, etc in bottles for shop prices! They also have a great selection of Nagano sakes, really cheap, as well as local delicacies. Great little place.
    Also drydock is a nice little bar.

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