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Yona Yona Ale - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yona Yona AleYona Yona Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

100 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 06-16-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Interviews with Joe Namath (another fine PA fellow) often have him reminiscing about coming off of the field at the end of SB III with "a feeling of joy and elation". Such is what I felt when opening an unsolicited BM from JayQue, asking if I would be interested in some CANned beers from Japan in return for some Kvass. Would I be interested?!? Does a hobby horse have a hickory d**k? CAN you believe my incredible good fortune? I love the madness that The CANQuest (TM) has become.

I CAN't tell you much about it other than it comes from Nagano, Japan and it employs a lot of Kanji lettering on its label. I speak just a little and I CANnot read any, nor do I have a Japanese wife, despite many deployments and liberty port visits while a USN sailor. Oh well. I do know, however, that it marks my arrival in Japan as a sumo wrestler, under a waning Gibbous moon.

The Crack & Glug came off without a hitch and I was soon looking at two thick fingers of tawny head with great retention. Color was a coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was perhaps a bit big on hops for the style, but who would I be to CANplain about too much hops? Very minty/grassy on the nose, underlain by a light caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a very pleasant admixture of hops and malt on the tongue. Finish had a mellow tea-like quality, not too bitter, not too sweet, but Baby Bear/Goldilocks-approved style.

This from Japan!?! Wow. Color me impressed. At $5.00/CAN, I might not fill my cooler anywhere but in Japan with it, but it is certainly worth a try in the interim.

woodychandler, May 22, 2011
Photo of THEBEERBAR0N
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

I enjoyed this tasty beer out of a small (8oz) glass.

Appearance: Slightly amber-hued gold hue topped with a quickly dissipating white head. Purty.

Smell: Immediate notes of sweet/sour citrus- sugary grapefruit and lemon rinds come to mind. Not overpowering, but certainly present. I'm impressed.

Taste: Ooh that's nice. Much richer honey flavor malts come through than I initially would have expected. That sweet grapefruit in the smell really comes through in the middle. It has a light pine flavored hop finish that fades back into a very dainty malt flavor. This is surprisingly good.

Mouthfeel: It's a little thinner than I would like, but the malts stick with you for awhile. I think that the thin character may be a good thing though because it definitely places this in the 'session beer' category.

Drinkability: All day. No problem. I think this is the best Japanese beer I've had yet.

THEBEERBAR0N, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Shakujin
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%

Appearance: Golden, completely clear, weak quickly dissipating head.

Aroma: Ive had this before and it had a better nose, but this time very little aroma at all, slight hints of toastiness and hops

Taste: Bigger than the nose, dominating flavor is caramel malty type sweeness/ toastiness, along with a minor bitterness for balance. Clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Med-Light, the caramel taste makes it a bit heavier and there is little carbonation to lighted it up

Drinkability: Quite drinkable although the sweetness might build up a bit after a pint or so. Seems to be designed as a bit of a bridge beer with its price range and wide availability. Decent special bitter interpretation.

Shakujin, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of snogglethorpe
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%

Decent, but overrated -- it's good, but I don't think think it deserves the superlatives that many seem to heap on it.

A nice rich color. The taste, while it's very fresh with a nice fruitiness, is just too bland, it doesn't really stick its neck out in any direction, and doesn't seem to have any sort of interesting complexity that might make up for this. Certainly not offensive though, and something nice to sip; you could drink a lot of it without noticing.

It does have the distinction of being one of the few beers you can find on cask in Japan though.

snogglethorpe, May 05, 2010
Photo of juju7
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

Bright copper in colour with a smallish head but nice lacing. A really fresh, fruity, hop driven nose. Soft malt notes in the background. Plainly a perfectly balanced pale ale. Really smooth, spot on bitterness and mild carbonation. A bit of a surprise, I wasn`t expecting it to be this good. Great beer.

juju7, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of DaftBrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Picked a can up in Aobadai, Tokyo, Japan tonight just to give it a try. I was impressed by Tokyo Black, so here it goes.

Pours as a surprising, bright peachy-amber colour. Immediately some white heads springs up, and stays for about a whole two minutes. Nice lacing too, so far so good.

A quick sniff brings to mind a fruity malt, although not overpowering. St. Ambroise Pale or Apricot comes to mind.

First taste was a little disappointing in terms of impact. A little bitter to begin with, but finishes clean and fruity on the after taste. Actually, I do find that this would be a beer you could drink a few of in one sitting. Therefore, I rated it mostly high for mouthfeel and overall drinkability. A bonus is the price (here in Tokyo about 215 Yen), which leads me to believe I'll be enjoying another Karuizawa Nagano brand beer in the near future.

Also FYI, this brewery is miles ahead of any Asahi or Suntory brand. Give it a try if you stumble into Japan at anypoint (no pun intended).

DaftBrew, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Weizenmensch
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

350mL can as pictured, freshness date 0912上 (before December 2009, if I'm reading it right). Braille beside the ring-pull, don't know Braille.

A: Dark amber brew with an off-white head, low carbonation yet admirable head retention (good head retention for the style), and sticky lacing. Looks appealing. 4.0

S: Might have been served too cold, not getting a whole lot of volatile aromas coming off. Some generic hoppiness and dark dried fruit aromas, but it's not giving enough away. Pleasant but indistinct. 3.5

T: Taste is rich, sweet, satisfyingly full, malty and ale-hoppy on the tongue, and especially bitter on the palate. True to style, the expected flavours such as raisins, raw sugar, even pineapple are all there. Nice and fruity, but tastes like a beer, not like tropical punch, like some ales like this (Badger Champion especially has the tropical punch aroma for example). A sweetness can be detected even on the lips. This is a well-made brew, and the depth of flavour is difficult to fault. I haven't sat down and contemplated a beer like this in quite a while. 5.0

M: In the mouth it's a good blend of astringency and stickiness. Could afford to be a little more carbonation, but otherwise goes down nicely. 4.0

D: I wouldn't crave half a dozen of these, they're better enjoyed sipping one and moving onto something more cleansing. The stickiness is nice but would be cloying after the third beer. A nice beer to sit and contemplate, but you'd feel a little bloated if you had too many of them. 3.0

Overall: Refreshing, but not the kind of beer you want at noon on a humid midsummer's day in southern Japan. But thankfully the relentless heat happened a month ago, and I can enjoy this beer on a cool September eve.

This is better than I remember it, I needed a friend to remind me to try it again. A solid ale from a land where true beer is found in less than trace amounts.

Weizenmensch, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%

Yona Yona pours a nice peachy golden color which is slightly opaque with a nice half inch of perfectly white head. Nice and clean.

The aroma is hard to place, its sort of earthy and fruity at the same time. There is some definite citrus and a good amount of sweetness as well, almost like raw sugar. Finally I can't help but get a bit of a lemonade smell from this beer.

The taste is maltier than I expected, I think I was expecting a lot more hop flavor. That being said, there is some subtle underlying citrus. I taste a lot of biscuity flavors. It also has a bit of dry finish which is refreshing but I am missing the piney/grapefruity flavors that go along with a beer that's dry hopped with cascade hops.

Not a bad beer, especially when compared to so many of the bland lagers available in Japan. Glad I got try this one.

Another big thank you goes out to EinWeizenbitte for sending this beer along with the Sparkling Hop and asking nothing in return. Lots of beer karma coming your way my friend.

indiapaleale, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Can purchased at Paseo depato in Utsunomiya, about 250 yen, and brought it home to the US where I'm now drinking it on my deck. Perfect deck beer, flavorful and refreshing. The beer is golden color, slightly hazed, with a thick foam. The aroma is hoppier than I'd feared, maybe cascade hops? Some pine and citrus but not enough to call this an IPA, just a well done APA-style beer. The undercurrent is sweet toasty malts, really well done. Well worth buying if you're in Japan, this is much better than the Sapporo, Kirin, or Asahi you're likely to find everywhere.

TurdFurgison, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of goblet
4/5  rDev +3.9%

pour this from a 350 ml can into a glass .

A.it looks copper tone very clear with a moderate amount of carbonation .i did get a forth head after the pour but it disappeared in a few minutes.

s, the aroma is interesting and sharp , alittle woodsy ,citrus and some sweet fresh malt in there as well,it`s pleasing and clean .

T,i slight fruit flavor ,perhap tangerine and some honey the malt and hops have a great balance ,the water is soft and smooth in this beer .

M,this pale ale is crisp and not harsh or bitter on the palate with nice hops, malt feel almost creamy ,a bit of a dry after taste .

D, i like this ale ,very drinkable,it`s original. it inspires me to search for more beer from japan.

goblet, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of SargeC
3.85/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: Copper-gold colored brew with a thick, off-white head. Low carbonation.

Smell: Minor malt with a touch of citrus. Minor hop profile.

Taste: Solid malt flavor. Citrus hop flavor gives character to this tasty pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Slippery smooth with a satisfying, dry finish.

Drinkablity: Good brew. One of my favorite styles. I am glad to find a serviceable example here in Japan.

SargeC, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Tsuriman
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

Very drinkable beer with a solid body and very nice mouthfeel. Citrusy hops with worthy and sweet malt backbone. Smell is that of lovely C hops and the thick head out of the can and beautiful burnt orange in very inviting.

Overall, I really like this beer, I will seek it out on draft and in cask.

Tsuriman, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

Nice clear amber body with a creamy white head that leaves sheets of lace - a very nice appearance. Lots of fruit in the aroma - apple some beery, perhaps even some grapfruit, along with a pleasing caramel tone. The flavour is very soid and the lead contributors are the caramel and grapefruit aspects, although the general fruitiness observed in the aroma is still present in the background. The whole package is very well-balanced. The body is as good as you can hope for on cask. Nice and smooth, with minimal carbonation and a pleasing depth.

I could see this being a go to beer for me if I lived in Japan. I don't know how it compared to the canned version, but this was a very well crafted real ale and something the brewers should be very proud of.

bobsy, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of toweringpoo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%

Poured into a chimay chalice (hey, its all I got :P)

appearance: golden amber color, very inviting. about one finger of creamy white head which slowly disappeared in a minute or two

smell: oh yeah, this is a real beer. no super dry for me today :D

taste: nice hop/malt balance. citrus-piney hops. great finish that begs for another sip.

mouthfeel: very good but i think i'd like a little more carbonation, could be a result of my poor glass selection though

drinkability: if it was just a bit easier to find and priced like all the shitty japanese macros, i'd drink it all the time

recommended

toweringpoo, May 19, 2008
Photo of roblowther
4.58/5  rDev +19%

Clear copper in color, with minimal head and almost no lace. Very clear. The smell is rose hips with a coriander and pepper note. The taste is a fantastic blend of malt & hops, with a very mild hops note and a sweet finish that really brings it all together nicely. The mouthfeel has a nice body with a bit of carbonation. The drinkability is fantastic. Probably the most drinkable pale ale I've had.

roblowther, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of soulgrowl
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

Appearance: This beer started off a solid cloudy peach color, full of milky hand-pumped CO2 that gently wafts upward like a lifting fog to reveal a crystal-clear amber beer with an oh-so-creamy whitish buff-blush head. Great retention with solid, sticky lace.

Smell: I liked this beer out of the can, but one whiff and I could tell I was going to LOVE it out of the cask. Unexpected buttery notes came to me first, a surprise since the canned version didn't have any diacetyl presence. The malts and yeast offer loads of sweet fruit aromas - coconut, apple, white grape, palm nut - along with a burnt sugar/toffee tone. Hops are subdued, but still nice and Cascadey.

Taste: Complex yet mild, with everything from the nose, especially toffee and an ever-present grapefruity hop presence. Finish is clean, dry, with a lip-smacking lingering hop bitterness. Mmm.

Mouthfeel: Ridiculously smooth, medium-to-light-bodied and sticky yet crisp.

Drinkability: Yay. I could drink this all night, and possibly every night.

soulgrowl, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of crwills
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

On cask at Beer Club Popeye in Ryogoku, Tokyo.

American-style pale ale, although the colour is much darker than most Western examples. Being on cask, it was quite warm and had little carbonation, which muted some of the flavours. Nice hoppy presence in the flavour. Something unique in the aroma that I couldn't identify, almost like some Asian spice.

Another nice session beer.

crwills, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of 3frog
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

2 month old example purchased in Shinjuku.

A-poured a small slightly off-white head, which disappeared fairly quickly. Lovely orange color.

S-citrusy (grapefruit) hops, though I get a hint of cedar for some reason. A little malt in the mix.

T-the grapefruit continues, though it's not like a west-coast pale ale. Nice malt framework underlies everything. And as noted elsewhere, a fairly dry and nicely bitter finish.

M-a medium-level mouthfeel seems to be increased by the relatively low level of carbonation.

D-I like this, but I don't know that I would want to drink several of these. It's a nice, complex beer, but I think I'd like this as part of a variety of beers to drink.

3frog, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of davidchollar
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

this is the first good japanese beer I've found in japan. i've been living here for 2 years! that says a lot
looks a very transparent orange, the same color as the can. nice looking head, creamy white, sticks around for a minute.
smells good, citrus and fresh, vastly different from the J macros, much more inviting.
tastes even better, wow! nicely balanced with a satisfyingly bitter finish. a good example of a pale ale. this is as drinkable as beer gets, each one just calls for the next. addictive yona yona, as tomoko pointed out, means drink all night.

davidchollar, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of thesilverhand
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

Pours quite turbulent, sampled cask-conditioned at Beer Belly in Osaka. It settled to a beautiful dark red-gold, with a perfect creamy off-white head. It is a beauty to look at - but enough with looking. I want to drink!
There's a really gorgeous floral hop aroma, tempting me to sip.
The body is creamy and smooth. The flavour is excellent. If anything, the noble hops come out more here even than in the aroma, but are balanced nicely by sweet malts which carry well into the finish.
This is an extremely drinkable ale. If you get the chance to try it cask-conditioned, don't pass it up.

thesilverhand, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of tjd25
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

Head was short, almost non existent. Beautiful orange copper color, but only slightly hazy. Smell is very fruity and sweet. I'd say red fruits, but I tend to always say that. Apples too, maybe some caramel. Taste is lemony, very sweet, with maybe some strawberries and blueberries, but it is taken over by the quite thick and chewy grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is a bit more enjoyable than for the sansan made by the same brewery, less watery. The beer's low carbonation reinforces its drinkability, but the strong hoppiness tends to weaken it.

tjd25, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

A pretty still, not too active, oolong oorange color body over a small white head, which left substantial cobwebby lacing. The fruity hop nose was light and refreshing. If there was a hop air freshener, I would want it modeled after this scent I think.

The taste, as well, was big on fruity raw hops. A bit sweet perhaps, but bursting with flavor. The hops left a dry, dry dryness in my mouth, which left me wanting to reach for another sip. Medium body and soft bubbles.

This beer struck me as similar to many hoppy American style pale ales and some IPAs I've had. A solid, very drinkable pale ale.

donnebaby, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%

This is pretty good, out of a can. Color is a clear apricot, mini-head didn't last long, no lace at all. Aroma is of syrupy hops. Taste is almost all flowery hops, very pleasant and surprising. Mouthfeel is medium, slightly syrupy. I notice a bust of citrus in the finish. Unexpectedly pretty tasty. Thanks to Uncle Jimbo for this one!

PatandDavid, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of Naerhu
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

Was quite surprised to find this on cask.

Amber ruby color with a super fine 3 cm head. Thick shield of lace.
Explosive aroma. I could smell the amazing hops from a meter away.
Long mild malt flavor ending on a light and delicious caramel finish. I mean long, as in 15 minutes after finishing my glass I had a wonderful warming, caramel aftertaste. However, the hops are amazing throughout the glass. The flavor was disarmingly light (though by no means a lite beer) dispite the amazing aroma and long lasting finish.
Enjoyable and quite an experience.

Naerhu, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%

Sampled on cask at Popeye in Tokyo.

This pale ale poured an amber (on the brown side of amber) color with white foam that settled. The smell was mainly floral hops with some malt. The taste was a bit thin, but was mostly sweet malt and floral hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with low carbonation. It was smooth and clean with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. This was a good ale and easy to drink.

UncleJimbo, Jun 16, 2003
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Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.