Yebisu Kohaku | Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

34 Ratings
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Yebisu KohakuYebisu Kohaku

Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bobsy on 10-12-2008

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of TheDr
4.5/5  rDev +42.4%

Photo of eye2
4/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of OsakaRedbeard
4/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of shigg85
3.93/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Yebisu Museum in Ebisu, Tokyo. Poured into a half-pint glass. Beautiful clear bronze-red brew with a thick creamy white head that retains. Roasted malt flavor with a bitter Chinese tea flavor. Smell a bit flat, even lacking the roasted notes. Bitter smell comes out a bit later in its life. Very thin spotted lacing around the glass. A bit gassy, but a pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall, a great red ale especially if served on tap.

 466 characters

Photo of Zond
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of vfgccp
3.7/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%

The aroma initially gives off the sour, skunky quality typical of Japanese macrobrews; there is also some spiciness, caramel; a touch of woodsy hoppiness comes through over time. The off-white head diminishes to a film that sticks around; the body is a brilliantly clear copper/deep amber. The flavor is quite malty with a good amount of bitterness—tastes more like an English pale than an American amber; the hop flavor is extremely low but seems to have a fruity character; the very sweet caramel finish leaves an aftertaste like having eaten whole malted barley. Medium body; soft and somewhat frothy carbonation.

I don't mind Yebisu too much in general, but like other big Japanese brands, they seem to have an issue with that sour, skunky aroma. Thankfully in this case, however, it doesn't persist for long after pouring. Overall, this one is pleasantly smooth and drinkable, quite sweet with a bit of spiciness and bitterness to round it out. While the aroma is not especially impressive, nor the flavor especially complex, I must say that—all things considered—I'm fairly impressed.

 1,098 characters

Photo of rickdude
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of gsr
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of YamagamiTravis
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Wontonst
3.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap into pub glass. Has a thick head with an amber color. Has a thick head with excellent retention. Malty smell. Rich taste that's quite hoppy. I especially enjoy the feel, it's creamy with light carbonation - quite a pleasant experience.

 251 characters

Photo of daigakusei11
3.44/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of pettis
3.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours really nicely with a foaming white head atop a beautifully amber-hued beer (Kohaku 琥珀 is Japanese for "amber"). Medium carbonation with a steady stream of sparse bubbles rising from the bottom. Would score this higher if it weren't for the poor head retention.

S: Fairly sweet...some caramel-like malt in there with a bit of grass/straw and some faint Saaz-like hop spice.

T: The malt dominates here, though not quite as much as I'd like. Then again this is a mass-produced Japanese ale (lager?). Even less hop presence than the nose (which is to say very little), and a bit thin in mouthfeel.

Not quite what I was hoping for, but a refreshing change among the usual supermarket selection of Japanese lagers. Ebisu Kohaku is categorized as an American Amber/Red Ale but it seems to be a lager and perhaps should classified as an Amber/Red Lager instead.

According to a blurb on Sapporo's Japanese webiste: "This is an 'Amber beer'-type Ebisu that has realized the taste of amber color by adding crystal malt to the original Ebisu beer and increasing the total amount of malt used." (

In other words, it sounds like an Ebisu, a lager, brewed with more malt and including crystal malt in the mash bill.

 1,270 characters

Photo of dar482
3.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the brewery in Tokyo.

The beer pours out with a nitro like head with a light amber color with some brown and gold.

The aroma has lots of grain, bready and nutty malt, along with floral, grassy hops.

The flavor is bolder than other adjunct beers. There is a bright grassy hop note and spicy hops at first then there's lots of breadiness and grains like corn. There is that adjunct bitterness on the end with some more grass and a bit of mold.

 456 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.28/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz can with canning date of SEP16 into standard pint glass.

L: Lighter Amber color, finger width off white head recedes into thin layer. Good lacing.

S: Very subdued smell, mild malts and hops. Hard to identify hop character.

T: Smooth malt, eases into slight hoppy bitterness. Quite tasty.

F: Light-Medium Body, easy on the palate.

O: Not what I usually like in an Amber/Red but not too shabby.

 427 characters

Photo of spycow
3.27/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of GuidedByVoices
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of warpedrevolution
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of SargeC
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber brew with a thick golden head. Rustic appearance.

Smell: Clean with hints of hops. Slight malt aroma.

Taste: Very subdued flavor. Hints of smoky malt. This is less flavorful than regular all-malt Yebisu.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Semi dry.

Drinkablity: Tasty, but a bit of a disappointment. I expected more from the Yebisu line and was excited to see an amber in the lineup. It was not as good as the other Yebisu varieties I have had, but it was still a serviceable brew.

 506 characters

Photo of JeremyBrews
3.11/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- 1 finger of head, slight retention, minimal lacing. Light amber color.

S- Light, simple hop aroma.
Hop; 'The Hop'?
Singular Japanese crop?

T- Lasting Hop Flavor, initial to mid- to after- taste. No yeast flavor, not much maltiness worthy of mention.

M- Light-medium body, above average carbonation balances The Hop Zing bitterness nicely.

D- While not memorable or particularly pronounced, The Enjoyable Hop (The One Hop refered to in The Prophecy?) flavor is the theme of this beer. A good beer to assist a BBQ, but not complex enough to merit drinking it alone.

 570 characters

Photo of tommy5
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TheEggCrasher
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of weerezboy
3/5  rDev -5.1%

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Yebisu Kohaku from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
3.16 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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