Kagua Rouge
Nippon Beer Co. Ltd.

Kagua RougeKagua Rouge
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Nippon Beer Co. Ltd.
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #104
Ranked #16,806
3.89 | pDev: 6.68%
Aug 15, 2022
Jul 29, 2014
Very Good
Kagua RougeKagua Rouge
Notes: None
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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
Reviewed by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A really unique and worth experiencing beer. Billed as a dark strong ale, it is amber in the glass and does have that medium bodied feel you'd expect from a scotch ale or strong ale. This one though, is a distinctive Brussels meets Tokyo mash-up. Dark fruit flavor duets with spices you can't find on Belgian soil--these flavors come from Japanese yuzu and sansho peppers. Overall, this beer leans Belgian, with an Asian twist.
Aug 15, 2022
Rated: 3.93 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Aug 13, 2021
Rated: 3.98 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Aug 07, 2021
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Reviewed by SevenBeersDaily from Finland

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
The sansho pepper is too prominent, and really doesn't belong in a beer in the first place. Mind you I enjoy beers laced with peppers, but not this one. It tastes like grapefruit and green bell pepper with some Belgian nutty notes thrown in. I'd say this is a case of trying to hard to be different rather than just focusing on making a great beer. It's a novelty for those who want something weird, and that's about it.
Jul 10, 2021
Rated: 4.39 by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

Aug 26, 2020
Photo of hk117
Reviewed by hk117 from Hong Kong

4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
330ml bottle - sweet, malty and almost toffee flavor at first, followed by a dry and lightly hoppy finish. The sansho pepper notes will hit you towards the end, leaving your tongue a little bit tingly and numb. Extremely unique and just interesting. Only complaint is the relatively weak aroma, which could have taken this beer to the next level. Can imagine this being a great pairing with unagi.
Aug 10, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by Noelito76 from New York

Nov 24, 2019
Photo of elNopalero
Reviewed by elNopalero from California

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
This pours a ruddy tinged grapefruit color. There's an underlying grapefruit note to this, with a nice malt backing. It's interesting, and the Belgian ale yeast complements it nicely. Bit of a hop kick on it, too. Pleasantly surprising.
Nov 26, 2018
Photo of doktorhops
Reviewed by doktorhops from Australia

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This is one I had a while ago, intrigued by the addition of Sanshō (aka Japanese pepper) – an ingredient I was wholly unaware of until I tried this beer (an enlightening minute of Wikipedia later and I’m buffed with information on this curious spice). I’m a big fan of craft beer crossing cultural boundaries, some of my favourite beers have come from Japan, and a great deal of my favourite beers come from Belgium – just look at my top-100, it’s a who’s who of classic Belgian brews. So when a Japanese brewer like Kagua (otherwise known by the unimaginative and slightly self-conceited name of Nippon Beer Co.) decides to mix an East-meets-West style brew I’m definitely going to give it a go, how could I not?

Poured from a classic 330ml Belgian-style bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy deep bronze body with a pretty dense beige head that leaves light lacing inside the glass. Appearance a bit cloudy given the style, but otherwise this beer looks moreish. 8/10.

S: Yep, that Sanshō has an unmistakable and difficult to describe aroma that stands out loud and clear from first whiff – it’s like a mix between pepper, ginger and clove that really piques my interest as a lover of spice (they say “spice is the spice of life”). Background hints of dark fruit (plum mostly) and a cider apple character mingles with a caramel malt and musty yeast layer. There’s a decent amount of complexity going on here. 8/10.

T: Flavour hits you with a bang of spice – pepper, ginger, clove – right from the off, before bringing in a boozy Christmas cake dark fruit centre, some light caramel malt sweetness drops in, herbal notes towards the finish – which is dry and a touch boozy. Maybe it’s the Sanshō, but the flavour profile comes across a tad prickly, but otherwise this is a tasty drop. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice dense (though not creamy) texture, yep – ticks all the boxes, could be smoother and less carbonated, but otherwise excellent. 8/10.

D: Totally worth trying this beer just to experience Sanshō for the first time – it’s definitely different to anything I’ve ever tasted before and it numbs the mouth a little (like Kava, but less intense). As far as the beer itself goes – it’s a bit of a marriage of slightly disparate flavours, but thankfully it’s not a marriage that ends in divorce, in fact it gets better as I become more accustomed to the Sanshō character. Not a “10/10 would try again” brew, but then again what is? 8/10.

Food match: Hmmm, this is a tough one… I’m going to say: abura soba with ichi-mi.
Nov 18, 2018
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Jul 15, 2018
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Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
As the world continues to shrink, the inspiration of craft in beer making expands. Inspired by Belgian beer making but brewed in Japan, a wonderful amber ale springs to life but with an aura of spice that illuminates from citrusy sansho peppers.

Pouring a rusty amber hue and woven with a hazy, yeasty glow, the beer's frothy sand stained froth applies a rounded scent of toast, caramel, pepper and stone fruit on the noses. Short sweetness of nutty pecan, bread crust and steely caramels lie gently on the early palate.

Yet as the flavors unfold on the middle palate, the soft Belgianesque display comes full circle. A rapidly fading sweetness ensures a moderate fruit flavors of cherry, berry, grape and apple will balance with a light spicy twinge of peppercorn, cinnamon and fennel. Spicy alcohols bring about a spicy rose wine tone to close its taste.

Medium light on the palate, the spicy, dry and irresponsibly drinkable ale springs from the palate with a zip and a zeal of sparkling wine. Tart, crisp and spicy, an antiseptic finish brings about the spicy sansho taste and texture that's both numbing and piquant.
Sep 24, 2017
Photo of ordybill
Reviewed by ordybill from Georgia

4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 330 ML bottle into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Pooler, GA. The appearance is a cloudy dark amber color with a small white head. The aroma is lightly fruity with some pepper spice. The taste follows the nose. An excellent beer.
Jul 09, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by Stardusthotel83 from Washington

Feb 10, 2017
Rated: 3.67 by kuishinbo_tantei from New York

Dec 28, 2016
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
330 ml bottle with a BB date stamp on the cap of 2-2017.

Look: Dark red-copper color with a large, durable, creamy, tan head.

Aroma: markedly spicy; more intriguing than appealing, at least initially. Hints of lemon and pepper.

Flavor: Mildly bitter overall with the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the hops well balanced. Spicy aftertaste reminiscent of a Belgian rye ale with lemon (not that I've actually had such a beer).

Body: Full bodied with medium-high carbonation. Smooth.

Overall: bonus points for distinctiveness, presumably tied to the use of sansho. Considerably better than Kagua Blanc.
Nov 08, 2016
Rated: 3.78 by EdgarGerik from Venezuela

Oct 08, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by mpenske from California

Jun 12, 2016
Rated: 4.03 by Anthonypapini from New York

May 15, 2016
Rated: 4 by citylion from New York

Mar 01, 2016
Rated: 3.95 by bigmanlavos from Washington

Jan 21, 2016
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Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
A: Pours a murky reddish brown in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some moderate ruby red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of yuzu fruit with light aromas of sansho peppers/spicy, dark fruit (plum), and dark malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts with a light to moderate amount of dark fruit (plum) sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of yuzu citrus and sansho peppers (which only contribute a hint of spiciness). Hints of bitterness in the finish which fades away pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin, especially for the style.

O: The combination of yuzu fruit and sansho peppers is very interesting and definitely works though this is a bit of a strange example of a BSDA. Enjoyable and I'm glad I tried it but not sure I would go out of my way to find this one again.
Dec 11, 2015
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by metter98 from New York

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle at Kimono Rooftop Beer Garden, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy very dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of yuzu fruit are present in the nose along with some hints of sansho peppers.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of yuzu fruit and notes of sansho peppers, the latter of which linger into the finish but aren't that spicy.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The sansho peppers lend a slight amount of prickliness to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer tastes nothing like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but is very interesting with the mix of yuzu fruit and sansho peppers.

Serving type: bottle
Dec 11, 2015
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Rated by torrenju from Hong Kong

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Great--interesting, peppery taste with a nice, fruity nose. Deceptively sessionable--hard to tell it's so strong from the taste!
Nov 22, 2015
Photo of mightyyt
Reviewed by mightyyt from Thailand

3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Nice fruity aroma, no obvious hops smell. Color reminded me of a watery coffee with milk, a bit cloudy. Decent head, not much retention. My newbie taster skills fail to find a taste foothold to build on.....hate to say generically "fruity", but can't honestly expand much from there. Slight acid burn on finish. Feels fine, carbonation level quite appropriate. This is an expensive bottle of beer where I live, doubt if I will try again anytime soon. Does render a pleasant tasting burp....
Sep 27, 2015
Rated: 4.13 by AxlSkull from France

Aug 09, 2015
Rated: 4 by lrdrd from France

Mar 31, 2015
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Rated by stomioka from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Strong ginger smell. The taste is also strong ginger, but iys still enjoyable ale
Mar 05, 2015
Rated: 3.77 by djrn2 from New Jersey

Feb 28, 2015
Rated: 3.62 by FrankShirley from Massachusetts

Jan 07, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by Jaysicles from Hong Kong

Sep 27, 2014
Rated: 4 by patre_tim from Thailand

Sep 18, 2014
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Reviewed by Monochrome from France

3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Very fragrant, first thing I smell in this beer are the Sansho berry spices, I get a hint of yuzu(although slightly overpowered by the malt) as well.
Color is a rather dark copper, with an off-white head.
Taste wise I get predominant sansho spice, roasted malt and a hint of yuzu(citrus taste).
Mouthfeel, it's rather smooth with sharp spice notes.
Jul 29, 2014
Kagua Rouge from Nippon Beer Co. Ltd.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 34 ratings