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Koshihikari Echigo Beer | Uehara Shuzou Co. Ltd. / Echigo Beer Pub

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Koshihikari Echigo BeerKoshihikari Echigo Beer

Brewed by:
Uehara Shuzou Co. Ltd. / Echigo Beer Pub
Japan | website

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Koshihikari Echigo Beer is a rice lager beer that uses a super-premium short grain rice called Koshihikari. Produced in the ideal rice growing region of Niigata Prefecture, Koshihikari is known to be the best quality rice in Japan. The flavor of this premium beer can only be made with this rice.

Added by donnebaby on 04-09-2004

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 181
Photo of Dentist666
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

0.35l can with label saying Land Brauerei Echigo-Brau ))
Pours pale golden beer, off-white liquid with big bubbles head, almost no lingering. Luscious apple aroma with significant tartness.
Classic lagers' taste, almost no hops, even weak malt, moderate carbonation, dry palate. Nothing special, only refreshes and let you indulge on the hot day.

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Photo of riversidetravlr
3.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Fugakyu in Boston from a 500ml bottle poured into a pilsner style glass.

A: The beer is clear and golden in color. It pours with a light head with dissipates almost immediately.

S: The predominating scent was of apple juice.

T: The apple scent carries over into the taste. At some point during the middle of the swallow the beer just seemed to disappear. The finish was somewhat bitter.

M: A lot of nice bubbles but not much else.

D: The beer accompanied my sushi and in that regard it was good at not getting in the way of my enjoyment of the fish. I can think of other beers I'd rather drink with sushi however. I don't think this beer stands on its own as something you'd drink outside of the context of a meal.

serving type: bottle

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at a sale... sad to see a store closing, but so it goes. Anyway, figured I'd try some new stuff while I could get them cheap!

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pilsner glass... hazy golden color, lots of carbonation, bubbly white head... looks really nice.

Smells like a typical lager... grassy, a little skunk despite the brown bottle, nothing all that special here.

The taste is a little better, but still very grassy, very minimal hops, crisp yes, but not enough so to make me think it's a great beer. It's a step above big American macros but still not anything spectacular.

I do like the mouthfeel to this one, though... just the right amount of carbonation to it, which is good to see. And easily drinkable if you like the style.

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Photo of JMiculka
4.53/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very smooth and drinkable beer with a slight taste of hops. I have taste tested with friends and they found it to be very good. While somewhat light in body it had a very smooth mouth feel. It would be a beer that I would use to celebrate special occasions. Wish it were more widely available. Great with sashimi or sushi.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing per the standards of the style:

Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass (should have used my generic pilsner glass). Attractive label, which unfortunately belies the drab beverage within.

Liquid pours a perfectly clear golden yellow with a fast fading quite fizzy off-white head.

Aroma is typical adjunct sourness with low malt and hops.

Tastes of sweet grain with a slightly bitter dry finish; crisp, fairly refreshing.

Fairly high carbonation, light bodied though not quite watery.

Best used as a palate cleanser between sushi courses.

Not really worth the price increase over Sapporo, Kirin, Asahi, Orion, etc.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color.

S: Clean with some sweet malt.

T: Your standard rice lager but much too sweet. Some harsh grain as well. Hops are barely there.

M: Light bodied, high carbonation.

D: Not a very good rice lager, way too sweet.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Koshihikari Echigo pours a crystal clear golden body beneath a short head of bright white that fades readily to a standard collar. Beyond the initial short wall of lace that's formed as the head dies down, there are only minor splashes and tiny dots left behind.

The nose is remarkably clean, and it displays only a touch of delicately sweetish malt.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied and gently crisp with a very fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor displays an interesting fruity note that's reminiscent of grape and apple; and what malt is there is mainly sweetish, and not grain-like. It's candyish in a way. Across the middle some herbal, and perhaps floral, hops are merely hinted at. It's backed by some bitter dryness that leaves behind an almost cedar-like quality in the finish. Hmm, and even floral. Odd. I wonder if that's a combination of hops and alcohol, or even some phenols from fermentation.

Overall, it's interesting, but not particularly exciting or even very drinkable. There's not a lot of flavor going on overall, and yet it kind of sticks in the mouth with fruit and sugar.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle copped from Super Saver in Somerville for $3.50...
Pours a pale, straw-colored, lucid hue... Minimal head, with substantial lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Aroma: Rice adjuncts, lager smell, honey, and vanilla...
Taste: Strongly complements the aroma, bursting with candied sugars, vanilla, honey, snowcones...
Richer mouthfeel than expected...
Easily downable...
Good stuff and a great depiction of the style,,,

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle tried 30 May 2008.

Pours with no head at all. Despite this, well carbonated. Clear light golden color. Smells slightly skunked, and faintly of sweet cherries. Grainy sweet, faint ethanol, overall very light in flavor. Faint medicinal aftertaste. Thirst quenching. Light body, minimal alcohol.

Inoffensive and thirst quenching except for the initial skunkiness.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. 02/26/09.

Pours a bright and clear straw yellow color with a finger and a half of whitish head. The head quickly disappeared leaving slight lacing. Aroma is floral with a rice-like quality.

Taste is somewhat malty and has noticeable rice character. The rice is mostly subtle and creates a softly pleasant flavor. Slight herbal hop presence in the finish. Feel is light-medium bodied and grainy with plenty of carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and dry finish. Drinkability is very good - it's very refreshing. The flavor and feel are both very good.

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Photo of Offa
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is a very light, but good rice lager.

Slightly pale yellow, it has a small white head that slowly shrinks and leaves no real lace.

The aroma is slightly funky but not bad, with light grain, a little grass, and hints of herbs and sulphur.

The taste is light with grain barely dominated by grassy, faintly herbal bitter hops, giving a faint German quality to the character. It's clean, crisp, with brief aftertaste. It's somewhat watery and thin, but decent, like a more bitter-grassy watered-down Moosehead lager.

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Photo of popery
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extremely mild beer with a light, sweet profile but little to recommend it. The beer is a clear light yellow with an almost entirely disappearing head. The smell is weak, sweet and slightly malty. Taste is similar with a light citric twist of bitterness if you close your eyes and concentrate. It's mostly just sweet and light. I enjoy it more than your average cheap macro, but there's so little of interest to take note of that it's hard to give the beer a higher score. The flavor of rice is, of course, present, and while it's not my favorite grain flavor, it's so mild that I can't complain really. The feel is fizzy but nice and light, which I appreciate with this style. It's easy to drink, except you might die of boredom from too many, so that's a minus. I definitely prefer it over a lot of American macros, but that's not a high compliment.

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.97/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale yellow with contrasting white head. Looks very refreshing from appearance alone.

Nose is faint and clean. Not much there.

On the palate this thin bodied beer is crisp and dry from the hops, with a clean cereal malt component - but overall very thin in body and flavor.

Refreshing and MUCH BETTER than any U.S. macro lager.

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Photo of ShrLSU
1.88/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Bright golden yellow color with fizzy white head that settled into a light halo around the rim.

S: Really no scent that I can pick up.

T & M: very crisp taste. Well carbonated. It's a typical lager, pretty much a japanese Heineken.

D: There really is no reason to drink this unless you're japanese.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.69/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly and leaving traces of lace. Clear pale amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Sweet grassy nose. Flavor is sweet, light, good lawn mower beer. Clean finish. Pricey at $6.95 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of philbertk
2.33/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thin fizzy no lace head. Clear thin watery yellow color.Mild hop front.Thin mild rice malt crisp CO2 tangy hint soft caramel light sweet body.Light tangy refreshing clean minimal hop end. Japanese--Weak but balanced and fresh. Nice artwork on bottle.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.35/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

05/04/08- Purchased at Ranch Market in Foster City, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle poured into my Radeberger 1/2 liter glass. No freshness info on the bottle.

Appearance- Clear as day piss golden yellow. Bubbly and semi-creamy head which quickly evaporates so thereafter. Leaves no lace at all.

Smell- Skunk, skunk and more skunk. Not as bad as a few I have smelled, but this wasn't very nice. Some hops, bread and rice beneath it.

Taste- Mild skunk is in the flavor as well. Rice is the main suspect with some heavy bready noes and some sharp tasteless hops. Not very flavorful.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, macro like aftertaste.

Drinkability- Was hoping for something like a Sapporo. Have seen this beer at Ledger's and Ranch Market for the past couple years, but have been too cheap to drop the almost $4 on a beer hat I know would be no better than Sapporo. I was right and now I can afford one less gallon of gas. Damn you Japanesse rice lager beer!!

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Photo of illidurit
2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. Straw color with a white fizzy head. Lots of bubble columns but no retention or lacing.

Aroma is mostly adjuncts with a touch of hops and a touch of fruitiness.

Taste is pilsener-esque with a noticeable riciness. Adjunct sweetish malt with a little herbal hoppiness but not much.

Mouthfeel is delicate if not thin. Highly effervescent. Really clean on the palate but that's just a result of the lack of flavor. Drinkable but not that enjoyable.

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Photo of watchnerd
3.98/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml oversized bottle, picked it up from Nijiya Market in San Francisco.

Okay, I'm going to lay my cards on the table right now: this is one of the best Japanese macro / rice lagers to be had. It trumps most of the big names (Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin), Yebisu being the only other one that is a stand-out.

It pours clean and clear, but not too pale. A nice golden color. A light foam, but not too much, nor much lace. A slight bit of grain and hops in the aroma.

But the taste is perfect for this style: crisp, a bit dry, and edging much closer to being a pils than is typical for this style. You can actually taste hops in this one!

Amazingly drinkable, and perfect for paring with the more subtle nature of Japanese food, the one your West Coast Double IPA will overpower. Try it!

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
2.66/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a: froths up with very white head that fades to near nothingness on top of a pale straw body.

s: i am really not getting anything here; a teeny bit of grain

t: nice raw grains, malts; some banana flavors; teeny hint of hops

m: very light but pretty refreshing; medium carbo

d: i feel that there are other mainstream japanese beers that are much more enjoyable than this one.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
3.12/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very floral, fruity, citrus aroma with banana, apple, and a dash of malt. Pours with a large white head that leaves in about 2 minutes. No lacing. Very sweet tasting Japanese beer, almost as if it had corn in it (which I doubt is the case). Dry palate with lively carbonation. Nothing to seek out.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.46/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very, very pale yellow, like the color of chicks' down, with a thin, quivering, audibly volatile layer of frothy white spittle on top.

Smell: Sweet, bready malts with a sake-like clarity and vague apple-and-strawberry fruitiness. Hops are quite light and grassy, somewhat reminiscent of chrysanthemum greens.

Taste: Sweet and solid, much more substantive than I expected from the look and the smell of it; German Pilsener-like in its balance and robust hop character. However, except from the lack of off-flavors and a slightly zippier hop presence, nothing really distinguishes this from a standard Japanese lager. Finish is very dry and leafy.

Mouthfeel: Very light and airy, with ample carbonation. Lively without being fizzy.

Drinkability: Meh. In my opinion this is kind of a waste of koshihikari rice. It's great to eat and it lends a very nice, delicate character to sakes, but gets lost here among the malts and hops. This is a good lager, but it's a good lager that could have been made from pretty much any other cultivar of rice. After tasting it, the koshihikari seems a bit gimmicky to me.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another from Uwajimaya in Seattle. Appearance is a light golden color with a crisp head that keeps a thin film on top when dissapated. Smells is not typical of a macro lager, it's slightly sweeter with rice and grain that is cleaner. Taste is somewhat saline with hint of rice and a good cabonation that dances on the tongue finishing clean with a light mouthfeel. Nothing to dramatic here, just a good one to try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice label. Pours a clear straw with almost no head. Nose is slightly grainy. Flavor is pretty subdued. Overall smooth with a slight grain influence. Feel has a nice bubble on the tongue and a well balanced liquid feel. Very drinkable, but keep the style in mind.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, Ca. in January 2007; it's been sitting at the back of my fridge since then (It's October now- Oops!).

Pours a bright, clean, clear yellow with a decent carbonation, which allows a thin cover to last quite a long time. Aroma of light biscuity malt- no real hop presence.

Flavor takes the malts along, but adds in a real hop presence. Not an American hop bomb presence, it's quite subtle, but most certainly there. Overall, a nicely balanced, clean refreshing lager.

Mouth and drinkability- very crisp, clean, and like the appearance- clear. Easily drinkable, and would obviously go well with sushi or tempura.

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Koshihikari Echigo Beer from Uehara Shuzou Co. Ltd. / Echigo Beer Pub
76 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.
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