Ise Kadoya Genmai Ale | Nikenjayamochi Kadoya Honten Co. / Ise Kadoya Brewery

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Ise Kadoya Genmai AleIse Kadoya Genmai Ale
35 Ratings
Ise Kadoya Genmai AleIse Kadoya Genmai Ale

Brewed by:
Nikenjayamochi Kadoya Honten Co. / Ise Kadoya Brewery

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brown ale brewed with brown rice.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-30-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by ojiikun:
Photo of ojiikun
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What an oddity. An ale brewed in Japan with genmai (brown rice, usually toasted and brewed with tea). Gorgeous, long tapered bottle. Just had to try this or the curiosity would have killed me.

Cap popped with a good his, and was really on there. Bottle had a fairly thick layer of sediment. Body is dark for an ale - almost a red. Thin head, but decent lace. Tiny bit of haze, not quite crystal clear.

Smells wonderfully of yeast, and tons of toasty rice and malt. If you've had genmai-cha before, the smell will be very familiar. It's hard to find the hop notes under the rice and yeast, but they're in there. Yeast is belgian-ey in character. Stewed fruit and dark bread.

Taste was a lot brighter than I expected! There are dueling flavours of the toasted rice and a hopping that's very clear and singular. Soraci ace, mayhap? Would be appropriate, anyhow. Middle is unremarkable, and finish is more rice. Just malty enough to carry things along.

Carbonation seemed a bit strong to me, and body a bit thin, but it was still a touch sticky. No weird lingering flavours, though, outside of what you'd expect from the rice. Bottle tasted like it might not have been the freshest, so you may want to ask your beermonger about shipping dates.

Overall, this was exactly what I expected, executed better than I had hoped. Very Japanese in character, fairly well balanced experiment. Not perfected, but not bad for a gimmick beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Auraan
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gushed foam on opening and poured an initial glass of foam that settled into a murky amber color with a three finger white, fluffy head that was slow to dissipate. It looks excellent once settled, like a good Belgian ale. Scents of brett sourness, with undertones of caramel, some wine like aromas, a slight metallic tang, sour fruit and slight earthy aromas. An incredibly unique aroma, not at all what I was expecting, a very original ale with a very Belgian sour aroma. Quite nice. Flavor begins with a sour funk and a somewhat sweet caramel malt and earthy base, along with what I can only call Belgian yeast spiciness. This carries through into the finish where it is joined by a toasted rice flavor. There is also a slight bitterness in the background. A very unique flavor profile, quite unlike anything I have had, though reminiscent of Belgian sours in some ways. The genmai really changes the beer though and adds unique toasted rice flavors that are quite welcome and work with the sour, wild yeast character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth, creamy feel and moderate, yet soft, carbonation. A very easy to drink beer as a result and it goes down quite smooth. Overall this is a good, very unique beer. The wild aroma and flavor work with the toasted rice to create a beer unlike any I have had. It's refreshing, easy to drink and unique in flavor. Recommended.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sleek half-litre brown bottle, the only English indication of the beer style held within a small mailing label, which lends an air of the exotic, given that I can't read Japanese.

This beer pours a hazy medium copper hue, with three fingers of creamy off-white head, which leaves a ring of lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of steamed wild rice, a bit vegetal, with some funky weediness. The taste is toasted rice husk, an earthy mustiness, and mild weedy hops. The carbonation is soft, the body medium weight, and it finishes a bit off-dry, musty and herbal.

Definitely something new for me, and hard to compare to anything else I've had, except for maybe sake. Not bad, at least a good example of using rice in the beer-making process.

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Photo of Sammy
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Presario. A rice beer with brown malts. Pours grapefruit colour with lotsa white head. A distinct barnyard, but not much of that in the taste. Leaves a lot of lace, the carbonation is there and it is drinkable this beer. Not a ot of mouthfeel.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- cloudy orangy, copper color. Starts off with a 2 1/2 finger foamy head, but it dies to a fine rim around the glass. It's got a bit of sediment. Dosn't look like any brown ale I've ever had. Nothing too fantastic, but it's different for sure.

S- There's a definite wine kind of scent. There is also a Belgian funky, yeasty type smell. Earthy overall I'd say.

T- Belgian yeast earthy, funkiness. Tart, but not tremendously sour. It's very similar to an un-oaked, lighter red wine (not sure which variety, I'm not a wine person really). No real discernable hop presence here at all. Can't say this is brown ale like at all! It reminded me more of a saison or some kind of Belgian golden ale.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Pretty well carbonated. Finishes dry and tart. Its to me somewhere between drinkable and a sipper. I don't think it's hard to drink at all.

Overall I'm extremely surprised this came from Japan. It's got a lot in common with Belgian ales. It's got tartness and earthiness. I enjoyed how it was like wine with more beer type qualities. If for some crazy reason you see this beer in your local store, go get it and try it.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes in an elegent tall 500 ml brown bottle. Pours out a cloudy amber hue, quick splash of off-white head.

Something comes off as tart and sharp at first in the aroma but quickly subsides as toasted notes replace it and remain predominant. Toasty, husky grains in the background.

Grainy, leathery, toasted malt, toasted rice/popcorn flavour in the middle, bitter leafy herbal hops on finish along with astringent tannins.

Light slick watery mouthfeel, low carbonation with a higher zip on the finish.

Curious experiment, and I'm a big fan of genmaicha tea, however it doesn't seem to gel together within this ale, far more dischord than harmony with all the seperate elements, and as a result it affects the overall experience.

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Photo of amandebates
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Mixed feeling on this one.

Appearance: Very foamy thick, white head. Retained well over time. Orange-brown copper and cloudy.

Smell: Citrusy, some spice.

Taste: Orange/grapefruit, vanilla, spicy hops. I get a lot of curry flavors - primarily cumin, ginger, tumeric.

Mouthfeel: Overcarbonated. It bubbles and bubbles in your mouth that you have to let it sit before you can really start tasting the beer.

Drinkability: There's an interesting balance and array of flavors, but the carbonation on this (at least from this bottle) was too much to make it very drinkable.

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Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of IanWingy
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of jlindros
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this free in a leftover from the Beervana last summer.

A: Started to erupt slowly as I opened it, being about 6+ months old that's not a good sign. It has a bleached white fluffy 1 finger head that retains very well as billions of bubbles rise up. It has a toasty orange color that is very clear.

N: Oh yeah, infection! I can smell the sour fruit and funk. Aside from the sour fruit and funk, I get some toasted malts, lightly sweet malts, rice, and perhaps a hint of hops.

T: Again trying to ignore the soured funky contamination which is lighter on the taste than it was on the nose. Spicy, like a nicely spiced summer wit! It's got a wheat like taste, with lots of light toasty malts, rice, definite rice (almost has a sake like taste). Light hints of spicy hops. Pretty light otherwise.

M: Lighter body with tons of carbonation.

F: Very dry, as expected, but also somewhat bitter. Interesting. It has a nice spicy hopped bitter finish (ignoring the soured funky tangy infection). Some toasty malt flavors also linger, like toasted bread. An earthy hop character lingers as well this one really long.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Explodes out of bottle with a five+ finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color, floaties in glass. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Smells like a hay barn. Flavor is brown rice and hay. Not bad, different from anything I've had. This is not an English Pale Ale but rather a specialty grain. Wicked pricey at $8.45 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Tone
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight spice (ginger?), hint of yeast, hint of pale malt, and slight floral. An interesting, spicy, English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight ginger, hint of pale malt, and hint of grain. Overall, good aroma and mouth feel.

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Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours the color of sweet ice tea, with OK head retention and decent lacing. The nose is pretty malty, with something of a brown sugar and milk chocolate aroma. The flasvor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with something of a light, slightly watery finish. Drinkability is decent, with the alcohol well disguised. I wish this beer had a bit more flavor, but nevertheless, it's a decent beer. However, given the price tag for this beer, I believe I'll stick with the cheaper and better domestic versions I can find in this country (or from the UK).

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Photo of albern
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer that I'm drinking bears very little resemblance to what others are reviewing. I'm suspecting that my bottle went bad. The aroma is a bit vinegary and smells too much like a wild ale to not suspect the beer is compromised. The beer I'm tasting is a long long stretch away from an English Pale Ale. It is plenty carbonated, with the tart, wild ale type tastes with a touch of Brett yeast. I'm getting very little malty mid section, or funky brown rice, or anything else that others commented upon. I will re-review this beer after I get another batch. For now, it gets straight 3s as a default.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bit of an odd-ball beer. Not that it's bad or bland, just that it's compenents make the whole a bit of a mutt in the style world.

When opened this beer volcanoed a frothy head. Had to quick pour to get it in the glass. Yet in the glass the head was about medium size and fluffiness. Fairly sticky lacing as the dark peach colored beer drank.

Aroma is grainy, earthy and some citrus. Some sweet caramel or light chocolate come and go, hard to pin down. Would almost call it pine-like, but it just doesn't quite get there.

Flavors are earthy and spicy. the citrus provides some 'greeness' to the overall taste. A bit smoky. Seems like an 'extreme' EPA if we want to stick to that style. A full body feel, nice sharpness.

Pretty good drinking. I thought the aftertaste would be BMC-like...everytime I hear rice in beer I think that...but it was quite dry and cleansing.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First of all, a word of caution : This bottle is a monster volcano upon opening even if chilled. I had to do the emergency sprint to hold the bottle over the sink. The carbonation is either out of control or there isn't enough head space in the unusually slender neck of this bottle. If I had to bet, though, I would put money on a combination of these two factors.

If I understand correctly, genmai is a form of toasted brown rice which is than added to some kind of traditional tea. This ought to be interesting...

Pours cloudy deep amber with golden highlights around the edges of the glass. There is quite a bit of sediment, but it is not excessive in my book. The carbonation is a freak of nature, I could only gingerly fill my pint glass half way before that foam monster came roaring all the way up to the top. However, that being said, the monster is short lived and doesn't hold up well beyond a minute or two. And it doesn't leave any lacing, either.

At first bottle opening there is a one-time-only temporary Lacto-sour whiff which leaves five minutes later never to return. The nose is dank, earthy, and does indeed smell like my kitchen does when I cook brown rice. There is a minor tinge of some kind of hopping in the background, but it is unclear and muddled beneath the toasted rice smell. I'd say this needs either a portion more of hopping or that my bottle is one step too old and the hops have turned.

The taste is mostly musty rice. Very musty, like a basement used for rice storage. Also there is a lot of yeasty bread and orange peels, which surprised the hell out of me because I couldn't find them in the nose. The earthiness, however, is definitely present and accounted for. Somebody else who reviewed this really hit the nail on the head when they talked about cumin, there are spicy notes flying around everywhere in my mouth but the most easily identifiable one is cumin spice both on the front and on the aftertaste of the sip. Sometimes I am picking up this interesting celery-like aromatic flavor note. It is worth mentioning that there is a hell of a lot of flavor packed into this beer despite an ABV of only 5.1%.

Unfortunately, the mouth feel is partially ruined if you try to drink this right away, the foam will spurt out of your nostrils and ears! So crazy carbonated that it becomes a negative. Wait five minutes until it goes flat and than it becomes enjoyable. Medium bodied, chewy, and filling. An curious sipper, which has rekindled anew my growing interest in exploring brews that use rice malts.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy brown with an orange hue. Thinner creme head. Flavor is a bit tangy really. Not precisely balanced. Lots of caramel here as well. Did I say a lot? Seems to be a bit of a hoppy bite on the backside. Lots of malt here as well. Feel is boisterous on carbonation and the liquid is a bit thicker. Overall this is okay. Kind of out of balance and too loud in certain places. Decent enough. I guess.

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Photo of HappyBivouac
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never heard of this beer or brewery, but being a big fan of Genmaicha (toasted rice tea) I had to grab a bottle.

s- Orval-like tart aroma, faint grassy and floral hops, a faint spicy note, a bit of a brown rice aroma but it's buried as expected. Faint tartness.

a- a nice deep and substantial amber with a creamy off-white head. rather pleasant to look at.

t- well this is something. the toasted brown rice comes on a lot stronger on the palate. it is very much like freshly brewed genmaicha mixed with a toned down Orval. floral, grassy hops are only present in the finish. Very interesting combination of flavors here. I'd prefer not to see so much tartness, but I have my doubts as to how intentional it was.

m- about exactly what I'd expect from a combination of tea and beer. slightly more substantial than water, with only a faint, lightly tickling carbonation. Not exciting, but pleasant.

d- It's weird. This beer is bending my sense of how to analyze it. Normally I don't want the same thing from beer as I do from tea, but this just works, much in the way that a good toasted rice tea does. The tart, Orval-like flavors are likely due to infection, but I daresay it doesn't work entirely against this beer. An interesting beer to sip, and refreshing, but if you don't like the idea of toasted rice tea mixed with Orval then it might not be your thing. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of sdderek
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm really digging this unique beer. The label says it's "brewed with water, malted barley, brown rice, & hops". It's got a good taste to it and I must say that I'm impressed!

A - It's pretty cloudy, and a head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - I can't quite place the smell...but I do know it's inviting!

T - Such a unique taste...but maybe that's because I've been drinking too many double IPA's lately! :) I like it!

M - The beer definitely lays heavy in your mouth and maybe that's why it feels a little over-carbonated.

D - Not bad at all. I'lll drink it again.

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Photo of sessycuban
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - The beer pours a copper color. Very tight head.

S - This beer smells exactly like mugicha. I really think this is the best way to describe the smell.

T - The genmai flavor is very pronounced. Brown rice, sweet bread, toasted grains.

M - Medium bodied. A bit acrid.

D - Honestly, since I think it smells and tastes like mugicha, I'd rather just have mugicha. With that said, I'm glad I tried it and encourage others to do so as well. The Shelton Bros. are bringing some very interesting Japanese beers into their portfolio.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this at State Line liquors in Elkton, MD. poured chilled into a tulip.

A - Dark golden/pale shade w/ neverending thick white cap. The bead is fine + retention is lasting. The beer has translucent clarity

S - Smell is of grain but toasted rice in particular, like soba buckwheat tea w/ a mild pale malt and hop aroma in the background

M - A nice crisp bitterness alongside toasted rice feel w/ clean dry finish. A mellow alcohol and moderately seltzer like carbonation

T - While the nose and feel are both very good, some of the brown rice and beer flavor gets lost with the high carbonation level. It has a mild toasted rice taste and slight bitterness but it is pretty mild tasting IMO w/ light malt flavors and generally standard hops to balance w/ dry clean flavors overall

D - A refreshing and fresh tasting beer w/ subtle taste of rice, fits the style ok, I would probably choose this for a warm day or paired w/ duck or fatty fish like salmon.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was highly carbonated as evidenced when opened as it made a bit of a mess as I quickly poured it into my glass. This was a bit carbonated for my taste which killed the moutfeel. It has a thick off-white foam and is a nice amber color to it.

I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this up, but I wasn't pleasantly surprised, unfortunately. It just had a weird tart-funkiness to the taste that I did not enjoy, I believe it is the brown rice. This flavor came across in the scent as well.

I didn't dump it, it is decently drinkable, just not something I would get again.

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Photo of rudzud
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up on a whim from Julios. I enjoy drinking genmaicha so I wanted to give this a go. Really glad I tried this.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip. I can happily say there was no massive volcano with my bottle upon opening, though, no matter how slow I poured a massive three finger fluffy head that dissolved somewhat fast. That being said, a quarter inch thick blanket remained throughout the drink. This head sat atop what was a nearly crystal clear dark brownish orange, though a little sediment got in and quickly clouded it up.

S - Somewhat confusing. There are nice citrus notes, oranges and such. Getting a little hop aroma and the brown rice is there in the background too.

T - Wow, this stuff is deliciously weird. Initially there is that orange/citrus aspect, along with some spicy malt characters and then WHAM I've got a mouthfull of roasted brown rice. This is crazy, its like drinking a cold glass of genmaicha.

M - This really kills this beer. Now, I do enjoy nice carbonation with my beer, but this is way too much. Very high carbonation, fountain drink level of carbonation. It distracts and detracts from the brew.

D - I really, really enjoyed this. Do I think "enlglish pale ale" when I drink this? Not even close as far as I'm concerned. That being said this is definately a genmai ale. If you buy this looking for a epa then you will most certainly be let down, however, if you buy this based on the concept...based on the "Oh, this will hopefully taste like Genmaicha?" then you will certainly get your moneys worth. I would definately buy this again, though would be nervous of getting an infected bottle or a volcano.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-red with a super thick, creamy white head that fades very slowly. Looks quite refreshing...
Smell is tart and grainy, with some interesting herbal aromas. Brown rice and some grassy notes as well.
Taste is slightly tart notes, with some very mild, brett-like funk. Certain grainy aspect that I attribute to the rice that is used. Tiny hints of ginger and some clove. Taste overall seems a bit watered down.
Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. Light body, decent level of carbonation.
Drinkability is good. Interesting enough beer that is quite refreshing.

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Ise Kadoya Genmai Ale from Nikenjayamochi Kadoya Honten Co. / Ise Kadoya Brewery
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 35 ratings