Heads of Noosa are well known for their flagship Japanese Lager. When they made a dark version, it didn’t take long for this beer to jump from a keg-only release to a wider release in bottles; the people cried out for it, and Heads of Noosa answered.
In some ways, the Japanese Black Lager is like its pale cousin; close your eyes and you can taste that lightly sweet malt profile of the Japanese Lager with a gentle hop spice coming through. But open your eyes and you’re met with a dark beer with reddish glints that bears no resemblance to the original. And while it still goes down easily, this beer feels different to the pale version, too: the carbonation’s a little softer, the mouthfeel’s a little rounder, the body’s a little fuller.
The JBL* brings together rice and roasted malt to do something special. Is coffee cola a thing? I'm fairly sure it's not. But it should be. And if it existed, I think it'd smell something like this beer. That distinctive character is more subtle in the mouth (as I said, it does have some of the same flavour notes of the Japanese Lager) and the beer doesn’t have the roasty bitterness in the finish that you'd associate with, say, a stout.
Dark character but with a clean and dry finish. Super drinkable.
*Who’s got time to spell out entire words? I know I don’t. I’m a man in a hurry – I have a baby on the way, so I need to get as much work as possible done before then. So you’ll understand if I use initials to replace the full names of beers. That little shortcut will save me valuable time.
Published July 13, 2023 2023-07-13 00:00:00