此次我們邀請到台灣酒研學院專業講師—— Tom，來分享他品飲麒麟一番搾、一番搾鮮摘和 Spring Valley 精釀啤酒的超詳細品飲體驗，開啟啤酒品嚐的感官享受 ！
We invited Tom, noted lecturer from the Taiwan Wine Academy, to share his experience tasting Kirin ICHIBAN beer, Kirin Toretate Hop, and Spring Valley craft beer and launch you on a sensory journey of beer tasting.
Tom 老師這樣喝 ！享受拉格啤酒的絕妙滋味
Drink like Master Tom ! How to properly enjoy a Lager
我和妻子 Naseem 於 15 年前創立台灣酒研學院（TWA），開台灣飲品教育之先河。近十年來 TWA 同步開設 Cicerone（啤酒侍酒師認證）和 BJCP（啤酒評審認證）啤酒品飲課程，重點在於各式精釀啤酒風格。但很遺憾，精釀啤酒愛好者往往忽略優質的拉格啤酒。
My wife Naseem Chen and I pioneered drinks education in Taiwan 15 years ago when we launched the Taiwan Wine Academy, and for 10 of those years our school has offered parallel Cicerone and Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) beer-tasting courses with a focus on craft beer. Unfortunately, the wonderful lager has often been overlooked by craft beer lovers.
Let’s look at the facts. Excepting water and tea, more people drink beer than anything else, and more than half of all that beer is lager—relatively low in alcohol and mild in flavor. Why do so many people prefer to drink such beer? Is it just because it’s everywhere and it’s cheap? Maybe. But I say this: After working long and hard on a hot day, there is nothing better than cracking an ice-cold beer! Even winemakers love drinking beer! I’ve even heard Australian winemakers say, “It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”
啤酒的第一口就是關鍵，為了讓初始口感正確，啤酒必須非常冰，溫度介於攝氏 3-8 度。當冰涼啤酒進入乾渴喉嚨時，二氧化碳會爆發，急速解渴，尤其是冰涼的拉格，可說是最解渴的飲料，這可是水做不到的！大多數人喝啤酒時，不一定會把拉格倒進啤酒杯，而是直接開罐喝，這麼一來，就可以直接享受到那純粹、冰涼、充滿二氧化碳的快感，是更棒的享受。
The initial taste is the magical moment. To get that initial taste right, the beer must be super cold, 3-8 degrees Celsius; the moment the ice-cold beer strikes your parched throat, the carbonation explodes, instantly eradicating your thirst. It’s fair to say that no drink is more thirst-quenching than ice-cold lager. Water does not come close! For most people, the beer doesn’t have to be in a glass and is instead drunk straight from the can, so you can immediately enjoy that pure, cold, and carbonated rush.
By now you must be asking, “What about the aromas? What about the hops and the malt? Indeed, extreme cold will suppress almost all the aromas and flavors and even highlight unpleasant bitterness and dryness. However, a premium lager like Kirin ICHIBAN stands out from other beers—after the initial rush, the beer warms up in your mouth and throat, releasing its flavor compounds and developing nuances in taste.
Here is where recipes become especially important: too much flavor, and the ice-cold beer may taste unpleasantly bitter and harsh; too little flavor, and the beer will lose texture and body. In this transition—from initial thirst-quenching to lingering temptations for the palate—some producers simply abandon the second experience. But not Kirin; on the contrary, Kirin’s team of brew-masters and expert tasters have spent years achieving unique balance. Using only malted barley and precisely restraining carefully selected aroma hops, Kirin achieves a maximum thirst-quenching in the first mouthful through a perfect balance of bitter and dry; then the second wave of flavor takes over as the beer warms in your mouth and releases its aromatic essence.
Kirin thus seeks to operate in the boundary between an initial rush and sustained aftertaste, resolving the paradox with superlative finesse. I have only recently come to understand this paradox.
For those of you who have come up tasting wine, tasting beer is a little different. With wine, we first assess the color and clarity, then the aromas, then the flavors and then the finish. As for beer, consider these instructions from the homebrew association (Appendix 1) :
「Taste the beer. Take about 1 ounce of beer into your mouth, and coat the inside of your mouth with it. Be sure to allow the beer to make contact with your lips, gums, teeth, palate, and the top, bottom, and sides of your tongue. Swallow the beer, and exhale through your nose.」
You see the difference? With beer, you taste and swallow it before you assess the aromas. Let’s experience the difference together !
We and the staff of TWA tried three new expressions from Kirin, paying especial attention to their initial impact and then how their aromas opened in the retro-nasal impression after swallowing. We also observed how the beers changed minutes after they had been poured. We are not scientists, and I’m sure Kirin does much better-controlled experiments, but we still hoped to learn something. We had a few pleasant surprises.
We had three expressions to try from Kirin, which were two Lagers and an Ale:
首先，是拉格 The first Lager
．KIRIN 一番搾鮮摘啤酒花啤酒 KIRIN ICHIBAN「Toretate Hop」
酒溫5度，一開始較為清淡，氣泡較大且溫和，鼻後嗅覺則是充滿果香及啤酒花帶來的清新感，由於特別選用來自岩手縣遠野產的 「IBUKI 啤酒花」，採摘 24 小時內即快速冰凍，將香氣完整鎖住，所以比一般啤酒更能散發華麗芳香。當酒溫超過8度後，口感變得意外圓潤討喜，鼻後嗅覺也更快打開，迎接而來的是葡萄柚和橙花香氣，並附帶啤酒花苦味和一絲海鮮味。相較於散發濃郁麥香的麒麟一番搾，兩者雖使用同樣「一番搾製法」萃取第一道麥汁釀造，鮮摘啤酒則以輕盈水果香氣征服人心，及輕鬆易飲為特色，是一款不常喝啤酒的人也會愛上的特色啤酒。整體而言，大家認為這款酒在溫度稍高，比如 8 度時表現最佳，它十分易飲，適合聊天聚餐飲用。
At 5 degrees, this beer was initially quite light, with a larger carbonation bead and an empty mid-palate. The retro-nasal sensations were fruity and refreshing from the hops, which are Ibuki hops from Tōno in Iwate Prefecture, Japan that were freeze-dried within 24 hours of being harvested in order to lock in the aroma, resulting in a richer bouquet than other beers. When the beer was warmed to 8 degrees, the mouth-feel rounded very pleasingly, and the retro-nasal aromas opened much more quickly with grapefruit and orange blossom backed by hop bitterness and a note of seafood umami.
Compared with the classic Kirin ICHIBAN beer, which exudes a rich barley scent, although both lagers are made from the first wort extracted with the patented ICHIBAN process, the freshly squeezed IPL has a light and fruity aroma that is universally loved and easy to drink. Even people who do not usually drink beer will fall in love with the IPL. Overall, we agreed this beer tasted best a little warmer, say at 8 degrees. It was very drinkable, a satisfying session lager.
．Spring Valley 精釀啤酒 豐潤<496> Spring Valley 「Houju 496」
在5度時入口相當清爽純淨，大家先感受到的是「紅茶」，接著是「蜂蜜」和「苦甜」，以及尾韻帶來的成熟蘋果和橙皮香氣。酒溫升高幾度後，開始展現獨有特色，一位品飲者說，這使他想起德國 Freiburg 家鄉的冬季啤酒，真是個美好的懷舊時光。儘管如此，我們仍建議 496 要冰涼飲用，因為麒麟把它的入口感做得非常好，錯過就可惜了！
This beer, drunk at 5 degrees, came through wonderfully refreshing and clean in the first attack. The first comment from our group was ‘Black Tea’ and then ‘Honey’ and ‘Bitter-sweet’. The finish was accented by ripe apples and a touch orange zest. As it warmed up a few degrees, this one came into its own. In a fine moment of nostalgia, one of our tasters said this beer reminded him of winter beers from his home in Freiburg, Germany.
．Spring Valley 精釀啤酒 絲滑白艾爾 Spring Valley 「Silk Ale」
Right away we felt the difference from the Kirin IPL. Silk Ale at 5 degrees had a wonderfully successful attack with round and creamy mouth-feel carrying on to the back of the throat. Honey sweetness and floral aromas emerged as the liquid warmed in our mouths, and a hoppy bitterness extended the finish. A few degrees warmer, it lost that magical attack but managed to retain its wonderful freshness and length.
The tasting demonstrated to us clearly that Kirin occupies a difficult and paradoxical position in the beer spectrum (overcoming the technical challenge of achieving both initial rush and sustained aftertaste). The lager was not only refreshingly ice-cold upon first taste, the pleasure was extended well beyond the first gulp and enhanced by retro-nasal flavors and aromas. A massive breakthrough for lagers! Unexpectedly, the two ales go down more smoothly at lower temperatures, while the innovative IPL prefers to be enjoyed a few degrees warmer. Kirin is pushing boldly to extend the International Style, with delicate and tantalizing retro-nasal fragrances emerging smoothly from the initial thirst-quenching rush. We believe that Kirin’s ambitious strategy is already transforming the market for the world’s most popular beverage.