Well, there is a beer from Aberdeen they call Tokyo Rising Sun and it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy and God I know I’m one.
Buried alive for four years only Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes know the true origins of how this beer came to be. Locked in a concrete tomb the first batch of Tokyo has finally been found by Colin and released from its Whisky caskets to produce 2,237 bottles from the Highland Casks and only 351 bottles from the Lowland Cask.
One beer went in, but two very different beers emerged from the darkness…
Popping the cap releases a perfume of light mellow Whisky sweetness. If no-one told you would you know this was a beer you are about to drink? Pouring unveils the super dark brown almost black liquid that creates almost no head that dissipates almost as quickly as it appeared. The mellow Whisky dominates the air trapping any previous aromas there may have been four years ago. I always chill beer before I drink it, this one came out of the fridge at 11.6°C and over the hour I spent nursing it slowly rose to 21.4°C. The first sip hits you with the Whisky and a sweet sweet dark brown sugar with an ever so slight burnt caramel coming through. Next a fruitiness appears, jasmine mixed with cranberries that hints at Christmas. Whilst cold, coffee ends the ride but as the beer warms the coffee background disappears and more Whisky alcohol ends the journey. Each sip warms the chest, this beer would be lovely to drink on a cold Winters eve. If you like sweetness, jasmine and Whisky then this is a lovely beer. It makes me want to create a Christmas pudding with the same balance of flavours.
If opening the Lowland edition gives you a sweet gentle kiss, opening the Highland edition gives you a little slap. A very different Whisky aroma hits you, this time it’s much more of a medicinal hit rather than the sweetness of the Lowland Whisky. Pouring gives the same almost black liquid but a head is more willing to form and dissipates over a couple of seconds rather than instantaneously. The temperature for this one started at 11.8°C and warmed to 21.6°C. Unlike the Lowland edition there wasn’t as noticeable a change in flavours as the beer warmed up. The medicinal, peaty Whisky dominates this beer. More burnt caramel than sweet dark brown sugars come through with an afterthought of Oak. The jasmine and cranberries are all but lost. More of a coffee feel ends the battle. This beer reminds me a lot of Bitch Please especially the Islay edition, it’s a beer dominated by peat and medicinal flavours.
I have a sweet tooth and I’m not a huge fan of peaty flavours so the Lowland Cask is the one that does it for me.
But, and there is quite a big but, Tokyo* the 18% version (I haven’t had the original 12% Tokyo these beers came from) is my favourite beer. The first taste of Tokyo* blew me away, it was unlike anything I had ever tasted. So complicated but so well balanced, extremely easy to drink for something that is 18.2% and very very tasty. These two beers didn’t blow me away, the Lowland I haven’t had anything like it, the Highland I have. I’m sure there will be people out there who like one or both of these more than Tokyo*, probably people who drink much more Whisky than I do.