Koshihikari Echigo


Normally, when I eat sushi, I order Asahi, a light, dry, Japanese lager. But on a recent trip to Dragon King’s Daughter, one of my favorite Louisville eateries, I noticed Asahi had been dropped from the menu and replaced by a Japanese lager called Koshihikari Echigo. It was priced well above Asahi at $12 for a 17-ounce bottle, and boasted top quality ingredients, so I had to give it a try.

I did some quick research and learned that it’s made by the Uehara Shuzou Co. using a premium rice called Koshihikari that is produced in a prime rice-growing region in Japan. In fact, apparently Koshihikari is known as the highest-quality rice in Japan, which explains the high price. Even the DKD menu touted it as being, “Perfect with sushi or spice!”

I had to try it, so I plunked down the money for one. And I think the hype got the better of me, because while it certainly offers more depth of flavor than its cousins like Asahi, Sapporo, or Kirin Ichiban, I’m not sure the flavor was that far superior. I found a much sweeter profile in the up-front flavor, followed by a smooth, crisp body and a finish with just a bit of familiar lager bite, thanks in part to Hersbrucker hops. Was it enjoyable? Absolutely, and well worth giving one a try, as it does differentiate itself with that intriguing flavor profile. But at 12 bucks a pop, I switched back to the $5 Ichiban for my second round. No harm in trying, though, right?