Toripuru, Japanese for “liquid soul slaughterer”, is a beer crafted by the Herkimer, a German brewpub in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis. It follows the craft beer microtrend of “bigger is better” that has yielded extreme beers like Sam Adams Utopias (27%), BrewDog Sink the Bismarck (41%), and Brouwerij ‘t Koelschip Start the Future (60%). Are these beers actually enjoyable, or is this just a ploy to attract attention for the breweries and brands that brew them?
How it actually works
A handful of these gargantuan beers do not use the
traditional brewing method to achieve such high levels of alcohol. In many
cases they brew as high of ABV beer as they can then freeze the final product
and allow all of the alcohol to drain out of the solution, greatly increasing
(sometimes doubling or tripling) the ABV of the final product.
Is it really beer?
Technically, yes. Although the alcohol is boosted by using
non-traditional brewing methods, the base product is indeed a high-gravity
beer. The alcohol for this “base beer” is obtained by fermenting
higher-than-normal amounts of sugars that are extracted during the “mashing” of
the beer brewing process.
Is it worth trying?
Big beers are big beers. If you like them, you’ll keep
trying them. If you don’t, you won’t. This particular beer might be slightly
different than its most recent boozy predecessor, but ultimately it will taste
nothing like beer. Rather, it will taste like some combination of wheat wine,
cordial, and hard alcohol. In short, if you like gimmicks, flavors of the week,
or want a novelty gift for that beer geek in your life, then yes it’s probably worth it. If
you’re in search of good craft beer, however, this might not be the best place
Oh and, Toripuru
is actually Japanese for “triple”. Gotcha.