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Beer Reviews

Asahi Super Dry Crystal | アサヒスーパードライ ドライクリスタル


It seemed peculiar, one of Japan's most popular beers changing their recipe? Yet, it was indeed the case, Asahi - which had pioneered the Dry or Kakakuchi style which brought on so much success for the brand - had decided to tweak the recipe for its extremely popular Super Dry brew as a way to ensure it was keeping up with the ever evolving palates of its consumers. The new Asahi Super Dry was supposed to be more hoppy and bold, whilst keeping that classic dry finish.

And while this recipe change for the flagship Super Dry grabbed the headlines, it wasn't the end of Asahi's big moves - another evolution, albeit more quiet, was to create a very futuristic looking Super Dry Asahi Dry Crystal, which would serve as a low ABV version of the Super Dry (3.5% ABV vs 5% ABV).



This would not only attempt to capture the burgeoning low ABV market of casual drinkers as well as more health conscious drinkers, but would also most certainly help in terms of pricing and affordability considering that most alcohol remains taxed on a % ABV basis. At the same time, for all that the Asahi Dry Crystal aims to be, what it just as importantly does not aim to be is happoshu, which is a big market in Japan for low-malt alcoholic beverages, which nevertheless endeavours to capture the same demographic of consumers. Unlike happoshu, the Asahi Dry Crystal would keep a high malt content, and even pack on flavour creating bonuses such as the use of Polaris hops and a higher than average fermentation rate. 

So, basically, it's all the flavour, but less calories and cheaper. Just to give you a light buzz through the night (or day!).

Let's give it a go!

Asahi Super Dry Crystal | アサヒスーパードライ ドライクリスタル - Review


Tasting Notes

Color: Golden

Aroma: Really distinct rice aromas - lightly nutty and umami savoury. Rice crackers and uncooked rice, like stepping into a rice storage. Not particularly sweet but very fragrant.

Taste: It starts off with a good depth but keeps with that dry style - so not particularly sweet - and yet it’s quite velvety in texture. More savoury umami notes comes through reminiscent of rice crackers or water biscuits. It is noticeably less malty and rich as the classic Asahi Super Dry.

Finish: Into the finish there’s a flood of those starchy, chewy sticky glutinous rice coming through with that mellow, rich sweetness. It leaves a dry and slightly umami aftertaste that’s clean and goes back to those water biscuits.


My Thoughts

This low alcohol version of Asahi’s Super Dry keeps all the hallmarks of Asahi Super Dry - all the rice lager signatures are there, but more notably this nevertheless still feels like a less malty and rich version of that. It’s really as the name suggests - a low alcohol version of the Super Dry. 

This would be good if you’re having a barbecue or eating something pretty rich and heavy, this would definitely keep you going - but if you’re having this on its own and you’re more used to standard beers, you might find that the body may not be as rich and malty as you might hope (the body almost feels hollowed out) - though keep in mind, this is ultimately a low-alc variant anyway.

So really what we’re looking for here is the classic Asahi Super Dry flavours - which are still present, that’s great, and it has a pretty decent texture too, but like I said, if you still like your beers rich and malty then keep to the Asahi Super Dry.

This has its place. It’s a good beer for easy drinking and heavy feasting.