Three Suntory Premium Malts Master's Dream: Standard, Unfiltered, Diamond Malt Blessings | (レビュー) ザ・プレミアム・モルツ マスターズドリーム に、（同）〈無濾過〉 、（同）〈ダイヤモンド麦芽の恵み〉
Suntory being the beverage giant that it is, and perhaps sometimes more so known for its Japanese whiskies, shouldn't ever be discounted for its beer forays.
Today, Suntory's The Premium Malts is probably the most accessible and recognised beer from the Japanese giant. Yet, this wasn't even Suntory's first time in the rodeo.
Back in the mid 1960's, Suntory was actually the first to bottle draft beer under the name Suntory Junsei. By the mid 1980's, Suntory had created its first 100% malt beer, and then in the early 2000's, The Premium Malts was finally created. All of this was said to be driven by the saying "Yatte Minahare", which translates as "Dream Big".
But as they say, dreams are not a good strategy or any strategy at all. Suntory had a plan - it consistently sends trainees to study beermaking at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, producing many skilled brewmasters in Japan.
Now, to put the cream on the hoppy cake, Suntory has created The Premium Malts Master's Dream that is supposed to be symbolic of the dreams of the many generations of brewmasters nurtured by Suntory.
And there's something to it - it's not just puff talk. The Master's Dream actually employs a production method called Triple Decoction, and also uses high quality ingredients such as Diamond Malt.
With the Diamond Malt, it's supposed to give more richness and umami, as a malt that has a very hard structure which requires more intensive boiling.
The Triple Decoction method is based on simmering the wort once in a preparation pot to create a rich and fragrant wort - this is repeated three times.
And then finally, a copper circulation kettle is used to cook the wort. Its high thermal conductivity allows for richer flavors and fragrances to be brought out.
The whole idea here is focus on making the best pilsner, forsaking efficiency and productivity. Well that's what they say anyway.
So today, with a very generous contribution from @uposg, we're going to get to review three of Suntory's Premium Malts Master's Dream labels - Standard, Unfiltered, and Diamond Malt Blessing.
Suntory Premium Malts Master’s Dream (Blue) - Review
Color: Deep Gold
Aroma: Clean, slight sour notes of yogurt and green hops. Very light notes of honey and malt.
Taste: It’s medium-bodied, with more hoppy bitterness on the palate, or as they say, it’s kinda dry. But it’s got a good maltiness that makes it very creamy. Some sweetness joins the fray over time. It has quite abit of carbonation that gives it a nice fizziness but without any of the froth.
Over time, it’s like you find yourself acclimatised to the bitterness and the honeyed sweetness becomes more pronounced.
Finish: Crisp and refreshing, with the bitterness persisting.
My Rating: 🏜
Dry, crisp stuff!
This would make a very good beer for a bar - think bar snacks - deep-fried river shrimps (kawaebi) came to my mind. It has a nice dryness that goes very well with fried snacks, and with the creamy body and refreshing crispness, it doesn’t get cloying so that works wonderfully. There’s not much in terms of aroma but the taste does surprise you with how expressive it is.
Quite honestly, from the soft aromas I thought it’d be kinda plain, but not going to lie the taste really came through and I ended up enjoying this thoroughly. Very refreshing and gets quite addictive. What a surprise!
Suntory Premium Malts Master’s Dream Unfiltered (White) - Review
Color: Deep Gold
Aroma: More honeyed and thicker, with a small sidenote of lactic sourness. Very fresh sort of aromas.
Taste: This is really creamy, and also a lot gentler with more notes of sweet honey, cereal milk, malt butter cookies, and a touch of citrus zest. This has quite abit of carbonation but enjoyably so.
Finish: It gets a touch more hoppy here but quickly fades into more buttery, malty notes with just a faint astringency of citrus acidity. It’s still pretty foamy here and that comes with alittle bit of that sourness.
My Rating: 🌊
Waves of honey and malt!
This was thoroughly enjoyable - it tends towards the sweeter side, only ever getting more hoppy on the finish but even so it’s pretty restrained. It’s really creamy and fizzy on the palate that makes you feel like you’re caught in a wave of honey and malt - pretty damn awesome. On the finish you get more of this slightly sweet block of dense mochi notes - it’s not exactly sweet but it’s almost glutinous - which is again, really nice.
Great stuff - this one stands on its own and is just a great beer to have at the end of a day as you put on some TV.
Suntory Premium Malts Master’s Dream Diamond Malt Blessing (Red) - Review
Diamond Malt Blessings, 〈ダイヤモンド麦芽の恵み〉
Color: Deep Gold
Aroma: This starts off alittle bit more sour and fermented with those lactic notes, it’s also alittle drier but has an aroma of uncooked white rice.
Taste: Wow, very different on the palate! Here’s its immediately a very nice balance between equal parts honeyed and hoppy bitter. It has a medium-body, somewhat creamy with also a medium-level of carbonation. A very satisfying full sort of mouthfeel. There’s alittle bit of rice crispies here but it’s sort of on the side.
Finish: There’s more malt notes here with more rustic barley, along with those husks, before fading out into more hoppy bitterness and a slight sourness from the foam.
My Rating: ☯️
This was by far the most all-rounded, balanced of the three - it is just right down the middle in both taste and texture. That translates into an incredibly satisfying beer that was ridiculously easy to drink. It did stand out also with more of that rustic rice notes that was quite a nice touch, gave it that much more complexity, but boy was the mouthfeel and taste just so shiok (the Singaporean slang for satisfying) - but as a local it’s just impossible to not apply that term with this one.
They were all well-made beers, I must say. Sure they are not your typical craft beers with those fancy hops, and slushie thick mouthfeel and what have you. But for commercially produced lagers these were fantastic.
It seemed as though they represented some sort of spectrum, with the Blue being the most austere, the White on the opposite side of the spectrum was more sweet, and the Red came right down the center.
On the whole the Red was my favourite and it was just so versatile and well-balanced between honeyed sweetness and hoppy bitterness. It has enough acidity to be a food companion, but also enough sweetness to drink on its own - really, you can have this in any setting, so that was great!
Thank you so much to @uposg for sponsoring this review, who so kindly shared these with me!
You can pick it up from Amazon Japan.