Pumpkin Daze Homage–October 31: Suntory Craft Select, The Pumpkin

Suntory Craft Select The Pumpkin


Ingredients: malted barley, hops, “pumpkin”, artificial flavoring

Price: 148円 / $2

Welcome to my second and final post on Japanese pumpkin beer this year. It would have been awesome to have had a collection of 31 delicious bottles of suds to count down the month like my man did over at Pumpkin Daze. But, geography was not on my side. The craft beer / micro beer boom has definitely hit Japan big time in the past six years, but breweries here are just not risk takers–maybe the market is too fragile yet.

Anyway, a large company like Suntory has money to burn and more than enough space to pump out a few thousand gallons of random pumpkin beer on a whim. And so they did. Not only did they put out one but they doubled down with TWO! (slow applause) Last year there were 0 pumpkin beers in Japan (to my knowledge) and this year there were two. Next year I’m guessing there will be 5 or so… we’ll see.


  • Whoa! That’s fragrant! As soon as I cracked back the tab I was hit with a sweet fragrance. It smells exactly like the Pumkin Special I had last night but much more potent.
  • Nice color–like a burnt orange, but looks like a really light body.
  • Head: the head on this one stuck around long enough to actually drink it.
  • Tasting: This must be the exact same thing as the Pumpkin Special!! Isn’t it?! Again, the taste is really sweet at the front of the mouth and tip of the tongue. The after taste lingers a little while and is also really sweet. The sweetness is something that I’d expect from a soda or something though.
  • I’m weary of drinking too many of these–really sweet alcohols tend to make me ill the next day.

The Package:

The Craft Select seal

The Pumpkin is the 5th beer that I’ve seen in Suntory’s “Craft Select” series; the others being a Brown Ale, Special Bitter, Märzen, and a Pale Ale. I’ve only seen them in cans. The can designs are all very simple and easily recognizable by the circular, black, “Craft Select” label. There are no distracting illustrations or superfluous non-sense that other Japan Big Beers tend to have on their cans.

On the back (front? whatever!) of the can they offer a tasting profile:

Actually, wait–haha… the tasting description on here is exactly the same as on the Pumkin Special! Way to cut & paste, Suntory!

Tasting profile scored in pumpkins–nice, creative touch

Ok, the tasting profile (in pumpkins!): Flavor (umami) 3/5;  Aroma/fragrance (kaori) 5/5; Bitternes (nigami) 2/5; Body (bodei) 3/5.

I definitely agree that it is very aromatic. It is not bitter at all though, which isn’t good or bad. As for body, check this out:

Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea

I can see right through it! The fact that I can pretty much see right through the beer strengthens my impression that this is a really sweet soda and not the full bodied pumpkin beer that it could be. But hey, this is Suntory’s first so let’s hope they up the ante next October! In closing, it’s pretty much the exact same thing  as Pumpkin Special. The differences being Pumpkin Special is 198円 / $2.50 and 5.5%; The Pumpkin is 148円 / $2 and 5%. The Pumpkin is virtually see-through; Pumpkin Special is slightly not see through. Other than that they are exactly the same…


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