The Japanese are known for their rather odd fascination with bizarre foods. I mean, who could forget such interesting snacks as Octopus ice cream, natto – fermented soy beans, and Wasabi beer? Each is disgusting on its own level, but what they have come up with now, may take the cake.
At first blush, Un, Kuno Kuro from the Sankt Gallen Brewery is an ordinary black chocolate stout. But, this beer, brewed in conjunction with the Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation, has a dirty little secret; it uses coffee beans that have taken a trip through the digestive system of elephants. In other words, the beans were picked out of elephant dung and then used to make the beer.
While the brewery says that actual elephant dung is not used in the beer, just the coffee beans, this seems a rather fine distinction. After all, the beans did travel through the inside of an elephant and were excreted out. No matter how you phrase it, that sounds an awful lot like elephant poop.
To prove the point that the Japanese are, well, crazy; the brew sold out in just minutes when it was put online for sale. That’s right, the brew which sold for 10,000 yen each (about $104) was snapped up by adventurous beer lovers from around the globe.
Website RocketNews24 got their hands on a bottle and their reviewer described the brew as having, “…an initial bitterness that got washed over by a wave of sweetness. Following that, a mellow body rolled in and spread out through my mouth.” The reviewer, Mr. Sato, went on to say, “Usually people talk about aftertaste when drinking beer but with Un, Kono Kuro the word afterglow is much more appropriate.
“After downing the last drop, slowly rising from my throat and mouth was that afterglow. The combination of bitter and sweet stayed fresh and lingered in my head. It was a familiar aroma that accompanied me through the entire beer.”
The coffee beans, known as Black Ivory, are so rare that the process yields just 1kg of beans for every 33kg ingested by an elephant. This is what makes them so expensive, and sought after. The beans are a major source of income for the elephant haven.
As for the name, Un, Kono Kuro, is a play on words in Japan. In Japanese the word for crap is unko, kono means this, and kuro means black. Put it all together and you have crap this black. It is not a stretch to figure out what the brewery was aiming for with the name. Common vernacular would have the name being “This is Black” or “S*it Black.”
The bottom line – no pun intended – if you get your hands on this brew, you are likely to have something truly special. Or, then again, it could just be more crap.
- Elephant dung beer sells out in minutes (thedrinksbusiness.com)
- Ears to that! Japanese beer made from elephant dung sells out in minutes (metro.co.uk)