Acquired from Gerrard's Market's Beer Cave, Umami Monster is an import from New Zealand crafted by Garage Project. Umami Monster is an Ale brewed with kelp, bonito, and seawater.
The aroma is so different and extraordinary. The air of smoky malt is discerned. Then there is this scent that makes you go, "What the hell is that?!" That is the bonito. There is a lot to talk about here.
First, what is bonito? Bonito is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna, which is appropriately named Katsuobushi. It is flakes of this tuna that we taste. Basically, this beer tastes like fish. On top of that, umami is a flavor that is similar to monosodium glutamate. The body of the beer has the feel of the umami laced upon it.
The smoked malt is big and has a lot of give to go with the bonito and umami characters. The kelp seems nonexistent, but the flavor reveals itself in the finish. You don't know the kelp is there until you keep listening to the finish. The kelp used is called Kombu from New Zealand.
The seawater creates a complexion that we are not familiar with. This isn't water we normally drink. It is seawater and the salty flavor carries in the bonito taste.
Umami Monster is an otherworldly experience. An imaginative goal to create a beer flavor of umami, Garage Project hit the mark. The umami flavor is reminiscent of meal that uses monosodium glutamate. The bonito and smoked malt goes hand and hand and creates a whole concoction of flavor for a beer. Kelp is mentioned, but is buried and noticed in the finish instead. At 9.6% abv, you don't sense the strength of the alcohol and sneaks up in you. Umami Monster is exactly what the name implies: it is a monster. It's a beast we have not experienced at all. Try it for yourself and discover a very new, original, and innovative beer.
Cheers. Prost. Drink for the love of beer.