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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleHitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

342 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%


Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 08-06-2004)
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Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 234 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bearcamp
bearcamp

Kansas

2.23/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this bottle at the local liquor store. A bit pricey for a single 11.2 bottle but it was pay day so I thought I would splurge.

Outside of the bottle the label had brewed in 2002. So that makes this beer 6 years old?

Poured into a snifter glass. Immediately after opening very high carbonation and some got on the floor. The is very carbonated. Maybe because of the age.

I don't know why they call this a pale ale. Didn't really taste like one. It had more of a champagne taste to it. Maybe it was the strain of yeast they used. Couldn't smell the hops as much in this one as compared to other IPA's. It was still very drinkable. However, it was more of a champagne or a Saison style beer

Overall, I enjoyed trying this beer. It had a very unique taste that was new.

Go try one. You wont regret it.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 00:49:33 | More by bearcamp
Photo of gofreaksgo
gofreaksgo

Missouri

2.23/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a standard shaker glass

A: Bright amber with a big head that does not go away. Excessive bubbling.

S: Mellow sweetness. Very subdued. Kind of like grandma's closet. That must be the cedar coming out.

T: Sweet nothing up front, followed by light hop bitterness, finished off with an astringent bitter smack. Definite cedar bite.

M: Light. Very light. But ends with a pucker that won't leave the back of the cheeks.

D: One of these is enough for me. Coats the mouth. Won't go away. Water will not get rid of this.

I'm not a big fan of this beer but I don't know if that's because it's a unique style and my first taste of it or because it's not very good. IPA aged in cedar. It' probably just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 22:16:07 | More by gofreaksgo
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
USCTrojanBrian

Maryland

2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle served at Victoria Gastro Pub (MD)

A - A darker amber pour (for an "IPA"), massive cloud of bubbles in the liquid. One finger head. Thin cloudy white sediment at bottom of bottle.

S - Dank bottle musty smell, odd aromas.

T - Honest to goodness, the first thing I thought after my first sip was "this tastes like root vegetables!". That never really relented, I was thinking a beet or carrot or turnip or some combination of the above.

Sweetens up later to improve to respectable drinking levels, slight citrus (lemon?).

M/D - Weird aftertaste. Odd aroma, nothing like an IPA whatsoever, more like a vegetable ale.

Not sure if making it in cedar casks is the culprit, but something wasn't right. I didn't pick up much cedar, nor IPA flavor and the overall product couldn't rescue this beer no matter the style. I didn't "hate" this beer, but it was a challenge to finish and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 03:16:23 | More by USCTrojanBrian
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy overripe peach color with a foamy head that leaves some good lacing

Smell: Spicy, peppery aroma but there is also a tea-like aroma that is not particularly enjoyable

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity, tea-like flavor that closes with an astringent bitterness that has lots of cedar elements to it

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkabilty: An unusual beer that I found rather disagreeable

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 01:57:24 | More by brentk56
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, reddish-tinted dark honey color with a thick film head and great retention.
Smell is sweet, malt, citrus, black pepper & wood.
Taste is...odd. Not bad, but very odd. Malt, wood, hops, alcohol & black pepper/bug spray. Like some shot some Raid into my beer. Very weird but not so stong as to put me off it.
A light body, mediumeffervescence. Hoppy aftertaste with atouch of pepper.
The odd flavor really bitch-slapped me at first. I assume it is from the cedar aging but it took a few moments, and a few sips, to get past that.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 20:10:52 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The second the cap was off, the foam came POURING out of the bottle, and I mean pouring. I grabbed my glass and saved as much as I could....then the foam BURST over the sides of my glass. GRRR...

OK, I'm back.

Body is a cloudy tangerine bronze with a bit of sediment. Head was a towering mess of sticky froth but since has died down to a gentler wisp with a nice ring around the glass. Webbing is covering all wides of the glass where the foam once was.

S: A whole lot of cedar on the nose, pungent and sappy. Herbal and floral. Rememiscent of a forest floor after a good rain.

T: Certainly based on an English style. First impression is loads of diacetyl. Next up is the cedar flavor which is dominant above all other flavors. Some sweet bay leaf notes....very floral. The hops show themselves and add more to the piney profile. Very herbal and spicy.

M: Medium bodied with a decent carbonation.

D: Cedar flavor is a bit over the top and won't leave the palate. Didn't care for this beer. Started out on the wrong foot and never really got good.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 05:34:34 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of armock
armock

New York

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of hops with quite a bit of wood

T - Is just ok lots of wood in the flavor with decent hops

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - Things just aren't working here for me the wood is too strong that its taking away from the beer instead of adding to it I've like everything else from Hitachino but this one will get passed over by me

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 23:15:40 | More by armock
Photo of northernbrewer
northernbrewer

Alaska

2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle says brewed in 2002. I almost believe it because the bottle is quite dusty. Bottle reports 7% abv and oak cask aging.

Appearance: Poured into a ravenhead dimple. I was expecting IPA so I was a bit disappointed with the appearance. Copper-colored. loose two-finger head, composed of big bubbles. Ended up with some pretty big chunks from the krausen in my glass.

yeasty aroma I don't detect any hoppy notes.

Flavor: complex notes of oak, sake, pineapple, brown sugar, yeast. No real notable hop character aroma.

Mouthfeel: is much like unfiltered sake which compliments the complex flavors

Overall I'd say this beer is quite rich and flavorful. If you read the front label and ignore the back, then this is a very nice real ale offering. Trying to label this beer as an IPA is quite dangerous because the style guidelines are written around the American adaptation of this style. I'd say Hitochino's Nest is shooting for one of those neat CAMRA labels on their bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 23:32:28 | More by northernbrewer
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was pale orange colored with an off-white thin head and it smelled wierd, like some exotic incense. I guess it's the cedar which makes it smell and taste this way, but I conclude cedar is not a good flavor in a beer. It tasted like licking a hippie, made me feel a little sick.

It was strange and unique, and I don't really want to try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2006 12:03:35 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of BeerDetective
BeerDetective

Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this on Sunday, cracked it open, and wow, smelled like Grandma's house with the cedar chests for keeping the moths out. I am not really much for wood emphasis beers so this one left me kind of ambivalent, but it had an interesting sake aftertaste for me that kept me interested enough to finish it. Not a bad beer, just not a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 03:17:55 | More by BeerDetective
Photo of daftafne
daftafne

Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served very cold and poured into a tulip. Two fingers of resilient billowing white head formed supported by the glass and lively effervescence. Dull copper colored liquid with visible yeast sediment. The cedar smell is surprisingly obvious and strong. Also smells of grapes, and apples. Taste is tart with cedar and and some finishing hops predominating. Just a hint of malts near the end. A pretty straightforward beer in taste. Dry and light mouthfeel. Interesting beer to try for the cedar, but not really the most pleasing.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 00:48:07 | More by daftafne
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber body with thin head. Vanilla, caramel, and nuts in the smell. Taste is really sweet. Just very caramelly and malty. Some vanilla. Not getting much cedar (which I'd like to taste more). Too sweet. Mouthfeel is pretty thick and sticky, but some stinging carbonation helps with that. This is not so great. If the cedar were more prevalent, I'd like this more.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 03:50:42 | More by goochpunch
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice woody aroma, I would think pine if I didn't know from the bottle that its cedar. The aroma is very strong. There's a good malt balance in there too but it does smell a bit overwhelming like a cedar chest.

Nice Amber color with a thick light tan head that's got serious staying power and nice lacing.

Has a pretty sour start. Lemony tartness right off. Afterwards there is good sweet malty backbone and some spice that I can't quite identify. Nice hop bitterness too. But on the other hand, the wood character is kind or over the top. I get the feeling like I've got pencil shavings in my mouth. It's not really unpleasant but I'm not crazy about it either.

Nice full bodied and very creamy. There does seem to me a touch of alcohol in the back of my mouth.

Definitely a unique beer. I've never really had anything like it, but it's flavors are somewhat harsh and unblended. It's a sipper and not easy to get through.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 07:11:46 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ML bottle poured into a tulip.
Just a bit out of date

A-- Poured a hazy orange amber color. One finger off white head, on swirling got two fingers. Head slowly dies off leaving a solid layer of film and a good solid ring of lacing.

S-- Musty dirty sort of smell. Get some cedar mixed with earthy grape and orange. Wood really carries this.

T-- Past its prime orange and pine. Get a lot of wood as well. Still pretty workable.

M-- Rich, thick and earthy. Undertones of mandarin orange and pine. Finishes dry and crisp.

O-- Probably really good fresh. Still pretty good for being a bit old. Has held up pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 15:12:59 | More by mulder1010
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a cloudy orange with a small off-white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, grain, spice, and a touch of citrus.

taste is smooth and creamy, grain, some spice, some citrus, a little woody, and a touch of pine in back.

more of a bitter than a IPA to me.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 03:17:34 | More by froghop
Photo of JVEyck309
JVEyck309

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the more interesting brews I've ever had.

Poured from bottle to a pint glass, cloudy golden orange. I'm not sure how vigorously all the other reviewers had poured theirs, but I got very little head after my pour and little to no lacing.
Smell is musty with a bit of malt sweetness and I think a bit of orange, not really what I had expected. Not bad though.
Taste is strange for the style but I like it. There is a bit of light sweetness from the malts, pepper, faintly spicey, mostly woody with a dry citrusy hop finish.
The semi-high ABV is unnoticeable, but its heavy musty woody flavor make it far from session worthy. I liked this beer. But as another reviewer had said, "It's one and done" Don't really want another one of these for a while. Still a very interesting beer which I'm glad I tried. Perhaps a bit too woody and musty for my taste. Definitely worth experiencing. I may get it again in a couple months for another go..

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 23:58:16 | More by JVEyck309
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle says its good for 9 months after manufacture.
Manufactured Dec. 2004
Consumed May 2004

A - Dark bronze opaque, off colored tight head.
S - Spicy pumpkin pie
T - Spicy cinamon, overpowering dry, light bitterness, somewhat belgian-y. Big time pepper. Only a hint of the Cedar. Yeasty. Very light on the bitterness for an IPA, guess why it is an English IPA. A tad sweet.
M - Light bodied, powdery. The alcohol is very well integrated.
D - This was an ok beer, but not a winner. Nothing I would recommend, even for a change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 16:52:29 | More by Naerhu
Photo of oldhippie247
oldhippie247

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dull hazy gold with tons of yeasty/protein sediment. Head is really fluffy and off-white.

The nose is fairly muted with only brief hints of bready yeast and some sweet fruit. I was looking for and hoping for the cedar more on the nose, but alas...

The hop profile of this Japanese pale ale is light as I was expecting. Much more yeasty than expected. As on the nose, the cedar casks in which it was aged make no bold statements here--I guess the upside is there definitely isn't too much wood on this beer.

Overall a decent beer, but a little disappointing. I happen to know that the bottle I tasted had been on the shelves quite a while, so another tasting may be in the cards. For now I think I'll stick with Hitachino's White Ale and Red Rice.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 15:54:04 | More by oldhippie247
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Blurry sandstone amber with tornadic swirls of carbonation. The head is monumental, forming a mesa that sits a good 4 inches above the surface of the liquid and barely moving from there.
Apple peel nose twisted with lemon, hay, and peanuts. The cedar ony arrives after the beer has warmed to room temps.
Begins with an lazy biscuit malt structure on top of tart green apples. This is joined instantly with the barrel tannins to form earthy nut skins. The middle is continually earthy and dank, with mossy wet limestone and flint. Tartness resume near the close with a likeminded acidic lemon oil hop notation and flakes of dried grass. Barrel tannins re-enter post-swallow with a general woodsiness, a la burnt coconut and sake impressions.
Lightish bodied with a rapid-fire CO2; one that over-aerates the mouth and disintergrates much of the flavor.
It's drinkable, yes. Interesting? I suppose. But many parts of this are a wreck, and beneath it all lies a pretty weak stab at an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 05:27:09 | More by cokes
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades. There are plenty of floaties present. It has a sweet pale and light crystal malt scent that seems a bit peppery. It must be the cedar casks. The flavor is average. It has a very bitter hop taste that is quite citrusy. It boasts of pale malts and has a slightly sweet, yet dry finish. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with way too much carbonation. This is an average English pale. It's way too bitter and overcarbonated. It's one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 02:17:03 | More by WesWes
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: bottle.

This review pertains to the aged 2002 version. Pours a cloudy orange/ golden amber color with a foamy cream color. Aroma of oak, apple and spice. Flavor is quite tart and is dominated by apple because of the aging in cider casks.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:33:33 | More by corby112
Photo of carsonplunkett
carsonplunkett

Tennessee

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought from Frugal Mcdoogal in Nashville, TN for $5. Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: This is a good looking beer. Very nice head that disappears slowly. Nice lacing. This beer is very cloudy.

S: Very fruity and sweet. Almost woody. Lots of yeast.

T: Very citrus-ey and hoppy. Tastes very clean and woody.

M: Creamy and smooth. Seems very thin for an india pale ale.

D: Not exactly "sessionable" due to the fact that this is such a unique and different beer. Still fairly drinkable. I'll definitely grab one of these again.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 02:05:10 | More by carsonplunkett
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hugely carbonated pumpkin with a fine haze, that on closer inspection is due to a cloud of superfine yeast. Thanks to the bubble factory on the bottom of the glass, the pale orange, whipped cream head is a stunning creation. Gargantuan, creamy, sticky and as rocky as Mount Fuji, it's everything one could ask for. Whatever else this beer brings to the party, it looks good. Damn good.

My mom has had a cedar chest since before I was born and that aroma has been burned indelibly into my brain. Q: Does JCA, which has been aged in cedar casks, actually smell like cedar? A: Yes, but thankfully it doesn't dominate. There's another, spicier aspect of the nose that reminds me of sandlewood. I have never smelled another beer quite like this one. Even though it's a pleasant scent, it isn't a very beer-like scent. Not only that, but I have to downgrade any IPA that doesn't smell anything like hops on principle alone.

I'll give Kiuchi Brewery this much, they come up with some of the most original, interesting beers in all the world. The only problem is, they seem to miss the mark as often as they hit it. This is the oddest, least IPA-like IPA that I've ever had occasion to drink. A Japanese beer modeled on a traditional English India Pale Ale that uses a quintessentially American hop (Chinook) and is aged in cedar casks to pay tribute to how saki is created. Whew! Could a beer that fits that description actually be any good? Not really.

First of all, disabuse yourself of any notion whatsoever that you're about to drink an IPA. Think woody, spiced ale. There's a sturdy malt base that conveys a mild sweetness that is more than countered by a bracing amount of bitterness and an enveloping blanket of pungent herbs and spices. Chinook may not have been the best choice here, but then I can't taste any Chinookness anyway. Sticking with Challenger and Kent Goldings alone would have worked out better since the bitterness would have been more manageable.

I like the smell of cedar, but it looks like I don't like the taste of cedar. Cutting the amount of cask aging time by half, or even by a third, would stilll have gotten the job done without the spicy, smoldering, white peppery woodiness obliterating everything in its path. Bottom line: this might have been a good idea, but it was taken way too far.

The mouthfeel, unlike the aroma and the flavor, actually matches the stated style. It's roughly medium in heft, although it lacks that sticky, resiny character that I love in the most highly hopped versions. It's as smooth as the day is long and the carbonation is well behaved, despite my reservations after seeing the head attempt to exit the top of the glass.

Kiuchi brews great beer (White Ale), mediocre beer (Red Rice Ale) and not so good beer (Sweet Stout). Japanese Classic Ale occupies that vast middle ground. By its nature, it will be many different things to many different people. I can see how some will love it, even as others will hate it. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but it may just be too strange for its own good.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 21:00:17 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of cichief
cichief

Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 720ml. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a deep amber, almost brown, with a decent off-white head.

S- Smeeled of sweet malt, woody, with a earthy hop finish.

T- Tasted very earthy, woody, the overpowering taste of cedar (sour and earthy) was everywhere. A good beer, balanced with sweet malt and a dry hop finish.

M- Very carbonated, but not too fizzy. Thin to medium on the tongue.

D- Actually quite drinkable for the ragion and style.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 04:57:44 | More by cichief
Photo of dolemite77
dolemite77

Tennessee

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I know that we are supposed to rate based on "true to style", but what the hell kind of style is this? It says IPA, and it looks like a double IPA, but that's about it. I got a bit of hops at the end, but overall... this one should be classified on its own. Pours hazy pumpkin color, with a nice head, but it was a bit cold and my pour was weak, so I'm not going to take off for that. The aroma of cedar makes it smell like a closet... and I mean that in a good way. The taste is initially sweet, like many strong IPAs can be, but then it gives way to earthy, cedar. It's interesting, and somewhat nice, but I doubt I would have more than one of these in a setting... A very good beer to experiment with to get different flavors than you would ever imagine in a beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 21:27:49 | More by dolemite77
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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.