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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleHitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

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

388 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 388
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 11
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 388 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of Trashcat
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Trashcat, Sunday at 08:42 PM
Photo of embass
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

embass, Nov 20, 2014
Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev +5.5%

mweso2000, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of WastingFreetime
4/5  rDev +5.5%

WastingFreetime, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of msquared36
3/5  rDev -20.8%

msquared36, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of torriman
4/5  rDev +5.5%

torriman, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of MLichtwardt
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

A nicely balanced pale ale. Wouldn't consider it a big enough brew to be labeled as 'IPA'. Nice and crisp, easy drinking. I tasted pear and mild vegetal qualities.

MLichtwardt, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of vaughtex
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

vaughtex, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of ystazi
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

ystazi, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of MikeLundquist
4/5  rDev +5.5%

MikeLundquist, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of titvs
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 14A adapted). Bottle 33 cl - Batch J.14.02. AROMA: no hop notes with sweet malt aromas reminiscent of caramel. very low fruitness. APPEARANCE: amber color and hazy. moussy tanned head with good retention. TASTE: medium bitterness that lingers into a dry finish with no hop flavours. unbalanced high malt flavours. PALATE: medium-light body with moderate carbonation. OVERALL: although the comercial description says it is a IPA, this beer is unbalanced towards a sweet malt profile but its not that bad.

titvs, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of ale207
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

ale207, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of GaretSilvey
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%

GaretSilvey, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of Jaysicles
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Jaysicles, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of tjtjd
4/5  rDev +5.5%

tjtjd, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of ariceclemson
4/5  rDev +5.5%

ariceclemson, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

ordybill, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of ahalset
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

ahalset, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of BurningTreeMufen
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%

BurningTreeMufen, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of ncstateplaya
3/5  rDev -20.8%

ncstateplaya, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

wrightst, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

kuishinbo_tantei, Aug 10, 2014
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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.