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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.
very good

342 Ratings
no score

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

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

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 glid02


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of muted pale malts with good amounts of leafy hop aromas. Also present are slight amounts of a woody aroma, not easily identifiable as cedar but it makes sense.

Tastes OK. As with the smell muted pale malts kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are leafy and lightly spicy hop flavors. Near the end of the sip slight amounts of woody flavors make a brief appearance before giving way to the malt and hops to carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I found this to be an interesting beer but the flavors didn't work terribly well together. Everything felt like it could be taken up just a notch, including the wood influence. Still, it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2010 18:12:25 | More by glid02
Photo of paulozanello


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on draft at Pizzeria Paradiso in DC.

Pours a crystal light amber color with 1 finger head with average retention.

Smell is charamel malt and floral hops. Could be stronger.

Taste is very "in your face". Sweet malts, charamel, followed by hop bitterness and a weird spice flavor which I assume is from the cedar wood barrels. Reminds me of flowers and it is a very peculiar taste that I've never had before in a beer. The aftertaste is bittersweet and lingers for a while in your mouth.

Body is moderate to light and carbonation is high. This is a very drinkable and unusual beer that it's totally worth trying.

It was my first beer from Kiuchi and I was impressed.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2010 22:50:09 | More by paulozanello
Photo of FLBeerGuy


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coasters in Melbourne.
Pours a hazy golden color with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing.
Smell is hoppy and floral with a little malt.
Taste is a nice balance, hoppy and malty with some cedar wood in there too.
This one drinks very easy, could be a nice session beer. This is one tasty beer, glad to get the chance to try it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 16:19:40 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of 4000qtrap


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Source/Serving: 330mL bottle

Smell: Fresh apple, caramel, citrus, ripe fruit, a hint of cedar, and a little flowery.

Taste: A sweet, slightly cidery and juicy opening quickly crashes into very dry, slightly bitter cedar with significant pepper notes. The middle has notes of cedar, pepper, and apple skin with honey and bready grains. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Finish is dry, peppery, and woody and is pleasantly bitter.

Notes: Very interesting and unique flavors, at least to me. Well worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2010 06:12:46 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly dark amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some light citrus and tea aroma. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except there's something of a delicateness to this beer's flavor profile that is unusual. The beer is fairly light and crisp, with the light bitterness nicely balanced with the light malt. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and the alcohol is barely noticeable. Drinkabilityh is pretty good.... I could probably drink a lot of this very beer.

An absolute treat to try on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2009 00:48:18 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber to auburn with a decent sized head that leaves thick rings of lacing all down the glass.

S - Light amber malt with a hint of floral hops.

T - Perfumelike floral (lillies and roses) flavor with some mild caramel malt. Aftertaste is a mild lingering floral - a bit of faint pear juice as well.

M - Smooth, thin, very refreshing.

D - Very good! It is extremely easy to drink with a mild flavor that is still unique enough to be worth seeking out - this Kiuchi Brewery is pretty awesome!

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2007 02:57:43 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of TurdFurgison


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 oracle


4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 oz half imperial pint served in the most unusual glass I've ever seen beer served in. The Hitachino glass is an opaque ivory with a molded owl on the front. Very cool looking, but I had to pour some into another glass to view the color.

the color was a medium copper, quite clear, but pretty typical. Nice large and very dense head topped off the glass.

Smell is one of the places where this beer truely stands out. I was afraid the cedar would just completely overwhelm this beer. Thankfully, rather than obliterating the quality of the beer underneath, it enhances the hoppiness with a light spicyness that is very nice.

Taste is very very good. Again the cedar seems to impart a spicy quality that floats above the hoppiness of the beer rather than compete with it. Very clean, smooth and very easy to drink. At 7% abv, I expected more of a strong alcohol flavor, but I didn't get too much of that.

Very very good and very drinkable. I find Hitachino beers can be very hit or miss. This one is a home run.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2005 13:06:05 | More by oracle
Photo of PatandDavid


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one funky beer! Had on tap this past week at Redbones. Pour was the color of dark tangerine, with a tan head covering the beer. Aroma is full of fruit, but to be honest, I think one notices the pepper and spice in this one a bit more. Taste is really interesting...starts out a bit sour intitially, then finishes with grapefruit, but minus the hops. It's like it's pure grapefruit juice, not an effect from the type of hops used. Medium mouthfeel, prickly carbonation. I think the initial sourness must be coming from the yeast. A very unique tasting beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2004 19:30:10 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruffled some feathers with this one on 10/24/2004. 10.5-oz. pour at Redbones in goblet.

Filmy ghost of skree of head to start. White grapes, sour green apples, and other fruity esters to nose. On the lighter side of a cider appearance to hue, with all of the accompanying haziness. Heated cracked black pepper to taste, which hides the tenuous malt character. Sour rind adds an undeniable puckering quality, and the heat combined with other earthy qualities imparts a tequila feel to the pour. This is a F-U-N-K-Y offering, with touches of karashi thrown in there – I want to see more folks taking chances like this one does. Ganbatte!

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2004 20:09:10 | More by Truh
Photo of carln26


3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Redbones. The color was hazy orange. It appeared that it was not or only lightly filtered. It had a full cream colored head with a light lace that maintained throughout the beer. It had a bright fruity nose with a hint of hop flower. The taste was not what I expected. Along with the hops you expect from an IPA, there was a spicy almost peppery taste up front. I couldn’t identify whether a spice had been added or if this was from the hops, but it distracted me from the flavor. In fact this bite from the spice overwhelmed any malt character. I do feel the hops less than taste them. Light mouth feel average drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2004 19:02:11 | More by carln26
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Old Bay in NJ, and the beer menu claims only 4 kegs of this beer was sent to the US. It was hazy orange / amber in color and a short 1/2" head that quickly reduced to a surface covering. The aroma was of malt and yeast. The flavor was nice as a grainy malt was nicely balanced with the mild bitterness level. Yeast was definitely noticeable but only a tiny hint of any citrus tones. The higher alcohol level added slightly to the taste too.

The mouthfeel was grainy. Smooth at the start with a light crispness at the finish. Nicely drinkable, and a slightly different English style IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2004 12:07:09 | More by Gavage
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(bottle of indeterminate age, depending on how long the case was sitting at the distributor - this bottle was stored chilled right out of the case, having put it in the fridge myself )

A: I remember this from the keg being a lot clearer - the bottle content here is fairly hazy, bordering on cloudy - likely from hop residue, yeast sediment(?), or improper handling, who knows?... the liquid's color is a caramel-ish amber... big stand of sudsy foam on the pour - does hold a full cap most of the way down, some trails of lace... looks like nothing other than a British ale, though, I must say

S: earthy, leafy hops - mostly Fuggle in nature, but a good bit of the Goldings floral character mixed in... hops dominate while any clear malt aromas are very much hidden... moderate-intense showing of floral(?) esters - only vaguely fruity, if at all... likely a bit of oxidation has set in, giving on light overtone of burlap or brown paper bag (the cedar?)... the hop aromas are nice, if a bit frayed

T: very much in line with my ideas of and experience with English-style IPAs... compare this with Meantime's IPA - that being more orange-fruity hops, this being more floral and earthy... I was going to also say 'woody', but that may very well be the aging in cedar this ale had - cedar has a distinct, 'forest'-y flavor and this quality can be detected on the sides of the palate - no vanilla here!, just dark bark, wood grain, mossy soil - but it's mellow... the hops are front and center, potent, but soft, rounded with an understated bitterness - lots of leafy matter... the malt, and alcohol as well, merely underlies - perhaps a touch of biscuity flavor far in the background

M: fairly medium-bodied and grainy-creamy with hop polyphenols... has a feel similar to that of a bottle-conditioned Bavarian hefeweizen... not crisp and clean like say a Fullers... let's just say it's a real ale texture, a week in

O: the bottle version didn't quite match the more distinct, dynamic flavors of the tap version I had years back - that being the first time I had tried the beer - it was a Hitachino event for charity, right after the tsunami - 7 or 8 of their beers on tap at Kraftwork... I could see flashes of that beer's greatness in this.... definitely one to seek out - it's different

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 20:29:44 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of spoony


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 330 ml bottle (code says J 13 07) into a tulip.

A-The beer is light amber in color, clear and still-looking in the glass. My normal pour produces about one and one-half fingers of dense, off-white head. The retention is poor as the head fades in less than a minute. It leaves some spotty lacing.

S-The aroma is heavy on the malts for a beer billed as an IPA (even an English IPA). I get lots of caramel sweetness, in fact. There are some citrus and floral notes, but they are hidden behind an odd woody scent that I can only assume comes from the cedar casks advertised on the bottle.

T-The taste is a bit more dry than smell, but this beer is still malty and sweet for the style. A flavor mixture of caramel, citrus, cedar wood, and a bit of medicinal alcohol makes for an interesting brew.

M-The feel is slightly fuller in body than an average IPA with a moderate amount of carbonation that settles pretty quickly on the palate.

O-This is a unique beer in both good and bad ways. I suspect that my bottle was old because it lacked any semblance of a hoppy punch and even the cedar had faded a bit into the background. That being said, I think I could get into this beer if I could find a fresh example because the citrus/cedar aspect is really intriguing. It seems like a good summertime combination.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 13:32:27 | More by spoony
Photo of Auraan


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous fully cloudy amber with a thin white head that leaves some lacing. It looks like gorgeous, natural, earthy unfiltered apple juice. Just looking at it makes me want to drink it. Scents of caramel, earthy, herbal hops, earthy yeast, grape, slight citrus aromas in the background and faint undercurrents of cedar. A very nice, earthy, sweet, fruity aroma profile, different from a lot of IPAs, even English style IPAs, that I've had. Its pleasant and inviting. Taste begins sweet with caramel, moving into some nice herbal hops and a tea-like flavor. Throughout there is a nice musky, earthy, yeasty presence that compliments the herbal and tea flavors of the hops wonderfully. There are also slight undercurrents of cedar in the background throughout the sip and some light citrus peel bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste is mildly bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. A good, earthy, sweet, balanced flavor that avoids being both too sweet and too bitter. Very well executed. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and with low carbonation. It feels like a good, classic style ale should. Quite nice. Overall this is a very good take on an English IPA. It's balanced and malty, but with a good underlying bitterness and an aroma that is flat out amazing. Very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 07:22:01 | More by Auraan
Photo of Fatehunter


3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger of head on a hazy straw colored body..
The aroma is mild smells of grains and grapes. A little surprising but nice.
The taste is mild bitterness balanced with some honey sweetness and spice with a latent dry bitterness finish. Good profile.
The texture is soft with moderate carbonation.
A light and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 00:39:11 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Richardbeerlover


3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice light golden brown with a 1/2 inch head that quickly dissipates. Very mild lacing on the glass. First sip is fairly sweet and you can taste a little bit of cedar from the casks. Lots of yeast particles are visible through the glass. Has a great hearty mouthfeel. Some slight bitterness at the end and after awhile you can start tasting the alcohol at the end. Some slight citrus scent and taste. A very nice beer that's got some character to it.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 03:01:58 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of nychrislin


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very great beer, I love the spice and malty smell. The cedar lingers in your mouth, it's like sitting in a library with this beer, the 7% alcohol level really is hidden. It's a very effervescent beer, and that's pretty rare for a Japanese beer, but it also still retains a dry aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 02:00:15 | More by nychrislin
Photo of damndirtyape


4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Date stamp: J.13.07

Appearance: Cloudy dark amber with the barest level of foam ring at the edge. Some occasional tiny strands of lacing.

Smell: Sweet - malty (caramel notes) and orange citrus.

Taste: Sweetness up front with some hints of Belgian fruitiness. After that sweet start, the beer then moves into some herbal hop flavors and a definite cedar / woody bitter finish. The sweet and the bitter are distinct flavors - one begins and the other one finishes it, but never muddled or fighting with one another.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and nicely thick. Carbonation just right.

Overall / Drinkability: With its unique taste, a sipping beer - and yet very drinkable as well. I could easily have another, or at least would not mind it if it came in a bigger bottle. I wonder how this beer is on tap. I definitely would buy this again. Overall it has aspects of a Belgian Pale Ale, and American IPA, and that distinct cedar aging that is like no other style. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 23:51:41 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of kemoarps


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The pour is an opaque amber colour, like a good apple cider. A little more orange when held up to light. Not much of a head, but a small crown of bubbles remains.

The nose starts off sweet. Vanilla leads off a clean, but reserved nose filled in by some earthy hops. I was hoping for a more readily apparent cedar, as that is a wood that is near and dear to my heart having grown up amongst them.

The cedar comes through more on the tongue, taking a solid if a bit sweet english IPA into an interesting twist. As noted, the sweetness leads the way on the tongue as well, though it takes a more honey and bread character than the vanilla I felt was on the nose. The hops come in again on the earthier side of things, and the third period is really where the cedar makes its presence known. It compliments the earthiness of the hops quite well, giving it an almost vinous bitterness. The sharp bitterness lasts through to the aftertaste, which finishes with kind of a little dance between the bitter, a slightly sweet woodiness from the cedar, and a hint of that honey sweetness that lead things off.
God medium body and the carbonation accents instead of distracting, this is a well constructed beer.

While I wished there were more cedar in the aroma, it came through stunningly towards the back of the tongue. This is definitely a unique IPA (at least as far as I've tasted), but it's one that I certainly find myself enjoying. Cedar is a tree/aroma/...flavour I guess? that holds great personal significance, so I may enjoy it more than others because of the intangibles it evokes. Definitely worth your time, though, if you find yourself curious.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 00:22:47 | More by kemoarps
Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping


4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Was shown this in Denver a few months back and could not pass up when I noticed it was aged in cedar casks. Just sounded really interesting.

Pours a rich copper to rust shade, very beautiful with slightly off white head that lingers as a thin film for a long time. Has a very nice haziness to it. Looks great, just what I hoped for when I read this IPA sort idea on the back label.

Smell is quite subtle and a bit musty. You can really smell the earthy hops and malts in it, but it is kind of odd with what I recognize as a damp cedar sort of smell... which can be good and bad... in this case it is a bit odd for me.

Taste is interesting and yet traditional for an IPA. A mellow, sweet earthiness invites you into a spicy and herbal hop with a more pronounced sweet and sticky malt backbone that balances the mild bitterness very well. The malt has some burnt caramel, the hops shine with a variety of citrus, herbs, and pine. Then the beer is layered over with a unique vanilla woodiness, the cedar tone, which just fits so well and so refined into the spicy hops.

The cedar has a nice residual tone the lingers in the mouth long after.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Creamy, lower carbonation, smooth, and just a tad dry. The fullness in the medium body is really great. This part of the beer is wonderful through and through.

Overall, I was a bit put off by the malt in some way and the nose was a bit odd for me. It was unusual in a way that I was not sure of. Otherwise this was a fantastic English style IPA. I would buy this again, as I would many other beers from Hitachino.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 03:32:43 | More by Misanthropy_Sipping
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Hitachino beer ever served in a port city glass.

A: Poured an amber-orange color with lots of flakes floating around in the vat of goodness. The head was a mere bubble formation.

S: Very potent and quite excellent. One might even be fooled into tagging this a sour. It does have that sort of funk. Very bright fruit with plums, sour apples, and some oranges.

T: This thing is unusual! Holy hell! I did get the cedar poking through the other ingredient and didn't think I actually would based on the nose. This reminded me more of a saison than an EIPA.

M: Infinitely smooth due to the cedar aging, with a scrumptuous mouthfeel and no booze detected.

O: This brew totally blew me away. It was worth the $4.99.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 02:34:31 | More by Chaney
Photo of goochpunch


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 UCLABrewN84


3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, biscuit, and earthy and slight citrus hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and citrus fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a fairly subdued smell but the flavors are solid and tasty, especially as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 06:46:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. It has a dark caramel color, brown, some good white foamy head, with some lacing, it is hazy and completely opaque.

S. It has a malty nut scent.

T/M. It has a malty taste, quite strong. It is a tart and overdone malty. There's a grassy taste. Some sweetness.

O. It is a bit bland. A descent taste, but a bit overdone.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 02:25:59 | More by Amalak
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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.