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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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

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very good

402 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 402
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 16
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottum on 06-27-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 | Reviews: 243
Photo of uberkane
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bomber with a wide-eyed cartoon owl on the label.

A: Pours a light copper-orange color. Mostly see-through. Semi-aggressive pour yields a quickly dispersing head that leads to barley a ring of foam. Medium amount of lacing.

S: Strong medicinal herb smell with almost a light skunked aspect in the background. Slight sour-grapefruit with just a little grassyness. Very interesting.

T: Medicinal herb taste comes out right up front. It has an almost funk, but in a good way. A flash of spicy hops his the palate. There is also a light lemonade taste that comes through. The malt backbone is a light caramel cereal, but is not the star of the show.

M: Nice and light-bodied with a slight carbonation. Feels soft on the tongue.

D: Pretty drinkable; alcohol isn't really detectable. Pretty light and goes down easy. Might be okay as a session beer, but the medicinal-herb taste could get over powering after too much.

A unique beer from Hitachino. Their beers tend to have an interesting taste. In this case, I'm not sure if it's the yeast, the cedar casks, or the hopes, but either way, I like it. Essentially it is a solid IPA funked-up a little (in a good way).

Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see the Hitachino Nest beers offered at a lot of restaurants here in the SF area now, so I figure I'll pick one up to try.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Hazy dark burnt orange with minimal head. Light sparse lacing on the edge of the glass, that slides down fairly quickly.

Nose is a strong earthy and floral hops, with a nice woody component from the cedar. Despite the lack of head, really nice aroma.

Taking a sip, same hop profile from the nose, really floral and earthy. A little bit of the wood in the finish, which I now know is the taste of cedar in a beer, with a medium length dry finish. Slightly oily in the mouth with light carbonation, but it doesn't leave a terribly slick feel on the mouth.

A very nice and complex beer from Kiuchi Brewery. I'll try some of their other offerings when I get the chance.

Photo of Gump
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$6 per 12oz at The Ale Jail in Saint Paul, MN.
Cloudy, with an orangish hue. I didn't pay attention and the sediment went into glass, making for a chunky beer

which looks like a sea of monkies.
Viney, rasiny aroma.
Alcohol is heavy, bittering is also high.
Piney citrus lingers in the aftertaste.

Photo of JVEyck309
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
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..

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - somewhat hazy copper, very bubbly with a tall tan head that the carbonation retained from the bottom up
S - mild caramel malt and leafy herbal hops, slight cedar
T - herbal and spicy hops, a subdued malty flavour, some sweetness with the cedar coming through on the finish
M - fairly thin and bitter with a spicy alcohol kick that you feel in your nose
D - i was a little surprised by the sharp mouth feel, but the flavours do make for a unique IPA, the hops are featured but not over the top, and the cedar again is subtle but present, goes down decently for 7% ABV

Photo of atigerlife
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a fluffy slightly off-white head. Good lasting power. Very nice to look at.

Aroma is sweet with malts and wood.

Taste is caramel, strong woody flavor, vanilla, hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and cleansing.

Overall, very drinkable. Another nice product from this brewery.

Photo of armock
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
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

Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of paulozanello
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a hazy, golden colour with a big yet short lasted white head.

Interesting sweet malty aroma with cedar notes and a herbal spruce note.

Malt comes through up front with the spruce and cedar woods following up in the mid-palate. There's no real bitterness here but just enough to balance.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

This is an interesting beer. It certainly isn't an English IPA but it suits the name "Japanese Classic Ale" as it strikes me as the kind of flavour profile I associate with traditional Japanese food.

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml squat-ass bottle. Aged in cedar barrels. Say whut?

This beer pours a dark, cloudy golden apricot hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, and tightly foamy off-white head, which leaves some very consistent webbed lace around the glass as it gradually settles.

It smells of peppery, leafy hops, generic pale and caramel malt, a rather prominent red and white grape fruitiness, and some understated herbal woodiness. The taste is still dominated by the peppery spice, strangely, with more children's grape juice fruitiness, subtle field honey, an astringent cedar woodiness, and a bit of languishing caramel malt.

The carbonation is on the soft side, just a gentle, rather unassuming frothiness manifesting, the body medium-light in weight, mostly smooth, yet with an inherent spicy edginess that takes a large chink out of any otherwise sedate creaminess. It finishes off-dry, peppery, earthy, and herbal - deconstructed, yes, but that's just how this one seems to roll.

A very unusual, and hard to describe (for the style) beer - the pepper essence obfuscating a lot of what is actually going on. In the end, the cigar-friendly wood conditioning helps to mollify the peppery astringency, making for a rather drinkable, if still weirdly intense offering. Might have to try this again, to really grok what's going on here. No idea why this is classified as any sort of IPA.

Photo of Tabni
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For some reason my bottle says that it is 7.5% alcohol, not 7%. Dark orange color with a nice head. Smells of sake and wines. Taste it's just fantastic. It warms up your palate slowly and then you can taste some of the alcohol. This is sake meets beer! This beer is matured in cedar casks that are used in brewing tradition sake.

Photo of cpanossian
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber color, poured from bottle into goblet.

Light boozy whiskey bouqet from the cedar casking.

But sweet malty tasting with a nice malty after taste.

Very nice ale - Hitachino Nest is a great craft brewery - find their beers and try them all!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light bitter notes with green hops notes. Taste is not as bitter as expected though hops are clearly noticeable with a nice caramel malt backbone and some light cedar notes rounding things out. Body is slightly below average with good carbonation. Different interpretation of the style with cedar rounding things out nicely.

Photo of headlessclown
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into 250ml Heineken glass
Date on bottle: 05/11

A: A clear amber with moderate head.

S: A bit of hops. A definite spice presence. Not too heavy on the nose.

T: Interesting one. Spice over bitterness as the smell suggested. A hint of the cedar casks in there too. Can't discern any malt.

M: I like it. Medium with a dry finish. Alcohol not noticeable.

D: An interesting ale that's definitely worth a try. Not necessarily something I would session, though.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had dinner last night at dbgb on Manhattan's lower east side and it's a great place. Great beers, amazing food. I highly recommend it. Among the beers I had was one the waiter recommended, the IPA. REally good beer and now what I expected from this brewery which is better known for unique tasting beers. This is a pretty classic IPA (maybe even a double ipa) and I will definitely get it again.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnished amber colour, with dense beige head that sinks slowly, leaving really lovely lace behind. The clear body reveals a magical Disney-esque cascade of bubbles streaming up the glass.

Lots of hop on the nose, floral and herbal with hints of rose & curry leaf. Nice spice to it with a bit of turmeric and a nice citric undertone. Hint of caramelised malt as well, very enticing indeed. 4.5

Taste is intriguing, hmmmm, let me see... Flat malt at the front lets the hop come through early. Notes of fresh cut grass and flax gets slightly mediciney late on the mid. The cedar wood is strong on the back. Dominates really, and overwhelms the hops just a bit in their ability to cleanse the palate. The bitterneas lacks the zip of an American IPA but that is purely a personal preference and says nothing about this beer's quality. The only fault I have with this is the dominance of the wood on the back, and it could use more malt on the front just to balance it a bit.

Good body, lots of viscosity with a really nice dry finish.

I like this a lot, but the imbalance does mean I Couldn't drink more than one or two at a time.

Photo of July2Nov
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy orangish amber color with a frothy one inch head that holds up nicely throughout the life of the beer.

Smell: Almost non-existent. some honey notes come through and that's about it. Weird.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very pleasant. Not as hoppy as I would have expected. Slight alcohol taste opens up the mouth for a bit...Slight hops/piney flavor hits you...then finishes with the alcohol again. When I mention the alcohol taste, don't get me wrong, it's not so strong to be unbearable, but rather you can taste it for a moment and then it's gone. The aftertaste has a crisp dry feel.

Drinkability: This one could get you in trouble because it says 7% abv on the bottle, but it's so crisp and refreshing that one just won't do it. Besides, the cute owl on the bottle is telling me to go grab another...and this dude abides!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very iconic label, with the same iconic owl on the cap. I'd seen it a couple of times at the local craft beer purveyor, but only recently decided to pick it up.

Pours with a hazy body, a lovely reddish golden colour, with a light but frothy head of shiny pale foam. Lacing is really excellent, although the retention in the head is poor. Still, I love the colour, it's a pretty good looking beer all up.

Aged in cedar casks indeed. Huge cedar wood aromas on the nose, very prominent, which overpower everything, but which provide an unusual and delicious alternative to the regular spicy hops. I feel there is a mix of spicy, slightly piney hops in the mix, but it's hard to disassociate the two. Still, it's a pungent and quite memorable nose. Very enjoyable.

More piney characters on the palate, and the cedar character permeates here again. You can taste the wood, but it's a very different character from the deep, vinous oak notes on oak-aged beers. Quite a long palate, spicy along its length, gaining some light phenols towards the back, and finishing rather dry. Bitterness is pronounced as the palate continues, leaving a very decent IPA-level sharpness on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is crisp and sharp, a great match for the flavours.

What an unusual beer, but a deeply enjoyable one. Crisp and rather refreshing. It's certainly not an IPA in the traditional sense as it's classified here, but I'd be hard pressed to find a better categorisation for it.

Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip aug3 2010

A hazy deep amber with a big off white head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lace

S heavy earthy wood with a little fruity hops and some mild booze

T not far from the smell, the ceder hard to miss but some spicy hops give it some character that would be overwhelmed by the earthiness otherwise

M thick enough to please and there's plenty of carbonation making it feel fuller still, slightly slick and the flavors linger

D for 7.5%alc this is very easy to drink, original and interesting and I would drink this again with ease

this is a solid beer that I was quite intrigued by and would love to drink again. very mellow and easy to drink please try this beer if you get the chance

Photo of pootz
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a hazy amber color with a, rich sticky firm head that lasts and laces. .

Pungent earthy kent hop and cedar aroma over substantial cara malts. Moderately sweet with big marris otter malting....medium bodied

Densely malty and well balanced with kent goldings and a unique woody cedar character. Fruity, mellow and elegantly boosy with pine-resinous bitter finish.

A great rendition of a UK IPA with mind melting innovations that make it so damn tasty, rounded, mellow and drinkable. If this were available all the time It would be my go-to IPA

Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't really sure what to expect with this one but it was a pleasant surprise...

Nice reddish golden with a thick creamy long lasting head.. Excellent lacing as well..

Nice mixture of floral spicy hops and booze mingled with a sweet maltiness in the background... I can definitely detect the cedar as well in the aroma which gives this a uniqueness...

Spicy floral hops up front which slowly meld into a sweetness from the malts and a dry finish.. I'm actually pleasantly surprised with this one... Its a damn good representation of an English IPA... Not overly hoppy but still hop forward.... Very authentic tasting...

I liked this offering.. These guys continue to impress the heck out of me. I don't have their beers that often but when I do I'm always impressed with them...

Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting - a unique take on a English classic. Very nice cloudy orange-copper with a fairly tight, thin white head. Sweet malty smell - bananna, apricot, yeast, toffee and bread. Low hop profile.

A surprising bitterness comes through in the flavour, with a fruity sourness. The malts are quite a bit weaker in the flavour. This could be a bit more balanced, with stronger malts.

Strong, but appropriate carbonation. A bit too bitter, but not bad.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper-orange color with some visible carbonation. Nice big frothy white head.

Smell: The aroma is definitely there but very mild. There's a delicate, spicy, and slightly floral hop aroma. There's definitely yeast present as well.

Taste: The flavor is dominated throughout with the presence of yeast. Combined with the spicyness from the hops, it is rather reminiscent of a saison beer blended with an English IPA. There's a bit of hoppy florals or fruits, but they're hard to distinguish. The aftertaste is very barnyard-like, from the yeast, with some bitterness, and perhaps some flavor from the cedar casks.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with significant but not overly strong carbonation.

Drinkability: ABV is higher than typical for what the style is supposed to be, but nothing problematic. Drinkability taste-wise is a bit of an issue, especially if you were expecting an English IPA.

Honestly, if someone gave me a glass of this, I might be tempted to guess that it was some sort of farmhouse ale. Perhaps this bottle was spoiled or badly handled. While it didn't taste bad, it was pretty far removed from what I was expecting.

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 402 ratings.