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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.
very good

380 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 11
Gots: 12 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 08-06-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kyoko and Chris for giving me some of this one.

Pours a very cloudy amber, yeasty looking, very thick off white head forms, lace spots, thick layer. Smell is very spicy, woody, yeast, caramel, some floral, nice malts, can really smell the cedar. Taste is bready, touch of caramel, floral, lots of yeast and pine/cedar, spicy alcohol, nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, dry peppery dry tea-like finish. Pretty interesting, very different, cedar adds a whole different element, would like to try again. Thanks K&C!

Viggo, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Explodes out of bottle all over the counter, five+ finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cedar nose. Flavor is sweet cedar and apple with spices - NOT apple pie, clean finish. $3.89 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

jdhilt, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of mortarit
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Someone at the store suggested this because he saw that was sampling beers. He pointed out that this one was cedar aged.

It does resemble an English style head from looking at it. I haven't tasted it yet.

Orange-Brownish in color, cloudy
If you look closely you can tell that it has partials floating around so I guess thats from the barrels.

Now the taste, Ol man that was pretty darn good for the first taste. I typically don't like English styles. But this might be an acceptation to the rule.

It smooth but has that hop texture like the American style. Thats really why I don't favor English styles because of the mellow texture.

mortarit, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a tan head. In the nose, cedar wood and slightly lactic. In the taste, a nice small presence of a grapefruity hop, and a woody/ cedar taste. A smooth beer with a nice bitter aftertaste. It actually taste bigger that it is in alcohol. Interesting flavors with cedar.

OWSLEY069, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of ojiikun
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 11oz stubby into a big ol' wineglass. Medium-dark for an IPA, crystal clear reddish-amber. Little head, little lace.

Smell is outstanding, only 1 other great IPA can match this smell (Burton Baton, for the curious). Spicy, floral, piney (not soapy!) hops riding on a wave of sweet malt. Complexities are unfathomable - citrus, cedar, candied apricot, red pepper. Underlying body light honey, but sometimes verges on caramel.

Taste is surprisingly different - pine comes forward and is joined by oak and maple leaves, a general earthy, wet-leaf effect. Very nice. Fresh cut wood, not all that noticably cedar. Drier than the smell, with less fruit and floral, more cool spice and bitterness. Banana-ey esthers right on the sip. Salty, tart finish.

Though I can't find any particular fault with the feel of this beer, it is a without a doubt a little unbalanced. The earthy, musty flavours linger a bit longer than welcome, and the firm body makes the bitter ending hard to wash away.

All in all a very drinkable beer for such an 'experimental' brew. Unlike anything I've had yet, and considering that - not half bad. An experiment gone right.

ojiikun, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Medium peachy-amber raises a 1/2 inch ivory head that recedes and leaves some lacing that slowly slides down the sides of the glass. Emptying the bottle dumps some gobs of yeast which settle to the bottom. Looks nice.

Aroma is malty with a crisp cool subtly woodsy scent mixed in...very refreshing scent.

It has been a while since I first tasted this on draft, and I remember the cedar coming across stronger then...I really like this bottle sample, probably as much as the draft sample, although I will definitely try that again if the opportunity ever presents itself.

This is a mild, malty beer, some sweetness that is perfectly balanced by the minty, woodsy cedar flavor that you taste at first sip all the way through to the finish. Well-blanaced hoppy bitterness starts in the midpalate and carries through to the finish, never overwhelming, and the cedar flavor takes center stage.

This is a unique and delicious beer, count me as a huge fan!

kenito799, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

WARNING this will gush out of the bottle! Be Ready for it!

In the glass this is a hazy light brown colored beer with a gargantuan tan head.

The smell is earthy and very spicy with the scent of cedar wood. There is also a sour scent here somewhat like the acid aroma of a Lambic.

The flavor begins Spicy and a bit bitter, tastes more than a little bit like Cedar resin. Earthy and woody this can pretty much be called Cedar Wood Ale. Besides the obvious cedar taste this is fairly peppery on the tongue and a bit numbing like clove oil.

The mouthfeel is thick.

Don't know that I can really call this all that drinkable. This is unique to say the least but it is in no way as refreshing as your average pale ale. A novelty beer in my book.

Zorro, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of cichief
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.

cichief, May 26, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite a nice beer indeed. The Japanese can indeed make a good beer - especially this brewery.

Appearance was a nice cloudy amber with a massive head - this thing started fizzing out of the bottle immediately upon opening. The head took about 5 minutes to die down enough to start drinking.

Smell was nice and yeasty/wheaty with a nice hint of wood - cedar in this case.

Taste was delicious. Like a saison crossed with an English IPA. Malt was nice and good, with a lot of earthiness and cedar. Had some yeast characteristics, with a very saison like funkiness - although not at all sour/tart like some saisons get to be (and I love that too). Hops are piny and integrate well with the cedar aging.

Mouthfeel was well carbonated and lively.

Drinkability was quite high. One tasty, easy to drink brew.

Highly recommended. Quite an interesting take on the style. I can see this getting lower reviews from those expecting a straight English IPA - it's not meant to be one. Very enjoyable.

rallison, May 25, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a cloudy and speckled orange-amber with a small creamy head and small amounts of lacing.

Slightly malty with pepper and cedar.

I noticed right away the pepper and spice combined with the subtle notes of the cedar.

Thin with a definite sharpness to it. Lightly carbonated.

I'm never disappointed with the Hitachino Nest beers. They craft some quality brews.

Monkeyknife, May 17, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
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!

mrasskicktastic, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of NEhophead
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.
Dated J.6.9.

Hazy, glowing oak; plenty of chunky, floating sediment. Half-inch, creamy white head that remains intact as a sheet. A few traces of thin and spotted lacing.

Semi-sweet, lingering Belgian candied sugar, cut by a hefty dose of spicy hops. Added hints of fresh, black pepper and corriander. Faint aromas of coconut and melon. Not the typical aroma of an English IPA, but quite inviting.

Slight hints of citrus with a dry, wooden profile: the flavors from the cedar casks are bold and nutty. The hop presence starts out light and floral, and finishes with a black peppered spice.

A light, medium in body; smooth and mellow, yet with some substance. The texture is so mild and smooth I would've guessed it was on draught.

Not your typical 7% abv, English IPA. Very original on account of the use of cedar casks and very tasty.

NEhophead, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gorgeous translucent golden amber, cloudy with sediment, topped by a thick white head that fades quickly to just a dusting on top of the liquid. Very fruity aroma. Lots of citrusy notes, like strawberry-lime-orange juice, and dusty, black-peppar spiciness. Not very woody, but I would assume the spiciness comes from the cedar influence. On the palate, sharp juiciness and big carbonation first off, then some citrus, tobacco notes, and pepper. Big carbonation in the mouthfeel, sharp citric hops and a distinct lack of smoothness imparted by barrels. This beer is the antithesis of American beers aged in wood barrels -- rather than slick and heavy, it is light and fresh. Quite good, and very interesting. Well done.

geexploitation, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber body that is crystal clear wit a thin off-white head that is pretty creamy. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft pale malt smell with a hint of green hops. As it warm there is a light perfume note to the hops with a hint of yeast in the background. The smell is very light overall.

T- This beer has a soft spicy light toasted malt note with a soft bitter hop note in the finish. There is a hint of dry caramel malt that adds some nice depth and a soft dry spice note in the hop finish. The hops and spice only come through really when it warms and even then they are not very strong.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel that becomes more full with the fizz in the finish. The fizz makes the finish pretty clean.

D- This beer is a nice soft and subtle pale ale with no real notice of flavor from the cedar.

rhoadsrage, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of meadhead
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Tart rice pepper
Mildly biting English hop ale
{with perhaps a hint of that cedar to it}

Pours a murky tan orange
with a slight receding head

Smells of plant like hops
with a slight acidic tinge

Taste is good,
clean and rustic
with the deep pepper semi-sour Tart
and bitter grass hop finish

Mouthfeel is nice
with a mild carbonation
feels liquid and smooth
with a piqued taste sensation

good and refreshing
goes down best
in big sips
with an Eastern Spice blessing.

(forgive that rhyme)

meadhead, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of Jessefive
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I noticed in the aroma, flavor, and finish was pepper. White pepper to be exact. It was very strong in the finish. There was a wild spiciness that was intriguing, but not at all overpowering. There was some sake influence to the flavor as well. Behind all the pepper and sake flavors, the cedar taste really starts to develop. As it warmed and I worked my way through the beer, the cedar really started becoming prominent. It had a creamy, bitter body. This was very interesting and delicious!

Jessefive, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Riggo
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

great looking beer with a handsome orange color and a sturdy head. moderate lacing.

smell is somewhat fruity and toffeeish (like an english pale ale) with some subtle citrus and pine. but there is also this rich/cloying kind of note of butterscotch or something that is a little funky/sour and off-putting; sort of like a spoiled smell. i don't know what to make of that.

flavors of lemon/orange with some earthy malt and fruit. buttery notes. moderately crisp hop balance and toffeeish/fruity finish.

carbonation is fairly low, with a smooth mouthfeel.

a certain cloying richness as i referred to in the smell (perhaps from the cedar cask maturation) i would say keeps this one out of session territory. an odd little pale ale worth checking out though not something i would buy much of. you gotta love that little owl though.

Riggo, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a milky orange amber, upon closer inspection there is some type of very fine particulate suspended in the beer. A fine layer of bubbles holds very well across the surface.

Aroma - a very interesting nose of spicy, peppery cedar, almost like a steak seasoning. Cool.

Taste - a pale ale with a side of cedar. A unique and tasty blend of flavors. The hops aren't particularly complex, just some citrus and snap, but the woodiness gives it some great character.

Mouthfeel - solid, smooth-feeling, and a moderate crispness.

Drinkability - darn near $4 for a little stubby 12-ounce bottle, but a super beer-tasting candidate. I'll have to buy a few of these just to open a few eyes.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of budsboy
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, medium amber with a cup-over-floweth white frothy head. Lots of little bubble streams in there.

Decidedly malty aroma with hints of spice (corriander like) and roasted malts. Little yeasty, little sweet, little spice.

Sharp, slightly metallic flavor, some fruitiness and breadiness. Finishes with a strong hop bitterness and faint hint of the woody cedar it was aged in. Bitter, metallic taste lingers.

Medium-light bodied, spry carbonation, clean and refreshing if a bit too thin.

Overall a nice beer. Easy drinking IPA for sure. I'm not all that confident I got the freshest bottle, since there is no date on the bottle. A good beer, but this brewer's wit is still tops in my book.

budsboy, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a massive head atop a cloudy golden orange. Takes forever for the white 4 finger head to melt to sticky lacing.
Aroma is sort of woodsy...cedar is definitely present with a drying scent.
Taste is an unusual sweet amber malt that is slightly toasty but with none of the bite I usually find in toasted malts...this one stays very sweet throughout....again with the woodsy taste...cedar according to the bottle...very noticeable. Only a very slight citrus hop on the tale end of the swallow.
Mouthfeel is good although aftertaste doesn't dry out completely. A little of the sweet cloying lingers on.
I preferred drinking this beer very cold.
Very interesting and pleasant but too expensive for merely an interesting and pleasant brew.

IntriqKen, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of PorterLambic
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.

PorterLambic, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer has a hazy amber coloration. The beer is slightly grainy in apperance due to sediment. The beer has a thin biege head.

Smell: The beer has piney hops and sweet malty tones. The beer smells alot like my moms cedar chest. Very nice!

Taste: The beer delivers a caramel maltyness. This is followed up by pine dominate hops. The citrus hoppyness rides a surf board of cedar down my throat. The finish of the beer is earthy dry hops.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied. The beer is well carbonated. No off flavors or smells noted. This is an unexpectedly highly drinkable beer.

nlmartin, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out hazy rich red amber with a dense tan head.

Smell. A mild, but very nice bouquet of piney hops and sweet caramel malts. That cedar comes out as well here- a bit more on the big whiffs.

Taste. Tasting like a great engish ipa. Slight pine and citrus hops, balanced quite well with the hops. Does have a cedar characteristic with some natural honey. There is a small adhesive taste to it, but is very subtle, and not bad. As it warms, it becomes just a touch peppery. Aftertaste is a little earthy.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium/full. Seems it starts off chewy, but becomes a little slick on my tongue. Carbonation is at a great level; it seems quite present, yet does not attack my tongue at all. nice.

Overall, I am a little suprised at this beer. I expected to like it, but i didnt expect to like it this much. I guess one thing is that i dont drink too many english ipa's, but i do thing the cedar aging makes this a nice unique beer. Very good.

acrawf6, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of sleepingbear
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

複雑なビール !!

Well done aromatics of cedar swamps drying in kilns.

A 24.3 fl. oz. btl. that sat in my cellar upright and undisturbed for a year before it’s opening, I can not help but think that its undisturbed nature and correct temp and light levels helped it show its best.
Magnificent structure and balance.
Some weird bandage adhesive flavors that were mellowed by the cedar sake funk.
Awesome funk!
This was super funky and stanky.
Dank and funk permeate.
If they don’t get it that’s ok- more for the Magyar!

sleepingbear, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of Suds
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Extremely carbonated, this bottle suffered a brief eruption when opened. After settling down, I gave it a try. The brew is topped with a huge, rocky head, while the liquid is slightly orange and very hazy. The aroma is interesting, with a slightly tart, citric quality. This is joined with a rustic earthiness, a little wood (I couldn’t discern cedar, but it was certainly wood – though not quite oak-like), fresh nuts (like chestnuts…maybe tannin), and yeast. The taste is quite dry, with a resiny bitterness that, at times, seems a little harsh. The wood quality is present throughout the beer. There’s a bit of astringency, and quite a lot of the citric quality in the finish. This is certainly an interesting beer, but it seemed pretty jumbled and chaotic.

Suds, Oct 25, 2006
Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.