Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleHitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

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very good

390 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 390
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 11
Gots: 13 | 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: 390 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance was a hazy, glowing amber, with a moderately diminishing creamy white head and lacing. lots of sediment chunks left behind stuck to the bottom of the bottle. a bit of a milkly swirl of haze near the top. cedar dominated the nose with some light stone fruits (apricots?) and floral notes. alcohol presence was noticeable. interesting bouqet. taste was light/moderately sweet malts with a smooth, somewhat subtle, yet almost moderate hop bitterness creeping in later. mouthfeel was kinda thin for a 7% beer and there was a bit of a woody astringency noted. i think i may have had this one just past it's prime.
update: better on tap, both in appearance and nose in particular.

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

Poured 750ml bottle to tumbler at Swirl on Castro in SF. Thanks to Timmy Lou the buyer there for the sample. The beer has a nicely rounded amber body with plenty of large bubbled carbonation and a small off-white head that forms a constant smattering of lace during the whole of consumption. The nose is hugely floral - tons of perfumy hops like crushed marigolds and citrus rinds. Taste is also has a well rounded body, showing depth and character. Floral and aromatic hops throughout, bitter finish like a tangerine rind. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and stimulating. Malt body is light but present. Are these unique characteristics from rice? If so, more breweries should take up this practice. A very nice beer.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber orange. Citric nose with slight bubble gum tones it seems. Flavor is smooth with a touch of bitterness on the tip of your tongue that does not overpower. Even citric tones there as well. Feel is good with a nice bubble to it. Definitely drinkable. A nice smooth brew with even qualities. My first Hitachino. Glad to have gotten to try it. Not sure if I’d ever go back to it because of the price, but it was pretty decent.

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

Pretty Orange Haze right out of the bottle; not too much sediment; I let it sit for weeks in the fridge; poured it to control yeastage. I t had a nicely disapating head that left no stickyness.

You could smell a very clean alcohol and wood(apparently cedar) smell right from teh get go. Super clean first taste. No aftertaste but a citrusy sweet flavour hop. All about the big woody notes that blend into hop flavour. Perfect carbonation. Nice and snappy with the subtlest amount of piney flavours coming through as it warms. In that sense it screams English rather than American IPA. Some breadiness as well. Alcohol is masked beautifully in the finish.

You cannot sense that this is high gravity ale. There is certainly an art to this; a clean oak cedar taste prevalent; a smoothness, a lack of big distracting low end that screams for a sashimi combo and some negimaki.

Photo of aluskungs
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow bizarre, maybe the most bizarre beer I've had.

I poured the whole bottle into my glass and there was a lot of sediment. Now my beer had floating black specs in it, not that appealing. The color of this hazy beer is like apple cider. The head on it is very bubbly and effervescent, like the beer.

The smell is definitely cedar, like a sauna. Also there is a dry dirt smell to it. The cedar is pleasant but the dirt smell isn't to nice.

The spicy cedar gives it a crisp bite like a hop but not as bitter. A bit medicine in flavor, but that's OK.

A very clean taste that begs to be drunk some more. Hey! my glass is empty already! Defiantly a beer to drink after a sauna session.

Photo of vtfan77
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy brownish orange with a nice off-white head that sticks around for quite some time.

S- Aromas of berries, ginger, wood, and slight alcohol are present with a strong malty backbone.

T- The initial taste brings a slight malty sweetness, but that is soon overshadowed by the hops and cedar. While the cedar contributed only a slight woodiness to the aroma, it contributes quite a bit to the flavor. The finish is quite dry with a moderate hop bitterness and a nice woody finish.

M- Decent medium body with a good carbonation level.

D- While the alcohol does peek through from time to time, this doesn't seem like a particularly strong beer. I might have one more, but it certainly doesn't lend itself to mass consumption.

Another interesting beer from the good folks at the Kiuchi Brewery. I never would have thought that a cedar-aged IPA would work, but it definitely does. This beer is quite complex and tasty. It's not one that I will be drinking frequently, but it would be nice for an occasional change of pace. I'd suggest trying it for it uniqueness if nothing else. Recommended.

Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid amber color brew with a big white foamy head and very good lacing. The aroma is a pleasant light flowery cherry scent. The first taste is a refreshing mouthful of biscuit and dry grapefruit hops. The more I drink the more I get the sweet cherry suggestion which occasionally notes other fruit flavors while holding a nice, subtle ale maltiness. I thought this was intriguing. Not sure how much I would want to drink at one sitting, probably not more than a couple based on the unique flavor, but I definitely enjoyed this first experience and will want to try it again, along with some more selections from this Asian brewer. Recommended for a try, although you may find it a little pricey.

Photo of flowerysong
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber body with hardly any head.

Smell: Spicy, with a bready malt backbone, hints of cedar and sandalwood, and an underlying fruitiness.

Taste: Basically follows the nose, but the woody cedar influence is much more pronounced. Nice mild bitterness, a bit of sweetness comes through on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy carbonation on a smooth, light body.

Drinkability: Not an everyday brew, but I definitely like the effect of the cedar and overall the beer is quite complex.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, hazed amber body with a pillowy, sudsy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of honey-like maltiness, yeast, apricots, and a handful of grass thrown in confetti-style.

Taste: Gentle caramel malt flavor with more sweet, juicy apricots. Hint of lemon. Subtle notes of wood. Refreshing tea-like bitterness. Mildly bitter, but very clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavor, refreshment, uniqueness... the Japanese Classic Ale is down on ALL of it. Paired remarkably well with some moo goo gai pan, too.

Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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!

Photo of jdhilt
3.6/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of mortarit
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of ojiikun
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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!

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of cichief
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Photo of NEhophead
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of geexploitation
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of meadhead
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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)

Photo of Jessefive
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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!

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.