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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 boudreaux


4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: what an IPA should look like; hazy, orange/honey color, with a frothy, sticky white head about 2 - 2.5 fingers thick; head retention is rocky and lasting, with sticky lacing lasting throughout

S: hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so; a great bitter, fresh aroma from the hops; also, an earthy, woody smell from the cedar casks; a great, forest-fresh smell

T: the hops are definitely present, but muted somewhat by the sweet, smokey flavor of cedar wood casks; tastes really complex and delicious

M: creamier than I expected; medium body, smooth, and soft on the tongue

O: really smooth and flavorful; exhibits the qualities of a traditional IPA, with a nice twist from the cedar

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 03:46:44 | More by boudreaux
Photo of centbeerfest


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another gift for my birthday so had only one to try. Poured it into a small tasting glass 3-4 ounces at a time. Not like most Japanese beers that I have had and you could tell right from the outset.

Amber cloudy gold color with a nice solid head. It is hard to imagine, but I did smell some of the same characteristics as a sake, but that may have been tainted based on my knowledge of the origin. Perhaps it was the cedar casks that both are fermented in that made the connection.

Nice consistency and a good uniform mouth. High alcohol cis front of center and did not taste like the "pale ale" classification on the bottle. Not necessarily bad, just not what I expected. Some sediment in the final pour.

I enjoyed the beer, but on a take home scale, I would leave this on the shelf for another day.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 02:47:27 | More by centbeerfest
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour orange/amber with a large lasting creamy head.
Nose shows light fruity hops, orange marmalade, fruit confectionery, loads of caramel and golden syrup and a spicy, woody character (presumably the cedar!) Pretty full on.
Similarly sweet, syrupy flavours, loads more caramel, orange marmalade and distinct cedar. Faint piney, resinous hops, but any bitterness is utterly overwhelmed by the copious amount of malt.
Carbonation is pretty low and could be upped a fair bit, that's my main criticism.
Other than that, really nice stuff. ♠

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 10:03:46 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of shand


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a nonic.

Pours an orange-amber colour with ample floaties and a one finger worth of head that has poor retention and lacing. The cedar aging is the primary aspect in this beer, there's a huge woody character. There's also some very herbal hops with a slight citrus aspect. It smells very good. The taste is a bit muted compared to the smell though. The taste comes in strongly at the start with the various herbal flavors, then the cedar slowly fades to the forefront taking the edge off the hops that are coming in for the finish. The aftertaste is just a touch of cedar and hops. Well-done.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick, but it works with the heavy cedar flavors here. It's also a quite drinkable beer. I really liked this one, it's a unique take on the IPA style with heavy herbal aspects you rarely find in something like this. Recommended for lovers of herbal aspects or cedar.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 02:39:16 | More by shand
Photo of jera1350


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coppery colored with lots of sediment all over. The head is fluffy and tan and has nice retention and fair lacing.

Sweet caramel scent with a very light hop presence.

Some nicely spicy and earthy hops blended with caramel malt and a hint of alcohol and a little soapiness.

A little thin feeling especially at this abv. The carbonation is a bit overdone as well, but it is soft and fluffy.

A nice brew, but does not do much for me personally. I wouldn't reach for this one in the future, but it does drink rather easy.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 00:48:12 | More by jera1350
Photo of shambeano


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a hitachino nest beer glass.

A- pours an almost orange amber, with about 1 cm of bubbly head that fades very quickly. looks pretty good.

S- Strong hoppy aroma, herbal with some orange peel too. A touch of sourness comes through, almost funk, possibly from the cedar aging. a fair bit happening. also pretty good.

T- a touch of malt straight up, but moves quickly on to the bittering hops, its quite bitter. once you get used to it, the orange peel comes through, and there is still that very very faint cedar taste as well. its good, but i really wish there was a touch more floral hops in there as well.

M- its pretty rich, and with a nice body, thicker than i was expecting. finish is bitter, and it hangs around for a while. This one would be great in the cooler months.

D- although i rather liked this beer, i dont think i could have more than one in an evening, maybe its the richness. lovely beer though.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 04:37:35 | More by shambeano
Photo of basica


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

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange-amber color with active fizzling, yielding a nice two finger thick milky white head with good retention (4)

S - Earthy, herbal nose with some notes of citrus, spices and a light malt backing; initially the herbal smell was a bit too intense and woody but fortunately, it toned down to a minimal presence (3.5)

T - Herbal flavors and slightly sweetened malts upfront with a citrusy middle; hop flavors with fruity suggestions of grapefruits and spices then show up, moving towards a grassy, herbal, floral and slightly bitter finish. (4)

M - Medium bodied thickness with a good amount of carbonation and a creamy smooth texture (4)

D - Pretty drinkable and sessionable actually; the herbal flavors were fairly strong in the beginning and that did not work for me but as it toned down, it actually became fairly pleasant drinking (4)

The strong herbal notes was interesting but not something that worked too well for me. A good thing that it was sort of muted off as I was half way into the beer and it became a pleasant, drnkable English IPA.

Bottle solicited from Medi-ya Japanese Supermarket, Liang Court at Clarke Quay, Singapore.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 18:03:36 | More by basica
Photo of uberkane

New Jersey

3.93/5  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).

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 05:50:36 | More by uberkane
Photo of nataku00


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 03:09:07 | More by nataku00
Photo of Gump


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 00:40:47 | More by Gump
Photo of JVEyck309

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
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..

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 23:58:16 | More by JVEyck309
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 05:06:51 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of atigerlife


3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 20:23:51 | More by atigerlife
Photo of armock

New York

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 23:15:40 | More by armock
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 dgilks


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 10:26:33 | More by dgilks
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 03:16:34 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Tabni


4.03/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 16:23:31 | More by Tabni
Photo of cpanossian

New York

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 01:48:20 | More by cpanossian
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 02:47:16 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of headlessclown


4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 11:03:35 | More by headlessclown
Photo of david18

New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 19:42:28 | More by david18
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 laituegonflable


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 02:22:27 | More by laituegonflable
Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.