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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

249 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 249
Hads: 418
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 15%
Wants: 17
Gots: 25 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 249 | Hads: 418
Photo of GinaBeerInc
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Hazy, deep golden body. Frothy, off-white head. Aroma of toasted malt, cookie and bread, floral hops and earthiness. Noes of orange and honey. The flavor is lightly to moderately sweet and lightly bitter. It finishes lightly sweet and moderately bitter. Medium body, creamy texture, average carbonation. Sweetness and bitterness are nicely proportioned for an IPA. A softer presentation than American IPAs, especially in the mouthfeel which is less carbonated and less crisp. Very good.

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Photo of kaelingirl
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 8.3oz bottle into pint glass
pours a cloudy hazy orange with a nice white head that fades quickly leaving behind very nice lacing.
very faint floral and grain aroma
the taste is floral hops first followed by a mellow bitterness
very crisp and smooth
very tasty brew

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

A- Pours a slightly hazy orange color. A small amount of head with excellent lacing.

S- Soft cedar, spicy floral notes. Not really hopforward per se. Tough to grade as it doesn't smell like a typical IPA, but the overall nose is very pleasant and inviting.

T- Sweet caramel, lemon/apricot fruitiness, subtle cedar, a hint of spice. Atypical of an IPA, but unique and interesting. Very little lingering bitterness, but a very pleasant lingering aftertaste of woodiness and caramel

M- Medium body, solidly carbonated, finishes cleaner than most IPAs.

Overall- What to make of a beer that breaks nearly every mold, refuses to fit in a neat category, and generally leaves as many questions as answers? My general rule of beer is that I would rather be shocked than bored, rather find something new than just another "solid" example of a well defined style. Average IPAs seemingly grow on trees. This beer, whatever it is, it anything but average. Maybe not the first choice for a hophead, but the ride is worth taking for anyone who loves beer.

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Photo of Philousa
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange, bordering on red. A bit opaque with one finger head that retains extremely well throughout drinking, though not much lacing is evident. Tangerines up front with amber malt aroma. Turns a bit metallic after a few sniffs. A hint of cedar is there too, though I wouldn't have been able to place it if I didn't read the label. Sweet nectarine and darker citrus followed by light woodiness/cedar flavor. Bitter malt and harsh wood flavors follow with an alcohol burn. The wood is evident, too much to drink without sipping. A bit acidic in feel, this one bites you. Viscosity is middling with a dry finish.

I was worried with this one. I usually don't like wood aged beers unless they're a strong ale or Burton Baton. On top of that, it's cedar; one of the strongest tastes a wood can have. The cedar came through well, bubbling up after a few sips, but it didn't take over. Whew. The harsh woody bitterness was there, but it wasn't overpowering. It just forced me to sip and enjoy this English IPA a little more over time. This isn't something I'd buy a 12 pack of, but it's a great beer of which I want more.

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

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange hue with a frothy, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Malty hoppy aroma with hints of citrus, mostly lemon, in the background.

T: Smooth malty flavor with an alcoholic twinge and decent hoppy background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Interesting beer - an English India pale modeled in Japanese tradition of being aged in cedar casks and then hopped with an American hops. It was good – but no where near what I would call an IPA.

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Photo of Risser09
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce beer into a tulip · March 2011 bottling · fridge temp

Appearance: Golden orange color with a tad bit of haze after swirling. A nice 2.5" head builds and shows off it's retention by sticking around for a few minutes. Tons of lace cling behind on the glass, a thick webbing.

Smell: Interesting malt aroma with mostly biscuity characteristics and some other cereal grains. A fresh aroma of hops that is best described as floral. Nice.

Taste: This beer has some great flavor. Herbal, English hops create a bitter earthiness. Envelope that with clean, biscuity malts and you have a great English IPA. I am trying to find the cedar somewhere and think it might be lingering on the very finish of the beer with a dry sensation.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, sweet, creamy, and a slight wood finish provide plenty to chew on. This beer has great mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The best Japanese beer I've ever had, though it is my fist craft beer from that country. Great use of ingredients, good method and subtle wood experience make this beer a great drinker that I would seek out if available.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ML bottle poured into a tulip.
Just a bit out of date

A-- Poured a hazy orange amber color. One finger off white head, on swirling got two fingers. Head slowly dies off leaving a solid layer of film and a good solid ring of lacing.

S-- Musty dirty sort of smell. Get some cedar mixed with earthy grape and orange. Wood really carries this.

T-- Past its prime orange and pine. Get a lot of wood as well. Still pretty workable.

M-- Rich, thick and earthy. Undertones of mandarin orange and pine. Finishes dry and crisp.

O-- Probably really good fresh. Still pretty good for being a bit old. Has held up pretty well.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 6 ounce stange/cylindrical glass at Ten. From notes. Reviewed 13 July 2011.

A: A nice finger of head. Cloudy. Light brown-yellow. Translucent. Very pretty.

S: Slightly sour malts with hints of yeast? Subtle but interesting.

T: Really nice. Big, heavy, and strong. Obvious alcohol and sweet fruits (purple grape). Robust, full-bodied, and very much an ale. However, it certainly doesn't taste like any English IPA I could think of...Very little aftertaste.

O: Almost too grapey/Kool-Aid-ish. Otherwise good. Recommended. Will look for more of this breweries beers.

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Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice cloudy copper / amber pour with a lasting tan head with descent lacing. Aroma and taste of sweet caramel malt with some nice citrus piney hops and some spicy fruity notes. A nice medium body with moderate carbonation on the palate. The finish is sweet malt with some good citrusy piney hops for balance and fruity notes on the ending. Overall a good, balanced easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite an interesting brew, this beer poured out as a nice golden color. The head was fluffy and white, it settles in a short period of time. The smell of the beer has some hoppy aromas mixed with the grainy malts. The taste of the beer is where I find this to be the best. The Flavors of wild rice, malts, black pepper and hops all come together here. I never would have guessed that this beer would have that much going on inside it. The mouthfeel of the beer is light and drinkable. Overall I really enjoyed the beer and would probably have it again one day.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tastes of lavender, chamomile, hopes, bitterness, malt, honey malt, fluff, flowers, rice, fizz, mint, citurs, plumy tastes and pure cane sugar. Smell like an IPA from Japan, LOL. That and plenty of malty good, hops, hops and hops. Pretty dope, y'all.

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Photo of Nuggethops
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a golden color with an orange hue. an aggressive pour yields one finger of white head that dissipates quickly to a thin uniform cap leaving a little thin lacing, Very lively with tons of bubbles racing to the top of the glass.

There is a faint aroma of cedar in the nose when poured cold that becomes dominant as it warms. sweet roasted malt character as well with slight earthy floral hop presence which is barely present as the beer warms and the cedar begins to dominate. The taste is sweet and nutty with a bitter finish. I detect a little cedar in the taste at first but again the cedar flavor really becomes pronounced as the beer warms making for a very interesting English ipa.

The beer is a bit thin and almost over carbonated it's very dry and bitter the aftertaste that lingers a little longer than I would like. I enjoyed this beer for sure but would have liked a little more smoothness my throat felt super dry when done drinking this brew, just one of these in a sitting is good for me.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, this pours a glowing copper color, with a cloudy look if you let the bottle sediment in. Aroma is a modest yet inviting one with notes of toasted malt, citrus and floral hops. Sweet citrus hops gently mingle on the palate with a balancing crisp and refreshing malt. There's a noticeable sake-esque taste throughout, particularly with the dryness in the finish. Orange citrus noted hops resonate in the aftertaste. Smooth for it's 7.5% abv.

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

Appearance: Pours a nice thick two fingered head thee diminishes quickly but still lasts afterward. Thee beer itself is a nice hazy reddish orange.

Smell: Strong malts with a hint cedar and slightly hoppy but overshadowed by the cedar when warm but strong hops and malts when cold.

Taste: Strong cedar and caramel malts as the ale gets warmer but the hops are dominant when it's cold.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and creamy feel.

Overall: A pretty good beer from Hitachino and even better when drunk during a hot day. I definitely recommend this beer to anyone interested in a break from hopped up IPAs that most people seem to prefer.

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Photo of Kbogac
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24 into a Sam Adams glass. Dark yellow with lots of particulate floating around. Huge head that slowly fades to a heavy film. When I first poured it I got a huge whiff of hops but strangely it's not there on the first taste. Virtually no hop taste. Malty with bitterness a little pepper but the hops is subdued. After it warms a little I get some cedar and rosemary scent. Also a little more cedar in the taste. Unusual beer.

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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

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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.

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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. ♠

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Photo of shand
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of jera1350
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of basica
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of uberkane
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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).

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Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Gump
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.