Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale - Kiuchi Brewery
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +23.5%
I'm only half finished this 11.2 ounce bottle, and I'm just beginning to realize how much I'm enjoying this very special brew from the land of the rising sun.
And let me just say that the label is what caught my eye, nestled amongst the other imports, along the impressive wall of beer at the Arcata, California Co-op. It screams JOY. A joyous beer, indeed.
Pours a dark and cloudy amber with an impressive head that nearly spilled over the rim of my glass and still lingers, leaving intricate patterns of lace. Major emphasis on cloudy! I've never seen a beer this nebulous. Specks of spices afloat, a beautiful sight.
Smell is BIG orange peel, as if someone had just peeled a gigantic orange beside my head as my nose approached the glass. Coriander and an alcohol bite also come through the nose.
An incredibly delicious arc of orange, coriander, malts and alcohol play on the tongue, with just the right amount of carbonation, and a slightly dry aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is thick yet light on the tongue, "whipped" comes to mind, but it still maintains a density that foregrounds the audacious and festive flavors.
I feel blessed to have found this beer. What a wonderful experience. Straight fives from me.
Happy New Year!
01-20-2004 06:56:12 | More by RootedFool
4.97/5 rDev +22.7%
My publican saved a bottle of this brew for me from his latest "find". I am eternally grateful. The label lists spices used: coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla beans. My mouth was watering before I even smelled it.
Pours a beautiful, hazy dark red with a touch of orange and noticeable "depth", like a truly great paint job on Ferrari. A big, fluffy, creamy head that stays forever and leaves massive amounts of lace coating the glass.
Smell is rich, decadently filling my nose. Spices all over, as expected, especially nutmeg and vanilla, some cinnamon, fruit ( orange, green grapes and green apple), roasted malt, a hint of smoke and light hops. A slight bite of the hop up front, mainly on the tip of the tongue then the flavors just roll all over the tongue, filling every nook and cranny of the mouth. Hints of dark chocolate and vanilla linger in the aftertaste. Amazingly complex and perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel is smoooth with a capital Smoo! Creamy, rich, lightly warming mouth and throat, full-bodied.
Drinkability: if you don't drink this when the opportunity arises, you will do yourself an unbelieveable disservice. An absolute "must-drink" beer.
05-27-2005 14:06:21 | More by PorterLambic
4.88/5 rDev +20.5%
My first review of a beer from Japan and my first Eisbock review all rolled into one. This poured out with a murky opaque brown body with a huge light tan head. The head falls leaving a cap of bubbles to cover the body and leaves sticky rings of lace around the glass as it is consumed. Fruit sweetness with a good touch of caramel stands out first in the nose before giving way to the huge spiciness in this brew. Cinnamon and nutmeg where the two spices I could identify but there was a lot more going on in this great smelling brew. A nice caramel flavor greets you when you first sip that is covered in spices. There was a bit of fruitiness to the flavor as well as a nice bitter spicy after taste that was excellent. Very complex in the nose and mouth, I will need to gather a few more of these to full appreciate them. The mouthfeel was almost full and it was silky and left you wanting more with every sip. Unfortunately I only picked up one bottle, as after I drank this I wanted more. This is definitely on of the best beers I have had and really left me wanted more. Highly recommended to all.
09-21-2004 15:42:27 | More by meathookjones
4.83/5 rDev +19.3%
Reddish-brown, quite dark; somewhat cloudy. *Very* yeasty. Pouring it gently still disturbed the plentiful sediment, and a thick, manic pale tan head foamed up energetically like lava threatening to burst out of a volcano.
When it subsided to a reasonable level, the aroma was discovered to be big and citrusy - very pleasant. So was the taste, very complex with malt mixing in with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, citrus (orange peel is in the ingredients), molasses, vanilla, and a touch of vine fruit and burnt notes too. The flavours change constantly through to a moderately dry aftertaste dominated by balanced malt and hops, but with big orange peel character out in front.
This is a very delicious, interesting brew; highly recommended by me - but caution needs to be exercised when opening and pouring!
02-22-2004 20:23:50 | More by Imbiber
4.83/5 rDev +19.3%
This beer was purchased at Belmont Party Source. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.
Appearance: The beer pours a clear bronze coloration. The head was a thick and creamy biege coloration. The head had pretty good staying power. The beer left thick creamy rings of lacing around my glass.
Smell: The beer has a apricot caramel bready base. The beer lays out a fantastic combonation of spices. The spice bill as I can smell consist of peppery coriander, spicy cinnamon, vanilla, ceder, oakey wood, citus zest. This is a great combo and never ventures into over spiced.
Taste: The beer delivers on the smell big time. The beer has sweet and sour maltyness and plenty of spicyness. The beer never goes into a cloying sweetness. The alcohol is definately a spicy component in the taste but never offensive.
Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The alcohol is well incorporated in the beers flavor and smell. This is a dam fine strong ale. I will actively seek this beer treat out. This beer was hard not to guzzle. This is a first class beer offering from Kiuchi Brewery.
The beer vastly improved as it approached the warmer side. The beer took on a pineapple, starfruit tropical fruit mix of smells and flavors. I would recommend serving this with just the lightest chill possible.
06-27-2006 10:19:14 | More by nlmartin
4.72/5 rDev +16.5%
Update: 2007 version in Feb 2009 - it has not lost anything, even better now, great spices, great finish, upped the drinkability from 4 to 4.5 and the appearance as well, no winter warmer is better than this one.
2007 version, huge bubbler, had to wait 5 min for it to come down.
Dark amber fizzy not see through look, like a farm apple juice.
Nose of spices and apples, refreshing.
Very complex taste, like a good belgian, deep malty flavors, with a nice sweetness at the end. Wanting more already. This has some feel of a oak cask, yes the cinnamon and coriander makes it taste like an apple pie, very tasty. Wow. A great one in my take.
Full and satisfying mouthfeel, just right on the cabonation. A bit spicy to drink more than one, but easy to sip, very good. Gives any winter warmer a run for the money.
06-18-2008 17:32:46 | More by robbyc1
4.72/5 rDev +16.5%
Pours a beautiful, creamy tan color and coarbonation dissapates with a silky evenness. the aroma reminds me of a full bouquet of exotic spices, connamon, cloves, vanilla bean, nutmeg, and pepper. tastes of sandlewood and vanilla, with a slow nuanced peppery, cinnamon lingering through the taste. A very sophisticated beer, an acquired taste and truly fabulous, memorable. One to savor slowly. the fullness of its falvor profile and rich body lingers on and on. Wonderful
08-13-2004 01:51:56 | More by sublimesipping
4.7/5 rDev +16%
Hitachino Nest Celebration 2004, on tap at the Map Room in Chicago: You have got to be kidding; this is an incredibly complex, flavorful beer as Ive ever had. It pours a lightish brown with reddish highlights with a very nice tannish head. The aroma is sweet, with fruits and a bit of barley. As already noted, the taste was exceptional, very complex, with rolling flavors of fruits (oranges/peaches) sandwiched around an initial bite of bready malts and followed up fairly quickly with hops. This brief statement, however, is a major understatement, as each sip presented a different character, sometimes raisins, sometimes oranges, all the time very tasty. Fantastic.
Get this on tap, now.
02-29-2004 05:31:32 | More by jackndan
4.63/5 rDev +14.3%
Discovered and absolutely loved this beer in Portland, OR just shy of a couple months ago at the fantastic Yakuza restaurant (don't leave Portland without visiting!). Had to pick up a souvenir bottle. Will it stand up to memory?
The label has an owl, but no geisha girl, as shown here on BA. A healthy *ziss!!!* occurs when the cap is popped. The pour, although not light-speed, was apparently too fast, resulting in nothing but head. After a wait, I pour at a snail's pace revealing a gorgeous blood-orange meets muddy-caramel color and a three-finger head, sizzling and popping down, leaving a thick froth of lace on the glass. Head stays rocky and foamy for a long while.
Aroma highly features spices listed on the label (coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla beans), with nutmeg and cinnamon clearly edging out the others. Incredibly fragrant, and something to put up against the mightiest pumpkin ale aroma. So it's tough to pick out malt, hops and yeast...big deal. This is something else, something clearly not tying to be your typical Winter Warmer, or Witbier, or whatever...it stands on it own. It smells (and tastes) REAL. I'll eat every molecule of glass in this bottle if there was any artificial flavor used.
Flavor brings in everything the nose promises, plus a maltiness that reminds of root beer (a plus in my world), roasted nuts, fried plantains, and, yeah, more vanilla. No surprise that it's bouncy and tingly in the mouth, considering the good health of the carbonation. It delivers the flavors, rather than smothering them.
A ridiculously spicy, dessert-y beer, but superbly balanced, and without the thickness many similar beers might bring with it. Bright and lively...not anything near an everyday-beer, considering its bold spices and high ABV, but if you want a quality walk on the spiced side, there aren't many better choices than this.
12-01-2007 00:30:18 | More by Metalmonk
4.63/5 rDev +14.3%
I carefully poured this into a chalice, tilting the glass at a 45 degree angle and letting the beer slide in. This 11.2 oz. serving wouldn't fit into a glass normally capable of receiving a 12 oz. bottle easily. The beer hissed as it sat freshly in the glass just like Fred Echardt says a good beer is supposed to. The head was about 1.5" tall and has now subsided to a pillowy irregular 1/2". I repour and choose to let the yeast come along so what was once clear is now cloudy. ( This may be a mistake but here goes.)
The smell is somewhat vinegary and the taste is somewhat tart with a pilsener like hop smell in the background. The tartness doesn't taste "off" but intentional. There are complexities here that are not immediately apparent. Sweetness begins to emerge as the head subsides. There is casual, irregular lace left on the side of the glass now. The head has very tight small bubbles. It continues to have many of the attributes of a very well made beer.
This one seems to be educating me as I go. It requires patience. Don't drink this one quickly or you will miss some of its gifts. It's very creamy now that I'm into the second half. It's worth buying again for its complexity. This is the first introduction to this brewery that I've had and I look forward to exploring more of its work. My next purchase will be more of this 2004 editon. Artfully done
02-01-2004 21:26:51 | More by faernt
4.6/5 rDev +13.6%
Pours forth with a spectacular head of orangey creamy foam that settles over very yeasty hazy brownish liquid. Orange peel aromas greet the nose with nutmeg wafting behind it. Malty sweet goodness and a tad of alcohol follows behind. Notes of vanilla, alcohol and orange wash over the palate, crashing together to form a wonderful taste sensation, full malty backbone/mouthfeel. The hops cut thru all of the above with a pleasant lingering bitterness after the sweet and spicy notes fade. Finishes warming and powerful, very unique and well worth the 4 dollar purchase price.
01-04-2004 16:20:09 | More by beerluvr
4.6/5 rDev +13.6%
Nice dark maroon colored body, some suspended particles in the beer, with some carbonation also visible. Head is creamy and slow fading, leaving a smal off white layer on the beer. Smell is sweet, with spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and yes, those vanilla beans it talks about on the bottle. Taste is very rich and smooth, the spices impart a mild smokiness to the beer, while the vanilla and alcohol give it a sweet, yet slightly tingling burning sensation. A very smooth drinker, doesn't challenge you, very agreeable on the palate. Excellent, probably the best Japanese beer I have ever had.
09-11-2005 03:43:52 | More by TastyTaste
4.6/5 rDev +13.6%
33cL bottle served at cellarish temps in a Brewer's Art chalice.
Appearance: Hazy reddish brown topped by a thick sizable head made up of very tiny bubbles. Incredible retention. There was always a layer of foam as I drank this. Left nice wisps of foam on the glass.
Smell: Incredibly fruity nose composed of peach, orange, apples, melons, and strawberries. Cinnamon, clove and peppery smells undergird this fruit salad.
Taste: An initial sharp tang of booze and peppery spice that fades away to reveal some lightly peachy malt sweetness. Grassy flavors on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Remarkably light bodied for the style and ABV. Very fizzy and quite crisp.
Drinkability: This is a mighty tasty beer with a lot going on. Many Belgian overtones with the hops and fruitiness. If I see more at the store, I'm snagging it. I can't say it's an authentic eisbock (as the label claims) as I've only had one other eisbock in my life, but this is still a stellar beer. I suspect the discrepancy here might be a bit of "Japlish," as it were. Zig for great justice!
12-13-2003 04:36:37 | More by ManekiNeko
British Columbia (Canada)
4.6/5 rDev +13.6%
Thanks to Naerhu for this unexpected gift. It's the 2005 edition, clocking in at nine per cent.
Pours a deep cloudy chestnut red, with a thick foamy off-white head that leaves nice lace.
Floral hops, with a bit of fruitiness and a touch of pine. Peppery and a bit woody. Some additional herbs and spices I can't quite place. Highly complex and deliciously enticing.
Gingerbread! What perfect coincidence -- I just put up my Christmas tree! Gorgeous hearty spicy warm ale. This excites me. Nice. Also...the alcohol is almost completely hidden. If I hadn't read the label, I wouldn't believe this was nine per cent.
Sweet and smooth, with a dry finish provided by the invisible alcohol. Pleasant.
Wow. A beautiful surprise. An ideal winter treat; a perfect complement for Christmas decorating. I want more!
12-07-2005 14:01:12 | More by thesilverhand
4.58/5 rDev +13.1%
2007 version. After a bit of gushing upon popping the cap, the beer itself possesses a massive head that fades to a thick centimeter beer covering. The body is cloudy and russet colored with tinges of mahogany; it's very pretty. The nose is vibrant with spices: orange peel, nutmeg, and cinnamon are most prominent. There are some hints of vanilla as well, but little in the way of malt or hops. On the palate, sharp citrus notes from the orange peel come in first off, then the vanilla comes through with a vengeance. The other spices play more of a supporting role along with the subdued, sweet malts and background-only bittering hops. In spite of the gushing, the beer is nicely, albeit substantially, carbonated. Overall, this is an excellent winter warmer and one that I will most likely seek out in future years.
01-27-2008 03:58:16 | More by geexploitation
4.58/5 rDev +13.1%
Appearance: Pours a clouded coppery-brown color capped with a dense, foamy cream-colored head.
Smell: Good gracious, me. What a rich, dense aroma! The nose is exceptionally malty, and abundant with potent scents of caramel, cherry, ginger, and orange zest.
Taste: The rich malt bases delivers a very clean, pure caramel flavor further enhanced and rounded out by notes of orange sorbet, vanilla, brown sugar, and various other spices. Yet, it still manages to finish slightly dry. It's delish!
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with a smooth, velvety texture. A bright effervescence helps to prevent the beer becoming syrupy.
Drinkability: Definitely a palate pleaser with such a depth and range of flavors. Particularly wonderful.
07-03-2006 19:58:00 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
Appearance For a high ABV beer this thing has a monster head. It came up huge on an easy pour and went down slowly. The body is a thick, dark, deep orange in color.
Smell Oh, man, this is a monster. This is more like a heavy-duty Barley Wine than an Eisbock. Either way you cut it, this is a big un.
The huge malt and wine notes are just soaked in alcohol. The big fruits are juicy sweet and very inviting. The chewing tobacco juice almost oozes from the glass. Overall, a seriously big nose with lots of promise.
Taste Man is this big. The malts are soaked in sugar and alcohol with strong grape notes and, again, lots of chewing tobacco juice. The dark fruits are enormous. I especially like tasting the booze-soaked raisins, but there are plenty others to choose from.
I can also pick up some bready yeast as unbelievable as that sounds. This is the kitchen sink of Japanese beers, thats for sure.
Mouthfeel This one is full-bodied and very entertaining. Everything from sharp booze to sugary grapes to some dry spicing to a tingly yeast mouth are to be found here.
Drinkability You have to try this full effect beer just to say youve had it. It is a wild ride.
12-24-2004 03:10:59 | More by RoyalT
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
Pours like a Belgian, despite its geographical distance. Particle-strewn amber rust. The pale tan head is explosive, and retains it heightened stature.
Fragrant of oranges. Full, juicy ones. Not just the peels. Blessed by cinnamon. Laid upon a caramel base.
The sweetness materializes first. Gobs of caramel nougat. Fades towards drier breadiness just as the spicing gains control. Oranges are first and foremost. It's still quite juicy at this point. Peppery yeast hues are conjoined with the nutmeg and assertive cinnamon. They dry this out further, and add traces of astringency. Tartness creeps in -actually, it was always there, but the other goings-on relax enough for it to step to the fore. Lemon-juice mostly, but sour orange-pulp as well. Ying-Yangy sweettart white grapes poke around. Vanilla hues are present, but more so after a cheating peak at the label. Traces of rum-sweet alcohol. But it's magically cloaked by the collage of flavors.
Airy and deft in the mouth. Despite its fullness, this drinks only a fraction of its strength.
I couldn't down a lot of this...and not everyday. If only because of its wildly flailing flavors and aggressive spicing (something I typically abhor...though not here). But, somehow, this 330mL bottles is disappearing at a rapid clip. This just improves as it warms. I wish I had more bottles. Let me correct myself. Maybe I *could* drink a lot of this. Yes, yes, I think I could.
Good shit, this one. Lusty little sucker here.
Wrong again. It's not so little. As my swimming head reminds.
This is a beer-based Screwdriver-float, garnished with a cinnamon stick.
I dig it.
Tasted blind, I'm pretty sure I could nail this as Japanese.
04-13-2004 06:16:54 | More by cokes
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
Hitachino Nest's New Year Celebration Ale 2004 certainly delivers a beer worth celebrating! The huge creamy head of light-tan froth over it's reddish-chestnut body is quite attractive; and its head retention and lacing are excellent. The aroma is welcoming and exciting with brisk notes of pine and orange peel over a doughy, caramel drizzled maltiness. Its very fine, bottle-conditioned carbonation lends a gentle zest to the tongue that's then carried through to the finish by its bright spiciness. As it warms, however, the carbonation subsides a bit and it's full maltiness comes forward, leaving it dextrinous, creamy, and smooth. Bold cinnamon, nutmeg, and pine flavors appear right up front in the flavor; with some citrusy notes from the orange peel appearing mid-palate as it's honeyish and deeply caramelized malt becomes more apparent. The finish is extensive with more orange peel, some coriander, and even a note of vanilla appearing after the swallow. The ghost of some chocolate malt follows, and then some lingering hoppy flavors and a solid, drying bitterness and swirling spice. Forget that this is actually an eisbock, it's one of the most impressively spiced ales that I've ever tried!!! An although my initial thought was that it tastes like Anchor's "Our Special Ale", it's actually much more refined and complex. Brilliant!
07-20-2004 19:09:59 | More by NeroFiddled
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
I loved the 2004.
The 2005 pours out a light red oaky copper haze. A generous off-white head appears, with fine carbonation which fades slowly, leaving decent lace.
The nose is spicy and citric at first, with sweet roasted malt, leather, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The flavor has a tart start, hops folow, then round biscuity malt, and the bitterness returns at the end. Vanilla appears in the nose and the mouth after a bit. The mouthfeel is super creamy and luscious. The hops hits the back of your throat at the finish, along with the first suggestion of the high alcohol. Nice balance. Complex but organized. Really nice.
03-19-2005 21:51:06 | More by horndecker
Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.