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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 171
Hads: 201
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 43
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Naerhu on 10-12-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 171 | Hads: 201
Photo of gmcfarre
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found a 2004 sitting on the shelves at John's Grocery, so I had to pick it up as I have enjoyed all other Hitachino offerings that I have tried. As it turns out, the 2004 tasted wildly different than I remember the 2005 tasting. Do they change the recipe each year? Seems like aging would not make such a wild change compared to my first review (but maybe I was off my rocker that day...)

A-Carbo had certainly built up in this baby! Only got about 1/2 of bottle into chalice on first pour b/c head was about 3 inches. Color was brownish mahogany at first glance, although it appeared much more of a ruby red when held up to the light. Billowy head w/ slight tan appearance. nice lacing effect.

S- Nutty and malty, but with a mild amount of hops. Not sensing much of the promised ingredients on the label (coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean).

T- More of the same as above. Ok, maybe I can taste the nutmeg, maybe the coriander but definitely not the orange peel, cinnamon or vanilla bean.

M- Smooth and slightly creamy with a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue.

D- As drink progresses, the taste sours and becomes less enjoyable. Alcohol never was a huge factor in this beer.

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Photo of Vancer
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice warmer – had a good glow after finishing this in about 50 minutes. A deep, hazy amber with a thick tan head. Notes of malt and a citrusy pine in the aroma. Quaff morphed into the standard winter spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Sharp and hoppy, a very oily brew indeed. Also some sweet hints of sugar cane and orange in the finish.

Alcohol was noticeable, but not detracting at all. Very nice sipping brew for the cool weather.

Thanks be to lou91 !

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy, amber color that is topped by a frothy, quickly disappearing thin tan colored head. The aroma is definitely thick and concentrated; notes of fruit jump out immediately, notably concentrated green grapes. Underneath that are notes of thick malt that also have notes of dry toasted malt. There is also some sweet spiciness that lies just in the background that more than anything accentuates the fruit character.

The taste is quite a bit drier than I was expecting, it is quite malty as well. Definitely evokes thoughts of fresh baked bread, but in a more concentrated manner. Lots of toasty malt notes are joined by a solid, almost thick body to this beer that allows it to linger on the mouth. The fruitiness is here, it is just not as prevalent as in the aroma because the sweetness is not as prevalent in the taste. The fruit notes remind me of pear and green grapes; it even has a finish that has a bit of acidity to it that accentuates the fruit notes a bit more. The finish has a note that reminds me the sharp almost spicy finish of cinnamon, though the note is subtle.

This is definitely a satisfying addition to the winter lineup. It is rich and satiating, and does not have a cloying sweetness to muddy things up. I also like how the spices are not too strong, they are barely noticeable individually and just sort of integrate and make the beer a bit more complex.

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Photo of emerge077
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004/2006 editions tasted simultaneously.

'06 bottle pours a deep rusty orange-brown. Opaque with a light skim of foam that settles to a ring around the chalice.

Smell is great. Spicy, similar to a Tripel, fresh fruit and spice create a heady aroma. Orange peel and nutmeg are the biggest, then cinnamon folows up.

Taste is a little bracing, big overripe orange, boozy with spicy accents. A thick but not quite syrupy mouthfeel makes it a sipper for sure. Almost like room temp. grapefruit juice, which doesn't hold much appeal. It may be difficult for me to finish both of these for the comparison.

2004 bottle notes:
In comparison to a fresh version, the aged bottle comes out ahead. Different vintages have different recipes most likely ('04 was classified as an Eisbock).

It retains a better head with way more carbonation, and has a darker, burnt umber color. Spotty eruptions of bubbles surface in the foam, similar to a Belgian trappist. Smells sweet, candi sugar and dark malt mostly. Dried apricot and nutmeg are there too. The taste has a distinctly different sweet bready confection element going on, almost like a cookie or French toast. Less citrusy, but still bitter with spice. Malt seems a little spent, which tells me that cellaring for 2+ years takes something away from it.

From this experience, the best option would be to cellar it for a year and drink it for the following new years...

2007 bottle notes: Took the above advice, and just opened the '07 bottle with the Mt. Fuji sunrise. It exploded when I opened it, and lost at least 1/3 of the bottle. Crap. It was more full-bodied than I remembered, still alot of vanilla and nutmeg, some dull citrus. Didn't leave the glowing impression i've had in years past.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a murky orangey brown ith a thin tan head.
the aroma contains a good amout of malt, but also a lot of dry herbal hops. i also find nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, also some orangy fruitiness
the taste has lots of spicy caramel malts balanced well with some drying herbal hops. the cooking spices are in there too, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and vanilla again. this has some wheat characteristics too along with a little bit of the citrus juicyness from the aroma.
fullish medium body with moderate sharp carbonation. i could use a little less in here.
good drinkability with a very well hidden 9% abv.

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Photo of drewbage
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah, yeah.. I know.. I've left this beer in the fridge for more than a year. Poured into my straight sided Wieckse Witte glass. Shows up a startingly clear red brown with a large whitish head the volumes above the glass and actually holds in place for quite a while before the lips comes into disturb it.

Aromas are of plums, cinnamon, burnt brown sugar, ginger and horehound.

A long lasting carbonation helps hold the head up in such a way as to promulgate a metallic flavor from the head.

Flavors reflect the slightly metallic aroma and flavor of the head with an extra large caramel flavor that's controlled both by the CO2 and the available spciness. Yeast? Kettle Dunno..

Overall, probably a better beer closer to the release date, but hey.. It's still a tast beer with an interesting vision (we hope) of the Japanese beer markey.

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Photo of putnam
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber with crispy, honeywhite-colored foam on top.
Deep, malty, sweetly spicy aromas conjure images of palm, chicken broth, vanilla and cake.
The attack is jarring : unpeeled, raw bitterness introduces flavors of caramelized tropical fruits and woody resins. Burned toast, butterscotch and roasted fibers ornament a surging, alcoholic mass. Woody, vegetal tannins occupy one side of a clash with sticky, candied caramel alcohol.
With time in the bottle this could prove to be a treat. Now, it is a challenge.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fluffy off white head piles in the pour in spite of being the 2005 edition, so close to a year old. The aroma jumps up with an assertive vanilla and spice, cinnamon is evident and the underlying spice I think is the nutmeg list on the side of the bottle. Coriander is in the taste more, and the orange peel seems to be light at this point. Also, a bit of a musty taste, not bad, but the beer definately aged and mellowed some of the flavors. It is has a slight oily mouthfeel, creamy in the front and side until it hits a dry spicy finish--not bitter--just strong spice. Overall a pleasant beer, though it didn't warm up well, became a bit cloying with the sweetness.

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Photo of maxpower
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz short bottle pours a cloudy glowing reddish orange color with a nice creamy light brown head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Spicy cinnamon and citrus aroma, vanilla, cinnamon, citrus and wheat flavors. Full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, alcohol is more noticeable as it warms, I like it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sampled through the efforts of Bross242 and BIF 25. 2006 Vintage.

Pours a heavy hazed red colored ale with a small white head. Pour this carefully there is a lot of crap in the bottom of the bottle.

Smell is very spicy and fruity from the first sniff. Scents of apples and grapes with a lemon zest added. Aromatic fresh spice scents of Chinese 5 spice powder, anise, cinnamon, ginger, it is all in there. Sweetness is slightly cloying like lychee syrup, which would explain the grape scent. To my nose and taste buds Lychee is grape times two.

Taste is sweet and very fruity at the beginning. Slightly sweet and a bit bitter the taste is like the scent but less sweet. The lychee flavor is a little annoying, if you love grapes you will go gaga for it; it's not my favorite taste.

Mouthfeel is thicker than I would have expected. RIS thick in fact.

I can't say there is anything wrong with this beer on any technical level but I don't really like it that much. Taken as a whole the flavors just don't really come together for me.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark and brownish amber color. The head quickly dissipates and very little to no lacing.

Smell: A strong vanilla smell with a variety of spices such as cinnamon and some orange.

Taste: As it smells. The vanilla dominates over most of the pallate while it's buoyed by the spices. The orange taste is very weak and tends be dominated by the other tastes.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation and a smooth body.

Overall: A pretty nice beer and somewhat indulgent winter warmer.

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Photo of Jessefive
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first impression of this beer was how spicy it was! It was hard to describe or pinpoint. The flavor was bright floral and almost soapy. I would describe this as tart, rather than bitter. And the tartness balanced the delicious sweetness very well. I don't have much to compare this to, it was so unique. So far, I love the beers this brewery is putting out!

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange-brown with an explosive head, puffy and thick and way carbonated. Had a sweet malty sugary smell, with tangerine, caramel, orange peel and clove flavors that mix with some lemony hops in the finish. Sugary and fizzy mouthfeel, a bit too syrupy sweet and fizzy to make it as drinkable as I would like, but still wuite good. I think this one would benefit from a couple more years on the shelf, will have to grab another and see what it's like in 2007.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured hazy orange color with a large frothy white head that was mostly lasting with fair lacing. Moderate spice and fruit aroma. Light to medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium spicy sweet flavor with a medium spice finish of moderated duration. Refreshing complex beer.

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Photo of Jon
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich amber color with a frothy white head. Very attractive.

Nose, dominated by spices, is a bit too much to be seriously inviting. Nutmeg and ginger notes, with emphasis on coriander and black pepper linger.

Flavor-wise, this beer traverses the boundaries of spiciness and maltiness, creating a pretty nice end product. Do not serve this too cold, as at a low temperature, the spiciness is just too much. As the beer warms, however, a nice, mellow doughy maltiness appears and is quite tasty. Minor astringency looms on the finish, with citrus and spice notes left behind.

Mouthfeel, creamy and full, is impressive. Nicely carbonated.

Deeply complex, yet simple enough to enjoy, this is a beer that hits hard with spice before settling into a mellow, satisfying sipper. A very nice brew with which to celebrate.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Celebration 2006. I didn't notice the date when I bought it but I figure 4 years won't hurt a 9% spiced winter warmer.

Served cool into a Watou glass. Celebration has a beautiful red-amber color and good clarity. The head is thick at first, an off-white color, but it settles quickly leaving some spotty lacing.

Aroma is nicely spiced with corriander, clove, and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla.

Flavor is, unfortunately, a bit of a let-down. There is definately a strong spice character, dominated by the clove but lesser amounts of cinnamon. There is a bit of cherry and port. It tastes like it could have been oak barrel aged such is the vanilla. Caramel rounds it out and the balance is all the better for it.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body with lower carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but disappointing. I would love to try it fresh because it may not have been aged properly (I only bought it 6 months ago) so I'll keep my eye out for more.

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Photo of theghost3
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the 2007 version on a cold night for Louisiana.

This started out as a gusher. Once it settled down, it poured a reddish light brown with a huge, 4-finger light orangey beige head. Medium lacing.

The smell is very strong of spices--nutmeg and coriander are most prevalent. There is also a strong scent of orange. The taste is sweet malts along with spices--coriander, nutmeg, and cinnamon are all there. There's also a sort of medicinal citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slightly acidic, sticky, with some alcohol warming.

This is a drinkable beer. I'm not so keen on the gushing, but this more than makes up for it in the complex flavor & real warmth.

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Photo of mcontr2
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying, wait loving the bottle artwork on this 2004 ed. of Hitachino Nest. Found this bottle aged at the store and was unable to pick up a 2005 v. By far one of my fav. artworks on a bottle this year.

Hazy Copper/Amber appearnce.
Strong Orange/Vanilla/Nutmeg boquet

Ginger takes a pic axe to the tip of the tongue. Love the mouthfeel, really can feel the spices on the tongue. Leaves along a tingly feeling on the tongue from the spices that almost feels slightly numbing. High malt charecter, around 9% alc. but given a year of aging I would assume it may be around 9.3 (?). Makes for a great night cap beer.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting brew, and a fine example of the style. Overall, I have enjoyed the hitachino beverages, but I think moreso for the japanese take on western styles than for the actual taste. this one has a ton of spices - i feel like i was on a journey through the Cape of Good hope to meet marco polo to bring back spices, but instead I decided to dive into the barrels a bit on the way (does this mean I was on the wagon, or off the wagon - 2 points for the reference). Anyway, that's really what you will get out of this brew - extremely balanced however. You can tell some time was put into this in choosing the spice levels, unlike some more popular winter beverages, cough (sam adams).

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Photo of rdrummer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, a Japanese beer that I liked. The beer poured a dark amber with a huge off-white head. It is hazy or maybe murky is the word with well defined lacing. The aroma is of spiciness. I think of coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and I believe a hint of vanilla. The taste is much like a Christmas ale in the US. The spiciness is very pleasant without being cloying. It is moderately thick in the mouth and gets better as you drink.

Note: There were considerable lees in the bottle, which turned off some drinkers, but it didn't bother me.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the Falling Rock in Denver. A good amber color, hints of golden haze. Nice medium head, retained well with a bit of lacing.

Taste had some hints of caramel and coffee, but mostly tasted of citrus and basil. Orange peel and some alcohol was also present.

Felt a bit thin, but it covered well and finished crisper than I thought it would. Still left a bit of alcohol aftertaste, but not so much as to burn.
A nice brew, but no cause for Celebration

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber color. VERY large white tiny bubbled head. Aroma is spice, orange zest and cinnamon. A medium bodied eisbock. Malts are bready and sweet. Hops are spicy. Cinnamon, orange, allspice, clove and vanilla flavors are in the mix. Smooth taste. There are a lot of subtle, and not so subtle, complexities to this beer. The sweetness and spicy play a nice point/counterpoint to the alcohol flavors. At 10% alcohol there is a lot of tummy warming going on, but the alcohol bite, although present is not objectionable. NICE beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of mmcave
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml, 2007 bottle purchased from Whole Foods. I have to mention first, as I cracked this, before it was completely open foam started spewing out. There was a little lump of foam about a half an inch out the lip of the bottle before I even began to pour. Extremely over carbonated or over primed the head was mammoth and uncontrollable, but once it subsided it lingers about a centimeter off the surface in a slightly creamy off white color. The body is a muddy opaque caramel with tons of variant shades and visible bubbles flowing through it. Looks like some sort of mucky iron rich riverbed.
The bottle states spiced ale, with coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean. A mix of coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe orange peel are present, up against a sort of sticky malt backbone. I can’t really pick out the hops on this, maybe because of the spice. The spices sort of give this a sharp character, as it warms fruitier esters become apparent a mix of strawberry, banana, tart plum and the non-ester orange peal.
The taste is crisp, complex, and at times reminds me of a sort of tart unsweetened applesauce. Carbonation is present with a sort of tartness coming toward middle of the flavor alcohol warmth is present on the finish. This is a fun winter warmer sort of murkier, thick cider like, spicy brew worth picking up once a year.

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Photo of OldSock
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance and Presentation – 12 oz bottle from Julio’s, poured into my snifter. The head is off-white and gigantic and stays forever. Lacing is thick and creamy. The beer itself is deep, dark mahogany with rapid streams of carbonation.

Smell – Great smell, dark fruits, chocolate and hints of alcohol spiciness.

Taste – Slightly roasted, chocolaty, coffee aftertaste. The fruits from the nose are in the middle of the taste as well, raisons mainly. Out of the spices listed on the label I can only pick out vanilla, but together they do give the beer a bit of a Belgian spiciness in the background. The front is sweet, but lacks much flavor. Very little bitterness from hops or otherwise.

Mouthfeel – The body is a bit weak for such a big beer, and the carbonation is too strong as well. The great head does lend some nice creaminess to the mouthfeel, but not enough to redeem the lacking body.

Drinkability and Notes – The thinish body makes this very drinkable for an eisback, but that isn't actually what I am looking for in amassive beer. However this is a good version of a strong Bock, and in my opinion the best beer I have had from Hitachino thus far.

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Photo of ark57
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a hazy, ruby color with a smooth off-white head. The aroma is sweet and spicy with notes of cirtus and nutmeg. It has some spiciness to it and it is very complex. The corriander and orange peal jump out, but the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla are lurking in the backlground. It finishes smooth. It would be nice to see what it would be like in a year or so to see what flavors begin to stand out.

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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.