Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale - Kiuchi Brewery
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Poured a slightly hazy orange brown with a tight-knit head that leaves some sticky lacing. Sweet bready aromas up front followed by some bright fruit and spicebox aromas. The taste is nicely balanced beetween spice, mixed fruit- including plums and pears, breadiness, cardomom, pepper, cinammon and clove. I like this a bit better on draft, probably because the creaminess is accentuated and the spices become less bitter. Delicious, and a nice change of pace. Great to find this on tap- I always appreciate this brewery's products.
04-30-2008 14:21:27 | More by Georgiabeer
4.25/5 rDev +4.9%
This was one of the best examples of a holiday spiced beer I have had. It was the 2007 version.
A: Great deep amber color. Head was light khaki, but lighting was bad. Probably lighter than what I could see.
S: Delicious. Caramel, malt, vanilla and spices I can't put my finger on. They were well matched and nothing too overwhelming.
T: Smooth sweet maltiness. The spices really come through, and the vanilla is not overpowering as it sometimes can be with other beers that use vanilla. A little goes a long way, and this beer has it in perfect harmony with the other spices. The alcohol is noticible, but does not interrupt the flavors.
M: Full, but not unpleasant. I am drinking this in April in Tucson, so winter is not here anymore, if it ever was. I would not drink this during the day, but the fullness is perfect for after dinner or as a nightcap.
D: The 9% is hidden fairly well. But it is a strong beer, so I think I would limit myself to one out of respect for my fellow man. My bottle was overcarbonated, maybe shaken in the case on the way home. So it took a while to pour and drink, but overall a very tasty beer.
04-05-2008 22:12:18 | More by FMetzger
4.1/5 rDev +1.2%
2005 vintage. Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a Corsendonk chalice. Beer was bronze in color with a one finger, off-white, creamy head. Nice, slow carbonation and extensive lacing around the glass.
Aroma was rich and complex. Smells sweet and hoppy with malt, maple syrup, vanilla and moderate alcohol. Aroma reminds me of an english barleywine.
Taste was sweet with vanilla, honey, raisins and sugar, but also subtly hoppy with pine and a touch of earth.
Mouthfeel was syrupy and sweet. This would be a nice sipper on a cold winter day.
My first beer from Kiuchi Brewery and I gotta say I really liked it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a nice barleywine or old ale.
03-16-2008 21:21:23 | More by drumrboy22
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
Courtesy of the Brick Store. 2008 version, labeled "Festive ale"
Pours into a tall wheat glass and behold! A fat, happy foamy frothy fizzy yellow head appears and proudly sits atop the hazy dense orange beer. The head falls in the center slowly, but what's this? Tons of supportive bubbles race from the bottom to reinforce the fading foam! It's a battle of epic proportions! Ugly and endearing and entertaining all at once.
Those crazy Japanese are up to something here... like most Hitachino Nest beers, the nose on this one is alarming in its weirdness, yet somehow manages to be charming. Flowers, Tripel-like pepper, honey, apricots, funky yeast, and... oak? Can't be. Wheat? Impossible. I just really don't know how to place this one. I do like it.
Tastes much like it smells, but a little spicier. Sweet malt, vanilla, coriander, orange and tart green apples and roses, very estery, a little boozy in the finish, that inexplicable H. Nest yeast again... it's all very interesting and, what do ya know, pretty drinkable for a 9% spiced Japanese winter beer.
The mouthfeel is super-happy foamy, fluffs up in your mouth and punishes those who take big gulps! Very memorable. Finishes dry with a sweet green apple taste.
I love this beer for its sheer weirdness and depth of character. Bizarre and delicious, this may be the best thing out of the gate for the Kiuchi crowd. In the words of a certain famous Japanese TV personality, it's a TOTAL SUCCESS!
02-13-2008 02:39:51 | More by kkipple
4.18/5 rDev +3.2%
Pours with an out of control head, taking about 30 mins from opening the bottle until I got a proper sip in. After the wait the appearance is a nice blood red with some hazy brown mixed in. The smell is rather begian with spices and dark fruits. The flavor is complex starting with some bready yeast and going into some cinnamon orange and darker fruits. The mouthfeel is not as big as I would expect even though the carbonation is a bit over the top. AS for drinkability i can feel some of the heat from 9%, but it is mostly warming and pleasant . Im pretty impressed with this one, i will have to try other from Kiuchi.
02-07-2008 01:38:58 | More by dickieb
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
3.78/5 rDev -6.7%
Thanks to jastack for including this extra in our trade!
Ive had the Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout and was really impressed by that one, so Im excited to have the opportunity to try another beer from this brewery.
Celebration Ale 2007
We have a gusher! I guess I should have waited and given this beer a days rest from its long trip. As soon as I popped the cap a few centimeters open a violent stream of foam burst through. Fortunately I managed to keep most of it in the pint glass. Maybe that volcano in the label was a warning.
After it settled down a bit, I poured the other half of the beer into the pint and created a very attractive, non-threatening, two finger pillow of light brown foam. The color of the beer itself was a very rusty brown, similar to Mexican tamarind juice.
The aroma is a complex and floral bouquet of spices and fruits. When it was gushing into my pint glass there was a great bready and toasted malt aroma, but now in the glass the spices really pick up. I detect tangy orange, peppery coriander, ginger, nutmeg, and an adequate dose of cinnamon and vanilla. It smells like a spicy fruit cake. There are also hints of dried apricots, fresh nectarine, a bit of banana, and apple skins. This beer is full of aromas but I could see this one benefiting with at least a few months of ageing to tone down and blend these aromas a little better.
Tastes quite in line with the aroma, bread and toasted bread upfront and quickly assaulted by the spices: orange, cinnamon, nutmeg with a finish of orange/vanilla ice-cream and a little fruity alcohol heat. Good taste, but the spices do get to be too overwhelming.
Very carbonated, but still decent. The finish is somewhat dry and has a lot of spice flavor lingering in the back of the mouth.
Overall its a good beer and I look forward on trying more from this brewery.
01-08-2008 23:11:07 | More by seaoflament
4.15/5 rDev +2.5%
2004 vintage. Murky bronze color with a gnarly big bubbly pillow three-fingered off-white head. Nose of candi sugar and spice. Flavors of maple, candi sugar, and milder holiday spices. This was real good, and gave plenty of beers from Belgium a serious run for their money.
01-08-2008 05:28:32 | More by dedrinker
4.38/5 rDev +8.1%
Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a huge 3 finger off-white head that takes some time to settle down.
Smells of toffee and spices. Maybe some dates.
Tastes nice. Lots of toffee has developed here, but with a nice level of spiciness. Dates. Notes of cognac like flavors.
Mouthfeel is initially a bit over carbonated, but relatively quickly settles to a nice richness. I like the mouthfeel here - it really helps to make this a nice sipping beer.
Drinkability is good on this.
Recommended. The 3 years of aging have done very interesting things to this beer - spices have mellowed a touch, and the toffee has really developed and given this more of a sipping backbone. I like this. I would've loved to have this and a fresh bottle directly side by side.
12-05-2007 06:30:23 | More by rallison
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
4.13/5 rDev +2%
A couple of firsts for me on this review. First Hitachino Nest beer I've tried, and the first Japanese beer I've reviewed on BA. No pressure...
Squat 11.2 oz brown bottle. There's an owl posing in front of a snow-topped mountain. Ok. The far right of the label reads "Product of Japan. 9% alc./vol." There ya go.
Appearance - Extremely high carbonation, large head of foam as soon as the liquid hits the side of my goblet. A lengthy wait reveals a thick, cloudy russet-brown body. Opaque. Lacing could be used in an Elmer's glue commercial. Overall, a mysterious, enticing appearance.
Smell - A potpourri of aromas. Ginger, nutmeg, coriander, vanilla, alcohol, etc, etc. An aggressive though not unpleasant assault to the sinuses.
Taste - Extremely sweet, almost syrupy. Through the malt, a subtle complexity of spices come through, followed by a warming finish of fruit and alcohol.
Mouthfeel - Simultaneously thick and yet light. Rich texture, but very bubbly. Creamy, yet tart. Practically unique, at least to me.
Drinkability - This is one of those beers where you savor each sip. Obviously not a session beer, but very drinkable, if slightly overwhelming.
This is a very interesting, style-defying brew. Absolutely worth trying if you can find it.
11-29-2007 01:15:26 | More by StonyB
3.88/5 rDev -4.2%
The beer pours a somewhat hazy copper with a fine off white heat that has a nice creamy texture, erodes quickly leaving a paper-thin coating of lace. Nose is sweet with fruit and malt, citrus like in its crispness, bit of sourness also noted, and a bit of musk. Start is quite sweet with a nice malt presence and a spicy back, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish has a biting acidity, hops passable, fruit like sweetness carries to the dry aftertaste; enjoy this breweries beers, different maybe, generally worth a sample.
11-01-2007 22:41:49 | More by Gusler
3.8/5 rDev -6.2%
Pours a cloudy cider color with a thin fizzy head and good lace. It smells of cherry and nutmeg, spicey lemon and vanilla, very complex and interesting. The flavor is a bit strong with heavy alcohol like brandy. I pick up more nutmeg with citrus bitterness and a sweet cherry/orange base. Thick bodied and strong, not real drinkable for me but very interesting. This brewery intrigues me so far so I will explore further. But I won't drink a lot of this one. A taste treat in small quantities on occasion.
10-19-2007 01:42:45 | More by Durge
3.55/5 rDev -12.3%
A- average, cloudy with a medium but frothy head and consistent lacing
S- at first like the men's room at a concert then as it "warmed up" the vanilla, orange and spices were more prevelant
T-A mix of flavors and aromas ranging from a belgian tripel to a strong belgian ale
M- a wee towards the thick side felt like it left a nice coating on the tongue
D- easy enough to drink , although there is a higher abv it's hidden well BUT i don't reccomend making a session out of this one. Would buy this again , to share, with those who would appreciate it but not for something to be enjoyed regularly
10-17-2007 18:59:34 | More by ohoove
3.78/5 rDev -6.7%
11.2 oz brown bottle from '05 decanted cool into a snifter.
A - A rose color w/ shades of deep amber and a 3 finger off white head that settles. The head becomes a ring of lace and sheets cling to the glass.
S - Rich and malty w/ a nutty essence. A bold spice and yeast scent dominates the nose.
M - A big piney feel, like a beer soaked in spruce tips. The malty, creamy texture rounds out the feel.
T - A very spicey flavor w/ a yeasty tinge of fruitiness up front. Nutty and malty as a wave of vanilla spice bubbles under. There are husky bean skin flavors w/ a rich caramel, brown sugar vanilla taste as the yeas is added halfway throught the taste.
A cedary woodiness is brought on. Slightly vinous w/ its tenacity, the 9% still remains masked w/ earthy and piney flavors fading out.
D - A tasty spiced ale - very well layered and nice vanilla addition. The bottle conditioning kept it fresh and flavorful. It gets a bit intense as it gets to room temperature. I would definitely pick up another bottle to try this winter.
09-18-2007 13:58:50 | More by Slatetank
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
Serving style: Regular bottle
Appearance: A honey amber colour, a bit murky w/ a light head that lingers some
Smell: Well this smells like a mouthfull of happiness!! There is a slight acidic smell but also what can best be described as Christmas. A light orange peel w/ some vanilla. And a touch of spices. Smells wonderful
Taste: Malt in the foreground w/ some vanilla and spice. Almost like a little bit of black tea mixed in the background as well. The alcohol is well hidden
Mouthfeel: Very smooth drink, it doesn't linger like some drinks do. A slight bit of warmth lingers from the alcohol and it feels quite nice
Drinkability: This is not a drink I could drink more than one of in a night due to the alcohol percentage and I am also not a HUGE fan of sweet like drinks BUT this is simply a fantastic drink.
This is a great drink much more than what I was expecting. I can not wait to pick up another bottle. This will always remind me of Christmas and I can not wait to tie off another one. Really the smell does the trick for me on this drink. Fantastic smell w/ many little nuances and the taste is also quite nice
Edit: as the drink warms up I smelt and tasted more of the orange peel. The vanilla was almost overpowered w/ the Orange...but it's still there. Luckily the spice stays w/ the drink even as it warms up
08-17-2007 03:03:39 | More by livingregret
3.68/5 rDev -9.1%
2006 bottle. Pours a hazy honeyed amber. Reminds me of a barleywine, but cloudier. Short, tight beige head that leaves good lacing. Interesting smells that are hard to pin down. Very malty, no hops, black tea maybe? Some vanilla...Hard to say. Taste is not so mysterious. Mega Malt Bomb all the way. Some vanilla and spice in the background. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Great mouthfeel, but the taste is just not to my liking. Drinkablity is fine. So far, my least favorite offering from this brewery.
08-07-2007 16:54:15 | More by Onibubba
3.68/5 rDev -9.1%
Apperance: Huge nut brown head, that takes forever to go down.
Smell: Highly acidic, bitter hop scents, strong yeasty smells, the deep warm scents smell a bit like a brandy.
Taste: Warm sweet malt flavors are well rounded and provide a fairly good intial taste. The sweet taste is followed by a very slight hop flavor and then a warm alcohol induced finish. Overall the taste is deep enough. I really didnt taste much hops, there were no subilities which isnt a bad think per say. I would say however the beer lacks a well rounded taste. The sweet malt is pretty much the main flavor and it really doesnt finish well.
Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy, proper amounts of carbonation.
Drinkability: Fairly decent, but not very drinkable as it is a heavy beer.
Overall: Pretty "good" nothing too amazing, this brew could use a bit of reworking. It is overpriced for what you get. Still probably one of my favorite labels of all time.
08-02-2007 04:42:29 | More by boblog
2.93/5 rDev -27.7%
Pours a golden-amber color with some sediment from the bottle floating around. Good head with some retention, but not great.
Smells floral, with citrus hops and a wheat-bread finish.
Tastes kind of flat, especially for a "celebration." Hops are there, and there's a sweet finish, but not much else really hits me.
Overall, this beer doesn't really thrill me. I won't buy this one again.
07-16-2007 00:51:10 | More by Cascadia
3.08/5 rDev -24%
Popped a stubby bottle of the 2007 vintage to celebrate by return from Japan. Carbonation was a serious problem - took over 10 minutes to open, gently releasing the gas and still overflowed in my French pint.
Colour is a very dark chestnut, a touch of cloud. Head is nice burnt cream, not very fine, but decent at lacing up a glass.
Smell is at first gently of produce - fennel and celery, then of more traditional spices: dry red pepper, corriander, and a touch of the promised vanilla. Brown sugar and minerals.
Taste brings back the produce tenfold. Turns out to be a very odd hoppiness that isn't so much bitter as tart and a little sour. Body is decidedly malty and sweet, a good deal of cola, clearly defined nutmeg. Black pepper turns up at the end of the sip as the sweetness dries out a bit. Reasonably yeasty, but the details are simply overpowered.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and not sticky at all. Especially for a winter warmer.
Sadly, the odd hop taste blows all the other flavours in this beer out of the glass. It tastes like the Japanese brewers attempted to reproduce a dark trippel (and a good one!) but then botched it on the hops, or possibly even accidentally mixed in some lactobacills? Would try another vintage, though, perhaps it needs more time in the bottle, or the coming years will see refinement.
06-03-2007 01:13:39 | More by ojiikun
3/5 rDev -25.9%
330 ml bottle from going-out of business sale. First of the 100s of beers bought at a huge discount.
opened with a messy overcarbonation. pored what I could into a large glass and watched the big puffy head die down so I could fill it further. Beer is cloudy and dark, similar to anyone else's celebration ale.
smell is the same too, sweet and bitter all at once, a bit sour and almost lambic.
flavor is nice enough though, the balance is greater than my own attempts at a celebration style ale... Malt palette is a bit toastier and darker than others i've had. Hoppy bitterness is mellowed too, perhaps due to 3 years in a bottle. I don't love the celebration style, and I think it has turned a little.
04-12-2007 01:06:47 | More by henrysunset
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
2004 vintage, designated as an Eisbock with ginger, vanilla, orange peel, coriander and cinnamon.
Murky chestnut pour with tons of floaters and sedimant due to the fact that is was in a cooler of ice before being opened, do'h. Forms a beautifully frothy tan head that is high and clingy, eventually settling to a thin veil.
Aromas are sweet and malty, almost syruppy. Caramel and toasty grain with spiced fruit cake, vanilla, dark fruit, peach preserves and raisins.
Flavor is sweet and complex, with many different malt notes, scorched brown sugar, honey, stewed raisins, cream sherry, Christmas spice, vanilla, candied orange peel, gingerbread, and a warming note of fine cognac. Very complex and interesting.
Body is medium, slick and velvet smooth. Mouthffeel is a bit dull due to the fine carbonation, but this is a very tastey and unique brew.
04-10-2007 00:24:41 | More by AlexJ
3.23/5 rDev -20.2%
Pours a cloudy light amber with some chunkies floating in the glass. Off white two finger head of loose bubbles.
Aroma is very spicy, heavy on nutmeg, cloves, and apricot fruits.
Flavor is malty sweetness with lots of spices and the apricot fruit flavors that end in alcohol.
Aftertaste seems to have some rice in it. Maybe it's my imagination, but there is a rice starch quality to the aftertaste that mixes with the booze and apricot left in the mouth.
A completely different take on a winter warmer.
04-02-2007 00:36:45 | More by IntriqKen
3.48/5 rDev -14.1%
A 12 oz bottle labelled as the 2006 Celebration Ale.
A: The ale is a hazy brown color that showcases some orange notes. The head is sizeable on pour but quickly evaporates away.
S: The nose is spicy, strong on some nutmeg and an apricot fruitiness.
T: An Asian take on the winter warmer. The results are better than one would expect. The malts are bigger here, concentrated to reveal the apricot that I noticed above along with some pineapple and tangerine. It's as though the beer synthesized all the flavors that you expect in big hops without the big hops. There are some spices on top of the fruitiness, but I find that the fruit element carries the day.
M: A sound, if uninspiring mouthfeel. The fruity spice elements are enjoyable.
D: One is enough, the alcohol is hidden but when it hits, it does so with a vengence.
03-31-2007 00:53:17 | More by akorsak
Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.