1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

195 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 32
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: maxpower on 11-27-2005)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe


3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Giant, sticky marshmallow head composed of bubbles of all sizes fills half the glass and more, quivering like gelatin where it sits above the rim. Eerie orange glow extends from the head through the chestnut-colored liquid with amber highlights. Lots of protein (?) floating around in the beer leads to medium clarity... With little carbonation to be seen, the head eventually dies, although very slowly. As soon as the cap leaves the bottle, the smell of clove-studded oranges fills the kitchen. After pouring, the glass fumes with gigantic odors of spiced apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg (which in turn suggests egg nog). Coriander gets stronger, and right quick. Celery? Vegetal nosefeel? Dried flowers and cedar chips... mental images of primaeval fern rainforests. Wait, it gets weirder. Heavy cinnamon and nutmeg flavors can barely stand up to coriander and celery seed. Cilantro, then more nutmeg. Raw, assaultive nutmeg. Space alien vanilla pods. Swishing in my mouth, I finally find some light toffee flavors... but I'm grasping for them, as I am for plum in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is prickly and almost numbing from the spice alone, slightly syrupy across the palate. Nutmeg belches fit for a Toho monster rev up about halfway through the bottle. Judgement? Let this be made clear: everything they list on the label will be tasted in turn, and tasted BIG. Other than that... This beer is like psilocybin that's been localized to affect only the tongue. As with psychedelia, the overall experience is difficult to perceive (or verbalize) because the mental shifts of proportion involved are just too great. A beer that bends my tongue as far back and forth as this one could be called "fun" to a certain extent... but it's just too weird for me to find truly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2004 05:04:54 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep red color body, with hints of orange. A poofy, VERY large head that, too, had a light orange color. Head got out of hand, actually, and it was slightly annoying ;) as the explosive carbonation blew it out of the bottle. Nose was hard to place, having lots of vegetable-like pickled beets, with some vinegar and cinnamon rested in sweet malts. No alcohol in the nose, which came as a surprise to me.

Taste was basically smooth and refreshing orange juice for me, with accents of balsamic vinegar and cloves. Juicy. Not too spiced--mild; not too sweet--but juicy; got body--but not heavy. Good balance and feel. Hops are way in the background but must be covering some of the alcohol. Easy drinkability for 9% -- great spiced brew, very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2004 21:53:45 | More by donnebaby
Photo of meathookjones


4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 15:42:27 | More by meathookjones
Photo of bigbeerdrinka


4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color with a billowing offwhite head that bubbles to over 2 inches high which leaves a decent lace. Damn that's some bubbly shit. Aromas are initially spicey, following with some fig and grapes and other yeast esters, and a big of dose of malt. Initial flavors are sharply or spice but then quickly move to a pleniful amount of darks fruits, with figs, grapes, and a slight pear like flavor hit. Following there is some molasses light sugar sweetness and then almost a complete 180 with a smokey like flavor. This brew finishes spicy and fruity, with a final warm alcohol tone. Overall this brew is very full bodied, with a tingling carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 03:18:41 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of rkhaze


4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crimson/amber color with a big, billowy, large bubbled head. Looks great!
Smells of sweet malt, orange, coriander, vanilla and baking spices.
Upfront tastes of rich sweet malt, brown sugar and orange peel. Nice mild tartness in the middle and vanilla and spices in the finish.
This got a bit more complex as it warmed and took on the flavor of rum raisin ice cream. The cinnamon came out a lot more as did the alcohol and lightly warmed the stomach.
Medium to full bodied with a rich tangy mouthfeel.
Good beer for dessert but to rich and spicy to drink a lot of.
Glad I picked this up, it really surprised me. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2004 04:12:53 | More by rkhaze
Photo of sublimesipping


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 01:51:56 | More by sublimesipping
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2005 edition) A notch down from the 2005. Big soapy creamy head and peachy colour. Taste still nicely melded.
(2007 edition) white foamy head, all the spices there. Just below room temperature. Extremely gushy,lost at least a third of the bottle. Drying finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2004 03:54:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 19:09:59 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is huge. Creamy tan, flat top, fine and slow, leaving swoops and spots of lacing. The beer is a gorgeous ambery-ruby and quite clear until the last pour, which turns it hazy and leaves a few floaties. A sweet, tangy nose gives up nutmeg, grapes, a little overripe fruit, some cream and hops. Sweet and bitter fruit in the caramel, yeasty front. Some light chocolate and liqueur with nice, sour fruit in the middle. The finish is quite bitter, with grapefruit, cherries and more nutmeg. This is very, very good. Fantastic fruit-hop, sweet-bitter balance.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2004 14:37:35 | More by kbub6f
Photo of rdrummer

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2004 22:47:43 | More by rdrummer
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dirty brown body, cloudy with a huge foamy head, sticky and long-lasting. This scores big points for a 9% beer. Aroma is sweet and spicy, not unlike that of a well made gingerbread. There’s lots of curacao, coriander touch and altogether a great balance of the difference spices, which I assume is a great task and here much better executed than in last year’s anchor OSA. Nutmeg and candi sugar makes an apparition in this orangey beer. The main surprise of the first sip is the high level of yeast flavor which adds a belgian feel. At times, you feel it’s spicy enough that it’s more or less of a beer, but you’ve still got to recognize the deep complexity and art involved. Flavors are hard to grasp and put words on, but you know when you enjoy it. On the other hand, it would have scored much higher with me wouldn’t it be of this disturbing mouthfeel. 2-3 seconds after putting the liquid in your mouth, it becomes ultra-creamy, spongy and foamy (a bit like La Moneuse) and the flavors are not integrated as well, more reminding of food coloring than anything else, but it settles back to its greatness in the aftertaste. Still, the bottom line is that this is excellent, original as in a brewer’s imagination has no limits and very christmas friendly.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2004 05:32:56 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of 86MonteSS


4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Maybe I'm dwelling on it too much, but when I think of Japanese beer, I can't get the notion of light lagers out of my head. Maybe Asahi and Kirin weren't the best two ways to introduce myself to this country's offerings, but Celebration 2004 dispelled these stereotypes.

The good news is, you can pull Celebration out of the fridge, cold as the living daylights, and by the time you finish pouring the bastard, it'll be at the perfect drinking temp. It took upwards of ten minutes to get the last drops into the glass because the head overstayed its welcome... just like an asshole uncle.

The body is a cloudy amber with a little sediment at the bottom, and the head was large and beige. Think of it as Andre the Giant sitting atop the Ultimate Warrior.

The taste is truly delightful. It's thick and sugary with a subdued bitterness. The spice contingent almost tastes apple-like and citrusy at the same time. I've always held that thick and sweet beers get tiresome all too easy, but there's enough carbonation in this to cut the weight on the palate.

This stuff is really awesome. I would say it belongs in Dogfish Head's repertoire, but that's not fair to Hitachino. I gotta try their other stuff. To the beer store, Fatman!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 02:59:47 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of cokes


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a Belgian, despite it’s 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.
A lot.

Tasted blind, I'm pretty sure I could nail this as Japanese.
Yeah, right.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2004 06:16:54 | More by cokes
Photo of TinusTime


3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby brownish with an HUGE pillowy off white head.. Nose is of allspice, malt and prunes. Taste is a bit malty at first with spice. Orange bitterness, with some allspice,cinnamon, bitterness follows.. My first time tasting a Hitachino beer. I was suprised how tasty and close to a Belgian style grand cru this comes.. Mouthfeel was good with ample carbonation without being prickly ( granted I had this 4 months after the new year) Drinkability is a bit above average.. Dont think i would pay 6 bucks for 12oz of this again esp when other better beers are cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 02:55:15 | More by TinusTime
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After I poured the whole bottle into a glass. It became apparent that this is bottle conditioned. As my glass was filled with a reddish amber liquid full of chunks floating around in it. I did notice the nice big foamy beige head. There is a strong tantalizing sweet and alcohol aroma with herbs and spices. The alcohol is not readily apparent in the taste. But you start feeling it in your stomach pretty quickly. The taste has some malt sweetness to it follwed by a hint of ginger and a smooth bitterness on the finish. Next time I try this I will be sure to not pour out the entire bottle. After a while the chunks melted and gave the beer a cloudy appearance.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 23:17:31 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Jon


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 03:17:08 | More by Jon
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Won in auction at the 1/29/04 Pop the Cap Winter Warmer event at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro, NC.

Large, pillowy beige head over a glowing, nearly opaque deep red-orange brew. Powerful aroma of spices from the minute I popped the cap--coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla beans, according to the label, and I was able to pick most of those out, with an additional bready, yeasty element. Strong carbonation and a head that just wouldn't quit. On the tongue, a tart bitterness kissed by hops fades into a semisweet, dry finish, with strong alcohol presence without, and a repeat appearance of the yeast and spices. Afterflavor is soft, sprinkled with maltiness. Pretty good stuff, definitely appropriate for special occasions.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2004 16:57:11 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of ColForbin

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale 2004 pours a deep red brown with a huge, thick head that stands tall above the beer for a long time. Nose has some spice (cinnamon and clove) and a little bit of malt. Taste is slightly sour (orange peel?), with some savory (as opposed to sweet) elements and some notes of wheat. Bitter finish. Very bubbly mouthfeel - almost champagne-like. Very drinkable - I would have guessed around 7% if someone had asked me - not the 9% that is actually hiding there. An excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2004 01:04:06 | More by ColForbin
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A most interesting beer. The 9% ABV is well hidden until that first sip...can't really taste it, but you certainly feel the warmth. Pours a bright ruby brown color, heavily carbonated...so there's a well retaining head and lots of bubbles. The nose is intense, with notes of candy sugar, yeast, coriander and maple syrup. Heavily carbonated and has a sharp feel on the palate, but that seems to fit with the amount of complexity and alcohol in this brew. Somewhat sweet flavor yields to a biting hop character before revealing all the spices: clove, vanilla, cinnamon. Heavily spiced, but the carbonation and good amount of alcohol warmth keep them in check. Still can't taste that alcohol, but you know it's there! A very interesting brew, worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 03:32:32 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of chaduvel


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly impossible to pour this without the head exploding all over the place. Under the gigantic mass is a reddish/golden brown liquid. Smell is of vanilla, lots of vanilla, and coriander, and a myriad of other celebration spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove?). Light body and not too sweet. Quite drinkable for 9%. Nice work Mr. Hitachino Owl.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 20:18:50 | More by chaduvel
Photo of ark57


4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2004 14:21:26 | More by ark57
Photo of alexgash


4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chaduvel for this bottle. Pours a light brown with shades or reddish orange, accompanied by a sticky light tan head. Smell is a nice interplay between candy-sweet malts, orange sorbet, vanilla, and coriander. Taste is much like the smell. Sweet throughout, although not too cloying (unlike stille nacht--cloyed my eyes out!). Nice mix of spices and sweet malt, with adequate hop bitterness to take off some of the sweet tooth edge. I quite liked this celebratory ale--my first offering from Hitachino too by the way!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2004 04:40:28 | More by alexgash
Photo of jackndan


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 I’ve 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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2004 05:31:32 | More by jackndan
Photo of Crosling


4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Big and Fat Japanese man on the label holding a beer. Cool label.

Pours a dusty deep orangish mahogany. The rocky and frothy head morphs into a huge tsunami wave and rushes to the shore. The lacing is thick and active, bubbling as it sticks.

The aroma is excellent. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, caramel apples, cherries, light sugar glazed coriander and fresh fruitcake in the nose. Quite the sniffer, in fact, this aroma deserves a 5!

Particles everywhere. The tidal waves subdues. Orange peel jumps out and hits me first. Spices, many spices from the hops and then loads of cinnamon come in. Loads of juicy fruits come in on the finish with vanilla and an alcohol kick. Finish lingers.

However, this beer suffers.

Overcarbonation plays an enormous role in this beer. The mouthfeel was "soda like" and the overcarbonation affected the flavor and the mouthfeel.

This still was a delightful experience.

Smell the empty bottle when you are done. It smells like fresh peaches.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2004 07:09:02 | More by Crosling
Photo of Imbiber

New York

4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2004 20:23:50 | More by Imbiber
Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.