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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

197 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 35
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lnedrive14
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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).

Lnedrive14, May 06, 2006
Photo of Vancer
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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 !

Vancer, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2004 vintage

Pours a hazy rust/boot leather color with a humongous, khaki head. this is really the best winter warmer I've ever seen. Big, malty nose with an abundance of spices and warming alcohol. The flavors are really based around the malt and very big. The spices, thankfully, don't overwhelm this and merely act as an accent. Additional "spiciness" comes from the 9% ABV. The alcohol tends to get in the way of things, honestly. I will admit that I did not like the mouthfeel very much. Too bubbly. In fact, as soo as it hit my mouth, a lot of the liquid turned into bubbles. Reall, the only downside here. I'm not exactly a fan of winter warmers, but this one is alright by me.

Thanks again to GreatGallaspy.

goochpunch, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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.

Zorro, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy dark red copper with a lighty white head.

Smells. I think the nutmeg and cinnoman are pretty present here. The vanilla and alcohol gives it a warm creamy aroma. The orange peel really does come out as i keep sniffing this. Also has a nice presence of hops to it, heavy and citrisy.

Taste. First thing i taste is the coriander. Orange peels and hops give it a citris flavor with lots of holiday spices-nutmeg and cinnamon. Warming and peppary from the alcohol. Vanilla isnt dominant, but does contribute to the other flavors. Aftertaste is warming also and reminds me of the taste of grape skin.

Mouthfeel is good. Full body and a bit chewy. Great balance.

Overall a very nice beer. Seems they put quite a bit of effort into it. I like how easy it is to distiquish each flavor in this complex beer.

acrawf6, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
This is a bottle of the 2006 beer.
A- This beer pours a very hazy orangish-mahogany brown with gentle carbonation of micro-bubbles. The head is a thick creamy light tan with a red hue.

S- This beer smells of slightly sweet lightly toasted malt with a fain aroma of spices. The spices are not strong enough to pick out each one but adds a very warm unique depth to the malt.

T- This beer has a light soft flavor of lightly toasted malt with a slight sweetness. The sweetness taste of orange and soft spices. Like the smell the taste of the spices just enhances the malt and doesn't stand out on its own. The finish is a very soft vanilla note that compliments the malt but no alcohol taste. There is a nice soft bitterness in the hops at the finish. As it warms the notes of coriander starts to come though in the orange peel note which is ver y pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel, with a creamy texture.

D- This is a wonderful winter warmer. It has nice spice that really just enhance the malt qualities and they don't need to stick out on their own. In Japanese cooking, there are a lot of very subtle flavors that still add lots of complex. This beer really takes on that idea of "less is more" in the same regard.

rhoadsrage, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a 12 oz. bottle at Downtown Wine and Spirits. The label says "Ale Brewed With Spices: coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla beans". Although not technically the proper glassware I served this in one of my new Duvel Tulips because I really wanted to use one.

Appearance: Pours a hazy almost opaque amber-brown with a massive fluffy beige head. Spices used in brewing can be seen as clumps floating in the beer. Some of these get caught in the head giving the appearance that spices have been sprinkled on top.

Smell: Spices are very noticable. There are notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste: This beer is very spicy with a sweet base. I can taste vanilla, citrus, orange, and cinnamon. Bitterness is low. Alcoholic warmth is evident in the finish. The sweetness in this beer isn't well balanced. Maybe increasing the bitterness would improve things.

Mouthfeel: Celebration Ale is full-bodied, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: If this beer wasn't so sweet it would be much more drinkable.

Overall: This isn't a bad beer, the spices are nice, the beer is just too sweet.

EPICAC, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of danadeny
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this 2004 bottle in the back of my beer fridge. Solid amber brown body with sediment swimming around. Very cool. The head is billowing, frothy like on a cappuccino, off white with the sediment from the bottle getting caught in the head, the head acts like a filter catching the particles. The effect looks like cinnamon has been sprinkled on top. Surprisingly the smell is tart, slightly vinegary, almost Flemish red like. A little green apple sent and caramel malt. No hops. After a few sips I get a smoky coffee sent too. The taste has a surprising hop presence and a great chocolate / coffee aftertaste. Very complex. The alcohol and malt mix very well on the front, creating that classic caramel and roasted malt flavor. The balance is good, the hops are a bit stronger in flavor but the alcohol keeps them in check with a solid bite, again, very complex. The mouthfeel is great, very light and carbonated so it evaporates on the tongue, with those hop oils keeping the mouth feel slick and oily. For a 9%-er the alcohol is present, actually adding to balance the beer, but just that, the beer is balanced so drinkability I would assume is how many 9%-er's can you handle in one night?

danadeny, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of gmcfarre
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

gmcfarre, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great hybrid between Asia and Belgium, at least I thought I tasted Belgian notes. Pours a nice amber with decent head into very good lacing.

My wife mentioned it smelled like quince, which is a spice. Asian spices in the taste are wonderful. Man, do I want to get this with some Asian food. Mouthfeel seemed smooth, but when I paid particular attention to it, less so. Still good though.

Drinkable? I can feel the alcohol in this, but those spices are pleasant and not overdone. Wonderful.

GeoffFromSJ, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05 Celebration

This pours a nice amber color with a 2 finger head. It has a wonderful aroma full of spices: vanilla, nutmeg, quite dessert-like. Taste is well-balanced - woody malt backbone, some caramel and the above spices evident. I was surprised to see the bottle say 9% ABV, it s seemed extremely light in that regard. The mouth was nice - a slight creaminess, very little warmth.

I could sit down with a few of these, the high ABV is very well hidden. The only problem is that at $5 a pop for 11.2 ounces - this Celebration serves for special occasions.

sloejams, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Gueuzedude, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml 2005 bottle. Pours a murky glowing amber, finger of off-white head that fades fairly quick, little lacing. Nose is a slightly soure fruitiness, remiscent of cherries and peach, piney hops, some muddled spices, and a slight doughy malt, very interesting. Taste starts with a nice cookie-like malt, some light citrusy fruit, and a lnice spicey/peppery/hoppy finish. This is a really nice and complex take on the style, more fruitiness than any other warmer I've had, but it really melds nicely with the spices. And absolutely no hint of the alcohol. Medium/full bodied with a medium carbonation and a very smooth feel. This is my first beer from Hitachino and it's really a wonderful first exposure to a good Japanese brewer. I will be drinking more from them in the future.

cubedbee, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of mcontr2
3.98/5  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.

mcontr2, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of thesilverhand
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

thesilverhand, Dec 07, 2005
Photo of carln26
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a hazy copper with a decent sized off0white head. The aroma reminded me of a Belgian Tripple It had sweet malt in the form of dates, some orange, coriander and just a touch of fresh bread. The taste is very light and citrusy. More of the orange, and a bit of Nectarine. It has a bit of hop bitterness, but this blends well with the added spice to deliver the light citrus up front The spice is very light. Difficult to detect the coriander, it feels like a little pepper in the finish. The label said vanilla, but I can’t find any here. Very dry and smooth mouth feel, almost astringent. OK drinkability.

carln26, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid auburn color, beneath a thin, cream-toned layer of froth.

Aroma is sweet and sour, cherries and cognac, rich, leathery, spicy, ...deep and almost magical...

Bold and brash once past the lips, full of flavor. Sweet, but terrifically balance, and utterly uniquely tasting. Tangerines and orange rind, lemon and apple, cherries and grape, blended with who knows what spice or herb, and a bracing bracket of booze. A mix of fruit and spice that hits certain notes I never find in any other beers. Maybe some English old ales come closest, but this goes somewhere else.

Bottle is too small, however. A mere 11.2 ounces of an ale as perplexing and bewitching as this is not enough.

Full-bodied, and fantastic. I will waste no more words. Find it, if you can, and enjoy.

feloniousmonk, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of maxpower
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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.

maxpower, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of SwillinBrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is just one of my favorites. I found some bottles at Hi-Times.

The appearance is a slight hazy orange mohogany color with a big solid 3 fingers of head that lasts. The scent is plums, currants, caramel and i detected some nutmeg. Just good solid deep rich scents.

My tongue was just blessed with flavors of Sees Candy toffee, bergamont on a balanced spiced backbone. Complex and just flavorful. The flavors just penetrate your taste buds and leave rich deep goodness. I highly reccommend this brew. It's very effervescent and was made to grace our mouths.

SwillinBrew, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one for a while, seemed like a good time to try it.

Pours out cherry red/brown with a huge beige head that threatens to pop out of my flute and holds extremely well. Tons of carbonation here.

Smell is malty and fruity, with cherries, dark fruits, a bit of raisin and plum, nutmeg, cinnamon, and spices coming through pretty well. No hints of the big ABV in the nose. Little bits of orange and vanilla in there as well.

Flavor is similarly malty, with a big caramel flavor and a certain amount of doughiness that is nicely offset by a big dark fruit flavor with little citrus overtones. It dries up a bit on the finish and lets the alcohol peak through a little more, but until then, it's just a malty, complex brew that doesn't let too much booze read on the tongue. The carbonation translates well into the flavor and keeps it a bit spritzy rather than too syrupy. The spices blend well with the fruits, especially the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.

Overall: Very nice one, not too big and out of control, but a very nice, complex brew.

whartontallboy, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of OldSock
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

OldSock, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a very light head that sits nicely atop the brew. Nose is gingerbread, with a light pine and moderate sweetness. Reminds me of the Anchor OSA series. The flavor is less gingerbready than the flavor. I get more of the pine and moderate hop bitter. I get a slight metallic flavor as well. Nothing really drawing me in with this one. The feel is moderate with a light-moderate carbonation. Very pleasing on the palatte. Overall, a pretty pedestrian brew. The alcohol does not come through at all, but the flavors and aroma do not draw me in at all.

kmpitz2, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

TastyTaste, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice as an after dinner brew. solid one finger head that has fortitude and body. Dark tan color almost brown in the middle. smell some metallic but after the first drink it fades. Caramel was the dominant smell and taste. some burnt flavors but mostly sweet and the alcohol is well hidden. This brewery is outstanding and they seem to push the edge of their styles. I do think this brew is at its peak or close to it coming into 2006. I just wish they would ship their beers over in bigger sizes as the stubie to me is not the greatest for long distance.

DogFood11, Aug 29, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz into a chalice.

Brown to copper towards the edges with a huge off white head that falls slow and never completely goes away while clinging to the glass. The middle dips after 5+ minutes, while the edges retain their height creating a crater effect. As the edges fall away, thick ringed sheets of foam. This is one damn good lookin' beer.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, and spicy alcohol. Bitter hops and leather underneath. Smells more like a strong winter warmer than an eisbock, but I really like the nose.

Dry and spicey. Orange juice with a touch of lemon zest, nutmeg, leafy hops, grass, a little brown sugar, and a dry finish that has a warm alcoholic character. Tasty. Again, I'm left wondering if this would be better listed as a winter warmer. Tastes more like a strong spiced ale than any eisbock I've ever sampled. Having said that, I really like the complexity and range of flavors, whatever this may be.

The mouth is a few notches above medium, but it has a bit too much syrup left in the aftertaste. Not enough to ruin the taste, but it does suffer from it.

I could have one, maybe two more, but the mouthfeel and abv hurt the drinkability.

ypsifly, Aug 23, 2005
Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.