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Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Espresso StoutHitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

798 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 798
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 31
Gots: 57 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 07-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 798 | Reviews: 383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rizalini
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours black, with a big foamy mocha head that sticks around, leaving nice a lacing.

S - Big coffee aroma with some dark chocolate detectable as well. I do get a slight funky smell that i can't put my finger on.

T - Coffee hits the taste buds and stays for for a little bit. Not that much in the finish besides coffee.

M - Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation

D - This beer is pretty drinkable, but personally, I wouldn't pay another $7.99 for an 11oz bottle.

Rizalini, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of dciBA
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My second Hitachino nest beer, hopefully better than the milk stout. Pours black into a standard pint glass. A couple fingers worth of caramel colored head forms but quickly fades to a solid skimming. Plenty of attractive lacing as it goes down.

Smell is all coffee and quite strong. One quick whiff and your nose is filled with all types of coffee. Roasted coffee beans, freshly brewed coffee, and of course espresso.

Taste is more coffee, no surprise there. Along with the coffee there is a sweet maltiness to help balance things out. No noticeable hop flavor but there is a bit of sourness. Once the beer warms up the flavor really fills out and brings this up another notch. Along with the coffee some bitter chocolate works it's way in.

Mouthfeel is just adequate with this beer. It's not all that thick, but not thin enough to really detract. Carbonation is good and lets the thin amount of head linger for the duration. Drinkability is high with no hint of the slightly higher %ABV. I'm not sure if this beer really fits into the imperial stout category but it's quite enjoyable regardless. A must buy for coffee stout fans.

dciBA, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of madvermin
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours licorice black, with brown evident in the pour, but not in the glass. A healthy two-finger mahogany head was generated that faded at a pleasant rate, and was very foamy to make up for the relatively large bubbles on the edges of the head. Laced pretty well.

Aroma is 100% deep, roasted coffee beans, with not a hint of chocolate, other malt, or any hops, or ANYTHING else. Not even a bit of sweetness can be smelled. Coffee smells phenomenal though.

Taste follows, with an almost burnt-to-charcoal start that moves to the coffee mellowing out a bit, but still remaining black and unsweetened to the bitter end. A tiny bit of sweet hops are maybe present mid-sip, but they are so weak it may just be my palate playing tricks on me. Finish is supremely coffee-like, as this is much more like coffee than the weak mess I had a week ago at a joint named for white-hot heavenly bodies and $$$. Roasted woody flavors and a mild sweetness come out a bit more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, although a bit thinner than expected. Doesn't get creamy, but drinks well. Drinkability is high, as it has the same finish, start, etc. as coffee which we all know is one of the most drinkable beverages on earth. I have had some coffee stouts that offer stronger coffee flavor, or a combo of coffee and other things, but this beer is unique in that the only flavor I get is coffee - and it's very enjoyable.

madvermin, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours pitch black, with a thin smattering of short-lived bubbles on top. Some very sparse lacing.

Nose is interesting. Alongside the expected espresso note, there's a quality that reminds me of my dad's woodshop - not oak in the sense of oak aging, but in the sense of newly sawn, bordering on cedar. A bit of black currant, some lactose, contributing to a just-on-the-threshold sourness. A very interesting nose indeed. Hitachino has a tendency towards taking something that's become standardized in the American brewing lexicon, in this case the coffee stout, and giving it a firm twist. The difference between a round peg in a round hole, and in a 17-sided-but-not-quite-round peg that just doesn't quite squeeze into that round hole.

Taste is beautifully appealing to me as well. This is the rare coffee stout that I feel like, if I were a coffee aficionado, I could actually pull out the subtleties of the coffee itself in addition to the beer. Unfortunately, I'm not, so I'll leave that to someone more talented than I. As for the beer, though - clean notes of currant blend in to evergreen - juniper? - very cool (ie, not warm), with a bit of lactose in there. Espresso is the biggest part of the beer, but yet not nearly as big as so many other coffee stouts I've had from American brewers. Seems to get almost all of its roasty bite from the espresso, which in itself is surprisingly smooth. Subtle beer, but really tasty - I could drink a lot of this one without getting tired of it.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, slick, soft, bordering on thin carbonation. Body has enough heft to hold it up though.

Very drinkable, if nothing else because this is unlike most big stouts, and the complexity could keep me going for awhile. Nice beer.

JohnQVegas, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of ffejherb
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into Mad Elf challice on 2/15/11.

A - Poured an exceptionally dark, earthy brown liquid with a finger's worth of mocha-colored froth on top that settled into a thin screen and adequate lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma displays many of the qualities you would expect to find in a coffee stout: chocolate notes, roasted coffee beans and sweet lactic notes. However, there is also a nice toasted coconut character that offers some complexity, as well as a nutty malt presence.

T - While some coffee roast is evident, the initial flavor is quite sweet and chocolatey with a pleasant toasted coconut character lingering in the background. There is some slight oxidization due to the age of the bottle, but nothing too distracting, fortunately. Finishes with a tinge of earthy, herbal bitterness and slight nutty astringency. Bitterness gains strength as the liquid warmed up.

M - Mouthfeel displays an oily, somewhat slick texture followed by a moderate wash of bristly carbonation as it makes its way to the back of the throat. Carbonation is perhaps a tad too obtrusive for the style, but overall the mouthfeel is fine. Finish is bittersweet with just a pinch of astringency on the palate.

D - This one held up quite well after about two years in the cellar. I was delighted by the coconut character that persisted throughout the flavor and aroma, which gave this coffee stout a pleasant twist. I would definitely revisit this one again.

ffejherb, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a half finger of bubbly head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: it did have some espresso character but had some roastiness, lacto milky notes with hints of vanilla, and mild dark fruits mostly raisins.

T: the dark fruits were more apparent on the taste alongside espresso, chocolate, vanilla accents but had roasty notes and a touch of lacto milky flavors.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, mild dark fruity, and milky finish.

D: definitely a decent stout that was quite tasty and I don't really like too many drinks with caffeine character.

Gobzilla, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of broken22
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have been in search of a dark beer made by an Asian country. Now I know that technically Russia and India fit in that description but I am talking about Eastern Asia. I have had many beers from this region but non that were dark. Now there may be a ton out their as I never really went on the web and searched. My searching consisted of my frequent trips to sushi, Mitsuwa grocery stores, or one of the noodle houses. When I would check the beer I never saw any dark beers; so when I found these from a Japanese brewery I had to them. I can't wait.

So popping this thing open and pouring a glass; I still cannot believe what I'm seeing. A medium sized tan to mocha colored head forms at the top and never really dies down. For pouring out so dark I was surprised that there wasn't more of smell. I was getting worried that this might be a precursor to the flavor. I take my first sip and wow. This is one of the most coffee tasting beers I have had. The bitterness is well matched with the coffee. The flavor is great and I'm very satisfied. The mouth feel is relatively light considering its darkness. Once again making a fool out of my assumptions.

I really like this beer. I wish it was being sold in packs instead of singles. When I say singles I don't mean in the 22 variety that would be fine. I'm talking about the sad state of affairs when you can only pick it up in 12oz singles. This beer is very much like Japanese cuisine. Japanese food is always cooked in a way that lets the flavor shine instead of heavily seasoning to beat the food into submission, and this beer reflects that. I can pick up a 12oz bottle for $5.22. I know kind of a weird price?!

broken22, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy very dark brown with dense two finger thick light brown head that slowly fades to a quarter inch leaving splotches of lace. Smell: nice robust coffee aroma, earthy, green, and slightly acidic. Caramel in the back. Taste: brown sugar, chocolate syrup, earthy and slightly citric hopping. More of a creamered coffee flavor here, the beans not contributing as much as in the nose. Supposedly based off an RIS recipe, so I guess this is the right style listing, but the body is not quite beefy enough. Not the best coffee stout, but a pretty nice beer.

babaracas, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of 100floods
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at City Beer after really liking Hitachino's White Ale.

Pours pure black with a mocha bronze head. Little retention going on. Definitely a good sign.

Roasted aromas. Faint notes of something slightly sweet. I'm guess a bit of raw chocolate with a little milk. Also some notes fo espresso beans, you can smell that distinctive acidity.

The first sip is akin to an a more roasted, less hoppier Old Rasputin. Crisp and roasted flavors are what really come through initially. Decent sized sips yield a full, creamy texture with some hopped roasted notes. Smaller sips present something slightly more silky. I think I'd like this to have more malt.

This beer is definitely heady in the right direction. While I think it's certainly a worthy beer, it lacks a lot for a coffee stout. It still makes for a good stout in general.

100floods, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of dgilks
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black colour with a moderately-large creamy tan head. Decent head retention.

Moderate coffee aroma with notes of cinnamon and sweetness.

Sweetened black coffee. That's what I get here. Some nice sweet malts play with a dry, roasty coffee flavour which is rounded and very good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid beer, full of flavour and very, very tasty.

dgilks, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of Guitarctica
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark opaque black with a half finger of dark brown head. Pours thick. No lacing on glass.

S - Smells like coffee sweetened with honey. Perhaps some molasses. Some raisins. The nose actually reminds me of rum raisin ice cream.

T - Wouldn't you know it, it tastes like espresso! I also get some honey roasted malts in there. The back end hits with hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied and pretty heavy. Finishes dry like black coffee without much lingering aftertaste except for some bitterness.

D - Although this is a very tasty beer, I couldn't drink more than one. It is such a filling beer! Even moreso than Sammy Smiths Oatmeal Stout. Not to mention the 7.5% alc.

Final thoughts: Very nice brew with complex flavors. Drinking any more than one would be pushing it for me. Would make a good after dinner beer i think. If you like espresso this will definitely not disappoint.

Guitarctica, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer stuck true to it's name. The brew was a thick syrup, black, and let no light pass. If I closed my eyes, I could have easily sworn to drinking a cold, lightly carbonated coffee.

As for the alcohol content, I hadn't looked at that part of the label until then. The coffee taste hid it's decent ABV extremely well.

One of my new faves in this genre. Try it!

IRONRakkasan, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of dbossman
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Quite black with a tiny hint of a red tint; nice one inch dark, mocha brown head; fantastic, nearly solid, lacing

S: Sweet chocolate malts; a touch of coffee/espresso but fairly subdued

T: Luckily much more complex flavors than the aromas indicate; roasted malts: chocolate and coffee with a hint of raisins and prune juice

F: Much more thin than I anticipate in a stout but still fairly creamy with a nice even mouth coating

D: A good stout--not as much espresso that I want in a beer of this style--but it's a nice beer nonetheless

dbossman, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of BamaViper1
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

This espresso stout pours dark brown forming a thick caramel-colored head. The head eventuall dissipate to a film, but it leaves beautiful lacing along the edge of the glass.

The nose of this Hitachino Nest is full of espresso and bitter dark chocolate.

The beer opens with the slightly bitter espresso. This fades into bitter dark chocolate notes within heavy malt. The finish is all chocolate with traces of almost burned coffee and earth. Long after the beer is gone, the mouth is left with hints of sweet milk chocolate.

This beer has a full-bodied mouthfeel. There is a lot of carbonation in each sip which becomes almost overwhelming when the beer moves around the mouth for an extended period of time. But in a straight sip, it's great. Almost nitro creamy.

There is nonreal alcohol presence and the flavors marry quite well, making this stout easily drinkable. After a couple the sweetness could get to be a little much, but still this is a fine stout.

BamaViper1, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of bbb099
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Shared with mjyoung.

A - An almost black dark brown, typical stout color. Mocha-colored head that dissipated relatively quickly.

S - Coffee aroma, lots of it. Maybe hints of roasted malt, but very little amount.

T - The best way to describe is that it's a cold, carbonated coffee drink. I did not taste much of anything else besides a little bit of malt on the backside.

M - Highly carbonated. Medium to light bodied. I enjoyed the flavor very much; unfortunately, I have to knock the scores down a little bit because the texture was a little watery for the style.

D - Good drinkability. Not a complex beer, but worth a try just because it's so unique.

bbb099, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of hickmancase
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from my first trip to Bruery Provisions with my buddy Rick.

A: Dark. Dark, three finger, espresso bubble colored head. Thicker than most stouts.

S: Coffee

T: Carbonated cold espresso. If it was an espresso it would be too weak, but for a beer... Damn! Delicious!

M: Thick. Perfect carbonation.

D: Made me hyper not buzzed. Excellent! But 5.49 for a 12 ouncer?

Similar to other coffee stouts.


hickmancase, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of mjyoung
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split w/ bbb099

A: A dark dark brown color with a murky alcohol tinge. The head dissipated extremely quickly leaving behind little lacing.

S: VERY strong coffee notes, with a hint of roasted malt underlying it.

T: It really does taste like carbonated coffee that's been chilled and spiked. It's mostly a sweet coffee, but you can get the malt below it as well. A fairly simple flavor, but you can get slight roasted notes and a slight hint of fruit as well. I was expecting a bit more roast...

M: It's a little bit more thin than I was expecting. The carbonation is spot on, and aside from the body it sits decently well on the palate.

D: It's pretty good, but the thin body and the lack of complex flavors knocks it down a bit in my book. I would definitely drink again, but it's not necessarily top-shelf.

mjyoung, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle poured into snifter; thanks John (JM03)!

A: Dark, dark brown/black with one finger of foamy dark brown head, which subsides slowly to form chocolate milk lacing all around the glass.

S: Lots of coffee, as one might expect, alongside dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T: Very pleasant, sweet "quality" coffee flavor with more balancing dark chocolate. Roasted malts provide a solid backbone.

M: Prickly carbonation, smooth and milky.

D: Extremely high for the style; this is a rare beer where I wish I had a bomber all to myself rather than being able to try another new beer after it.

AwYeh, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of snogglethorpe
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thiiick, oily, black as night, and pretty much completely opaque (really -- holding it up to the light in a glass, nothing gets through)... this truly does look like motor-oil when you're pouring it [I'd heard that said about some stouts, but had never seen it before...]! Dark tan thick head.

Smell is of chocolate, with a faiiiint hint of beer.

Taste... thick, very roasty, very chocolatey, some resemblance to coffee, but really this stuff is like bitter liquid chocolate. I'd say it sits _right_ in that sweet spot between chocolate and coffee that just makes people swoon... It's definitely quite bitter, but a _nice_ bitter, exactly right. It's not sweet.

The alcohol is very well hidden, and it's extremely drinkable, like liquid desert, despite its lack of sweetness, the bitterness is just very well placed. The mouthfeel is thick and oily, which ads to the illusion that one is drinking chocolate.

Wow, I'm not generally a fan of the Hitachino Nest Beer line (generally not bad, but not really that good either), but this is really really good!

This is probably the first stout I've had that I really, really, liked.

[Note: this bottle had a special Valentine's-day label "Happy Valentine's day!" (with hearts), and is a very nice contrast to the usual slew of excessively sweet chocolate beers that seem to show up around Valentine's day in Japan. Go for it, Hitachino!]

snogglethorpe, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of joecast
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, seriously thick dark pour. Big foamy dark tan head. Heaps of lacing and stability. Low carbonation, pitch black. Excellent.

Coffee aroma at the forefront. Dark chocolate and roast.pillows of sweet maltiness arise as it warms.

Big malt, roast and bitterness. Mixes well keeping this big beer interesting. Complex yet accessible. Smooth and balanced. Just enough sweetness in the finish to ward off palate fatigue.

Wonderful mouthfeel. Smooth without being too heavy and filling. One can easily become two. Nice.

joecast, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of SteveO1231
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Nubby. Pours jet black with a fluffy tan head. Lots of carbonation. Huge espresso aroma, it literally smells like a glass full of fresh coffee grounds, toasty, burnt popcorn, and roared malts. The brew has an exceptionally fluffy mouthfeel, aost creamy. Full bodied. Some light sweetness, burnt sugars, a hint of saki, and semi dark chocolate. I'm getting a dry bitter finish seems to be more from the coffee than roasted malts. Some roasted malt flavors come out more as I sip. Sweetness shows a but more ad well. The brew has a bit of a fruity aftertaste that I can't quit put my finger on. I enjoyed this as my first Japanese RIS.


SteveO1231, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of Patrick999
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass, nice thick cascading foam. More of an opaque extremely dark brown than a "black" looking body.

Aroma touches all the bases. Smoky caramel and an acrid coffee note, yup, smells like an espresso.

Tastes follows aroma, with a big hint of caramel sweetness up front, quickly washed away by some pretty damned bitter coffee.

Oily, slick mouthfeel.

To those who love coffee stouts, this isn't breaking any new ground - but it is very well-executed, enjoyable, easy to drink. Coming from Japan, not an inexpensive 12-ouncer, but I'll buy again, especially considering I don't get Peche Mortel down here. As with most of the Hitachino Nest beers, well done.

Patrick999, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of July2Nov
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice Frothy brownish foamy head. Dark like a stout should be.

Smell: Deep roasted coffee smell that is very noticeable. If you love espresso, the nose alone wold have you panting to get at this.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Bold and creamy. Has a thick feel to it with a deep and rich coffee flavor. Has a slight metallic taste, but nothing that is crazy to detract from the beer experience. A bit chalky and chewy on the end tip of the beer. This is a very good coffee stout and one that I would drink again.

Drinkability: Hitachino ceases to amaze me. This Japanese brewery always produces excellent beers that run far away from what you normally consider the classic Japanese beer category. All I have to say is, "More please".

July2Nov, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of juju7
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brilliant looking beer. Two fingers of head all the way to the end. Definite espresso presence backed up with some cereal and even a touch of hop aroma. Coffee, coffee and coffee. A little astringent with the hop bitterness but a good beer if you like this kind of thing.

juju7, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours an inky black with a dense 3 finger milk chocolate colored head. Leaves gobs of lacing on the glass. Great retention.

S - the smell isn't so much coffee as the name implies but a decadent dark chocolate. Not complex but very enticing.

T - tastes like a carbonate alcoholic chocolate coffee concoction. Nicely balanced. Chocolate sweetness coats the tounge followed by some roasty malt coffee style bitterness which lasts long after the finish.

M - creamy. Like a milk shake. Smooth. Full bodied. High carb helps to smooth it out.

D - I could drink this throughout winter time. Just awesome.

Teleweizen2, Dec 18, 2010
Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout from Kiuchi Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 798 ratings.