Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Espresso StoutHitachino Nest Espresso Stout

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very good

815 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 815
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 32
Gots: 60 | 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: 815 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, on tap at Capital Ale House, downtown location, Richmond, VA, on January 26th, 2009, at Black Moonday.

Appearance: Arrives a deep but not too deep brown with plenty of lighter brown hues, perhaps belying in advance its relatively light body and low abv%. Though there was no head when it arrived, there was a full collar of off-white tan foam, a faint, centrally-located sheen, and a few streaks of lace.

Aroma: Espresso notes, perhaps obviously, dominate, very earthy and heavily roasted, though with lighter flourishes of cocoa, grassyness, and fruity notes. There's also, distractingly, a slight aroma of fish sauce and, less distractingly, a few pleasant brown sugar-esque overtones.

Taste: Again not surprisingly, this is a very coffee-heavy stout, though not a in a milky or overly sweet sort of way - as far as the beer world goes, this is like taking your coffee (or espresso) straight. Other notes - slight toast, faint cocoa, a few acidic though not tart notes, hints of grass, raisins - occupy the remainder of the mouth on this one.

Mouthfeel: Big carbonation, uneven and aggressive, cuts through the medium body, surprisingly light for a stout, though it does even out slightly as it warms. Definitely has that crisp, "coffee acidic" sheen.

Drinkability: Not necessarily my cup of tea (or joe), though I appreciate what it is and what it's trying to be. If you like lighter stouts or coffee-infused stouts, this one's for you - has all the right notes, it's just not quite as "bold" or full as I'd like.

Photo of beveritt
1.63/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured from an 11.2 oz stubby brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is the semi psychedelic label so common on Hitachino beers. This one has a red owl surrounded by mustard and brown rings. Described as a "Japanese dark ale brewed with coffee." No clear freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 4 full fingers of very dark brown head. Difficult to tell where the head stops and the beer begins. This settles slowly, eventually falling to a still substantial 1 finger coating of foam. Nice lacing. The beer itself is black and thick, not even a hint of light around the edges. Fair amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Interesting smell, not sure what to think of it. Strong bitter and astringent coffee/espresso aroma, almost strong enough to be unpleasant. The astringency and acidity combine to form an almost vinegary/Tabasco aroma.

Taste: Taste of over extracted coffee overwhelms any other flavor. Vinegary/acidic flavor is here too, adding an unpleasant sourness to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to slightly lower than average carbonation level. Body is thin.

Drinkability: Um, no. Didn't like this one at all. The coffee flavors seemed to be over extracted, causing unpleasant bitterness and astringency. Mix this with the vinegary off flavor and this beer was a mess. My second Hitachino beer, and my second disappointment.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Deep mahogany - black, and opaque. Pours with 1 1/2 fingers brown head, which settles gradually into a thin cap.

S- BIG espresso notes (!) when first poured. Hints of chocolate and earthiness. Nice.

T- Wonderful roasty espresso hits right off. A berry-like (young raspberry??) flavor which I can't quite pin down rolls around the mid palate and adds a touch of sweet and sour. Bitterness is spot on and lingers exactly how I'd want it to in a coffee / espresso stout. I'm quite enjoying this.

M- Smooth and creamy...almost "fluffy" feeling.

D- a coffee / espresso fiend, I am digging this one more than about any coffee or espresso stout that I've ever had...

Future outlook: I must go get more of this....

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's, Philadelphia. 01.01.09

Opaque black body beneath a thick, light brown/dark tan colored head. Average lacing.

Rich coffee notes in the nose. Sharp, nutty/toasty/roasty coffee notes edged with carbon, berries, and black chocolate.

The flavor is fuller than the nose suggests, but with about the same amount of coffee. It's got some caramel notes to it, as well as chocolate. It's roasty and well-balanced without any harsh dark-malt or coffee acidity, although there is a hint of that in the berry character. Some hop flavors are present at low levels. A firm bitterness tethers it, and it finishes drying as the maltiness fades to leave lingering thin roasty notes and some fruitiness behind.

Surprisingly balanced in the end. Drinkable. You could have more than one of these and not be over-powered by coffee. Worth trying.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dense ochre head which holds and laces. Big, almost sickly molasses malt nose. Taste is a strong coffee hit with undertones of cakey chocolate and licorice. Some light hops bitterness at the end. Big chewy mouth.

After so many American beers that have taste that hit in stages, it's a shock to have one big blast of flavor. And fascinating as a style exercise - when the head goes down it even looks like an espresso with crema. Amazing.

Photo of potownbill
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another selection from Halftime in Poughkeepsie.
Appearance: This beer pours a very very dark brown with a great deep tan head. Good lacing.
Smell: Coffee, Raisins, Earthy
Taste: Major roasted grains. Coffee, chocolate,
Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth
Drinkability: Delicious, but one is certainly enough.

Photo of blakesell
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into a Weizen styled glass. This bottle of Espresso Stout has been aged one year.

Appearance- Beer is ready to gush but I am quick on the pour and catch the glass that quickly gets filled with a massive gluey pillowy tan head that lingers for a half hour and slowly dies down, eventually coming down to a regular sipping height. Beer itself is obsidian with slight red hints around the sides of the glass. Lacing is thick as well and the glass will require a solid washing before any further beers are poured.

Smell- I smell coffee and a slight sourness in with chocolate malts and a strange near Belgian yeast. Perhaps this is just what Japanese yeast smells like? I'm having a lot of trouble getting past the coffee in the smell here and it's dominating the beer pretty heavily.

Taste- Chocolate upfront on the flavor with a burnt coffee aftertaste, this is pretty nice but it's very unbalanced. It is worth it's current rating but there is a slight sourness and lightness in body that really detracts from the beer overall. The coffee flavor is fairly welcoming, there's something in the yeast here that is taking away to some extent. Lingering roastiness, and a bit prickling on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Medium full bodied, roasty, lightly bitter and astringent, very highly carbonated, slightly sticky, and chewy.

Drinkability- I would give this one another chance. I would really like to see it on tap one day as unlikely as that is.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to 011x0110 for this via SS08.

Pours from a shortboy, 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass. The glass is overflowing with a looks-to-be-infected type head. The head is about 50% of the glass. The head and the beer slowly inch there way together, commencing in a rather anticlimactic reunion. Pox of lacing.

Not much stout in the aroma. A touch of coffee but mostly a sort of caramel chocolate muffin aroma. No espresso. Perhaps "a grab bag of Halloween candy" more aptly describes the aroma. Whatever it is, I am not a fan. A bit too much fruit.

A sour green apple flavor immediately emerges and is followed by a puckering sour apple flavor. A bit of roasted malts and maybe some coffee. Really fruity and sour and seems ruined to me. The taste becomes a bit more tolerable with more consecutive sips, but the feeling of something going wrong in this one still sticks with me. Really really chalky as well.

I am not sure if this beer is infected or not. Looks maybe, smell says maybe, flavor says maybe. Maybe its just me. With all of the espresso/coffee/java stouts out there, this one is way down the list as far as tastiness. Glad for the chance but I wasnt a fan.

Photo of magictrokini
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, nearly black, with clear brown edges. Foam explosion of tan bubbles. Light, sweet espresso aroma with maybe a burnt malt/rice/grain scent? Not exactly sour, but different. Smooth mouthfeel more consistent with a milk stout. Full flavor; mostly coffee/espressso and grain, but a creeping oaky/veggie taste flows in and out. Someone mentioned sake, but it was kind of a light rice vinegar tartness in mine. Not enough to gag you, but to notice from time to time. Decent, not worth the price for the small bottle.

Photo of hopmonkey
2.3/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I disliked this beer. Overpowering coffee notes and flavor. The bitterness is not balanced by some needed sweetness. Like drinking a beer with the remnants of yesterday's French press added. I was so prepared to like this beer. And I feel like it is actually close to being good, but it needs a complex sweetness to counter the grainy, earthy coffee presentation.

Photo of daledeee
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had not had any good Japanese beer. I was told this is good stuff.

I started pouring this like other stouts and was surprised to see a tremendous eruption of dark tan foam that made me wait to completely pour the bottle.

The smell is hard to describe; maybe somewhat earthy and barnyard.

Taste is strong and clean. Coffee, bitter and a little smokey with a dash of salt thrown in.

Mouth feel is as thick as it gets for a stout. Not a lot of carbonated bite though.

This beer is fairly drinkable. A very unique drinking experience.

Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle. Poured into a nonic. Pours out like chocolate syrup, fills the glass pitch black with a very dark tan head. Billowing foam despite a very cold serving temperature, thick chunks of lace, crazy retention. Aroma is very robust. Sweetened coffee, roast, dark chocolate, and a bit of soy sauce. Flavor is black coffee, a slight vegetal note, coffee grounds, bitter chocolate. A little astringent. Dry bitter finish. Body is a touch too thin. Pretty good beer.

Photo of avalon07
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a big. creamy, long-lasting head and excellent lacing. This is one of the best-looking stouts I've seen.

S: The espresso comes through the most, with traces of malt and some hops.

T: The espresso is almost overwhelming at first, but becomes less noticable as you go along. Also has some chocolate, mellow malt and just noticable hops.

M: Well carbonated with a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: An incredibly drinkable imperial stout. Very easy to like.

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Uber the other day.

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and lacing. Not unexpectedly, the nose provides masses of coffee, with some underlying hoppy bitterness and chocolate. The palate replicates the nose, with the most striking component the beer's light mouthfeel. There is almost a sake barrel flavor to this beer, though I was assured that must be my imagination.... this beer is not aged in sake casks. What's really impressive about this beer is it's light mouthfeel, with an abv. that is remarkably well disguised. So this beer is not the least bit heavy or tiring to drink on the palate, with the abv. well disguised.

Nothing special, but this is a nice, easy drinking coffee stout. Recommended.

Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with a dark brown head. This beer has one of the most beautiful aromas I've ever experienced. Very strong coffee bean/espresso presence as well as a burnt dark chocolate scent. The coffee/espresso theme again is dominant in the taste but a nice dark chocolate taste balances it out perfectly not making it too bitter. A nice combination of caffeine kick and alcohol strength. One of the best infusion of coffee and alcohol that I have tasted and Hitachino's best beer.

Photo of dolemite77
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a resilient head. Aroma is stronger of coffee beans than the other coffee stouts I've had, it carried the sour, roasted aroma more than other stouts. Thick on the palate, with flavors of coffee and the long finish of dark cocoa. The strong coffee flavor gives this one the tang of an imperial porter... interesting beer. and I liked it.

Photo of bennetj17
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black pour, semi-thick liquid, topped with beautiful tan foam that lasts several minutes. The head never completely dissipates leaving a nice lace. The aroma is quite pleasing, a fresh roasted coffee bean character, lightly dry, with minimal sweetness.

The taste has a dry and toasty maltiness, but doesn't turn out very sweet/rich as expected. Because of this it doesn't finish out very well as the flavor kind of lingers at the front of the tongue without changing. The coffee/espresso is present but not as potent as the smell would suggest. The beer feels smooth but almost a bit watery like an Oatmeal Stout on the palate. The carbonation is fine but solid.

For a stronger Stout, the alcohol is well-hidden, and drinkablility is nice. The problem here is the lack of rich complexity that you would expect from this type of beer. Overll it's a good beer, just not great. Worth a try...

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep jet-black with a sizeable milk-chocolate colored head that pits nicely as it settles to a nice frothy covering over the top. Very nice patterns and patches of lacing on the glass. Head retention is the only place for improvement I can see here.

S: Woah--big time chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and some espresso. Smells like an imperial sweet stout or a baby RIS with less hops. Wonderful aroma, for sure.

T&M: Taste starts really sweet and malty, with some roasted black malt coming in later on. Finish is rather long with lingering coffee flavor and a tinge of hop bitterness. It's perhaps a tad too sweet initially, but it settles out nicely towards the end. The body is fuller than medium, with a nice understated carbonation that works well. I'd prefer a slightly fuller body, but that's a minor complaint.

D: Though it is a tad sweet, it drinks quite smoothly. Wonderful flavor with a body that's more traditional stout-like than double. I'm definitely glad that I've got another one of these in my cellar.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A squat, chubby 11.2-ounce bottle with a bug-eyed cartoon owl on the label, decrowned and poured into my Stone pint glass yields a matte-finished ebony body that defies penetration even by direct sunlight, capped with a thick two-finger head comprised of dark khaki, fine-bubbled foam. The soft, creamy head relaxes slowly, leaving thin sheets of fine lacing on the glass.

The smell is dark and coffee-laden with a burnt note of roasting beans way darker than the standard espresso. A winey twang of mellow dark malts sweetens the nose a bit, as does an emergent note of sweetened cocoa.

The taste is very similar to a lightly-sweetened cellar-cool double-shot latte with a drop of brandy and a dash of caramel syrup. A mild, but plentiful coffee bitterness works hard to keep the sweetness in check even as reinforcements of mocha chocolatiness emerge. The milky-coffee-chocolate theme pervades, taking over the late stages of the drink. A savory warming, winey note of mild alcohol in the finish lingers well into the aftertaste.

The drink is medium-bodied with fine carbonation, creamy, fluffy feel, and has the lingering stickiness of mocha-java syrup. A superb brunch drink with lots to offer the lovers of all things dark and roasty.

Photo of charlzm
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Consumed 11/14/08.

Pours virtually black into the glass, forming a very energetic and frothy tan head that almost overflowed the glass despite my careful pour. Intense light reveals deep garnet highlights and lots of active carbonation.

The aroma of this one is musty, powdery coffee with vanilla and a hint of sourness.

Mouthfeel is slick and thick.

Flavor is similar to nose: roasted dark coffee and powdered cocoa (which I hate in a beer) with moderate accompanying bitterness. Some vanilla as well. The problem is a sour note that's not entirely pleasing. Perhaps there was an infection in this bottle?

Flawed. Not one of my favorite coffee stouts.

Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pint at Bakyusu Club Popeye in Tokyo.

Pitch black pour with a large tan head and sheets of lacing - a classic appearance! Nice espresso aromas, mixed in with bittersweet chocolate and a touch of piney hops. Great coffee flavour, and more balanced than I was expecting. Dark fruit and chocolate help to elevate this beer to a whole new plane, as does a splash of vanilla. Smooth medium body with very low carbonation.

Overall, an extremely pleasant package and it incorporates the coffee far better than most other attempts. I'll try it again if ever I'm back in Tokyo!

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a deep, dark opaque black with three fingers of tan head.

Aroma of roasted coffee, toasted malts, dark chocolate, and a touch of vanilla.

The taste is big time roasted dark coffee and toasted malts with some dark chocolate and caramel thrown in. The 7.5% alcohol is well hidden.

Thick bodied, rich, smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation.

I always enjoy the beers from Hitachino Nest and this one was no exception. A pleasure to drink. Time for a second.

Photo of stewart124
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is black with a tan head. Looks to have good head retention.

Big burnt malt nose with a chocolate and sweet raisin smell. Some hints of alcohol present.

Mouthfeel is a little less than I would have imagined. Nice almost nutty taste. The roasted malts don't seem too acrid or harsh. Very smooth with little hop presence. Some alcohol is noticeable and it's got a bit of raisin or prunes. Almost brandy character. This goes very well with the chocolate notes to round this beer out. The coffee is subdued a bit but is otherwise a good compliment.

This is a well-rounded imperial stout with a nice blend of malts and not overpowering alcohol. Well done Japan!

Photo of GClarkage
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/10/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle, no freshness info found on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep blackend pour. Larger one inch plus dirty brown head. Settles at a bit less than 1/4 inch for the duration. Leaves nice lace sheeting that is kind of short lasting and some small patches.

Smell- Very large coffee-espresso nose. Just about of coffee fumes with a touch of dark chocolate and a bit of pine hop resin. A bit more sweetness and it would be perfect.

Taste- Granted this is a coffee beer and not a chocolate driven malt flavored beer, but I would be head over heels if it had some more chocolate notes. It has a minor amount of chocolate-toffee-caramel goodness and a touch of fig or some kind of dark dried fruit flavor, but the point this dude is trying to make is death by coffee. All coffee grounds, espresso shop-mile down the road-but I can smell you from my house-coffee. Deep dark roasted malts almost to being burnt. Seems to be a middle of the road sweetness and a short bite of bitterness, but alos has a tiny sour note as well, which actually adds to the enjoyment.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, low almsot cask like carbonation level. Suprisingly a shorter lived coffee aftertaste with a bit of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel. Feels like the excat 7.5% abv that it says.

Drinkability- Damn well crafted beer. For coffee lovers, probably will be one of the best beers you have ever had. As a double stout...strong, but kind of one sided. Still a very very good beer worth seeking out.

Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown colored beer with a good brown head looks the part.

Smell is strong coffee with an intense Kahlúa scent. Faint chocolate aroma but this is mostly coffee.

The taste starts of neutral in sweetness and strong black coffee with a long coffee aftertaste. Solidly bitter but from coffee not hops. Little bit of chocolate but this is all coffee and Kahlúa flavor, bit of vanilla and cream but mostly it is coffee.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick.

Drinkability is good with the stipulation that you drink coffee. Pure coffee beer here.

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout from Kiuchi Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.