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Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Espresso StoutHitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

836 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 836
Reviews: 391
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 33
Gots: 62 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 07-20-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 836 | Reviews: 391 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Haven't reviewed enough beers from Japanese breweries.

Pours a pitch-black color with a brown one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma has a light amount of bitter coffee followed by cream and a bit of chocolate. Not bad so far.

Taste is light and creamy upfront with astringency from the coffee kicking in the middle. A bit of chocolate and dark fruit as well. The coffee is the star here but it's not too bitter.

Moufhfeel is full of lingering coffee and cream. This stout goes down so easily, there's barely anything left on the palate.

A very nice example of its' style. The coffee feels just right here. The mouthfeel is exactly where I want it to be. It's decent for sure.

Photo of jminsc76
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Followed up with this one after drinking an Oskar Blue's Ten FIDY, so I am not sure if any of the possible fruitier flavors have been blunted. However, here goes.

Pours a brownish/reddish head - big, creamy, and foamy - atop an impenetrable black body. The foam continues to pour as I empty the contents of the bottle. The head pours big and stays big, even without agitation, with thick creamy lacing spiraling down the side. Great visuals.

Aromas are nutty, oak-y, and strong espresso (surprise! surprise!). Some lighter fruit flavors upon agitation.

Flavors are similar to the aromas: deep coffee flavors, bitter, highly oak-y, and slight tastes of sawdust. Not a lot of the fruitier elements I found in the aromas, but this may be derived from consuming the Ten FIDY prior. I will have to try this again without previously drinking a strong stout. However, what's present is strong, with a nice, bitter coffee-like saturation on the palate.

Imagine drinking an espresso that intoxicates instead of caffeine-ating you. And with a 7.5% ABV to boot as well as a mouthfeel consistent with the aforementioned beverage, I taste a complex stout that's uncanny from the more bitter/oak-y flavors but invites repeated indulgences. One per session, however, should be enough. I can't imagine myself downing two or more espresso shots in one sitting; this is no exception.

Photo of apowar
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a dense, one inch tan-brown head I'm just so surprised by how dark this pours! Holding the glass up to the light allows absolutely no light through--entirely opaque.

Nose is a mixture of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, tobacco and a touch of nuttiness--maybe hazelnut?

The flavor profile opens with a bit of bitterness, roasted malt, mocha and chocolote and develops into a slightly sour, strong espresso brew with a bit of anice coming through as it warms up. It finishes with chicory, a strong roasted flavor, and moderate bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a surprisingly persistent carbonation, despite my concern based on other reviews.

Overall, pretty solid beer! I'm looking for a fuller flavor from an imperial stout, but even so, it maintained a reasonable complexity.

Photo of thryn
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Visual: Black as night, but not night in Southwest Florida, where the moon is bright and the light pollution brighter. Night in North Georgia. Night in South Alabama. An oily night. There is no head. A latte-colored halo of lace around the outer edge. Not a mostly-milk latte. One of my lattes. It's half espresso, plenty dark.

Olfactory: Espresso beans in the grinder. Whisky in oak barrels. Unlit cigarettes. Bitter chocolate. Not dark chocolate. Not anything edible, for most people. The baking chocolate I pulled out of the freezer as a child and shaved bits off of, and ate, savoring the bitterness and the thrill of getting away with something.

Taste receptors: Dark chocolate covered coffee beans. Roasted, oily beans. Peat. The sludgy bits at the bottom of an espresso. A hint of bourbon.

Touch: Heavy. Slick. Less heft than expected. It lingers.

Drink: Yes. I could. All night.

Photo of bowersdm
2.74/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - jet black with 1cm of a light brown to brown head. I guess only Duvel has a massive head in a Duvel tulip. there was no hint of light coming through. the head shrank a little, but for the most part it stuck around.

S - Espresso, espresso, and espresso. I've had Breakfast Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout and even Peché Mortel and none of those has as strong of a coffee flavor as this beer. it was so powerful that i couldn't smell anything else in this beer. that's why the smell rating suffered: one dimensionality.

T - powerful espresso taste with some suggestions of dark cocoa. roasted dark malts is also present. my experience with Imperial Stout is as follows: Russian Imperial Stouts tend to have more complex yet balanced flavor profiles. American Double Imperial Stouts tend to be more focused on one flavor, while also having some diversity and not seeming one dimensional. The beer for the most part had nothing else in it except coffee. Some other flavors would have been nice. And overall, I can sum up my feeling on the flavor as follows: If i wanted to drink a cup of coffee, I'd drink a cup of coffee. I want to know that I'm drinking a beer. This does not taste like beer. This is coffee.

M - creamy full bodied feel with loads of carbonation but yet it never seemed overcarbonated.

D - this beer was a drain pour for me, but it is rated pretty high because my reviews are as always, objective. I hated the flavor, but it did partially meet the qualifications of the category well.

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kbnooshay for the recommendation.

Pitch black with a massive cake-like head that keeps expanding after the pour. Settles to about 2 fingers of thick rocky brown foam. Clumpy sticky rings of lace.

Robust chocolate and coffee aroma; pretty straightforward in the nose.

Dark roasted espresso beans dominate up front (but don't overshadow the malts at any point). A little char and smoke follow with a nice sweet roasted malt finish. Faintly medicinal (very slight). Alcohol is there, but barely noticeable. Same goes for the hops. Nice balance between the sweet malts and bitter roastiness. More tobacco-like smokiness shows up in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full with perfect carbonation that holds up even after a strong pour and a huge head.

This beer reminds me of the chocolate covered espresso beans we used to get at the candy shop in my first year of graphic design school. I love it. First Asian beer to garner an A+ from me. Wish it wasn't so damn pricey.

Photo of drseamus
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Ginger Man NYC.

A: Great looking beer. Pitch black body with a thick tight mocha head.

S: Strong espresso coffee with some roasted malt in the background.

T: Rich espresso and chocolate with a bitterness that increases in intensity through the aftertaste leaving a fairly intense bitterness at the end. In addition to the bitterness there is super dry cocoa and bitter coffee in the aftertaste.

M: Grainy and puckeringly dry. Medium bodied.

D: The degree of bitterness and dryness makes drinkability hard.

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

Glossy mahogany with accents of copper and orange. The burnt sienna colored cap filled most of the glass on the pour and is still at three fingers after several minutes. What a lovely looking chunk of foam. An abundance of beautiful, sticky lace is seen as well.

Anyone who likes coffee-added beer will like the aroma. There's a little too much sourness for it to be considered great, which is really the only chink in the olfactory armor. Java isn't as thunderous as it could be, but then balance is probably preferable anyway.

Espresso Stout is the real deal. The underlying tartness of the nose is also appreciated on the palate. It's minor (some might say negligible), but I prefer my big stouts to be sweet, bitter or bittersweet. There is a fair amount of bitterness, and sweetness is noted as well.

Those who hate the way that some coffee beer tastes like cold coffee rather than beer will find a lot to like with HNES. The brewers at Kiuchi have added just enough espresso beans to complement the RIS base beer rather than overwhelm it. Other than those mentioned above, flavors include dark caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and slightly sour milk.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite measure up since it's on the thin side for the style and the ABV. A certain amount of chewiness is needed in all big stouts as far as I'm concerned. Ease of drinkablity is high, however. No hint of alcohol helps too.

Kiuchi is my favorite Japanese brewery by a long shot. Celebration Ale, White Ale and XH are all outstanding. Espresso Stout is good as well, but it fails to run with the big dogs in the increasingly popular world of coffee stouts. $4.75 per bottle doesn't do it any favors either.

Photo of bhalter8
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am really starting to have a "thing" for these well built imperial stouts infused with coffee or espresso. Hitachino was next on the list to try. Here goes: pours a deep black with a slight brown tint. Aggressive pour yields a huge, two finger, foamy dark tan head. Decent lacing left on the glass as it slowly recedes. A delicious, espresso aroma wafts from the glass. Not overwhelming by any stretch, but definitely a strong espresso character. It is a perfect balance in taste, a nice bitter espresso taste upfront, that mellows with the sweet malt backbone. Others of this style have a more chocolate malt character to it as well, but that is not the case here. It is not a negative that it lacks that chocolate taste, though, it sits Hitachino apart in a good way, I think. Not quite a as thick as other coffee/espresso stouts either, which makes it dangerously drinkable. In fact, too easy, I am drinking this thing rather easily and enjoying it. At this point, I have enjoyed a number of these imperial coffee stouts for different reasons, in Hitachino's case, it is is its bitter espresso taste, while not overwhelming, but very apparent, and it is lighter, and not to carbonated mouthful.

Photo of macktbone
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was part of a sampling to advocate to family and friends.

A- dark black

S- strong espresso. Some malt in the background but solid bean.

T- cold espresso with out cream or sugar. Slight plastic aftertaste.

M- thin and watery, very little carbonation.

D- Split a 12 0z bottle amongst 7 people...need I say more.

Photo of JJBlanche
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A likable offering from a unique brewery.

A - Black. One finger head. Lacing present.

S - Roastiness, coffee -- very profound.

T - The roastiness/astringency is there in a big way. Appropriate for a beer that calls it espresso stout, but a tad much in my opinion (just a tad).

M - Good. Not too thick, not too light.

D - Suffers in this regard because of the astringency, etc.

A beer worth trying, for sure. Bear in mind that this one lives up to the Espresso moniker, so be prepared for some bitterness/astringency.

Photo of julian
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark black in color with a thick, dense mocha colored head with good retention.

Smell: Intense aroma of roasted coffee, some chocolate, burnt, nutty.

Taste: Heavy roasted coffee flavor as expected, chocolate, roasted malts, mostly coffee. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium thickness and average carbonation. No real presence of alcohol.

Drinkability: Pretty average abv for a stout, but definitely one of the best coffee/espresso stouts I've had from taste to texture to drinkability. Excellent all around.

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

A very dark brown beer with plenty of coffee in the nose. Plenty of roasted malt in the taste to compliment the coffee. This is a very well done stout. It doesn't have the oatmeal piece that the Founders Breakfast does, but nonetheless a very solid and enjoyable brew.

Photo of iceball585
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pitch black, non-transparent, thin tan color head that faded quickly

S- Fresh coffee, dark chocolate, sugary, creamy, vanilla

T- Cocoa powder, burnt malts, old coffee, bitter, hint of sweetness

M- Medium/heavy body, medium carbonation, smooth, slight burn of alcohol

D- Not worth trying

The appearance and auroma of this beer makes you anxious to try it, but all that excitement ends once you taste it.

Photo of BandFan
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rigorous pour into my Rusty Wallace Miller Lite pint glass (Hey! It was free. What?) results in a gigantic, fluffy head. The smell is good, though nothing to freak out about.

I'm a coffee beer fan, and this one is just okay for me. I can't really pinpoint what I don't like about it. It's like a little coffee and a lot of meh. It just doesn't hold a candle to Bell's Java Stout. I want a coffee beer to smell and taste like fresh coffee. This just tastes like they added some mediocre coffee to a mediocre stout. I bet it's much better in Japan, however.

Still searching for that standout coffee beer!

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

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured black color with a large frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Solid roasted coffee and chocolate malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture. Heavy roasted balanced flavor with a heavy chocolate bittersweet finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

Photo of Jablonski
2.47/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I got this beer from a bottle at Port Royal Lounge in BR. It poured a deep black color with a decent sized head and lacing. The smell was lacking for most Imperial stouts, as I could barely pick up any aroma besides some faint malts. The taste was a strong maltiness followed by a funky bitter flavor, which dominated the aftertaste. I think the coffee flavor was too pronounced, which hid away the taste of the beer itself. The beer had a decent thickness and carbonation, but the aftertaste was awful. I had trouble finishing this beer, and only finished it because of it's cost. It wasn't worth the price, and I probably will not purchase this beer again.

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a huge fluffy brown head. Rededed to a big blob island in the middle of the glass and left huge curtains of lace around the edges.

Aroma is a salty sort of soy sauce with strong coffee notes, some brown sugar and herbs. There was quite a bit of depth to the nose. Definitely some smells I couldn't identify maybe some beef broth in there.

Taste is truly coffee-like with bitterness and perfectly balanced with a healthy dose of sugary sweetness.

Perfect carbonation brings the flavors to life and the mouthfeel is similar to coffee in that it has a slick smoothneess.

Overall a great coffee beer. Will get this one again.

Photo of kbnooshay
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super black pour! Id say the head is as dark as Ten fidy's head; super brown and frothy. Aroma is of creme/milk, caramel and lots of coffee. Taste is of real coffee! This is one super roasty beer. The tasty nuttiness and coffee bitterness is great. Feel is smooth and creamy. I would do a few of these for sure. Its a tad too drying to drink more than a few.

Don't drink a a hoppy beer before this it will ruin it! I made that mistake once. Idiot.

One awesome dessert beer.

Photo of indiapaleale
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly viscous. Head is very thin and coffee colored. Pitch black and totally light blocking. This is one rich, thick dark beer.

Smells of licorice, burnt coffee grounds and molasses. For some reason this reminds me of some of the European Baltic Porters I've had lately.

Based on a decent pour and an okay smell I had some reservations on the taste. However, I am pretty impressed with this. Dark fruit, slight coffee bitterness, a tiny bit of saltiness an overall very robust and roasty flavor. Damn good.

One bottle is enough for now. Its a nice rich sipping beer. Not the best coffee stout I've ever had by any means, but not a bad one.

Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Poured black with a nearly brown head. Nose is pretty fragrant coffee, some roast malt. Nice body, not overly heavy but solid. Taste not as intense with coffee as one might expect. Pretty well balanced with some bakers chocolate/mocha and roasted malt. Finish was dry with a little coffee bitterness. This was recommended as something very different, but I found it just what it should be.

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
1.68/5  rDev -57.3%
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
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
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- Man....as 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
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout from Kiuchi Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 836 ratings.