Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Commemorative AleHitachino Nest Commemorative Ale

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220 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 13
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Eisbock |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: czechsaaz on 12-24-2007

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 109
Reviews by PatrickSwayze:
Photo of PatrickSwayze
2.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a light orange with a haggard foggy brown tent to it. Not the prettiest looking beer

S: Orange peel rolls into your nose like a blistering freight train

T: Orange peal mixed with ginger followed by a light hint of vanilla bean and finally apple spice . Not sure if it really works together, as the flavors seem to detract from each other. On paper it sounds good but not really a well rounded beer.

M:  Full bodied with a medium dry finish. Nice carbonation

O: This beer was one of those that had such potential but kind of fell short. It is worth a  try but kind of unimpressive

More User Reviews:
Photo of doktorhops
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage: I must say that I admire Hitachino Nest’s work as a brewery - they always seem to strive for unique styles and brews, this time we will have a go of their Commemorative Ale as it is a special occasion for me (my weekend begins now). First off I love the label - very reminiscent of Hokusai (one of my top 10 favourite artists). There is no description for the style of this Ale but with ingredients such as Orange Peel, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Vanilla Beans I’m going to categorise it as a Festive Witbier.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy deep copper body with a thin off-white lace ring around the glass. It appears quite dense and lush, I’m really looking forward to the first sip. 9/10.

S: Very nice, festive and spicy with all the above noted ingredients: Orange Peel, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Vanilla Beans - plus some dark fruits (plum, date, macerated dark cherries). The whole aroma gives of a Christmas fruit cake fragrance. 8/10.

T: Sensational! This is one Christmas fruit cake beer not to be trifled with! Festive puns aside there is a hell of a lot going on with this brew - Orange Peel, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans (yes, yes, yes and yes), plus those dark fruits and a truckload of molasses that sticks to your mouth. It finishes with a slight herbal hop note and a touch of spirit burn at the back of the throat. It has to be one of the most aggressively flavoured/balanced beers at 8% ABV that I’ve ever had, fantastic! 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied with some stickiness from that molasses and a dense but light carbonation. 8/10.

D: The more I drank the more hop bitterness came to the fore, it’s a minor distraction from this Festive Witbiers overall score. As far as the flavours go this is a beer that would give some of the Trappist brews a run for their money - it is a BIG, hairy, challenging Ale with finesse that is not often seen (or tasted) outside of Belgium. Hitachino Nest have once again shown just how much the Japanese craft brewers can be players in this large boutique beer world. Kampai! 8/10.

Food match: I would recommend this brew after that big traditional Christmas dinner but before or with that traditional Christmas pudding.

Photo of Jayman931
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale 2011
11.2oz bottle served in a snifter 8%

Very nice orange/amber color...white head that disappeared pretty quickly.

Decent malt smell and faint spices (hint of licorice and some orange and I guess the other is coriander)...wouldn't hurt to have a little more but this is 2 years old.

Its a solid beer. I would purchase it again. Really nice malt character but not overboard. Little caramel with light spices. I bet if this were a newer vintage it would have more spice flavor to it but I was expecting a little more spice but i am very okay with the lighter spice flavor.

Mouth feel is good. Well balanced and no heat from the alcohol.

Over all I think its a solid ale. I have had quite a few better...but have had a ton alot worse.


Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of March 2014, so it's a little out of date. 2013 vintage; ABV stated as 8%. Picked up a while back from Trembling Madness in York. Described on the label as a spiced beer brewed to commemorate the new year.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep, hazy coppery-orange hue with plenty of floating sediment and good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of warm spicy notes with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, mild coriander, subtle caramel malt, pine needles, a twinge of fruitiness, stewed hops and earthy yeast. A whiff of warming booze in the background. Complex but a shade overdone.

Tastes of a blend of spices with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, mild coriander, caramel malt, pine, stewed leaves, faint fruitiness, subtle earthy yeast and harsh cardboard. Well-attenuated, followed by a powerful herbal bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with pleasant carbonation and good body. Rather astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of acrid woody spice, stewed herbs/leaves and faint caramel malt.

It's certainly spicy, but not the most balanced or relaxing brew I've ever sampled. Looks alright, with an pleasantly spicy aroma. However, the flavour is rather harsh and dry due to an excess of spicing. Not much fruitiness to speak of and the malt takes a back seat. Subdued hops - mostly pine. Body is satisfying enough. Despite its strength, the malt just doesn't stand up to the spice regime. Someone chucked a rack into the mash if you ask me. Interesting but not particularly drinkable - no need to hunt it down.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 on the label.

A: Pours a bright ruby orange with a 1 finger white head. Some visible carbonation but a fairly cloudy brew. Head sticks around for a minute or two before fleeting to the edges. Leaves some lacing on the edge of the glass. Layers nicely in the glass.

S: At first I get a banana like yeast from it. Reminds me of a German wheat beer. There is still some spicing you can pull through but it is fairly light. A pretty fruity aspect to it, raisin or fig, also orange.

T: As with the smell I do get a yeasty banana taste, not too much spice but the vanilla seems to mellow things out. Pretty complex, takes you on a ride from the banana to a sweet malt, vanilla and even a hop kick at the end.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy velvety mouthfeel. Real easy drinking. Sort of low carbonation.

Overall always a beer I look forward to. Have had the last few years and it continues to ease in the winter season. Great mix of german roots and new age spices.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 twelve ounce bottle poured into a Munique glass.

Spritzy but fluffy oatmeal-colored head forms about a fist thick and somewhat quickly recedes, leaving only a yin-yang shaped lace over the body. The body is a curious shade of amber, almost orangish and hazy.

The aroma is very Belgian in that it's yeast-heavy, floral, sweet with pungent sticky malt, and spice-laden. Tasty fruit flavors that I can't single out swirl around between an odd funk.

Okay, I can definitely dig this flavor. Juicy fruit flavor, like orange meets dark cherry, joins coriander, sweet wheat and malt, and light vanilla flavor. This tastes dessert-like in with a lingering banana sweetness. It's very nice.

As noted, yeast is prominent, spice is prominent, but this brew comes together nicely. At times light, floral and wheaty, at other times coriander forward with sweet creamy malt with a yeasty bite. It's deceptively enjoyable and easy to overlook the 8.0% ABV, which is nowhere to be found on the tongue or throat.

I'm glad I picked this up. Hitachino can often sit on shelves here in New Mexico but there are some gems among their brand. This is one of them.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml short-ass bottle, 8% ABV - the most New Year's Eve appropriate beer in my fridge - the label presents the Hitachino owl mascot, which looks like it's been watching "Battling Seizure Robots", pasted in front of Mt. Fuji. Sufficiently Japanese for this gaijin.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with four fat Western fingers of puffy, bubbly, and foamy off-white head, which recedes rather slowly, leaving some broadly awkward sudsy coral reef lace around the glass.

It smells of bready - the gingery sort - malt, mild musty citrus, metallic cinnamon, a softly spicy herbal note that is most likely the advertised coriander, and a musty, earthy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is more in the same vein - rather sweet caramel and wheaty malt, kissed with ginger and nutmeg, overripe citrus, sugary coriander, woody vanilla, and a bit of herbal, lightly perfumed spiced rum warming.

The carbonation is rather tame, not even throwing up a front of frothiness, the body a stolid medium weight, mostly smooth and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes well off-dry, malty, fruity and pleasantly boozy. And clean, let's not forget about that.

A pleasant, subdued, but still thoroughly flavourful holiday ale, one with strong mirror-world BSDA holiday-season tendencies. The large-ish (8% here) alcohol is well integrated, manifesting in nothing more than a particularly suitable warming, and as the last few hours of 2009 zoom by, the label's fortune cookie-esque English translation of a decidedly forward-looking upbeat New Year's saying actually hits the spot right now.

Photo of augustgarage
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330mL bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler. My first bottle randomly exploded (blowing out the bottom rather cleanly actually), so I'm not going to age this one after all. 2010 vintage...a bit of a gusher.

Cloudy yet radiant gamboge liquid with a relatively active mass of papaya whip foam. Turbid tendrils of lacing won't stay put. Good retention.

Japanese citrus, melon, and some floral notes in the nose - a distinctive albeit subdued yeast aroma, and a hint of hops as well.

Tart and fruity palate entry closely follows the elements found in the nose. The flavors develop slowly becoming richer and vaguely tropical. Some sweetness at times reminds me of a Tripel, though the finish is clean and fairly dry. Hints of white tea, rosewater, and pink peppercorn round out the profile.

Pillowy, effervescent, but then cutting mouthfeel. Heat grows more prominent as the beer warms.

Hard to guess at what ingredients went into this beer - but it is quite enjoyable (despite being volatile - not wanting to stay in the bottle!).

I actually mistook this for the 2004 New Year Celebration Ale at first (my favorite of their beers, and with some age on it, maybe my favorite Belgian Strong Dark Ales...sadly missed, that one) - glad I picked it up anyway (though unhappy to be out nearly $6 for the exploding bottle). Cheers to Kiuchi, busy at the moment bottling water for quake victims - here's hoping for a full (if not speedy) recovery.

Photo of cliff1066
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale 2012, 8% ABV.
Pours a frothy light amber head with moderate retention with a deminishing head.
Aroma is malt, hops and spices - coriander and nutmeg feature with hints of vanilla and
Flavor is a mix of fruity flavors, citrus, and spices, with a decent malty backbone, late vanilla, coriander and nutmeg notes. The alcohol is well hidden.
Overall very drinkable spiced beer reminiscent of a belgian.

Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at macadoodles in Springdale, AR; not sure if this is a freshness date, but NY 11.07 is at the bottom right of the rear label...

Pours a very effervescent copper with a pinky of fast fading cream colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Juicy fruit gum & white grapes

T: Ginger, cinnamon & apple peel with a touch of juicy fruit gum up front (this is actually working for me). The spices seize the day as this warms along with some pear brandy. Finishes warming with a nice mix of spices, some green apple peel & a touch of orange peel showing up very late to the party..

MF: Medium bodied, spritzy carbonation with a warming sensation. Thins out a tad as this warms

The spice mix in this beer works well, this is a bit of an odd bird, but pretty enjoyable. Would go great with dessert, or most Asian food

Photo of KTCamm
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass. 2/18 review.

Pours amber orange cloudy with a light layer on top of white foam. Orange nose with a wheat back. Slight sour. Some citrus taste. Label speaks of other spices, but all I get is orange. Good, not great.

Photo of elricorico
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange with a slight brown tinge to it. Way too much head, this bottle foamed and foamed, it took about 10 minutes to pour a glass.

Citric and somewhat soapy smelling. Yeasty funk. Not much else to say, despite a variety of ingredients.

Sticky sweet, then spicy, then funky, then finishes a little hot. Caramel to vanilla in the sweetness, notable cinnamon in the middle. Flavours are all over the place and don't really seem to work together as much as compete with each other. Not bad, just gives a disorganized impression.

Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy. Carbonation just barely cuts through, feels a little heavy.

This isn't a bad beer, but it isn't a great beer either. I think it may have come together better with some age, but I'm not enthusiastic about it enough to bother trying.

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice orange amber color with minimal head. Smell is very sweet and fresh. Taste is pretty good. One can taste the coriander and orange peel along with faint vanilla bean and nutmeg and cinnamon. Slight spiciness at the finish and the 8% AB hits you pretty good. A very good refreshing beer. Hitachino hits the nail on the head on delivering taste on this one.

Photo of goochpunch
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Commemorative Ale.

Pours out a copper orang with a thin, frothy, off-white head. Spicing is subtle in the nose. I get mostly citrus-related notes: the coriander and orange peel. I also pick up a lot of caramel. Reminds me of a winter release of a typical biere de garde. Flavor is loads of caramel, orange, bread, honey, lightly toasted grains, with a fairly mild yeast character. Cocoa in the finish. Mouthfeel is silky and a bit sticky. I really enjoyed this, and it reminds me of some French bieres de garde that are released around the holidays. I should have saved this for Thanksgiving dinner; it would have gone perfectly with it.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: bright, hazy copper/orange with a huge, rocky 3 finger light beige head that was mostly lasting.

S: a slight funky yeastiness with sour orange peel standing out the most along with some holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg).

T: malty, with lots of dry oranges, cinnamon, and nutmeg spicing. The mouthful was full and creamy with warm oranges. The beer finished with a nice spiciness from both the yeast (funky farmhouse notes) and the festive spicing along with a slight acidity factor. There was a beautiful raw orange peel and creamy malty lacing on the tongue for a finish along with a lingering light sourness of oranges and malt.

M: Nice creamy mouthful, warm spicing

D: Drinks really nice for 9.0%abv. smooth, enjoyable and festive spicing makes this a good try.

Photo of jsh420
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours cloudy amber copper with a 1+ fizzy finger head that decent retention

smells fruity vanilla with lots of xmas spices - (smells like a SN meets an Anchor Xmas)

taste - the first thing that hits me is the orange peel and coriander then the vanilla and the sweet malts - the the other spices take me long to pick out but they are there

mouthfeel has a medium body with over the top carbonation so much so that the beer seems to dissolve in you mouth

drinkability is so so - the beer is rather pricey (little less the $5 a 12oz) the medium body with the high carbonation makes the beer very filling

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy caramel orange amber with a half-finger off-white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, orange, banana, holiday spicing, especially cinnamon. Festive. Flavor follows with caramel malt, orange citrus, coriander, cinnomaon clove and a hint of ginger. Well integrated. Finish somewhat thinner with residual spices, caramel and orange. Very pleasant creamy medium body. I enjoyed this take on a Belgian inspired holiday ale.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellowish orange in color with some fine particles visible floating in suspension and a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and coating the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate enticing aromas of orange peel in the nose along with some hints of coriander spices.
T: The taste has flavors of cantaloupe melons and orange peel along with hints of nutmeg and vanilla beans.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Although the alcohol was well hidden from the taste, this is an interesting beer that is probably better off as one to be sipped.

Photo of Brent
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caramel pour with lively, tight carbonation. Massively fruity aroma, redolent of ripe tropical fruit. Up front very spicy, very fruity, with some caramel malt following in the wake. A bit of bite from the alcohol. Spice is pleasant at first, but grows almost oppressive toward the end, ending on a quite forceful spiced note that is almost, but not quite, too much.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a short stubby brown 330 ml bottle, label states abv. as 8%

Finger-width spongy off-white head that settles to a thinner, tighter, creamier cap. Appearance is a cloudy light amber.

Tart wheat and coriander are predominant, sweet peachy notes and dry spice.

Dry, earthy, spicy flavour, doesn't get more complex than that.

Fullish-bodied, creamy yet dry mouthfeel.

All in all doesn't blow my skirt up though, the elements go together quite well, but it's a combination that simply doesn't pull it together, at least not over my palate. Perhaps not listed properly, this would make a decent saison, although that's still not high up on my list of preferred styles either.

Photo of mcguirmn
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kiuchi Brewery
Commemorative Ale 2010

In the wake of the recent earthquake, Kiuchi Brewery has suspended all brewing and instead begun to bottle water. Liquor store near me ran a special on this so I decided to pick it up.

Poured it into a Chimay glass (only glass that was clean)

Appearance: Reddish, amber color. Very foamy. Had to wait a few minutes halfway through the pour in order to let the foam settle down.

Smell: Definitely hints of fruit. Very sweet smell.

Taste: Lots of spice and definitely a nice kick from the alcohol. For having 8% alcohol, it is pretty mellow. Don't get me wrong, there is a definite kick to it. But I expected a little more of a kick given the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very carbonated.

Overall: A nice brew. Not too strong, with complex flavor. Carbonation in my bottle was very high, and took away from the experience a little. I bought a couple more Kiuchi beers to try, hopefully they won't overflow with foam like this one.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a glowing almost lava colour with a large off white head that hangs around and laces.

S - Vanilla and citrus are the dominant flavours.

T - Very srupy citrus at the beginning with a boozy middle that ends with an eternally lingering nutmeg and spice finish. Equisite.

M - Fullish body, creamy and medium carbonation.

D - A rally good spiced beer with plenty to offer.

Photo of mooseo
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Cloudy orange amber with a modest white head that quickly dissipates.

S - Sweet fruit aromas mixed with yeast, caramel malt, and peppery spice.

T - Taste follows the nose, with delicious orange and banana flavors hitting first. Caramel malt is present throughout, with cinnamon and other spices coming in at the end. Spice and grainy malts linger into the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with a creamy feel. Mildly carbonated.

D - I'm glad I picked this up. Well balanced and highly drinkable. The high alcohol is not very noticeable. This is definitely one of the better herbed/spiced beers available.

Photo of dsa7783
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short, fat, stout, 11.2 oz bottle copped for $3.99 from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Very different from your standard, run-of-the-mill winter warmer, and could easily pass for a Belgian Pale Ale for sure...
Amazing, five-fingered, full, frothy, and foamy head which exhibited enormous staying power under a tangerine-colored, dark-orange, copper-colored hue with visible rising carbonation...
Nice buckwheat smell with slight fruits, hops, and a nice balance of malts with ginger and vanilla...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma with apparent bursts of cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, honey, buckwheat, and numerous other ellusive nuances that are hard to pinpoint behind a rich conglomeration of ultra-thick and very creamy flavors...
Nice, rich mouthfeel with a good level of drinkability especially due to the fact that the hefty 9% ABV is near-impossible to detect behind a rich combination of diverse and unique factors...
Excellent stuff - Definitely recommended...

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Warehouse Beverage. The label identifies this as being a 2011 vintage ale.

Poured into a small chalice from a short, squat 330 ml bottle. Pours a reddish-orange color, with a minimal white head that quickly dissipates. The color nicely catches the light, giving it a gem-like appearance.

Has a spicy-sweet aroma, with cinnamon, banana, nutmeg and corriander. A mild malt gives it a bit of a bready smell as well.

Whoa, this is one spicy mama! Aromatic, this is as much a tea as it is a beer. Nutmeg, corriander, allspice, banana, and vanilla creme combine for a very flavorful brew. There is a bit of an acidic, bitter-dry finish, like from the pith of an orange. Finishes, in fact, a bit like a wassail.

Medium bodied with a dry finish, the sweetness of this does begin to tax the feel a bit.

A sweet, aromatic brew, this is one time I'm glad Hitachino Nest comes in a small bottle. While I enjoyed this ale quite a bit, a little bit of this intense beer goes a long way.

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Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.