Hitachino Nest Nipponia - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia

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BA SCORE
87
very good

133 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 133
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 11
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 08-13-2010

"HITACHINO NEST BEER is a brand of our quality top-fermented ales. Nipponia is brewed using the revived Japanese breed of Kanego Golden barley which was first developed in 1900, along with another strain of hops called 'Japanese-bred Sorachi Ace'. Nipponia is a delightfully golden coloured beer with citrus edge and complex and lingering taste."

Malt: Kaneko Golden
Hops: Sorachi Ace
Alcohol Vol: 6.5%
Color: Golden Yellow

Won a Bronze Medal at the Australian International Beer Awards 2012 in category 5D "Other International Style Lager Packaged".
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 72
Photo of fadeproof
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes more like an IPA then a Pils.

Photo of avwrite
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%

I was expecting a darker beer, but it was definetly interesting. It came out almost like a Japanese IPA. Bitterness was there, but nothing compared to what's in the states. Color is a dark amber, no hint of sweetness, good hoppy taste.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%

1 pint bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Color is a somewhat unusual dark orange, cloudy and topped with a small but persistent amount of white head, around a quarter of an inch. Aroma is unique, full of Sorachi Ace notes (citrus rind, mostly lemon, pineapple, bubblegum, dill) and fruity yeast esters along with a moderate dose of butterscotch-like diacetyl. These fruity and herbal characters translate well on the palate. Quite sweet but with a strong underlying woody and herbal character as well. I am tempted to compare this to a Belgian brew with regards to yeast. There is ample pineapple, clove and coriander spice, citrus, strawberry and a little raspberry, and dried apple/pear flavor with the Sorachi hops (presumably) adding some subtle perfumed lychee fruit that I did not get on the nose. Malts are subdued in favor of the yeast and hops. Moderate to thick body, quite highly carbonated, smooth and drinkable but with a woody bite in the semi-dry finish. One simply cannot escape the Belgian yeast character, which manages to overshadow the malts and distinctive Sorachi hops, although the latter do add their own unique flourishes. Is this really made with lager yeast? If not, how is this beer an imperial pilsener? In any event, another offering from this brewery that offers some unique flavors and that defies any real attempts at categorization.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(purchased at Binny's Beverage, Marcey, CHI - bottle code NI.13.10 - poured into a balloon)

A: fairly clear, orange gold in color... good inch of frothy foam on the pour, falls quick, leaving a thin cap and island of medium-sized bubbles

S: (by now) classic Hitachino fruity yeast profile... not much in the way out front of quintessential Sorachi Ace aromas, maybe a faint trace in the back... fresh 8.5"x11" printer paper... juicy pineapple, orange/lemon zest

T: quite faded Sorachi on the edges... mild spicy bitterness, faint peppery notes in the back... mellow attack of flavors but, nevertheless, vibrant essences of citrus peel... not getting much discernible malt flavor or sweetness - any sweetness, and there's not a ton, seems to be hop/yeast derived - this is fairly dry (and old)

M: smooth and slightly rounded up top, kind of flat with light friction across the tongue on the bottom... what I've come to expect from an age-ed HN

O: other than marketing, I don't understand why you would feature an indigenous malt and hide its potential unique nuances with such distinct yeast characteristics and Sorachi Ace hops on top of that - this ends up tasting like the lot of their light-colored beers (not that that's a bad thing!)... drinking yet another one of these just convinces me that I have to trade for fresher West Coast bottles or visit this place

Photo of rangerred
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark gold but just a tiny bit of lacing and not really any head at all.

The Sorachi Ace hops are quite powerful in the aroma and there is also a slight earthy/oaky character. I'm assuming this is from the hops as well. Pretty intersting.

The flavor has a lot more complexity than I was expecting. That same dank/citrus hop note along with a stronger note of oak and vanilla; almost like this was wood aged. Not clean at all like a pilsner but more like an aged ale. Moderate bitterness and a pretty clean finish.

Overall, this is a very intersting beer. The wood/vanilla notes are unique and I love Sorachi Ace hops. A different, but well put together beer.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle marked NI.13.03 at 44 degrees into pilsner glass
Aroma of a weiss/hefeweizen; phenolic, slight coriander
Head large (5 cm), white, creamy, mostly quickly diminishing into 3 mm layer
Lacing good – partial ring of small bubbles
Body medium yellow, hazy
Flavor begins like a weak slightly sweet weiss with more citrus than coriander flavor; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl, no hop bitterness found. Flavor ends quickly with no aftertaste.
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

An odd take on a pilsner – not clean and crisp but a more complicated flavor, probably from the Sorachi Ace hops. To me, this has more characteristics of a hefeweizen/weissbier than a pilsner. Not a bad beer, but not what I was expecting from a pilsner.

Photo of potion
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a - hay-colored body, light two finger head that sticks around. good heavy lacing.

s - pils malts, sorachi hops creaminess

t - tastes significantly different. creamy bread in the front, pils malts in the back. I picked up a raw salmon taste. not fishy, just subtly like sashimi

m - medium bitterness, watery, astringent carbonation

o - a good pilsner (imperial) overall. I enjoyed the creaminess of it, while still being crisp. easy to drink.

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful golden orange amber color. Not much of a head. Has a nice fresh citrusy smell. Tastes pretty good. Combination of malty sweet with some tiny bit of bitterness. Very balanced between the citrus and the hop. Not a heavy beer but refreshing. Nice beer.

Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy golden body with a thin ring of foam, no real head to speak of, that reced to nothing, leaving no lacing. Not the best appearance, but decent enough. Scents of lemon, sweet spices, especially nutmeg and some slight cinnamon, pear, pale malt, yeasty bread, some floral aromas, and some grassy and hay-like aromas. Very complex for a pilsner, even an Imperial pilsner, with a lot going on, some of it very Belgian-like, other aromas very much true to pilsner form. The hops and yeast they use in this give it a very pleasant, complex aroma. Flavor begins with bitter lemon and other citrus rind that are sustained throughout, moves into some floral hops, spicy yeast flavors, some sweet pale malt and some hints of oak and vanilla in the middle of the sip. Finish is quite dry and spicy with a zesty, bitter and spicy aftertaste. Its a good flavor, very refreshing, bold, citrusy and spicy. Very different from other Imperial pilsners, with a lot of Belgian style spice and some unique citrus and flora hop flavors. Very well done. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a somewhat drying mouthfeel. Quite good, the drying feeling makes you want to sip more and the body and carbonation encourage sipping. Overall this is a very good Imperial pilsner. Its unique, using a distinctly Japanese hop variety to add some nice spicy, citrusy flavors that balance the sweet pale malt. Its aroma is also distinct and quite spicy like a Belgian, giving it complexity you don't usually suspect from any form of pilsner. Very good, highly recommended.

Photo of corby112
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, pale golden orange color with apricot colored edges and a minimal thin head that quickly dissapears.  Almost still until given an aggressive pour.

Slightly floral, grassy hop aroma that's somewhat stale at this point.  Hints of grass, straw and hay but there isn't a very strong hop presence. Subtle spiciness along with pale malt, bread and biscuit.  Underneath, there is a little bit of light fruit and pilsner malt.

Lighter bodied wih a bit more of a crisp, spicy hop bite than the aroma suggests.  Still subtle with earthy grass and bitter, dry pine needle.  There's a decent amount of dryness followed by a pilsner malt backbone with a touch of light fruit sweetness. Some bread/yeast in there as well along with biscuit and a subtle cracker-y malt character.

Photo of dwren89
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: slight chill haze, lively golden color with foamy white head

Aroma: nice sorachi ace hop aroma, lemony fresh, biscuity malt character, slighty floral

Taste: Definite lemony hop flavor with nice floral hints, good biscuity malt character in support of strong hop flavor. Nice long finish with residual bitterness, but not to the same level as an IPA. Well balanced, but leaning slightly towards hoppy.

Mouthfeel: medium body, full flavor, nicely dextrinous mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

Overall Impression: A nice example of an American Imperial Pilsner with some interesting hop character-- from Japan! The sorachi ace hop with its lemony, zesty, and floral characteristics evoke summer afternoons and a nice cold glass of lemonade. The biscuity malt brings it back down to earth and away from a completely lemonade like taste. I enjoyed this beer a lot!

Photo of smakawhat
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 11.2 fl oz bottle into a pilsner style glass.

Out of the bottle, Nipponia pours fairly yellow gold but hits the glass giving a somewhat hazy orange brassy color. Lots of stuck cola bubbles to the sides of the glass, with much fast rising carbonation of the same size from the body. Head only manages two fingers tall and leaves a soapy puck.

Mild hints of grassy lemon, and some malt sweetness getting into borderline boozy character. Mostly pretty close, but harmless and inoffensive.

Palate fills with a slightly boozy malt, and crisp pilsner backbone. Slick body and a hint of diacetyl oil character and taste to match but just a little bit. Mellow lemon and mild sweetness match on the aftertaste, giving some good depth to this amped up pilsner. Chewy texture to match with some of the lingering grassy hop qualities also.

This is a decent brew, but I am not sure I am also drinking this at its prime either. I'd have this again sometime.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy dark straw yellow in color with some moderate golden yellow and lemon yellow highlights along with some light amounts of visible carbonation and moderate to heavy amounts of visible yeast sediment in suspension (both light and dark particles). The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy white head that slowly reduces to a thin film that covers about 95% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of lemon citrus with some much lighter aromas of hay/grassy and pale malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate amount of hay-like or grassy malts with a touch of pale malts. Then there are light to moderate amounts of lemon citrus and a touch of spicy Belgian yeast. A very light amount of spicy hops that contribute some light bitterness which lingers. There is a light amount of oak and vanilla as if the beer spent some time aging in a barrel.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a light amount of dryness towards the finish.

O: This is a very interesting beer with an interesting story behind it (how the owner brought back the historical barley from 16 seeds). Enjoyable but more of a sipping beer than an easy drinker. I think this is probably more of a Belgian Pale or Strong Pale Ale rather than a American Double/Imperial Pilsner but I have nothing definitive to have the style changed.

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy dark yellow in color and has some yeast particles visible near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of lemon citrus in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of hay and straw like malts along with a bit of lemon citrus. Hints of oaky vanilla and a very faint amount of sourness are also present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very interesting and enjoyable beer that has unique flavors from the malts and hops.

Photo of beerkim
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- This ale has a thick pale golden brown colour with a medium haziness to it. The head pours out creamy but light like a Japanese lager. The appearance is pretty solid for my liking.

S- It may not seem like it at first, but there is an tangy orange-pear aroma over the yeast scent that is common to most Belgian style ales. It is very balanced and doesn't take away from the rest of the ale's characteristics.

T- There is a light spice that goes into the citrus taste of this guy but smooths out without any after taste. I've never had a Belgian style quite like this one.

F: This beer goes in smooth with a light spiciness and ends dry. I think it would pair really well with textured foods like sushi or grilled veggies because it doesn't fully stick in your mouth.

O – You will pay a pretty penny to enjoy a Hitachino Nest brew especially in America, but you have to try all of these award winning brews at least once in your life time. This beer is very easy and light to drink. It reminds me of a Belgian dubbel because of the yeast tangy taste that you get after the spice bites and light carbonation. I can tell the brewer paid close attention to detail in designing and brewing this beer because though it is a Belgian style, he made it his own with a good balance in all the characteristics of the beer from appearance to even the feel of it in your mouth. I am satisfied with my purchase and would drink this again.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium golden coloured with long lasting head. Sorashi can be a powerful hop less diluted, this one tastes rather orange than lemony. Kind of like a pomelo is to a grapefruit. Neutral aroma.Decent drinkability and complex, though what's actually in here is a secret.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub June 21, 2012. Reviewed from notes.

(Appearance) Pours a thick creamy white head that retains above average. Lacing is thin but nearly solid. Body color is a pale golden yellow with a medium haze. A nice looking beer. 4

(Smell) Heavy pleasing pear fruit aroma over a subtle malt base. Mild yeast aromatics accentuate the fruity tones in this Belgian Pale. Aroma is mild but pleasing. 4

(Taste) Very mild pear tinged pale malt blend with some lingering tartness on the dry finish. Really pleasing flavors, although some simplicity makes me with there was more diversity to the flavors in the brew. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy smoothness with a touch of sweet yeasty cracker on the finish. Alcohol presence is low and body is light. Pleasing pair. 3.5

(Overall) Leave it to a Japanese craft brewery to put out a nice Belgian Pale ale. I really enjoyed the pear flavor in this beer although it finished a bit too dry and the flavor profile was enjoyable but very simple. It was a nice beer however. 3.5

Kiuchi Brewery's
Hitachino Nest Nipponia
3.53/5.00

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why this is a BPA, but I guess it really doesn't fit well any where else either. Maybe more American...maybe not

Light golden color pour. 1 finger head, great lacing. Looks like a lighter beer.

The nose betrays the simplistic, but very nice, appearance. Hops and tight biscuit. Some spice and florals from the Sorachi Ace and a bit of earthiness as well.

Flavor is very good. Smooth and clean. The malt is unique, to me anyway. Soft and sturdy. Semi sweet and consistent. Really goes well with the hop choices. Hops are green, flowery, and open. Grounded.

Nice dry bite, nothing fancy. The sweetness and yeastiness of a BPA just aren't there. And that's good. Would ruin it.

Great beer.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a mostly clear orange with a creamy soft white head, leaves good lace.

S: Flowery and peppery notes, lemongrass, definite yeast character.

T: Yeasty spice with pear and lemongrass. Nice citric quality to this. Some pineapple as well. Good flavours and well attenuated.

M: Crisp carbonation, very clean for the style, refreshing. Just the slightest hint of booze.

O: I've been wanting to try this for a while, and it is quite good. Just wish it wasn't so pricey. Nevertheless these guys know what they're doing.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

18.6oz bottle poured intoa snifter. 10.08 stamped by the barcode.

A: Pours a golden straw color with a 1 finger white head. Some flecks floating in stasis in the body. Not too much visible carbonation. Head froths ups nicely when swirled. Mild lacing on the glass.

S: Can get some of the sorachi ace hops in the nose. Lemon and chamomile as well. Sweetness comes through as a little carmely.

T: Smooth hop taste that has lemon grass and chamomile. Quite balanced and not overpowering. Hop flavor is throughout but not too intense. Has a sweetness too it as well, cane sugar?

M: Light on the palate, nice crisp carbonation. Goes down smoothly with how well its balanced. Hops dont dry out your tongue but linger nicely.

Overall not the intense flavor I was hoping for but a smooth and delicious beer. Would get it again if the price was less.

Photo of drpimento
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had much higher hopes for this; especially given the cost. Poured at a good temperature, fairly aggressive with a small to medium size head that soon settled and some lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is nice - malt, yeast, hop, funk, ginger, bread dough. Flavor's similar to nose, but not quite as an appealing mix that is fairly dry, astringent, hop and yeast bitter, some malt, carbonic tang. Body is there, but not very balanced and harsh with carbonation at the verge of being ambivelant. Finish is like flavor, astringency lasting a long time. Not a fav.

Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy/hazed golden orange color. At first a large white head rises to over two fingers, but gently recedes to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: Musky basement like funky with some peppery spice. Fruity esters of pears and bananas. Really enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose, and similarly really enjoyable. Funky yeast, peppery spice, and esters all from the yeast. Fruity esters of bananas and pears. Tart lemon grass comes through, I assume from the Sorachi Ace hop. Even some light sweetness. Toasted bread, caramelized sugar. Finishes with a crisp dry, slightly bitter bite. I love it.
M/D: A medium body and high carbonation. Crisp, effervescent and dry. So easy and enjoyable to drink. I need to pick up more bottles when I see this again.

This is really well made, and blows Brooklyn Sorachi Ace out of the water (which is the only thing I can compare it to). Something I would highly recommend.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a Belgian pale ale... for why now? Odd classification, I think.

You could almost trick someone into thinking this is a standard Japanese lager. Almost. It's pale golden with a frothy white head, but a faint haze betrays its unfiltered character. Smell-wise, it's light but intriguing, with unpredictable Sorachi Ace hops lending its typically bizarre, nuanced and complex aromas, though this time they seem more herbal than usual. Parsley, lavender, and guava with hints of chamomile, lemon, and Neopolitan ice cream. The malts are basically a nonentity – another way in which this resembles a Japanese lager.

The hops also dominate the taste, with a lip-smacking, crunchy bitterness and a thunderclap of floral flavor. Loads of chamomile and vanilla, some hawthorn and honey, lavender and lemon pith. Light, fresh grain notes from the malts and solid carbonation leading into a dry but juicy finish make this really mouthwatering and refreshing – the kind of beer that's hard to put down. It just cries out to be quaffed, which is a little dangerous considering its strength.

Another lovely beer from my favorite brewery. Really very lovely.

Photo of GinaBeerInc
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Sweet looking bottle. Pours a glowing sunburnt orange with a tall airy frothy white sticky head. Nice fresh dry hop aroma, sorachi ace all the way and it seems fairly noble like, light biscuit sweetness, lovely, dry, maybe light cedar. Flavor follows, very dry, all sorachi ace, medium bitterness, dry dry, little alcohol shows in the finish because of this I think, light fruit and lemon, lemon cookie, touch of white pepper. Light bodied, with larger slightly sharp carbonation, lightly milky. Very good beer.

Photo of Dope
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very, very cloudy (tons of sediment) golden pour. Huge dense white head atop it. Retention and lacing is excellent.

S: Lemons, grass...lemongrass? Not much else, pretty subtle.

T: Strong lemongrass element. Nice bready malt. There is a nice sweet lemon element in there as well, especially in the aftertaste. It tastes like...sunshine. That's the best way I can describe it.

M: Medium bodied, nice and smooth.

O: I really don't know how to categorize this beer. As mentioned in the "taste" category, it has some strong lemon attributes, reminds me of sunshine - especially since it is the dead of winter here. Unusual description, I know, but it's hard to put words to it. Nice unique brew.

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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.