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Hitachino Nest Nipponia - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

73 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 136
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 13
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

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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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 136
Photo of theboozecruise
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, a new one from one of my favorite breweries... the White Ale is one of my favorite beers of all-time, so I'm excited to try this one, another Japanese take on a Belgian ale.

It pours (into a Chimay goblet) a light gold color... yellow at the thinner parts but more of a gold through the thick of the body. Small white head, but really good lacing.

The smell is simultaneously sweet and hoppy and spicy... it's really intriguing. There's definitely a large hop profile but the Japanese spices blend well with it. Interesting to say the least.

I really like the taste of this one... except there's almost TOO much going on. It has a good balance befitting a pale ale, but the spices add a different element not usually found in an American Pale Ale. They dominate the malts and barley and really form the second layer underneath the dominant hops.

All in all, I'm really enjoying this one. Easy to drink, in fact the different feel makes me want to keep on drinking and take another taste.

Another good one from Kiuchi / Hitachino.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino Nest Nipponia

Appearance: honey, large head, and a little lacing.

Smell: acidic sourness, fruits, hops, and spices.

Taste: hops, slight barley, some grapefruit-like citrus, and yeast.

Mouthfeel: smooth and balanced.

It starts off with an acidic sourness and then blooms with floral hops into a very nice balance of flavor. This is a great beer. The carbonation was very high initially.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- pours a brilliant golden color with some translucency. Finger and a half of creamy white head that lasts and lasts!

S- Rich pale malt and pils malt aromas. Intense lemony sorachi ace hop aromas with some leafy green notes. Fruity estery yeastiness on the finish with notes of peach and fresh berry.

T- cereal grain malt flavor with a touch of raw honey. Lemon and leafy green hop flavor. White tea characterics in the middle. Yeasty finish with a fruity peach and white grape characteristic.

MF- rich full creamy mouthfeel with an average body and soft carbonation

D- crazy drinkable

overall a phenominal beer with crazy unique characteristics. Bravo.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, I need to get out more. Saw this on the (50 taps) board at Frisco Grille in Columbia (MD) and had to try it. I'd seen the bottles in the stores and knew they were expensive, so thought I'd be able to try it out. Most expensive beer I ever bought... Served in a very heavy 10 oz (?) goblet. Color was deep yellow with an amber center and a nice 1/2 inch head. Very light (subtle) carbonation visible. I remember thinking flowers--like sakura--in the nose (probably because I knew it was Japanese and predisposed to smell cherry blossoms). But I also remember thinking it was quite unusual in its hints of floral in the initial taste and a subtle and welcome sweetness--like sweet rice bread--in the body. Many different (all pleasant) flavors that ended in an ever-so-subtle hint of bitterness. Coupled with the richer and somewhat "smooth and creamy" mouthfeel, I enjoyed it immensely. And for $10 a glass it's a good thing. Of course I didn't know how much it was at the time. But no regrets.

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Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of timtim
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a fairly clear dark gold with a white head that holds quite well and leaves tons of lace. nose brings a lot at once, but all things olfactory seem to be harmonizing here like they were meant to be. grains are definitely one of the highlights; kind of a spelt/buckwheat thing going on, on top of some woodsy flower notes and a honeyed hop(?) character. taste isn't nearly as grainy to me, and the floral seems to come out much more. soft, elegant, delicate taste on a soft, medium body. barely any alcohol detected, and minimal bitterness. first new beer i've seen from hitachino nest in a long time, and they've really showcased their world wonderfully.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, golden orange body. The foam settles pretty quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A musty aroma of wheat and spices with some coriander and a hint of pithy orange peel and lemongrass.

T - Wheat malt and husky barley up front with some orange hop flavor. Light, musty funk in the middle with some black pepper. Sour pineapple notes and some apricot in the finish with more pepper and an unusual basil note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - This is a very nice beer, Hitachino seems to do quite well interpreting old world beer styles and this one is no exception. The soriachi ace is a very nice hop for this style with a musty, pithy character that compliments the yeast, but some citrus zing to help it stand out from other examples of the style. I have never had a beer brewed with this variety of malt before, but it seems to provide a bready richness that acts as an effective background for the hops to play out their role. Well worth drinking, I would love to try this beer on draught.

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Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of dwren89
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle shared by bobsy - thanks! Pours a nice gloden hue with Belgian looking head with probably not as much retention as it should.

Nose is lemony and zesty, hints of Belgian esters, a little bit of tropical sweetness. More lemon in the flavor, along with a reall earthy character, bit of spicy peppercorn quality, perhaps a touch of loamy wood, light honey bread sweetness. Clean and refreshing while still nuanced and interesting. Would gladly drink again.

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Photo of Internatbrewlove
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pale ale pours slightly translucent, light amber, with a fine white head. It smells lightly of fruit and yeast. The flavor is colored with grapefruit, light yeast and moderate hops. The fine carbonation gives a crispy sensation to the beer.

This is a pleasant pale ale with complex flavoring. Definitely worth a try. Hard to find though.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's in Baltimore. Poured into tulip; ever so slight golden haze, light foam head. Head was gone quick, but left nice lacing on glass. Smells earthy, floral/garden like, pepper?? And of wheat.
Taste of straw right off the bat followed by earth hops and yeast. Seems like a nice brew to drink as I tend to my made up tomatoe garden. I really enjoy its earthy and hearty drinkability. Very satisfying and unique.
Its very hard to judge a beer on the qualities (above) because it doesn't look particularly good but its a very good tasting brew. Its my first Hitachino and so far I really like the individuality it has.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I absolutely appreciate the masterful blend of microbrewery experimentation, high level of quality, and sympathy to local ingredients and techniques. Nipponia does all these things masterfully with indiginous malts, progressive hops, and artistic balance.

Hazy golden with a constant fueling of carbonation that continues to build a dense white head of great staying power and with lacey rings left behind.

Spicy, fruity, and sweet aromas carry distinct dry fruity champagne scents as well as lemon, pepper, sasafras, light honey and grain. Very Belgiany with esters of apple, lemon, and under rippened berries that balance against the peppery spice.

Flavors hold true to scent with a light honeyish flavor that's favored over light grain. Layers of fruit and spice intertwine with apple, white pepper, lemon, black pepper, pear, corriander, sasafrass, white wine, lemongrass herbs, and cumin. Earthy and woody taste become background notes to the spice and fruit flavors and give a unique and growing bitterness to the lingering finsih.

Medium in body, the early carbonation lifts the beer from the tongue and gives the impression of evaportive creaminess and airiness. Late bitterness and fleeting malt character allows for an alcoholic warmth and resiny dryness tahat accompany the hops.

Nipponia is a very characterful Belgian-style ale that because of the hops remind me of Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace (the lemon pepper and lemongrass flavors are unmistakable). The lemony Japanese influence fits like a glove as do the peppery notes, sweet and bitter earthy wood notes, and overall sake-like lightness. This beer begs to be paired with many sushi dishes.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 10/26/11.

A - Poured into a tulip a clear straw hue with a two finger white head that leaves nice, thick side lacing.

S - Nice belgian yeast esters, good funk. A fair amount of apples, subtle citrus.

T - Tastes like summer. Theres more of that nice funk, some fruits (definately apples), as well as some oak notes. Slightly grassy hops.

M - Nice carbonation on this one. Nice dry finish with enough carbonation to keep it up off the tongue.

O - Really liked this beer, though it is a bit steep for the price. That being said, I'd buy it again to support Japan's pushing of boundaries.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright orange color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, sharp aroma of hops, malt, yeast, and fruit.

T: Tasted of yeast, a fair amount of hops, light fruit, and a nice hoppy finish. There's an interesting, somewhat odd quality to this beer's flavor that I can't put my finger on. Seems to get better as it goes along.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Not quite classically a BPA, but definitely drinkable.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into tulip 22-9-11

A hazy golden yellow with lots of suspended particles even after a gentle pour, there`s a long lasting bone white thumbs width of foam that leaves a single ring and a few random patches

S spicy lemon and some bready yeast

T what I smell but with some earthy hops that I just can`t place, perhaps my first go at the Sorachi Ace, tropical fruits and cereals make for an interesting brew

M medium bodied with a little bite, good carbonation gives it some life and a slight aftertaste

O something different and worth trying, I like the hop profile even though it leaves me a little confused because its a little noble grassy notes but has spicy citrus too

I thought this was one tasty beer and that should be enough reason to drink it again... but at 10$ a 550ml I doubt I`ll be drinking a whole lot of it in the future with so many great beers I`ve never tried here in Alberta. I now want too explore the Sorachi Ace but can only thing of Brooklyn examples in Alberta, please correct me if I`m wrong.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very interesting sounding beer, thanks to @LaitueGonflable for the bottle.

Pours a lovely hazed golden colour, with a properly thick bock holding fine carbonation. Head is fine and snowy, leaving perfect lacing and subsisting as a fine mesh on the top of the glass. Overall, a very nice looking beer.

Nose is sweetly fruity, with that odd vanilla, oak and lemon twang from the Sorachi Ace. Under this are sweet tones of apricot, and a touch of banana. The Sorachi Ace makes the beer, as far as I'm concerned, but there are some other touches to complement it.

Taste is also mild and smooth, with more pleasant characters coming from the Sorachi Ace: mild wood, pastry, vanilla and a soft lemon custard character. Clear finish, without a great deal of bitterness—it's more of a dryness that lets the palate finish of its own accord rather than sweeping everything away.

Feel is lovely and smooth, which nicely complements the smooth, silky Sorachi Ace characters in the flavour.

Really nice brew, and interestingly drinkable for a special-release beer. Indeed, I'd be perfectly happy to drink this regularly as a pleasant after-work beer.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with good minimal head retention and almost no lacing. The nose is intriguing, consisting of honey and sweet tea. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, expect the tea flavor is even more pronounced in this moderately sweet beer. This beer really has a pronounced sweet, honey tea flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth, with the alcohol no more than an afterthought.

Very nice beer... impressive.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back label is stamped "10.06" in tiny print near the barcode.

Only 9 reviews in 3 months, and I haven't seen this around locally. Hmm... the green bottle is only apparent after pouring the beer... Why put a hoppy pale ale in a green bottle??

Nice pour, very fluffy head that adheres to the glass in sheets. Attractive glowing orange body, that fades to gold in the meniscus of the glass.

Lemon wedges in sun tea and orange rind aromas, malty with a hint of wildflowers from the Belgian yeast.

Malty and lightly citrusy sweet. Orange juice and hay, grassy, weedy wildflower hop character. Lingering traces of orange juice and even hints of grape juice or pomegranate oddly enough. Malty backbone with a complexity from the yeast. Medium bodied and pleasant to drink, though this seems somewhat faded by time. It's interesting, the Sorachi Ace hops lend a nice citrus note, but I can't help but think it was better a few months ago...

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Photo of jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger white head that vanishes quickly leaving traces of lace. Hazy light amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose and flavor is malty, hints of honey, slight bitterness at finish. $12.95 for a 550ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of avwrite
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - fully hazy orange, some light suspended sediment, fluff white head retained very well
S - musty and yeasty, some lager like adjunct odour, caramel and lemongrass hints
T - earthy and sour citrus hops mixed with caramel and rye bread, with the caramel and peppery qualities lingering
M - rich and creamy with a sneaky carbonation kick, bready and spicy through the finish with some citrus bitterness
O - a solid brew front to back, definitely represents both aspects of a strong Belgian with an English pale ale, well worth a purchase

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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.