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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: 7 | 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".
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 136
Photo of vanburton1
2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes like Bass or Beck's. Reminitions of a highly carbonated belgian with a metallic scent and taste. Good to experience and add to a collection, considering it's scarcity, but not worth the price. The Foodery in Philadelphia, PA carried this. Collectors should buy it, and enthusiests should enjoy other Nest beer.

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Photo of corby112
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle - $9.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slips out a hazy, yellow-orange body with a tall, sudsy, whitish head.

Smell: Honey-lemon cough drops on the nose. But, but Doc, I'm not sick! I feel just fine. Right as rain. I'm ready to start reviewing beers again. Honest.

Taste: Sugary on the edge, some pale malts and whole grains. A little honey and citric white grapefruit. Then, a growing spicy herbal tone which, when it couples with the honey and citrus, leaves the beer tasting like a Chloraseptic honey-lemon throat lozenge. Medium bitterness. Remains the same for the dry, spritzy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment. I know some folks who love a good cough drop. Me, I can't stand'm. So a beer that reminds me of one from the initial sip isn't particularly a good one.

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Photo of kofukasho
2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The 330 ml Nest bottles always left me wanting more so it's good to find this oversized 550 ml one. This variety is actually 8% in strength, and quite a potent but uninspiring brew.

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Photo of JizackFH
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 11/27/11.
Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a nice golden yellow color. It has a finger of white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves a lot of sticky lace behind on the glass. The nose starts off with some sweet bready maltiness and a big earthiness. There is a nice bit of lemon zest here, as well as a bit of a medicinal quality to it. The taste follows the now pretty well. It starts off with some bready malt sweetness and some earthiness. There is a nice mild hop presence, as well as some citrus and lemon zest. It has somewhat of a medicinal honey cough drop taste coming through. The finish is dry, and it leaves some lingering earthy citrus flavor on the palate. This has a medium body and medium to high carbonation. It goes down easy and there is a nice smooth quality to it. There is some earthy hop bitterness and some sweetness. There is some dryness on the back end as well. This has pretty good drinkability. It would really benefit a lot if it didn't have that cough drop quality to it. Other than that, It is a really nice beer, but it still isn't as good of an example of the style as it could have been. I would drink this beer again, but I don't think I would buy it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 5/2014.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, candied citrus fruit, and slight cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, citrus fruit, honey, and slight cardboard flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is fairly drinkable, but showing some age in both the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a tall narrow 550 ml brown bottle. Pours out a bright yet hazed marmalade hue, thin creamy white head that quickly settles.

Speaking of marmalade, the aroma has a character of that too, some sweet, almost sugary orange zest, mild apricot, mild spice from the yeast, rounded wheat malt in the background.

Flavour is mild overall, soft yet somewhat tart wheat grains, dry neutral spice near the finish, with spicy, leafy green hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, deceptively thin yet still has a healthy dose of carbonation to carry it all.

Nothing really offensive about it, yet not a very strong rendition of the style, no real character or depth of flavour to speak of. Perhaps an unintimidating stepping stone for those just getting into Belgians, but it still doesn't do the actual style any justice.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

550 mL bottle, courtesy of Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month program, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours very hazy, color is trapped between lemon and gold. A nice two finger creamy white cap rises, but it quickly disappears and lacing is practically nonexistent. The nose is intriguing, some Belgian pale malt fruity sweetness along with citrus and a hint of funk. After that nice setup Nipponia's flavor is a bit of a letdown. The sweetness has lost it's fruity character, there's no funk (but a bit of yeast spiciness), and the lemon is still present. There's also an unwelcome, somewhat rough hop bitterness that comes crashing through after the malts. While the nose was of a possibly interesting Belgian Pale, each sip tastes like an underattenuated and overhopped saison. The beer is surprisingly light (this is a good thing) for the amount of perceived sweetness, but carbonation is a bit much (although how over the top it is is hard to tell, Nipponia doesn't fit neatly into a style). I'm a fan of the Sorachi Ace hop (love me some Brooklyn Sorachi Ace), and it's used to good effect here, but unfortunately the beer surrounding it is a little poorly executed.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes in a 550ml bottle brew pours a light golden honey hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a fast vanishing two finger head and some little lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,herbal hops and barley,it has a pretty average light mouthfeel which leaves you with tastes of orange zest,barley,yeasty bread and finishes with a nice,dry herbal hop hit of bitterness which leaves you thirsty and wanting another sip to whet the palette,overall i was really excited to try this brew as i do like this Japanese brewery alot but this is not one of their more memorable brews and for the price would rather revisit some of their other ones that where cheaper and i really did appreciate way more.

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Photo of dgilks
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale gold colour with a big but not long lasted white head.

Fruity combination of hops and yeast with a mild spicy note.

Soft malt with a clear Belgian yeast character. A mild bitterness helps to balance and there is a touch of lemon from the Sorachi Ace hops.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Silky.

This could really be made in any country. While I like the idea of an all Japanese beer it lacks any distinct character for me.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.55/5  rDev -8%
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

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nipponia | volume ml. | % ABV | vintage

Brewer: Kiuchi Brewery
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Glass: Duvel tulip

Apparently brewed with an ancient strain of barley. It utilizes Japanese Kaneko Golden and Sorachi Ace hops.

Solid honey-gold, streaked with bubbles and hit with a big, milky dollop of foam on top.

Lemon, a wheat-like funk, herbal notes.

It tastes... musty. The Sorachi hops are immediately evident through a tangy lemon background. Crisp, malt backbone is littered with lightly grounded black pepper. Spicy coriander and a mild bitterness toward the finish. The aftertaste is acrid, with a hint of solvent alcohol.

Light and frothy with ample carbonation.

It stands somewhere between a Belgian Pale Ale and a Saison. It's dry, lemony, and quite spiced up. The balance is a-kilter.

Would I get it again?:

Bottled: late 2010
Served: January 10, 2011

Price = $10.50 at Witherspoon Wines

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip.

A: Golden in color with a nice frothy white head that laces well. Quite murky.

S: A spicy smell. Lemon. Clove. Pepper. Ginger.

T: After the nose with a cocktail of smite on a bready backbone. Some rice qualities.

M: Medium to light, with a fair carbonation.

D: Like all of Hitachino's spicy beers, it's an acquired taste.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy pour into a tulip. Late-arriving head with a furious stream of bubbles.

Aroma is grainy, toasty at first, then the lemon-Pledge aroma of Sorachi Ace hops comes in.

it's weird, it doesn't taste all that hoppy at first, but the peppery lemon hop character seems to build with each sip, asserting itself a bit over a backdrop of lightly toasted bread. It does wind up being more bitter than it initially seems. I was hoping to get a different malt character from the Kaneko Golden, and I think that difference is that of a malt backbone that seems lightly toasted.

Good lively mouthfeel.

All around, a solid, easily drinkable beer. Comes across as an IPA or American Pale, brewed with alternative hops and malt. Good subtle-but-not-boring beer. Could probably stand up to a wide variety of foods - lemon pepper fish, chicken seem too obvious. Worth a try.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

A: Pours a bright orange with a thin head. Lots of floaties in this one as well.

S: Citrus, yeast, a hint of spice.

T: Lots of citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit. A bit if sweetness, a hint of honey. Yeast as well. Comes off as more of an IPA.

M: Medium bodied, a little less than average on the carbonation.

O: A tasty beer, showcased the sorachi ace hop quite well.

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Photo of drpimento
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical straw yellow - not inspiring, but at least the white head is thick, frothy and persistent. Aroma is mainly yeasty with a fruity overtone and a malty undertone as well as some sweetness. Flavor is malty and fruity with a surprising hoppy tone and hints of both apple and grapefruit, as well as sweet, sour and bitter touches. Texture is smooth and a little thick, just subtly tingly. Give it a try!

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color... thin looking brew, with large foamy head. Great head retention.

Smell of spice, clove, citrus...lemon peel... yeasty... slight lemon grass.... straw?

Taste is slightly grassier than the smell, spice, clove... nice addition with the Sorachi Ace... this is good stuff.

This is a good beer, and I will get it again and again.

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Photo of GinaBeerInc
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of potion
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
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

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