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Hitachino Nest Nipponia - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"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".

(Beer added by: John_M on 08-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Sammy, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.1%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

metter98, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

kjkinsey, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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.

BEERchitect, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer sunshine polished gold with a light dusting of fine yeast that are being buffeted by several streams of rapidly rising bubbles. The pour created almost three fingers of skinned almond colored foam that is whipped creamy and gently rocky.

The nose is strangely subdued, in part due to a lack of Belgian yeast esters. Are we sure this is a BPA? Kaneko Golden Japanese barley smells like pale malt, and Sorachi Ace hops (developed in Japan) deliver their usual lemony herbal quality. A little underwhelming... even after warming has occured.

Hitachino Nipponia tastes a saison. In fact, I'm reminded of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, one of the best American saisons (for me) in the second half of last year. There is a peppery quality in this brew, which could be due to either yeast or hops. Or both.

Like the nose, the malt tastes untoasted pale and holds down the fort pretty well. The top notes are classic Sorachi Ace. That is, loads of freshly zested lemon and an herbal-spicy quality that is somewhat reminiscent of a cough drop, though not medicinal in the least. This middleweight ale is beginning to grow on me with each passing ounce.

The body/mouthfeel didn't impress right out of the gate, but seems to be coming into its own over time. The still-going-strong carbonation is lightly stinging and adds just enough volumizing creaminess for the 4.0 to be granted. Superfine bubbles work much better than large soda-like bubbles would have.

Nipponia (a Latinization of Nippon, which means Japan) is a tasty little Japanese pale ale that features one of that country's contributions to hops. A price tag of $9.99 is waaay too steep for a second go-round, but this certainly was an enjoyable 550 ml.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours out as a really clear looking yellowish golden iPod with a fizzy white head on top. The head has a very light amount retention but it also has a light lacing too. The smell of the bet is a little grainy and fresh smelling. The taste has some element s of grains, light spices and rice. The mouthfeel of this beer is light and easy going. Overall it's better than I remember it being the first time I had it from a bottle. Worth a try I think.

Knapp85, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.73/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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...

emerge077, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.1%

JAHMUR, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, 8.0% ABV. Pretty presumptuous, naming a beer after a whole nation...oh right, I'm Canadian.

This beer pours a suspended-particle strewn, hazy medium burnished golden amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which settles evenly, yielding some broken strings of hanging lace around the glass.

It smells of bready caramel nougat malt, zesty lemongrass, further earthy spice notes, a slightly acrid yeastiness, and floral, weedy hops - unique, and fairly enticing. The taste is a big dose of that mirror-world peppy lemon-esque citrus, warm coriander and black pepper spice, a nice, soft sourdough breadiness, and some trailing zingy bell pepper and grassy hop notes. Any noticeable alcohol manifests in a lilting perfumed character as things warm up.

The carbonation is somehow bigger and frothier than it seems, if that makes any sense, the body sits on a sort of see-saw between medium and light weight, and is a little too zingy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the alien citrusy hops and lurking funky yeast pushing hard against the sturdy lingering grainy sweetness.

A whole lot of unfamiliar, but ultimately enjoyable, stuff going on in this brew. Trying the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace a while back prepared me somewhat, but wow, what a difference terroir makes. Calling this a Belgian Pale Ale seems like trying to force a square peg into a round hole - there are apparent similarities, sure, but after a while, you just want to create a whole new definition - thus, no points debit here for not adhering to style.

biboergosum, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

nickfl, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.1%

InspectorBob, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Halcyondays, May 20, 2012
Photo of corby112
2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

corby112, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

dbrauneis, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

jdhilt, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Mebuzzard, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

smakawhat, May 17, 2013
Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

DrBier, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

John_M, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

KAF, Jul 13, 2014
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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.