Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

very good
28 Reviews
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Hitachino Nest Anbai AleHitachino Nest Anbai Ale

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: Gose

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Anbai literally means “Salty Plum” and the word is also used to describe the stat of taste and flavor. Ii Anbai means “just right”!

Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale is brewed based on the high alcohol version (7%) of the siganture beer Hitachino Nest White Ale, infused with locally grown green sour plum (ume), and finished up with a pinch of Japanese sea salt (moshio). The balance of sourness, bitterness, comes from the plum and subtle saltiness, great umami taste of the sea salt is “Ii Anbai - just right!”

Added by JAHMUR on 12-04-2013

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 160
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of wheat, grain, earth, and slight fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour grain, plum, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice plum and fruit flavors, but the smell is quite subtle for anything.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wow! this is enormously high quality beer brewed with some really special ingredients, glad i scored one of these. always love what these guys get up to, but this one is fairly next level, even for them. its a plum gose, loosely, done with unique plums and unique salt. wheat base, the beer has a slight grain haze to it and a tall white head, golden more or less, brass might be better, lively looking brew. it smells a little fruity but beer first you know, grain and yeast in with some sweet fruit juice, but thats only a quick sniff. a deeper inhale will be very much rewarded here, there is an incredible hit of fresh ripe black purple plums right as i am about to run out of breath breathing through my nose as deep as i can, last second it comes on, what a deeply satisfying aroma that i almost missed in here. that helps me taste the plums better too, they are really juicy and ripe and although well balanced, quite significant in the flavor here. the salt is high mineral but super salty if that makes sense, less of the brine, more of an accentuating agent for the plums. herbal and wheaty this is, and the salt helps dry it out uniquely, sort of being the only element left on the tongue after the swallow, oddly enough. a bit of acid, but the smells a lot more sour and wild than it tastes, super clean as they go, very delicate tang is all. wonderfully flavored beer, brilliantly crafted. this is as good a beer as any in its field out there, if its not in a class of its own already. stunning and memorable, just right this time of year. best use of plums in a beer i can recall!

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with hints of plums.
T: The taste follows the smell, but has stronger notes of plums and a little less sourness. Hints of salt are also perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting take on a gose—it's not as sour compared to other beers in the style and the aromas and flavors of plums add an interesting twist.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

As it's heart is in Germanium theme, there's the commonality of hefeweizen that couples with that of tangy and tart Berlinerweiss, yet something in between emerges, and does so with the addition of the unique and umbiguous anabi plum.

Its lovable canary color is inviting and is softened by its light yeasty haze. Its diffused character highlights its glowing bulb of a body; while above a creamy and low-statured head amounts with cottony colored froth. its strong retention and trickling lace really sells the appearance of a well made ale.

Fruity-tart aromas strike first as the nose registers the light banana, papaya, citrus, apple and floral scents. A background of bready sweetness resonates with notions of fresh baking bread, shortbread, and confectioner's candy.

The early palate picks up on all that bready sweetness, even while its wheaty-sweet flavor coaxes the palate with grain, powdered sugar and biscuit. The middle slices through all that maltiness with tangy flavors of citrus, berries, orchard fruit, plum and papaya. Its mild melon-like flavor extends to the finish that is comfortable of white wine, banana and clove. Its minty warmth is charming while a wash of vanilla and mint ensue.

Medium-light in body, the beer's early creaminess is held captive to its malty-sweet body. But once the carbonation lifts, so does its lingering sweetness and ushers in a minty, silky, and spicy-floral finish in texture as well.

Hitachino Anabi is a curious wheat beer. Even as its underlying "hefeweizen" taste is uncharacteristically tangy and tart, the plum flavor turns its focus to fruit even as the base beer plays a bigger and much appreciated part.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 6/2015. Pours hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, straw, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, plum/salt, and bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, hay, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruit tartness, yeast spice, and wheat tang on the finish; with lingering notes of plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, straw grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, salt/plum, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/saline, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial weizen/gose style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, salt/plum, and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and refreshing to drink for the ABV. Even though it is not lactic soured, the plums provide a fair amount of tartness for it to taste similar to the gose style. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light fizzy creamy head that fades at a med pace, light whispy lacing, very hazy honey sun rise orange color.

NOse quiet fruity, plum juice, a rice mash aroma, with mild doughy malts, little citrus note, strange ester profile with strange fruits, I think a pink grapefruit flesh, little yeasty as most beers from this brewery seem to be.

Taste brings more of the typical Hitachino yeast, strange yeasty flavor with some different esters, but then Belgian wit yeast ester profile, some candy malt notes, with more rice wine flavors, a little tartness, with plenty of sweet plum flavor, candied plum, sticky notes, with mild biscuity doughy malt and hint of salt. Finish is sticky, more salt character, little flemmy tart thing, with more plum and candy flavors, with a weird bitterness.

Mouth is med boy, little syrupy sticky and flemmy, decent carb.

Overall if this was a Belgian strong style ale it would be pretty nice, but as a gose it's far from good. As a Belgian nice ester profile, candy malts and syrupy notes, nice plum with that, etc... but as a gose it's way too heavy, very little salt or spices, not very tart or refreshing for taht matter, the plum doesn't go well and esp the ester profile and sticky syrupy character. Sorry guys but this is not one of those cross over style blends that works well.

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Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%

On tap at the Thirsty Monk (AVL).
Slighty hazy amber body with a weak head.
Mildly funky and fruity aroma; moderately floral.
Flavor. Medium-low tartness and bitterness; lightly salty. Interesting, with an unexpected slight funk.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330ml stubby bottle, stamped AB.16.06, a hazy orangish yellow under a 1" thick white head which leaves splotchy lace. Aroma is fruity, floral and wheaty. Flavors are salty, mildly tart, green fruit (would not have guessed plum). Semi-medium body and moderate carbonation. Finishes low level tart, salty and fruity. Unique and interesting, but would not seek out again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some faint lemon + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall fizzy foamy sudsy bright white head that quickly reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of slightly sour/tart wheat and grainy malts with a light aroma of brininess. There is a light to moderate aroma of plums towards the end.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy + wheat malts with a light amount of tartness/sourness. Light hints of brininess followed by light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet, then slightly tart plums. Light amounts of lingering tartness in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: An interesting fairly high test version of a Gose with a little less tartness than others in the style and a little more grainy wheaty maltiness. I enjoyed the addition of the plums and found the fruit to be complementary to the flavors of a gose and this one drinks pretty easy considering the strength (for the style).

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Photo of stevoj
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Co-op. Light and airy pour, almost fizzy, cloudy golden body with small airy head. Plums immediately apparent in aroma, tangy taste, tempering the saltiness somewhat. Dry finish, salt comes out at the end.

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Photo of dar482
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a light hazy straw yellow color.

The flavor has apricot, unripen plum, lots of wheat. There's barely any salt quality. A sweetness of honey in the middle and then a huge dense amount of lavender and perfume on the back.

Not really to style, but a good drinking brew.

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Photo of biegaman
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 2011 vintage of Hitachino Anbai Ale looks remarkably fresh for something that's already celebrated its fifth birthday. The lightly clouded golden body is free of sediment (at least for a time) and displays an energetic radiance that, even without visible bubbles, imparts a lively, exuberant complexion.

The aroma would be spot-on for a Gose if not for the overt inclusion of Japanese green plums; the unique fruit presence overpowers even that of Lactobacillus and sea salt (though, make no mistake, both of those elements factor heavily into the overall scheme of things). Slice it up however you will, this is an awesome bouquet.

Where there's smoke there's usually fire, and where there's great bouquets there's often great flavours - Anbai is no exception. The palate is defined by the same 'salty plum' flavour that's advertised on the label; even half a decade of bottle aging wasn't able to change that. And thank the beer gods for that because this tastes awesome!

As far as mouthfeel goes, the beer couldn't be more perfectly adjusted - those who appreciate tongue curdling tartness, they'll get their fix. Newer initiates, however, won't be turned off as the kind of sourness present isn't much greater than that found naturally on fresh fruit skins. There's no acidic burn and no vinegar notes...

Anbai is a masterfully created ale and the fact that the bottle I'm reviewing stems from 2011 speaks not only to the high-esteem with which Hitachino should be regarded, but also the fact that the Japanese foresaw sours as a fruitful (pun intended) style that would come to represent producers' innovation, integrity, and quality.

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Photo of rudzud
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey. Poured into a stemmed tulip.

A - Poured a nearly lightly hazy rich golden hue with a thin one finger white head that leaves wonderful light lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of, well, the ocean and salt plums. Great fresh salt air with a sweet and sour plum thing going for it. Like taking a deep whiff from a bag of salted plums.

T - Taste is very clean. Great salty sweet going on. Wonderful salt water flavours, lightly mineral notes with a great sour and sweet plum going on. The plum works amazingly with the salt and really explodes on the pallet. Alcohol hidden very nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is great, super crisp and clean with no alcohol noticeable.

O - Overall this beer was just delicious. The salty sour sweet going on was incredible. Would love to get my hands on some bottles of this!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy straw under a 1” quickly dissipating white foam collar. S: Topical fruit, stone fruit, spice with moderately low bread crumbs. T: Has a big fruit palate. Starts with lightly sweet, lightly salted plum and ends with a fruity bitterness with a light tart touch. Has a medium light malt background. F: Medium to medium light body and medium carbonation. O: A very drinkable and interesting beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy light golden with a frothy white head that dissipates to a thin layer of foam.

Interesting floral, herbaceous note, almost like chamomile. Notes of lemon sourness add intrigue.

Flavor is slightly sour throughout, with a bready, crackery malt backbone. The Japanese plum character comes across fairly subtly.

Body is soft and moderate, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Fairly unusual beer. Malt character is clean, with enough sourness to appeal to those who like the sour styles, but it doesn't overwhelm. Fairly balanced.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap

A- pours a hazy golden with a small creamy white head, good retention, leaving some lacing behind

S- sweet plumb aroma up front with notes of toasted wheat, salty

T- on of the sweeter goes that I've tried, the plumbs are really prominent and refreshing, salty mid-palate with a crisp toasted wheat finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues to the finish

O- a different take on the style that is sweet, salty and refreshing

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Photo of KYGunner
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color is a cloudy yet stable glow of darkened yellow with a dense foam for a crown.

The aroma seemed to be more wheat, straw, barnyard, pepper, yeasts and a dark fruit I would suspect to be plum.

The flavor is strong on the wheat malt with a dry straw or wheat grain. The plum is evident but very subtle; so subtle as to add little fruitiness at all.

The feel is dry with moderate carbonation, smooth and light.

The beer is good as I enjoy the wheat flavor but the wheat may be too good and washed away the plum.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice plum notes in the smell and taste. Lightly sour and the sea salt adds a unique taste and smell not found in others. The beer is not excessively sour but that's a plus. Nice orange color.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden with a hint of fogginess, and lots of fine, fast rising carbonation. Topped with a white finger of head.

Smells slightly fruity, briny, with some malts.

Lightly sour, fruity with a very typical malt profile for a gose, and definitely some salt but not overdone.

Light body, lots of carbonation.

Very nice beer from Japan, a really good spin on the style just using sour fruit instead. Got on wishbeer, drank in Chiang Mai August 30th, 2016.

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Photo of spoony
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 330 ml bottle (AB 15-05 on the bottle) to a tulip.

A-The beer pours with a short, shiny white head. There is a bubble or two of carbonation visible in the murky liquid. The color is a unique burnished orange. I'm intrigued.

S-The aroma is musty, earthy, and pretty tart. I can sniff a good bit of salt here, as well as some apricot and orange rind. Plum is very hard to detect, but it is there. Kind of an odd package.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. Musty, wet wheat with lots of salt. The plum is more up front on the palate and it mingles with apricot tartness for a nice, fruity mix. There is a good dose of lactic funk here too. Although 7% ABV isn't huge, I feel like the salt amplifies the alcohol on my palate.

M-The body is heavy for a gose style. A waive of medium to fine carbonation keeps things moving.

O-This beer has some potential. It is a touch salty for my taste, but it certainly is unique and with a touch less salt, I could drink this again.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, date stamp of AB 15.06. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden orange. Very thin ring of white foam at the edge. No other lacing.

Smell: Plums with a bit of some citrus and a bit of a sour aroma. Smells a bit like a plum that has gotten a bit overripe and has begun to ferment - but not rot.

Taste: Tart fresh plums with a hit of sweetness that then quickly transitions into sourness and a hint of saltiness at the finish. Lingering tartness and sour tang at the finish. Well balanced between the fruit, sweet, and sour flavors. Saltiness is mild. If you hadn't told me this was a Gose I might have missed the saltiness and mistaken this for a take on a Lambic. It's shows up more at the finish, but just barely so.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, definitely sticky on the teeth. Has that sour juice coating mouthfeel to it.

Overall / Drinkability: I can't say that I'd want another one in one sitting, but it's a very interesting beer that I'm glad I picked up and tried. Unique flavor profile - A definite sipping beer and I suspect it would go well with food, but I'm not sure what type exactly.

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Photo of Auraan
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous cloudy golden color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly leaving little lacing. Quite nice looking. Scents of fruity esters, ume plums, salt water and apricot. Very nice, crisp and inviting, not overly complex, but very reminiscent of umeboshi. Taste begins with flavors of apricot, ume plum and a nice fruity sourness. In the middle sourness increases and a pleasant undercurrent of salt water appears. The finish is sour ume plum, salt water and a hint of grainy malt. Aftertaste is sour with grainy malt and salty undertones. A very refreshing flavor that combines ume a and other fruit flavors with salt and sour and a hint of grain. Very well done. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation and a wet, juicy feel. Very light and refreshing. Excellent. Overall this is an excellent ale, though I cannot rightly compare it to other goses. What it is, is a nice, refreshing ale with a nice, uniquely Japanese flavor. I recommend it.

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Photo of HopBomb515
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange, minimal head and lacing. Notes of brine, seaweed, ocean and plum fruitiness. Thicker than expected, nicely carbed and dry. Overall a very different beer but it works very well.

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Photo of illpass78
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy yellow/orange with a huge white head. Great presentation.

Aroma: Wheat, lemon, plum, citrus, a kind of "juice" note. Grainy, briny.

Taste: Delicious gose. Salt is up front, and the sour plum is the dominant flavor. Also some apricot, and the lemon hinted in the nose. Wow, this is good. I wish I had more than just one bottle. Nice tart finish. Not cloying in any way, which I had feared somewhat because of the fruit presence.

Mouthfeel: Light and easy, but with substance. Surprisingly unfussy for a somewhat precious-sounding concept.

Overall: A truly excellent mix of tart and salty. Find this. Also, for those scared off a bit by the ad copy, it's nowhere near as "weird" as it sounds.

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Photo of hman43
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a cloudy orange with a white fluffy head. It has aromas of wheat, plum, and salt. It has a fruity flavor with the plums, tart, but not like others that I’ve had with salt and wheat flavors.

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Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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