Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Saison Du JaponHitachino Nest Saison Du Japon
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,170
Ranked #21,581
3.86 | pDev: 9.84%
Kiuchi Brewery
Very Good
Hitachino Nest Saison Du JaponHitachino Nest Saison Du Japon
Notes: Saison du Japon is brewed with a local wheat and koji (malted rice) which is a vital ingredient to create sake. This beer has a uniquely sweet flavor of rice koji and a natural acidity caused by the fermentation.
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 98 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hk117
hk117 from Hong Kong

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle - hazy bronze gold color with good carbonation and thin but foamy head. Smell is faintly yeasty. Flavour is bitter citrusy and more like sour than expected. Smooth and slighty syrupy mouth feel.

Sep 11, 2020
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange with ample sudsy foam that has lasting power. Drippy chunks of lacing around the glass.

Aroma of yeast phenolics, clove and dried fruit are mild.

Tastes like dried fruit, oxidized malt, and yeast phenolics. No fruitiness from the yuzu. The Koji yeast does lend something akin to Sake in the taste. This probably sat on a shelf for a couple of years. Full bodied and malt/yeast forward. Overall it’s not bad, but strictly one for the Hitachino tickers.

Jul 11, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Shojo in Boston, MA.

This one pours a clear pale yellowish color, with a very small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like sour grapefruit, sake, wheat, and grassy funk.

This has a light and refreshing acidity, with some yuzu and grapefruit in there. There’s a touch of floral/grassy funk, and a wheaty crispness as well.

This is light bodied, softly carbonated, and very drinkable.

This was cool to try - I don’t get to try many beers from Japan.

Feb 16, 2020
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OlaB from Norway

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a medium top off white head that dissolves quickly.
Aroma is citrus, banana, ripe fruits,yeast honey and spices.
The taste is tart and sour at the start with fruity and citrus notes, while is some light malt tones in the back. It then more hints of yeasty spiciness before it finishes off quite dry. Soft but a little flat in the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a lively carbonation and a light body.
A simple but nice and enjoyable saison.

Nov 09, 2019
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a foamy, sudsy, four finger head, and a hazy, copper body, nice lacing, good retention.
S: A nice grainy aroma comes off immediately, with some pleasant lemon and wheaty undertones, and some spicy, estery yeast notes, the yuzu is definitely noticeable and quite pleasant.
T: There is a warm biscuity (and lightly honeyed, like a graham cracker) sweetness here that marries immediately with the yuzu and a grainy note, this is followed by a slight tartness and a spicy yeast character.
M: Crisp, clean, dry, and heavily carbonated.
O: While not a revelation, this is any excellent saison that is easy to enjoy and should be a crowd pleaser at any party you could bring it to. It is not incredibly complex, but it interesting enough to be the subject of light conversation and enjoyable enough to coast through a night with. Try it.

Oct 06, 2018
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(330 ml bottle, code JP.18.01w, purchased cold... poured into Chouffe tulip)

L: suds gushed out of bottle upon crown removal... relatively-clear, yellow-orange liquid; foam firecracker-ed out on pour, virtually no cap or collar remaining... nice little slug of sediment empties out with remaining 1-2 oz, clouds up brew

S: Belgian yeast for sure with notes of (rasp?)berry and lime zest... excellent overall intensity (sediment ruins clarity)... delicate malt (liquor-ish) note in the background, lightly-spicy Belgian phenols likely giving it the quasi-boozy note

T: solid yet subtle malt base; fruity, kind of wine cooler-like aftertaste... metallic tang lingering in aftertaste once sediment included, but no off-flavors... while it has a firm tropical fruit blend essence to it, arguably a hint of papaya lingering, any spice note is muted, yeast carrying and leaving behind a little pithy bitterness

F: very little carbonation... light-medium, almost juicy body... kind of dull, but at least it's light enough and doesn't leave behind to much sludge on the tongue

O: definitely has saison qualities, but with a bold 'malternative' undertone... pretty sure bottle was past its prime for one reason or another, but thought I'd take a chance since it was not too old and I found it in the fridge at the bottle shop

Oct 02, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into the test glass
A - Deep glow from a dark golden color, active carbonation feeds a towering white pillow. A slight haze offers some intrigue.
S - Lots of honey, Amarillo hops maybe, orange jam , a touch of apricot as well. The graininess is welcome in that sweet base, a dusty quality that adds some depth.
T - See aromatics, add the slightest bit of white pepper, and kumquat.
M - Soft on the palate, surprisingly lush for the style, a bit of oiliness that the carbonation can not clean up. The linger is sweet and avoids being obnoxious.
O - A full body on this add to its many intriguing characteristics, Saison that's a bit oily, flavors that are rich but in a narrow band, tropical but lacking some of the esters from a more traditional example. All in all I really like it. worth the experience for certain

Mar 11, 2018
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HattedClassic from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white fluffy head that dissipates moderately. The beer itself is a nice and clear medium amber color that has a nice orange hue to it.

The smell and taste both have a nice and soft tart note that mixes well with an earthly orange hop bitterness. The bitterness is stronger in the taste than in the smell. Aside from the bitterness, the beer has a slight sweet note from the sake rice and it creates an enticing contrast with the bitter notes. The beer also has an earthy wheat earthiness to help a fairly balanced beer.

The feel is good. It has a medium body with biting carbonation to give it a slight softness. Medium dry finish at the end.

Overall, it was certainly a unique and interesting beer but not mind-blowing. It's still interesting enough to try at least once though.

Oct 08, 2017
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Jsalz21 from New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Trying to stretch my international beer legs, so why not revisit the brand with an old flame in Hitachino. I'm curious to see what the Koji yeast will lend to this beer.

Pours a fizzy yet pillowy head. Dark golden-bronze in color, somewhere in between. Also I'm seeing a lacing that stays when rolled in the glass that is very impressive.

General saison smell with hints of lemon from the Yuzu. Maybe a little rice note. It's been months since I've had sake so I can't confidently say I'm certain there's anything like that here.

Funk is predominant flavor but it is also very rounded. It isn't very funky per se, but it's evident that's the first thing you taste. I have to assume that's the yeast doing that. Other flavors are like sweet lemon and grassiness. A little sweeter than a saison would be expected to be.

The thing with this beer is that as a saison, it's got a smooth mouthfeel (which is unexpected) and a less-than-funky funkiness. It's a weird turn, but at the very least, it's unique. The abv is only 5% as well. Since it's added to this very unthreatening body and funk, it is incredibly drinkable, like any decent sake. So there we go, it showed up somehow.

The first thing this beer makes me think of is Sorachi Ace by Brooklyn. It's distinct from it, but I'm a way that I feel isn't making a better saison. I'd say it's a more "approachable" saison with Japanese character, which in itself is nice, if a little unchallenging.

Sep 13, 2017
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flyingpig from Scotland

2.49/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

330ml bottle from Asda supermarket (£2.05):
Poor stuff from Kiuchi here, this one is easily the worst of the ten Hitachino Nest beers that I've tried so far. This one didn't start all that bad really, it opened with some decent citrus but the tart levels were way off what I'd have expected from the style then it was all downhill from there. The beer seemed a little weak & bland, despite looking well carbonated it was a little disappointing in that department too & as a result it wasn't particularly easy to drink; definitely one to avoid & not the brewery's best effort.

Aug 26, 2017
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ollie's Place, Centerville OH. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Hazy gold with initial 1/4" thick white head. Foam died back slowly and left a thin skin across the top. Lots of fine persistent lacing. Good looking beer.

Smell: A hint of something tart/sour with lemon and berry notes.

Taste: Sour and tart from start to finish, but not overpoweringly so. At first I thought that I may have been given a sour beer rather than a saison, but I see that some natural acidity is part of this beer as per the brewer. The malt is not very sweet - just barely there. Some wheat tang and definitely some citrus tartness in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light carbonation, a little sticky.

Overall / Drinkability: An interesting take on a saison, but not as refreshing as I had hoped. Paired well with South Pacific style tacos (tropical flavors and spicy sauce - lime slaw on top) but one glass of this per evening was enough. Not sure I would get again, strikes me more as a sour beer than a saison.

Jun 29, 2017
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utopiajane from New York

2.68/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours yellow with an orange hue. It's a gusher and I think this beer is infected. The date on the bottle says JP 15.10. It's 5 %. Nose is lemony with some decaying vegetal smell. Some spice and chlorine. There is some floral and a scent like barnyard that has gone off sickly sweet. Drinks just like that although some of the cracker malt has sirvived as well as some hop bitter.

Jun 05, 2017
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Here is a thought worth considering... and maybe even worth arguing about.
The Japanese were world-winners in the 1970s to 1980s by applying themselves to produce American products.
Could they also be using those same talents to make Belgian beers ?
Saison is a hard style to copy (or improve on) because Belgian yeast cultures take a long time for lay-people to learn (monasteries seem to have this as an innate sense.) Maybe Kiuchi is figuring out these yeasts faster than many American crafters.

As for Saison du Japon...
I liked it and it will Have it again, but it needs more heft... possibly barley as the wheat and rice in it are interesting, but not full in the mouth. Much of what a Belgian-type yeast brings to a beer is in Saison du Japon (fruits and often peppery spicing; but Du Japon just does not enough of this. (Maybe Kiuchi could hop up this recipe a bit.... after all, the Japanese are trying to make their money mostly off of Americans.)

1/1/19 Had again and largely stand behind the previous review. But either this yeast is no match for the Belgians or this bottle is past its prime. (Or it might be the malted rice treats my palate like an adjunct.) While I really like the orangish amber tone of Kiuchi's saison, I have a couple of dozen other saisons I would re-try again before I go back to Kiuchi's a third time. Nice effort; but based on Du Japon, they have far to go before this saison is as world class as their cars.

10/2/20 Had a third time. Edited the review; but only increased my OA rating because I like how Kiuchi persists in seeking excellence in this hard-to-learn brewing tradition. I am keeping count and commentary over at UnTappd.

May 22, 2017
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DJ-Hophead from England

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

330 ml bottle, M and S, Bristol - Pours cloudy golden with a thin white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma- strong forefront of ripened orchard fruits - apples, pears, light bready background. Taste - Sweet, light tart, ripened orchard fruits - apple,pear, yeasty/bready feel, light, malty, bitter finish. Nice full fronted saison.

Feb 21, 2017
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazed golden orange with a ring of white head and non lace. Smell is fruity, bright citrus, pear and lemon, yeasty with a light spice as well as a bit of underlying funk. Taste is citrusy, spicy, pear and fruity, green apple and lemon, light acidity, yeasty flavours into the finish with a light sweetness on the back end as well, Medium-high carbonation, spritzy medium body. Pretty nice, enjoyable and worth trying.

Dec 23, 2016
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Apr 22 2017 and served barely chilled. Listed at 6%.

Pours a translucent golden colour, topped with a generous layer of head several fingers high. It wilts steadily over the next five minutes or so, leaving behind many messy swathes of lace as it descends; a bubbly, foamy cap and collar survive afterwards. A gorgeous beer, with enticing notes of lemony-lime citrus and orange peel on the nose. Musty yeast, grains and straw, with floral notes, nectar sweetness and kiwi.

Good stuff; no immediate complaints come to mind with the first sip (or any of the following sips, for that matter). Grainy pale malts and rice cracker flavours are swiftly swept aside by the citrusy notes that follow, courtesy of the yuzu fruit. Lemon zest and orange peel mingle with yeasty flavours of overripe pear and peppery clove spice in the latter half, finishing with some earthy hops and subtle orchard fruitiness over top of the fading spiciness. Light-medium in body, with firm carbonation that prickles and zips across the tongue with each sip. Extremely drinkable, and quite approachable - better than average for sure. One of those beers that I'd recommend to pretty much any beer geek - I don't necessarily guarantee that you'll be blown away by it, but you'll more than likely enjoy the glass.

Final Grade: 4.1, an A-. Kiuchi Brewery's Saison du Japon is a yummy little take on one of my favourite Belgian styles. An ideal patio/backyard beer - very refreshing, with a lively texture and good, clean, crisp flavours of the sort that I'd expect from a citrus-infused saison. At $4.25/330 mL, it's kinda pricey - and, while good, it's not necessarily amazing value. Still, I'll probably buy a few bottles more, just to encourage the LCBO to put more Japanese craft brews on the shelves in the future.

Oct 13, 2016
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light orange with a big foamy cap with great retention. The nose is fruity, with cookie dough maltiness and some pineapple acidity. Peppery, spicy notes in the taste. Orange and ginger notes and a bit of floral, woody hops as well. The mouthfeel is light with a nearly prickly carbonation. Dry, fruity finish.

This is a very nice Saison. Complex and quenching. Perhaps a bit less dry than is usual, with a noticeable ginger flavor - not sure if this has to do with the fermented rice it contains. Highly recommended.

Oct 13, 2016
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for $4 CDN from the LCBO. Label reads 5.0% ABV however there is also a marker indicating 6.0% ABV.

Appearance - cloudy rich golden color with a finger and change of long lasting white head. Medium amount of spidery lacing and modest retention. Too cloudy to tell carbonation levels.

Smell - yeasty with some orange , coriander and lemon with some barnyard funk. Nothing out there just about right for the style.

Taste - not too different than the nose, just a well made example of the style. A little more lemon and orange here than in many saisons.

Mouthfeel - rich and fairly full bodied, with enough carbonation and a drying finish.

Overall - while not the best saison, Saison Du Japon is a well made and easy to drink representative of the style. Worth a try if you're looking t tick a saison from east Asia.

Oct 04, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

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

On tap at Tavernakaya in Madison, Wisconsin. Served in a snifter glass. Body is lighter golden body, straw-yellow hue, one finger white head, short retention. Smells of wheat, touch of pepper, earth, light bread, a bit of sulfuric minerality. Flavour is a bit sweeter than the nose, less of the earth. Cereal grain, wheat, peppercorn. At the same time, a more of a yeast minerality, not quite Belgian but somewhat similar adds a bit more complexity. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, refreshing, easy to drink. Enjoyable saison, nothing too special but a nice one to have with some Izakaya-type food.

Jul 10, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/25/2016 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a flute glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wheat, caramelized malts, rice, some citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of caramelized malts and wheat. Then some mild sweetness comes in from flavors of bananas and caramel along with a touch of tartness. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good variation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

Jun 25, 2016
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EmperorBevis from England

4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly clouded yellow body with wispy white head
Aroma of white wine vinegar and pears
Flavour is very similar with some aspirin notes
Great mouthfeel and carbonation
Really good saison

Jun 16, 2016
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MFMB from Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep golden straw color, a bit cloudy. Nice lacing head. On the nose I get yeast and light citrus, lemon and orange. Taste of classic Belgian yeasts, earthy malts and citrus with a bit of spice and little in the way of funk. I love funk but this beer works with minimal to no funk. Medium body to lighter mouthfeel. Decent saison for what it is.

Jun 05, 2016
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kitschiguy from Hong Kong

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a 330ml bottle into 350ml beer glass.

Pours a cloudy, light brown with a good fluffy head that retained fairly well and left Some lacing. Looks great.

Nose is yeasty with notes of orange, white pepper and a hint of other citrus.

Palate is earthy with some orange, lemon and spice. Finish is drying slightly and a little sticky. Light to medium bodied and well-balanced.

Mouth-feel is good.

I'm fairly inexperienced in the style but I enjoyed this. It's well-balanced, fairly light and refreshing. You could session on it if that's your style.


May 18, 2016
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours cloudy orange with a white head.

Aromas: It has citrus aromas that are highlighted by orange notes. There are also some spice aromas with hints of lemon and peppery notes.

Taste: It has high carbonation with flavors of citrus, orange, spices, peppery notes, and a low tart sourness.

Feel: IT has a mostly dry finish.

Overall: It is a highly carbonated, fruity and slightly tart brew.

Feb 07, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

on tap at bull and bush, who has really stepped up their guest draft game. an interesting take on saison here, less wheaty than expected, more rice influence in the grain bill, and it has a bit more of a copper or amber color to it than then pale hazy saisons we are used to here. great clarity and a tall white head. looks nothing like a saison. smells good though, slightly sweet, more belgian yeasty than saison, with a lot of fruity esters going on and a mild grassy profile. i dont get much farm or funk to this, less wild and yeast driven than i thought and hoped it would be, really this one is about the grain. the rice is a cool influence, starchy and adding some body. carbonation is good, and the extra body is nice, but this just isnt as distinct and saison-esque as i had hoped. still, the quality is high, and all the beers ive had from these guys have been well made. this might be a nice base to see some brett, a wine barrel, or a sake yeast pitch or something to make it a little more interesting...

Jan 03, 2016
Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 98 ratings