Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleHitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale
Very Good
456 Ratings
Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleHitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottum on 06-27-2004

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 456 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of JBoyne1970
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of bkoch81
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of TOJO12
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of splendidsplinter
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of soulgrowl
4.95/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very picturesque. Body is a glowing, translucent, rusty, peachy red-orange. I cannot express how amazing the head is; tall, firm, and the color of rich French vanilla ice cream... and it WILL NOT GO AWAY!

Smell: Wow, cedar. And lots of it. It smells like an old, wooden, Japanese ryokan, and I like it. Fresh, peppery (is that cilantro?), citric hops and sweet malts add fruity depth.

Taste: This is an exceptional beer, truly unique. I find it difficult to describe. It's quite hoppy, but still well-balanced. The cedar taste is there, but it isn't overwhelming. Finish is the best kind of dry, bitter along the sides of the tongue but still kind of sweet on the back of the palate. A touch of yeast comes through as well. All I can say is... wow.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, full-bodied. Quite nice.

Drinkability: Seeing as how this beer is quite nearly perfect, it is extremely drinkable. I had reservations about the price when I bought it ($10 a bomber), but nevermore. It is worth every penny.

Edit: Try this with a very old Cheddar or a smoked cheese and it will blow you away!

 1,108 characters

Photo of noblittjared
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of sleepingbear
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

複雑なビール !!

Well done aromatics of cedar swamps drying in kilns.

A 24.3 fl. oz. btl. that sat in my cellar upright and undisturbed for a year before it’s opening, I can not help but think that its undisturbed nature and correct temp and light levels helped it show its best.
Magnificent structure and balance.
Some weird bandage adhesive flavors that were mellowed by the cedar sake funk.
Awesome funk!
This was super funky and stanky.
Dank and funk permeate.
If they don’t get it that’s ok- more for the Magyar!

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Photo of Patrick999
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cap opens with a real nice "pfft." Wow, this pours into my Stone imperial pint glass with a massive 2-finger head! Damn, ridiculous lacing too. Freakin' ice-cream-cone head just like Houblon Chouffe; you're kidding me, right? Amber-gold pale ale body. If I'm judging a book by its cover, this one is perfect. This is a perfect 5 in looks, and I don't even have to think about it.

S - Wow! I was not expecting the cedar casks in which this was matured to come through like this. Very woody, in a light and pleasant manner, just as you'd expect from cedar. I note a lot of raisin-y sweetness beyond this, almost like a Dogfish Head big beer - I hope it isn't as sweet as it smells. It's almost starting to smell like ripe strawberries.

T - Hmmm, I do get a crazy suggestion of strawberries here, yet it isn't as sweet as I feared. What hops were used in this, I wonder???? Interesting astringent bitterness, a little soapy and pine-sap-ish. Still big on the strawberries - I haven't had strawberry flavor come through like this in a beer before, short of a big-assed barleywine. I've almost forgotten about the cedar - I love the light woodiness it imparts here. This beer is definitely something!

F - This beer has been damn near nailed. Medium body, the somewhat heavier feel makes it seem stronger than it is, yet this is still a very smooth beer that slides down the gullet with no problems.

D - I must get more. I had the Hitachino Nest Red Rice, and the White Ale, and was only mildly impressed...but this, this is excellent. At 7.5%, you are not going to pound this, but it is still very much enjoyable. My compliments to this Japanese brewer. How can this be this underrated?

 1,693 characters

Photo of JohnTurano
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jredner
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is strong with cedar notes and then very faint notes of caramel malt. Dark cloudy amber color with a firm and lasting thumb thick white head. Smooth caramel malt in the fore is quickly followed by spicy cedar notes that affect both sweeter Italian vanillin flavors as well as medium spiciness. The wood flavor is sharp and pervasive and adds an element I’ve not found in any other beer. There is a fair amount of hoppiness, but it melds together with the cider notes as they both touch on resiny and piney flavors thought there is no mistaking the cedar presence. This was a truly unique and rewarding suprise. Damn nice beer. Vastly underrated in my opinion.

 670 characters

Photo of GaretSilvey
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of oracle
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 oz half imperial pint served in the most unusual glass I've ever seen beer served in. The Hitachino glass is an opaque ivory with a molded owl on the front. Very cool looking, but I had to pour some into another glass to view the color.

the color was a medium copper, quite clear, but pretty typical. Nice large and very dense head topped off the glass.

Smell is one of the places where this beer truely stands out. I was afraid the cedar would just completely overwhelm this beer. Thankfully, rather than obliterating the quality of the beer underneath, it enhances the hoppiness with a light spicyness that is very nice.

Taste is very very good. Again the cedar seems to impart a spicy quality that floats above the hoppiness of the beer rather than compete with it. Very clean, smooth and very easy to drink. At 7% abv, I expected more of a strong alcohol flavor, but I didn't get too much of that.

Very very good and very drinkable. I find Hitachino beers can be very hit or miss. This one is a home run.

 1,023 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Merlin48 for this brew. What a treat. It pours an amber color with an enormous head that doesn't stay around too long and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma. Wow. Smells like somebody stuck a cedar tree up both nostrils. Unbelievably strong cedar aroma. The flavor was very woody and peppery. Has some nice citrus notes as well. This is a very odd beer. Very odd. Finish is really dry. Thick body. Cedar. Hmm. I like it a lot.

EDIT: I just noticed that it's 7%abv. Incredibly drinkable for that alcohol. Unreal, actually. I never noticed a bit of alcohol because of all the other weird stuff going on in this one.

 639 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bomber purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a pint glass.

Light, clear amber under two inches of white that shows very good retention and leaves webby rings and sheets of lace as it goes down.

Cedar wood, fruity hops that are a bit skunked at first but that quickly wafts away revealing some floral notes and a malty sweetness. Odd at first, but I like it.

I can taste the cedar and it is not unpleasant as it seems to bring out the juicy fruit flavors from the hops. Quite dry with a splash of malt sweetness and a lingering spice and wood finish. I'm quite surprised at how much I like this beer. The combination of cedar and fruity hop flavors sounds odd, but it really makes for a unique and refreshing beer. I'm giving this a rare 5 for taste!

The mouth is moderate upfront but dries towards the end. I like the transistion.

A very unique and pleasing beer. Well worth the $9 a bomber. I'm glad I went out on a limb for this one. You should do the same.

 997 characters

Photo of IDontBelieveYou
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When I tried to relate to people, and promote this beer, I never had to lie, yet I always had to be cheesy. "Would you like to drink the scent of a cigar box?" Honestly, I can't move beyond the cedar nose. And who doesn't love the mysterious scent of their father's cedar cigar box? This is also the only beer I've ever encountered with this flavor profile. So points for originality? And brilliantly, unlike a typical strange or experimental brew, it actually works and is elegant, and challenging. My personal favorite from Hitachino.

 536 characters

Photo of Sir_Goatman
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of johndakar
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red orange with a slightly tan head. Poured up a very nice thick head in a 22 oz. nonic glass. Decent head retention.
Smells like most Hitachino beers, ie a little musty/cardboardy from travel. A bit of the cedar from the casks comes through in the aroma.
Wow! I can totally taste the cedar casks this was aged in. I'm not getting the sake taste that I've found before in the Red Rice. Woody, almost pithy. I'm not sure if this is a desirable flavor, but it is damn interesting!
Finishes clean with a little residual bitterness. Closer to an American style Pale Ale than an IPA as far as perceptible bitterness goes. I guess that's what you get when you brew a hand me down recipe from the 1800s using readily available hops.

I'd almost say you could session this. I'll have to lay into a whole six pack next time I find it and try it out.

 853 characters

Photo of henryclay_
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of PhaseID
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Fruity with a rustic foliage follow through Appearance- A great clear copper color with a small head Taste- Malt with pears (?), has a slight hop feel at the end Palate- Medium bodied with a slick soft carbonation Overall-An excellent brew! The flavor builds with every sip and invites you to have more than one.

 364 characters

Photo of ironchefkook
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of ChuckS
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of shigg85
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 456 ratings