Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 445
Photo of soulgrowl
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
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!

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Photo of sleepingbear
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
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 +23.2%
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?

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Photo of Jredner
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
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.

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Photo of oracle
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Photo of clvand0
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of IDontBelieveYou
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of johndakar
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice thick two fingered head thee diminishes quickly but still lasts afterward. Thee beer itself is a nice hazy reddish orange.

Smell: Strong malts with a hint cedar and slightly hoppy but overshadowed by the cedar when warm but strong hops and malts when cold.

Taste: Strong cedar and caramel malts as the ale gets warmer but the hops are dominant when it's cold.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and creamy feel.

Overall: A pretty good beer from Hitachino and even better when drunk during a hot day. I definitely recommend this beer to anyone interested in a break from hopped up IPAs that most people seem to prefer.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: what an IPA should look like; hazy, orange/honey color, with a frothy, sticky white head about 2 - 2.5 fingers thick; head retention is rocky and lasting, with sticky lacing lasting throughout

S: hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so; a great bitter, fresh aroma from the hops; also, an earthy, woody smell from the cedar casks; a great, forest-fresh smell

T: the hops are definitely present, but muted somewhat by the sweet, smokey flavor of cedar wood casks; tastes really complex and delicious

M: creamier than I expected; medium body, smooth, and soft on the tongue

O: really smooth and flavorful; exhibits the qualities of a traditional IPA, with a nice twist from the cedar

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to merlin48 and clvand0 for this beer making its way to my home. This head pours about 4 fingers with 2 fingers of beer underneath it. Lets hope ther retention is not so good...but this doesn't look like it will happen. After letting it sit, the head falls to reveal beer underneath it! The nose is actually really awesome. There is nothing but cedar in there. It smells a lot like the soda Squirt, wtih some citrus notes, but some real peppery grapefruit, but not like grapefruit from hops. Damn. I like it, but I don't know why. The flavor is full on wood and black pepper, maybe some ginger. The finish is really dry, leaving my throat wanting some moisture. Wow. I like this beer. The feel is pretty thick as well, letting me know I'm drinking a nice beer. Drinkability is good on this one as well. What a strange beer, but what a good beer. I sure hope I can find this one again. Nice nice beer.

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Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another great one from kiuchi!!! glowing burnt orange with a slight haze and a cream colored head that has decent retention and lace. cedar hits my nose first, with a grassy lemon herbal tea hop behind itand a sweetness in the back that is 2/3 malt and 1/3 cedar wood. the sweetness reminds me of sticky rice or rice pudding made with brown rice wrapped around those sugary chalky funsticks dippers from childhood. slightly sweetened woody herbal tea with lemon emds up being the taste to me. kind of complex, and very well balanced. like voltron. a bunch of very unique seperate parts that all have their own personalities, but end up uniting to make one bad ass vessel. very good medium body with a near perfect carbonation level for an ipa. soft and silky. minor and very pleasant bitterness. flavors dance and linger nicely, producing a nice long finish. cedar is very pleasant, and a nice change from oak aged beers. still smoky, but not heavy. like beautiful, delicate, oriental cedar incense. more please.

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Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copper amber, clear, medium head, medium carbonation

Smell: notes of pear, pineapple, and wood jump out

Taste: pear, pineapple, wood, sweet fruit--maybe lychee, malt

Mouthfeel: very balanced--parts sweet--parts sour--very smooth

Drinkability: I have never tasted another beer quite like this one. To say it is complex in aroma and taste is an understatement. This one grew on me as I tasted it and could have several..I think this is a must beer if not just for its uniqueness.

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Photo of Auraan
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous fully cloudy amber with a thin white head that leaves some lacing. It looks like gorgeous, natural, earthy unfiltered apple juice. Just looking at it makes me want to drink it. Scents of caramel, earthy, herbal hops, earthy yeast, grape, slight citrus aromas in the background and faint undercurrents of cedar. A very nice, earthy, sweet, fruity aroma profile, different from a lot of IPAs, even English style IPAs, that I've had. Its pleasant and inviting. Taste begins sweet with caramel, moving into some nice herbal hops and a tea-like flavor. Throughout there is a nice musky, earthy, yeasty presence that compliments the herbal and tea flavors of the hops wonderfully. There are also slight undercurrents of cedar in the background throughout the sip and some light citrus peel bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste is mildly bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. A good, earthy, sweet, balanced flavor that avoids being both too sweet and too bitter. Very well executed. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and with low carbonation. It feels like a good, classic style ale should. Quite nice. Overall this is a very good take on an English IPA. It's balanced and malty, but with a good underlying bitterness and an aroma that is flat out amazing. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of seand
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy amber with a fair amount of off white head. The foam thins out but doesn't completely dissipate, leaving a solid if thin surface layer and nice lacing.

S: Sweet English IPA with some noticeable complexity. Nothing in particular jumps out, but the blend is quite pleasant. It's a subtle but significant difference from a standard beer of the style.

T: Light sweetness, light bitter IPA notes, mild pleasant grain. Like the aroma, this is good, and a little different, but still close to the style.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Well suited to the style.

Overall, I really like this. It would probably be a go-to beer if I could find it easily and at a reasonable price. It's a beer-y beer, without any crazy flavors, with enough complexity to keep me interested.

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Photo of GinaBeerInc
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Hazy, deep golden body. Frothy, off-white head. Aroma of toasted malt, cookie and bread, floral hops and earthiness. Noes of orange and honey. The flavor is lightly to moderately sweet and lightly bitter. It finishes lightly sweet and moderately bitter. Medium body, creamy texture, average carbonation. Sweetness and bitterness are nicely proportioned for an IPA. A softer presentation than American IPAs, especially in the mouthfeel which is less carbonated and less crisp. Very good.

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Photo of ADZA
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive been hanging out to try this brew ever since my favourite bottleshop Cellarbrations Carlisle said they were getting their hands on some,it pours a nice orange,copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves a one finger creamy head and some decent lacing here and there,the aroma is really different and nice aswell at the same time it has hints of pineapple,apple,bubblegum and cedar definately makes itself well known,it has a nice easy mouthfeel which is very sessionable and has tastes of apple,peach,piney hops and of course Cedar,to be quite honest i know this is a Japenese version of an English IPA but its definately up there with the best of the English IPA's in my catergory and i highly recommend.

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Photo of mortarit
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Someone at the store suggested this because he saw that was sampling beers. He pointed out that this one was cedar aged.

It does resemble an English style head from looking at it. I haven't tasted it yet.

Orange-Brownish in color, cloudy
If you look closely you can tell that it has partials floating around so I guess thats from the barrels.

Now the taste, Ol man that was pretty darn good for the first taste. I typically don't like English styles. But this might be an acceptation to the rule.

It smooth but has that hop texture like the American style. Thats really why I don't favor English styles because of the mellow texture.

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber hue with a two-finger head into my fluted glass that leaves some lacing on the edges.

Aroma is full of floral hops with a hint of malt underneath. Very nice aroma here that seems fit for the style.

Taste is full of grassy hops with a hint of sweet, biscuity malt underneath that gives a bit of balance to this beer.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering biscuit malt and grassy hop flavors. Carbonation feels right. Beer goes down really well with no harsh aftertaste.

Very nice example of the style that gets a Japanese take. This is actually more drinkable than a few other examples I've had. Well done.

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Photo of eewhiz
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must admit, I was pretty skeptical of finding a decent beer here. I found this beer in a gourmet food store in singles, it looked interesting, so I gave it a try (I was out-of-state).

The beer poured a cloudy burnt orange color, and I poured down the center of the glass, and got way too much head. The head was also a tannish orange color. As I poured the rest I was a bit more careful, still quite a heady beer.

The aroma was nice, certainly hints of some cedar (label stated aged in Cedar casks). The taste was unique, it had a IPA hoppy flavor, and the strong cedar accents actually went well with the hops. The finish was clean and too a point slightly sweet. The lacing was big, persistent and heavy around the glass.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and was pleasantly surprised.
I have never heard of Kiuchi Brewing, now I am on a quest to find more.

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Photo of JBogan
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color with a creamy one finger head which stayed around for the duration and left good lacing. Good looking beer.

Smelled of malt and some nuts.

Tasted as it smelled, along with some wood overtones. Not super complex, but quite delicious.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and creamy.

This was a very drinkable beer, and would be more so if it wasn't so darned expensive (almost $5 for an 11 oz bottle). All in all I really enjoyed it other than the price.

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Photo of pootz
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a hazy amber color with a, rich sticky firm head that lasts and laces. .

Pungent earthy kent hop and cedar aroma over substantial cara malts. Moderately sweet with big marris otter malting....medium bodied

Densely malty and well balanced with kent goldings and a unique woody cedar character. Fruity, mellow and elegantly boosy with pine-resinous bitter finish.

A great rendition of a UK IPA with mind melting innovations that make it so damn tasty, rounded, mellow and drinkable. If this were available all the time It would be my go-to IPA

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Photo of kenito799
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Medium peachy-amber raises a 1/2 inch ivory head that recedes and leaves some lacing that slowly slides down the sides of the glass. Emptying the bottle dumps some gobs of yeast which settle to the bottom. Looks nice.

Aroma is malty with a crisp cool subtly woodsy scent mixed in...very refreshing scent.

It has been a while since I first tasted this on draft, and I remember the cedar coming across stronger then...I really like this bottle sample, probably as much as the draft sample, although I will definitely try that again if the opportunity ever presents itself.

This is a mild, malty beer, some sweetness that is perfectly balanced by the minty, woodsy cedar flavor that you taste at first sip all the way through to the finish. Well-blanaced hoppy bitterness starts in the midpalate and carries through to the finish, never overwhelming, and the cedar flavor takes center stage.

This is a unique and delicious beer, count me as a huge fan!

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Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 445 ratings.
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