Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Naerhu on 10-12-2003

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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 171
Photo of horndecker
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved the 2004.
The 2005 pours out a light red oaky copper haze. A generous off-white head appears, with fine carbonation which fades slowly, leaving decent lace.
The nose is spicy and citric at first, with sweet roasted malt, leather, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The flavor has a tart start, hops folow, then round biscuity malt, and the bitterness returns at the end. Vanilla appears in the nose and the mouth after a bit. The mouthfeel is super creamy and luscious. The hops hits the back of your throat at the finish, along with the first suggestion of the high alcohol. Nice balance. Complex but organized. Really nice.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is just one of my favorites. I found some bottles at Hi-Times.

The appearance is a slight hazy orange mohogany color with a big solid 3 fingers of head that lasts. The scent is plums, currants, caramel and i detected some nutmeg. Just good solid deep rich scents.

My tongue was just blessed with flavors of Sees Candy toffee, bergamont on a balanced spiced backbone. Complex and just flavorful. The flavors just penetrate your taste buds and leave rich deep goodness. I highly reccommend this brew. It's very effervescent and was made to grace our mouths.

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Photo of beersarang
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage, Consumed in Japan on premises.

Pours a slightly cloudy peach with a tanish head that leaves sticky lace all over. Syrupy and alcoholic looking when it runs down the side of the glass.

Aroma is slightly indicitive of spices and the orange peel, the alcohol also comes through.

Nice caramel sweetness upfront and a generous dose of hop bittering that finally gives way once again to the alcohol and sweetness. The exhale is sweet with hints of the spices. This beer is an interesting example of the winter warmer style and I feel that they nailed it with the amount of spicing and the higher alcohol.

Very well done, and I imagine that the trip abroad does hurt this beer a little bit.

The folks at Kiuchi can pride themselves in the fact that they make what is most likely the best beer in Japan.

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4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid auburn color, beneath a thin, cream-toned layer of froth.

Aroma is sweet and sour, cherries and cognac, rich, leathery, spicy, ...deep and almost magical...

Bold and brash once past the lips, full of flavor. Sweet, but terrifically balance, and utterly uniquely tasting. Tangerines and orange rind, lemon and apple, cherries and grape, blended with who knows what spice or herb, and a bracing bracket of booze. A mix of fruit and spice that hits certain notes I never find in any other beers. Maybe some English old ales come closest, but this goes somewhere else.

Bottle is too small, however. A mere 11.2 ounces of an ale as perplexing and bewitching as this is not enough.

Full-bodied, and fantastic. I will waste no more words. Find it, if you can, and enjoy.

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Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05 Celebration

This pours a nice amber color with a 2 finger head. It has a wonderful aroma full of spices: vanilla, nutmeg, quite dessert-like. Taste is well-balanced - woody malt backbone, some caramel and the above spices evident. I was surprised to see the bottle say 9% ABV, it s seemed extremely light in that regard. The mouth was nice - a slight creaminess, very little warmth.

I could sit down with a few of these, the high ABV is very well hidden. The only problem is that at $5 a pop for 11.2 ounces - this Celebration serves for special occasions.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. Equal parts red, orange and bronze with a small numbers of fine particulates and a large number of furiously uprushing bubbles. The head would make some of the most explosive Belgian beers proud. It's golden light caramel in color and, unfortunately, has that airy softness that doesn't leave much of a lace signature on the glass. I love the look though, mostly due to the color of the beer and the majestic nature of the foamy crown.

I've been enjoying the nose ever since the pour even though my nose was nowhere near the glass. This one is aromatic with a capital 'A'. Good thing it smells great. It's toffee sweet, spicy and fruity, just like Christmas dessert in a glass. It's also sour and a bit woody, but in a good way. Unique, complex, outstanding.

If I didn't know any better, I'd have bet my beer stash that Celebration Ale hails from Belgium. The shape and depth of the flavor footprint and the degree of powerful complexity that are on display with each sip scream Belgian Strong Dark Ale. There's no doubt that my fondness for this beer is directly related to the list of flavor additives (orange peel, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla bean) each of which I absolutely love.

The best features of the 'spice bill' are that it isn't overpowering (I'm sure that some will disagree with me on that point) and the fact that the various flavors work so well together without one being dominant. I might have cut back a tad on the cinnamon, but that's just me. Sweet, sour and bitter are all present and accounted for, especially the first two.

I'm amazed at how complex this beer is. I've never tasted anything quite like it and I continue to be endlessly fascinated at the ever-changing constellation of flavors as I drink. Sticky toffee mixed with sour apple flecked with cedar shavings? Toasted brown bread slathered with bitter orange marmalade sprinkled with nutmeg and clove? Cinnamon-spiced peaches covered in caramel and macerated in vanilla liqueur? I could go on and on and on.

As in the best BSDAs, alcohol is noticeable on the palate while being a valued contributor to the flavor profile. It tastes and drinks every bit of the 9% ABV and I wouldn't change a thing about the way that the alcohol interacts with the rest of the beer as a whole. Sipping allows one to (attempt to) appreciate the innumerable flavor elements while permitting the warmth of the alcohol to seep in gradually.

The body/mouthfeel holds up its end of the bargain quite nicely. It's definitely full without being heavy or sticky. The still generous amount of carbonation provides a certain levity and keeps the tongue scrubbed cleaner than it would be otherwise. The beer is lush and lightly silky in the mouth as opposed to being viscous or syrupy.

Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale is wonderful beer. I had some doubts about how this 2004 iteration has held up over the nearly 3 years since bottling, but I needn't have. I'm happy to report that it's outstanding at the moment and will likely last for a while longer. This is far and away my favorite Kiuchi beer and I'll be sure to buy every bottle that I can lay my hands on if I'm lucky enough to run across it again.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Maybe I'm dwelling on it too much, but when I think of Japanese beer, I can't get the notion of light lagers out of my head. Maybe Asahi and Kirin weren't the best two ways to introduce myself to this country's offerings, but Celebration 2004 dispelled these stereotypes.

The good news is, you can pull Celebration out of the fridge, cold as the living daylights, and by the time you finish pouring the bastard, it'll be at the perfect drinking temp. It took upwards of ten minutes to get the last drops into the glass because the head overstayed its welcome... just like an asshole uncle.

The body is a cloudy amber with a little sediment at the bottom, and the head was large and beige. Think of it as Andre the Giant sitting atop the Ultimate Warrior.

The taste is truly delightful. It's thick and sugary with a subdued bitterness. The spice contingent almost tastes apple-like and citrusy at the same time. I've always held that thick and sweet beers get tiresome all too easy, but there's enough carbonation in this to cut the weight on the palate.

This stuff is really awesome. I would say it belongs in Dogfish Head's repertoire, but that's not fair to Hitachino. I gotta try their other stuff. To the beer store, Fatman!

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Photo of cubedbee
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml 2005 bottle. Pours a murky glowing amber, finger of off-white head that fades fairly quick, little lacing. Nose is a slightly soure fruitiness, remiscent of cherries and peach, piney hops, some muddled spices, and a slight doughy malt, very interesting. Taste starts with a nice cookie-like malt, some light citrusy fruit, and a lnice spicey/peppery/hoppy finish. This is a really nice and complex take on the style, more fruitiness than any other warmer I've had, but it really melds nicely with the spices. And absolutely no hint of the alcohol. Medium/full bodied with a medium carbonation and a very smooth feel. This is my first beer from Hitachino and it's really a wonderful first exposure to a good Japanese brewer. I will be drinking more from them in the future.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Explodes out of bottle filling mug with foam took forever to pour but off-white head vanishes without a trace. Cloudy amber color with yeast at bottom of bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Strong spicy plum nose. Starts sweet almost cloying, spicy toffee flavor balanced finish. High ABV is not noticeable. $3.99 for 2004 330ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great hybrid between Asia and Belgium, at least I thought I tasted Belgian notes. Pours a nice amber with decent head into very good lacing.

My wife mentioned it smelled like quince, which is a spice. Asian spices in the taste are wonderful. Man, do I want to get this with some Asian food. Mouthfeel seemed smooth, but when I paid particular attention to it, less so. Still good though.

Drinkable? I can feel the alcohol in this, but those spices are pleasant and not overdone. Wonderful.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crimson/amber color with a big, billowy, large bubbled head. Looks great!
Smells of sweet malt, orange, coriander, vanilla and baking spices.
Upfront tastes of rich sweet malt, brown sugar and orange peel. Nice mild tartness in the middle and vanilla and spices in the finish.
This got a bit more complex as it warmed and took on the flavor of rum raisin ice cream. The cinnamon came out a lot more as did the alcohol and lightly warmed the stomach.
Medium to full bodied with a rich tangy mouthfeel.
Good beer for dessert but to rich and spicy to drink a lot of.
Glad I picked this up, it really surprised me. Great beer.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is huge. Creamy tan, flat top, fine and slow, leaving swoops and spots of lacing. The beer is a gorgeous ambery-ruby and quite clear until the last pour, which turns it hazy and leaves a few floaties. A sweet, tangy nose gives up nutmeg, grapes, a little overripe fruit, some cream and hops. Sweet and bitter fruit in the caramel, yeasty front. Some light chocolate and liqueur with nice, sour fruit in the middle. The finish is quite bitter, with grapefruit, cherries and more nutmeg. This is very, very good. Fantastic fruit-hop, sweet-bitter balance.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a vintage 2007 had in nov '10

wow. completely textbook perfect with an edge of something nice and delectably warm, carbonated, malty, and spiced. pour is a cloudy dark amber with a very ample head about 3 fingers.. nose of orangepeel, clove and coriander, some burnt and toasty and a nice thick blanket of esters and toasty malt. the palate gave way to something fantastic of a blend of all those qualities. nice and toasted sesame seeds, clove rich, candied orangepeel and a backbone of bit-o-honey and chocolate. it tastes like liquid fruit cake. every aspect of a winter warmer spot on.

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Photo of danadeny
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this 2004 bottle in the back of my beer fridge. Solid amber brown body with sediment swimming around. Very cool. The head is billowing, frothy like on a cappuccino, off white with the sediment from the bottle getting caught in the head, the head acts like a filter catching the particles. The effect looks like cinnamon has been sprinkled on top. Surprisingly the smell is tart, slightly vinegary, almost Flemish red like. A little green apple sent and caramel malt. No hops. After a few sips I get a smoky coffee sent too. The taste has a surprising hop presence and a great chocolate / coffee aftertaste. Very complex. The alcohol and malt mix very well on the front, creating that classic caramel and roasted malt flavor. The balance is good, the hops are a bit stronger in flavor but the alcohol keeps them in check with a solid bite, again, very complex. The mouthfeel is great, very light and carbonated so it evaporates on the tongue, with those hop oils keeping the mouth feel slick and oily. For a 9%-er the alcohol is present, actually adding to balance the beer, but just that, the beer is balanced so drinkability I would assume is how many 9%-er's can you handle in one night?

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Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown color with a huge head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very good for the style. Lots of dark fruits (raisins, plums) and alcohol and some sweetness - very intense aromas. The flavor is not what I expected. Much thicker than expected. The dark fruits are very prominent, but they are melded with some dark malts, possibly some chocolate malt. Very well blended. The alcohol is there only with its warming character toward the end. Very nice flavor. The mouthfeel is borderline thick and the drinkability is very good for the high alcohol.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale 2004 pours a deep red brown with a huge, thick head that stands tall above the beer for a long time. Nose has some spice (cinnamon and clove) and a little bit of malt. Taste is slightly sour (orange peel?), with some savory (as opposed to sweet) elements and some notes of wheat. Bitter finish. Very bubbly mouthfeel - almost champagne-like. Very drinkable - I would have guessed around 7% if someone had asked me - not the 9% that is actually hiding there. An excellent brew.

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Photo of rallison
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Vintage.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a huge 3 finger off-white head that takes some time to settle down.

Smells of toffee and spices. Maybe some dates.

Tastes nice. Lots of toffee has developed here, but with a nice level of spiciness. Dates. Notes of cognac like flavors.

Mouthfeel is initially a bit over carbonated, but relatively quickly settles to a nice richness. I like the mouthfeel here - it really helps to make this a nice sipping beer.

Drinkability is good on this.

Recommended. The 3 years of aging have done very interesting things to this beer - spices have mellowed a touch, and the toffee has really developed and given this more of a sipping backbone. I like this. I would've loved to have this and a fresh bottle directly side by side.


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Photo of VWBuggirl
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank a bottle of the 2009 Commemorative Ale.

Wow! Upon opening this bottle, I made a huge mess because it just started gushing. I didn't do anything that would make it do that, so I don't know. There was a ton of foam too! About three fingers worth.

It is a dark orange/red color. More orange than red. You can't see through the liquid, as it is very murky.

It smells great. I get hints of orange and cinnamon without being terribly sweet.

I anticipated a highly carbonated beverage due to the near explosion when I opened the bottle and I wasn't let down. I will say that it wasn't a bad thing and I definitely enjoyed it.

It tastes as it smells. I don't usually enjoy darker beers, but this was fantastic! I would definitely buy it again and I think it is a good step into the darker beers.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted twice with consistent results:

Massive tan head, opaque red amber color body. Crazy big head and lace down to the bottom.

Big huge piney-medicinal hoppy, aroma, buttery, slight caramel nose and home baked bread aroma.

Stiff moderate bitterness. Honey thick beer. perfumy delicious.

From some English Distributor:
New Year Celebration Ale 2004 Notes:
Malt Pale, Munich, Wheat, Crystal, Chocolate

Hop Styrian Goldings, Hallertauer, Tettnang, Saaz

Adjuncts Orange Peel, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla

Color Amber

Flavor Full bodied beer with sweet wheat flavor and
beautiful dense foam top. It has a pleasant bitterness and
unique spicy aroma with Orange Peel, Coriander, Nutmeg,
Cinnamon, and Vanilla Beans. Complex yet soothing.

Alc/vol. 10.0% Original Gravity: 1.083 EBC: 35.9 IBU: 26
Format 24 * 11.2oz bottles, 30L, & 50L Kegs

Hitachino Nestbeer New Year Celebration Ale 2004 is brewed
in the tradition of a true Eisbock where the brew is
concentrated by allowing the water to freeze {but not the

After the mashingof five different malts {Pale, Munich,
Crystal, Chocolate , and wheat} four differing types of hops
are added in the brewkettle for bitterness & aroma {Styrian
Goldings, Hallertauer, Tettnang, Saaz} . Five different
spices complete the New Year Celebration Ale recipe
{coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla beans}.

After a freezing period of three days at 24F {= -4C} the
frozen water & protein are removed. The bottle conditioning
will then ring in a six month maturation time in the bottle.
Silky mouth feel, long lasting flavor.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
This is a bottle of the 2006 beer.
A- This beer pours a very hazy orangish-mahogany brown with gentle carbonation of micro-bubbles. The head is a thick creamy light tan with a red hue.

S- This beer smells of slightly sweet lightly toasted malt with a fain aroma of spices. The spices are not strong enough to pick out each one but adds a very warm unique depth to the malt.

T- This beer has a light soft flavor of lightly toasted malt with a slight sweetness. The sweetness taste of orange and soft spices. Like the smell the taste of the spices just enhances the malt and doesn't stand out on its own. The finish is a very soft vanilla note that compliments the malt but no alcohol taste. There is a nice soft bitterness in the hops at the finish. As it warms the notes of coriander starts to come though in the orange peel note which is ver y pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel, with a creamy texture.

D- This is a wonderful winter warmer. It has nice spice that really just enhance the malt qualities and they don't need to stick out on their own. In Japanese cooking, there are a lot of very subtle flavors that still add lots of complex. This beer really takes on that idea of "less is more" in the same regard.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3.99 11.2oz bottle.

Super cool label on this beer with a true japanese influence. This beer pours out a wicked fluffy white head into my duvel tulip. The body is a very cloudy brown leather with an orange backbone. The smell is like a kick in the face full of super sweet malt. The taste is like a sweet molasses burst in your mouth. I can pick up the burnt orange and cinnamon in this beer. The heavy lacing stuck around until the end. This one has a dangerous, well hidden, abv in it. Excellent beer and I am excited to try others from this brewery. Hail to the land of the rising sun!

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Photo of steorn
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale pours a beautiful dark amber with a full off white head.Lovely to look at. The nose is citrus and spice, nutmeg?,candy sweet, intriguing.
Sparkly mouthfeel. The 9.0 is evident here but not in a negative way.Im getting a cinnamon-like flavor at first,then the citrus-spice promised by the nose kicks in.I cant pick out all of the flavors but they all seem to be speaking in unison and its reaaaly nice! As this beer warms I warm even more to it.The head remains atop this top notch ale throughout.
It IS a real celebration as Kiuchi brewery continues to win me over.

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Photo of jakester
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. No daate on the label, but with this one, it doesn't really matter. I had no idea the Japanese made beer like this. Wonderful! I drank this in a pilsner glass.

Pours a very hazy amber with a two finger head of yellowish-white foam. Drops to a coating, with very good lacing. I poured the dregs from the bottom of the bottle into my glass, and I'm not sure I should have done that. Didn't affect the flavor much, I don't think.

A huge, spicy, malty aroma hits your nose as soon as you pop off the cap. There is definitely some orange peel and coriander in there also. Maybe black pepper. As it warms you can pick up alcohol.

Flavor is fairly crisp, clean caramel-like malt, with a fine complimenting array of spices. Orange peel, coriander, pepper, nutmeg can all be detected. Label says vanilla bean is in there, but I can't pick it up. The flavors seem to work very well together. Alcohol strength is very well masked by the other flavors. Aftertaste is long and spicy, with some residual sugar showing through.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with a soft carbonation bite. After a while, you start to pick up alcohol warmth. Finish is sweet, creamy heat.

This beer is very interesting from start to finish. Pleasant spices, strong alcohol, and a nice malt base. Not much in the way of hops, but well balanced, nonetheless. Recommended.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: After a very noisy bottle opening, I knew I would have to take care in pouring this beer. Even with a gentle pour I got a huge beige fluffy head atop a cloudy rust-colored liquid, with a bit of yeast dripping into the foam on the tail end of the pour. The head persisted throughout the long time I nursed this high ABV beer.

Smell: Loads of sweet caramel malt, obvious alcohol, and a bunch of spices - orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla

Taste: Lots of alcoholic warmth throughout - starts out with the sweet and flavorful caramel malt and the spices; the middle has that Belgian funkiness and then finishes with some hoppy bitterness and a return of the sweet malts - a whole lot going on in one sip

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a lot of fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: Terrific beer in so many ways but I would prefer just a touch less carbonation - but I feel that way about a number of Belgian style beers.

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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
4.04 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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