Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

very good
202 Ratings
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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 CHADMC3
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 edition

Pours a deep copper to amber body that lies buried beneath an off white, massively bubbled and foamy head that quickly dissipates leaving a loose lacing behind.

The rich spices waft from the glass and are highlighted by the nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and vanilla. As this beer has aged a couple of years at this point, it appears to contain some of the vinous qualities one may find in a barleywine. The abundant head also seems to arouse some yeast aromas.

The flavor is a bit different with vinous characters and dark fruit immediately hitting the palate followed by the cinnamon and nutmeg spices, and vanilla. This could be a product of the aging.

This warmer is medium to full in body with medium carbonation and a nice warming sensation towards the finish.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The flavors and character are very complex and different from most of the style and are extremely varied.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Candied spices are always a good choice during the holidays.

Pours a murky dirty off brown. A massive fluffy head with some puffy lace down the sides of the glass. Scents are strong. Heavy orange peel and coriander to start. Some wood notes and a milky nutmeg. Sweet and spicy.

The flavors are very spicy sweet. Holiday candied fruits are sweet. Some nutmeg, vanilla and cream help to balance the candied spices and fruits. There is a sweet and sour finish which is very nice. Excellently thought out flavors which reflect the holiday spirit.

This ale drinks pretty easy. Mouthfeel is robust. It really hits the palate. I could only drink one of these at a time because of the sweetness. It is very nice but it singes the mouth with a bit of a puckering feel.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange russet hued pour with plenty of suspended particles floating around topped off with a mountainous beige head cap that took about five minutes to settle. Lattice lace was already left before the first sip. 11.2 oz stubby browner.

Exceptionally bold scents of fresh oranges and spices of nutmeg and cinnamon. (Reminds me in the nose of local Barley Creek Super Hop.)

First swigs: Dark chocolate like malts in the forefront. Brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Biscuit malty chewy bready flavors make up most of the palate here. 9.0 % ABV is not at all detected until the end once warmed. Overall, loads of fresh oranges await at each turn spotted with alternative flavors of ginger spices, and yogurt like milkyness. Quite a complex brew with endless flavors.

Full bodied and thick with sediment. Quite a dessert like brew with an effervescent rolling carbonation.

Last swigs: Sip after sip of orange sherbert fresh ginger and coriander. Although an eisbock, this seems like a spiced ale actually. Thanks to PopeDX for this bottle.
Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is hazy copper with a good-sized, light brown head. The smell is spicy, with corriander and orange peels popping out. The taste is equally as spicy as the aroma. A peppery wood taste is joined by light touches of orange and other spices. A light sweetness is noted too, a combination of the cinnamon and nutmeg. The 9% ABV is not noted in the flavor at all. Different tastes hit every part of my tongue, each with different spices jumping out. Wow, this is very complex and interesting making it hard to adequately describe. Lots of respect to Kiuchi for making such an experimental brew.

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Photo of GinaBeerInc
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't know where to buy this, a friend gave me as a gift. After a gentle pour the amount of foamy head created was more than I expected but it finally calmed down to soft pillow of foam. The beer itself is a hazed brownish orange with very fine bubbles of carbonation. Flavor is settled and plain with a sweet malty base and touch of spice that sticks out enough to make for a decent holidays ale.

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Photo of kkipple
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of the Brick Store. 2008 version, labeled "Festive ale"

Pours into a tall wheat glass and behold! A fat, happy foamy frothy fizzy yellow head appears and proudly sits atop the hazy dense orange beer. The head falls in the center slowly, but what's this? Tons of supportive bubbles race from the bottom to reinforce the fading foam! It's a battle of epic proportions! Ugly and endearing and entertaining all at once.

Those crazy Japanese are up to something here... like most Hitachino Nest beers, the nose on this one is alarming in its weirdness, yet somehow manages to be charming. Flowers, Tripel-like pepper, honey, apricots, funky yeast, and... oak? Can't be. Wheat? Impossible. I just really don't know how to place this one. I do like it.

Tastes much like it smells, but a little spicier. Sweet malt, vanilla, coriander, orange and tart green apples and roses, very estery, a little boozy in the finish, that inexplicable H. Nest yeast again... it's all very interesting and, what do ya know, pretty drinkable for a 9% spiced Japanese winter beer.

The mouthfeel is super-happy foamy, fluffs up in your mouth and punishes those who take big gulps! Very memorable. Finishes dry with a sweet green apple taste.

I love this beer for its sheer weirdness and depth of character. Bizarre and delicious, this may be the best thing out of the gate for the Kiuchi crowd. In the words of a certain famous Japanese TV personality, it's a TOTAL SUCCESS!

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Photo of FMetzger
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was one of the best examples of a holiday spiced beer I have had. It was the 2007 version.

A: Great deep amber color. Head was light khaki, but lighting was bad. Probably lighter than what I could see.
S: Delicious. Caramel, malt, vanilla and spices I can't put my finger on. They were well matched and nothing too overwhelming.
T: Smooth sweet maltiness. The spices really come through, and the vanilla is not overpowering as it sometimes can be with other beers that use vanilla. A little goes a long way, and this beer has it in perfect harmony with the other spices. The alcohol is noticible, but does not interrupt the flavors.
M: Full, but not unpleasant. I am drinking this in April in Tucson, so winter is not here anymore, if it ever was. I would not drink this during the day, but the fullness is perfect for after dinner or as a nightcap.
D: The 9% is hidden fairly well. But it is a strong beer, so I think I would limit myself to one out of respect for my fellow man. My bottle was overcarbonated, maybe shaken in the case on the way home. So it took a while to pour and drink, but overall a very tasty beer.

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Photo of david18
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of JDavidRice
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a superb little holiday brew from the Kiuchi folks. Monolithic, glacier-sized head fades back to a thin film interspersed with little "bacterial colonies" of bubbles. Aroma flings itself off this brew and into your nose whether you try to catch it or not -- coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange dominate. Distinctly yeasty, the coriander, cinnamon, and alcohol lay overtop an orange rum cake base. Finishes with a bit of an unexpected bitterness -- pure, true, chewy-woody bitterness. I'm guess that as good as this is now, it'll be that much better at this time next year. Quite impressive.

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Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Boozecamel
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

found this at firewater's in atlantic city and had to try it. i'm glad that i did. it pours with an utterly monstrous much so that my non-aggressive pour resulted in slight head spillage onto the bar (oops). regardless, this brew looked great with it's massive head and amber-ish colour. there is a slight cloudy effect here as well. nice. smells quite nice, with spice dominating vanilla, fruit, hop, malt and what reminded me of the soba noodle smell from rogue's morimoto soba brew. again, quite nice. the taste is quiet similar to the smell, with some alcohol flavouring mixed in, though nothing offensive, just the right amount actually. body is a bit lighter than expected but welcome and refreshing nonetheless. very easy drinking for a 9.0 brew. didn't even realize it was so until i was about 3/4 of the way through. recommended.

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Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise to find this one stashed away in my cellar.
Appearance: Whoa! Better be careful with the pour on this one, it's a foam monster with half beer and half foam on the initial pour into a tulip glass. Body is a cloudy apricot color with an immense beige head that relaxes but never fades away. The pitted head eventually gives way to profuse sticky lace all over the glass.

Aroma: Deep and complex sweet malty notes are everywhere, with caramel, toffee, molasses, rum soaked figs and raisins, and spiced prunes. The spiced prunes lead into an array of spices that suggest orangerind, coriander, and black pepper. Quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium full to full bodied with highly charged carbonation.

Taste: Malty sweet, with dark fruits and spices. Maple syrup, toffee, caramel, overripe banana, rum drenched raisins and figs, and a prominent spicy component mingle together nicely. Bitter hops are dry and herbal, balancing the sweet maltiness well. Alcohol is apparent, but is folded into the malt, hop, and spice complexity very well. The fizzy carbonation seems to swirl all the flavors together in a very well fashioned manner. Sweet toffee malt, followed by bitter herbal hops comprise the finish.

Drinkability: Very impressive Eisbock from this always intriguing, Japanese brewery. This is one of their better offerings, and is really an adventure to enjoy and sort through all its nuances. Lots of complexity allows the high abv to sneak up on you, but this one is a lot of fun to enjoy.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly impossible to pour this without the head exploding all over the place. Under the gigantic mass is a reddish/golden brown liquid. Smell is of vanilla, lots of vanilla, and coriander, and a myriad of other celebration spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove?). Light body and not too sweet. Quite drinkable for 9%. Nice work Mr. Hitachino Owl.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby 11.2 oz brown bottle with a rather ornate label, it's murky brown with traces of orange. The head just explodes, even on a slow pour and leaves a 1 cm. layer on top of the glass to the end. The smell is just about sensory overload: spicy and hoppy. All the listed ingredients-coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, and vanilla beans-make their presence known in spades. It just smell like the holidays. All of that makes its way to the taste but the hop bitterness just knocks things out of whack slightly. It's nice, but it doesn't quite live up to the promise of the smell. It certainly doens't taste like a 9% beer. Happy New Year.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed the hell out of the 2004 so why not give the 05' a whirl. Well lets see here, a cloud of crimson orange for body color. Head is sizable and smoothly frothed and displaying a firm staying power. The cap color remains consistent of a dusty yellowed cream and the lacing adequately sticks in heavy strings and some dusty sheeting.

Aroma is soft of dry balsam, masonite, cardboard and even some wood glue. Did I just open my model airplane kit? Hints of phenolic pepper and corriander kinda creep through, but overall much softer and lighter then I was hoping.

Taste is down right nice though. Another complex and subtle play of soft spice, softer fruits, and layered wood. A fun interplay of dryish woody things bring out some soft pine and various craft woods. Fruits of a drying nature lurk around every corner, kinda like dried or baked grapes but not in a raisiny sense. There's a nice underseige of pepper and phenols that actually maintain a unique and very pleasant softness on the palete. Finishes with hintings to dried dates and figs, a slight touch of pineapple, dustings of cocoa and somekind of nuttyness, walnut maybe? And some pie crust and leftover powdering of wood dust.
Overall: softly and uniquely dry. I like it. Little fruity burbs too.

Feel is about medium with a very easy and soft palate of drying and smooth carbonation. Simple, delicate, and fairly well rounded within its drying character.

Not quite up to par with the 2004, which was a favorite of mine to have around til I couldn't find it anymore. But this is still a pretty nice little beer and wouldn't pass it up for nothin'.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Won in auction at the 1/29/04 Pop the Cap Winter Warmer event at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro, NC.

Large, pillowy beige head over a glowing, nearly opaque deep red-orange brew. Powerful aroma of spices from the minute I popped the cap--coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla beans, according to the label, and I was able to pick most of those out, with an additional bready, yeasty element. Strong carbonation and a head that just wouldn't quit. On the tongue, a tart bitterness kissed by hops fades into a semisweet, dry finish, with strong alcohol presence without, and a repeat appearance of the yeast and spices. Afterflavor is soft, sprinkled with maltiness. Pretty good stuff, definitely appropriate for special occasions.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper/amber color. Absolutely enormous head recedes slowly leaving massive gobs of thin lace on the glass.
Aroma is highly spiced. Most noticeable is cinnamon and nutmeg; also slight orange citrus, coriander and malt and yeast.
Flavor has a malty front, spicy and yeasty middle with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel on the finish. slight alcoholic mouthfeel on the finish. Beer is very alive in the mouth and highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice as an after dinner brew. solid one finger head that has fortitude and body. Dark tan color almost brown in the middle. smell some metallic but after the first drink it fades. Caramel was the dominant smell and taste. some burnt flavors but mostly sweet and the alcohol is well hidden. This brewery is outstanding and they seem to push the edge of their styles. I do think this brew is at its peak or close to it coming into 2006. I just wish they would ship their beers over in bigger sizes as the stubie to me is not the greatest for long distance.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Poured a slightly hazy orange brown with a tight-knit head that leaves some sticky lacing. Sweet bready aromas up front followed by some bright fruit and spicebox aromas. The taste is nicely balanced beetween spice, mixed fruit- including plums and pears, breadiness, cardomom, pepper, cinammon and clove. I like this a bit better on draft, probably because the creaminess is accentuated and the spices become less bitter. Delicious, and a nice change of pace. Great to find this on tap- I always appreciate this brewery's products.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a pint glass... very carbonated, took it a while to settle and complete the pour. Even lost some when I popped the cap and over-poured on the first go. I'll make sure I keep that in mind on the next bottle.

The color is dark brown, very thick with a creamy head and some minimal lacing. Very inviting.

A very varied aroma, which I've found from other Hitachino Nest beers. An abundance of spice, that they really, really blend together well. Cinnamon, ginger, fruits, caramel, and many others all mixed together.

The taste is more of the same, although it doesn't quite match the aroma. I like the way it tastes and the way the spices blend even better than the aroma. Delicious, with a definite malt to it as well.

A good mouthfeel on this one, the spices linger on the tastebuds a while after each sip. High marks for drinkability as well, could definitely go for multiple in one sitting.

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Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Big and Fat Japanese man on the label holding a beer. Cool label.

Pours a dusty deep orangish mahogany. The rocky and frothy head morphs into a huge tsunami wave and rushes to the shore. The lacing is thick and active, bubbling as it sticks.

The aroma is excellent. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, caramel apples, cherries, light sugar glazed coriander and fresh fruitcake in the nose. Quite the sniffer, in fact, this aroma deserves a 5!

Particles everywhere. The tidal waves subdues. Orange peel jumps out and hits me first. Spices, many spices from the hops and then loads of cinnamon come in. Loads of juicy fruits come in on the finish with vanilla and an alcohol kick. Finish lingers.

However, this beer suffers.

Overcarbonation plays an enormous role in this beer. The mouthfeel was "soda like" and the overcarbonation affected the flavor and the mouthfeel.

This still was a delightful experience.

Smell the empty bottle when you are done. It smells like fresh peaches.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 release.

Appearance: The first thing I notice is the utterly gargantuan, airy, stained ivory head. In fact, the head is too big, but thankfully it is fairly volatile and breaks down rather quickly, still retaining a thick mess of bubbles atop the deep, dark, garnet-brown body. Tiny chunks of sediment are visible swimming about in the near-opaque murk.

Smell: Resiny hops, toasty caramel malts. Spicy yeast and cinnamon. Mild umami aromas, similar to dashi. Sweet notes of toffee, apricot, vanilla bean, orange zest, and dark fruits - dates, figs, prunes, etc. Probably the closest a beer has ever come to fruitcake!

Taste: Tart, dry apple cider, clove, coriander, raisin, vanilla extract, spicy alcohol, mild metallic twang near the finish. Very well-balanced and complex, but the brilliant malt character is really the star of the show here. Interesting bittersweet finish with unexpected mocha notes. Subdued orange peel, nutmeg, and cinnamon characters throughout. Not unlike a pumpkin pie in many ways, and the combination of vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus almost reminds me of cola.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, somewhat zippy, acerbic, and frothy. Fairly clean finish.

Drinkability: This is not my favorite beer from Kiuchi, but it is damn good. Big, bold, complex, and quite warming. Very enjoyable!

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