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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Reviews: 171 | Ratings: 202
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 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 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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Photo of counselor
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale brown with a supe duper head, I even got a dark brown yeast swirl at the top. Smells of mild woodsy spices and faintly of hops. The taste is nice, almost belgian dark ale, good thick chewy yeast and roasted malt flavors backed up by spices and mildly dry hop finish. This beer does not reveal its 9% abv at all while I consume it, no alcohol flavors at all, just nice spiced, Belgian type dark ale flavors with a well balanced dry finish. Super job from Kiuchi on this beer.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep red color body, with hints of orange. A poofy, VERY large head that, too, had a light orange color. Head got out of hand, actually, and it was slightly annoying ;) as the explosive carbonation blew it out of the bottle. Nose was hard to place, having lots of vegetable-like pickled beets, with some vinegar and cinnamon rested in sweet malts. No alcohol in the nose, which came as a surprise to me.

Taste was basically smooth and refreshing orange juice for me, with accents of balsamic vinegar and cloves. Juicy. Not too spiced--mild; not too sweet--but juicy; got body--but not heavy. Good balance and feel. Hops are way in the background but must be covering some of the alcohol. Easy drinkability for 9% -- great spiced brew, very refreshing.

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Photo of GregPearson33
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky copper/amber with a really frothy multi-finger head that settled down after a few minutes. Much lighter than I thought I would see, but looks tasty. Smells of rich caramel, plum, honey, cinnamon. Even though this beer is close to 2yrs old there is absolutely no funk or contamination discernible. On my second whiff I just got something like apple pie? Anyway, if those flavors weren't conclusive, it smells absolutely delicious!

Not quite what I expected from the smell. It's a fairly tart and dominated by dark fruitiness. There's definitely some sweet malt, but it's not as bready as most winter warmers are. Definitely not as spiced either. The cinnamon/allspice/nutmeg that dominate the style is present, but definitely not in the forefront. Wayyy more compatible with my tastes than the brews I've recently had in the same style (Avery Old Jubilation, Harpoon Winter Warmer).

Mid-low level of carbonation gives it a solid drinkability (for a 9% beer), but it's definitely a sipper. There is a vibrant mouth-coating that lingers pleasantly and fades without any adverse back-end bitterness. Again, much better than some of the more spice dominated Winter Warmers out there.

All in all, fantastic winter beer. One of the first I've had from Hitachino (the White Ale was pretty great, but its a bank-breaker) and piques my interest to try more!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a murky dark brown gusher, with a light tan head of foam. The aromas are excellent and consist of spicy alcohol, deep malts, light hops, different fruit esters, and the various spices that they used in this brew (ie: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, orange peels) The taste is almost as good as the aroma, with the gentle spiciness hanging out with the huge maltiness and spicy alcohol flavors. The mouthfeel is super creamy, and almost dreamy and the drinkability is excellent for a 9% experimental beer from one of Japans greatest breweries.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2005 edition) A notch down from the 2005. Big soapy creamy head and peachy colour. Taste still nicely melded.
(2007 edition) white foamy head, all the spices there. Just below room temperature. Extremely gushy,lost at least a third of the bottle. Drying finish.

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Photo of StonyB
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A couple of firsts for me on this review. First Hitachino Nest beer I've tried, and the first Japanese beer I've reviewed on BA. No pressure...

Squat 11.2 oz brown bottle. There's an owl posing in front of a snow-topped mountain. Ok. The far right of the label reads "Product of Japan. 9% alc./vol." There ya go.

Appearance - Extremely high carbonation, large head of foam as soon as the liquid hits the side of my goblet. A lengthy wait reveals a thick, cloudy russet-brown body. Opaque. Lacing could be used in an Elmer's glue commercial. Overall, a mysterious, enticing appearance.

Smell - A potpourri of aromas. Ginger, nutmeg, coriander, vanilla, alcohol, etc, etc. An aggressive though not unpleasant assault to the sinuses.

Taste - Extremely sweet, almost syrupy. Through the malt, a subtle complexity of spices come through, followed by a warming finish of fruit and alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Simultaneously thick and yet light. Rich texture, but very bubbly. Creamy, yet tart. Practically unique, at least to me.

Drinkability - This is one of those beers where you savor each sip. Obviously not a session beer, but very drinkable, if slightly overwhelming.

This is a very interesting, style-defying brew. Absolutely worth trying if you can find it.

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Photo of dickieb
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with an out of control head, taking about 30 mins from opening the bottle until I got a proper sip in. After the wait the appearance is a nice blood red with some hazy brown mixed in. The smell is rather begian with spices and dark fruits. The flavor is complex starting with some bready yeast and going into some cinnamon orange and darker fruits. The mouthfeel is not as big as I would expect even though the carbonation is a bit over the top. AS for drinkability i can feel some of the heat from 9%, but it is mostly warming and pleasant . Im pretty impressed with this one, i will have to try other from Kiuchi.

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Photo of alexgash
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chaduvel for this bottle. Pours a light brown with shades or reddish orange, accompanied by a sticky light tan head. Smell is a nice interplay between candy-sweet malts, orange sorbet, vanilla, and coriander. Taste is much like the smell. Sweet throughout, although not too cloying (unlike stille nacht--cloyed my eyes out!). Nice mix of spices and sweet malt, with adequate hop bitterness to take off some of the sweet tooth edge. I quite liked this celebratory ale--my first offering from Hitachino too by the way!

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Photo of Gavage
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1" head that falls to a surface foam. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: spices galore here as cinammon, vanilla, and pepper are easily detectable.

Taste: light malt backbone flavored with cinammon, vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, and a dash of pepper. Decent bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable, but not offensive.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finishes dry and crisp. Short aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice spicey brew here that is esily quaffed since the malt profile is a bit lighter than other winter warmers and alcohol doesn't drive the flavor profile.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy dark red copper with a lighty white head.

Smells. I think the nutmeg and cinnoman are pretty present here. The vanilla and alcohol gives it a warm creamy aroma. The orange peel really does come out as i keep sniffing this. Also has a nice presence of hops to it, heavy and citrisy.

Taste. First thing i taste is the coriander. Orange peels and hops give it a citris flavor with lots of holiday spices-nutmeg and cinnamon. Warming and peppary from the alcohol. Vanilla isnt dominant, but does contribute to the other flavors. Aftertaste is warming also and reminds me of the taste of grape skin.

Mouthfeel is good. Full body and a bit chewy. Great balance.

Overall a very nice beer. Seems they put quite a bit of effort into it. I like how easy it is to distiquish each flavor in this complex beer.

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Photo of dedrinker
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage. Murky bronze color with a gnarly big bubbly pillow three-fingered off-white head. Nose of candi sugar and spice. Flavors of maple, candi sugar, and milder holiday spices. This was real good, and gave plenty of beers from Belgium a serious run for their money.

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