Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale
Liked This Beer
4.04 w/ 202 ratings
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 thryn
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled as 2008 commemorative ale.

Not a gusher, but pours like one! All head. I had to walk away and come back, then pour the rest of the bottle. Having done that, I have a so-cloudy-it's-opaque light brown brew with some reddish hints. Giant cream colored head that leaves a lot of lace as it recedes.

An interesting spicy nose, with some biscuity malt, a bit of raisin and a lot of coriander. Booze is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit all over the place.

It's more put-together on the palate. All the elements mentioned in the nose are present; it just meshes better in the mouth. A fair but of vanilla as well.

A medium, creamy body. Carbonation is fairly forward. This is a winter beer that drinks well in the summer.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy, orange-amber color. This beer has a big malt-accented and caramel sugary aroma that reminds me of Belgian Tripel. My nose has to search for the spices described on the label. Fairly full-bodied for a Japanese beer, yet very fizzy. The spices are subdued at first, but get brighter as the beer warms up. The cinnamon dries out the tongue in a bit of an unpleasant way. This effect is accented by a dry finish. A complicated spicy brew that I would like to try again, even thoug the I thought it to be a little pricey at $4 an 11-ounce bottle.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I actually "found" a bottle of the 2006 vintage (the one pictured with the geisha) in my basement and while it is aged, at 9%, I am hopeful that it may still be drinkable.

From the bottle: "Ale brewed with spices and vanilla beans [...] coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla beans".

I used a very gentle pour and still got a finger of tawny head with decent retention. I felt thankful that I did not experience a gusher. Color was a very cloudy orangish-amber. Nose had an odd spiciness, like the nutmeg, coriander and cinnamon were still hanging in, but not in the same way they once were. Mouthfeel was full and creamy with a distinct cinnamon spiciness and maybe some nutmeg, but most everything else had faded. Finish was spicy, dry, but not as satisfying as it probably once was. I would recommend that if you still have any 2006 vintage not to delay in drinking it. It is not going to improve at this point.

This little guy has been in my reefer for a while and since I somehow got on a Hitachino Nest binge, I decided that its time had come.

From the bottle: “Commemorative Ale 2012”; “Festive Ale Brewed with Vanilla Beans and Spices (Coriander, Orange Peel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon)”.

Their bottle caps really cry out to be gently Pop!ped off since they can definitely be reused by artistic types. Upon completion of this arduous task, foam began to rise up through the neck of the bottle, prompting me to begin the gentlest of pours, so as not to rouse the lees at the bottom. This, of course, created only wisps for head, so I employed the Server’s Trick and got a finger of French Vanilla-colored head which fizzed out pretty quickly. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an earthy, musty quality with nutmeg as its principal underlying scent. I began to wonder if it had aged too long. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was initially quite spicy and the coriander was obvious, followed by the cinnamon and nutmeg. It also had a woody quality, as though it had been barrel-aged, although the label would have mentioned such. I got a soft hint of vanilla on the finish, reminiscent of vanilla incense like we used to burn in the ‘70’s. Warming, the flavors became more pronounced and intense, but I was still left to wonder what it might have been like fresh. If I can find this year’s iteration, I am getting two bottles – one to drink right away and another to sit on.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12oz bottle like the one pictured, the 2004 vintage, now nearly a year old, erupted from the bottle into my waiting glass. Even a gentle pour produced a mammoth frothy vanilla colored head that towered over a dark brown brew. The thick head lasted quite a while before settling down to a thick skim which left chunky lace in its wake.
The nose was heavily malty with a buttery undercurrent. Then on came a parade of spices and fruit aromas: nutmeg, vanilla, coriander, cinnamon and candied plums. Despite the listed 9.0% ABV, the alcohol notes were muted. Some light herbal hops notes were also detected.
Each sip yielded a sizzling zip to the tongue thanks to the lively carbonation. Heavily sweet with a fruitcake-like taste of candied fruit, nuts and bready malt before a hearty blast of nutmeg rolled up on the palate. A touch of buttery toffee flavor also briefly played across the palate. More spices followed, each delivering a surge of flavor before waning, like ocean waves hitting the beach. The nutmeg and coriander flavors were the most potent of all and left a residual bite at the very back of the tongue. The herbal hops taste rose the the surface as each sip was swallowed and the alcohol left a mild warmth in the throat. The feel was medium in body, dry, and slightly creamy.
Overall, my guess is this brew might have gotten a little long in the tooth to be truly exceptional. Nevertheless, it is a nicely complex beer that displays a wide breadth of tastes and aromas.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting nose with lots of yeasty esters and a spiciness that I get as ginger and candied citrus (not hop citrus but like what I would associate with a lemon drop.) Good malt nose of pilsner malt. Some other fruity fermentation too.

Color is orange with a persistant but small head. It's pretty cloudy though.

Flavor is a little lacking. There's good malt character of pilsner and maybe some caramel. Also spice character but it's not very strong. It has a slightly perfumy aftertaste. There's just not a whole lot going on beyond the base malt. The complexity I got in the aroma doesn't carry over to the flavors.

Full bodied with a very nice medium carbonation level. Feels very creamy on the palate.

A good strong ale. Not overwhelming or palate challenging but at 9% I'd like to see more character in a beer.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a murky brownish-orange color with an off-white head. The aroma is malty and spicy with coriander and nutmeg at the front. In the back of the aroma is a bit of orange peel and cinnamon. The flavor is extremely spicy. The nutmeg and coriander hit me like a ton of bricks. I get some ginger in here as well. The cinnamon and orange is also present. It has a solid malt backbone. It is fairly full bodied and warming. A very dry finish with this one. A unique holiday brew. Could only have one though.

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Photo of dgallina
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml stubby brown bottle dated 2006.

Pours cloudy red & brown. Small tan head disappears rapidly, leaving tendrils of thin lace. Heavily over-spiced aroma. Orange, nutmeg, and pine hops on a sugary malt base. Flavor displays much better balance and depth. Starts sweet and fruity before introducing a good dose of pine-needle and orange hops. Finishes with tart alcohol, spices, vanilla, and plenty of dry hops. Very full in the mouth. Forceful carbonation keeps it feeling relatively light despite the chewy malt base.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a very light head that sits nicely atop the brew. Nose is gingerbread, with a light pine and moderate sweetness. Reminds me of the Anchor OSA series. The flavor is less gingerbready than the flavor. I get more of the pine and moderate hop bitter. I get a slight metallic flavor as well. Nothing really drawing me in with this one. The feel is moderate with a light-moderate carbonation. Very pleasing on the palatte. Overall, a pretty pedestrian brew. The alcohol does not come through at all, but the flavors and aroma do not draw me in at all.

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Photo of mntlover
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark hazy amber with a huge light tan head leaves good coating of lace. Only my 2nd Hitachino Nest brew but both have had huge heads lots of carbontation but not overly so in the feel.
Aroma is spice cinammon, orange, hints of nutmeg some malt comes thru but spices dominate.
Taste is also spice cinammon, nutmeg, hints of orange rind and vanilla riding on top of malt base that has some caramel present. Finishes with peppery coriander and some hops adding bitterness.
Taste is pretty good just a little to much spice for me.
Mouthfeel is a little light of medium spices just don't add much body .
Drinkability is good not a bad little beer, if you love spicey beers this one is for you. My bottle had 2004 on it but it was the spiced version 2005 for sure, not the eisbock of 2004.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle of 2004 vintage from unknown source, be it old BIF or self-purchase, I really can't remember.

Poured into pint mug, formed 3 1/2" of tan head over the clear dark copper brew. Head fades down reasonably quickly for its size, you can see the huge bubbles popping before your eyes, but it still takes a while to fade down to a reasonable height, with actually somewhat minimal lacing for the head presence. Aroma is predominantly sweet and spicy. Taste is sweet upfront, equal parts spices and tartness in the middle, and a slightly warming close, but nowhere near where the abv would indicate. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay ont his one. It's interesting, I'm just not sure it's something I would revisit often. But since it's a holiday seasonal, maybe it's supposed to be a one time annual treat or something. Worth a try regardless.

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Photo of boblog
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Huge nut brown head, that takes forever to go down.
Smell: Highly acidic, bitter hop scents, strong yeasty smells, the deep warm scents smell a bit like a brandy.
Taste: Warm sweet malt flavors are well rounded and provide a fairly good intial taste. The sweet taste is followed by a very slight hop flavor and then a warm alcohol induced finish. Overall the taste is deep enough. I really didnt taste much hops, there were no subilities which isnt a bad think per say. I would say however the beer lacks a well rounded taste. The sweet malt is pretty much the main flavor and it really doesnt finish well.
Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy, proper amounts of carbonation.
Drinkability: Fairly decent, but not very drinkable as it is a heavy beer.
Overall: Pretty "good" nothing too amazing, this brew could use a bit of reworking. It is overpriced for what you get. Still probably one of my favorite labels of all time.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like most reviewers this beer gushed out and made a glass of foam that took forever to calm down. This is a very carbonated beer that tasted much lighter than the ABV suggests. I felt that was tasting a Saison with added spices which is pretty different for a Winter Warmer. I liked the flavours though a little less carbonation would have helped the mouthfeel and finish.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle. Pours a hazy honeyed amber. Reminds me of a barleywine, but cloudier. Short, tight beige head that leaves good lacing. Interesting smells that are hard to pin down. Very malty, no hops, black tea maybe? Some vanilla...Hard to say. Taste is not so mysterious. Mega Malt Bomb all the way. Some vanilla and spice in the background. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Great mouthfeel, but the taste is just not to my liking. Drinkablity is fine. So far, my least favorite offering from this brewery.

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Photo of NJbeerman
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this beer explodes - I served it in a snifter and the head quickly exploded over the top. The head does relax a little but stays nice and thick throughout with a slightly tan color.

The smell is amazing - a nice stong grapefruit and peach aroma.

The taste is not quite as nice. The color is a dark brown. I expected much more malt characters but there was very little to be found. It has a sour flavor which is nice but a little over whelming after a few sips. Very little hop bitterness. It leaves you with a sour sticky finish in the mouth.

Overall, a nice beer but I was expecting more from one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of mentor
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle obtained from John's Grocery (Iowa City) in Feb 2005 and consumed a couple days later. Huge hiss when I opened the bottle, so I poured as gentle as possible, but still got a 7-finger head from just half of the bottle. A light beige head over the orange liquid...cloudy, even though I'm sure the yeast sediment was retained in the bottle (of which there is a bunch of). Smells enticing. Orange and spicy, with some gentler tones of caramel and vanilla. Starts sweet with notiable alcohol playing strongly over orange, coriander, and a belgian-like yeasty funk. Has a caramel and lightly toffee flavor...any bock character is buried beneath the spicing. Strong wet sugar and some fruity esters do rise barely above the spices. Medium-thick and creamy-smooth mouthfeel and, amazingly, the carbonation is moderate. It forms fine acrid bubbles that dances with the alcohol burn. Couldn't help but get some sediment in the beer now that I've poured the second half in...but the foaming is only about half as bad as the first half of the bottle. The small amount of yeast in the beer definitely does not help the flavor as it flattens some of the fruity character and amplifies the funk and acrid. What the heck, this beer is already goes the rest of the yeast. It's now a muddy chocolatey appearance of it's former self. Even the head (which is still 3-fingers) is darker... a full-fledged tan. Yeast is more prevalent in the smells. Taste...this is an entirely different beer from the very frist sip. Better than with a smidge of the sediment in the glass. The spicing is more subdued and overall the beer is flatter and more earthy. Still very sweet though. It ends now with a milder alcohol that mixes with noticable caramel/toffee. No lacing and, damn, I've got a buzz off of one beer (am I back in Jr. High again?). 9%...I'll bet it's more. I'm glad I tried it, this was definitely a challenging beer, but I'm not interest in trying it again. So...I'm not going to judge this as an eisbock (as it is presently categorized her on BA), but as a spiced beer. Too bad about the excessively foamy head and clouody liquid, it could have scored much higher.

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Photo of carln26
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a hazy copper with a decent sized off0white head. The aroma reminded me of a Belgian Tripple It had sweet malt in the form of dates, some orange, coriander and just a touch of fresh bread. The taste is very light and citrusy. More of the orange, and a bit of Nectarine. It has a bit of hop bitterness, but this blends well with the added spice to deliver the light citrus up front The spice is very light. Difficult to detect the coriander, it feels like a little pepper in the finish. The label said vanilla, but I can’t find any here. Very dry and smooth mouth feel, almost astringent. OK drinkability.

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Photo of Damian
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 11.2 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Whole Foods Market, West Hartford, CT
2004 vintage

First, I must comment on the amazing bottle graphics. Hitachino always does a great job with their cute and quirky designs but this bottle, complete with gold leaf-like Japanese lettering, complete outdoes all the rest.

As for the beer itself: It poured a murky, copper mahogany with lots of white, floating particles. The three-finger, light tan, sea foam head lasted a number of minutes before fading to a thin film of lace. Sparse amounts of drippy lacing trickled down the glass.

Aroma was fragrant, smooth and sweet. Rich malts, brown sugar and spices dominated, while notes of vanilla lingered in the background.

Taste was similar to the nose but a bit more sharp. Malty rich with spices, brown sugar, citrus and a slight alcohol bite. As the beer moved along the palate, some oaky and woody nuances came out as well. A slight hoppiness on the back end helped to balance things. Finish was a mix of leafy hops and residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel was quite disappointing. The body was medium and quite good but the excessive amount of carbonation was almost stinging.

As for drinkability, this beer was a mixed bag. It was quite tasty and the 9% ABV was hardly noticeable in the taste (yet it did warm the mouth and throat), but the carbonation made this beer almost difficult to drink at times.

Overall, this beer was rather good, albeit very unique for the style. (It looked, smelled and tasted like a Belgian tripel yet was somehow labeled as a "winter warmer.")

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of granger10
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a super hazy orange color with a large highly carbonated head. Aroma is strong on the sweet orange flavor and a sweet malty alcohol hit then a whole bunch of spices. This beer is packed with spices. Too many to name but here's what I got: sweet and bitter orange, cinammon, vanilla, cloves, coriander, and nutmeg. These spices were strong and unique but didn't really blend together much. The body was medium and creamy with an adjunct rice flavor base. A good hit of alcohol subdued the spices a bit and warmed my belly. The finish is dry but I'm getting a lot of fusel alcohol esters in there. This beer has a lot of promise and I think in about 6 months to a year it will be really good. However, right now it's on the rough side and a bit too young. Once to spices work with each other and the alcohol flavor goes down a little this will be great. Still, this was one unique beer experience.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby brownish with an HUGE pillowy off white head.. Nose is of allspice, malt and prunes. Taste is a bit malty at first with spice. Orange bitterness, with some allspice,cinnamon, bitterness follows.. My first time tasting a Hitachino beer. I was suprised how tasty and close to a Belgian style grand cru this comes.. Mouthfeel was good with ample carbonation without being prickly ( granted I had this 4 months after the new year) Drinkability is a bit above average.. Dont think i would pay 6 bucks for 12oz of this again esp when other better beers are cheaper.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange/amber with a large head that keeps growing.
Nose shows nutmeg, wheat, lots of phenols, coriander. Orange peel is noticeable as a sharp tangy note and later as marmalade. Vanilla is subdued initially but quickly becomes more prominent. Aromas from the malt show distinct golden syrup and brown sugar. Very sweet, very complex, very interesting.
Upon tasting....well, let me say this is pretty full-on. Loads of malt with lots of brown sugar notes, some wheat, a fair bit of booze. Very Belgian, has some qualities you'd expect in a Dubbel. Coriander and nutmeg show through. The coriander continues into the lengthy finish, along with a light bitterness and smooth alcohol.
Creamy body and carbonation, although higher carbonation would do well to cut the bitterness.

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Photo of lou91
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a cameleon - at first tasting like a belgian xmas ale with spice and begian sugar and an alcohol warmth. As it warmed it finished with a crisp hop flavor with flavors of orange and hints of cinamon. The astringent effect of the hops throws you off. I really liked the first beer and was less excited once it warmed. Still, this is a rich and creamy beer that is unique and worth a try. Buy it at berkeley bowl for $4.50 per 12oz.

One year later the flavors have converged well with an herbal flavor dominating the flavor profile. Still a really tasty brew.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep cloudy amber color ale with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon is well balance with the sweet caramel malt profile. Taste is a mix between some deep caramel malt with loads of spices which may includes cinnamon and nutmeg. Body is full and beer is very rich with no apparent alcohol and some good carbonation. I very much enjoy this one even though it is quite filling and wouldn't drink more then one at a time. I ma starting to really enjoy beer from this brewery and looking forward to more discovery.

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Photo of Durge
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy cider color with a thin fizzy head and good lace. It smells of cherry and nutmeg, spicey lemon and vanilla, very complex and interesting. The flavor is a bit strong with heavy alcohol like brandy. I pick up more nutmeg with citrus bitterness and a sweet cherry/orange base. Thick bodied and strong, not real drinkable for me but very interesting. This brewery intrigues me so far so I will explore further. But I won't drink a lot of this one. A taste treat in small quantities on occasion.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz brown bottle from '05 decanted cool into a snifter.
A - A rose color w/ shades of deep amber and a 3 finger off white head that settles. The head becomes a ring of lace and sheets cling to the glass.

S - Rich and malty w/ a nutty essence. A bold spice and yeast scent dominates the nose.

M - A big piney feel, like a beer soaked in spruce tips. The malty, creamy texture rounds out the feel.

T - A very spicey flavor w/ a yeasty tinge of fruitiness up front. Nutty and malty as a wave of vanilla spice bubbles under. There are husky bean skin flavors w/ a rich caramel, brown sugar vanilla taste as the yeas is added halfway throught the taste.
A cedary woodiness is brought on. Slightly vinous w/ its tenacity, the 9% still remains masked w/ earthy and piney flavors fading out.

D - A tasty spiced ale - very well layered and nice vanilla addition. The bottle conditioning kept it fresh and flavorful. It gets a bit intense as it gets to room temperature. I would definitely pick up another bottle to try this winter.

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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 80.2% out of 100 with 202 ratings
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