Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Celebration AleHitachino Nest Celebration Ale
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 171
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 spycow
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured out as a brown color with a tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer was a little on the spicy side but nothing too crazy really. The taste of the beer didn't really give off the vanilla I was hoping for like it said on the label. The herbs and spices took over most of the flavor. The mouthfeel of this beer was a little on the heavier side. Overall this beer wasn't too bad but I felt a little disappointed by it.

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Photo of emerge077
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004/2006 editions tasted simultaneously.

'06 bottle pours a deep rusty orange-brown. Opaque with a light skim of foam that settles to a ring around the chalice.

Smell is great. Spicy, similar to a Tripel, fresh fruit and spice create a heady aroma. Orange peel and nutmeg are the biggest, then cinnamon follows up.

Taste is a little bracing, big overripe orange, boozy with spicy accents. A thick but not quite syrupy mouthfeel makes it a sipper for sure. Almost like room temp. grapefruit juice, which doesn't hold much appeal. It may be difficult for me to finish both of these for the comparison.

2004 bottle notes:
In comparison to a fresh version, the aged bottle comes out ahead. Different vintages have different recipes most likely ('04 was classified as an Eisbock).

It retains a better head with way more carbonation, and has a darker, burnt umber color. Spotty eruptions of bubbles surface in the foam, similar to a Belgian trappist. Smells sweet, candi sugar and dark malt mostly. Dried apricot and nutmeg are there too. The taste has a distinctly different sweet bready confection element going on, almost like a cookie or French toast. Less citrusy, but still bitter with spice. Malt seems a little spent, which tells me that cellaring for 2+ years takes something away from it.

From this experience, the best option would be to cellar it for a year and drink it for the following new years...

2007 bottle notes: Took the above advice, and just opened the '07 bottle with the Mt. Fuji sunrise. It exploded when I opened it, and lost at least 1/3 of the bottle. Crap. It was more full-bodied than I remembered, still alot of vanilla and nutmeg, some dull citrus. Didn't leave the glowing impression i've had in years past.

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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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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 zestar
4/5  rDev -1%

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

Hitachino Nest's New Year Celebration Ale 2004 certainly delivers a beer worth celebrating! The huge creamy head of light-tan froth over it's reddish-chestnut body is quite attractive; and its head retention and lacing are excellent. The aroma is welcoming and exciting with brisk notes of pine and orange peel over a doughy, caramel drizzled maltiness. Its very fine, bottle-conditioned carbonation lends a gentle zest to the tongue that's then carried through to the finish by its bright spiciness. As it warms, however, the carbonation subsides a bit and it's full maltiness comes forward, leaving it dextrinous, creamy, and smooth. Bold cinnamon, nutmeg, and pine flavors appear right up front in the flavor; with some citrusy notes from the orange peel appearing mid-palate as it's honeyish and deeply caramelized malt becomes more apparent. The finish is extensive with more orange peel, some coriander, and even a note of vanilla appearing after the swallow. The ghost of some chocolate malt follows, and then some lingering hoppy flavors and a solid, drying bitterness and swirling spice. Forget that this is actually an eisbock, it's one of the most impressively spiced ales that I've ever tried!!! An although my initial thought was that it tastes like Anchor's "Our Special Ale", it's actually much more refined and complex. Brilliant!

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper/amber with a slight haze with a big fluffy off white head that settles to a nice creamy mass,aromas of green apple brown sugar with a light smokiness in ther as well.There is so much going on flavor wise its hard to put a finger on everything,I get some juicy orange and some spice like nutmeg and cloves some pepper in there like others have notes as well.The sharp prickly mouthfeel is not so great but Iam sure as it ages it might round out better.I think this one would only get better after putting up for awhile its big and in your face as is.

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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 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 ChainGangGuy
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clouded coppery-brown color capped with a dense, foamy cream-colored head.

Smell: Good gracious, me. What a rich, dense aroma! The nose is exceptionally malty, and abundant with potent scents of caramel, cherry, ginger, and orange zest.

Taste: The rich malt bases delivers a very clean, pure caramel flavor further enhanced and rounded out by notes of orange sorbet, vanilla, brown sugar, and various other spices. Yet, it still manages to finish slightly dry. It's delish!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with a smooth, velvety texture. A bright effervescence helps to prevent the beer becoming syrupy.

Drinkability: Definitely a palate pleaser with such a depth and range of flavors. Particularly wonderful.

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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 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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Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle, expensive at over $4! Oh no, this is real expensive when it turns out to be a gusher upon opening. My immediate thought was expensive drain pour..but after the gush, the huge head and the excess foaming, this one settled down to a murky very dark brown, under a dark tan, mottled head that left blobs of thick lacing. A load of pungent nutmeg/cinnamon in the nose. More heavy spicing on the tongue, as well as plenty of caramel/toffee and rich, velvety smooth, thick wintery goodness. Interesting stuff. Too expensive to go to often, but worth a (large) splurge to see what is going on here.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/28/04- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12 oz stubby bottle with no expiration date. Poured into my Maredsous chalice.

Appearance- Absoultely gigantomongous billowy head that I literally had to scoop out part of it so I could hit it in the glass. Nice brown amber pour and nice lacing.

Smell- Very very sweet fruity smell. Mostly raisins.

Taste- Geez, am I drinking a prune cocktail here? HUGE prune and raisin taste. Actually they taste like they have been pickled in alcohol. Deep sweet dark grape taste also. Maybe a tad of cinnimon and vanilla in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Very heavy tasting beer. Lightly carbonated to the taste.

Drinkability- This is going to be a Christmas regualr try. Only once a year though. Not sure if prunes and I get along to well. Damn interesting though. Pick one up for a new experience.

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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 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 Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the Falling Rock in Denver. A good amber color, hints of golden haze. Nice medium head, retained well with a bit of lacing.

Taste had some hints of caramel and coffee, but mostly tasted of citrus and basil. Orange peel and some alcohol was also present.

Felt a bit thin, but it covered well and finished crisper than I thought it would. Still left a bit of alcohol aftertaste, but not so much as to burn.
A nice brew, but no cause for Celebration

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Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of WesWes
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. There are lots of suspended yeast floaties. The aroma is great. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a kick ass spice aroma. It's full of nutmeg, orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger; very nice. The taste is good. It has a refreshing spice flavor that is balanced with a solid malt base and hops. It has a strong nutmeg flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter from the orange peel. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a damn good celebration ale. It has awesome spice content; a good drinker.

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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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Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 202 ratings
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