Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Espresso StoutHitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 07-20-2007

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Ratings: 988 |  Reviews: 419
Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was really excited to see this one on the shelf at my local shop. They always have a good amount of Hitachino on the shelves and every time something new shows up I get it because I find them to always be pretty good.

So anyway the Stout pours out in typical fashion, it's got a solid black body with a strong looking brown head on it. Some pretty nice lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is roasted and has plenty of coffee on the nose. I'm even picking up some of the lactose sourness on the nose too. The taste has got to be the best part of this brew. I find that the coffee tastes great in this beer, the bitterness blends really well with the creaminess of it all too. The mouthfeel has a really good thickness to it, giving me the feeling that they really did want to make it feel like an Imperial Stout. Good carbonation also. Overall Very good beer, probably my favorite from this brewery so far!

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black, totally opaque with two fingers of fluffy tan head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Delightful! Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and some vinous aromas.

T: Chocolate up front and all the way through. Faint sweetness underneath balances the roasted flavors. Coffee appears mostly on the finish, with a nice, bitter bite. Suave and delicious. Each sip has a little bit different balance of the flavors, which keeps the beer interesting through the whole glass. Alcohol completely hidden.

M: Fairly light mouthfeel for the style helped by generous carbonation. Very smooth and luscious.

O: Wow, this is good. Loved it, highly recommend it. Just plain yummy. Had no idea there was such delicious beer in Japan, but now I know.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes of milk chocolate, espresso beans, freshly made coffee, roast, tree bark, brown sugar, hops, cardboard, acetone, molasses and floss. Smells like a good stout mixed with some fruit and coffee, limes, cheese, coconuts and can sugar, hops and awesomeness.

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Photo of Naugros
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the oddest espresso stouts I've ever had. In it's appearance it emulates a Belgian-style stout with a massive rocky head. Most American-style stouts or stouts from the British Isles display a more consistent head. This one is deep and bulbous and like some of the Belgian-style stouts I've enjoyed.

The smell and taste is something else entirely. You get some vanilla on the nose with the obvious coffee, but on the tongue this stout acts as a milk stout. Rich in lactic acid, you get more cream than coffee in this.

It's a Jekyll and Hyde beer and they really need to figure out what this one really is. Despite that, I do like this one. It has a grittiness and a chocolate characteristic that's stronger and better than many stouts lauded as "chocolate stouts"...yeah Rogue, I'm calling you out. I just think the Japanese misnamed this. It should have been named "Cafe au Lait Chocolate Stout".

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Photo of LazyL
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured at room temperature, its a dark brown almost black with an ever expanding camel coloured foamy head. Low marks here because of some floaties that eventually settled out.
The nose is espresso first, then molasses, dark chocolate and a slight sourness.
The taste is of a nice chared smokiness, then espresso and a subtle fruity yeast. There is a bitterness on the finish that battles nicely against the the srown sugar sweetness.
Its very creamy and the bitterness presence adds a nice layer of richness.
The alcohal is hidden well and there are good flavours here. I very well could be sipping on a cold espresso, but in fact its a 7.5% luxurious coffee bomb.

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Photo of aepb1
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep dark brown body with a tan head

S- Coffee and dark chocolate malts mostly

T- Coffee and sweet malts with a minimal bitter coffee finish

M- Full-bodied, moderate amount of carbonation

O- Solid, above average stout. Nothing offensive in there but nothing outstanding either.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml from Premier in Buffalo. Pours a nice dark brown with a dark mocha head, dies to some swirls and almost looks like a good espresso.

Nice coffee presence in the nose, some fudge and roasted malts as well. Pleasant beer, sort of dry coffee notes mixed with sweet chocolate and fudge, hints of dark fruits, roast, a bit of alcohol. Sweet in the body with a dryer finish. Slick body but I feel it's a little over carbonated. Good but not great.

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Photo of The3rdbeer
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Bruery Tulip at fridge temperature

A- Poured rather viciously got about 2 1/2 fingers of head at first which is now after a minute settling to aobut a 1/2 a finger now, the head is a lighter dark beige, Opaque.

S- The smell was like a nutty milk chocolate, I don't really get much of anything else in the nose, maybe some lightly burnt toffee notes but not powerful enough to be considered much.

T- It starts off quick with that burnt toffee flavor, the coffee does not stand out much at all, the coffee could be mistaken for the bright bitterness that is apparent after the malt flavors subside, its a surprise for me but its something I could care not to endure, their should of been more coffee if they wanted to call this an "espresso stout" haha espresso would have been better!

M- Light and unsatisfying for this style, ( I want a Mikkeller mouth feel, I want something for my tongue to do when im drinking something, especially as boring as this.

O- Its something I've glad I have tried, so far this is my second Hitachino beer and the previous was better, but neither were that great. I have yet to try their most popular style, but trying a second dud is not helping my motivation.

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Photo of Seru1
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark Black with a thin dark brown head.

Smell- Strong coffee ground nose with a peppery almost anise aroma.

Taste- Big up front bitter coffee flavor with a hint of creaminess on the back end. The coffee flavor lingers on after.

Mouthfeel- Very filling with a long finish.

Overall- Quite the interesting beer you don't often come upon a japanese stout. The labeling is attractive and the beer is quite good. If you like coffee stouts this is a worth Very Roasty Offering.

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Photo of woemad
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle purchased at Bottles in Millwood, Washington for $5.79. I suppose this is my meager attempt to support Japan during their crises. On the rear label there's a freshness date stating "ES. 10.09."

Pours a viscous looking dark brown color that allows no light to penetrate it. There's about 1 ½ inches of bubbly tan foam that recedes slowly, leaving streaks of lace.

Roasty, coffee scent at first. As it warms up, there's some brown sugar and mollasses aromas as well.

The taste starts out sweet, but is quickly dominated by coffee flavor. There's an acidic undercurrent to the flavor, and theres a moderate bitterness at the swallow.

Medium bodied, a little light bodied for a stout, really. The mouthfeel is slick and sticky.

I'd call this a pretty good beer, not a great one. Certainly it's the best Japanese beer I've had so far, though that's almost a case of damning with faint praise. If this were cheaper, I might buy it again, but I probably won't for what I paid for it.

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Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black -- completely opaque -- with a mountain of brown head atop the brew. Sticky lace.

S: strong bitter coffee, dark roasted malts. Big and bold!

T: milky chocolate presence starts things off alongside bitter coffee and bittersweet powdered cocoa. Turns roasty on a dime, but remains surprisingly thin for an espresso stout.

M: thinner than expected; slick and oily. Feels good in the mouth, but I really prefer thick and creamy here.

O: (what happened to drinkability?) a solid offering overall, especially for a Japanese brew! This might be the first Japanese beer I actually enjoyed.

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

Pours black and opaque--I can barely get this to show any colour even at the edges. Even when held to light I get a murky blackened red-brown colour. Head is fine, but relatively small. Lacing forms in rings as it is drunk. Good looking beer.

Nose is sharp with coffee characters, but pleasantly so; blended nicely with big roasted malt and astringent piquancy, almost like seaweed. Dark chocolate from the blackest depths makes an appearance, but adds no sweetness. This is a big, dark, roasted-- slightly woody and organic--but unapologetic beer.

Taste is also very good, and very lengthened along the palate. Initially, light chocolate sweetness hits dominate, but these are almost instantaneously removed by the welling of dark bittersweet espresso characters, big grainy richness and a bitter astringency on the finish. It's an extremely long palate, and indeed, one that doesn't even begin to develop until the beer has been swallowed. Throughout it all, there's this oddly organic character that lifts the beer from being effectively muted by a low-pass filter. (If you know what I mean).

Feel is light, but smooth. I would perhaps expect more heft behind such a beer, but as it stands, the lightness in the feel mimics the hidden lightness on the palate.

A very decent brew and a very interesting take on a stout, and even an interesting take on a coffee stout.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: black like coffee, with a thin brown head that leaves little/no retention; very stout looking stout (ha)

S: bitter coffee beans, dark cocoa powder, and chalk; i love the bold smell of strong coffee, so this is right up my alley; also, sweet roasted malt aroma

T: molasses and roasted coffee; hints of roasted malt; chalky and bitter up front, with a semisweet finish; a touch of alcohol also present

M: bold and thick, but not syrupy; just the right amount of carbonation to fizz on the lips and tongue; leaves an astringent, oily coffee feel

O: I've had better offerings of this style, but it's really good; surprisingly good for a Japanese beer!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby bottle into a large open snifter. Dark brown in color with an off white creamy foam. Aroma is sublime, milk chocolate and malt. Seriously milk chocolatey. In the flavor, some roasted malt, hint of chocolate, touch of vanilla and an even bitterness. Alcohol is certainly well masked. A flavorful brew and was very impressive, worth revisiting.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulilp. Beer pours a dark brown with a finger of dark tan head. Leaves behind a nice ring of spotty lacing. THe head fades quickly.

Standard smell here. Not the most complex beer I've stuck my nose into but it's nice. Roasty malts with noticable espresso aromas with a hint of cocoa to round it out. Simple. Not a lot going on in the pallet either. Mostly an espresso bomb. Bitter espresso from start to finish and it's tough to notice anything else.

Feels alright, decent sizes body with ample carbonation but it's a bit more drying than I would prefer to see. Overall this one left me wanting a bit more. It's an enjoyable beer but I think there are better on the market. Especially for almost five bucks a bottle.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Jet black with some dark brown head that sticks around for a while. Nose gives off a bit of espresso, some big chocolate notes, and some malty sweetness--something about it is just a tad stale (maybe?). Flavor is really nice. I love espresso stouts, and this nails it with a nice chocolatey, roasty stout with a supporting espresso accent. It's definitely there, but it doesn't overpower the beer. The flavor really crescendos and develops in the mouth. Feel left me a bit disappointed, however, as it was thin--too thin for this big of flavor. It did make it easy to drink, though.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours black, with a big foamy mocha head that sticks around, leaving nice a lacing.

S - Big coffee aroma with some dark chocolate detectable as well. I do get a slight funky smell that i can't put my finger on.

T - Coffee hits the taste buds and stays for for a little bit. Not that much in the finish besides coffee.

M - Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation

D - This beer is pretty drinkable, but personally, I wouldn't pay another $7.99 for an 11oz bottle.

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Photo of dciBA
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My second Hitachino nest beer, hopefully better than the milk stout. Pours black into a standard pint glass. A couple fingers worth of caramel colored head forms but quickly fades to a solid skimming. Plenty of attractive lacing as it goes down.

Smell is all coffee and quite strong. One quick whiff and your nose is filled with all types of coffee. Roasted coffee beans, freshly brewed coffee, and of course espresso.

Taste is more coffee, no surprise there. Along with the coffee there is a sweet maltiness to help balance things out. No noticeable hop flavor but there is a bit of sourness. Once the beer warms up the flavor really fills out and brings this up another notch. Along with the coffee some bitter chocolate works it's way in.

Mouthfeel is just adequate with this beer. It's not all that thick, but not thin enough to really detract. Carbonation is good and lets the thin amount of head linger for the duration. Drinkability is high with no hint of the slightly higher %ABV. I'm not sure if this beer really fits into the imperial stout category but it's quite enjoyable regardless. A must buy for coffee stout fans.

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Photo of veinless
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours licorice black, with brown evident in the pour, but not in the glass. A healthy two-finger mahogany head was generated that faded at a pleasant rate, and was very foamy to make up for the relatively large bubbles on the edges of the head. Laced pretty well.

Aroma is 100% deep, roasted coffee beans, with not a hint of chocolate, other malt, or any hops, or ANYTHING else. Not even a bit of sweetness can be smelled. Coffee smells phenomenal though.

Taste follows, with an almost burnt-to-charcoal start that moves to the coffee mellowing out a bit, but still remaining black and unsweetened to the bitter end. A tiny bit of sweet hops are maybe present mid-sip, but they are so weak it may just be my palate playing tricks on me. Finish is supremely coffee-like, as this is much more like coffee than the weak mess I had a week ago at a joint named for white-hot heavenly bodies and $$$. Roasted woody flavors and a mild sweetness come out a bit more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, although a bit thinner than expected. Doesn't get creamy, but drinks well. Drinkability is high, as it has the same finish, start, etc. as coffee which we all know is one of the most drinkable beverages on earth. I have had some coffee stouts that offer stronger coffee flavor, or a combo of coffee and other things, but this beer is unique in that the only flavor I get is coffee - and it's very enjoyable.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours pitch black, with a thin smattering of short-lived bubbles on top. Some very sparse lacing.

Nose is interesting. Alongside the expected espresso note, there's a quality that reminds me of my dad's woodshop - not oak in the sense of oak aging, but in the sense of newly sawn, bordering on cedar. A bit of black currant, some lactose, contributing to a just-on-the-threshold sourness. A very interesting nose indeed. Hitachino has a tendency towards taking something that's become standardized in the American brewing lexicon, in this case the coffee stout, and giving it a firm twist. The difference between a round peg in a round hole, and in a 17-sided-but-not-quite-round peg that just doesn't quite squeeze into that round hole.

Taste is beautifully appealing to me as well. This is the rare coffee stout that I feel like, if I were a coffee aficionado, I could actually pull out the subtleties of the coffee itself in addition to the beer. Unfortunately, I'm not, so I'll leave that to someone more talented than I. As for the beer, though - clean notes of currant blend in to evergreen - juniper? - very cool (ie, not warm), with a bit of lactose in there. Espresso is the biggest part of the beer, but yet not nearly as big as so many other coffee stouts I've had from American brewers. Seems to get almost all of its roasty bite from the espresso, which in itself is surprisingly smooth. Subtle beer, but really tasty - I could drink a lot of this one without getting tired of it.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, slick, soft, bordering on thin carbonation. Body has enough heft to hold it up though.

Very drinkable, if nothing else because this is unlike most big stouts, and the complexity could keep me going for awhile. Nice beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into Mad Elf challice on 2/15/11.

A - Poured an exceptionally dark, earthy brown liquid with a finger's worth of mocha-colored froth on top that settled into a thin screen and adequate lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma displays many of the qualities you would expect to find in a coffee stout: chocolate notes, roasted coffee beans and sweet lactic notes. However, there is also a nice toasted coconut character that offers some complexity, as well as a nutty malt presence.

T - While some coffee roast is evident, the initial flavor is quite sweet and chocolatey with a pleasant toasted coconut character lingering in the background. There is some slight oxidization due to the age of the bottle, but nothing too distracting, fortunately. Finishes with a tinge of earthy, herbal bitterness and slight nutty astringency. Bitterness gains strength as the liquid warmed up.

M - Mouthfeel displays an oily, somewhat slick texture followed by a moderate wash of bristly carbonation as it makes its way to the back of the throat. Carbonation is perhaps a tad too obtrusive for the style, but overall the mouthfeel is fine. Finish is bittersweet with just a pinch of astringency on the palate.

D - This one held up quite well after about two years in the cellar. I was delighted by the coconut character that persisted throughout the flavor and aroma, which gave this coffee stout a pleasant twist. I would definitely revisit this one again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a half finger of bubbly head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: it did have some espresso character but had some roastiness, lacto milky notes with hints of vanilla, and mild dark fruits mostly raisins.

T: the dark fruits were more apparent on the taste alongside espresso, chocolate, vanilla accents but had roasty notes and a touch of lacto milky flavors.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, mild dark fruity, and milky finish.

D: definitely a decent stout that was quite tasty and I don't really like too many drinks with caffeine character.

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Photo of broken22
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have been in search of a dark beer made by an Asian country. Now I know that technically Russia and India fit in that description but I am talking about Eastern Asia. I have had many beers from this region but non that were dark. Now there may be a ton out their as I never really went on the web and searched. My searching consisted of my frequent trips to sushi, Mitsuwa grocery stores, or one of the noodle houses. When I would check the beer I never saw any dark beers; so when I found these from a Japanese brewery I had to them. I can't wait.

So popping this thing open and pouring a glass; I still cannot believe what I'm seeing. A medium sized tan to mocha colored head forms at the top and never really dies down. For pouring out so dark I was surprised that there wasn't more of smell. I was getting worried that this might be a precursor to the flavor. I take my first sip and wow. This is one of the most coffee tasting beers I have had. The bitterness is well matched with the coffee. The flavor is great and I'm very satisfied. The mouth feel is relatively light considering its darkness. Once again making a fool out of my assumptions.

I really like this beer. I wish it was being sold in packs instead of singles. When I say singles I don't mean in the 22 variety that would be fine. I'm talking about the sad state of affairs when you can only pick it up in 12oz singles. This beer is very much like Japanese cuisine. Japanese food is always cooked in a way that lets the flavor shine instead of heavily seasoning to beat the food into submission, and this beer reflects that. I can pick up a 12oz bottle for $5.22. I know kind of a weird price?!

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Photo of babaracas
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy very dark brown with dense two finger thick light brown head that slowly fades to a quarter inch leaving splotches of lace. Smell: nice robust coffee aroma, earthy, green, and slightly acidic. Caramel in the back. Taste: brown sugar, chocolate syrup, earthy and slightly citric hopping. More of a creamered coffee flavor here, the beans not contributing as much as in the nose. Supposedly based off an RIS recipe, so I guess this is the right style listing, but the body is not quite beefy enough. Not the best coffee stout, but a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of 100floods
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at City Beer after really liking Hitachino's White Ale.

Pours pure black with a mocha bronze head. Little retention going on. Definitely a good sign.

Roasted aromas. Faint notes of something slightly sweet. I'm guess a bit of raw chocolate with a little milk. Also some notes fo espresso beans, you can smell that distinctive acidity.

The first sip is akin to an a more roasted, less hoppier Old Rasputin. Crisp and roasted flavors are what really come through initially. Decent sized sips yield a full, creamy texture with some hopped roasted notes. Smaller sips present something slightly more silky. I think I'd like this to have more malt.

This beer is definitely heady in the right direction. While I think it's certainly a worthy beer, it lacks a lot for a coffee stout. It still makes for a good stout in general.

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Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout from Kiuchi Brewery
3.96 out of 5 based on 988 ratings.
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