Hitachino Nest Nipponia
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia
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Style:
American Imperial Pilsner
Ranked #21
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #15,743
Avg:
3.89 | pDev: 11.05%
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
145
From:
Kiuchi Brewery
 
Japan
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Rotating
Wants
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Gots
  9
SCORE
87
Very Good
Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia
Notes: "HITACHINO NEST BEER is a brand of our quality top-fermented ales. Nipponia is brewed using the revived Japanese breed of Kanego Golden barley which was first developed in 1900, along with another strain of hops called 'Japanese-bred Sorachi Ace'. Nipponia is a delightfully golden coloured beer with citrus edge and complex and lingering taste."

Malt: Kaneko Golden
Hops: Sorachi Ace
Alcohol Vol: 6.5%
Color: Golden Yellow

Won a Bronze Medal at the Australian International Beer Awards 2012 in category 5D "Other International Style Lager Packaged".
View: Beers
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 145 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Jadjunk:
Photo of Jadjunk
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub June 21, 2012. Reviewed from notes.

(Appearance) Pours a thick creamy white head that retains above average. Lacing is thin but nearly solid. Body color is a pale golden yellow with a medium haze. A nice looking beer. 4

(Smell) Heavy pleasing pear fruit aroma over a subtle malt base. Mild yeast aromatics accentuate the fruity tones in this Belgian Pale. Aroma is mild but pleasing. 4

(Taste) Very mild pear tinged pale malt blend with some lingering tartness on the dry finish. Really pleasing flavors, although some simplicity makes me with there was more diversity to the flavors in the brew. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy smoothness with a touch of sweet yeasty cracker on the finish. Alcohol presence is low and body is light. Pleasing pair. 3.5

(Overall) Leave it to a Japanese craft brewery to put out a nice Belgian Pale ale. I really enjoyed the pear flavor in this beer although it finished a bit too dry and the flavor profile was enjoyable but very simple. It was a nice beer however. 3.5

Kiuchi Brewery's
Hitachino Nest Nipponia
3.53/5.00

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger white head that vanishes quickly leaving traces of lace. Hazy light amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose and flavor is malty, hints of honey, slight bitterness at finish. $12.95 for a 550ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a tall narrow 550 ml brown bottle. Pours out a bright yet hazed marmalade hue, thin creamy white head that quickly settles.

Speaking of marmalade, the aroma has a character of that too, some sweet, almost sugary orange zest, mild apricot, mild spice from the yeast, rounded wheat malt in the background.

Flavour is mild overall, soft yet somewhat tart wheat grains, dry neutral spice near the finish, with spicy, leafy green hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, deceptively thin yet still has a healthy dose of carbonation to carry it all.

Nothing really offensive about it, yet not a very strong rendition of the style, no real character or depth of flavour to speak of. Perhaps an unintimidating stepping stone for those just getting into Belgians, but it still doesn't do the actual style any justice.

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Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with good minimal head retention and almost no lacing. The nose is intriguing, consisting of honey and sweet tea. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, expect the tea flavor is even more pronounced in this moderately sweet beer. This beer really has a pronounced sweet, honey tea flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth, with the alcohol no more than an afterthought.

Very nice beer... impressive.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer sunshine polished gold with a light dusting of fine yeast that are being buffeted by several streams of rapidly rising bubbles. The pour created almost three fingers of skinned almond colored foam that is whipped creamy and gently rocky.

The nose is strangely subdued, in part due to a lack of Belgian yeast esters. Are we sure this is a BPA? Kaneko Golden Japanese barley smells like pale malt, and Sorachi Ace hops (developed in Japan) deliver their usual lemony herbal quality. A little underwhelming... even after warming has occured.

Hitachino Nipponia tastes a saison. In fact, I'm reminded of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, one of the best American saisons (for me) in the second half of last year. There is a peppery quality in this brew, which could be due to either yeast or hops. Or both.

Like the nose, the malt tastes untoasted pale and holds down the fort pretty well. The top notes are classic Sorachi Ace. That is, loads of freshly zested lemon and an herbal-spicy quality that is somewhat reminiscent of a cough drop, though not medicinal in the least. This middleweight ale is beginning to grow on me with each passing ounce.

The body/mouthfeel didn't impress right out of the gate, but seems to be coming into its own over time. The still-going-strong carbonation is lightly stinging and adds just enough volumizing creaminess for the 4.0 to be granted. Superfine bubbles work much better than large soda-like bubbles would have.

Nipponia (a Latinization of Nippon, which means Japan) is a tasty little Japanese pale ale that features one of that country's contributions to hops. A price tag of $9.99 is waaay too steep for a second go-round, but this certainly was an enjoyable 550 ml.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium golden coloured with long lasting head. Sorashi can be a powerful hop less diluted, this one tastes rather orange than lemony. Kind of like a pomelo is to a grapefruit. Neutral aroma.Decent drinkability and complex, though what's actually in here is a secret.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very interesting sounding beer, thanks to @LaitueGonflable for the bottle.

Pours a lovely hazed golden colour, with a properly thick bock holding fine carbonation. Head is fine and snowy, leaving perfect lacing and subsisting as a fine mesh on the top of the glass. Overall, a very nice looking beer.

Nose is sweetly fruity, with that odd vanilla, oak and lemon twang from the Sorachi Ace. Under this are sweet tones of apricot, and a touch of banana. The Sorachi Ace makes the beer, as far as I'm concerned, but there are some other touches to complement it.

Taste is also mild and smooth, with more pleasant characters coming from the Sorachi Ace: mild wood, pastry, vanilla and a soft lemon custard character. Clear finish, without a great deal of bitterness—it's more of a dryness that lets the palate finish of its own accord rather than sweeping everything away.

Feel is lovely and smooth, which nicely complements the smooth, silky Sorachi Ace characters in the flavour.

Really nice brew, and interestingly drinkable for a special-release beer. Indeed, I'd be perfectly happy to drink this regularly as a pleasant after-work beer.

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Photo of drpimento
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had much higher hopes for this; especially given the cost. Poured at a good temperature, fairly aggressive with a small to medium size head that soon settled and some lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is nice - malt, yeast, hop, funk, ginger, bread dough. Flavor's similar to nose, but not quite as an appealing mix that is fairly dry, astringent, hop and yeast bitter, some malt, carbonic tang. Body is there, but not very balanced and harsh with carbonation at the verge of being ambivelant. Finish is like flavor, astringency lasting a long time. Not a fav.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle - $9.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slips out a hazy, yellow-orange body with a tall, sudsy, whitish head.

Smell: Honey-lemon cough drops on the nose. But, but Doc, I'm not sick! I feel just fine. Right as rain. I'm ready to start reviewing beers again. Honest.

Taste: Sugary on the edge, some pale malts and whole grains. A little honey and citric white grapefruit. Then, a growing spicy herbal tone which, when it couples with the honey and citrus, leaves the beer tasting like a Chloraseptic honey-lemon throat lozenge. Medium bitterness. Remains the same for the dry, spritzy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment. I know some folks who love a good cough drop. Me, I can't stand'm. So a beer that reminds me of one from the initial sip isn't particularly a good one.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, I need to get out more. Saw this on the (50 taps) board at Frisco Grille in Columbia (MD) and had to try it. I'd seen the bottles in the stores and knew they were expensive, so thought I'd be able to try it out. Most expensive beer I ever bought... Served in a very heavy 10 oz (?) goblet. Color was deep yellow with an amber center and a nice 1/2 inch head. Very light (subtle) carbonation visible. I remember thinking flowers--like sakura--in the nose (probably because I knew it was Japanese and predisposed to smell cherry blossoms). But I also remember thinking it was quite unusual in its hints of floral in the initial taste and a subtle and welcome sweetness--like sweet rice bread--in the body. Many different (all pleasant) flavors that ended in an ever-so-subtle hint of bitterness. Coupled with the richer and somewhat "smooth and creamy" mouthfeel, I enjoyed it immensely. And for $10 a glass it's a good thing. Of course I didn't know how much it was at the time. But no regrets.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy, pale golden orange color with lots of "floaties" (my fault from a bad pour), nice carbonation volume, and a creamy, yet thin white head covering the top of the glass. The foam rides up the sides of the glass a little bit.

S - Lemon herbal grass with very light malt undertones. The nose is quite weak, would like to have more going on.

T - The taste is far better than the nose with some nice lemon zest, grass, herbal and light coriander notes. The flavor has a subdued tangy pungency on the tongue which hits the palette up front and rides the wave all the way to the end. The malt backbone is very light, crisp, and lets the hops and spices do most of the work. Finishes dry and leaves a spicey coriander bitterness aftertaste that lingers for several minutes after the sip. As I get further into the glass, the lemon becomes more palette forward.

M - Crisp, light medium body, and has enough spices and carbonation to nip the tongue a little (in a good way).

D - In my opinion, the strongest aspect of this beer.

Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised with this beer. Unfortunately, at least for my review, the nose really kills the overall score. Of the beers I've had from the Asia region, this one ranks at the top of my list. Definitely worth trying if you have an opportunity. I'd definitely pick up a few more bottles of this in the future if I find it again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I absolutely appreciate the masterful blend of microbrewery experimentation, high level of quality, and sympathy to local ingredients and techniques. Nipponia does all these things masterfully with indiginous malts, progressive hops, and artistic balance.

Hazy golden with a constant fueling of carbonation that continues to build a dense white head of great staying power and with lacey rings left behind.

Spicy, fruity, and sweet aromas carry distinct dry fruity champagne scents as well as lemon, pepper, sasafras, light honey and grain. Very Belgiany with esters of apple, lemon, and under rippened berries that balance against the peppery spice.

Flavors hold true to scent with a light honeyish flavor that's favored over light grain. Layers of fruit and spice intertwine with apple, white pepper, lemon, black pepper, pear, corriander, sasafrass, white wine, lemongrass herbs, and cumin. Earthy and woody taste become background notes to the spice and fruit flavors and give a unique and growing bitterness to the lingering finsih.

Medium in body, the early carbonation lifts the beer from the tongue and gives the impression of evaportive creaminess and airiness. Late bitterness and fleeting malt character allows for an alcoholic warmth and resiny dryness tahat accompany the hops.

Nipponia is a very characterful Belgian-style ale that because of the hops remind me of Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace (the lemon pepper and lemongrass flavors are unmistakable). The lemony Japanese influence fits like a glove as do the peppery notes, sweet and bitter earthy wood notes, and overall sake-like lightness. This beer begs to be paired with many sushi dishes.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back label is stamped "10.06" in tiny print near the barcode.

Only 9 reviews in 3 months, and I haven't seen this around locally. Hmm... the green bottle is only apparent after pouring the beer... Why put a hoppy pale ale in a green bottle??

Nice pour, very fluffy head that adheres to the glass in sheets. Attractive glowing orange body, that fades to gold in the meniscus of the glass.

Lemon wedges in sun tea and orange rind aromas, malty with a hint of wildflowers from the Belgian yeast.

Malty and lightly citrusy sweet. Orange juice and hay, grassy, weedy wildflower hop character. Lingering traces of orange juice and even hints of grape juice or pomegranate oddly enough. Malty backbone with a complexity from the yeast. Medium bodied and pleasant to drink, though this seems somewhat faded by time. It's interesting, the Sorachi Ace hops lend a nice citrus note, but I can't help but think it was better a few months ago...

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why this is a BPA, but I guess it really doesn't fit well any where else either. Maybe more American...maybe not

Light golden color pour. 1 finger head, great lacing. Looks like a lighter beer.

The nose betrays the simplistic, but very nice, appearance. Hops and tight biscuit. Some spice and florals from the Sorachi Ace and a bit of earthiness as well.

Flavor is very good. Smooth and clean. The malt is unique, to me anyway. Soft and sturdy. Semi sweet and consistent. Really goes well with the hop choices. Hops are green, flowery, and open. Grounded.

Nice dry bite, nothing fancy. The sweetness and yeastiness of a BPA just aren't there. And that's good. Would ruin it.

Great beer.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick notes from Tigris Beverage/g.housen Tasting earlier today.

Clear and pale gold with almost no carbonation. Nose is full of honey and wet flower aromas. Palate has some faint carbonation and is slick and rich feeling despite being surprisingly light bodied. Tastes like a honeyed petite barley wine if that makes any sense.

Not a great BPA however.

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Photo of likeemdark
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of soulgrowl
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a Belgian pale ale... for why now? Odd classification, I think.

You could almost trick someone into thinking this is a standard Japanese lager. Almost. It's pale golden with a frothy white head, but a faint haze betrays its unfiltered character. Smell-wise, it's light but intriguing, with unpredictable Sorachi Ace hops lending its typically bizarre, nuanced and complex aromas, though this time they seem more herbal than usual. Parsley, lavender, and guava with hints of chamomile, lemon, and Neopolitan ice cream. The malts are basically a nonentity – another way in which this resembles a Japanese lager.

The hops also dominate the taste, with a lip-smacking, crunchy bitterness and a thunderclap of floral flavor. Loads of chamomile and vanilla, some hawthorn and honey, lavender and lemon pith. Light, fresh grain notes from the malts and solid carbonation leading into a dry but juicy finish make this really mouthwatering and refreshing – the kind of beer that's hard to put down. It just cries out to be quaffed, which is a little dangerous considering its strength.

Another lovely beer from my favorite brewery. Really very lovely.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, date appears to be bottled on August 2010 (trying to decipher could be wrong).

Poured into a Brooklyn Tulip Snifter.

The beer looks tremendous very bright orange and to yellow lemon rind glow, decent one finger meringue colored head, dense and shows lacing throughout.

Aroma was bit more subdued than anticipated, but if I am correct that this roughly six months old not terribly surprised. Picked up some lemon grass, spearmint, clementine, pretty clean malt tones, not much belgian flair moderate peppery note.

Flavor was very much what I was looking for as I have become obsessed with the Sorachi hop. Big fruity citric tones, free squeezed lemonade, pulpy orange juice, warps around a crisp pilsner like malt character. A bit sticky in the finish, medium carbonation and medium light bitterness.

Would love to get my hands on a fresh as possible bottle of this brew, love Sorachi hops and this does not disappoint.

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Photo of nickfl
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, golden orange body. The foam settles pretty quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A musty aroma of wheat and spices with some coriander and a hint of pithy orange peel and lemongrass.

T - Wheat malt and husky barley up front with some orange hop flavor. Light, musty funk in the middle with some black pepper. Sour pineapple notes and some apricot in the finish with more pepper and an unusual basil note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - This is a very nice beer, Hitachino seems to do quite well interpreting old world beer styles and this one is no exception. The soriachi ace is a very nice hop for this style with a musty, pithy character that compliments the yeast, but some citrus zing to help it stand out from other examples of the style. I have never had a beer brewed with this variety of malt before, but it seems to provide a bready richness that acts as an effective background for the hops to play out their role. Well worth drinking, I would love to try this beer on draught.

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Photo of bonbini26
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of eric5bellies
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Gulden Draak tulip

A - Pours a slight cloudyGolden straw colour with a perfect White head retains well and reduces to a film.

S - Yeast and hop dominate, not that prominent

T - Up front some nice hop flavours with some vanilla ice cream type flavours that follow. The sweetness in this beer is masterfull and the grains are nicely present.

M - Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

O - A very pleasant drop without being powerful. Its balance is outstanding and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy dark yellow in color and has some yeast particles visible near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of lemon citrus in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of hay and straw like malts along with a bit of lemon citrus. Hints of oaky vanilla and a very faint amount of sourness are also present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very interesting and enjoyable beer that has unique flavors from the malts and hops.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy pour into a tulip. Late-arriving head with a furious stream of bubbles.

Aroma is grainy, toasty at first, then the lemon-Pledge aroma of Sorachi Ace hops comes in.

it's weird, it doesn't taste all that hoppy at first, but the peppery lemon hop character seems to build with each sip, asserting itself a bit over a backdrop of lightly toasted bread. It does wind up being more bitter than it initially seems. I was hoping to get a different malt character from the Kaneko Golden, and I think that difference is that of a malt backbone that seems lightly toasted.

Good lively mouthfeel.

All around, a solid, easily drinkable beer. Comes across as an IPA or American Pale, brewed with alternative hops and malt. Good subtle-but-not-boring beer. Could probably stand up to a wide variety of foods - lemon pepper fish, chicken seem too obvious. Worth a try.

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Photo of markgugs
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of rangerred
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark gold but just a tiny bit of lacing and not really any head at all.

The Sorachi Ace hops are quite powerful in the aroma and there is also a slight earthy/oaky character. I'm assuming this is from the hops as well. Pretty intersting.

The flavor has a lot more complexity than I was expecting. That same dank/citrus hop note along with a stronger note of oak and vanilla; almost like this was wood aged. Not clean at all like a pilsner but more like an aged ale. Moderate bitterness and a pretty clean finish.

Overall, this is a very intersting beer. The wood/vanilla notes are unique and I love Sorachi Ace hops. A different, but well put together beer.

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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 145 ratings