Hitachino Nest Nipponia | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia
Very Good
145 Ratings
Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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".

Added by John_M on 08-13-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of emaciated
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy yellow orange beer poured into a pint glass. Nice white head forms with a creamy texture. It has decent retention and leaves spotty lace.

S- Not all that strong but a good hint of lemon zest, light malts and bread. Actually has a tart gueuze like hint.

T- Lemon zest sorachi hops, more or less just fresh lemon juice actually. These are backed nicely by yeast and malt notes like bread, sweets, floral hops and fruit. Slight Belgian spice.

MF- Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter from the hops.

The hop usage is quite nice in a BPA. Refreshing and balanced.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorg
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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 rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey on 10/26/11.

A - Poured into a tulip a clear straw hue with a two finger white head that leaves nice, thick side lacing.

S - Nice belgian yeast esters, good funk. A fair amount of apples, subtle citrus.

T - Tastes like summer. Theres more of that nice funk, some fruits (definately apples), as well as some oak notes. Slightly grassy hops.

M - Nice carbonation on this one. Nice dry finish with enough carbonation to keep it up off the tongue.

O - Really liked this beer, though it is a bit steep for the price. That being said, I'd buy it again to support Japan's pushing of boundaries.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours out as a really clear looking yellowish golden iPod with a fizzy white head on top. The head has a very light amount retention but it also has a light lacing too. The smell of the bet is a little grainy and fresh smelling. The taste has some element s of grains, light spices and rice. The mouthfeel of this beer is light and easy going. Overall it's better than I remember it being the first time I had it from a bottle. Worth a try I think.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's in Baltimore. Poured into tulip; ever so slight golden haze, light foam head. Head was gone quick, but left nice lacing on glass. Smells earthy, floral/garden like, pepper?? And of wheat.
Taste of straw right off the bat followed by earth hops and yeast. Seems like a nice brew to drink as I tend to my made up tomatoe garden. I really enjoy its earthy and hearty drinkability. Very satisfying and unique.
Its very hard to judge a beer on the qualities (above) because it doesn't look particularly good but its a very good tasting brew. Its my first Hitachino and so far I really like the individuality it has.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
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 BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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 wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into tulip 22-9-11

A hazy golden yellow with lots of suspended particles even after a gentle pour, there`s a long lasting bone white thumbs width of foam that leaves a single ring and a few random patches

S spicy lemon and some bready yeast

T what I smell but with some earthy hops that I just can`t place, perhaps my first go at the Sorachi Ace, tropical fruits and cereals make for an interesting brew

M medium bodied with a little bite, good carbonation gives it some life and a slight aftertaste

O something different and worth trying, I like the hop profile even though it leaves me a little confused because its a little noble grassy notes but has spicy citrus too

I thought this was one tasty beer and that should be enough reason to drink it again... but at 10$ a 550ml I doubt I`ll be drinking a whole lot of it in the future with so many great beers I`ve never tried here in Alberta. I now want too explore the Sorachi Ace but can only thing of Brooklyn examples in Alberta, please correct me if I`m wrong.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- pours a brilliant golden color with some translucency. Finger and a half of creamy white head that lasts and lasts!

S- Rich pale malt and pils malt aromas. Intense lemony sorachi ace hop aromas with some leafy green notes. Fruity estery yeastiness on the finish with notes of peach and fresh berry.

T- cereal grain malt flavor with a touch of raw honey. Lemon and leafy green hop flavor. White tea characterics in the middle. Yeasty finish with a fruity peach and white grape characteristic.

MF- rich full creamy mouthfeel with an average body and soft carbonation

D- crazy drinkable

overall a phenominal beer with crazy unique characteristics. Bravo.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - fully hazy orange, some light suspended sediment, fluff white head retained very well
S - musty and yeasty, some lager like adjunct odour, caramel and lemongrass hints
T - earthy and sour citrus hops mixed with caramel and rye bread, with the caramel and peppery qualities lingering
M - rich and creamy with a sneaky carbonation kick, bready and spicy through the finish with some citrus bitterness
O - a solid brew front to back, definitely represents both aspects of a strong Belgian with an English pale ale, well worth a purchase

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

A: Pours a bright orange with a thin head. Lots of floaties in this one as well.

S: Citrus, yeast, a hint of spice.

T: Lots of citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit. A bit if sweetness, a hint of honey. Yeast as well. Comes off as more of an IPA.

M: Medium bodied, a little less than average on the carbonation.

O: A tasty beer, showcased the sorachi ace hop quite well.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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 andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, murky golden brown colour, two fingers of light bubbly head with solid retention and some nice lacing.

S - Musty and earthy hops, touch of cedar and pine with citrus, caramel and toffee and a bit of peppery spice and cloves.

T - The hops are certainly more mellow on the tongue, coming across subtly with a sweetness of orange citrus. Leafy green in nature and a nice caramel flavour lingers on the palette alongside some spices and cloves.

M - Nice carbonation level, goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - A tasty take on the style, and definitely worth picking up. Easy drinking flavours and very refreshing for a sunny afternoon.

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Photo of Klym
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Translucent orangish color with a dying white head.

S: actually smells very lager-ish. Spices and belgian yeast stick out a bit.

T: Hard to get a hold of this flavor, very interesting. Orange, yeast, spices, honey, all so blended well together it's hard to tell if that's exactly right or what else might be there. This is definitely different and I agree that a belgian pale ale is a very loose category for this.

M: Some typical belgian attributes in the carbonation with light-medium body. A light bite in the throat but overall very smooth drinking.

O: The most outstanding parts of this beer was its mysterious, slight, unusual flavors and the incredible light sessionability. Almost like a lager-replacer this is the sort of thing you can drink and savor or beer pong with if that's your thing. Dont freak out if you haven't had this and can't find it, but if you do find it I'd definitely say pick it up. Good stuff! Interesting!

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting beer, which I find it very hard to fit into any existing category (though the current BA category of "Belgian Pale Ale" seems pretty random).

Looks innocent enough, pale straw color with a nice foamy and creamy head. Smell is interesting... a little musty and spicy and yeasty.

Taste is an immediate spicy bitterness, with a tart mustiness almost like a saison... Then there's a splash of very obvious citrus flavor, presumably from the sorachi ace hops, a mikan-like sweetness that veers off towards grapefruit because of the hop bitterness. There's an obvious yeasty taste, but it doesn't dominate, as it's overpowered by the hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp and drinkable, pretty much like any japanese beer.

The ABV is a bit high for my taste at 6.5%, though one can't taste it. Unfortunately the only bottles that seem to be in stores are 550ml, which is a bit much at this strength...

An interesting and unique beer; check it out if you get the chance. [I'm not a huge fan of Hitachino's beers in general, but this is one of their good ones.]

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color... thin looking brew, with large foamy head. Great head retention.

Smell of spice, clove, citrus...lemon peel... yeasty... slight lemon grass.... straw?

Taste is slightly grassier than the smell, spice, clove... nice addition with the Sorachi Ace... this is good stuff.

This is a good beer, and I will get it again and again.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip.

A: Golden in color with a nice frothy white head that laces well. Quite murky.

S: A spicy smell. Lemon. Clove. Pepper. Ginger.

T: After the nose with a cocktail of smite on a bready backbone. Some rice qualities.

M: Medium to light, with a fair carbonation.

D: Like all of Hitachino's spicy beers, it's an acquired taste.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle shared by bobsy - thanks! Pours a nice gloden hue with Belgian looking head with probably not as much retention as it should.

Nose is lemony and zesty, hints of Belgian esters, a little bit of tropical sweetness. More lemon in the flavor, along with a reall earthy character, bit of spicy peppercorn quality, perhaps a touch of loamy wood, light honey bread sweetness. Clean and refreshing while still nuanced and interesting. Would gladly drink again.

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Photo of CKMC
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden, cloudy. Fine white head.

S: Yeasty, spicy, little lemon grass, alcohol. Overall, very faint aroma.

T: Toasty, mild earthy bitterness, rounded out by orange peel.

M: Creamy but light; no back palette. Almost no finish.

O: Very decent Japanese craft beer, but somehow still reminds me of Asahi Super Dry.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, 8.0% ABV. Pretty presumptuous, naming a beer after a whole nation...oh right, I'm Canadian.

This beer pours a suspended-particle strewn, hazy medium burnished golden amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which settles evenly, yielding some broken strings of hanging lace around the glass.

It smells of bready caramel nougat malt, zesty lemongrass, further earthy spice notes, a slightly acrid yeastiness, and floral, weedy hops - unique, and fairly enticing. The taste is a big dose of that mirror-world peppy lemon-esque citrus, warm coriander and black pepper spice, a nice, soft sourdough breadiness, and some trailing zingy bell pepper and grassy hop notes. Any noticeable alcohol manifests in a lilting perfumed character as things warm up.

The carbonation is somehow bigger and frothier than it seems, if that makes any sense, the body sits on a sort of see-saw between medium and light weight, and is a little too zingy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the alien citrusy hops and lurking funky yeast pushing hard against the sturdy lingering grainy sweetness.

A whole lot of unfamiliar, but ultimately enjoyable, stuff going on in this brew. Trying the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace a while back prepared me somewhat, but wow, what a difference terroir makes. Calling this a Belgian Pale Ale seems like trying to force a square peg into a round hole - there are apparent similarities, sure, but after a while, you just want to create a whole new definition - thus, no points debit here for not adhering to style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -28.8%
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 Trilogy31
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Happy i was able to taste this obscure rarity. Pours a cloudy brown sunset orange with a fleeting half inch of head. Nose is sweeter bready malts, bright citrus especially tangerine. Taste is more of the same with maybe a touch of light caramel and mandarin showing up, along with some vinous notes. Tasty beer but far from though provoking for the price.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 145 ratings