Hitachino Nest Pale Ale
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Pale AleHitachino Nest Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - English
Ranked #116
Ranked #39,997
3.64 | pDev: 14.29%
Kiuchi Brewery
Hitachino Nest Pale AleHitachino Nest Pale Ale
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 66 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hk117
hk117 from Hong Kong

3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle - a relatively average and unexciting beer from Hitachino which I've come to expect more. No Japanese twist or influence in anything and just a very basix pale ale but with a sweeter malt taste and more hopped. Not bad by any means but nothing special

Sep 21, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

L- Dark amber, very slight haze, pours with 5mm white head. Holds very well.
S- A light touch of perfumey fruit. Mild.
T- Hoppy on the front, but also that quite dry/carbonic austerity of hipster beers. That dominates for me and I'm unable to divine other flavours (or any subtlety) beyond it.
F- Dry, carbonic, well carbonated in the mouth. With a rich facet of mouthfeel it might be a refreshing summer beer but that's lacking so it comes over as all a bit unecessarily blunt and austere.
O- This is the 9th kind of 'Owls Nest' beer I've had and sadly perhaps the one I've least enjoyed. Japanese F+B is invariably about seeking a harmonious balance of flavours, one designed to sing to you. This beer is a foreign style to them and that balance has gone, which is a shame as when they do their thing and get it right they are perfectionists and the quality often follows (context: I used to live in Tokyo). I wonder what Western fans of hipster beers make of this one? I hope they enjoy it, and see the care and crafting in it that I describe experiencing in other JPnese F+B.
330ml bottle: BB: 08/20. Bought from Beerhawk/UK.

Dec 02, 2019
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Nass from Florida

3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The aroma reminds me of biscuits & crackers. On the taste I'm getting some baked biscuits, slight herbal tea note, & a little bit of caramel character leaning towards the backend. This beer is actually beer some Pale Ales that I've had from English brewers. Cheers! B

Aug 04, 2019
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monkist from Hungary

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kiuchi Brewery makes proper beers under the moniker of Hitachino. I never had any bad ones from them, on the contrary, they have been quite outstanding.
I must say that this pale ale is also a proper one, actually much better than most of ehat other breweries try making in Japan - Kiuchi stands above them all. It has a nice darker amber color to it and a really fruity aroma. The beer is drinkable with an ideal balance of hops and malts, not too sweet but not too dry either. Right there in the middle. It does what it has to do very well - but that’s about it. It doesn’t move any mountains.
It is a nice beer but nothing more, nothing less - so I give it a strong good 4 out of 5 in every respect.

May 06, 2019
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kitschiguy from Hong Kong

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Writing as I drink.

Poured a 330ml bottle into a 350ml beer glass. Poured a nice coppery brown with a good fluffy off-white/beige head. Fetaind quite well. Some lacing.

Nice nose. Lots of biscuit, malty aromas, caramel.

Palate is OK. MIld hop bitterness and fairly well balanced.

Mouth is a little thin. Carbonation quite high.

Recommended for fans of the style.

May 03, 2016
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The_Mad_Capper from Japan

3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

There is some citrus and pine in the aroma at first. As those soften and fade, some breadiness, toffee, and nuts become more apparent. The head is cream colored and the body a coppery amber. In the flavor, the hops are fairly light—some pine and grapefruit that tastes a little watered down. The malt is considerable but still secondary to the hops and fruity esters. Only somewhat bitter. A good earthy, grainy maltiness lingers. The body is on the light side with spritzy carbonation.

The balance of flavors seems rather off for the style. It's not very malty or bitter; and the hops and esters, while quite noticeable, are still rather light. Very drinkable and pleasant.

Oct 14, 2014
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dar482 from New York

2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A very disappointing brew. The hops almost tasted oxidized, but it just had a lot of woody taste to it. Quite malty and I had a real hard time with the herbal, woody, cardboard flavor that the beer had. There was a decent sweet caramel malt backbone to the beer, and the hops are certain times have redeeming qualities though.

Aug 14, 2013
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shigg85 from Japan

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Popeye's in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Overall, even for being a pale ale, I have to say this is my least favorite Hitachino i've had. Even on tap, the smell was a bit bland and the taste followed that trend. Better than many pale ales, of course, but falls short of even a Bass or Sierra Nevada (both amazing beers, too, of course). I enjoyed this beer, but I have no exact memorable tidbits about it. If you like Hitachino and you are trying them all like Pokemon, collect this one and just say you experienced it (like I am).

May 31, 2012
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jazzyjeff13 from England

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with no visible BB date. ABV is stated as 5.5%. Purchased from the Brewdog webshop. I like the owl emblem that this brewery uses on all their beers.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Bottle-conditioned. A hazy orange-amber with good carbonation. Forms a nice head of white foam that lasts for a couple of minutes before subsiding to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with notes of mild hoppy citrus and dry yeast.

Tastes of caramel malt with a mild bitter finish. Slightly sweet. Notes of caramel, dry yeast and subtle citrus. A faint carbonic acidity in the background, followed by a crisp bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, prickly and dry. Quite astringent. Aftertaste of malt and bitter hops.

Not bad - a decidedly drinkable pale ale. Wouldn't have minded if the aromatic hops were amped-up slightly, but the malt character and balance are good. A decent beer for my first foray into Japanese craft. Worth sampling if you come across it.

Apr 06, 2012
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, 5.5% ABV. Am I a bad person for getting a kick out of the fractured English on many beer bottle labels imported from afar?

This beer pours a glassy medium amber orange colour, with one finger of foamy, cooking pancake batter off-white head, which leaves a low seeping meniscus of lace around the glass as it settles.

The aroma is sweet caramel malt, infused with marzipan, a bit of breadiness, and fruity, herbal hops. Flavour-wise, it kicks off with a lessened caramel malt, the slack off-set by the lurking breadiness, a subtle warming spiciness, and soft herbal, weedy hops.

Bubbles are quite fine, and like a thin, dull razor sliding across the palate (not a bad thing, really); the body a standard medium weight, not too big, not too small, and unfortunately a bit too frizzy to be considered everyman smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, the nutty caramel malt not given to waning, and gaining a slight toasted nature, amongst some mild herbal hops.

A decent enough English pale ale, by way of Hong Kong, that is. The fruitiness and herbal character just seems more Asian than British, despite it proclaiming just the opposite, right on the label. Whatever - easy to drink, and flavourful.

Jan 07, 2012
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IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. From a 330 ml brown bottle, abv. listed at 5.5% Pours out a hazed light amber hue, with a short creamy off-white head.

Mild bready malt on the nose, hints of toast, along with mild dry earthy and herbal hops.

Toasty, bready malt up front in the flavour, balanced out with dry spicy, mild herbal hops on the finish. Tends to have spikes of sweetness off and on.

Medium-full mouthfeel, perhaps from some under-attenuation, smooth creamy texture, with moderate spritzy carbonation.

Walks the line of an English Pale Ale quite well, the key word here is "mild" when it comes to delivering the goods.

Oct 03, 2011
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distantmantra from Washington

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into straight pint glass.

A: Amber color with a light tan head and minimal lacing.

S: Caramel and malt.

T: Sweet malt and caramel with a lightly smoky after taste.

M: Medium carbonation with a nice dry finish and no bitterness.

O: Nice English pale from Kiuchi. Light and refreshing.

Jul 24, 2011
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ronniebruner from Arizona

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off, to be fair, Im not a fan of Japanese beer. This Japanese beer however, is pretty decent. It is your typical ale style lager beer. Tastes like any American/Euro beer. This beer is light in color, looks very average as far as carbonation and head. Aroma is hoppy and undistinguishable. Definitely not worth the $4.89 for a 12 oz bottle I paid.

Feb 21, 2011
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mzrebiec from Pennsylvania

3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This seemed like an interesting beer that I picked up at my local bottle shop. It was aged in cedar barrels that were used for making sake.

The beer poured a deep amber with a slight bit of head. The nose was of woody cedar and a good amount of earthyness. The flavors were similar. There was a lot of earthy cedar in the taste with little hop for a pale ale. As I drank on, I detected the zip of black pepper on the tongue. The finish was rather dry and drinkability was average.

NOTE: As I poured my beer it appeared that a "snot-like" substance came out. It was most unappealing. I removed it and finished the beer. Cedar sediment?

Jul 19, 2010
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juju7 from Australia

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Cafe Barley in Nishinomiya, one of the best beer bars I've been to. Nice copper body, vibrant with a fluffy, soft head. Gentle hop aromas, slightly tropical but mostly grapefruity. Touch of caramel maltiness out back. On the palate it's well rounded with forward malty bitterness and a solid finish. Really nice pale ale. Would be happy to drink it anytime.

Apr 01, 2010
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SargeC from California

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber colored brew with a light tan head.

Smell: Malt, caramel, butter.

Taste: Slightly sweet malt with hints of smoke. Nice, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied brew. Good consistency for a pale ale. Dry finish.

Drinkablity: Tasty and drinkable pale ale. I will seek this one out again.

Sep 27, 2008
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BeerBelcher from Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really didn't know what to make of this beer, but I wasn't terribly impressed with it. It seemed to me to be more cedar-y than hoppy, and while it was a bit unique, I thought the red rice and ginger beer from Hitachino are much more novel. It didn't satisfy my hop-craving side, but it also didn't score highly with me on the "new & novel" attribute.

Appearance was a darkish amber color, with a good amount of head. Aroma was cedar-y like a cigar humidor. Flavor was some hops, but I really got more woody notes than anything. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth. Not bad, but not as good as some other Hitachino beers I had alongside the Pale Ale.

Mar 07, 2007
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soulgrowl from England

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Solid, peachy cinnamon brown, dark for the style, with a good deal of smoggy tan sediment adding a layer of haze. Head is off-white and fair-sized with good retention.

Smell: Yummy. Fresh, green, herbal hops blended perfectly with fruity, toasty, buckwheaty malts and a light dollop of diacetyl. Unexpected tropical (banana, mango) and citric (lemon, orange) notes come through, as does a bit of clove and funky umami from the yeast.

Taste: Gorgeous. One of the toastiest, whole-grainiest malt profiles I've ever tasted, wrapped in a fresh, herbal and lightly lemony hop blanket. Yeast provides unexpected Belgian-esque earthy and lightly tart notes. Finish is bittersweet, with a lingering toffee sweetness balanced by the dry weight of hops.

Mouthfeel: This is a tad thin, which isn't fair to the robust flavor. Still, the carbonation is just right, and the finish is nice and clean.

Drinkability: This is awesome. If only it weren't so expensive, this would definitely be a fridge beer for me. I was sad when I reached for my glass and discovered that it was empty.

Dec 19, 2006
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wl0307 from England

3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle-conditioned beer is the only beer my British friend managed to bring back for me from a football-match trip to Yokohama three months ago. Liverpool won at first and lost in the end, to his disappointment, but at least a souvenir is in order. Made on 22/11/2005, no BB date specified on the label. Served lightly chilled in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: hazy, dark orangey and pink grapfruity hue, coming with a thin off-white beer head with o.k. retention; quite low carbonation
S: very pronounced aroma of sour-sweet yeasts upfront, reminiscent of Yakult yeast drink; as the aroma gradually softens, a refreshingly flowery, prune+柿子-fruity, as well as piney hoppyness takes over, unlike most American and English pale ales... a sour-sweet, almost honeyish, malty (almost like malt-syrup) backbone sustains, but smelling a bit static and not very colourful... quite different though.
T: piney, woody, and lightly sour grapefruity flavour of hops and yeasts hit the palate upfront; lots of yeastiness to play with on the palate, which is the natural result of a cloudy pint. Gradually an herbal dryness develops, leading towards a little herbal dryish-bitter aftertaste which magnifies to a certain limit and stops at the back of the palate. Hops are pretty restrained in terms of flavour but contribute a lot to the refreshing texture.
M&D: medium-bodied, less complex and flavoursome than expected, and thinning out at the end of tasting; in a sense this is a distinctive beer in its own right, if not judged against English pale ales or the American counterparts. I guess the house yeast-strain and hops make the whole world's difference, and the end result is not as approachable as I'm used to over here in Britain. That said, this is still a solid and decent brew, but might take me some time to really get hooked to it...

Mar 29, 2006
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joecast from Australia

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

slightly hazy amber color. off white, thin head. a few large bubbles inhabit the bottom of the glass.

light hoppy aroma. some sweetness/fruitiness as well.

hop presence is found in the bitterness more than the flavor. leaning towards earthiness more than citrus. finish is dry, but still has some sweetness. fairly good pa.

Dec 19, 2005
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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

~12 oz brown glass bottle, capped, with bottled-on date stamped on label.

This pale ale poured a hazy orange-amber color (if the sediment was poured) with sudsy, light yellow-tan foam that clung to the glass as it settled. The smell was a nice floral and lightly piney hops aroma with some malt balanced in. The taste was sharply hoppy with drying, bitter hoppiness. The flavor was well balanced between hops and malt. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth and crisp with medium body and modest carbonation. A very pleasant feel to this pale ale. This was a nicely drinkable pale ale -- easy to drink and refreshing. Thaks to Naerhu for this bottle.

Mar 21, 2005
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BierManVA from Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! What a delicious English Pale Ale! The aromatics and flavor of this bier are wonderful. The head on this thing was solid merengue. Beautifully carbonated...The flavors and aroma match perfectly, balanced, fruity and floral. Almost belgian-like.

I was unfamiliar with this product and thank Pat (patandavid) for this great bier. i will be looking for it w/o a doubt.


May 18, 2004
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Naerhu from Japan

4.77/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ingredients: malts, hops.
330 ml bottle, 5% alcohol

This beer is proof that the gods love us. Jumpingly aromatic. Deep wonderful flavor, with light orange peel bitterness. I am a convert. I have to admit while drinking this beer, it was so delicious that I drank the whole bottle, before I could scratch its surface and really analyze its beauty. The only reason I did not rate this a 5.0 for flavor is because I prefer a more hoppy pale ale.

Made: 14 Dec. 2002
Consumed: 27 Dec. 2002
Exp. 14 Feb. 2003

Dec 27, 2002
Hitachino Nest Pale Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 66 ratings