Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Ancient NipponiaHitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia
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American Imperial Pilsner
Ranked #22
Ranked #17,111
3.91 | pDev: 10.74%
Kiuchi Brewery
Very Good
Hitachino Nest Ancient NipponiaHitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia
Notes: "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: 8.0%
Color: Golden Yellow

Won a Bronze Medal at the Australian International Beer Awards 2012 in category 5D "Other International Style Lager Packaged".
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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L- Deep amber, poured carefully after a week's rest but some fine particles of sediment have come with the pour. Begins with 1cm white head that is holding pretty well. (Later reduces to a wide ring)
S- Quite puddingy with stewed fruits, not quite as prominent as I might have expected from an 8.0%ABV.
T- Wow, and 5 seconds later another (genuine) wow as it builds. Deeply alcoholic on the tongue, as if this has been liberally doused with a fine malt whisky. Deep stewed fruit flavours (think plums, deep and rich), with a notable alcohol tang that balances it.
F- Intense, puddingy, deep, rich but intriguingly balanced by the heft of 8.0%. This is a great beer. The closest comparison I could make vs an EU beer is vs say a monastic tripel or even quadrupel from Belgium.
O- I've tried several Hitachino Nest beers and haven't had one I didn't like. A good job as they tend to be $$$ to buy in the UK. This one is seriously-$, a shame as I'd very happily drink it again, more often if it were somewhat less so.
The Japanese are masters of borrowing ideas from others, and then improving upon them and exporting them (computers, the Walkman, rotary car engines, etc/etc/etc). Now we have the pleasure of the Japanese moving beyond major factory brews (Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo etc) and into more characterful beers such as this one.
Bought From Wholefoods, London W8 £7.49/550ml bottle. BB 08/19. A lot of money, but then I splashed out on something special for my 400th rating, and am thrilled that I did and chose this one.
Trivia: the bottle is notably solid, I weighed it, 430 Grams!
p.s. Others below refer to it as being a pilsener, or labelled thus; but I see no reference to this at all, and it definitely isn't anything like a pilsener in style. The lable reads: 'Hitahchino Nest beer, Ancient Nippionia'. No reference to any 'Style' at all. In fact I suspect the style 'American Imperial Pilsener' is not the correct one.

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Photo of monkist
4.84/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I know Kiuchi brewery from JP, and remember them for their awesome - and not so common style - brews. This one has always been a kind of a mystery for me, what this could be like, until I finally managed to buy it.
And right after popping the bittle open I knew I made no mistake. Looks amazingly rich golden amber. Smells like - what? Grains, crops, beans? But the taste knocked me out. Amazingly complex, don't know where to start taking it apart. This rich barley grain taste is really intensive, then behind this wall you find normal malts, slightly sweet but the forefront just makes it really different. Bready, toasty, like japanese genmai brown rice? I love it. I feel hints of hops somewhere, but now that I'm trying to catch them they slip away and let the grains thump you into the ground. The ancient Kaneko Golden barley and Sorachi Ace combo - this is a true rarity indeed. And perhaps that's the most appropriate word for it - you definitely feel that you're drinking a rarity, like a vintage wine. Amazing. It is like going to eat japanese at a ryokan or where they serve you food from the best ingredients, this is it. For those who have been or lived in Japan, this will be more than just a phenomenal brew.
If you ever felt that it was a pity that you opened a beer for it is just too good for the occassion, for it being simply too good - THIS is such a beer. For sure.

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Photo of josanguapo
2.35/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From Saveur Biere. In Teku glass. Playing Technobabylon. Odd tasting brew, with lots of what may be described as strange flowers in it. Saturates. May be because of excess of sorachi ace? Zesty too

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is bomb, a really drinkable brew, sort of an ale and lager hybrid, pale but somewhat more dense looking than others. i wish i could taste this special barley a little more than i can, it tastes like really fresh pale two row base malt, maybe a little starchiness to it, but im not necessarily tasting a new grain, unlike some of their other exotic grain beers that are more distinctive. the hops though are awesome, my favorite strain, and this is a cool expression of them. always seems to be ipa or saison with the sorachi ace, but here in this blonde beer, they really stand out in a new way, without bitterness from hops or sweetness from grain. uninhibited sorachi ace hops is a wonderful thing if you have never experienced it, and this is about as good as i have seen that done. fuller bodied than anticipated, maybe a product of the special grain. carbonation is on point, and its nice and dry. the sorachi puts lemon oil notes into this, lemongrass, mild tang, refreshing and awesome. these guys make some incredibly interesting beers. i wanted more from the unique japanese barley, but i like the beer as a whole an awful lot.

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Photo of Flickerdart
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this in a tiny Japanese supermarket in Queens and drank it two days after buying. Poured from 330ml bottle into 16oz pint glass. Beer poured a cloudy amber. Three fingers of lively foam subsided while I was trying to find the review button on this website, leaving behind substantial lacing.

Nose is flowery with prominent but not overpowering hops and hints of dill. No alcohol smell.

Taste follows nose - hoppiness is gentle and grapefruity, very enjoyable for someone who is usually not a huge hops guy.

Mouthfeel is crisp - the beer is refreshing and fairly light.

Overall, a fine beer for people in the middle of the hoppiness spectrum. Brick-in-face IPA enthusiasts will be disappointed, as will malt lovers. There's nothing double or imperial about it - it's a regular pilsner, just like the bottle says.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smells of hearty bread, sweet modified malt, and flowery, peachy hops. Appears a cloudy, deep amber with a pale, cream-hued head. The flavor has a solid foundation of hearty grains and considerably bitter, somewhat peachy hops. Feels creamy and full-bodied with just a little fizz.

This is one of the more unique-tasting beers I've had. Seems like the barley does most of the work, giving it a firm, hearty aroma and flavor, while the hops line the malt with plenty of bitter, peachy flavor. The 8.0% alcohol hides well in the bitterness and grainy flavor.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

There is nothing to indicate (on the bottle) that this is a double or imperial pilsner. The label merely states "Pilsner". Mayhaps the Bros have more info on this than the bottle presents.

Pours a bright golden color with a full inch of foamy white head atop. Head drops fairly quickly, receding to a scattered clumping of thin, bubbly foam. Some intermittent lacing remains.
Smell is fairly typical of pilsners, saltines, some hops (peppery & citrus), a bit of malt. Balance is pretty good.
Taste is a step up from most of the others of this style I've had, although it is my least favorite style, by far. Notes of peppery hops, light citrus, crackers, dirt & grass. Solidly balanced.
A little more than medium on the body. Effervescence is not as pronounced as with others of the style, a good thing in my book. Dry finish. If you're gonna drink a pilsner, this would be a good one to reach for.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of those beers that is simple and light and yet just hit the spot for me. Poured a straw colored golden body with one finger head and lace. Aroma is mild hops with a citric vibe as well as some earthiness. While the beer is light bodied and finishes crisp, the hops are subtle and this beer actually gives off some candy like sweetness and the balance between citric, earthy hops and this somewhat sugary sweetness is great. I found this beer to be a pleasant surprise and a nice session beer.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Pours a dense, foamy white head that has excellent retention and laces readily. A great, bright (lemon) citrus aroma; this smells absolutely amazing. Radiant gold color; crystal clear. Starts with a lemon-citrus hop bitterness; a flash of grainy hop. This intensifies to a medium bitterness, with the citrus flavors intensifying in tandem. Dry finish as the citrus hop bitterness lingers.

This is really, really good. I love this one. It's a fascinating hop adventure, and I can't recommend it enough. Kiuchi Brewery makes some consistently wonderful brews.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap

Appearance-Light gold, little hazy, 1 finger white head

Aroma- Um huh, very different almost like a belgian pale, fruity esters, pear, river rocks, some herbal citrus hop notes.

Flavor- Pear, deep malt, nicely balanced, herbal hops, There is also stuff going on here I'm not sure I know a good descriptor for. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, good carb, no real alcohol present.

Overall-There are a lot of things going on in here. Not sure its really an American imperial Pilsner, but its very tasty. Would recommend.

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Photo of Heritage02Rider
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was given a .5l bottle of this to try, seeing as I work for a Japanese based company. The bottle is black insinuating a very dark beer, but after pouring into a german hefe styled glass was shown a very hefe colored and cloudyish beer. Very interesting indeed. My wife noticed it first, but the beer has a bit of flotsam in it. Most likely due to a nonfiltering pass. This does not seem to hamper the overall score as I have no fear of the unfiltered beers. The smell is represetative of a German hefeweisen, as is the color. The taste however is a bit bitey for lack of a better term. It hits the tast buds hard and strong, but goes away with no lingering aftertaste. I would not go searching another, but when available will not avoid it. It is slightly above average and fairly drinkable, but money can be spent on more superior beer.

A: straw colored, unfiltered hefeweisen looking
S: similar to a wheat beer smell. Good smell.
T: it hits hard and strong with no lingering aftertaste
M: same as above...
D: I could drink more than one.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Cask Republic.

A: Very slightly hazed straw-colored body under a delicate head of ultra-fine white foam. Ok retention, spotty lace. Not bad at all.

S: Whoa, that's a little crazy. Ginger, lemongrass, juniper, and lime. Very herbal, citrusy, and fragrant. Really delightful.

T: Huh. Different here, with some cotton candy and marzipan sweetness ahead of some bready malt and a lemony, mildly bitter finish. A little too heavy on the aftertaste. Sweeter than I'd like, but tasty.

M: Medium body, nice creamy carbonation. Good.

O: Fascinating beer, and I can only imagine that if the keg hadn't been tapped for a week already it would have been crisper and more like the amazing aroma.


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Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 53 ratings