Hitachino Nest Tokyo Station Edition Japanese Classic Ale – Kiuchi Brewery (Japan)

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Hitachino Nest Tokyo Station (special edition) Japanese Classic ale, 7% (normally 7.5%) ABV, 330ml, (Ibaraki, Japan)


on the back label:

“This Japanese classic ale is a recreation of the first Japanese beer made in the Edo period. Please enjoy the Japanese taste, aged in ceder [sic] barrels like the old IPA style method from England”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Creamy full almost berrylike tangy woody toffee barley malt lingering bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Tokyo Station B1 / Japan
  • How much: ~$5 CAD – 330ml, April 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours reddish-brown with a small creamy head, ringed retention, suspended micro sediment, steady micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: light toasted sweet toffee barley malts. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-thicker viscosity,

Mid-palate: fine creamy CO2 mouthfeel, almost berrylike, (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy-zingy, woody toffee barley malt, hints of sake sweetness

Finish: dryness, lingering medium sharp bitter hops.

Summary: A truly enticing full mouthfeel with a solid tasting barley malt body and lasting hops to finish it off.

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew – Kiuchi Brewery (Ibaraki, Japan)

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Rating: C+

Price: $5.79, Uwajimaya, 11.2 fl.oz., 8%ABV

Visual: pours cloudy copper brown with a quickly dissipating v.small head, ringed retention, a few scattered micro streams.

Nose: very faint caramel malts. (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: crisp malty, incoming ginger dryness

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) brown sugar malts, ginger root

Finish: ginger root bitterness, gentle hoppy bitterness, brown sugar malty sweet finish.

Summary: Identifiable ginger in the brew as advertised, a decent mix of sweet malty and rooty bitter. Not terribly spicy though which would’ve made it better.

Hitachino Nest XH Extra High – Kiuchi Brewery (Japan)

Hitachino Nest XH Extra High – Kiuchi Brewery, 8.5% ABV – 330ml, (Ibaraki, Japan)

On the back label:“This XH is brewed using more malt and hops than usual. Please enjoy the rich taste; Matured more than half a year.”

From ratebeer.com:

“Strong Belgian Brown Ale matured in distilled Sake barrels.the final Maturation takes place in Shochu casks {distilled sake} for 3 months.  Malts: Marris Otter, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate  Hops: Chinook, Styrian Golding  Original Gravity: 1.08”

  • Style: Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: Sweet malts -> caramel/anise/fig/cherry -> bittersweet light-hopped finish
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$6, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours light brownish orange with a small micro CO2 head, a few active CO2 streams. Mainly malts on the nose. Medium-Sweet (7/10) medium-heavy malts up front, mixed with light caramel, light anise (which is the sake + shochu barrel maturation), fig, a touch of cherry. Creamy mouthfeel and finish light hoppy medium lingering bittersweet. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability.

Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia – Kiuchi Brewery (Ibaraki, Japan)

Ancient Nipponia Hitachino Nest – Kiuchi brewery, 6.5% ABV, (Ibaraki, Japan)

On the back label:

“This Nipponia is brewed using two Japanese original materials; ‘Kaneko Golden’, the Japanese ancient barley, and ‘Sorachi Ace’, the hop which once was bred in japan. Please enjoy the citrus flavour, the golden color and the complex taste”

My notes:
  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: good body with bold hops and citrus flavour
  • Where I got it: Keg n Cork (EDM)
  • How much: $10 , June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear golden yellow, minimal head, small co2. Light malts on the nose. Tastes of light-med malts, bitter orange citrus, medium-heavy bitterness throughout (7/10), strong aggressive hops (9/10). Medium complexity, med-high depth.

Hitachino Nest Valentine’s Day Beer – Kiuchi Brewery (Japan)

Valentine’s Day Beer – Japan

1) Amber Ale (Valentine’s Day, 2012) – Hitachino, 5.5% ABV, (Ibaraki, Japan)

On the back label:

“This amber ale is a reddish chocolate brown beer brewed with a rich malt and bitter hops. Please enjoy the well-balanced flavor and taste.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I don’t love it: not terribly exciting, but balanced
  • Where I got it: Tokyo, Jan 2012
  • How much: ¥525 ($7)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours slightly reddish but mainly brown with very minimal head, ringed retention, small CO2, a few fast-moving CO2 streams along the perimeter, sporadic thin sticky lacing. Malts, some hops and a bit of tangerine on the nose. Strong fruity tangerine/clementine up front (a la IPA), transitioning nicely into a malty, minor chocolate, half hoppy, 5/10 bitter finish. Medium complexity, Medium depth, long length, good carry. Doesn’t look particularly impressive from the colour or the pour, but is actually quite balanced and solid. Body holds well and transitions are clean.

2) Espresso Stout (Valentine’s Day, 2012) – Hitachino, 7.5% ABV, (Ibaraki, Japan)

On the back label:

“This espresso stout is brewed using well-roasted espresso beans. The recipe is based on the imperial stout loved by the Russian emperor. Please enjoy the balance of its rich taste and coffee flavor.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I enjoy it: excellent body excellent espresso flavor
  • Where I got it: Tokyo, Jan 2012
  • How much: ¥525 ($7)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours jet black, minimal head, quickly dissipating head, ringed retention, small CO2, some sticky-some runny lacing, opaque. Abundant roasted espresso beans on the nose, wow. Fresh roasted coffee 101. Smooth gentle roasted coffee up front, mellowed malts in the mids and a long 6/10 deep coffee, dark 70% chocolate bitter finish. Somewhat fruity. The transitions and elegant and the mouthfeel is extremely silky. Virtually no sour aftertaste. Medium complexity, high depth, long length, great carry, good body. Excellent choice for coffee lovers. Overall a solid beer but I can’t say it’s extremely complex.

3) Doppo White Chocolate (Valentine’s Day, 2012) – Miyashita Sake Brewing, 5% ABV, (Okayama, Japan)

My Notes:

  • My Rating: D-
  • Why I dislike it: extremely watery and disgusting flavour
  • Where I got it: Tokyo, Jan 2012
  • How much: ¥400 ($6)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No not even for free
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Hell No

Tasting Notes: pours Corona light yellow, zero head, minimal ringed retention, small CO2, scattered slow-moving CO2 streams. Chalky white chocolate on the nose, melon-pan (メロンパン) bread, bananas. Tastes of bananas, not-quite white chocolate, and again melon-pan but body is extremely thin and carry is non-existent. Bitter pilsner finish is an afterthought in the creation process. Medium complexity, low depth, low-medium length. The only thing I enjoy about this beer is the interesting aroma. This is clearly a special occasion money-grab product. I’d be sad face if I got this for Valentine’s day.

Hitachino Nest Weizen – Kiuchi Brewery (Ibaraki, Japan)

Hitachino Nest Weizen – Kiuchi Brewery, 5% ABV, (Ibaraki, Japan)

On the back label:

“This German style weizen is a cloudy beer brewed with wheat malt, and a fragrant yeast. Please enjoy the banana like flavor and light taste.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: complex crisp fruity orange-banana
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: <$5, 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours bright cloudy orange creamsicle, small staying head, micro-foamy CO2, runny lacing, a plethora of CO2 streams. Orange marmalade on the nose with some barnyard sourness. Sharp but soft 8/10 sourness up front that half dissipates into an off-dry mandarin orange and banana clean finish. Also a mild bitter hoppy finish. Very crisp, medium complexity, medium-high depth, medium length, medium viscosity (great mouthfeel).