shadey (1815) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 6, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from KyotoLefty. A very nice toasty amber. Sweet malts, but the toasty character is the best. Why isnít this imported.
Ron (2184) - Rochester, New York, USA - SEP 1, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at the RB Rochester Gathering, Aug. 30/ 09. Thanks, KyotoLefty! Amber in color and slightly reddish. Nice sweet and malty aroma and flavor. Enjoyable
jb (1939) - Rochester, New York, USA - AUG 31, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at the RB Rochester Gathering, Sept. 09. Thanks, KyotoLefty! Unfiltered light brown with reddish highlights. Sweet, caramel, dryness in the finish, nice sweet sticky mouthfeel, especially as it warms.
jonno (2013) - JAPAN - MAY 23, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
A solid amber. One of those beers that would be good to introduce your macro loving friend to the world of good beer. Pours a beautiful amber and has a decent nose of thick malts. THe mouthfeel is light to medium and it has a a solid if slightly boring taste. As it warms the caramel becomes apparent (diacetyl?). Smooth and easy to drink, just not that complex
KyotoLefty (5542) - Kyoto, JAPAN - SEP 22, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 12, 2012 I have had this beer a couple times on tap and to tell the truth it was always disappointing. Itís better from the bottle, and this rating is of one that was cellared for 7 months, and was much better than usual.
Darkish amber. Strong hops and fruit aroma. Good malt in the as well. Only slightly sweet, some cookies and maybe chocolate and great caramel, cherries and other dark fruits. Good hops that linger on in the finish with the malt. Excellently balanced with head on barley and hops. Truly exceptional. The aged version was extra mellow and smooth.
omhper (18320) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - APR 19, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled. Clear mahogany colour, brief head. Orangey and toasty. Light bodied with clean, rounded crisp mouthfeel. Grainy with salty licorice. Fresh orangey hoppiness, medium bodied. Balaned bitterness. Well made all the way through.
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - APR 18, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled, shared by the OMH gang. Pours out in a brownish amber colour with a small creamy disappearing white foam. Crisp and fresh aroma of black cherries, grass, nuts and blood-oranges. Medium-bodied with a crisp and rather hoppy flavour of cedar-wood, grass and orange-peels with sweet undertones of red berries. Black cherries, toasted malts, nuts and orange-peels in the long aftertaste. Very nice, a hoppy and elegant amber ale, thatís quite rare.
BŁckDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - OCT 7, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled @ GJBF Yokohama: Copper color, nice thin head, light lacing. Nose of light caramel malt, some light hop and full bodied creamy malty body. Nice and full, rounded and rich.
Fish (440) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 4, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Another one on tap at the brewery (!) Light, small bubbles in the head. Body a slightly lighter shade of the same deep amber of the pale ale. Again, as with the pale ale, the brewers at Kiuchi have not been shy with the darker roasted malts. The palate is slightly crisper than the pale ale, which is pleasant. The hops here again are not really fruity at all so much as a darker, burnt coffee sort of bitter. Not bad, just very dark for the style. Perhaps Hitachino Nest has taken a cue from Tanizakiís essay IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS, in which the author characterizes the Japanese sensibility as one of darkness (versus lightness) in everything from bathroom architecture to tea ceremonies. Presumably this would carry over into the present-day world of beer, although Tanizaki wouldnít have ever tried any Kiuchi brew.
DarkMagus (468) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 16, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark amber-brown color, ample tan-colored head composed of micro-bubbles and some larger "soapy" bubbles. A good amount of lacing on the glass developed as I drank this one. Surprisingly big flavors of malt, balanced by ample hops and a definite coffee-like presence. Hints of cocoa and dark-roasted grains underneath. Smooth, silky mouthfeel that finishes very dry. Just enough carbonation to create a prickly sensation on the tongue, but not too much. An amazingly satisfying brew--this one will be my go-to beer from Hitachino for awhile. Just awesome.