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, that’s quite rare.
BückDich (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 Tanizaki’s 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 wouldn’t have ever tried any Kiuchi brew.
DarkMagus (472) - 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.
aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - OCT 10, 2006
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Iced tea and biscuits nose with a muddy palate. Some minor malt astringency and a touch of diacetyl. Very mediocre beer.
Likeburning (149) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - JAN 17, 2006
0.9 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 3/20
UPDATED: MAY 8, 2006 This beer poured what looked like a whiter yeast into the glass with little specks of black as well. As opaque as Guiness, but because it was clouded and not delicious. This cloud-like beer tasted very tart a little bit of malt, but mainly skunk and trash. Will not buy again.
natrat (66) - Ucluelet, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 6, 2005
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Poured nicely, with an umber colour. Loose head, but thick and white. Aroma was somewhat hoppy, chinook is my guess. Mouthfeel was decent, middle of the road for an amber ale. The taste was unimpressive...this is an ale that doesn’t particularly stand out in any way. Far better than most macro-brewed options, but not a great ale. Malt character is ho-hum. Hops are ok. Whatever.
smoosh (534) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - FEB 12, 2005
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Draft - I’m hoping that this keg just didn’t travel well. It was not pretty. The aroma was that of vinegar. A beige head of medium-sized bubbles atop a deep amber body. There was more vinegar in the flavor, but some malt. There was a reason that this was marked down to $1.25 for a half pint and $2 for a full pint. I knew there was, but tried it anyway.
IslandHaole (1086) - Yokosuka-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken, JAPAN - DEC 14, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A slightly hazy medium dark Brown. Small beige head. Think "Bigfoot" at a low volume for the aroma, rich complex malts with just the right balance of the Cascade hop pine/citrus scent. Aggressive hops up front that like microscopic pit bulls, latch on to your taste buds and never let go. The malt flavors manage to sneak in the few scant openings between the hops teeth but make no mistake about it, this is a tribute in liquid to the love of Cascade hops!
TimE (2945) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 11, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown color with an off white head. The nose is balanced with caramel malt and cascade hops. The mouth starts hoppy then huge caramel malts come in and then finally the hops come back at the end. Like most of Hitachino nest beers, really well balanced.