RateBeer
overall
92
86
style
Brewed by Kiuchi Brewery
Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
Ibaraki, Japan
Serve in Shaker, Tulip

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 660   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Hitachino Japanese Classic Ale is brewed following the original India Pale Ale brought to Japan in the 19th century . It is slowly matured in Cedar casks which are commonly used in the brewing of traditional Japanese sake.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kramer (5320) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 23, 2007
24.3 oz bottle, via SoLan. Pours a hazy orangish copper colored body under a one finger foamy off-white head that left some sticky lacing. Aroma is pretty straightforward, floral and lightly citric hops over a doughy malt base. Maybe some light woody notes, but nothing that I would specifically peg as cedar. The flavor does showcase the cedar fortunately. Moderate citric hoppiness, light bitterness, and doughy pale malt up front. Finishes with lots of dry woody tannic notes, definately unique in nature. This wasnít the same as the raw oak that is used on many beers. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a slightly drying finish. The fine fizzy and lively carbonation preps the tongue for that woody finish nicely. This was a neat beer. Unique to say the least. I quite liked it overall, despite itís fairly weak individual components.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hotstuff (4393) - Indiana, USA - FEB 22, 2007
Bottle. Small off-white head that mostly dimiinished with minimal lacing, transparent, visible carbonation, and an orange hue. Nose was hoppy, peppery, spicy, some fruitiness, and lightly malty. Flavor was peppery, hoppy, fruity, and malt. Tingly mouthfeel and medium body. Definitely better than what I had anticipated. Quaffable and would drink this one again evenn though I do not anticipate that happening.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jessefive (2) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 22, 2007 does not count
The first thing I noticed in the aroma, flavor, and finish was pepper. White pepper to be exact. It was very strong in the finish. There was a wild spiciness that was intriguing, but not at all overpowering. There was some sake influence to the flavor as well. Behind all the pepper and sake flavors, the cedar taste really starts to develop. As it warmed and I worked my way through the beer, the cedar really started becoming prominent. It had a creamy, bitter body. This was very interesting and delicious!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcwattsrugger (11345) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - FEB 11, 2007
11.2oz bottle-pours an off white head and amber color. Aroma is musty, hay, medium malt-slightly sweet. Taste is musty, hay, wood, medium malt-slightly sweet, hops-slight bitterness, medium fruit. Medium body. OK carbonation.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 6, 2007
Cute bottle with a Japanese owl on it. Orange color with a small, fizzy head. Smell is not too strong but interesting nonetheless. Aroma of hops and grass and something I canít put my finger on. Taste is fairly watery with subtle hops and a bitter finish. Tastes exactly like it smells. This is an interesting, unique beer that is good without being exceptional. Different, but Iíd go with other brands in this category.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (8819) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 30, 2007
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2007 Deep copper-amber beer with a thick white persistent head. Aroma is very woody and cedary with a soft earthy sweet malt aroma. A touch of resiny cedar, woody and lightly earthy. Warming brings out a lovely chewy fruitiness, dry earthy/spicy notes on the back as well. Earthy/musty resiny bitterness with loads of of cedar character. Herbal/spicy hops on the back. A very interesting and tasty brew.

Tap at Ginger Man. Hazy amber/golden beer with a very creamy white head. The aroma is slightly dusty and muted. A bit of apricot character over some light UK-type malts. Very tame and muted compared to my recollection of this out of the bottle. Lightly woody and cedary but again, nowhere near what I remember. Iíd say this keg has been around for quite some timeÖ just like almost everything I ever get at Ginger Man. 6 4 6 3 12

3.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GarrettB (1164) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 16, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 14, 2007 Review: Straight from the aviary cloister in Ibaraki Japan to my far away state of Colorado comes another offering from a respectable Japanese brewery. The folks at Kiuchi continue to fight against heavy liquor laws in Japan to produce individual expression in brew, and in doing so are the standard bearers for decades of social change. But enough with the trivialities of Japanese law, and onto the foreign beer. Itís a mundane beer by aesthetic standards, sporting a boring clownfish orange coat and a slightly tan, flat head. The smell is only a little more interesting, fuming with orange marmalade and poisoning the nose with a tangible and mismatched skunkiness. The taste is more gripping. A sparkling, pricking ginger leaps onto the tongue with enthusiasm, tap dancing like a good, sweet root is bound to do. It scrapes and cleanses the palate, making the following black tea tones more discernible to a crowded palate. Iím very excited because this is the first time (that I can remember) being able to locate a peculiar earth and soiliness that is most intimately bound with the flavor of good loose leaf black tea. Itís soft and wet, and very savory like a basket of root vegetables. Not to mention the all-natural taste and the sensation of being environmentally friendly. The gentle tea tones take a back seat when the rest of the flavor bits come in, all of them loud and abrasive. A great heap of coriander, orange peel and black pepper besiege the tongue in a hostile takeover, before beginning a linear slope down into a quiet obscurity. If this is an IPA then I am thoroughly impressed. It retains the hoppish qualities that defines a pale ale, but adds much more in a distinguishing display of uniqueness and character development. Again, I have nothing but praise for the earth elements present in the beer, as I think they fit not only the entire style and genre of beer itself but the other qualities present in the Japanese Classic Ale as well. Maybe it stems from the aging in Japanese sugi casks, but whatever the reason, 19th Japanese century beer savants must have been very happy, even in the midst of the Bakumatsu. Nothing like this ancient recipe to wash down 250 years of Feudalism, and a fine way to celebrate revolution.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gorbalev (2990) - Ontario, CANADA - JAN 15, 2007
Bottle, shared with GregClow, Hogtown Harry, Blankboy, Jerc, and Mabel, courtesy of Blankboy. Looks good - dark amber, small foamy head. Neat spicy aroma - unique - pepper, earthy, hops, and well, rice (honestly). Tons of wood and pepper in taste - malt and hops as well. Great tasting unique creation, I quite enjoyed this unique take on an IPA.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
wheninhell (488) - chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 11, 2007
on tap at richos lupulin land 2006. served in a hitachino glass...which is nice....its a cool glass.... but you cant see the damn beer. its like ceramic or something.....but anyway best i could tell what you have here is a light amber body with a nice white head. aroma dominated by sweet slightly fruity malt with a nice touch of hops. sweet toasted apricotish malt dominates the flavor with nice spicy hops to balance things out. medium bodied with great creamy carbonation. love the mouthfeel. decent drinkable IPA.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Glouglouburp (6104) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 4, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 24, 2008 In short: A cedary funky IPA. Very unique and simply fantastic.
How: Bottle 750ml, many times, always consumed as fresh as possible.
The look: Cloudy golden-orange body topped by a large off-white head
In long: Funky and hoppy on the nose. Very yeasty beer with a strong woody taste giving the feeling of drinking sawdust. Thick chewy and dirty body like I love them. Strong honey taste although the beer doesnít feel very sweet. Very hoppy beer. The hops are piney but with a Belgian twist, hard to describe. Soft caramel and orange round up the flavour spectrum. Cedar presence from beginning to end. Thatís a tasty, filling and aggressive beer that commands to be drunken slowly. A Classic Ale? I wish.


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