Brewed by Kiuchi Brewery (Hitachino)
Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
Konosu, Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 706   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5/5   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
minch25 (577) - Medford, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 27, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 13, 2008 Rerate:
Sept 13, 2008
Not as good as I remember. Yeasty. Iced tea flavor. Tired bitterness. Kind of weird. Wonít lower the score just yet, but if I did, it would be something like:
6 4 6 3 13

Aug 27, 2007
Very unique ipa. Hazy murky orange appearance. Bitter body but balanced by a soft exotic sweetness like grapefruit/lychee, rounded out by a delicate cedar character. Refreshing and not syrupy like some other ipas. Complex and delicious (and again absurdly hard to find in columbus) 8 5 8 4 17

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (6071) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 25, 2007
Poured a hazy amber color with a medium sized, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of grass, noble hoppiness, dough, and a bit of skunk. Taste of citrus, grass, lemon, some caramel, a bit of skunk, dough, and grapefruit, leading way to a dry, cedary, finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Optigon (562) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - AUG 15, 2007
Pours clear orange with a moderate, fluffy head. Moderate mouth feel. Hoppy flavor with a moderate bitter finish. Aroma is warm and cedar. Very decent change of pace.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jimhilt (2552) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 7, 2007
Explodes out of bottle all over the counter, five+ finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cedar nose. Flavor is sweet cedar and apple with spices - NOT apple pie, clean finish. $3.89 for a 330ml bottle from Tullyís Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SSSteve (4006) - - AUG 4, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2007 murky copper with a medium sized creamy off-white head. floral, hoppy aroma with notes of apples and spices. flavor is hoppy and floral. cedar adds a very nice, unique, woody, sugary flavor to this. iím a fan.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nearbeer (4835) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 18, 2007
Copper-orange with a slight haze and a small, but lasting head. Aroma is peppery evergreen resin. Flavor is similar: quite a unique taste with a spicy-peppery tongue and nasal tingle, to balance some malty sweetness and a hint of alcohol. There is a lot of very different flavor here which must be from the cedar; if they hadnít told me it was casked in cedar, I wouldnít have been able to identify it. However, there is a dry, resiny-wood taste akin to the cedar smell (best I can come up with). It is kind of peppery-sour-woody, and gets better the more I get accustomed to it. To me the cedar is more evident in the taste; I didnít identify cedar in the quite different aroma. I would have pegged this beer for a Belgian, with all the spicy tastes. Palate is somehow smooth and tingly at the same time, medium-bodied and somewhat dry.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
WisconsinBeer (716) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JUL 15, 2007
Hops are there but donít overwhelm the beer. Malts are light and sweet. A little bit of earthy wood flavor comes through, probably from the cedar. This is a damn fine pale ale, well balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUL 11, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2008 <Re-rate 8/14/08. Clearly, I must’ve had a past-its-prime bottle for the first go-round, as this time I really got alot more IPA character. The cedar is still substantial and persistent, but juicy, bitter, citrus hops do well to counter that. I really enjoyed this truly unique brew this time around, and I clearly prefer this, like all other IPAs, as fresh as possible. See below for original rating, and comments on appearance and palate.

Original rating 7/11/07. 6/3/6/4/15 = 3.4. Color is a cloudy orange-amber. Head is a thin white film that leaves behind small patches of lacing. The beer looks like an IPA, but thatís about where the similarities end. The cedar is very apparent in the aroma. Itís so apparent, that its all I can really concentrate on. Likewise, the flavor is so heavily geared towards cedar that I canít get past it. This beer literally feels like I am drinking the extracted oils from fresh pressed cedar planks. After much contemplation, and careful translation from tastebuds to brain, I can detect some citrus and some toffee malts, but its not easy. The cedar taste is constantly screaming "look at me" while everything else struggles to get recognized. Say what you will, Kiuchi brews some very unique beers. Moths must hate this beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (13344) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 5, 2007
Bottle from Dilly Deli. Poured a hazy copper color with an average off-white head that lasted and produced good lacing. Heavy hoppy citrus and pine aroma. Medium body with soft carbonation. Medium hoppy bitter flavor with a full hoppy citrus bitter finish of average duration. Solid drinkable brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - JUL 3, 2007
$4 bottle from Takanaya in Tokyo. Finally a beer I look forward to finishing. The past few beers Iíve tried I havenít looked to finishing, because they are skunky or too sweet or something. I love smelling this beer, the Cedar cask really shines through and through. I smell it over and over again in my tulip glass. The head is a creamy paper thin layer covering the surface of the beer. The best temperature is a little cooler, not warm. There is a little background sweetness, but the beer leans nicely toward more hops. I think much better than other IPAs. Tastes mellow, and not harsh. Very flavorful, and yet could be a great session beer. I quietly say I love it. Thereís a reason itís rated second best beer in Japan.

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