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: 709   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 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 (13602) - 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 (1862) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ibrew2or3 (8207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 30, 2007
Purchased at Beverage Castle, Tampa. A sediment laden pour looked somewhat hazy with orange/copper hues. The aggressive carbonation created an initial inch and a half tall light tan head. The aroma is sweet grapefruit hops mixed with sweet smelling malts. It starts to smell like orange flavored hard candy. The big carbonation causes an initial explosion of citrus hop bitterness that is quickly sweetened with malt. Then there is an earthy quality that surfaces along with grain or pale malts and then more earthiness. The whole while there is a persistent citrus hop bitterness that rides right into the after taste. Nice IPA.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sandollor (48) - GERMANY - JUN 14, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2008 Again, a year later and I am right above my brother! Ha! Not a bad beer. I havenít tried any other beers from Japan, but I would now after trying this one. Very light in look and taste. Much lighter then typical IPAs. Evidently I dislike most Indian Pale Ales, but this is agreeable. Not a bad beer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
bhensonb (14165) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 12, 2007
Lightly sweet aromas of mixed fruit. Slightly hazy light amber color, with a decent white head. Starts a bit tart, moves to light fruitiness. The body is not strong. The wood casks seem to contribute a light earthy, woody aspect. Itís really quite pleasant, and there is a decent amount of hop bitter. If it wasnít so expensive, Iíd buy it on a regular basis.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Braudog (6379) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - JUN 3, 2007
Bottle: Dark ruddy orange with a nice rolling hill head of solid foam. Interesting light fruity aroma. This drinks quite well, full of fruity flavors ... watermelon, carrot juice, green tea, blood orange. Solid cloying hop bitter finish. This is an exceptional, different beer ... quite delicious. (#2951, 6/3/2007)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jasonp (1573) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - MAY 31, 2007
Pours an attractive, slightly hazy copper with a billowy off-white head. Prominent earthy, cedary aroma with a touch of pear, nice. Flavor has notes of pear/apple, cedar, light caramel, earthy British hops and pepper. Pleasant level of sweetness, moderately bitter. Medium bodied with a smooth texture and lively, spritzy carbonation. A very original IPA. Neat stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
haukur (1800) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - MAY 25, 2007
much more like a yeasty belgian than an IPA. Yeasty and floral aroma, with hey, farm and outhouse notes. Very bitter finish. Obviously matured in sake casks

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - MAY 22, 2007
11.2 oz bottle. $3.99 @ Holiday Wine Cellar. What a deliciously interesting beer this turned out to be. The minute I popped this open, it gushed all over the place. Carbonation was obviously too high, but upon sitting a second or two, it was fine. In fact, it didnít lose much carbonation, actually. Poured a nice amber/golden color. Aroma was funky as hell. I guess the funkiness comes from the Cedar, but damn if it didnít smell like it was full of brett. In fact, the flavor was like an IPA with a slight amount of brett in the mix. If I was drinking this without knowing any better I would assume this was a hopped up Belgian beer infused with Bretts. As it is, itís damn fine, if not very complex and odd.

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