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: 716   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.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - MAR 18, 2008
Since this comes from Japan and Hitachino is probably one of the smaller breweries in Japan, this comes at no small price. And due to that high price, the beer is no where near what it should be which is a shame because a Japanese IPA is intriguing.

The beer pours out of the oddly shaped hour-glass style bottle with an solid amber colored head but the head just didnt hold up. An aroma of honey, stale orange juice and a bit floral. Average mouthfeel. Flavors had some sweet malt to it with an odd green wood character that just didnt do much for me. Pretty average stuff, and at nearly twice the price as other beers Ill be sure to stay away from it in the future.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAR 11, 2008
3-2-08 bottle shared at tasting thanks to meeee!!
Light orange in color with little head. Smells just just apple juice. Has a stagnant and interesting mouthfeel. Flavor isnt too bold - but is slightly hopped (not as much as I had hoped for). Aftertaste is a bit rubbing alcohol. Pretty decent - not quite great though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
This review pertains to the aged 2002 version. Pours a cloudy orange color with a foamy cream color. Aroma of oak, apple and spice. Flavor is quite tart and is dominated by apple because of the aging in cider casks.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
lb4lb (2587) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAR 4, 2008
Pours a glowing orange pour with a moderate offwhite head. Smell is musty, woodsy, and perhaps a touch fruity. Taste is dry, musty, and woodsy overall with a nice bitterness in the finish. Mild hop flavor overall for an IPA and it definitely has a unique woody flavor from the cedar cask aging. Interesting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAR 1, 2008
12 oz bottle from BottleTrek.com. Pours a murky straw color. The beer is very different, very strange. There was an overwhelming spice flavor and aroma, which I identified as peppery. It also tastes like gnawing on a piece of wood, but somehow it works. There is a sweet spicy bitter finish. This rating is a bit convoluted, but I am not sure how to rate this one. It was not my favorite, but I gave slightly higher points for the uniqueness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
smith4498 (3588) - Winter Springs, Florida, USA - FEB 2, 2008
Poured a hazy orange with an off white head that quicky disipated. Funky aroma. Peppery and ginger ale? I cant quite put my finer on it. Flavor was also peppery and woody with an earthy aftertaste. Not bad, but different. Worth a try.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
wingman333 (333) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - FEB 2, 2008
I was encouraged to try this and was not disappointed. It is aged in cedar casks and you can really smell and taste the wood, leading to a nice bitterness, It has an amber-gold color, average carbonation, and spicy finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pepperford (115) - robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2008
red/brown color, with a good amount of chill haze. light tan head that disapates rather quickly due to the carbination coming thru. The smells of malts and wood (cedar in this case), spices and sweetness are rather nice. The flavors are rounder than expected from a Japanese beer. The sweetness, spice and carbination give it a pleasant playfulness with sushi. The finish is rather sweet and clean. I will buy this again if the price can come down a bit, $7 for a 12 oz. in a sushi bar (ouch).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
NicerInPerson (337) - North of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 1, 2008
The aroma was fruity and lightly floral with an underlying caramel/candy sweetness. The aroma contained some tropical fruits and a nice peppery spice aromatic. The beer poured into the glass a hazy peach color with a white very low head which did lace at the glass. The flavor was lightly sweet with more candy/caramel at first and then some peppery light spice flavors emerged. The flavor was refreshing and had a bit of a spicy/woody nature from the cedar with a bit of light tannins. The finish was dry with lasting spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a fairly low level of carbonation but still a spritzy nature on the palate. A nice Belgian Pale Ale, but a bit of an odd IPA. 11.2 ounce bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 31, 2008
Bottle: Pours a cloudy copper color with a small white head. Aroma, herbal and floral hoppy notes, with a bready, caramel malt background. Flavor, some apples, caramel, bready notes, some other light fruity notes, a bit woody, with a slight lingering earthy bitterness. A good deal of carbonation, nice woodsy, earthy aftertaste. Not bad at all.

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