Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic AleNovember 1, 2004 Ibaraki, Japan
Imported by: B. United International
Place: Redding, CT
This bottle-conditioned ale is matured in Japanse cedar casks which are commonly used in the brewing of traditional Japanese sake.
Alcohol (wt.): 5.8
Alcohol (vol.): 7
Color: 27 EBC, copper brown
I love sushi. Unfortunately, most Japanese restaurants offer only ordinary lagers that don't complement the flavor of raw fish. They would be wise to discover Hitachino, the finest Japanese beer I've tasted. Like head? This one's overwhelming—and long lasting. The turbid rising-sun color hints of no filtration. What a nose! Hoppy, with an added dimension—perhaps it's the cedar casks used for aging. The palate is complex and satisfying, a good balance of hops and malt with a long aftertaste.
- Charles Finkel
Wow! Now this is a memorable beer. Aged in cedar—reminiscent of a Japanese tradition of drinking sake out of wooden cedar boxes. But this is beer and the balance of cedar, hops, malt and alcohol is extraordinary and skillfully accomplished. Easy drinking. Refreshing. The woodiness is fruity-spicy-exotic but does not exalt. This beer is for dreaming. I will never forget how I’ve enjoyed this beer. Let me buy a case!
- Charlie Papazian
This claims to be based on the recipes of IPAs sent to Japan in the 19th century, so here is a beer rich in history as well as taste. It’s bottle-conditioned and 7% by volume, which is spot on for the Burton IPAs of the time, and is matured in cedar casks. It has a hazy bronze color, and a vast, deep head of foam. The aroma has massive spices and pepper with powerful hints of toffeeish malt. The palate is full, with a fine balance of ripe malt and tart, bitter hops. The finish is dominated by spicy and peppery hops, balanced by a cookie-like note from the malt. Sayonara!
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
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