Beer 139/365 – Hitachino Nest Classic Ale

Style: English IPA

ABV: 7.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: So complex and unlike anything I have ever tasted.

Will I be drinking this again: If Phill still has more in stock I am buying him out of them

Grade: A

3/27/2010: Finishing up my Japanese Craft Beer week with a beer that I purchased back in 2009, and I actually forgot I even had it until I unearthed it when moving beers around the other day. I am literally running out of room to put all the beer I have. Hi my name is Drew and… I’m… someone who really likes craft beer.

Wasn’t sure what to expect with this one since it is a 2002 vintage, and it is not recommended to age this type of beer. But wow I popped this open and it smelled like no beer I have ever smelled before. Very oakey and citrus smelling. The taste is super complex. I am by no means a super taster but this beer has so many pronounced flavors that its very easy to pick them out. Yeasty Belgian like quality, citrus is the first taste you get, some black pepper spice, and it finishes with honey, a bit of hops, and a wood flavor I have never tasted before (must be the cedar barrels its aged in). Mouthfeel is creamy, almost like a nice Belgian dark. This beer is very very very unique. If you have access to it near you, grab a couple you will not be disappointed. It was worth every penny of the $5 I spent on it.

Thanks again to Dan for sending me my first 5 beers for this week. I am very thankful for getting to sample some of the best beer that Japan as to offer. There’s no way I would have been able to purchase these in the states.

Picture of the day: I want to be a dinosaur when I grow up.

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Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 8:46 am  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s an early one. They used to have 3 kinds of their classic, if I remember right, this one, a pink label and maybe a yellow one?
    All different wood or something. I remember trying all 3 about 3 or 4 years ago and only one was ok. Thwe other two were nasty and weird.
    I think yours is oak casked, not the cedar that is out now and was out last year.
    The cedar one is quite nice and possibly Hitachino Nest’s best beer. They recently made the Brooklyn Lager under contract over here. Kind of cocked it up too, from what I heard. Don’t rate them very highly, though they are more famous in the States than back in Japan due to their emphasis on export. I’d say they are not the best brewers in Japan. They bring out a bit of beer though, to be fair.
    Some good, some, well…
    The classic ale is kind of a pale ale/IPA hybrid. Weird but very drinkable and possibly their best and good on tap or in a cask, if you can get it!
    Glad you liked it. Great pic!

  2. I have the same problem with Craft Beer and wine and Rum and….. I basically have a liquor warehouse in my home.

    • I love Rum but never got into buying any of the pricey bottles. My favorite at this point is actually made by dogfishhead. They sell their own brand of spirits from their taproom in Rehobeth DE. I have been looking for a good bottle of rum to buy actually, any suggestions?

      • Depends on how much money you want to spend and what kind of rum you like. I definitely like aged rums. Here is something like my top 5, with my notes (from a spreadsheet I keep).

        El Dorado 21 year old ($75-85): My all time favorite rum, the best Rum I have had (I have and currently still own 25 different aged rums). Smoothest, most complex and just tastiest rum I’ve ever had.

        El Dorado 15 year old ($35-40): Very good. Great taste, smooth and complex. Just a little less smooth then the 21 year old and tastes a bit younger (but that is not necessarily a bad thing). One of the best rums for the price.

        Ron Zacapa 23 year old ($35-40): Quite sweet, extremely smooth. Nice texture, good flavor. Very good but not as complex as the El Dorado 21 or 15. Particularly good as an after dinner / dessert drink (because of the sweetness). Nice light sweet finish with maybe a touch of woodiness.

        Pyrat XO ($25-30): Different flavor than many other rums, unique bottle, quite good with coke. Pretty tasty and unique. After plenty of breathing, say 20 minutes, this becomes less harsh (alcohol burn) and is very tasty. May not be as “refined” as some, but it’s very tasty and easy to drink. Has a very unique “orange” flavor which is atypical or rums but pretty interesting. If you can’t find this but can find the Pyrat Pistol it’s pretty similar in flavor and worth trying as well.

        Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21 ($35-40): Aroma is nice but pretty subtle. Sweetness, maybe some leather(?) having a hard time discerning but it’s quite nice. Some spiceness to it. Taste is semi-sweet. Mildly peppery with a maple(?) flavor possibly and brown spices. Possibly a bit of raisin or some kind of dried fruit. This is pretty complex and tasty.

        Bonus
        ——-

        BRN Sea Wynde ($35-$45): This rum has a unique aroma flavor that reminds me of the ocean (not sure if the name is having some kind of effect on me but it’s definitely a bit different). I really enjoy this rum but I’d only try this if you are looking to try something pretty unique. If you haven’t had too many premium rums I’d maybe try the El Dorado 15 or Pyrat XO first.

        • If those rums are out of your price range you could try one of these in the $20 to $25 range:

          Angostura 1919: Very unique but good.

          English Harbour 5 year: Very good a bit harsh on it’s own though, I’d recommend mixing this with coke or something.

        • Awesome! Thanks so much for all that info. I wonder if any of those will be readily available in PA? I don’t mind splurging on a good bottle of rum.

  3. […] an “old” Pale Ale? This is the second one I have tried out of the 185 previous beers (Hitachino Classic Ale was the other). You technically aren’t supposed to age Pale Ales, but for some reason I like […]


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