Beer is Good – Hitachino Nest Beer XH

Hitachino_XH_frontHitachino_XH_labelThis strong, dark ale from Hitachino is in the classic stout vein, from the dark roasted malt and almost syrupy decoction, to the strong hopping. This stout from Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture in central Eastern Honshuu, Japan was more in the vein of the heartier Guinness Extra Stout than the lighter nitrogen-charged Pub Draught Stout in flavor, body, and gas saturation. It was a different experience altogether from even Hitachino’s own Sweet Stout. Since this was my beer of choice at a “BYOB” restaurant, I didn’t have the luxury of a glass, so I didn’t get to observe the color, clarity, head, or carbonation. The first taste was very strong on the hop, but this moderated on subsequent sips, allowing the malt flavor to shine through. It was less hoppy than say a Deschutes Obsidian, but significantly more than a Guinness Draught. This would probably put it in “danger beer” territory for chronic light American lager drinkers. The flavor was initially very hoppy with a dark-roasted malt note. The hop flavor was flowery, but leaned more toward the astringent than the sweet, but it was only mildly bitter. The perceived dryness was added to by the carbonation, as opposed to the more mellow, creamy effect imparted by nitrogen in a widgeted stout like Guinness Draught. The malt flavor was not dark to the point of being “smoky” or coffee-like, and the mouthfeel was thick and spreading with a moderate level of carbonation. The hop and malt tones faded out evenly to the finish, the malt lingering maybe slightly longer.

$5-$6 USD

Available on the USDM and JDM

8% ABV (Woo hoo!)

Recommended for stout lovers

Three-and-a-half out of four grinning drunken monkeys


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