I saw a bunch of different Hitachino Nest beers at the Ashai Grocery store and decided to buy one of each. I really liked their Ancient Nipponia, which is a Pilsner.
From Japan’s most prestigious brewery, Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia is brewed using a forgotten strain of Japanese barley along with the historic Sorachi Ace hops.
This “new” barley malt, a cross-pollination between the European Golden Melon and the Japanese barley malt Shikoku, disappeared a “relatively long time ago” — about 50 years.
A few years ago, Mr. Kiuchi acquired 16 seeds from the Department of Agricultural History in Japan. He started to plant those 16 seeds (on a two-square-foot area!) about five years ago. After the first harvest, he planted all new seeds again and did the same the next year, and the following year …
The following are my tasting notes:
- Hitachino Nest Red Rice: stronger, almost medicinal/astringent cedar taste
- Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale: subtle ginger taste, mild spiciness, better than red rice
- Hitachino Nest Weizen: No head, a little thin, good hefeweizen taste though
- Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout: bitter coffee taste
- Hitachino Nest Classic Ale: slightly medicinal/astringent cedar taste
- Hitachino Nest Dai Dai: Not hoppy at all, too malty
- Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale: a tiny bit spicy, couldn’t tell anything about the hops
- Hitachino Nest XH: slightly medicinal/astringent cedar taste
- Hitachino Nest Nipponia: slightly medicinal/astringent cedar taste, a little lighter?
In the end I was disappointed. I only really liked their Ancient Nipponia.