This was one of my take outs from Craft Beer Co, I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this brewery but never found one of it's beers in London or on my travels so I didn't waste any time to part with my money. It is great that the Craft Beer Co offer such a vast range of bottle beers to take out and drink at your pleasure, its like having a specialist beer shop and pub all rolled into one.
Craft beer is on the rise in Japan and the new breed of Japanese brewers are very passionate about brewing, overall the Japanese have given us some very exciting life changing products over the years and are known for there strong opinions yet so humble....well the folks I’ve met anyway. I suppose like most things they do they attach a lot of importance to the precise finish of a product, the tradition the ceremonial rituals like cha-no-yu (Tea Ceremony), I would love to see and I hope later this year experience first hand all this and I’m sure without any doubt the Japanese breweries will be a place to admire.
Kiuchi brewery have a history going back over 180 years and Hitachino Nest Beer brand began brewing in the early 1990s, the beer with the imposing Owl is now sold world wide with numerous awards under its belt. The recent earthquake affected the brewery with damage to buildings and huge loss of stock and luckily no one was injured, reconstruction is underway and they aim to have business back to normal very soon.
Hitachino currently brew 10 beers and the nations favorite Sake but with a twist, I got my hands on a Hitachino Nest Beer Extra High (XH) a Belgian styled beer that has is soaked in Sake barrels over a period. Pours cloudy amber with a small tan head, aroma woody lightly fruity malt yeast and light cloves. Flavour is caramel, spices and you pick up an oaky vanilla flavour. The Sake casks are really apparent which gives it a little warming finish plus the carbonation is very lively which adds to this complex beer.
Hitachino Nest Beer XH - Kiuchi Brewery (8%) 8/10
Defiantly a range of beers on my shopping list now..........may have to go to Japan and do some research :)
Check out the brewery website for info, you wont be disappointed.