Tonight we enjoy Hitachino Nest’s Japanese Classic Ale, from the most adorable beer label in the business (I typically avoid animal label but this is an exception of red owl cuteness).
It is an India Pale Ale based on those first brought to Japan in the 19th century. It is aged in cedar sake casks.
Appearance: A hazy, gorgeous amber colored body get a lace hat colored in cream.
Aromas: Ripe, pronounced, exotic aromas include red pear, honey, caramel, rice flower.
Palate: moderate sweetness gets balanced by citrus peal hop acids, full 7% alcohol, and a medium plus body.
Flavors: soft, round, caramel laced malted bread feeds into fruits like red pear, strawberry, flecked by a saline soy sauce. It finishes warm, woody, and dry.
Conclusions: Hitachino’s Classic Ale is complex, challenging at times, but forgiving and friendly and very good (4 of 5). I expected a hop bomb IPA, but they have gone the route of ripeness and balance. The alcohol may be a bit high but it provides viscosity and body. And the owl is adorable.
and I now consider an Ale partly because of a chunky red owl and subdued hops.