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Hitachino Nest White Ale

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Available in the United States since 2000, Hitachino Nest has garnered somewhat of a cult following among American beer lovers. Although its availability can be limited at times, this is a highly sought-after brew, and rightfully so. In keeping with Belgian traditions, Hitachino Nest is brewed with orange peel and various spices, though it seems to be a tad big for the style in terms of flavor and body. An appealing pale golden brew, this beer displays a rather light haze and throws a small yet creamy white head. Aromas of nutmeg and coriander permeate the nose, and tantalizing hints of sweet malt and spicy wheat lie below the surface. Nick detected traces of plum, flowers and juniper intermingled with the citrus and malt, while Tim commented on the somewhat caramel-like malt that underpinned a distinctive Meyer lemon peel tang. The aromas were a bit jangly and at times failed to mesh together into a harmonious whole, with Tom noting the “rough edges” to the various aromatic components. Each of the judges commented on the complexity of the flavors, yet as with the aroma, the flavors weren’t integrated. Tom picked up on an unexpected nutmeg character and commented that the coriander came across as slightly heavy handed. However, Lee praised the different contrasting flavors and was duly impressed by the pervading sense of “spice-rubbed citrus” throughout. Hitachino Nest represents a definite yet appealing twist on the classic Belgian witbier.