Beer: Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew - 8.00% ABV
Appearance: The beer pours a hazy orange brown with a decent level of white foamy head. Not much to write home about. The color reminds of of the Iron Maiden Trooper Beer that I recently reviewed. I’m a bit disappointed. I was hoping the beer would be a bit better to look at. The head fades quickly and you are just left with this cloudy mess. I want to think that the cloudiness is just real ginger. That could very well be possible, but as you’ll soon read, it didn’t make a difference. 2
Smell: I tipped the glass slightly hoping to take a whiff of some spicy ginger. I like ginger. I like those Bruce Cost Ginger Ales(I feel that I should mention that those are not beers but sodas and are thus non-alcoholic). I was hoping for a big hot heaping aroma of ginger. Its so faint that it might as well not be there. Color me confused. Some may feel that this is good. Ginger can be a bit too strong, I’m sure I’d be upset if the flavor was too overpowering. This takes subtle to a whole new level. This is like those modern art paintings where it’s just a blue wall. It’s so subtle that I’m not even sure if I'm supposed to enjoy it. 2
Taste: It tastes okay. Which is to say, that it doesn’t taste very great and certainly not worth the $5 I paid for the bottle. The nose knows(yea I said it). I could not smell ginger and I cannot taste it. The beer isn’t hoppy but there is a noticeable bitter aftertaste. I’m getting worried. This doesn’t taste like anything I expected. I had to check the bottle label multiple times while writing this review. There’s some sweetness as its going down but that turns bitter fairly quickly. My review for taste is higher because the beer itself doesn’t taste horrible. It’s actually rather decent once you remove the ginger expectations. 3.5
Mouthfeel: Crisp at first. You get a lot out of a sip and it bubbles nicely as you swallow it. It’s not thick and its certainly not thin. I almost forgot that the ABV was 8%. Not overly high but still rather strong in some cases. The beer drinks easy as if it only had 5-6% ABV. 3.5
Overall: 2.75 out of 5. I don't know what the hell happened. I was really excited about this beer. I’m getting paranoid that I fell into some torrid counterfeit bottling scheme. As I finish drinking, I spy a nice collection of dust that I really want to assume is ginger. I’m only left with my assumptions because the beer doesn’t taste nor does it smell like ginger. This is depressing for me. Hitachino was one of the first craft beers I’ve ever had. It was so long ago that maybe my tastes have changed since then. I don’t expect to purchase this beer ever again. Good luck to you if you ever find it. I’ve seen reviews where someone complained about the strong ginger aroma and taste. Maybe they got a better batch than I did. For the price, this beer it too much of a risk.