Kiuchi brewery has produced a commemorative ale specifically for new year, with cinnamon and coriander. “Please enjoy while you forget the worries and troubles of the old year.” OK then, must forget old troubles. Must forget old worries.
I love this bottle, it’s got a cheeky owl on the label and the bottle top, on the foreground of Mt Fuji in a very Japanese style. It’s just such a fun label and motif. I think I have got the name of the beer right, hitachino nest.
Well, this beer is very cloudy and murky. I like that in a beer which shows character and promise, and not as artificial as a massively clear filtered lager. The colour is a light brown with a murk and myer of the dregs washing around in the glass. This beer looks very heavy, and when you taste it, it certainly lives up to that look.
Aromas coming off this beer are predominantly ones of coriander, alcohol, sugar and a slight hint of cinnamon. You should be expecting an assault of sweetness with a late-afternoon Sunday kitchen, of apple pies, cakes, sugar and baking.
Stomping tastes of alcohol and the sweetness of the cinnamon hit you initially when you drink this beer. There is an overwhelming sweetness which then moves into a acidic aftertaste of slightly burned cakes and cleaning fluid. There are two contrasting flavours in this beer, one of the alcohol, and one of the sweet cinnamon. The alcohol, which at 9% is going to be strong, but this beer does not mask or smooth it out like some strong Belgian beers do, this is really in your face with it’s strength and flavours. The other overriding flavour is the sweet sickly cinnamon, which unfortunately does not remain sweet, but melts into a sharp acidic aftertaste.
Summary. Not a smooth or well-rounded beer, but one with an overly coarse sweetness and alcohol content which does not blend together well. This may make me forget my past troubles, by completely replacing them with new ones. This beer was only saved from receiving a dreaded 1 star, by it’s cute owl motif.
[Edit - Poured it away after half a glass. I could not finish it, this has demoted it from 2 to 1 star, and joins the ranks of Rose River banana and mango ginger beer, and Rose River ginger beer (original)]