Nov 2, 2010

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Finding this little bottle amongst a shelf of 750ml behemoths was quite a surprise. Not only did it stand out — how could you not find that damned owl cute — from the crowd, but it offered me the opportunity to sample something from a brewery I’ve never had anything from before now. I love when that happens.

There’s not much information available on the brewery’s website regarding this brew, but it appears as though they started off with an imperial stout base, adding espresso beans to the boil. The end result is a pretty darn tasty stout.


Espresso Stout pours an opaque black with a light ring of dark red around the glass’ edge. The massive head was light brown in color and faded quite slowly to patchy lacing.


Loads of chocolate and a roast coffee character greet your nose immediately. The coffee notes aren’t as dominant as I expected given the beer’s name, but their presence is sufficient to let you know it’s there. Further inspection reveals hints of licorice and dark fruits.


The espresso roast makes more of an appearance on the palate than the nose. It’s backed with bakers chocolate and some dark fruits. The beer transitions smoothly from a sweet start to a finish that’s surprisingly warming (7.5% ABV) with a lingering hop bitterness. It’s a pretty tasty stout with a unique blend of flavors.


Not only is this my first brew from this particular brewery, but I think it’s also my first Japanese-brewed stout. Double cool. Plus, it’s a pretty tasty little beer. I can see myself picking this one up again if I run into it on the shelf.

Rating: 3.5/5

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