Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Reviewed by Millie and Ken Carman

Brewed by: Kiuchi Brewery, Ibaraki, Japan
Abv: 9
Style: “Festive; commemorative (holiday?) Ale”
Spices: coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, vanilla beans


Ken: “Wow, someone went really heavy on the spices here and forgot to add enough body to support it. Not ‘thin’ by any means, but just not enough. I love to beat my taste buds, but this beats back a little too hard; mostly because in addition to the spices, this would have too much carbonation for a champagne. The nutmeg upfront. The rest are strong too, except I get no sense of vanilla. That could be simple because the rest take over this highly spiced beer. I appreciate the effort not to be bland, but back off on the carbonation. And either cut back just a tad on the spices or add more body to this ale. Also: at 9%, even then, the spices overwhelm the alcohol. If there are any hops in here they’ve been wasted by the heavy handed spicing and the lack of supportive body.

Other notes: dark tannish color; if they added much more it would have almost been a light brown. The spices make it cloudy. “Spices a bit less heavy to the nose, but not much.”

Millie: “The base style appears to be a light ale, but it needs to be more of a mix. Lacks malt. An aggressively spiced ale where the spices over power everything else for the most part. Nutmeg dominant in aroma and to the taste.”

Here is what one website says about this beer…

“Hitachino Nestbeer Commemorative Ale is brewed in the tradition of a true Eisbock where the brew is concentrated by allowing the water to freeze {but not the alcohol}.”

“After the mashing of five different malts {Pale, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate , and wheat} four differing types of hops are added in the brewkettle for bitterness & aroma {Styrian Goldings, Hallertauer, Tettnang, Saaz} . Five different spices complete the Commemorative Ale recipe {coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla beans}.”

“After a freezing period of three days at 24F {= -4C} the frozen water & protein are removed. The bottle conditioning will then ring in a six month maturation time in the bottle.”

By Professor Good Ales

Mythical poster at The LTS Good for What Ales You Beer Journal. Loves good beer. Hates same old, same old. Muses that Bud and Miller might as well be brewed in urinals. Drinks lagers too, if they are complex and interesting.

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