Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Hitachino Nipponia Belgian Pale Ale

And now for #22 on my list... the Hitachino Nipponia, a Belgian Pale Ale from the Japanese Kiuchi Brewery.  Their White Ale is one of my favorite beers of all-time, so I'm excited to try this one, another Japanese take on a Belgian ale. 

It pours a light gold color... yellow at the thinner parts but more of a gold through the thick of the body. Small white head, but really good lacing.  The smell is simultaneously sweet and hoppy and spicy... it's really intriguing. There's definitely a large hop profile but the Japanese spices blend well with it. Interesting to say the least.

I really like the taste of this one... except there's almost TOO much going on. It has a good balance befitting a pale ale, but the spices add a different element not usually found in an American Pale Ale. They dominate the malts and barley and really form the second layer underneath the dominant hops.  There is also a sour note to it that comes through from the sorachi ace hops. 

All in all, I'm really enjoying this one.  Easy to drink despite the abundance of flavor, in fact the different feel makes me want to keep on drinking and take another taste.

Another good one from Kiuch... not as good as the White Ale, but still a great beer.

My Rating: A