Miyazaki Hideji Kuri Kuro Dark Chestnut Ale Review

Miyazaki Hideji is one of the handful of Japanese breweries that began in 1996 with the change in brewing laws in Japan. Located on the beautiful Southern island of Kyushu, Miyazaki evokes nature, sea and tradition. Kuri Kuro means “black chestnut,” which is an appropriate name for this Dark Chestnut Ale.

Chestnuts are native to Japan. They are mostly used in desserts. In the winter, vendors roast them outside busy train stations and sell them to those walking by. You can smell roasting chestnuts from far off. Kurt Kuro’s aroma is bold as well: roasted malts, dark chocolate, nutty, chestnuts, with coffee and creamy vanilla.

Kuri Kuro pours dark brown with a thin head that dissipates quickly.

The flavor is that of a nutty Stout. I taste hazelnut and chestnut, with coffee and dark chocolate notes. It’s pleasantly sweet with a creamy rather than bitter finish. The carbonation is low, but the mouthfeel is good. It’s clean, not syrupy. At 9% ABV it’s a winter warmer for a cold night.

Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale Review

Japan celebrates the New Year like few other countries. Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale is a spiced wheat beer brewed to ring in the new year.

According to the brewery, Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale is brewed in the tradition of a true Eisbock where the brew is concentrated by freezing and removing some of the water, but not the alcohol, from the beer. It is made with five different malts, wheat, four types of hops, and five spices. It is then bottle conditioned for six months to knit the flavors together.