Review: Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Review of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout from Kiuchi Brewery in Japan.

Beer Type: Stout  ABV: 7.0%  IBUs: 36  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “This Espresso Stout is brewed using well-roasted espresso beans. The recipe is based on the imperial stout loved by the Russian emperor. Please enjoy the balance of its rich taste and coffee flavor.”

The Reality: This beer is dark black and pours thick with a scent reminiscent of bitter dark chocolate and fresh coffee. The first sip brings more carbonation than expected with a bold roasted dark coffee flavor and a combo of mild bitterness and mild sweetness. I also detect some subtle vanilla tones in the extremely smooth finish. The aftertaste is coffee forward, but quite dry and pleasant.

Final Verdict: The next time you wake up on a lazy Sunday morning and reach for a breakfast beer, this would be a good one to have by your bedside. The coffee taste is genuine and there’s more depth of flavor working in there as well. It manages to be rich and smooth, yet fairly dry and drinkable. The term “espresso” is mildly misleading because it is not as bitter as you might envision, but since they use espresso beans when making it we’ll let it slide. It’s almost the opposite of how I expect Taylor Swift songs to be because she seems like a sweet girl, but her lyrics can be crazy bitter. I mean, have you read some of those things…ouch.