Total Score: 8/10
Hitachino’s best, I’m told, is their White Ale – a Japanese craft take on a Belgian Witbier, replete with added: Flaked Wheat, Flaked Barley, Coriander, Nutmeg, Orange peel, and oddest of all; Orange Juice… I wonder what Belgian Wit brewers would think of that? Regardless I am always happy to crack open a Hitachino Nest brew – I am yet to try one that I haven’t enjoyed on multiple levels, kampai!
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.
A: One of, if not the, whitest Wits ever – a cloudy pale straw body with a thin wispy sharply white (I’m talking titanium dioxide white) head on top. I’ve seen Belgian Wits that struggle to look this good. 9/10.
S: Spice forward with coriander and nutmeg, the aroma is quite acrid with spice actually, following this is a distinctive (probably because they put it in there) orange juice note, some woody dry notes and bready yeast. Overall not the greatest Wit fragrance, but I suspect – as with their Lacto Stout – that the flavour will be top-notch. 6/10.
T: My suspicions have been allayed… no wait – the opposite to allayed: Established! This is an excellent Wit. It starts out with some sweet orange notes, progresses on to those coriander and nutmeg notes (a bit more muted from the aroma), and finishes with an even-keeled sour/bitter/dry orange finish. There is a bold bread yeast middle, making it a little chunkier than a classic Belgian Wit. Damn this is tasty! 9/10.
M: Mid to light bodied, a touch watery (not bad enough to detract points) carbonation is a little excitable – as it can often be with Witbiers. 7/10.
D: Another exceptional Hitachino Nest brew then, aside from being on the higher side pricewise this is a Wit I would highly recommend, despite the odd ingredient list that includes OJ. If however you do like your Witbiers airy and light in flavour you should probably stick with Blue Moon or Hoegaarden – the fool’s Wits*. Oh yeah, I love the weird psychedelic label art on the bottle. 8/10.
Food match: I reckon some tempura vegetables/seafood would ace it with this Wit.
*Double entendre, set and match.