Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
Wow. This was a unique gift. I have never seen this before. I am a huge fan of espresso. I believe it to be the most flavorful and quality form of coffee. That combined with a stout should be a match made only by the beer gods. Pours a deep dark brown color that looks amazing coming out of the bottle. The head is solid and looks very inviting with it's brown tint. Aroma is all espresso. If I was closer to an alcoholic than I am this would be my breakfast.
Flavor is delicious. I had no idea a beer this rich could come from Japan. I enjoy a good Sapporo now and then but this is far beyond the yellow lagers. The malt is deeply roasted and the espresso flavor works very well with it. Providing a smoothness that I am surprised to experience. I don't know how this doesn't overwhelm my taste buds with a sharp bitterness but it is light and creamy in the mouth.
This is a great ale. At 7.5% ABV this doesn't pull any punches either. I will certainly pick up more of this if I find it. Anyone who like black coffee (or espresso) will love this. The combination of dark roasted barley malt, espresso, alcohol, and smoothness will keep me coming back. You can have your cake and eat it too.
Final Score: 94% (Rich, Smooth, and Unique. My Favorite Japanese Beer.)