Hitachino Nipponia

550 mL bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Not sure what to expect here, but what I do know is that it is brewed with the Sorachi Ace hop and the “Ancient” Kaneko Barley. Having not especially enjoyed Brooklyn’s Sorachi rendition, I get a bit nervous about this beer.
Pour is a slightly hazed, golden body with limited head, retention and lace.
Nose and tastes give an awkward combo for me. There is a yeasty, light funk in the nose which promises much. It appears from the aroma that the beer is going to drink in a classic, Saison type manner with a light acidity and touches of traditional horseblanket and musty notes. All of these have great potential for me, however, when the beer reaches the palate it forces an IPA like bitterness on to the palate that just sits really awkwardly. There is a touch of lemongrass and honey in there too (good), and some other brief citrus notes, but then we get a blast of sweetened grapefruit and the beer falls between two stools as it aggressive seeks your attention. Sweet background complicates the issue for me.
Since my experience with Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace was almost identical (in terms of the odd, competing tastes), I feel that this is a feature of the hop and it’s not something that I care for me. It’s like the beer is trying to be a hoppy Saison, and it cuts right across both styles and does not deliver well on either front. More sickly sweetness too.
An odd beer for me, and not something that I’ll be going back to anytime soon.

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08/24/2010
Format:
bottle
ABV: 6.5 %
Appearance: 3
Taste: 2.5
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Smell: 4
Overall: 3.5
Total: 3.13
Series Name:
Year:

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