Ji bīru or, "local beer" has only been a thing to Japan since 1994 when tax laws were relaxed and breweries could produce fewer than 16,000 gallons. There are now over 200 microbreweries in Japan. The kiuchi brewery makes some of my favorite Japanese craft beers with the hitachino nest series. one in particular being aged in shochu barrels. shochu is sort of like sake but typically more diluted and weaker in alcohol, in addition to being more commonly brewed with barley instead of rice. Hitachino XH is considered a belgian dark strong ale because of its high alcohol percent and larger malt bill. its a pretty boozy tasting beer but also bready and sweet. even notes of brandy are there because of the shochu barrels. this brewery makes incredible beers and it was hard to pick which one to talk about. i recommend picking up a few of their brews as most places wont just carry one style. Cheers!

My Score - 95

rate beer - 96

beer advocate - 85