Hitachino Nest Beer XH, Japan

A Belgian-style brown ale brewed in Japan and aged for three months in shochu casks? Though it may sound like some sort of beer-world curiosity that's tastier in concept than in execution, this strong, spicy, frothy oddity from Japan's most famous craft brewery reveals delicious, complex flavors of cinnamon and wood with a gin-like aroma – from its time in the rice-wine barrels – that are far more appealing than one might expect. [$7/bottle; halftimebeverage.com]