1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto)Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

340 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 340
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 21.12%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  3.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 07-01-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) Alström Bros
Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goochpunch
4.28/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a big bottle into the glass a solid black body that appears rather thinnish. Head is tan and tall. Smell is a mix of chocolate, roasted malt, lactic acid, lemon juice, and some funk. The chocolate is surely present in the taste but the roastiness mellows it out. Lots of acid on the tongue with lemon juice flavors and lactic acid. I pick up some tobacco in the flavor somewhere. Finishes dry with more roasted grain and some black berry that sticks in my mind on into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is kind of light and lively. OK. This is an extremely refreshing, interesting, and delicious stout that I could see being a good summer session stout, especially since it's less than 4% abv.

Photo of SilentSabre
2.55/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11,2 ounce bottle, $3,55 Green's on Buford Hwy Atlanta, Ga USA.
While this wasn't exactly what I would call a *good* example of the style, I did not think it was as offensive as others seem to have. It poured a rather average looking pour; a dark brown with a sandy coloured head that stayed for a good 3 minutes, and actually, never fully went away. Smell was rather average as well, with one notable exception. There was a smell of mushrooms present here. If you have ever cooked with fresh mushrooms, then you know the rich, damp/musty smell I'm talking about. This mushroom nuance was present in the taste, as well. Not so much that it *tasted* like mushrooms, but rather the taste strongly reminded me of the smell, if that makes any sense. The sourness of the lactose is also quite strong in this one. It's *quite* sour. The mouthfeel was a bit prickly for my taste with a little bit too much CO2.
I have been searching for this for quite some time, simply because I thought it looked rather interesting. I'm rather delighted that I was able to locate it, and I don't mnd the fact that I payed $3,55 for it. Would I ever buy this again, though? Definitely not.
After I posted this review and got closer to finishing the beer, I noticed quite a lot of rather large particles of debris in the bottom of the pint glass.

Photo of emerge077
3.31/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle sampled at cellar temperature. It pours a dark mahogany with fizzy cola-like carbonation that very quickly disappears. Looks more like an aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Smell is not worth mentioning, metallic and sort of off-putting. No roastiness, which comes as a surprise.

Taste is unusual, much more like a Belgian Dark with some dark fruit and vague nuttiness going on. Lactic quality suggests an Oud Bruin, but that link is far from solid. Very thin and bland after crossing the palate, however there's a nice roasty aftertaste that redeems it.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout has more in common with dark Belgians such as Vondel, Troubadour Obscura, and De Dolle Export Stout. However it's balance and drinkability fall below these examples. It's unique as others have said, but not especially palatable. Worth a try if you're comparing oddball Stouts.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Im sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. the beer pours a clear but dark brown and allows no light passage. A small fizzy tan head foams up for a second and leaves quickly leaving no evidence. Aroma is a little bit of chocolate and brown sugar but is dominated by a tangy funkiness. First sip reveals a silky smooth texture and very fine tingly carbonation. Flavor starts sweet with brown sugar and caramel allows some roasted malt in the middle and also a bit of lactic funkiness as well. The finish is tangy funk and I am not sure if this is normal or if the beer is just a hint past prime. the other beer flavors are enjoyable and are still easily discerned and I have heard that hitachino brews tend to be funky. This isnt really similar to most sweet stouts I have had, and Im not sure I like it but I know I dont hate it.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I would categorize this beer as a sweet stout or a milk stout. There is not a lot of roastiness to it, but there is a pleasing sweet milk sugar (lactose) flavor to it up-front. Like a number of Hitachino beers, I got some cedar notes (like being in a humidor). I thought this beer was highly drinkable for a sweet stout, even more drinkable than a number of dry stouts (like Guinness). Color was dark, but not inky black like some other stouts. Aroma was a bit like condensed milk. I would recommend this stout if you're looking for something different the next time you're at your local sushi bar or Japanese restaurant.

Photo of beveritt
3.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 11.2oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts the Hitachino owl.

Appearance: Pours with just over an inch of big bubbled tan foam. This settles into 1/4 inch of creamier foam. The beer itself is black, slightly mahogany around the edges.

Smell: Coffee and bitter chocolate add to the smell of roasted barley. Maybe I am previously influenced by the label, but I think I can smell a slight sweet sourness from the lacto.

Taste: Ooh, interesting. Starts with a slightly sour sweetness, then goes to a very mild roasted barley bitterness. Finally, finishes with a creamy, milk like taste.

Mouthfeel: Average to slightly higher than average carbonation level. Body is average.

Drinkability: As I said earlier, interesting, but not sure I like it. Not much roasted barley presence and not as creamy of a mouthfeel as I look for in a milk stout. Not terrible, but probably a one time thing for me.

Photo of BitteBier
3.62/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whimsical bottle. Whimsical beer? Not so much. Appropriately stouty in appearance--clear but very dark, with rusty brown tinges around the edges. Topped off with a modest cap of fine, brown head that quickly fell away to a tight ring. A more assertive nose than anticipated--even when still well chilled--highlighted by a tasty choco-coffee roastiness. Those notes carry over less to the taste, which is characterized by a lasting, creamy sweetness and complemented by an unexpectedly crisp mouthfeel. There are some funky things going on here. An interesting stout that's neither easily described nor easily dismissed.

Photo of kenito799
3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, poured into a pint glass.

That OWL! Jeez, it's the Hello Kitty of beer. The Japanese are the masters of CUTE, I can't take it, I see that owl and I am irresistably attracted and it takes a huge effort of will not to buy the beer. Well, I really liked the cedar-aged Japanese Ale so I am giving their other efforts a shot. Drinking this with some real home-cooked Cantonese food that might work with a sweet beer--stuffed bitter melon. The stuffing is mainly fish with sweet Cantonese sausage. The melon is bitter like no IPA on earth, I mean brutally bitter. I love it. Anyway...

Black with blackish-brown highlight when held up to a spotlight. Large foamy tan head when poured recedes in an organized fashion to a rim, no lacing, the bubbles are uniform in shape and size and slide right down the glass when swirled.

Sweetness on the first whiff, roasted malt aroma, some woody, cigar box notes, a touch of bitter cocoa.

Fizzy root-beer like mouthfeel, just a shade more creamy than soda pop. Surprisingly refreshing. The first impression is an unspicy root beer, then some roasted stout-like flavors come in, unsweetened cocoa powder. The finish is remarkably similar to that slightly metallic aftertaste you get when you eat snow. Weird! That effect really lingers. It is so unusual that it makes this beer taste artificial in some way--maybe that taste comes from adding lactose powder. The sweetness is couteracted well by the roasted malt flavor so the end result feels rather dry and refreshing.

Somehow this beer is interesting and sort of fun to drink, at least once. Not risking much since the ABV is so low.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.88/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a black, cola-like body with a bubbly, quickly dissipating tan head.

Smell: Weak aroma of watered down old milk. This does not bode well at all.

Taste: A very odd junction of random flavors here. Sour apples, lime juice, and a near virulent metallic taste, with a lactic acid finish suggestive of a lambic, or even spoiled Worchestershire sauce. No real malts or hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Extremely thin-bodied. Neither full or creamy and totally lacking in body. How very upsetting.

Drinkability: This one was a complete bust, unfortunately. There are far better examples of this style, and I'd wager most could be had for far cheaper than this one. If you must insist on trying this one get the smaller size.

Photo of Grundle20
3.31/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's pretty much black. There is a big brown head with good retention to cap it all off.

The beer reaks of bittersweet chocolate, slight nutiness, and alcohol. It's a rather potent smelling stout, but it pretty much smells like stout.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's big, thick, and dirty. I'm calling it a prison beer. Rich flavors of chalk, burnt chocolate, and coffee. The beer coats your mouth with the flavors and they just hang on like there is no tomorrow. Any more than a few of these and you're going to wake up with stout mouth.

I really can't get into stout for the sake of drinking. I like it with food, but I would never order it at a bar, drink it on a friday night, or things of that nature. It tastes good enough for a stout, it's just not wowing me enough to consider a 6 pack of it.

Bottom Line:
A slightly above average stout, and a good showing from Japan makes for a one time buy in my opinion.

Photo of Padron4KM
1.81/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

11.2 oz bottle. No freshness date.

Dark mahogany with a small tanish head.

Aroma is kind of boozy for something this low in alc.
Chocolate, toffee, milk.

Flavor is prunes, coffee and sour milk.

Finish is sour and slightly acidic. Not something I would waste my money on again.

Photo of trinitone
3.35/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This was recommended to me by a guy at the beer store. I've been on a sweet/milk stout kick as of late so I thought I would give it a try.

Beer poured a dark brown with about a one finger dark tan head which dissapated fairly quickly. This beer had a lot of carbonation. Aroma of bitersweet chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Flavors of bitter espresso and cocoa with a unique creaminess. Mouthfeel was thin. Much thinner than a stout should be. This, combined with the high carbonation, detracted from the overall quality of the beer.

I would drink this beer again, but I won't be running out to buy it again soon. But I say, if you want to try something different, go ahead and pick one up.

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.17/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A dissapointment. About the best thing that this beer has going for it is the great color. Just the right silky dark chocolate color.

Lacking in almost all carbonation or head. Pours right into the glass to make a thin tan head. Smell of burnt leaves and burnt sugar. No Belgian lace left on the glass.

Original flavor is just lacking something. No, really it is lacking almost everything. I feel like a bride left at the altar. No initial maltiness, no hoppiness (expected), no lingering flavor on my palette. If this had any less finish I would suspect it was a lager.

I have a couple of other Hitachinos in my fridge. I have higher hopes for them.

Photo of gonzo138
1.65/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A- poured a coffee like black color, creamish brown colored head that reduced very quickly and didnt lace well either

S- very faint sweet malty smell, very faint, barely noticable

T- pretty damn bad, faint sweet taste, a little milky sourness to it as welll

M- doesnt coat the mouth in that special way that stouts do, I know milk stouts are a little lighter, but not this light, way too fizzy and carbonated

D- would not buy this beer again, incredibly dissapointed, can't believe this was recommended to me, I would hope their other beers are better

Photo of klewis
2.7/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with a two-finger head that subdues to a clingy froth around the glass. Barely any lacing.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, anise, and dark chocolate

T: Plenty of lactic sourness in the taste with a bland, earthy coffee flavor.

M: Light-bodied, overcarbonated, and fizzy.

D: This might pair well with a meal, but by itself, it's not very special.

Photo of dancinwillie
2.56/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black, with a tan, 2 finger head. Head drops to a covering withing minutes.

s: Smells very sweet, and I can't tell what it's from, with a little roasted malt coming through. I'm hoping the sweetness isn't too much.

t: Very sweet indeed. Clove up front, which is a weird taste to me in a milk stout. Not necessarily bad, I've just not encountered it before. Upon further tasting, the clove taste seems to diminish, however, and the beer itself seems more balanced. Very sweet, picking up on the roasted malt, although a little more would'nt hurt.

m: smooth, but a little thin.

d: a weird brew, not too bad, but a lot of the taste, I wasn't used to. I would have to say I would not buy this beer again, although I would try it again if someone offered it to me.

Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout pours an opaque black with a thick fluffy tan head from a brown one pint, five ounce bottle. The aroma is very sweet, with roasted malt being most noticeable. The flavor is not as sweet as the smell, there is some sweetness and even some tartness too. The roasted malt is most noticeable toward the finish. This is a different take for sure on the style, I think it's kind of average to perhaps a bit above average overall. Worth a try, if only for the cool bottle (there is a screened on label with an odd looking owl on it). Not a bad beer, but not a great one either, from an interesting brewery. I've got to say all of the beers I've tried from them have been intriguing, and the White Ale is outstanding. Definitely a brewery worth checking out.

Photo of wcudwight
3.45/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like an imperial stout. Coal colored with a nice finger tan colored head. Head recedes to a film and the film last until the pint is empty. Lacing covers the glass.
The smell is much more bitter than I thought it would be. Smells kind of like sour milk, but it doesn't smell bad.
Nice mixture of sweetness and bitterness in the flavor. Has kind of a milk chocolate and sweet toffee flavor, and the bitterness just kind of lingers in the background. This is very interesting as I've never tasted anything like this before. In a blind tasting I would expect this to be an imperial stout of some kind.
It's in the mouthfeel you realize it's not an imperial stout. The mouthfeel is thin and watery, but it works with this beer.
This is a wonderfully complex and different tasting beer. With me it's like Froach's Heather Ale. Not for everyone, and not to have often, but good to try and experience and revisit after awhile.

Photo of Damian
1.2/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured a deep, murky brown/black with a small, creamy, tan head that lingered.

The aroma was absolutely awful. Olive brine, cola, sour milk and feces (and no, I am not kidding) were all noticeable.

The beer tasted like salty water with with a pinch of roasted barley. A sweet stout? Was this a joke?

Mouthfeel was terrible. "Thin" would be a complete understatement.

This was unquestionably the worst beer I had ever drunk. Worst of all, I paid $3.60 for this bottle of swill.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love this brewery, taunting owl and all. I think it's because they make far better beer than anyone expects comming out of Japan. This Lacto-Sweet Stout is very good for it's style, but the style is a bit whacked. There are lots of sweet malts, roasted grain, creaminess and smoothness rising out of this beer. However, the lactose sugars are very strong, making the beer overly sweet and a little oily. I often get a grape Kool-Aid flavor from milk stouts when over done. The carbonation seems to make the beer prickly and too efforvescent on the toung, distracting from the creamy, smooth texture. But, an easy drinking stout regardless.

Photo of DogFood11
1.9/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well well well...what do we have here. I've had good success with this brewer so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, considering I've never had a stout from Asia.

Poured into a tulip it forms a solid head that dissapears rather fast. Dark body and mild to no carbonation.

Its milky alright...but not in a good way. Watered down taste. It is what you would expect from a stout, in that it has some charred malts, although very light in this brew. Chocolate is barely present.

Notes: Ehhh for the price I'd avoid this forever.

Photo of soultrain
1.36/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into an Ommegang chalice.

A-Black beer, carbonation is as minimal as is the head, which is really just a ring around the glass. Hmmmm...
S-Black coffee, roasted coffee malts...smells very tannic....sour aroma, too....
T-I've heard good things about this beer, but I'm disappointed with it. There is a sourness, an unending sourness to the taste and aftertaste of this beer: this can't be intentional, can it? I've tried it about 6 months ago: sour city. Then I got this beer from a totally different geography, yet have the same results: wicked sour; too sour to drink. Like sour vinegar... a drain pour, (or, in my case, a porch pour...)
M-Bad. Tied in with the taste of course.... and too thin for a stout, even a lacto milk stout IMHO...
D-This beer was a bad experience for me. Undrinkable.

CRUX: Obviously this isn't the same beer others have raved about...great bottle label graphics, though...

Photo of soulgrowl
2.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cola-black, nearly opaque with mahogany highlights. Head is initially big and poofy with a rich, nougat-y brown color. Retention is mediocre.

Smell: Chocolate chips; sharp, milky, cheesy, lactic acid sourness; rubbery and medicinal phenols. Odd oak-like woody overtones.

Taste: Puckering lactose, almost metallic mineral notes, floral and resiny hops, watered-down chocolate malts. Reminiscent of a chocolate phosphate. Tart, milky finish that develops a berry-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Not stout enough to really be called a stout, this is more in porter or even schwarzbier territory in terms of body. Light and thin with soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability: Let me just say that I have loved every Kiuchi Brewery beer I've tried to date; that's why I picked this to be my 150th review. But I must say, I am disappointed, and I cannot quite recommend this beer.

Photo of BDTyre
3.28/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crazy Japanese bottle with a pseudo-anime Owl and loads of Japanese characters but "Lacto Sweet Stout" in clearly defined English.

"Brewed with pale, crystal, caramel malt and authentic Lactose (milk sugar, 10% of grain bill) which is added about 10 before end of boil. alcoholic content not in excess of 4% of volume" So 3.9% is just a guess? And I've never heard of a stout that was not brewed with darker malts. Regardless, this is a decent stout colour with an almost white, fluffy head.

This smells like a typical stout augmented by a milk sourness...almost like buttermilk was used instead of regular milk. Something just doesn't seem right.

The taste confirms this. Dark, roasted malts with that buttermilk sourness. I can't say any more than that...this maybe the first example of a buttermilk stout.

Mouthfeel is okay, typcial stout, but the strange, sour and somewhat astringent taste affects the drinkability. Not horrible, but what exactly is this? Sweet stout? No. Milk stout...only if you think of buttermilk as milk.

Photo of Zorro
3.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour gives me a dark brown colored beer with a momentary light brown head.

Smell is sweet with a bit of acid aroma from dark roasted malt. A little bit of chocolate and more of coffee but this really doesn't have that strong an odor.

Taste is sweet with the taste of milk in your mouth right off the bat. A bit of char flavor and chocolate are the next things I taste with some burned sugar in the after taste. Not bad but there is something here that is faintly like sour milk in the very last part of the after taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not that bad a beer but not that great a beer either. An interesting beer that I just really can't see drinking again.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) from Kiuchi Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.