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Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) - Kiuchi Brewery

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

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311 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 311
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 21.78%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  3.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 07-01-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 311 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of silenius


2.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 24.6 oz. bomber with a nice shape. It flares a little at the bottom and reminds me of some sake bottles a bit.

Advertised on the label as an ALE brewed with lactose.

Pours a very dark mahogany-like brown with yellow and orange highlights at the edges. The head is very coarse and dies in a matter of a few seconds. Right color, bad head.

Smell is of oxidized coffee with creamer, soy, wood charcoal, chocolate, and red fruits. Complex, but a bit off-putting by the oxidized coffee smell.

Taste is very red-fruit wine like with a hint of milk chocolate. If served flat, this might pass for a bad wine.

Very little carbonation makes the mouthfeel border on bad. The only redeemer is a slight coffee creamer like texture.

Drinkability is low. Too bad. I'd like to have a low alcohol beer in my regular rotation.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 22:52:16 | More by silenius
Photo of RoyalT


2.6/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – This one poured a dark brown in color with a low head that showed decent retention.

Smell – The darkish malts were rightly complimented with some good cocoa and a hint of milk.

Taste – Oh, where did the sour milk come from? It smells almost rancid and completely overpowered the malts, which fell apart at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Light to medium-bodied and sour, but not in a good “oud bruin” kind of way.

Sinkability – I couldn't finish much of this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 16:46:59 | More by RoyalT
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 330ml (11.2 fluid ounce) squat Japanese stubby that looks just like the picture in the BA Database, the cheeky looking owl surrounded by the words ‘Lacto Sweet Stout’. Has a printed “SS.3.11” Code on the reverse label.

Appearance: Worcester sauce dark brown body when back lit, but it looks Jet black when on the desk. Big thick creamy light tan head forms easily and it settles to thin cap like head that retains a silky smooth surface. Decent carbonation, but it does loose its head eventually.

Nose: Caramel and roasted malts mixed with a sharp cutting sourness from the lactose.

Taste: Roasted malts set in a dry body; grainy raw feel in the middle balances the initial sourness. Tends to have a cutting Flemish red sourness in the back end that lingers with some caramel. Strangely different but mildly appealing.

Mouthfeel: Reasonable body aided by a stiff conditioning in the body of the beer. Sour feel and sweetness mix to give a decent feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: Average at best, without the lactose I can only imagine how awful and difficult this would be to drink, as it is, a bit of effort is required. A long sipper.

Overall: Not as sweet as I first expected. I have enjoyed all of the other Hitachino beers that I have imbibed to date, but this is the first one that I don’t really care for. It’s not that it is bad, or even revolting, but it is “different”. Worth a try, but only once mid you.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2004 05:11:52 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of bultrey

New York

2.48/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured this into a standard pint glass at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn. The carbonation exploded upon pouring, then flattened out within seconds to almost nothing -- just a few small bubbles on top, similar to pouring a soda. Color was nice and stouty enough.

Smell: This actually smelled pretty good, if not unusual. The typical coffee roastiness of a stout was there, with slightly sweet undertones.

Taste: Not good. Sour. Tangy. Like a stout crossed with a lambic. I really though the beer had gone bad at first, until it was coroborated by others who have tried it that it is par for the course. Not what I was expecting with the name "sweet stout." Clearly the sourness is due to acid from lactobacillus bacteria, kind of like pickle juice or something. I mean, the stout flavors were there, albeit weak, but the sourness quickly dominated the palate. I was put off, but maybe this is true to the style. Not my thing, though.

Mouthfeel: Very thin for a stout -- again, more like a lambic. Tickling carbonation similar to soda water, and not a thick stout.

Drinkability: If you like this style, it would be very drinkable because it is low in alcohol and not too filling. I won't drink another one, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2004 20:01:39 | More by bultrey
Photo of connecticutpoet


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

This one poured a dark brown with a rather big head that took a bit of time to dissipate.

The taste was light, not overpoweringly roasted, but oddly enough not as sweet as I would have expected from a sweet stout. It didn't have the lingering sweetness in the nose of, say, Mackeson's.

There was a nice roasted foretaste, and slight sweetness, with some fruitiness following. Not TOO bad a beer, but far from what I had hoped from a sweet stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2004 02:51:48 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Hefe


3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted on 6/14/04 from 330 ml bottle.

Appearance: Black, with a slight amber rim when viewed in bright light. Brown head quickly fades and dissappears.

Smell: Sweet, roasty, prune, espresso.

Taste: Odd, roasted malts in the background but up front sweet but unidentifiable flavors predominate. Touches of milk around the edges.

Mouthfeel: Thin and a little sharp, though not really acidic.

Drinkability: I suppose I could drink several of these, just not sure I would want too.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 01:30:44 | More by Hefe
Photo of cbl2

New York

2.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


Almost black with a hint of ruby. A faint tannish head that settles rapidly.


Marshmallow/cotton candy and coffee. Smells delicious.


Not as good as it smells. An off taste at first, almost sour followed by a mellow sweetness that has coffee and sugar aspects to it. Good but for the offputting start which lowers the over all appeal of this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2004 20:17:22 | More by cbl2
Photo of oggg


3.63/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard pour gave 4 fingerbreaths of tan big-bubbled head in an imperial pint glass. The head slowly collapsed into a thick tasty cake, leaving a nice lace. Black color with ruby tints at the edges.

Aroma is of roasted grains, coffee, chocolate and a fruity possibly apricot aroma.

The head tastes of roasted grains withy a faint burnt component, as well as some spiciness. The beer itself starts with sweet malt, with low (perfectly so) carbonation. Surprisingly little in the way of roasted or burnt flavor, given the nice aroma. The flavor lasts only about 4 seconds. Especially with its sour note, this is somewhat reminiscent of Guinness. Much sweeter though. There isn't really much astringency to offset the sweetness, so the finish is a bit cloying. I start to exhale some roasted grain breaths, which are pretty cool.

This is medium bodied, maybe on the lighter side. The finish as above is a bit syrupy, although that gets better as you sip more beer and get more roast/burnt flavor to come in. Alcohol is subtle.

This beer goes down easy, and the more you drink, the better it gets. It's still too sweet, though, and that limits how often you'll want it.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 21:12:55 | More by oggg
Photo of budgood1


3.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a deep brown colour with a few ruby highlights, with a slight tan head and a a bit of lacing. the aroma is a sharp acidic sweetness, a bit solvent. hinting of sourness, coffe notes, caramel and bittersweet chocolate waft through the divide. the flavour seems a bit sour and off at first. although part of the flavour profile, the sourness takes some getting used to. lots of dark roasted malt and other sweet stout delights abound. the mouthfeel seems a bit thin for a stout, but maybe i'm distracted by all the unfamiliar flavours this lacto stout is unveiling. as for drinkability...i'm not sure i would want more than one of these per session. it's rather unique.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2004 02:06:37 | More by budgood1
Photo of ark57


3.78/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice dark black with a thin head. The aroma is mostly roasted coffe, but sort of one dimentional. The taste is sweet and creamy also like a cappuccino. There is a weird sourness in the finish. This is a unique beer to say the least. The coffee and sweet cream tastes highlighted with a slight sourness is worth another try.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 21:09:03 | More by ark57
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.85/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big 24.3 oz bottle, not tops in volume, but it just feels big in the hand.
I've only had their wheats before, so I anticipate this one eagerly...
fully opaque appearance, dark brown color, with light creeping in the edges, revealing reddish tinges,and blessed with a huge, zesty, light tan head, bubbling and popping as it chaotically collapses down to size...bet it crackle, too...oh, it's a buzzing, aural cacophony, when it set it up to your ear.
Aroma: definite shades of coca-cola, but after that creamy, cocoa, some bitter espresso notes, as well, bitter-sweet, I should say, for it's an even-tempered smell. I can detect a bit pitch and tar, a hint of mollasses and spice, but that may be a stretch.
Taste: has a heft, but feels mellow in the mouth, very cool, and not too sweet at all. Ah, but that changes further in, and the bright, fruity character that comes close to cola emerges more full on the palate. The "lacto" is detected a bit, as well, and only adds to the smoothness of the brew. Body is medium, finish is soft, and pleasant, a nice, sweet treat.
Though not my favorite style of stout by any means, this is not such a bad bottle of beer. Goes done well, and could possibly make a case for itself as a "session stout", if it weren't for the price. ($8.19's what I paid)
Still, I'm interested to see what they would do with an Imperial Stout, even an Oatmeal.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 02:04:12 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Te head on this stout more of a crbonation head than a thick foamy head found on some stouts. It was a dark black color with just the slightest hint of mahogony when held up to the light. The aroma is at first a roasted malt followed by a sweet malty smell. This is a very easy going stout . In that the flavors have smoothed edges as opposed to being aggressive in nature. The roasted malt flavor comes in first and finishes with a soomth but light sweetness as in the aroma. With the low alc.% and easy flavor I think I could put away several of these at one night at the pub.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2004 20:53:39 | More by ybnorml
Photo of BeefyMee


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

This is the first Hitachino beer I have tried and also the one that I wanted to try the most. I was expecting something a little different, but I still enjoyed the beer. It only seemed stout-like in appearance. The taste had a wheaty aspect, maybe like Franziskaner, and was also reminiscent of certain Belgian Pales, such as Leffe Blonde. This took some getting used to but I began to come around to it.

Very interesting. Try it just to see what you think. I don't believe I'll be getting this again, though I wouldn't mind it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 05:22:16 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of merlin48


2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle with a cute owl on the cap, as well as the label. Pours into a pint tumbler like a light bodied porter, but is very opaque black chestnut in the glass. Not much of a head, but it leaves some cocoa ring lace and a similar oil slick on top.
Aroma is Japanese? Sour cream is not what I was expecting from anybody's stout, but it's here and combines with coca cola, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate flavors to provide a drinkable and challenging experience. It's light bodied for a stout, and has respectable components of dark roasted malts and chocolate notes to overpower the scalded milk notes. A very interesting brew, indeed. If you enjoy chocolate on your cottage cheese, you will definitely like this stout. I'm awarding it a 5.0 for Peculiarity. Not for the squeamish.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 03:03:58 | More by merlin48
Photo of steorn


3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a noisy tan head.The head dissapates rather quickly to leave just a thin coating.
Smells sweet and malty with some of the roasted notes expected from a stout. On first taste I get some sweetness and alcohol, then a short burst of roasted malt. It finishes rather quickly.The mouthfeel is somewhat thin yet coating.There is a little more depth as it warms,but there doesnt seem to be much to this.Its not a bad stout but certainly not anything to shout about.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2004 02:47:52 | More by steorn
Photo of genaro


2.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A review of a beer containing lactose milk sugar by a lactose intolerant person may be prejudicial but here it is anyway. This beer has an opaque dark brown color and no head. The aroma was pretty much that of caramel. It has a smooth taste of sweet milky caramel with undertones of toasted malt. There are hints of chocolate as well. The hops were pretty laid back with only a little bit of bite. The mouthfeel was a little doughy with not much carbonation. I really did not care for the lactose milk sugar after taste. However, most people might find this a good dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 17:03:57 | More by genaro
Photo of DESTRO


1.78/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

ok first off this is the 24oz bottles and i was totally hyped on the bottle, it looks cool as hell. it pours dark brown, not black and with really no head to speak of. the smell is somewhat modest and contains cocoa, malt and has an odd spoiled milk smell. taste wise? ugh. talk about a let down. it honestly tastes like crap. sure theres malty chocolate notes but theyre smashed by the odd taste of rotten milk. it grossed me the f**k out. i mean im always one to finish a beer no matter how bad, but 3/4 of the way through this, down the drain it went. it was crisp but thin and not what youd expect from a stout. total bummer and expensive. not gona hit this one up again, ever.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2003 08:05:23 | More by DESTRO
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

1.48/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This review is from my notes of a previous tasting. I'm entering it because I've entered a number of very favorble reviews, and believe it's important to also include reviews of brews that "aren't so hot."
This beer has a reasonably nice appearance. Deep brown, though too light for a stout. Weak head vanished immediately, with no lace to speak of.
Aroma is acidic and overwhelmed by an extremely earthy, mineral and "spoiled milk" nose.
Taste: compared to a Mackeson's, Sam Adams CS or St. Peter's CS, the lacto factor is way, WAY out of balance for me. Extremely earthy (dirt), and an almost stinging acidity. I've traveled quite extensively in the far east, and so I tried very hard to be sensitive to cultural differences in "taste" in this review, but it's hard for me to believe this is something the masses anywhere are clamoring for.
Mouthfeel is way too thin and watery for a stout.
Drinkability: I'm sorry to say I finally poured this beer out (I do that maybe once a year, tops). I gave this tasting numerous chances, letting it warm up, etc... but for my taste, this brew is nearly offensive.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 16:14:22 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin, dense, espresso crema-colored head. Sweet Stout is very, very dark brown in color and smells a bit like Kahlua, with chocolate and cafe latte notes. The taste is creamy, with strong coffee and cream flavor and a touch of dry cocoa. The influence of the lactose is easy to detect, as it makes this brew creamy, sweet, and a touch sour in the finish. Nice, full mouthfeel. This beer isn't at all oppressive, especially for a stout, and is surprisingly easy to drink. Overall, it reminds me very much of a slightly smoky Kahlua flavor. I'll have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 00:25:12 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of chaduvel


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

Had this at the New Bukowski's in Inman Sq. Served in the ceramic Hitachino Nest glass so I couldn't get a good look at the color. Head is the color of a chocolate milk shake. Smell is distinctly of caramels. Really smells of caramels as the beer warmed up. Taste: creamy and milky similar to 1% milk consistency, can taste the lactose and the sweet caramel and malt flavors, finishes by coating the back of my throat like a glass of milk would. Interesting offering, worth trying but not drinking on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2003 16:12:03 | More by chaduvel
Photo of mickeymac


2.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although it's quite dark, it has a hint shows a hint of mahogany when held up to the light. The heady was bubbly but disappeared almost immediately without a trace of lace on the glass. The smell is light, with just detectable notes of chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is also a bit underwhelming. Nothing about it is particularly offensive; it just doesn't stand out in any way. It's undoubtedly watery for a stout. Although it's only 3.9%, it doesn't lend itself to session drinking. I'll pass on this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2003 03:12:06 | More by mickeymac
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.93/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Popeye in Tokyo, Japan.

This stout poured black as soy sauce with a creamy, tan head (typical nitrogen foam). The smell was sweet and malty but modest. The taste was sweet but also somewhat tangy (almost a hint of tartness). Tastes of malt and cocoa were evident. The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, and clean. The body was medium, and the carbonation feel was low. There was an initial tartness on the tongue which gave way to the sweetness. This was a good stout on tap. I liked this sample better than the bottle I had sampled in the US.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-23-2003 20:15:45 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

2.05/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep ruby brown almost opaque, with a moccha highly carbonated fizzy two fingered head, and from my pour is leaving no lace at all. The aroma is a sharp slightly acidic sweetness, this is my first time grappling with a milk or cream stout so here it goes. Underneath of the harsh sourness are light coffe tones and dark chocolate from the dark roasted barley malt. The flavor at first seems a bit offensive from the rush of acidity, but I think it's growing on me after my fourth sip a little. The light flavors in the background from the dark roasted malts are definitely overshadowed from the sourness in the flavor creating an unbalance that doesn't form a happy experience with me. Nice to try a stout from a Japan micro, but I will try the Hitachino Nest wit and wheat before I count them off as bad brewers. The overall mouthfeel is a bit thin for this lucious style of a stout, and I just can't get down with this beer on any level. Drinkability is low due to the fact that the sourness overbears the rest of the characteristics of the beer therefore ruining the pleasures this beer has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2003 09:25:16 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of aaronh


2.38/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark mahogany color, topped by a rather thin, tan head. The aroma is faily modest, sweet with notes roasted malt. The taste is odd, initially presenting a slightly sweet roasted taste, immediately followed by a tinge of sourness. The dry roasted flavor comes back for the finish, and last into the aftertaste, but it is rejoined by the slight sourness. The mouthfeel is rather light, not having much more body than a typical lager. Drinkability is not great, because it's just not that enjoyable. I guess they all can't be good beers, right?

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2003 15:47:09 | More by aaronh
Photo of BigHead


2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I found this odd since a lot of my Asian friends are lactose intolerant, which (and I may be misinformed) is common among Asian folk. But anyway, on to the beer. It's a nice looking stout, with carbonation galore and a nice head. Boy, I think I smelled a sweet cider smell initially, but then I could detect a slight roasted malt, chocolate aroma come through. Bubbles dance on the dance which is washed away with a milky consistency. A sweet, milk chocolate flavor and kinda ends with a tinge of sourness. Each sip finishes with a milky feeling. This was a hard beer to finish the entire bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2003 21:14:44 | More by BigHead
Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) from Kiuchi Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.