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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleHitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

606 Ratings

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Ratings: 606
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 33
Gots: 56 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 317
Photo of maddogruss
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a bottle fot his into a shaker glass

A:Pours a hazy, grapefruit-pink body colored body with a small, white head with pretty good retention and lacing.

S: Smells of sweet malts with hints of a bittersweet, citrus note.

T: A kind of sweet malt taste with some alcoholic notes. Kind of a grainy, sweet aftertaste with a rice/carbohydrate taste.

M: Pretty high carbonation and still fairly light.

D: An ok mouthfeel and taste combination, but the mouthfeel could have used a little bit more work. For a beer of such high ABV, I was expecting a bit smoother mouthfeel.

Photo of Offa
1.65/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was different from what I expected and really quite dreadful, in a manner that makes me wonder if the bottle was bad.
It looked and tasted rather like a bad Belgian ale or Burton Bridge Empire IPA.

Cloudy pale amber with faint brownish hints, it had a medium white head slowly shrinking to a thin foamy-wispy top and ring. It had some sudsy lace.

The aroma is yeasty pear with hints of banana and dried apricot, definitely a bit Belgian, overall somewhat like a stronger witbier or golden ale.

The taste is rather similar but worse, yeasty sourt, bitter with shrap, sulphury dried apricots, rancid pears, and old bananas, a little straight cooked grain in the finish and unpleasant bitter after taste with sour metallic hint. It's very dry and sharp.

Photo of daledeee
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second of my tastings from this brewery.

This beer pours a very spritzer like head at first which went away to a ring of bubbles around the glass. The body is pretty yellow and cloudy.

Nose is rather funny. Yeast and earth and almost like iodine or medicine.

Taste is more along the lines of the other Belgian pale ales. This one is tart fruit with some hops which leads to another different mouth feel but not a bad mouth feel.

Drinkability is great. You would never guess this is 8.5%

Photo of GRPunk
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

After years of looking at this beer on various shelves, my curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a try.

A- It pours with a wonderful, pink-light cranberry body with 1 finger of greyish head. The head slowly drops to a full lace leaving webs of sticky rings down the side of the glass.

S- At first sniff, it had a very champagne-like, earthy/musty/yeasty aroma (all meant in the most pleasant of terms). On further inspection, I picked up sweet, berry-like tones (raspberry with a touch of blueberry perhaps?).

T- More of the yeasty notes from the aroma are present in the flavor. There were some light, earthy hops and berry flavors in the background. There was also a touch of peppery, spiciness that I assume was provided by the yeast. It had a very clean, dry finish (much as a dryish champagne) that gave some characteristics of green apple.

M- It had a soft feel with a delicate, yet fully carbonated body. There was a slight warming sensation from the alcohol and a totally, bone-dry finish.

D- It's such an intriguing beer. I'm not necessarily going to have a ton in a single sitting, and cost makes it more of a celebratory beer. That said, I want more!!!

Overall- This is a great combination of traditional traits, as well as, an innovative take on ingredients. I was a little weary going into this beer. Was it worth $4.50ish for a single? It definitely exceeded my expectations. This will be a nice splurge beer in the future.

Photo of Patrick999
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always thought this was a gimmick, a red rice ale from Japan, so I never picked it up. Until recently, I didn't know this brewery had been so highly-acclaimed.

A - Brilliant red color. White head, but the underlying red makes it look pink. Good retention.

S - Maybe my nose is bad, but it smells downright ordinary.

T, F - A nuanced, well-crafted beer. Very crisp, as beers made with rice would tend to be. Slightly sweet, tied up by some light hop bitterness.

D - Yeah, it's made with rice, but this ain't Budweiser. Give it a try.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful ruby-orange color, big frothy 2 finger off white head.

S: Fresh rice on nose with some smokey hints.

T: Flavor is sweet caramel and rice to start with a nice smokiness throughout. Leaves a slight smokey lacing on the tongue with some earthy hops. Some sour malt upon warming.

M: good for a rice beer, crisp with a moderate body, some malt creaminess.

D: Gets points for uniqueness and style. Overall a solid good beer decent drinkability.

Photo of BretSikkink
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown color, a little soapy and thin in appearance. Ring of lacy head doesn't do much for me. Strange way to start a pale ale.

Sweet aroma of grains, a hint of lactic sourness, and a rather pronounced adjunct note.

Taste of vanilla extract, with overtones of fermentation and funk. The aftertaste is acidic, and the whole thing is quite thin.

On tap this tasted like carbonated vanilla syrup. I left about half the glass.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is peculiar. Odd fruitiness, dry toasty perhaps graininess. Cream soda roasted sugar hints.

Pours deep straw to gold, near-perfect clarity, mild fizzy head. 2nd poor brought on some yeast and little black specs of something. No more clarity, this is almost scary looking.

First sip is every bit as strange as the nose would have you think. Sweet and malty, kind of. Unusual fruit - sour and tart with creamy almost-savory notes. It does remind me of a chewy Sake. Medium-thin body with in-your-face soda carbonation. Tart floral hop-like flavors. Kind of earthy. Crisp and dry, an effect of the rice I suppose. Mildly bitter.

I would be definitely down with getting this at a Japanese restaurant. It seems like it would pair nicely with Eastern cuisine. Always nice to stretch my palate on some new and different flavors.

Photo of orcasteve
2.6/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

this pours a beatuful red color with four fingers of head that disapers fast, now that we have talked about what i liked, we will discuss what i dislike. the taste is dry and tastes of soap and a sour mash. thieir also is a bitter ans spicy taste left in my mouth that tingels my toung and not in a good way. all i can think is that i am chuging dish soap liquid, i hate this one and will never drink this one agan. i let this warm and it started tasting like dirt. this is almost as bad as it gets

Photo of UPtheHAMMERS
4.52/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The owner at Vineyards Elite suggested I try this, and thank you man. You hit the target with this brew!

Complex flavors reminiscent of sake, intermingle with malt sweet notes. Hints of strawberries in the nose and palate. An intriguing mix of rice, malt and bitter notes in the finish.

World class, have to try the other Hitachino they have in thier cooler box!

Photo of SFRider
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy. Orange/Golden. Little sediment on the bottom.
Smell: The first time I had this beer I smelled a sweet orange, floralness. After a friend asked me to think of olives - that's all I could smell. Absolutely smells like a can of green olives. Which doesn't sound as appealing to me - but I still liked it.
Taste: Skunky sweet. Hints of orange and lemon. Like a Japanese Hefeweisen.
Mouthfeel: Smooth. Very drinkable.
ABV: 8.5%
Serving Type: Bottle poured in glass.

I had this beer recently for the first time at Umami in San Francisco. One of my absolute favorite Japanese restaurants in the city. Always looking to try new beers - our server sold me on this "trendy" Red Rice Ale. Uh...red rice? Sounded interesting. I smelled hints of vanilla, and orange - and absolutely loved this beer. So - I thought I'd give it a proper review. Upon a second, more concentrated and semi-unbiased review. I still enjoyed it, though maybe not as much. A friend of mine nailed the smell of a jar of green olives. Which doesn't sound appetizing - but if you can get past this, you may still enjoy this beer. I'd compare it to a Japanese version of a Hefeweisen. Definitely worth drinking. Was a nice accompaniment to sushi. Enjoy...

Photo of explosivebeer
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a hazy light plum color with a very thin head. My bottle was fairly settled but there seems to be a larger-than-normal amount of yeast in suspension. Some nice sour aroma with a little funkiness in it, apparently from the rice. The body is a little thin and has a little underlying cherry.

Photo of Dubbercody
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy cloudy coppery side of straw. Yeasty beer smell. Flavor is sour, but also has a deeper complexity as you work your way into the glass. Cider, yeast, some earthy flavors in there too.

Interesting beer, not something I wold drink on a regular basis, but an awesome birthday present beer.

Photo of dogger6253
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice thick pour, light amber color with some darker gradients throughout. The head is a thick, off-white mass of foam that clings nicely to the glass. I wasn't sure what to expect from the nose, but found myself quite surprised. There's a lot of lemon and floral notes along with some spiciness tucked in.

The flavor is very fruity, but sort of a light fruitiness. Kind of like apples and pears with bits of lemons. There's a grainy, rice-like quality where I would expect more caramel style malt flavor. There's a touch of vanilla that's ever-so slight toward the finish.

A little bit thicker than I was expecting, but uniquely crisp and refreshing for a beer this syrupy. The carbonation aids in that crisp finish. This quality added to the (overall) soft flavors makes for quite a decent beer. Very drinkable and a fresh take on the style.

Photo of srandycarter
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky wheat colored. .5 inch white head leaves ring after a few minutes.. Sudsy lacing.

S - Definitely a Belgian nose, full of floral and tropical fruit notes.

T - Not a full as I expected, finishes a little thin and metallic.

M - Medium carb, fair coating, fair balance.

D - Not harsh, just not tempting.

Photo of gabeerfan
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy pale yellow. Very thin fizzy head the completely disappeared.
Very unique aroma, in a good way. Rice, candy sugar, spices, red apple and pear aromas.
Rice seems to be the dominant flavor, followed by apples/pears, light orange segment flavors, lemon and spices.
Medium-light mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation keeps the palate clean.
Decent drinkability. Unique flavors keep you interested. A little boozy, but not over the top.
Pretty good beer. Interesting flavor profile. This actually would go quite well with sushi or tempura. Good coversational beer, but I don't know if I would make this a regular purchase.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml brown glass bottle. no dating found. printed with what seems to be a possible batch number, "RR.8.2"

poured into tulip

hazy golden straw color w orange tint. nice head slowly fades to wispy layer. two initial thin rings of lace, plus a splotch here and there.

fresh fruit aroma, esp. apple. hints of toasted malt and yeast, then phenolic whiffs. reminiscences of peach and perhaps sake.

apple and pear fruitiness in the flavor too, then phenolic and some tart acidity. some bready character, but then back to fruity tartness and phenols. moderate bitterness, with a semi-dry, champagne finish. some unique character, perhaps sake-like too.

decently smooth through to the finish. lively carbonation.

quite interesting. not entirely sure if it's a "belgian strong pale ale" or blonde, but whatever...

Photo of SilentSabre
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hitachino Red Rice 11,2oz bottle $4,49 Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, Ga USA.
This one a little better than average and certainly unique. It did indeed pour up a cloudy red bronze colour alluding to the Japanese red rice from which it is brewed. Monster white foamy head that does a decent job lacing the sides of the glass. Smell is almost chemical like. There is a bit of cooked fruit, a bit of alcohol, some spice, perhaps, but also a smell that I cannot readily place. Taste is definitely dominated by rice/cereal with little mention of hops. Almost tastes like a poor attempt at a tripel. Mouthfeel is rather thin, but probably right where it should be, given the style they were going for. Not a sensational beer, but easily the best I have had from Hitachino thus far. Kind of a strange beer, this thing. Try it if you get the opportunity.
Oh yeah, I think it's worth mentioning that this beer is listed here at 8,5%abv and the label on this thing says 7,0%.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a hazy orange gold with a light red blush. The white head was thin and light and left no lacing.

Aroma was malty with a apple fruitiness and slightly sour, but very much in a Belgian style.

The taste was of many things. Malts, apples, and Belgian yeast. A real combination of sweet and sour. The alcohol is well hidden.

Thin mouthfeel, slick, and sharply carbonated.

I really like beers that twist my expectations. This was quite enjoyable and easy to drink.

Photo of Goliath
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden color with some pink hues. A thin white head sits on top with poor retention and no lace.

Aroma is ok. Sweet lightly toasted malt and a slight hop spiciness.

Taste is ok, very interesting. Sweet and sour notes with a gentle hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with a bright carbonation smack.

Drinkability is moderate with moderate levels of alcohol and decent flavors.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one very kindly from Mr. Ding. I had only had one thing from them previously, so I was very excited to be able to try another to be honest. I Belgian Strong Pale Rice lager we shall see how that one turns out. Anyway, nice little stubby bottle with a cool looking own on the front, I poured this one right out of the fridge into a nice pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was very nice, with a pinkish, peach colored liquid coming out of the bottle and hitting the glass very lightly. A nice smooth white pillow then came over the top, about a half an inch thick and quickly faded away, leaving behind a thin crown and a token of side glass lace. Nice carbonation could be seen bubbling up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - The aroma was light and fruity, you could almost smell the carbonation. Nice light fruits, apples, pears, and naturally a bit of rice coming off of it. Very light, pleasing and refreshing aroma. A touch of sour to it as well, but still very light and nice.

Taste - The flavor was rather interesting. Started out with a light rice and sour apple combination of a flavor. Weird combo to be honest, but we shall trudge on. As it warmed it became more fruity, hints of pears, peaches, and light apricot were starting to come out, but still with that touch of sour twang. The whole thing was offset though by a weird rice like taste, it just did not come off right. Long lasting finish really zapped the mouth of any moisture and left you looking for the next sip right away.

Mouthfeel - A very light bodied ale, with a very nice carbonation profile. It was actually a touch crisp and refreshing, which was interesting for something that was this strong. Decent enough, it went well dinner.

Drinkability - No idea this was 7%, I was easily able to throw down the little bottle without much of a problem. There was a nice light body to it, and I could see myself having more then one of these any day.

Overall I thought this was pretty good, a little different but still pretty good. I could see myself having it again one day, it has its time and place I am sure.

Photo of hreb
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

21 oz bottle presented in Chimay glass and served cold. Beer pours pinky orange color with a thin white foam, but looks a more normal orange-amber in the glass. The beer is labeled as little more than "Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale" and claims to be only 7% ABV. This is my second experience with this beer, having purchased it at TJ's in Cambridge for an only moderately inflated price. My first Hitachino Nest experience was in an overpriced Manhattan restaurant for some ludicrous price like $10 for a 12 oz bottle.

The beer has a pleasant, citrusy-spicy aroma. Initial flavor is sharp and fizzy with not much body. There isn't really a particular malt flavor and the bitterness, while balanced, may or may not come from some unidentifiable hops. The main thing I get out of it is that it has a slight acidity to it which I kind of like. Actually it might be really good with sushi, in the same way that Sapporo is, despite not actually being a good beer.

As a novelty, it's drinkable. As a beer, it's not great. As for Belgian Strong Pale Ale....I have no idea what you're talking about.

Photo of lifeboyq
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a duvel tulip an orangish brown with a white head with little lacing.

Smells of plastic.

Taste is fun but peculiar of belgian yeast and it seems maybe souring yeast strains with a funky grain and adjunct bill of something like light malts, caramunich and beet sugar bill... no idea really but its quite peculiar but none the less very interesting. Mouthfeel is nice, but drinkabilty, hmm... I'll revisit, when there is a desire for the eclectic.

Photo of dsa7783
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short, fat, stout, 11.2 oz bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
Pours a hazy, cloudy, reddish-orange color with an immense frothy head that displayed enormous staying power and left a hefty amount of lacing around the glass...
Smell was subtle and non-descript, excpet for a fair amount of cloves, ginger, and honey aromas...
Taste was very different and unique, with a sweet, honey-lager, caramel, sugared flavor that I had previously never come across in a beer...
As usual, Hitachino managed to effectively produce a totally new take on a traditional style ale...
Very sweet and vanilla-like flavor balanced out with an equal suggestion of malts and hops make this a unique beer full of character, flavor, and style...
You will certainly either love or hate this one, but personally, I enjoyed sipping on this...
Good mouthfeel, creamy, rich, and sweet,
with an equally good level of drinkability and the hefty 8.5% ABV well-masked behind a sweet, flavorful combination of unique flavors... Good stuff... Recommended...

Photo of wagenvolks
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Pours an attractively hazy, golden orange body. Cantalope and grapefruit hues creep in around the edges, as a fleeting, bone white head disappears to nothing more than a thin ring of foam around the top of the glass. I'm immediately met with the unmistakable aroma of olives. Green, fresh, meaty olives. A bit deeper lie some notes of citrus, wheat, coriander, and a bit of pickle juice. I'm not exactly a fan of olives, but it is something I've never smelt before in a beer.

The taste is a flavorful mix of seaweed wraps, sticky rice, gummi-bears, citrus hops, and saki. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, crisp, and leaves behind a fresh, bitter finish. Truly a Japanese take on a belgian style. Again, it's not something I can truly say I've enjoyed, but I'm definitely glad I tried this beer.

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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.