Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

586 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 586
Reviews: 310
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 32
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 310 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
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
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
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
3.33/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of Maudite
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of these from the City Beer Store (SF). I had seen it at Whole Foods before, thought I'd give it a shot. Not much a fan of rice beers...

A= Surprisingly pink, bubbly, almost like a rose champagne. Got me excited
S= Sweet smelling, very earthy and hard to pinpoint any specifics. I think I was just too jazzed.
T= tastes like the appearance would make you think... almost geuze-like... champagney, slightly citrusy, mildly floral, an organic soda, perhaps... definitely a dessert or aperitif beer.
M=Very bubbly, slightly biting, crisp, fills the gills and then washes away, leaves the mouth dry and refreshed feeling. Try it with a cheese plate.
D= If you luck out and get a small bottle like me, I'd say have a second, perhaps a third if you're dining with friends or something. Stick with one if you get the big Whole Foods bottle.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.38/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 21oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of pungent and contains Belgian yeast & strong spices along with fruit and rice.

T: The taste is sweet, spicy and bready with flavors of rice, fruit and yeast. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there’s a mild hops presence to provide a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style while keeping the rice element prevalent. While this is one of the better rice ales that I’ve had, I’m really starting to get turned off by these beers as they typically just don’t seem to taste right even though I keeping trying to give them a fair chance.

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

Pours a cloudy pinkish with an off white head with pink tones. Nose is mild with a slight alcohol presence. Very slight touch of yeast as well. Flavor is fruity with an odd ricey edge. Pretty odd really. Very earthy and plant like palate on it. Very unusual. Feel is good with a nice bubble to it. Borders on syrupy, but isn't quite there yet. Drinkable, sure. It's definitely a unique brew. But yet again, not sure if this one is worth going back to for the coin.

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

Poured from a 720ml bottle into a conical pub glass. Nice light copper orange pour with small to medium white head. Very little lace. Cloudy with sediment floating about. Smell of cooked rice with a hint of citrus. Taste of orange and spice with a hint of sake. Alcohol finish. Mouthfeel was smooth with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable and a brew I'll probably rotate to every few months.

Photo of vtfan77
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Slightly hazy light straw color with a pink tinge and a small but persistent white head. The beer maintains about a quarter inch of head throughout its duration.

S- Mostly a sour yeast twinge with some rice and a bit of tart fruit.

T- Much different from the smell. The beer has a very forward fruity flavor strongly reminiscent of strawberries, so much so that in a blind tasting I might have actually pegged this as a fruit beer. The yeast also comes into play, giving it a Belgian-like spiciness. Only a touch of bitterness lingers on the finish, along with a rice aftertaste.

M- Medium body and kind of fizzy. Fits the character of the beer pretty well.

D- The alcohol (listed on my bottle as 7%) isn't really noticeable, but I don't think I'd want more than one. Something about the flavor really doesn't lend itself to high drinkability.

This is a very unique beer. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and is certainly worth trying. I enjoyed the one I had, but I doubt I'll get it again. I still recommend trying it at least once.

Photo of goochpunch
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly hazed pink-orange with a frothed white head that leaves some near solid sheets of lace. Nose is fairly clean with notes of cotton candy, apples, herbs, and eucalyptis. Flavor starts off with a sugariness akin to, as already mentioned, cotton candy or even doughnut glaze. Towards the middle, I get some apple, a big hit of strawberry, and some underlying mint. Finish is interestingly grainy (almost reminds me of steamed buckwheat groats) and drying. Extremely interesting, but there is the slightest cough medicine background note that bugs me just a bit. This kind of tastes like Strawberry & Cream Mad Dog (in the best way possible). Mouthfeel is light to moderate with a carbonation that is arousing but never becomes bothersome. Drinkability is really great, but there is a sweetness that lasts about the middle that wears on me. Very impressive. I've had the chance to drink this on and off for a few years now and it's always interesting.

Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Had an orange pour with a thin white head. Also had bits of sediment in it.

Smell- I could smell a hint of alcohol and citrus. Maybe a hint of hops.

Taste- It was a very odd tasting beer. Had an almost Sake taste to it if I can say that.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a high carbonation.

Drinkability- This was an interesting beer. I can't see myself drinking this beer all the time but it wasn't bad.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

They're not kidding about the "red", as this pours a blood orange/copper-red color, with a big fluffy, soapy head that holds for a couple minutes before reducing to thin skim. Super-tiny sediment, despite a careful pour and a ton of bubbles, and a thin web-like spread of lace. (I'll rarely dock points for floaters or sediment...I dig that.)

Aroma is...interesting. Maybe it's the red rice, but this doesn't smell like any other beer that I can recall. Aside from the unfamiliar and hard-to-define main element, it also smells of pink grapefruit juice, sea salt and pineapple. Elusive and interesting.

Flavor has the sourness of grapefruit, the sweetness of pineapple, a highly mineral quality, pretty salty, with a very tart finish. Obvious why Sweet Tarts candy comes to mind. There's a softness to the palate that must be the rice, being on the thin side but with enough carbonation to carry things through.

This is interesting stuff, certainly unique, but unfortunately not all that drinkable on any kind of regular basis. There's something lacking here, which is only partially made up for with it's more unorthodox characteristics. It stands alone, as I've never had another beer like it, but probably won't need to revisit anytime soon.

Photo of bort11
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz stubby bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Tall, rocky white head that leaves an even coating of lacing on the wall of the glass. The color is a pinkish orange with a lot of sediment on the bottom.
Smell is a slightly salty red fruit aroma. Taste is salty and sweet. If you have ever had Japanese candy made of red bean paste, that what it is. Japanese do not like very sweet flavors, they prefer a more mild to salty flavor. This leave a dry soy sauce after taste.
Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy.
This is a very Japanese beer. Unless you are familiar with Japanese culture and foods, I don't think you would like it.

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

Pours a very interesting pinkish red/amber color with even a tiny bit of the pink showing up in the mostly white head. Smells yeasty and fruity.

Taste is quite unique. Some yeastiness like many Belgian pales, but with an unexpected fruitiness - reminds me of strawberries. I know rice can give sweet flavors, but I wasn't quite expecting this. Interesting, for sure. I'm on the fence though as to whether I like it. It straddles the line of tasting like a strawberry infused Belgian pale (and thankfully doesn't fully cross it). I'll give it points for uniqueness.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally delicate and light for the alcohol - I like it.

Drinkability is very good. No alcohol at all is present.

Recommended for a try. Don't know if I'll go back to this, but I enjoyed trying it. Unique.

Photo of shadow1961
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hitachino Red Rice Ale pours a finger of light pink foam over
a gorgeous opaque ruby brew. The nose is not unexpectedly
rice and (musty) yeast. There's also something savory about
it that I can't put my finger on. The flavor is sweet up front, with
a bit of alcohol burn and grassy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel
is crisp and a bit sharp. To be honest I expected something a
bit more like saké- definitely an aquired taste, but this is, very
surprisingly, quite appetizing on balance. Try some with sushi.

Photo of sleazo
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchsed from Trader Joes, Union SQ.

A-Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a decent sized white head. The foam recedes quickly but leaves a nice cap which is still pretty fluffy. Decent enough lacing.

S-Sweet perfume like alcohol notes with a bit of fruityness. The yeast plays a role as the banana/strawberry bubblegum(?) esters standout.

T-There is the sweet perfume notes that come out at first follwed by a certain tartness. the aftertaste reminds me of those Vietnamese or Thai jello like rice desserts. This is a very unique taste and not in a bad way at all. I am getting notes of sweet cream, coconut, macerated cherries and a metallic finish. As it warms a little clove like spice comes out.

M-A bit thin but nicely effervescent. The mouthfeel is like a good wit.

D-This is a very complex beer. The red rice adds to it as it becomes a very Asian dessert like beverage. This is complex and sort of defies being listed in any category. Another winner from the Nest

Photo of Onibubba
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange gold with a short foamy off-white head. Nothing bad, nothing too remarkable. Odd smells. Herbal and medecinal, giving way to green olives and pimentos. Taste has little of the herbal smells, but still has some hints of the olive juice. There is a nice balancing hop bitterness, but nothing too strong. Mouthfeel has a nice, almost prickly carbonation. Alcohol is not noticeable. Drinkability is pretty good. I would imagine this would be terrific with a nice bruscetta and thick cut mozzerella. I'll buy this one again.

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

A - The beer pour was very cloudy, almost an orange color. The head was nice and foamy, leaving good lace.

S - I get strong aromas of grains and malt. It is a bit hard to distinguish the grains though, which may be a drawback to this beer.

T - I get a very light spicy taste. You taste the malt more than anything else.

M - I'd describe this as a medium-bodied beer. The beer goes down very easily and enjoyably.

D - This is a very good beer. Count this one among your favorite session beers.

Photo of goschool
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The pour is fiery orange with a large white head that has good retention for the first half of the glass until it fades into tiny ring.

Smell: The nose is muted, except for the sharp spicy aroma that soon fades, and very green. Notes of sour yeast, and citrus hops are also present.

Taste: This has everything in from the aroma and there is an herbal rice flavor much like sake. It's almost interesting, but it falls a bit short.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is lively at first, but it turns a bit still and aqueous.

Drinkability: This is a fairly unique brew, but I don't think I'll be buying more anytime soon.

Photo of marcobrau
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a very hazy red with a moderate amount of carbonation that settles to ring of bubbles. Smells like the inside of a Japanese restaurant. Tastes fruity with an odd aftertaste that reminds of the flavor of some Japanese red rice that I had that actually was flavored with red beans. This is a very unique beer that definitely could complement certain Asian cuisine. I think this could be good with a barbecued pork bun, for example. The red bean flavor takes a bit of getting used to as a flavor in beer and I'm not sure I like it, so the drinkability score suffers somewhat.

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a strange, cloudy orange/brown color (reminded me of pond water). Had a nice foamy, two-finger head. Left good lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit, grains and malt.

T - It tasted of spices and malt. Also, a little dried fruit quality.

M - It was very crisp and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Very good beer. Much better than their white ale.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at a restaurant based on a bartender recommendation. It struck me as being pretty good, tasting to me a bit like a rye beer, but wasn't really all that exciting or different from American beers.

Appearance was a fairly deep red, with a medium amount of head which dissipated quickly. Aroma was lightly fruity with some malt backbone to it. Taste was somewhat cedar-ish, with a lot rye flavors. Mouthfeel was grainy or chalky in its character, which I didn't particular care for. All-in-all, I enjoyed this beer, but didn't have an extraordinarily high opinion of it.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've seen these around the are and finally decided to plunk down a few bucks for this. Pours a deep red/orange color quite different from your average ale. Has an odd grainy sweet smell, not too overwhelming. Tastes a bit like raw slightly musty grains(rice?) some sweetness in the background which finishes sweet. Overall, it's different but really exciting or overly appealing. Worth a shot for people who like to try something different, but I can't see myself going back to this one.

Photo of lpayette
1.85/5  rDev -50%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Listed as 7.0% ABV on the label and on the Kiuchi website, not the 8.5% stated above. 11.2 oz. bottle. Brewed with red rice.

Appearance- Pours a cloudy peach color with about 1 finger head initially- dies down to just a ring very quickly. Just a little bit of lacing.

Smell- This definitely isn't up my alley at all smell-wise. I knew that as soon as I popped the top off. By the way, I love the little round owl on the label and the cap... back to the review. I actually had to read some other reviews to confirm that the smells here were not an indication that this had gone bad. At 7% I figured it should be pretty good to hold up. Smells are sake, strawberries, salmon!???, and rotten rice. It made me nervous to even try drinking it. Not a good combination for the nose.

Taste- Disappointingly- the taste is much like the smell. It does get better as you get used to it though. Still, salmon, sake, earthy notes, and rotten rice is just not a very appealing combination. Some phenols and strawberry flavors are in there too.

Mouthfeel- This is about the only thing that impresses. The mouthfeel is just like it should be. Good carbonation, and a bit of drying yeast effect at the end.

Drinkability- After warming to near room temperature, I could almost manage to suck the remainder of this down. This beer reminds me of a liquid sushi... too bad I don't like sushi. I'm sure that some people will like it, but it's just not for me. This would probably pair really well with lots of Japanese foods including sasimi... that is, if you like sasimi. All-in-all, an extremely interesting beer, but one that I obviously won't be buying again.

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.