Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale - Kiuchi Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

318 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 318
Hads: 655
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 21.7%
Wants: 37
Gots: 75 | FT: 0
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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 318 | Hads: 655
Photo of champ103
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice hazed golden/orange/red color. A two finger white/pinkish head forms with good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind. Very unique coloration going on here.
S: Minty, spicy, earthy. Lightly sweet with some citrus rind aromas lingering.
T: Big minty flavor with is slightly sweet and tart. Slick and oily hops. Light peppery notes.
M/D: Medium body with crisp carbonation. A slick and oily feel. Surprisingly hot, and add the slick/oily feel that I am not a fan of and this is a bit harder to drink than I would like.

Not bad, certainly worth a try. Interesting to say the least. Though probably not a repeat purchase.

 637 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle (RR 11 08 stamped on side) poured into a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Much as others have described, the beer is a cloudy red-orange with a hint of pink to it. The pink color is quite notable when you first pour it. The foam pours an off-white/faint pain rocky head that dies back to leave just a thin skin across the top. Some tiny strands of lacing here and there. I noted that some sediment came along despite a careful pour, so that may be coloring my review a bit.

Smell: Cooked rice, some fruity esters (grape mostly), very mild skunk, but that skunk goes away as it warms up. Definitely has some Belgian character to the smell, barest hint of herbal hops with the malt and sweetness among the dominant grain smell (rice).

Taste: Complex with lots of flavors blending together quickly. Hops - bitter/earthy, sweetness - fruit/grape/berry (raspberry?), grains - barest flavor of rice and some malt in there. The hops and sweet flavors dominate.

Mouthfeel: Just right carbonation - a tiny bit prickly on the tongue but then gone. Nothing sticking to the teeth. Slick and thicker than water, but just barely.

Overall / Drinkability: Neat to try out. At first when I had this I thought that putting into the category of a Belgian strong pale ale was incorrect, but as I drink more of it, I think that's a reasonable place for this beer which is distinctly Japanese and very unique in flavor and style. Glad to try, but not sure I would call this highly drinkable. It's an acquired taste - interesting, challenging to define, delicate and complex, and to that end good overall. But I can't see myself going out of my way to get it again. Still, as I look at the other ratings, I think this is a good beer and so despite my counter-arguments on only trying it once, I'll rate this as good overall.

 1,815 characters

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a grapefruit juice like color with no head.
Smells sweet and floral with hints of citrus
Tastes a bit sweet, with subtle hints of strawberries, little alcohol, finishes very dry.
Mouth feel is a bit thin with medium carbonation.

Very interesting beer... I would drink this if I was out having sushi. Not something I would drink on a regular basis.

 355 characters

Photo of weizenbob
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 500 ml bottle was purchased at Beertopia in Omaha, NE for $4.59. Hitachino Nest's website describes this as "an intriguing mix of sake, malt and bitter notes in the finish." Being culturally retarded, I have no idea what sake tastes like. This could be a new experience for me. I popped the cap and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A moderate pour yields about a finger of blush foamy head. Retention is decent. Moderate lacing holds steady. The brew is deep amber in hue. There is quite a lot of haze. The head is intriguing, but otherwise there is nothing to distinguish the visual aesthetic from any other amber ale.

The aroma comes on with a soft fruity character. It's the aroma of beer that has been brewed with actual fruit, rather than fruit aromas that manifest as a result of malt complexity. Mild cardboard and soy sauce characters appear but are oddly pleasant. The scent is unusual, and in writing it doesn't sound all that appealing, but it works.

The first sip reveals one of the most exotic ales that I have encountered. The initial impression is of berries, again, the taste of a beer brewed with actual berries (Short's Soft Parade is the closest approximation that comes to mind). After that, the beer is a strange concoction of tobacco and spearmint. The faintest creamy impression of marshmallow acts as the glue that ties everything together in a way that is somewhat similar to fruit chewing gum, or fruit gelato. Those descriptors are still completely inadequate in describing the flavor on my tongue. It feels like fruit beer and tastes like nothing else I've encountered. Despite claiming 7% ABV, the alcohol is nowhere to be found in the taste. Hop bitterness is nonexistent. I'm loving this.

The beer is medium bodied, but feels light and refreshing due somewhat to the mildly stinging carbonation and fruity profile. This is my first Hitachino Nest brew, and though I was hoping my first would be Hitachino White, this is a very pleasant surprise. It's a good thing that this is not readily available to me because I would buy this all of the time. Cost be damned!


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz for this awesomely unique ale from Japan!

 2,228 characters

Photo of Neorebel
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at an Asian restaurant in Boston. Pours a reddish brown tint with little to no head. In the nose I was picking up some malt sweetness and dried fruit aromas. The taste was very 'floral' with a little tartness as well. Pleasantly light. Can't tell this is a 7% ABV beer. The rice really comes through in the finish - as an avid sake drinker - I really enjoyed this.

 373 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a reddish, copper color with about a finger and a half of very white, foamy head.

S: Smells sweet with some lighter malt, honey, some trace hop bitterness and faint lemon zest.

T/M: It’s strongly carbonated and sweet again up front, like straight sugar flavored with red berry syrup followed by a mild, lingering bitterness. The experience is very much reminiscent of a soda, but not quite as sweet. The excessive carbonation, the gratuitous sugar sweetness and almost artificial fruitiness combine to form something more akin to a Fanta than a Hitachino.

It wouldn’t be that bad on a warmer day and the 7% is masked quite well, but if you want something that tastes like beer, you might want to look for something else.


 787 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Very nice! Poured into a nondescript tulip glass, a slightly hazy orange-peach color with a golden-hued, fluffy head that retained well throughout the session. Aroma was pretty much what I'd expect sweet rice to smell like, notes of citrus zest, a bit grassy. Nice crisp taste, somewhat reminiscent of sake up front, with tones of lemon zest, apple skin, peach, and white grapes; just a touch of sourness. Bready and grassy, very light and enjoyable. Light-bodied and very drinkable.

 525 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an appetizing hazy reddish copper with a fairly thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Aroma is somewhat malty and a teeny bit fruity, if not strong. Flavor is - hmmm, this is interesting. Not malty, really, rather fruity, quite different from other beers I have tried, not sweet and not bitter, just tasty. Some yeasty hints. Texture is smooth and fizzy, above-average body. An interesting beer.

 400 characters

Photo of bramsdell
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into imp pint glass.

A: Nice white head over a dark golden/red body. Tons of very small particles floating around in the body, too. Not the typical pale, yeasty stuff; this is finer but coarser. Looks like cinnamon floating around. Retention is pretty decent, with light lacing all the way around the glass.

S: Aroma is light malt, first and foremost. Definitely a hint of caramel to add to the light sweetness. Some fruitiness, too. There is a little booze behind all the sweetness.

T: Well, despite calling itself a red ale, this definitely tastes like a Belgian PA. It's got the earthy characteristics in the yeast to clearly deem it Belgian. The malty, caramel notes of the nose are most present. There is also a thinner flavor here that must come from the rice used. This beer has the initial flavor of a BSPA, but the finish is not quite as robust as is typical of the style. Highly drinkable, just a little different.

M: It's lighter than a BSPA should be, I think. Thinner and easier to suck down. It's not great, it's not bad.

O: This is a decent beer, but nothing to write home about. I was challenged by my guy at the beer store to enjoy it, and I did. It's not great, but I'm glad I finally had my first Kiuchi.

 1,247 characters

Photo of isitsavage
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a wine glass.

Murky orange/peach in color, two fingered billowy white head that fades slowly and clings to the glass. Spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell is yeast and a touch of funk, light citrus and some spice, a little medicinal. Something I can't quite pick out, I want so say a kind of musty rice smell. Not too familiar with sake so it could be there. Cheated a little bit and checked the breweries website, they say there is a hint of strawberry in the nose, I can see that...

Taste is yeast and very light hops, light lemon tartness, I do get the strawberries in the taste here. I really like the hop taste here actually, a lot of flavor without being overbearing at all. It comes out mostly in the end and provides a nice balance to the initial sweetness, not bitter at all just great hop flavor.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth and drinkable, not prickly or numbing.

Overall I liked this beer a good bit. The taste is really great, very subtle but complex and well balanced. I think I'm in the wrong season for it though. First time I had seen single 12 oz. available so I picked it up, would enjoy this in the summer months a little more I think.

 1,188 characters

Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from small bottle. A nice hazy golden color.

This beer has a pleasant and mild aroma,like banannas and toffee.

More toffee and fruitiness in the flavor and it is very well balanced and easy to drink.

This has everything I love in a belgian beer. I am not good with adjectives but this beer has what I like.

 335 characters

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

Have had this sitting in my fridge for a while. Was honestly a bit reluctant to open it.

Appearance is gold with _almost_ the red hues promised on the label. Decent head and lacing.

Smell is actually quite a lot like a macro (lol), unsurprisingly. There's a nice candyish red bean smell behind that though.

Taste is similar. Bit of red fruit- red apple, watermelon. Some strange bitterness on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate-high carbonation.

Overall this beer was interesting as an experiment. Wouldn't buy it again at this price point. As a side note; it didn't exactly scream "sake" to me, but I'm not a connoisseur.

 638 characters

Photo of cbarrett4
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Get over the creepy/cute owl and start trying this beer! I have yet to be less than amazed by anything I've poured from them.

Poured into Unibroue tulip. Pours with a 2 1/2 inch head that stays persistently, never really dissipates all the way, but settles to about 1/2 inch head with good, frosty, off white lace. Nice opaque copper/amber hue. Very pretty.

Very complex and well defined nose. Lots of sake like aromatics, that fermented rice note. Really nicely framed with a hint of yeast, some apple and other red fruit, and very mellow spice.

Flavors settle around the sake like note with a great malty note, some more spice, and that apple.

Texture is lovely, with the slight coarse feel from brewing with rice. Alcohol is there but is well integrated. Finish is medium to long with decent balance of alcohol, acids, and tannins.

Overall this is a fantastic little gem of an ale. The rice really adds a lot without masking or detracting from the inherent quality of the base beer. It tastes authentically Japanese (since it is) and not artificial like many of the American attempts at this (or similar Japanese) style(s). A must try, if nothing else so you can say you had a red rice ale!

 1,198 characters

Photo of bluHatter
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has long been my favorite Hitachino Nest variety, but rarely in stock anywhere in my area. When I saw my shop had been restocked, I jumped at the opportunity. Upon tasting this again after so long, my opinions have changed slightly, but it is still an exceptional ale.

A: Dark, muddy red, almost apple-cider in color. Poured with almost no head. The lacing looks like soap suds.

S: floral, deep musky scent.

T: Refreshing, rich, complex and ultimately tart - the red rice adds a unique flavor, which I personally love.

M: Smooth, nice carbonation

O: I'm not sure if my taste buds changed over time, or if the freshly imported batch tastes different than what I'd had previously, but I was stricken how different it was from what I remembered. However, I still love this ale. I relish any opportunity to taste this fine complex ale as often as I am able. It is just superb.

 882 characters

4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served into a Tulip glass.Enjoyed on apr´11.
Orangish light amber in color.Foggy.Yellowish white head.Foam layer is dense but quite brief with medium size bubbles.Fresh fruit -apricot & peaches- aroma.Yeasty & bready notes.Spicy,bready & gentle fruity flavors.Smooth sour mouthfeel, light carbonation,light body too.Coriander & apricot aftertaste.What a nice refreshing experience!Very well balanced flavors & aromas.Very good drinkability.

 454 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, this is a moderately hazy brown-amber beer with a very small head. The nose is somewhat vinous, very fruity, with some sweet malt. Flavor is not terrible, but not very interesting either: strong, sweet malt, with moderately high bitterness (not even a hint of hop flavor, though). Alcohol is lightly hot, but it doesn't detract from the taste. Highly fruity yeast character, as the aroma indicated. I've had sekihan, but this doesn't resemble the flavor, far as I remember. Do they mean purple rice? It doesn't taste like that either. I don't think the rice contributes much to the flavor, but I'm not sure. Absent the label, I would have guessed this is just a strong, undistinguished ale.

 716 characters

Photo of weller1js
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a orange-red with a slight pink hue, clear with dense sediment floating throughout, foam is 1-2 fingers thick, white with pinkish tinge, settling to slight ring and film of lacing.

smell: bold malt/rice base, with overlying floral hop notes that is a faintly-spicy but more tangy-sweet in character.

taste: begins with a slight spiciness which remains throughout, sweet rice/malt notes are bold and sweet, enhanced by the characteristics of floral, tangy hops, finishes with a balance everything, with a spicy-bittersweet lingering.

mouthfeel: medium bodied with maltiness of the red rice strikingly unique.

overall: unique with some complex attributes, decent abv, very pleasant to drink.

 712 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle at Myers and Chang in Boston.

A: Poured a pink/red color with a light pink head on top, very sudsy, about one inch in height. The head faded rather quickly leaving behind little bits of side lace.

S: Fruity for sure, some sort of red fruit, almost like fruit punch (but not in a sugary way), as well as a little bit of apple. Can pick out the rice a little bit.

T: The berries are a bit subdued in the flavor profile, but there is some strawberry and raspberry as well as a little bit of apple and tangerine. Lots of sweetness from the malt and rice.

M: On the light side of medium bodied with nice carbonation. Slightly dry finish. No sign of this being 7% either.

O: An interesting beer, pretty tasty. Didn't know it was a BSPA until I logged onto BA when I got home, kind of surprised me, but wasn't sure what style I thought it would be anyway. A nice change of pace beer.

 902 characters

Photo of chefelf
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, my first from Kiuchi Brewery. It was far lighter than I'd imagine a beer at 7% ABV would be. I guess that could be dangerous but I only had one so it wasn't an issue.

Oh, and it features a cartoon owl on the label so that immediately boosts the score right there.

 297 characters

Photo of t420o
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when pouring it looks like no beer I've ever seen. It's a beautiful rose color. A semi aggressive pour produces a 1 finger white head that rests atop the that wonderful rose color and makes for a very interesting look. Leaves very nice lacing.

S- Very floral. There are some hops, rose pedals, rice, and a nice malt backbone. Smells tasty.

T- The taste is very subtle. I usually like a more pronounced flavor, but this is done excellent. Floral hops that almost taste like flowers, malt, a rice type taste, slight bitterness. Not a hint of alcohol whatsoever.Very subtle and hard to identify all the flavors but its pretty good.

M- Nice mouthfeel. Very smooth and nice carbonation feel

O- A very good beer. Unlike anything I have every had. Very drinkable, almost sessionable, which is remarkable given the abv.

 819 characters

Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into snifter

Color: This beer pours a very pale red and unfiltered. It creates a white one inch head that disappears slowly.

Nose: some tartness up front... most likely from the citrus in this beer. Also evident are some bread like scents and sweet malt.

Palate: soft,crisp, and light. very tasteful and complex. goes down easy and can't say enough how great it taste.

Finish: short but full of burst. sweetness and some light hops at he end. truly an achievement.

 475 characters

Photo of calcio360jrd
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good red rice ale from hitachino, had this for the first time at WOB clematis and have since bought a bunch at TW.

The reddish/pinkish hue right off the back is pretty unique to this beer. Nice lite sweet smell and very pleasent taste make this a good session beer. Def must try if this is available in your area

 319 characters

Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a translucent, semi-glowing pale amber color with a somewhat strange overall pinkish hue. My first thought on the pour was grapefruit juice, but that seems a bit off after sitting in the glass. A medium finger of tight bubbled, foamy head with decent staying power. Initially it drops in the center but basically remains around the edges like a thick whipped cream collar on top of a hot chocolate. Thick webs of lacing down the glass as the beer heads for the bottom of the glass.

S - Bread, earth, slightly herbal, a bit sour and astringent, very yeasty, sugar, a bit of bubblegum and toffee in the background. Individually, the aroma components are nothing unusual, but they blend together in an odd combination that I can't really place in a single style or other example of beer I've had. Not unpleasant, just a bit incomparable to any other beer I've stored in my memory banks.

T - Flavors are a bit on the subtle side. Fairly dry but some mild candy sugar and cotton candy sweetness does come thru. The malt is soft and a bit bready. Getting some bubblegum, fruity and floral hops, rose petals, a bit of currants. Very subtle, complex and interesting. Not really sure what to make of it, but I do like it.

M - Lightish in body, carbonation is on the light side and pretty creamy. Has a very soft feel - flavors are all subtle and come on in random layers. I seem to get something different in every sip - some more enjoyable than others, but this makes for an interesting drinking experience.

O - I'm not sure this beer really knows what it is or wants to be. So many things going on here without any one thing taking the lead in the flavors. I feel like I could come up with new descriptors for the flavors in here all night long. I give this high scores for uniqueness and and a fun and different drinking experience. Belgian Strong Pale Ale...I suppose it is a bit of a catch-all sort of category, and I don't really have a better idea what to call it, but it isn't like any other one I've ever had. Tasty and a bit confounding...worth a try.

 2,111 characters

Photo of blakereik
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nothing great to say about this beer. Nothing bad either, it just did not make an impact either way for me. Pretty light flavor with an odd undertone. Would drink just fine very cold, so maybe a good one to have after doing some yard work. My wife thought the bottle was cute.

 276 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Beige/yellow body with an off-white head

S- Some yeast and honestly some rice. Doesn't sound good but it is certainly inviting

T- Earthy rice from the beginning to the end. Some yeastiness in some of the sips I take.

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation and crisp

O- Very interesting and will stick out in my mind and I'm likely to return to the novelty.

 361 characters

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.