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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.

594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 594
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 34
Gots: 50 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 594 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waughbrew
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Splotchy medium-sized light-pink head. No retention or lacing. Hazy ruby iced-tea body. Aroma is smoky caramel with a sharp grainy aspect which seems to be the rice, as it reminds me of sake a bit. A bit of alcohol and nail-polish. Perfumy. Flavor is medicinal rotten strawberries with cinnamon. Thin and soda-like until the yeast is added, which helps things to smooth out a bit. Interesting. Makes me think of gently sweet flower petals at its good times, but medicine at its bad times. Overall just not very pleasing to me.

[Arigato gozaimasu to Yoshiyuko Sato for this gift]

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

A very unusual and delicious beer from an always reliable Japanese brewer. I don't think it really fits in the Belgian Strong Pale category, but then I guess it would have to have a category of its own. This is a unique melding of the sake and western beer brewing styles.

Pours a hazy, thick plum color with pink highlights. Short white head that quickly disappears.

Smell is yeasty and waxy with definite sake overtones. Red rice sake I've had in the past has that same waxy smell.

Taste is quite nice and complex- even better than expected. An earthy bitterness up front, followed by a red rice waxiness, and finally a lingering hop bitterness that blends with the delicious waxiness. Very complex- I can see now the Belgian connection. The same kind of yeasty funkiness with unusual flavors that are hard to pin down. A big beer, a little spicy, but not the same flavor component you usually see. Fascinating!

Mouthfeel is great- creamy and thick without any stickiness or cloying presence at all. Fairly highly carbonated, but that cuts through the thickness.

Very drinkable. For me, that waxy rich taste keeps leading me down this road. Very balanced and even though fairly high abv, no discernable alcohol.

Photo of numenor1
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pinkish colored, respectable white head. Smells a bit spicy and definitely of sake. Distinictly tastes of fermented rice (ie sake) with a supporting malt sweetness and noble hops. Really interesting and quite complex. Yeast dominates the flavor profile. A bit spicy, and creamy through the finish. Subdued fruit esters. On the dry side, with bitterness just to balance. Light bodied and satisfying, I love it.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Wow, looks like strawberry juice except more vibrant. Wasn't expecting that. Head is a nice pillowy, Belgian looking head except a pronounced pink tinge runs through it. Extremely sticky, leaving webbing everywhere on the glass.

S: Interesting aromoa. Smells sort of like tea, very floral, wet hay, berries and almonds.

T: Where to begin...Reminds me of red bean icecream. Very herbal with a certain soy sweetness to it. Lightly tart and fruity, little bit of melon. From there a very minor citrus hop profile is present and stays with the drinker through the remainder of the process. Finishes with more red bean flavors.

M: Medium bodied with a fluffy carbonation.

D: Interesting brew. Not one of my favorites but I'm glad I had an opportunity to try it.

Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 11.2oz purchased at Holiday Market in Canton and poured into a tulip.

Dark, hazy peach under a finger of white that falls to a ringed veil with some blotches of lace left in it's wake.

Has an interesting mix of aromas including earth, flowers, grains(rice), and sweet malts. It also has a suggestion of wood that is close to the cedar aromas from their cedar aged IPA. At first it seemed a bit odd, yet it grew on me rather quickly. Very unique and enjoyable nose on this one.

Tastes very flowery with some of the grains and a pleasant sweet/sour flavor. The wood and earth notes are there again as well. Nice bite from the hops and a juicy citric flavor leads into the dry and bitter finish. Almost tannic. Again, very unique and enjoyable.

The mouth is rather dry and somewhat tart to prickly due to the abundance of carbonation. It really works for this beer. Solid drinkability if only for its unique yet pleasing character.

Photo of Freshie
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice amber colour with creamy head, with some decent lacing.

Aromas of rice, some kind of fruit tartness, and spicy hops. Very interesting and different.

The first think I noticed about the taste is that the carbonation hit me in the mouth. A nice bite, that adds to the spicy/sweet flavour. Finshes with a sweet flavour in the back of your palate, probably a wild rice.

Never really tasted anything like it. I was pleasantly surprised, because I have expected it to be awful.


Photo of PorterLambic
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I have danced around ordering this one for some months now, maybe even a year. I loved the 2-3 other Hitachino brews I've had but this just sounded weird. We hate rice in our beer, that's why we pour down scorn upon the megabrewers and their never-ending use of it. So what should I do? Well, I split the big bottle with a friend.

A hazy, grapefruit colored liquid pours out of that monster bottle. A smallish white head ensues but with great retention.
Smell is skunky. Upon a second sniff, after recoiling at the first, I found hops and fir notes as well. I hope this brew is supposed to smell like this.
Taste is citrus, malt and little else.
Medium bodied, light carbonation with an Elmer's glue aftertaste.
I think this bottle is bad. I can't believe that anyone would purposely make a beer that has an aftertaste like this and smells like this. The actual taste is fine but getting to it and afterwards makes it hard to like this. Will try again, in a small bottle, but it'll be awhile.

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

Appearance: Ivory or almond white head that quickly dissipates into minimal lacing. Cloudy pinkish orange, a persimmon color, chilled.

Smell: Notes of soy, oats or rice, light leafy hops, also a sweet malt.

Taste: Roasty malt with that soy milk taste mixed in, has a aromatic hop kick, followed by a mildly sweet aftertaste. Leaves a bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, pretty clean and smooth.

Drinkabiliy: A decent brew, very unique. A strange sweet quality that I have not tasted. Perhaps good at breakfast with cereals. Hard to judge as a pale ale.

Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brilliant but hazy dark peach color with a nice white head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Fermented sweet rice smell with a vague hint of cherry

Taste: Starts out with a vague sweet sake flavor; after the swallow some dryness kicks in that provides a nice mellow balance; vague almond and cherry tones emerge along with some slightly sour notes that add complexity

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: Why the description of this persists as a BSPA after so many comments to the contrary is a mystery; this beer defies categorization but is definitely worthy of consideration; I like it!

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

12 oz bottle with the psychedelic owl on the label poured into a pint glass

poured a reddish peach with a thin fizzy head that quickly vanished

Interesting nose ... medicinal, menthol, a bit of grain faint hint of rice and perhaps some sweet fruits....strawbery rubarb...

Totally far out taste like no other beer you'll ever have. The herbacious medicianl qualities come though, as does a minty menthol type taste, mixed with some sweetness. the alchohol really comes through and in many ways it tastes more like a wine than a beer

Very very dry. light body.

Don't know if I could drink more than one of these and I don't know if it's something i'd reach for more than once in a blue moon, but a must try experience for any beer drinker.

Photo of sullysbeer
1.25/5  rDev -66.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Aroma: Malty sweetness. Slight Alcohol. Has an over powering barn yard like aroma like you would find from wild Belgium yeast strains. Clean and soft fruity powdered sugar like aroma.

Appearance: Cloudy, Golden appearance. White Head Retention. There was a bacterial ring on the neck of the bottle where the beer fills up to which is a major sign of an infected beer.

Flavor: Malt flavor up front with a tart sour finish. Unfortunately this beer was infected with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria) and/or Pediococcus, all of which are considered to be beer spoiling micro-organisms. Brettanomyces is uniquely capable of tainting beers with flavors most brewers consider highly undesirable (horse blanket, barn yard smell and sweaty flavors found in "nature."). Lactobacillus and Pediococcus produce lactic acid, which is described as sour. A beer that all three of these infections are desirable and would be found in the Belgian Lambic, Geuze, Faro and other Lambic-derived beers.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mouthfeel - this beer was on its way to becoming a thin, over carbonated beer. This is usually the case with these types of infections.

Overall Impression: Infected. I Dumped it. This beer obviously came a long way as it's a product of Japan. But this has no effect on this type of infection. The brewery should really watch their sanitation process. I'm really curious what the beer would taste like if it wasn't infected. I will give this beer another try.

Photo of jabocu
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-reddish hues with a one finger cap this dissipated two a 1/4 inch cap. Aroma is slightly sour cherry soda (not like a lambic, just faint), spice of cloves, red table wine, wheaty, little citrus and belgian funk. Flavor is a sour wheat with cherry mixed in. Spiciness from clove and coriander. has an old farmhouse ale feel to it...Almost like a old aged ale. Lemony citrus with a odd aftertaste. Medium-high carbonation, with medium body, and finishes dry. Not quit sure about all the flavors yet... maybe another will help out...!

Photo of HardTarget
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Code lists RR 5.9? No idea.

Aroma: Perfumed with the slightest hints of farmyard sourness/Belgian funk. Bubblegum, light red wine and cherry candy are fair, but aren’t encompassing the full range of aroma.

Appearance: Slowly dying almost cola head of shaded white on a red tinged amber glass. The head was weak and fading, but managed to hang and lace.

Flavor: Flavor is the aroma intensified. More bubblegum, some tropical fruit, spices (can’t be more specific), and the light red wine flavors are more pronounced, but I am unable to give more descriptors of the many subtle flavors I encountered.

Mouthfeel: Light body, low carbonation.

Overall Impression: Wow. Full of flavors, but most are mild and fit the overall taste well. Belgian flavors are subtle but very present, making this a great Belgian “starter” beer for those trying to understand. Japanese-Belgian, I wouldn’t have believed it before, but I do now! Highly recommended

Hand carried back from KC, MO.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance of this beer astounded me; differnt angles, different lights gave completely different colors. It ranged from an amber to a pink-copper to a ruby red depending on how I looked at it. Large white foamy head and decent retention.
The smell was a disappointment; mild spice, very mild wheat and possibly some fruits, but I wasn't getting much.
The taste was also disappointing. Semisweet at first, mild fruits, but IMMEDIATELY fades into a dry and bitter taste I can't put my finger on. This corresponds to the mouthfeel which is bitter throughout and almost tasteless, finishing up with a dry, bland watery feel and taste that is unimpressive.
I do have to say the alcohol isnt as present as I thought it would be, but this still doesn't make it very drinkable.

Photo of nlmartin
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was purchased at the Dilly Deli for $7.99 for a bomber. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer has a very murky hazy orange copper coloration. The head was short lived with a white coloration. Streaks of lacing remained on the glass. The second pour I let the beer have the yeast.

Smell: The beer has a very interesting spicy combo. There are sakeesque smells. There is all spice, cloves, coriander and some other goodies. There was a pleasing wheat smell to the beer. Oddly enough this has a lot of farm house ale qualities.

Taste: This beer has a sort of wierd taste. I am defianately picking up farm house yeastyness. The beer has a pleasing spicy combo similar to the taste. I can only begin describing the taste present here.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is just fantastic! The beer has a funky yeasty sort of kick. The beer has a light body. This beer is very thrist quenching. This is a very nicely balanced beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a special brew...not at all what I expected from a Japaneese brewery. Would describe better as a Flander's Red, this beer starts off with a very tart, sour, berry-like aroma and flavor. Decorated with tart cherry, raspberry, and cider-ey notes, the beer delivers a full flavor throughout. Beginning with a dense eggshell head that remained creamy, the full flavor shows strong wine-like qualities, and low lying sweet malts. The color is a hazy cherry or berry red color. The body falls a bit weak from the souring. Musky and earthy with yeasty and almost moldy, the beer stays crisp and clean. Approaching astringent levels, it is very good and thirst quinching. Perhaps a bit grainy in the finish and lightly hoppy. it could have a better sweet malt flavor and a heftier body, but nevertheless, this is a really good beer.

Photo of MrSeth
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: Pours with a hazy and neutral rosy color body, small white head.

Sm: Black olives... not getting around that. Some musky spice.

Ta/Mf: Much fairer, a bit of chewy malty goodness, whatever that olive taste is, and a slight tartness at the end.

Da: Low. Not really sure if this is how this ale is supposed to be(?). I'm also having a hard time placing it with Belgian Strong Pale Ales.. Let me know if you have the scoop on this one.

Photo of acrawf6
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz. bottle that said this beer was 7%alc., not 8.5%.

Pours out a copperish color with a small white head for this style.

Smell. smells sweet and syruppy. the alcohol smell reminds me of rubbing alcohol. i can smell a yeasty smell common to this style when i really get my nose in the beer. also has a sweet preservative aroma to it as well.

Taste. wow, this is something else.... a puckering corrianderish/peach preservative taste. Very concentrated fruity taste. a little peppery. aftertaste is sweet and fruity. but after3 sips of this, my tongue is done.

Mouthfeel. Good. lots of carbonation. decent balance.

Overall is is one of the more interesting beers i've tried. i like the adventuresome, but this one is not for me

Photo of soulgrowl
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bold, brickish, ruby red, nearly opaque. If memory serves me correctly, it's very similar in color to New Glarus's famous Belgian Red, just a little bit more dense. Yeasty bits are visible in the light. Head barely forms, then disappears. How sad.

Smell: Very complex and very different. Rice, red tea, tart berries, rhubarb, rubbery phenols, pickled plums... I dare say I have never smelled anything like this in my life.

Taste: As with other Kiuchi beers, I'm kind of at a loss here. It's good, that's for sure, but what the hell? It's damn near impossible to describe. Strawberries, I suppose, along with sweet malts, red tea... you really just have to see for yourself with this one.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy as hell.

Drinkability: No wonder I'm a Japanophile.

Photo of EPICAC
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I purchased an 11.2 oz. bottle at Downtown Wine & Spirits. The clerk asked me if I'd had any other Hitachino Nest beers. The bottle says "Ale brewed with red rice". I let this warm to around 50º F and served it in one of my Duvel Tulips.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep red color with hints of orange. The white foamy head dissipates to a thin layer, but reemerges readily upon swirling.

Smell: The nose is primarily tart like a sour ale. There are slight hints of phenols, yeast and alcohol.

Taste: The beer is sweet upfront and moves into a fruity and acidic tartness in the center. The finish is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, smooth, light-bodied with a dry finish. I thought this beer was a little too watery.

Drinkability: Pretty easy to drink, but the hidden alcohol might get you.

Overall: This beer reminded me a lot of a toned down Flanders Red Ale. It was interesting, and fairly enjoyable. This was a really hard beer to pin down. I wavered a bit on the scores, but in the end I think the overall score comes out about right.

Photo of sleepingbear
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Konichiwa Hitachino!

The bottle poured naturally reddish amber with a small Japanese head- that was small but fierce and hung around for a while.

The aroma was similar to a sour lambic- bitter and acrid.

The mouth feel starts out with a very mellow rice softness almost like sake; then the beer bitters come crashing the gentle disposition of the sake moment- leading to aromatic hop eruption that finishes with elusive sweet notes. The sake mouth feel can be known to flash a little skin in the finish too.

The Red Rice Ale would be great with Creole food- like jambalaya or sweet potato fries and an alligator pooy boy.

A great and unique beer to keep around!

Photo of Faustgeist
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a resident of San Francisco for ten years, I was anxious to try this Japanese beer now that I live here in the Carolinas. A taste of home, perhaps?

The bottle poured a super clear, red-orange drink. The carbonation seemed light, and the glass developed no head.

The bouquet, well... wow. Tangy with seaweed while the hopps are 'farmy' with notes of (literally) Japanese vegitables. woah, different.

The flavors were equally strange, salty with a touch of sour rice. The sweetness, which was delicious, was sneaking around the background of the palate. The sugars indeed were coming in and out of focus through my sences.

The mouthfeel was good, with carbonation well intergrated in to this beer.

As far as the drinkability... I can only take one of these at the moment. But a very fun beer to taste and study. This and all beers from Hitachino deserve more experimentation, in my study.


Photo of DogFood11
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge Mountainous head that laces with every pull. Kind of an odd reddish color for the style.

Some rice, grain smell, this is one odd brew so far, color is odd smell is musky and grainy, I have no idea what to expect yet.

Comes across with just a touch of a cough syrup sweetness and harshness. Fruity like a melon, and some flowery hops give it a nice balanced finish. Huge alcohol.

I thought it was a solid offering.

Photo of sloejams
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer garners the widest range of scores imaginable. It's an odd one.

I purchased just a single stubby 11 oz. (or so) bottle. I'm fond of the Hitachino Nest beers I've had, just wished they were cheaper than $5 for each wee bottle.

I poured into a chalice, it looked great: a cloudish red with a nice pink head. The smell was outstanding: yeasty sour aromas - very similar to the fan-fucking-tastic La Folie. This had to be unbelievably delicious - no?

The taste was so different from what I expected. Where did the sour go? I could taste the red rice and some yeast but the tartness from that brilliant smell were diluted to almost nothing. Shame, I was very excited.

Working through it, all I wanted was a Flanders Red. I'm glad I gave it a try - it's definitely interesting. I think I'll stick to the Nests for repeat visits.

Photo of geexploitation
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is one of those beers that isn't very tasty but gets some points for being weird and interesting. This beer is a very interesting color -- kind of a red-gold that's been tinged pink. The head is a pink-tinged white. It reminds me a bit of a cherry lambic in appearance. The nose is pretty unappetizing -- it smells of sour rice and some Asian fruit that is obscure to my American palate, but that I've smelled before (at the World of Coke exhibit in Atlanta, believe it or not). The taste brings some complexity, but also lots of sourish red rice that's a bit overpowering. The mouthfeel is pretty good, actually -- the carbonation is nicely balanced and the finish is good. But overall, this brew reminds me of some of those challenging lambics and sour red Belgian ales -- I can appreciate them, but I wouldn't necessarily choose to drink them unless they were very carefully paired with a particular food.

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.