1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

555 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 308
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.86%
Wants: 27
Gots: 37 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 308 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sixpoint
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised to see how low the reviews are for this beer. I loved it.

My sample poured with a pillowy, off-white head that lingered all the way down the glass and left nice lacing.

The aroma was sweet and inviting, with a spicy, fruity yeast nose. There was also a very distinct sharpness to it.

The taste was awesome. Perhaps it was the red rice, but there was definitely a unique flavor that made an impression.

The mouthfeel was medium-bodied, and seemed to have a contribution from a sugar source other than barley.

A very drinkable brew, and I will definitely order one sometime with my sushi.

Sixpoint, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. My bottle was labeled 7% abv as opposed to the 8.5% listed on this site.

Appearance: This brew was very much peach colored as it was being poured. In the glass, it was more or a ruddy amber, though a little bit of peach still came through. It was hazy and had a lot of suspended "stuff". The white head rose up easily and was coarse and fizzy. It dissipated quickly, considering its size, until only a few patches of bubbles remained when the beer was gone. There were some thin strands of lace left behind on the side of the glass.

Smell: Maybe the peach color from the pour influenced my nose, but I thought that I could detect peaches and nectarines on the aroma. This was combined with sweet malt and a very raw, grassy smell. Occasionally, a clean and cool hit of menthol was present. As the beer really started to warm, it picked up some hints of sulphur. Overall, very odd but not offensive. Just odd.

Mouthfeel: Initially light on the tip of the tongue, but it gained body as it moved back into the mouth. A little chewy, with a definite, slightly foamy, carbonation.

Taste: Damn, just as odd as the smell. The overriding flavors were menthol and wildflowers combinded with a very raw, very green, grassy component. It wasn't chewy and thick like wheat can be, just grassy and stark. There was defintely some sweet malt underneath that was most evident when the beer first hit the tongue. This seemed to develop into butterscotch in the middle (huh?). A light bitterness arose on the finish, and the aftertaste actually became a little grainy, which was nice. Subtly complex.

This beer was very different from anything that I have had before and, therefore, tough to rate. It went down quickly, but I'm not sure if that was because it was highly drinkable, or that it had my curiousity so highly piqued. It's not bad at all, though I think it would take a few before it would really start to grow on me. I'm confused.

Quaffer, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of packetknife
2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This was an unpleasant and somewhat pricey experience. Pours a dark cloudy orange with lots of sediment floating around. Average white-ish head that held all the way down. The smell was horrid and I have nothing I can compare it too. Perhaps a waxy wet leaf or something but something really weird. It was about as bland as you can be without being offensively bland and it was thin. The acidity was noticed and it was a dry-ish clean finish. I guess it's drinkable but it's not really likable. That smell was horrid though and I'm wondering what those floaters were I swallowed.

packetknife, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a pink tinted amber with a moderate amount of haze. Head is ultra white and a little below average in size, but fortunately has a nice retention for the short layer of foam. Aroma is sweet, almost sugary sweet, with just a touch of spice. Taste is interesting and for some reason reminds me a little bit of New Belgium's Biere De Mars. A moderate tartness begins a sip and is joined by a light sweetness. The sweetness has a fruity quality. but of exactly what fruit I do not know. The interplay between the tart and sweet elements is interesting. Tartness seems to diminate at first, however after the brew warms up more sweet character is apparent. Just a bit of spice is noted towards the middle of the sip. Finish is milder and has an interesting grainy, yet wine-like quality which I guess is the rice. Red Rice is definently an interesting concoction, but not something I think I'd want very often. Though this is usually expensive, it is well worth a try.

Gagnonsux, May 25, 2005
Photo of TheJudge
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pink is the word. Pink and cloudy, with a small pink head. pink beer. gotta get past that. pink rice beer at that. Well, here goes.

I don't know what to make of the smell. Not bad, but I didn't know what iwas expecting. there was very little flavor at first, sweet but not annoyingly so. A cherry type flavor dominates. Good carbonation, decent aftertaste, this isn't bud rice beer. But it is still rice beer. While the flavor grew on me by the end, I don't think I could have had too many more.

TheJudge, May 19, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
1.38/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

05/13/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Redwood City, CA

Presentation- 11 oz bottle with an unclear date stamped on the back label. Poured into my LaChouffe tulip.

Appearance- A cloudy golden pour with a small head and adequate lacing.

Smell- Ugggghhhh, at first I couldn't put my finger on the scent, but I knew it was one I have smelled before and did not like. After tasting one sip I knew what it was....green olive or a martini like drink.

Taste- I took two sips of this and regret both of them. The first was to determine what the smell was (I pretty much knew this was going to get dumped from the smell) and the second just to make sure. Pure martini with loads of green olives. Two things that I despise most in the world and makes it even worse when it's in my beer. I am literally going to have nightmares about opening good beers and having them taste like this now. Thanks Hitachino!!!

Mouthfeel- Seeing how I almost vomited after drinking these two sips, the mouthfeel doesn't hold up to well. Pretty heavily carbonated too.

Drinkability- I guess if you like beer that tastes like martini's this is your style. I read lots of reviews that said it tasted like saki at first taste. I have never had saki, so I can't judge on that point. But, I did read at least one person who had the same exact smell and taste experience that I did. This is 100% not my style and I apologize if this brings down the average. The only positive things I have to say about this beer is that it doesn't look that bad in a glass and at the very least it's way better than Crazy Ed's Chili Beer. Which truthfully means you can eat human excrement and it would still be better than Crazy Ed's. So, I guess that's not saying much at all. I'll remember this beer for a long time, but I'll try my best not to hold it against Hitachino because I have had a few of their beers that have been just fine if not actually dare I say....good!

GClarkage, May 14, 2005
Photo of granger10
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This offering pours a hazy pale auburnish color with a nice fluffy, creamy egg white head. The head holds up well. Lots of carbonation going on. Aroma is really fruity and has a 7-grain bread note going on. There's also some acidity in there and a little alcohol punch. Might be some floral bitterness as well. The body on this beer is really smooth and creamy. Almost too creamy as the flavors takes a backseat, like it came from a nitrocan or something. Starts out sweet with rice notes and some grainy malts. Then it really dries out with yeasty flavors. A vinegar like flavor is there. Finish is really dry, honestly reminiscent of sake. I could see how some people love this beer but its just not my thang. Props for originality though.

granger10, May 10, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have no experience with this style and therefore can’t determine what the taste parameters should resemble. Could it be that it’s supposed to taste as funky and sour as it does? I’m sensing some bacterial encroachment here. It that by design or accident?

And what about this red rice? Is it malted? How much is used in the wort? I can’t seem to get through to their website, but what I’m tasting is something akin to a submissive ginger ale whipped by a dominant sourness. Is this ale crying for help, or more corruption? I can’t say.

Without an ideological framework to reference, I can only assign the rest of it simple descriptives. The brew has a clouded, yeasted body of washed yellow. The carbonation is persistent, though the head is indifferent and the lace is a no-show. Clumps of yeast float haplessly.

In the end, I’m non-committal. If I want a sour beer, I’ll look to Belgium. One small item of note though: the bottle is considerably heavier than most American 12 oz. bottles.

RedDiamond, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of dauss
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: oddly shaped 720ml capped dark green bottle. A silk screened label owl or some sort of bird on the front. Lots of japanese on the back with the importers sticker. When I had the Hitachino White Ale, the back said 5%, which incidentally happened to be the alcohol % listed on BA, but this Red Rice ale also said it was 5%, not 8.5%. I dunno.

Appearance: slightly hazy light straw color with a tint of orange. Small white head with good retention.

Smell: Not much there, smells a little soapy and some sort of weird sweetness. I think I also detected a tiny bit of phenolic aroma.

Taste: Not much here either. Moderate carbonation with a light flavor I can't pick out, slightly sweet with a dry finish. Very faint phenols and acidity. Body is really thin. Its a little on the bland side.

Notes: I don't know exactly what type of beer this is, but its definitely not a belgian strong pale ale. It was an odd beer, definitely drinkable.

dauss, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of JoeNobody
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer a local micro carrying bar just got in. I've seen the bottles of it in a local beer retailer before but never thought much of it. Poured into a tulip glass it has a very clouded honey color to it. It poured with almost no head and slightly swirled left no lacing. The thought on my first taste was "interesting, this beer has a very unique flavor to it". Then after a while the flavors started coming through. It has a unique underlying strawberry tone to it. The taste is almost bitter but it leaves a fruity pleasant finish. I would say it's an okay and interesting to try brew, but I don't know if I would rush out to get more. Though I would gladly accept one if offered one for free somewhere!!!

JoeNobody, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of SwillinBrew
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from an 11.2 oz bottle. It poured a light copper with yellow hues. Mine had a thin while head which left a faint lace if any.

The aroma was a faint spice with some orange/citrus... i think. When I tasted it, I couldnt quite place it. Maybe it was the red rice??? I couldnt taste much hop nor much malt but did taste a sourness. Not a bad sourness,... just not something i'm used to. It was different, yet pleasant.

The body was light and dry. I dont think i'll be drinking more of this... not because it's bad but rather I dont think this is my style... (I do love their anniversary ale).

SwillinBrew, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of the Hitachino Red Rice Ale. I had it out of 330 ml short, brown bottle. I have seen this beer just a few times and I've always been interested in seeing what its all about. The label states that the ale is brewed with a special red rice. There is also, what I assume to be a freshness date on the front label for RR.3.8 in black ink.

I served the beer in an imperial pint glass. It pours a hazy orange color with a nice head on top, but the head quickly vanishes to a thin ring lacing.

Chalky yeast scent in the nose with some fruit in the background. I also get a little bit of spices or cloves.

Sweet and crisp mouthfeel. Fairly intense carbonation prickles the tongue. Rasberry or strawberry fruit flavors are blended with a Belgian like yeast. The finish is dry and clean. At 8.5% ABV, it's very well hidden. I would have no clue that this little beer would pack such a punch.

The first question that comes to my mind is where is this beer when I go out to Japanese restaurants for sushi? I would love to order this over the typical macro Japanese adjunct beer options. This is an interesting beer. I like it.

Hibernator, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of merlin48
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of those kooky breweries, based on my third sampling of their ales. This one pours from a 330ml bottle a pinkish burnt orange body with a small, big bubbled head that is offwhite in color. Active carbonation is apparent, with lots of bubble action. Rings of patchy lace form atop the hazy body.
Aroma is restrained, thankfully, as what I notice is not overly pleasant. Very adjunct like, with notes of sake and rice.
Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated.
Taste is interesting. Begins sweet and yeasty, and morphs into a dry, sour, and acidic sake taste. Some sharp notes are present, and it's difficult to discern whether it's from the hops or alcohol. Finishes dry and vinous, very akin to sake.
Well, this was another unique offering from Hitachino. This one is going to be an acquired taste, but at the high price I probably won't bother. I like their Classic Ale, aged in cedar, much better. Try this one if you want some sake and rice in your beer.

merlin48, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Salmon-tinted copper, blurred and sporting a trim, stark white head.
Nose of cloved sake, bologna, and and pepper.
Begins with a notion of baked clove-sprinkled honey ham, one that is quick and fleeting. Sake is dominant at this point, and lingers for a long while. Turns doughier and grainier, with an undercutting pear and green apple tartness. Finishes with a burst of spicy hops and not a legit trace of ABV.
A different brew for sure, and a bit score-defiant of that reason, but it's one that I'd get again on occasion.

cokes, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured golden amber (definite reddish hue) with a very slight haze. The head was just off-white and frothy growing tall and falling slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity and had a strong soy/miso presence when opened. The fruity presence was banana and there was a slight clove much like a hefe.

The flavor was sour and that would explain the soy/miso aroma. The flavor also had a trend toward miso. Behind those flavors was a slight chocolate flavor, and the same slight banana fruitiness and just a hint of clove spice. As the beer warmed, the sourness became less apparent or the palate became fatigued. In either case, the beer should be consumed after warming a bit.

The finish was dry with no lasting sourness, but there was a lasting fruit presence. The body was medium light.

24.3 ounce silk screened bottle. Opened this one because I thought it would be light. Had no idea it contained such a high alcohol level and that it would be sour and then it would transform into something completely different. My first taste said to pour it out, later I found myself strangely drawn to the bottle...

GCBrewingCo, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of Gusler
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer disembarks the brown 330ml bottle a murky reddish-brown with a minimal frothy off white head that depletes quickly leaving a blotchy coating of lace. Nose is sweet, plum like, fresh and clean with the start sweet and the grain profile moderate as is the feel at the top. Finish is pleasantly acidic and the hops forthright in their spicy presence, quite dry aftertaste that covers the palate, also appears to be some alcohol bitterness at the back, a drinkable beer and a change of pace from the normal malt laden beers, a new beer and brewery to me.

Gusler, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of oracle
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10 oz draft pour in a chalice glass.

Wow, this is one unusual beer.

Beer arrived looking somewhat peculiar, a deep bronze tinged with redness. There was no head to speak of, just a very thin film that left no lacing.

Smelled like no other beer I've ever tried. Kinda sweet with definate wine-like sourness.

Taste was also extremely unusual. You could taste rice in it right up front along with slighly sweet notes, but the finish came hard, fast and very wine-like. It had a stinging, almost burning quality to it. The first sip was so shocking, I almost put the beer down and didn't finish it. I'm glad I didn't. After 4 or 5 sips, I got adjusted to it. The taste started to smooth out somewhat and the very unusual flavor of sake started to come in.

That's right, I said sake. I have since found out that they use sake yeast in the brewing process, which would account for the some of the very unusual flavor here.

It's very rare to find this on draft in Southern Indiana (thank you Roger), but if it comes around again, I will order it again

oracle, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of AlexJ
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, pale, funky color that there is no name for: yellow + pink=?? Airy, white head dissapears quickly, minimal lace. Funky aromas of belgian yeasts, lemony citrus, wheat-malt, and slightly sour apple. Tastes...odd to say the least. It's like a wheat beer trying to go Belgian. Fruity, soft and effervescant with crisp flavors of apple, pear and apricot. Light mouthfeel, dry finish. Does not taste like an 8.5% beer at all. I really don't know what to think, there's not another beer on the planet that this reminds me of. Worth trying for the sheer weirdness of it.

AlexJ, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of ybnorml
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A cloudy darkish yellow beer. Has an off white head that dissapears quickly. There is a very nice fruity sweet character along with an inviting spiceyness in the aroma. The flavor is sour, dry and reminds me of fruit going bad. None of the Belgian spiceyness promised in the aroma. More like a gueze than a strong ale.

ybnorml, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came in a 25oz bottle. Pours a dark orange color with a white head. Aroma has a grainy character backed by some floral hops. The flavor is slightly sweet and leaves a bit of citrus bitterness on the palate. Medium drinkability and medium body. This was an ok beer. Nothing too wonderful, but good.

clvand0, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly this pours with a pink tinged head that is frothy for a bit but then settles down with time. The beer has a hazy light amber color. The aroma is quite grainy, with some qualities that I can't quite pick out. It is also a little bit fruity in the nose, with perhaps a hint of cherry. Hmm, very interesting taste, the finish is quite unique, and I don't know how to describe it, almost has a menthol character to it, maybe a bit like wet grain. The beer is light, with a solid grain character to it. According to the label all of the color has come from the rice, which makes sense as I don't taste any crystal malt notes that would usually accompany a beer of this color. I definitely like this beer, it is quite interesting. I definitely recommend trying it as it has some unique character to it.

Gueuzedude, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of IronDjinn
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Managed to sample this while I was in Vegas. Came in a big-assed 24.3 oz. dark green bottle. Poured out a clear amber colour, small tight foamy white head. It had a very musty odor to my nose, that was predominantly what I could pick up. A sweet acidic flavour, almost sake-like due to the grains used to brew it, I couldn't pick up any real nuances beyond that. The flavour tends to turn a little astringent after a while. Somewhat soapy mouthfeel. An interesting experiment, but just not my bag, baby. The boys working the counter at Lee's Discount the night I picked this up were right, I should have grabbed more Stone instead.

IronDjinn, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice white head sticks to the glass but doesn’t produce much lacing. Body is orange to golden with a lot of sediments. Original fruity aroma: Yeasty pears, apples, cherries, grapes... rather sweet, but well made. Yeasty bread, filling. Dry and grainy. Slight sour spades. Very unique and tasty of course, but not quite as demarcative as I hoped. Nice foamy mouthfeel, highly carbonated. Musty finish where I was thinking "Hmm, they could have hidden that 5% ABV a tad better". Then I noticed it’s 8.5%. Good job!

Rastacouere, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of kiya
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely love the bottle design and artwork for this entire brewery, great looking from the outside, now let’s check out what’s inside…

A thick bright white head, moving down quickly leaving behind absolutely no lace, just the clean dry glass.

I quickly noticed the strong citrus and floral notes as the head left a lot of surface area at first.

A bit surprising was the mouthfeel, with a very strong carbonated feel. it’s hard to fully understand this ale until it sits out for at least fifteen to twenty minutes and warms up a bit and flattens out a bit. I found the flavor to be very pleasant, something I see myself wanting more of once the first bottle ran dry. Once this beer comes closer to room temperature the darker burnt caramel flavor really starts to come out, which works brilliantly with the, now subdued, apricot and orange peel flavors.

All in all, I would happily buy this beer again, It’s as good inside as it is outside the bottle.

kiya, Sep 14, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one has a pretty, hazy yellow body with a full head.

Smell – The strong, ricey grain was balanced by some surprisingly soft, floral hops.

Taste – The sharp grain and rice defined this ale. I caught some good sweetness at the end, though.

Mouthfeel – This one is light to medium in the body with some good, tingling carbonation.

Drinkability – This one was OK. It went well with my Kaisershinken ham and Swiss cheese sandwich.

Comments – The style classification has to be wrong. This isn’t anything close to a BSPA.

RoyalT, Aug 30, 2004
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.