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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.

553 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
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
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 308 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%

Hitachino Nest's Red Rice Ale is certainly one of the most unique beers available. It pours a hazy deep gold body that streams with effervescent carbonation beneath a 3/4" cap of fluffy, bright-white foam. The head retention is very good and it leaves some nice spots and thins splashes of transient lace throughout the glass. The nose is quite unusual with an aroma that expresses wheat, but is also similar to that of a dry white wine combined with a touch of play-doh. It's light-medium bodied with a very delicate, effervescent carbonation that lends a mild zest to the tongue before it warms in the mouth becoming airy and slightly creamy. There's an odd, almost medicinal, lightly tart, and slightly candyish note in the flavor that's quite unique. It's kind of like delicate spice wrapped in soft, creamy candy - all tied together with a twine of dried flowers. It finishes with its sweetness rapidly fading as its tartness and bitterness rise; and a mild bitterness, spicy hop, light phenolic, and some astringency linger in the mouth. As odd as it is, it's also quite delicate; and in that way it becomes quite enticing. There are some harsh notes to it; but there are also harsh notes in the best Belgian gueuze. They're what gives it it's character, and this beer is nowhere near as intense as a gueuze. You may not love it, but it's certainly worth trying. I find it intriguing, and perhaps, one of the most interesting beers in the world. My highest praise to Mr. Toshiyuki Kiuchi!

NeroFiddled, Jul 20, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%

Presentation: 330ml (11.2 fluid ounce) squat Japanese stubby that looks just like the picture in the BA Database.

Appearance: Fizzy pour that creates a smallish white head that fizzled somewhat until it left a thin blanket covering and some lacing. Graded dark gold fading to light orange color with some lemon marmalade hints as I work my way down the curved Birra Moretti glass that I decided to use. Many streamers in the body of the beer continue apace as a quick swirl reveals and abundance of dissolved carbonation.

Nose: Spritzy and very fruity nose that has a zesty aroma with a whiff of strong oranges & lemons in the odor. Mild, rather delicate hoppy nose with a hint of sourness. Average strength but sharply pungent acidic aromas.

Taste: The ‘oranges and lemons’ I detected in the nose are immediately evident in the preceding phases of the beers entrance. Malts middle the brew with some bitterness that builds and balances with some sour twitches. The finish has Saki soaked malts that exhibit a light red berry feel that is delicate, yet carried by the lingering carbonation in the mouth as the beer is swallowed. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Sparkling feel with some immense carbonation that fizzes on the tongue. Spritzy, smooth and champagne-like, the body of the beer is full of energy and helps to balance the acidic oranges & lemons well.

Drinkability: I took to this brew immediately. The little stumpy bottle was empty in no time. A tad expensive at around $4 a bottle, but it certainly hits the spot.

Overall: I am not one for style infractions, having stoned the “style police van” when it drives anywhere near me, but I have to say that the “Belgium Strong Pale Ale” description may be a tad misleading to those who have not tried this before. Think more of light Pale Ale with hints of citric acidity and zesty red berry fruits mixed with some Saki soaked Malts. Whatever you want to refer to is as, it’s my third brew now from Kiuchi, and this is just as damn tasty and impressive as the other two. Expensive but Recommended.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of rdrummer
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

This one takes some getting used to. It is kind of an odd looking and tasting beer. It pours a light, amber with some evident reddish hues. It had a short-lasting head and only minor lacing. The aroma is primarily ricey with some spices underneath. The taste is very complex. It is sweetish throughout with some vanilla and coriander tastes near the end. It is sweet than a sweet malt. The beer is effervescent, cleansing, and light. The beer is a on the sweet side to drink more than one, but it was a very interesting tasting.

rdrummer, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.33/5  rDev -10%

This was an odd one. I didn't know what to expect from it, so I went into it trying to be as openminded as possible.

It poured a nice light amber, slightly cloudy, which was a bit of a surprise. Likewise its aroma, which was of light malt with a touch of vanilla. I didn't expect a malt aroma from a rice ale.

The taste was sllightly smoky, with very light citrus in the aftertaste. Again, not expected, and not overpowering. And it certainly didn't taste like something with a high abv.

I am glad I tried it, but once was enough for me.

connecticutpoet, Jun 21, 2004
Photo of budgood1
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%

pours out a cloudy golden/amber colour with a fine white head and wisps of lace. unique aroma...like a spicy lunch meat...slightly phenolic...tastes really unlike any beer i've ever had before. some plastic and band-aid flavours...grassy...definite rice notes; a wild rice flavour and other herbalish notes. there are some real flavours happening but i'm having a hard time describing them because of their uniqueness. there is some bitterness to balance out the sweet and sour in the finish. this beer is really all over the place. it's nothing to dislike, but i wouldn't say i really like it, either.

worth trying. a nice beer to pair with a sweet and sour dish.

budgood1, May 15, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Color, pale crimson, nearly peach,slight haze, under a full, fresh, white head that settles down to a tight ring with a quickness.
Aroma is hoppy and citric, a small bit sour, yielding more grassy/herbal tones than it does fruit.
Brisk, tangy initial impression on the palate, tickles for a moment, then fades. Fruit that hid from the nose shows up in the flavor, light and subtle, though, strawberries, cherries.
Body is lightish, finish is less than I like.
Oddly, my impression of this brew changed halfway through...when once i was bored and disappointed, later on it perked up and I appreciated it's uniqueness more than I had.
Still not great, but quite an interesting approach, smooth, yet still spicy and lively, but very drinkable. Quite a quencher, with a kick.

feloniousmonk, May 10, 2004
Photo of StevieW
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Big 24.3 oz bottle. The big Hitachino Owl staring back at you. I was really surprised to see this listed as Belgian Strong Ale. I guess it makes more sense now, viewed in that respect.
Pours a light golden color with a reddish tinge. It produced a bubbly rocky off white head.
Smell as cooked rice, sweet alcohol, and earthy yeast quality to.
Taste was oddly sweet, and slick to start, syrupy almost. Hints of fruits, strawberries, raspberries, and lots of alcohol taste. Has a certain crispness toward the finish, that attribute to the rice. No it doesn't taste like a budweiser, but not what I expected either. Seems to me more sweet than anything. Almost one the way to being a tripel ? Medium to light bodied, noticable alcohol kick and flavors. Not a guzzler to be sure, but an interesting beer, probably won't go searching it out again for a while.

StevieW, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of Crotor
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%

This is a truly unique beer. I'm delighted to see someone experimenting with adjuncts such as rice in such a way as to produce interesting and original beer (as opposed to the macro-brewed swill).

The beer has a slightly cloudy, almost orange, appearance. Low head and retention leave something to be desired.

The aroma is very clean, and *slightly* phenolic (the rice?)

The rice makes for a light body and pleasant, slightly prickley mouthfeel. Slightly tart and only barely bitter, there's a weird fruitiness at the end (raspberries?) The taste profile is quite aggressive considering the other qualities of the beer.

Truly unlike any other beer I've ever had. I applaud the brewers for their inventiveness...

Crotor, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%

Pours a light orange color with a light head that leaves some light lacing,aroma is of grain alcohol and some green apple.I have had saki only a few times but I pick up a big saki flavor to this brew in the finish along with a light smokiness and like a few others a light olive juice flavor as well.A real odd and perplexing beer but it kinda grown on ya after a few drinks,glad I gave it a try.

oberon, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of ADR
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

Pours a hazy bright nectarine color, red hued. Palish head, not much height or duration. Just a few dots in the lacing department. Sweet aroma, vaguely cherry with a light yeast tone. Pale in flavor and body, barest grape and some wandering cloviness. Aggressively carbonated, too spritzy for my tastes. Bitters at the close, good sense of dryness. Attractive, nice finish, this is just not the kind of beer that strikes me that well.

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured a cloudy red-tan with a two finger pillowy off white head.
Very fragrant, sweet, fruity, brown rice and apple notes.
Very fruity taste, sweet, strawberries, apple. Can't pick up the ABV in the taste or aroma.
Light feel, nicely crisp, surprising given the sweet taste.
Good drinkability, very clean. Not hugely complicated, but nothing I could pick out as being wrong, nice to see rice used for once in a good way. It's here to improve the beer and make it unique.

mschofield, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of Plughfish
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%

This was an interesting brew. The beer pours a cloudy deep orange with a pinkish hue in the foam. The combination of prune juice and seltzer water came to mind. The foam quickly dissipates. The aroma definitely has a rice or bean aroma. The mouthfeel was a bit thin with effervescent carbonation. Rice flavor with just a bit of fruity sweetness plus some sour notes that finished with a slight alcohol aftertaste. I have enjoyed some other offerings from this brewery but I don’t believe I will be trying this one again anytime soon.

Plughfish, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%

Pours a cloudy red brew, it looked like it was pink when I was pouring it. I don't think I am going nuts, the head has a pinkish tinge to it.

Smells tart and like jasmine rice in a Japanese Rice Cooker. This has a lambic barn funk to the smell.

Taste is sweet with no trace of sour taste. There is a strong perfume flavor to this. There is a strange strawberries and nuts flavor too. A mild bitterness kicks in after a while.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is hard to decide it is different. It is a must drink just because of how different this stuff is.

Zorro, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%

Big tamarind character on this one maybe with some saffron. Unique and very evident of wild rice, but off-putting and offensive on its own. As one who loves sake, I can see where Hitachino is coming from with this and I think they've made something remarkably complex. Paired with sushi or any peanuty thai dish, this could be very special.

ngandhi, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of Brent
1.98/5  rDev -46.5%

Not a good beer. I have no problem with a tart beer, even a sour beer, when that is appropriate, but here my impression was a wheat beer with a good measure of green olive juice tossed in. The beer had an odd, acidic backdrop to the flavor that reminded me of something cured in brine. I like a "dirty" martini with a bit of olive juice, but the flavor turning up in beer was not pleasant. I thought perhaps it would grow on me, and I gave the beer every chance, but in the end it was a sink dump. Perhaps this is one of those love-it-or-hate-it beers. I fall in the latter category.

Brent, Oct 22, 2003
Photo of moulefrite
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%

This is one odd and very unique drink-in a deliciously good way. As the finish from my last sip lingers on and on an on, I have to ruminate rather deeply about what to say here. The color is much that of a framboise-hazy blonde ale color, yet with a raspberry tinge. The head is sushi rice color and sticks to the glass rather well. The aromatics are lovely, clean and fresh with the delicate fruitines one finds in fine sake. The rice gives off an almost tapioca like odor with some vanilla, melon, faint strawberry and definate sake flavors. The alcohol is at once warming, yet the beer is wonderfully refreshing at the same time. Again, like the white ale this beer screams out for food, and I'm talking Japanese food. The beer actually reminds me of the flavors redolent of sushi. I can taste clean rice flavors and even a meaty/fishy flavor, almost tuna like. This is really fun to drink and I'm now planning my meal to accompany this fine beverage. Bravo!!

moulefrite, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%

Medium gold color, medium head. Aroma is malty and yeasty, kind of champagne like. It's a cross between a pilsner and sake. Somewhat sweet, somewhat sour. There is a subtle hoppyness that builds on the palate. Light a refreshing. Carbonation is also champagne like, lots of small quickly disappearing bubbles. Interesting beer. Has a definite rice-like taste to it, but in a good way, not at all like Bud etc. Interesting beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Hides the 7 % alcohol well. I like it when brewers take chances with their beers. Very different and worth trying.

beerguy101, Aug 23, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%

Another unusual offering from Kiuchi. Honey/Amber colored with a fast dissipating off-white head. The aroma is mildly reminiscent of cooked rice and white bread. The body is light and clean tasting. A mild hop taste mingles with a slight astringent fuminess. A seltzery effervescence remains throughout the glass. How do they do it? The 8.5% ABV is not noticeable in the flavor or aroma.

BeerResearcher, Jul 19, 2003
Photo of Wildman
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%

This beer poured a cloudy gold color and formed a bubbly white head that left some circular lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of citrus and some floral aspects. A flavor of citrus, rice and some grain elements. The finish was sprite and somewhat sudsy. I really can place this beer style wise, so it is difficult to form a good feel/opinion for this beer.

Wildman, Jul 08, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%

11.2 oz brown bottle, capped. No date. ($3.50 per bottle)

This ale poured a hazy, light straw color, with tall, fluffy, persistent foam that clung to the sides of the glass. The smell was initially reminscent of sake with hints of lactic acid and malt sweetness and a bit of hops and some grapes. The initial flavor was very tart, almost sour, but after a few drinks I became accustomed to it, and it reminded me of a sour lambic, in that regard. Over flavors detected: a vinous taste, slightly musty, floral hops, malt. The mouthfeel was initially tart with a good bit of hops in the finish. The body was medium-light with modest carbonation feel. Surprisingly, I would have never guessed that this ale was 8.5% abv. This ale was quite drinkable and really grew on me as I sipped it. An interesting and unusual ale from Japan.

UncleJimbo, Jun 07, 2003
Photo of purplehops
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

Red Rice Ale poured a hazy, almost semi-opaque, golden/pink with a white frothy head that clung to the sides of the glass. The aroma was lightly sweet berries with some grain and alcohol notes. Aromatic rice notes are definitely there. Taste starts with chardonnay flavors (light and crisp with earth tones) up front that quickly change to fruity notes of berries and passion fruit. This is followed by malt flavors that continue to grow and blend with lightly bitter grain flavors (wild rice or grass?). The finish is dry with the first hints of alcohol and some spicy hop flavors making an appearance. Aftertaste is mild Sake with just a hint of citrus with a very faint saltiness that ends as quick as it begins. Mouthfeel is medium body and crisp yet at the same time very filling.
Overall a nice change of pace ale. Intriguing little beer that packs lots of flavors and just a wee bit of alcohol (8.5%). Not an everyday brew for me but one I would buy again just for its difference.

purplehops, May 20, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
2.68/5  rDev -27.6%

Transparent peach color with extremely active head, surprised at the lacing despite the soda like carbonation. There is very little aroma. The flavor is neither hoppy, malty, nor ricey. I do not get the hype. I do not think this is more than a gimmicky Budweiser (Bud use a lot of rice). Has an odd body odor flavor. Highly carbonated. Lame. I would not bother trying this again.

Naerhu, May 03, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Notes: apparantly this beer is available in a 720ml bottle as well as the standard 11.something oz one!

An interesting Beer that poured out a nice amber, reddish, peachy colour with a lot of fizz. This had a decent head on it and a very spicy aroma that went on and on. This tasted like a wonderful spiced belgian wit beer with a bit of a ricey(sake-like..)twang to it that is hard to describe. It also had a wonderful creamy and full mouthfeel. All these factors add up to give this beer a wonderfully high drinkability despite the fact that it is over 8%abv!
An excellent beer from this great Japanese brewery that never ceases to amaze me!

francisweizen, Jan 06, 2003
Photo of BeerManDan
3.33/5  rDev -10%

When poured I could see a sort of a hazy golden color with a medium head that dissapated after 30 seconds. The smell was different, but, pleasant. I don't know what rice beer smells like, but if this is what it is suppose to smell like, I like it. The taste was sort of a sweet/bitter nature with what seems like a hint of spice, rice and hops. This was a surprise beer for me. I would buy it again!

The second time around it had a bitter/sour finish on the tongue and palate. It poured a deep orange yellow with no difference in the foam as the first time. I have down graded this beer by one point, all around.

BeerManDan, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of mophie
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

What a funky little brew! Hazy golden/beige with a fluffy white head. As others have noted, the carbonation ensures that a nice, sticky lace stays around for the duration. What an odd aroma -- wild rice, a touch of tart fruitiness (strawberry, kiwi), more rice enveloping the aroma. Also something else in there -- green olives? -- which is strange and yet intriguing. Everything about the taste is subtle, yet also intriguing. First, there's a mild malt undertone that holds up the brew, with starchy, wild-rice flavors, creamy. Some medicinal flavors, intoxicating. Alcohol seems hardly there (which is Ninja-dangerous), except for the slight peppery finish, where I also noticed the closest resemblance to sake. This would have been perfect with my dinner tonight -- take-out from the local Japanese steakhouse. And oh yeah, the owl is very cool.

mophie, Oct 01, 2002
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.