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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.

563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 309
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: 563 | Reviews: 309 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24.3 ounce bottle pours cloudy bright reddish-orange color with a huge frothy head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Tropical fruity aroma, sweet fruity flavors. Medium to full bodied with a soft mildly carbonated mouthfeel. Finishes a bit sour and dry, alcohol very well hidden, its hard to believe this is 8.5%.

maxpower, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This ale pours a weird orange brown color. The aroma is sweet with light malt accents. The flavor is absoultly mind boggling. In Nevada there is a native plant called Indian Tea or Mormon Tea which is an Ephedra relative. I have drank this tea many times and Red Rice has a flavor very much like the Indian Tea in that it has a creamy medicinal quality. Reminds me of Sake this ale has a flavor that is strange and enticing at the same time. The finish has a medicinal graininess to it that i can only equate to Red Rice. An excellent ale to experience as it showcases the prowress of Japanese brewers.

RenoZymurgist, Aug 03, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.