1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) - Kiuchi Brewery

Not Rated.
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

625 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 625
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.73%
Wants: 26
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 12-29-2002

From Japan's most prestigious brewery, Hitachino Nest XH (Extra High) is a strong Belgian Brown Ale, matured in shochu (distilled sake) barrels. Chinook & Styrian Goldings hops are use
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 625 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: snifter. wonderful, vibrant mahogany color. beautiful light orange head. wonderful lacing and amazing head retention.

S: great fruity smell, some apples, cherries, figs, very unusual aroma as well that I can't describe. tons of spices as well.

T: Wow! the sake casks are really unique. some alcohol burn , very tart flavors, so unique. some serious spices and some pumpkin.

M: medium to full bodied. medium carbonation level. very tart.

D: only one of these for me. I enjoyed the uniqueness of it but one is all I can do.

Photo of DRTBrewster
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of rct
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of rcjennings
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Norseman
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Johnny_Duck
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%

Pour is hazy dark amber with a good, durable, creamy head, vg lacing
Sake barrel treatment comes out clearly about mid-taste, and is also present in the aroma.
Aroma has decent complexity, as does the flavor, which has both bready and fruity notes too.
Medium-full body; medium+ carbonation; smooth.
O interesting Japanese beer.

Photo of kkipple
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hitachino Nest beers are always fun to try, and this is one is no exception. XH is a hazy copper brew, with a 3cm off-white lingering head.

The smell is more than a little odd. It's malt-heavy and cool, clear and slightly oaky and woodsy. Caramel and tapioca, no hops to be found. Unlike anything that comes to mind.

The taste is equally different...sweet and smooth with evident booze and caramel, but I'm getting next to no hops and lots of oaky, wine-like tannins. Roasted grains and a dank, musty flavor pervade this thing. Carbonation is low and the entire experience is smooth and pretty sophisticated. Very strange, yet rather good.

Finish is sweet and short, mildly dry.

What a weird beer. It's unique and tasty, but not terribly drinkable. In sum, it's a tough beer to describe and one you should experience personally.

Photo of icetraxx
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

NOTE: This beer became better as it warmed up, I amended my original review - do not serve at fridge temperature.

A: Poured an amber brown with a tinge of red and a slight haze into my cognac snifter. A one finger head was produced that quickly dissipated to a collar which actually sticks around for (nearly) the entire beer and periodically laces the glass.

S: Very aromatic! I am very happy with my choice of using a snifter for this beer. Vanilla, hops, lemongrass, sake, and honey come through. I also notice an aroma I can only associate with chardonnay wine. A very pleasant and almost exotic combination. They could make an air-freshner out of this beer it smells so wonderful.

T: It starts a bit sweet and hoppy and ends with a very dry and tingly finish. The dryness and flavor of sake become very strong on the finish, they weren't lying about the flavor from the sake. A bit of hops balance the sweetness, very well balanced overall. The traditional oaky (read: whisky/cognac) like flavor is completely absent, I would never guess this was a oak casked ale if the label didn't say it was. I can taste a slight woody flavor but it does not have the vanillin kick that oak usually has, which is definitely a shame (I bet the sake absorbed all that delicious vanillin). The 7% alcohol in this beer makes it known in the taste, but it isn't overwhelming. The taste lacks some complexity compared to what I was expecting (as this is an oaked beer after all), yet slight nuances improved as the beer warmed up.

M: Slightly over-carbonated, probably due to my weak pour. Good body, yet watery for the style. Average.

D: Even though it doesn't have that much alcohol, this beer is definitely a slow sipper, this is an aspect I can enjoy. Unfortunately, the flavor gets a little boring after a few sips and sits a little heavy overall (if you drink it too quickly); I have found that the flavor becomes more interesting as the beer warms up, which greatly increases my enjoyment with this beer. I'm definitely done after one 11.2oz bottle.

O: The best beer I've ever had from the land of the rising sun, yet underwhelming in the grand scheme of things. It is quite possible that I am looking for flavor that this beer never intended to produce, but I find the flavor lacking a complexity that I seek for this style. The amazing aroma makes me look forward to trying more brews from Kiuchi Brewery in Naka City, Japan, though I may not pick this one up again.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden orange to ruby red in color with a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation at the edges of the glass and near the surface. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark beige head that slowly reduces to a large thin patch with a thin film covering the rest of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of malts with some citrus hops and a definite presence of sake. There is a light aroma of alcohol but that is likely contributed by the sake.

T: Similar to the smell, there is a fairly strong body of malts and a very light presence of sourness that disappears as the beer warms. There are some light notes from the citrus hops and some oak from the barrel aging. Also, there is a fairly strong flavor of sake.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly dry with some light alcohol warming in the finish.

O: While the ABV is not that high for this beer, it is very strong tasting and not the easiest to drink. Enjoyable but one you have to slowly sip on and not one that you could have multiple in a session.

Photo of mnapier
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Service Temp, 40 degrees. Service Glass 12 ounce German Balloon Glass

Raising the glass the dark orange fluid let's little light shine through and through. As I swirl the glass around preparing to approach my nose I observe a mild white head with light lace across the inside of the glass.

Aroma, is apparent in regards to the oak and plum.

Taking several sips, I hit some slight dryness, some subtle citrus, but a continuation of the oak theme is still there only mildly. The ales overall presence on my tongue is a constant reminder I need to come back again and again with its resiny medium body.

Overall, a wonderfully tastey barrel aged (sake) & definitely different.

Cheers

Photo of vtfan77
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a cloudy copper with a very generous beige head. Nice-looking beer.

S- Sour and metallic at first with a vinegary aroma. As it warms a sweet, sugary character emerges. Interesting mix or sweet and sour.

T- Starts out tart with vinegar and green apple. Some sweetness emerges along with a woody character. Finishes fairly dry with an earthy bitterness.

M- Smooth medium body and a little fizzy.

D- This is quite the complex beer and certainly not a quaffer, but certainly a very enjoyable sipper.

An interesting beer that is strongly reminiscent of an Oud Bruin in my opinion. In fact, had I tasted this blind, I'm almost certain that's the style I'd have assigned it. I'm not very familiar with sake, so I don't know how much the flavor was influenced by the sake cask aging. It's well worth the try, especially for fans of slightly sour beers. Recommended.

Photo of brushtachio
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, murky, rusty, orange with a thin creamy off-white head and quite a bit of dark sediment. The smell is a bit one dimensional. Brett.

Taste is much more interesting. Tart cherries that fall short of what I would call sour. Funky horse blanket. Little bready yeast. What I don't taste is any hint of sake. The description on BA says it's aged in shouchou casks. The bottle says sake casks. The two are very different things. I love good shouchou and do pick up a slight bite that hints at shouchou.

I would find this very drinkable if it wasn't so damn expensive (4.75 for a 12 oz bottle)

Photo of yelterdow
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle purchased at Bottle King in Hillsdale, NJ. I tried the white ale last week, it was big for the style. Now let's see what this beer has to offer.

Served in an oversize snifter at just over fridge temperature. There is a code lasered in the label, it reads X.7.8.

Appearance- Pours a dirty gold... it becomes redder in the glass, and there is absolutely no indicaition whatsoever of a head. It's murky, the light is barely penetrating this beer... a very old ale type of look.

Smell- Liquid metal and rubber gloves, plastic, some fermented plums perhaps... but that was only short-lived while it was too cold. A pronounced wood-aged character, with its full and dense aroma that's almost stomach-filling in and of itself. Perfumy and certainly unique, it gets better as the beer comes to temperature. There's a creaminess to the nose, almost vanilla-like and buttery smooth.

Taste- A whisky-like flavor is imparted from the barrel aging... I'm definitely not geting sake here, it's real boozy! Residual vanilla, wood, alcohol, and a nice spicy finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The slick, rolling texture is surprisingly good here... again, "creamy" does it justice in more ways than one. Still a bit hot for me personally, but this is a nice sipping beer that stands apart from all other strong ales as far as I'm concerned.

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Red-Brown color with a half finger of light tan head.

S - Smells of Plums, Vanilla, Ginger, Oak, and of course Sake.

T - Tastes of Toffee, Raisins, Sake, and an Oak Finish. The rice alcohol taste is apparent.

M - Light to Medium carbonation with a heavier mouth feel.

D - Very good and similar to the Red Rice Ale. I wonder how this would be with a Sushi made of stronger flavored fish.

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out with a strong aroma, noticeable throughout the pour, with a cola-like bottom containing a touch of red when held up to the light. The head was puffy, thick and tan, and slow to fall.

Sweet, extremely malty smell, with traces of alcohol. Floral/citrus profile present, decent balance.

Nice hop profile in the taste, very bitter, with a strong, powdery bittersweet chocolate character. Warm and dark, with a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel, and the citrus resurfacing as mild grapefruit.

ABV can creep up on you in this one, easy to drink with its medium body and well masked alcohol. Overall drinkability good, though the strong bitterness might throw some off. Definitely recommended for a try.

Photo of sweemzander
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a super cloudy reddish amber to brown color that produced a large & foamy tan to orange colored head with some good retention behind it. This is so cloudy actually, that it is almost opaque looking.

(S)- A very dry, but floral citrus of lemon & lime. You can really detect the dry/floral rice from the sake casks.

(T)- The same big & dry citrus kick that is followed by an almost sour, but bitter oakiness. Finishes sour also, but with a slightly caramel-ish toffee. Rather yeasty.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. The sourness & bitterness really overpowers the palate. Has more of a wild ale thing going on than an american strong profile.

(D)- Definitely a different beer that caught me by surprise, but still delivered fairly well. An interesting body & profile that I enjoyed, but i dont know if it fits into the style due to its sourness, maybe its just a japanese thing? Definitely never have heard of a beer aged in sake casks before.

Photo of Tone
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy, copper color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight spice, hops, hint of roasted malt, hint of citrus, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is sharp, crisp, dry, and has a average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, citrus hops, hops, hint of sugar, and a hint of rice. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and decent body.

Photo of FloridaDude
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber, Interesting taste.. a bit bitter which I like, a bit sweet as well. I am not a sake drinker so I assume that is what the odd flavor is. Has strong carbination that was not expected.
I like trying diffrent/unique beers. Overall I would pick up another every now and again.

Photo of Takahiro
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought from local food store

Looks: Dark brown with some light brown head, which did not last that long.

Smell: Sweet & malty, some hint of sake? Oakiness does not stick out.

Taste: Well balanced, but leaning towards malty side. Bitterness from alcohol can be felt through a sip. But the malt sweetness lingers on the palate longer and diminishes with some pruny after taste. The presence of 7% alcohol is very minimal. The presence of oak is very subtle, but an astringent character appears here and there.

Drinkability: This is a very good sipping beer!

Photo of wedge
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, maple syrup color, slightly hazed, with an inch of creamy yellowish foam on top. Wine-like aroma upfront...cedar, pineapple, flowers, cherries, and a powdery sweetness. Very interesting and funky - fun to sniff. Taste is similar...lots of wood, some fruity sourness, very yeasty with some spicy vanilla-like flavors. Chewy in the mouth, medium-plus body with light carbonation.

Pretty unique overall. Yeast, wood, sweetness...my first Hitachino beer and its a good one.

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.