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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) - Kiuchi Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

602 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 602
Reviews: 335
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 23
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: UncleJimbo on 12-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 602 | Reviews: 335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hermit990
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

hermit990, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of 2neardead
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

2neardead, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of juju7
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm in a good mood and I had just finished a glass of quality sake before I had this which I think actually enhanced the phenolic influence from the sake casks. Every now and then you have a beer that reminds you that it isn't a competition to see who can make the best beer in the world. If there were more beers like this in the average bar or bottle shop I would be a happy chappy. Dark ochre in colour with some pleasant pine driven op aromas up front tailed by caramel malt goodness. A full bodied mouthfeel with some more of those piney hops and phenolics, balanced with unobtrusive but obvious bitterness. Smooth, tasty, delish.

juju7, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hitachino Nest XH (Matured in Sake Casks). 11.2 oz.

Pours a thick, dark, brooding hazy orange. A very small spungy white head quickly diminishes; moderate lacing. Infrequent bubbles rise with agitation.

Funky! Tart vinegary cedar upfront. Alcoholic sake also wafts upwards pretty quickly. Dry and musty, woody and thick --staunch smells come on thick and heavy.

The flavor is complex and brooding. Theres a dark, earthy malt upfront, swaddled in alcoholic sake, and soaked in cedar. Toffee and raisiny sweetness lingers in the mouth well after the swallow. Finishes oaky and warm, and just a little bit sweet. The flavor assaulted me at first, but as it warms up, it also gets slightly sweeter and more rounded. Hops are not a major force here: a little bitterness in the finish and that's all.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Thick, bouncy and full in the mouth. Carbonation is not major, but it sort of picks up towards the end of a long pull. The body floats in, smooth and dry with every sip, leaving a burnt, woody taste hanging on the palate. Only moderately drinkable. The rice alcohol is a little too strong to make this worth having in large quantities, but it definitely grows on you.

There's some sediment on the bottom. I was surprised how quickly the infusion of sake and cedar grew on me. By the end of the bottle I was positively enjoying it!

BeerNemesis, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of cwguy5
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike from The Brown Liquor Pickers for this gifted bottle. It was poured into a Maudite tulip.

deep copper color with slight haze; I may have been a little on the aggressive side but it poured with a huge 2-3 finger head that kept growing slowly over the top of the rim of the glass; settled to thick off white cap; crazy lacing with intact bubbles

aromas of some distant dark fruit, yeast, and mild sweet floral finish in nose

semi-sweet start with some mild booze, raisin, then dries to a bittering finish with slight sake throughout but more apparent in the moderate linger

busy, rich, coating mouthfeel with med-high foamy carbonation with some larger bubbles floating from bottom

fairly high drinkability; almost wished the sake were a bit more forward; however I did enjoy the subtle and nuanced flavors; will seek out another bottle...

cwguy5, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of BWED
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a chestnut color with a bit of an off white head. Retention is poor.

S- Vinous caramel notes, and a little booze.

T- Slight caramel backbone, with a grape/wine tone.

M- Medium body, with a very dry finish.

O- Interesting. A little too fruity. I think the sake character is pulled out quite a bit, especially in the feel.

BWED, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a hazy deep and cloudy amber with a thick inch and a half of tan/yellowish foam; very light bubbles can be seen and there is a lot of yeast in there.

s: light sour notes; warm caramel; lots of orange and sweet citrus notes; sweet but still complex

t: first a strong sourness hits and lingers the whole sip--it is not unpleasant and interesting but not the greatest taste in the world either; caramel; even a light wateriness; hmm....ok is all i can say

m: i fel that the carb is aggressive and the mouthfeel is a little thin but overall ok

d: i'm not sure i would try this again; it was interesting and sour with lots of wild yeast notes but was not my favorite; it is probably worth one try, though.

hoegaardenhero, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of titosupertramp
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky with a lot of yeast floaties. Should have been a little more careful on the pour, I suppose. Moderate white head.

S: Funky and sour. Some hops in there.

T: Pretty tart throughout. Funky and sour just like the nose. Spicy hop quality.

M: Big time carbonation. Has a little bite to it.

D: The bite makes this one a sipper.

Not a bad beer, but not sure if I would seek this out again considering the price per 12oz.

titosupertramp, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of schaffer9252
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

schaffer9252, May 04, 2013
Photo of stevefinny
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

stevefinny, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Azeotrope
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Azeotrope, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a super-cloudy orange amber. Heavily carbonated, and pours a creamy two-finger head that is persistent. Leaves excellent lacing. Aroma packed with funk, cherries, some mustiness. Maybe even a little pine nut. Flavor is bizarre and carries a lot of the aforementioned mustiness. Super tangy upfront, too. Very unique. Some barnyard-ish qualities fill up the middle, and the finish is very long, dry and bitter in sort of a good way, sort of a bad way. I'm guessing rice is used in the brewing process, as it has some malt-liquor like qualities. Very unique, as I stated, all the way around. Pricey at $5.49/11.2 oz. bottle, bringing down the drinkability. Not terrible, not great...somewhere in the middle ground between unique in both a bad and good way.

SolomonGrundy, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Johnny_Duck
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Johnny_Duck, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of amano_h
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

amano_h, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Man was this beer expensive! I picked it out without knowing how much I was going to pay and the receipt for the mixed sixer showed it to cost over 7 dollars! Let's hope that it is worth the price.

I put on Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and settle down, ready to pour the 12 oz. bottle into a wide-brimmed tulip glass. I am all relaxed, the cap is popped off and the bottle starts foaming like Cujo! Not the greatest way to start off.

A: A solid explosion of cream-colored head, three fingers thick and sudsy. The body of this beer is a cloudy copper in color, with blood red and orange highlights. Yeast sediment is visible, dancing and swirling around in the haze.

S: Wild smell! I have to say that I am not all too familiar with sake (I may have had it all of three times in my life) so I can't say with any certainty, but I think the funkiness of the beers aroma might be attributable to the wood and sake. It reminds me in a loose way of other aged beers. I smell an interplay of Brett and grapefruit, with a light oak and cherries background and a more prominent tartness (crabapple).

T: Up front there is the smallest amount of sweetness, followed by a serious tart/sourness that is somewhere between a tart crabapple and a tangy grapefruit. There is definitely some medicinal shit on the palate going on, reminding me of one of my favorite pale ales. There is a woody finish, with alcohol on the breath. Bready malts more present in the aftertaste. The roof of the mouth gets hit with all the fruity notes in this beer, like pineapple and tart cherries for example. The taste rounds out nicely towards the end of the glass and becomes more even and less "funky".

M: Nice and juicy mouthfeel with a dry finish. It is medium bodied and highly carbonated. Definitely compliments this beer.

D: It is at least interesting. I would not have two in a row, and probably would not buy another one again considering the crazy price tag, but I would recommend that given the chance, you should try this once, especially if you like Flanders Oud Bruin.

MusicaleMike, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of edwardkersh
5/5  rDev +32.6%

edwardkersh, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Jacob007
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Jacob007, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of humulusphile
4/5  rDev +6.1%

humulusphile, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of HungarianCount
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

HungarianCount, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of VaterRoss
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle into crystal hock. Bottle date "XH.11.03"

Hazy copper color, very little head that reduces to a ring. Smell is very interesting: reminiscent of a dry white wine, some sake smell. Taste is dry and semi-sweet. Finishes with a sake taste, slightly sour. Mouthfeel is low carb with a slight puckering sourness.

Looking at other reviews I wonder if my bottle went bad. What I had was something like a Sake-Beer with almost none of the Belgian characteristics coming through. This beer needs some sort of richness from the malt to better balance, too much sake going on for my tastes.

VaterRoss, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of gmcfarre
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a hazy orange color with yellow hues around the edges. A massive foamy head develops that keeps rising out of the pint glass to crest at about 1/2 inch above the glass (but without spilling over). Really bizarre head, something I don't think I've ever seen from a beer. Loads of lacing.

S - A pleasant oak woody scent is plainly evident, and it seems to combine nicely with both the malt and hop flavors. Mildly sweet with some floral aspects. A bit of sour fruit.

T - Starts off with a dry and sweet malt presence that is heavy on dark fruit flavor. Alcohol is only barely evident. At the finish a woody sour flavor takes over and is slightly unpleasant, or at least out of line with the rest of this brew.

M - Fairly heavy for a lighter colored beer. Mild carbonation. Sour and still sweet at the finish.

D - An interesting beer that unfortunately never really comes together for me. Appearance was outstanding, but the taste didn't live up to that high precedent. Probably my least favorite offering from an otherwise outstanding brewery.

gmcfarre, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of endincolorado
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance- Cloudy, deep orange-amber with fine particles of sediment. Thick creamy off-white head. Excellent retention.

S- Strong sour astringent aromas. Phenol.

Taste- Powerful sour flavor, green-apple tartness with phenol and cloves. Overall hard to describe. No strong malt character, maybe a bit of hop-bitterness.

Mouthfeel- light body with carbonation that seems almost deflate quickly.

Drinkability- Not one I'll pick up again, as the strong phenolic flavor is one I don't particularly care for. I love sake, and the idea was an intriguing one. Unfortunately sake flavor was not present, as far as I could tell.

endincolorado, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of cbarrett4
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Seriously creepy/cute owl. Man I love the Japanese!

*** Label slightly different than one pictured, states "Matured in Sake Casks" *** But apparently is the same beer (and all newly created listings with 'sake cask' get popped under the regular XH listing).

Also of note: this beer was not really aged in sake casks, it was aged in sochu casks. For those of you who know Japanese liquor (and it's a love/hate relationship as I'm sure you agree) Sochu (Sochyu, soju, shochu) is a rice wine (sake) fermented into an 80 to 90 proof liquor and often matured in cask.

Poured a dark brown/black with blue-ish highlights. Oatmeal colored, persistent head, low carbonation.

Smells a lot like a sour ale. Lot's of fruit, a hefty dose of the sour cherry, lacto thing with some sake like notes, a little spice, and plum. Really reminds me of a barrel aged Belgian.

Flavor is remarkable. The sour note adds so much and keeps the intense sake-like flavors subdued. Very intense and fruit forward.

Texture is lovely with a massive amount of wall to wall flavor, great grip, and a good balance of acidity and alcohol.

This beer sings, and I'm all ears (and tastebuds). I immediately returned and bought every bottle they had at Whole Foods. This is going to be a cornerstone beer and one that I will love fooling beer geeks with blind tastings.

cbarrett4, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of darklordlager
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque chestnut red with a 1/4" coating of medium tan head.

S: Dark fruit (plum being the most prominent), floral hops, fruity yeast. Perhaps a little vanilla, and a bit "grainy." Spicy character underlying it all--not sure if it is from the hops or sake cask.

T: Bready, toffee-y malts, dark fruit, spicy character and floral hops. The sake seems to come through with a slightly grainy, slick finish.

M: Medium carbonation makes it seem light-bodied. In the finish it seems a bit heavier, and the slightest bit syrupy.

D: Very interesting offering from Hitachino--great to see unique things like this from abroad.

darklordlager, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of flyingmick
4/5  rDev +6.1%

flyingmick, Sep 30, 2012
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 602 ratings.