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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery
Japan | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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

Added by UncleJimbo on 12-29-2002

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 696
Photo of Ozzylizard
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle marked XH.13.06 at 50 degrees into pint glass – much sediment on bottom
Aroma very faint spice
Head large (6 cm), off white, creamy with some rocks, slowly diminishing
Lacing – fair, sparse ribbon partway around the glass
Body orange, hazy
Flavor very unremarkable – weak spice, no malt, no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl, no hint of that oak sake barrel it was aged in.
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Pretty much a “meh” beer, but with the potential to sneak up. This is 8 % and drinks like an unassuming bland session beer, although with the weak flavor why would you drink more than one?

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Photo of potion
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a - dark orange/brown, a finger of frothy khaki head, good lacing but dissipates over time

s - citrus, hops, fruitiness

t - medium piny hops, bready/cream malts usual to belgian darks but largely subdued. alcohol heat, can pick up the sake just barely.

m - slightly sticky, bitter, astringent carb the first few sips, metallic toward the end

o - pretty good beer. definitely tastes like a hitachino, they all seem to have this specific creamy backbone. wouldn't have picked up on the sake if I wasn't looking for it.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The color is a red amber color. Beer is transparent with a good amount of active carbonation while in the glass. Light head, only present on the edges of the glass while drinking.

Smell: Toffee amber malt body jumps out right away. There is a semi-sweet, slightly sour grape must type aroma that I assume is from the sake casks. Medium dry fruit really brightens up the aroma.

Taste: Subtle fruits and some sourness greets the palate. A chewy amber malt presence warms up the body and gives this beer a great backbone. Accents of toffee, caramel, apricots, and raisins are prevalent. The dry fruits continue to dance on the palate long after drinking.

Mouthfeel: Very subtle with everything going on but really pleasant drinking throughout.

Overall: Very much impressed by this one. The tones of this beer mesh together well and create a unique brew. It's been hit or miss from this brewery for me but this one is definitely a hit. Highly recommended if you are looking for something a little different.

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Photo of BWED
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I dig the sake influence on this one. The sake aroma is very very faint and not perceptable at all unless you know you are looking for it. This beer has a nice head and aroma. The taste is very Belgium like in that you have that aged oak barrel flavor. A nice beer with a traditional old world Belgium flavor. I recommend this one for the novelty of the sake and aged oak barrels alone. The beer itself is pretty darn good.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice offering, the barrel is a bit nondescript initially with some strange and subtle angles as it lingers.

Presentation: 330 ml custom brown bottle. Label design based around typography surrounding the seal of an owl, with the name of the brew in gold lettering. Shows notes in Japanese in both the front and neck label, the back custom made in English for exporting offers a small description of ingredients. Does not offer an evident date of freshness or bottling. Notes Alc. by Vol. (7%) Served in a chalice.

A - Amber brown pour with a modest if nice creamy head, moderate retention, nice surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Plenty of caramel with a fresh fruity hint.

T - Malty dash, caramel, and a fresh fruity touch that picks up some intriguing bitterness… Remotely vinous note towards the finish. Some bready sense with the caramel moving to offer some honey edges.

M - Medium-full bodied with medium/full carbonation, creamy feel after the intense but small textured carbonation. Feels fuller than what the 7% percent would indicate with a warmth that might be in part barrel-driven?

O - Worth the try, nice flow but a touch short of a distinct complexity.

Notes: Dunno, I liked it, but I was surely expecting a touch more in the barrel/sake edge. Nice brew in any event.

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Photo of GorgonSed
2.67/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A - Dark orange and cloudy. Very thin white head

S - Pungent and sweet with some hoppy spice.

T - Honey, berries, ginger. Not getting any sake flavor which I'm disappointed about.

M - Feels thick, flavor coats the mouth. Very enjoyable.

O - Wouldn't go out of my way to have it again. Unique though.

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Photo of Auraan
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice, cloudy dark amber with half-finger white head that receded to nice ring of white foam. It looks good, but not as good as some examples of the style. Scents of candi sugar, fruity esters, slight sake and shochu hints, faint nutty hints, very faint hints of alcohol, some Belgian yeast, sweet spices, faint oak, sweet caramel malt, and faint hints of vanilla. The aroma is mild and subdued, but very complex once you smell it for a while and focus on the various aromas present. It's a scent profile that is simple on the surface, but amazingly complex beneath. Flavor begins with an earthy, mushroom-like flavor, sweet candi sugar, slight hints of alcohol, hints of sake, a bit of dark fruit, sweet caramel malt, faint hints of floral and earthy herbal hops, hints of citrus zest, hints of Belgian yeast, slight spiciness, more pronounced on the finish and a roasted flavor on the finish with a bitter, lingering aftertaste. It's an earthy, complex, boozy and very Japanese take on a Belgian Strong Dark. It's got the usual flavors of a strong dark, but with hints of sake and earthiness from the barrel aging and a nice level of complexity. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slick finish. Quite nice and easy to sip, and about right for the style. Overall this an excellent take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It has the scents, flavors and feel of the style, but some very unique, Japanese flavors added to the beer, resulting in a very complex, very well executed beer. I recommend this one.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a caramel color. Smells of caramel, nuts, and a lot of booze. The flavor is about the same, but with less booze. Lots of sweetness. Not getting a whole lot of "shochu cask" (shochu is pretty tasteless anyway). Mouthfeel is pretty full and with a lively carbonation. Overall, this is decent.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle is labeled as 7% ABV for the record. XH looks very nice with its bubbly, auburn look, capped with a foamy tan head, leaning towards the shade of brown. Excellent retention as well. The aroma was a bit earthy, however I did pick up a bit of the Shochu and some pineapple fruit esters. The taste reveals much evidence of aging, with a yeasty, wine like character and the taste of fading hops. That's not to say that the hop flavor was not present at all - much to the contrary - quite a hoppy beer for a Belgian style ale. It's also very bready. Sharp was the finish with some woodiness from the barrel. It felt moderately heavy in the mouth and in regards to perceived ABV. Overall, I quite enjoyed it, as I like aged beer, however if you're looking for a hallmark Belgian Strong Dark Ale flavor, definitely look elsewhere.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.82/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange with some amber hue and a slight, thin creamy white layer of head.

S - The nose really lacks and smells like wet cardboard, wood, and grainy.

T - Caramel, honey, slightly boozy, and a mild pine bitterness at the very end.

M - Thin side of medium in the body.

O - Wouldn't try this again, having a very hard time picking any distinct flavors out of this.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Reddish amber with a thick creamy head that quickly recedes to a bubbly ring. Nice lacing in sheets down the glass.

(3.75) S: Grains, faint boozy aroma, dried wood, honey, and subtle floral notes. Soft and pleasing but very subdued with some digging certainly required to unearth some aromas.

(4.0) T: Apricot, tropical fruits, sweet grains, honey or cane sugar, underlying boozy flavour, and spices. Minimal bitterness and more dryness but the focus is on a honey oats sweetness. The sake casks provide a subtle touch of warming booze that is quite nice.

(4.0) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick and viscous with a very oily texture.

(4.0) D: This is very good – Easy to drink with every flavour provided in just the right amounts.

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Photo of mverity
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle from Hop Jacks in Pensacola. Pours an amber brown color with white head that dissipated quickly. Smells of sweet grass, caramel, touch of sour notes. Taste is mostly sweet caramel and some tartness. Mouthfeel is rather watery. Otherwise, I'm glad I only bought a single bottle of this beer. Not great

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Photo of katan
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a glass

A - Pours an opaque orangish brown. Off white head formation. Some bubblies on the inside. Looks hefty.

S - Just couldn't quite elicit much of a response from the nose. I get just a little of belgian yeast and some alcohol.

T - Starts off smooth and light, just a little bit of sweetness. In the middle I start to get some caramel, some toffee. Dark fruits. Finishes with some interesting sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Bitterness grows as it warms on the tongue.

M - Full bodied and lighter on carbonation. Comes of syrupy and a little thick. Some alcohol warmth is it sits on the tongue.

o/D - A decent Belgian strong (dark) but I don't think it really distinguishes itself. I heard this might be aged in some way, of which I'm curious. I can't read the label to confirm. A bit filling, but fits the role as a sipper.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and slightly sour dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors but I am not getting any sake influence on the final product.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to into tulip during hitachino tasting fest 2013...
Nice slightly ruby brown color slightly off white head.
Sweet malty almost esb aromas..with a dose of hop.
Nice malty Belgian sweetness with a kick of hop finish and slight woody and fruity note.
Nice brew...the sake cask adds complexity to an otherwise regular brew.

Revisit this brew on 11/16/13
Huuge brett aromas are so noticeable now. Im convinced this has brett and it works so well here. Its somewhat sweet but very oaky and really dry. I think the bottling date suggests June 2013...if so, this brew is fantastic if you let it age for a few months. I will definitely pick another one of these up.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy amber-brown with a finger of frothy tannish-khaki head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel malts, Belgian yeast,. spices, sake, oak, vanilla, and a bit of booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, Belgian yeast, oak, sake, Belgian yeast, some spices, bit of vanilla and booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet warming finish.

D - Nicely balanced and the sake flavors are a nice touch.

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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.

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Photo of Suds
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer is a clear, deep copper color. Medium white head. It has a spice and mild vinegar scent. Some vegetable smell as well. Interesting. The taste s equally curious. Semi-sweet. Not much malt flavor, but lots of the vegetable and wood quality. I can only assume that this comes from the sake casks. It is unlike other beers. Moderately bitter. Interesting beer, but not not one that I would have often.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a muddled, hazy, amber-copper coloring with a very thin, small bubbled ring of white around the surface. Aromas of strong sake overtones with a subtle blend of fig and date in the background. Some cherry and bread in the nose, as well. Smells very rich and boozey at the same time. Flavors are very well blended, almost to the point of neutralizing on the tongue. The sake does give a very wine-like and boozey forward flavor, with a bready backbone and tart cherry and white grape end flavor. The beer loses a lot of the dark, old world fruits on the nose under the influence of the sake characteristics. Tangy and sharp aftertaste, with an earthy, tannin, and boozey blend. Clean, slightly drying finish. Interesting idea for a beer, and I do enjoy the influences imparted from the sake barrels. Would be interesting with a more powerful base beer.

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Photo of ranger60
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap at Buckeye Beer Engine.

A- beautiful dark brown, very little head.

S- interestingly, picking up malt notes, some caramel sweetness, and something hard to identify...maybe it is the sake'?

T- very tart...it's not bad, but not my cup of tea...don't love sour ales, and that is the first impression. but the oak and sake' flavors do come through in a very nice way.

M- actually very pleasant initial mouth feel, but the sourness lingers

O- I'm sure some people would say this is great, and I know the sourness is intentional, but I can't get past it.

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Photo of kylegillick
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: hazy . murky brown

Aroma: little aroma. dark fruirs

Taste: Tart. Oak. cherry/ dark fruits. The oak/ sake barels give it a great taste. more tart than i would have expected

Mouth feel: Thick. solid carbonation

Overall: $4.69 a bottle. Great beer, very interesting. Would buy again. Sake barrels gave it a unique taste

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 11.2 oz (noting that it has changed slightly from the picture posted here) into a Delirium tulip at low altitude in NY. Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm a bit over the course of consumption.

A: Pours a thin, creamy milk-colored head with a nearly opaque deep amber body. Hundreds of small carbonation bubbles float slowly up the sides of the glass as larger ones occasionally dart past them. Great retention as the head on this one lasts for the entire session. Plenty of lacing as well.

S: The sake barrel aging really stands out as this smells unlike any beer I've had before -- fermented rice qualities are prominent. Some dark fruits, oak and clean malts. Intriguing.

T: Opens with dark fruit notes -- specifically cherry -- followed by oak and rounded out by some definite sake flavors. The finish is quite bitter, a bit too much so in my opinion. Overall, a very interesting combination of flavors.

M: Full-bodied with a round mouthfeel that fills the whole mouth. Definitely the most exceptional aspect of this beer -- very nice.

O: Another unique offering from Hitachino Nest. Probably not a beer I would buy again given the price point, but definitely highlights the sake influences present in all of Hitachino's offerings.

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Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a tall pilsner glass.

A: Pours an amber-orangish hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Sweet and tart citrus aroma with a hoppy and malty backbone.

T: Similar to the smell this beer’s flavor comes off very sweet and tart – almost wine like. Fruity mix and finishes on the sweet side.

M: Very strong and boozy with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.

O: Interesting brew from Japan. Nice sipping beer at 8.3% abv.

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Photo of cocojoe
3.07/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Bottle that I am drinking says that it clocks in at 7.0% ABV

A: Hazy Amber color, thin tan head

S: Sweet caramel, oaky, bright (some belgian yeast notes), smoothe, floral, rice milk?

T: vanilla, caramel, definite oak notes, toasty, floral

M: medium body

O: Fine beer. Nose is a little stuffy at the moment, so my nose and palate are probably missing out on some stuff. A bit confused. I was doing some research, and other people who reviewed this beer said that it had many qualities similar to a flanders red or an oud bruin, and had a definite sour note, but I am getting little to none of those notes. Also, the bottle that I have is different than others (including a different ABV). I am wondering if they released a non belgian version of this beer. I am confused. Fine beer though.

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.