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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) - Kiuchi Brewery

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

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597 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 597
Reviews: 334
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: 597 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Macca
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a cloudy caramel head with a huge fluffy off white head.

The funky and sour notes dominate the aroma for me. Maybe a touch of sweetness and alcohol behind it.

The funkiness doesn't do it for me on the palate. A bit dirty. Not getting much else.

Full bodied with a high carbonation.

This didn't do it for me. Maybe I just don't understand what it's supposed to be?

Macca, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of broken22
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So after having such a good experience with this breweries espresso stout I could not wait to try this other beer I picked up at the same time.

So I pop this beer and pour it into a glass. Wow, this thing foams up like crazy. The little bit of beer I can see that is not foam is a dark orangey color. Like an apple cider. So now I must wait before I can pour any more in...still waiting...ah pour a little more and wait...OK there all the beer has been poured. The foamy head looks like the surface of a martian landscape, but it has finally died down so I can take my first sip. But wait I need to tell you about how it smells first. It smells really good. It has a nice spicy smell to it like many other belgians I have had. The only difference is the subtle sharpness that I can only imagine is coming from the sake barrels this thing was aged in. I can wait no longer and take my first sip. Wow a little more aggressive than I was expecting. This thing really attacked the sides of my tongue. After a few more sips my mouth is now acclimatized so I can begin to really taste this thing. I would have to say that I am really getting the flavor of sake. This beer has the a subtle sweetness of a plum while managing to get a little citrus like flavor all blending together without ever really standing out.

This is another good beer. I'm kind of curious about the heavy foam up. Makes me think that this could have been over sugared when it was time for bottling. I guess that means more testing is in order, dang :P So to wrap it up I think this is a good beer and it had a very interesting flavor from the sake barrels, which has to be unique to this brewery. After now trying two beers from this brewery I really want to try all of their offerings. If you like belgians then try this one out. My local beer store is selling these for $5.99 for a 12oz single.

broken22, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of xxthepatientxx
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy reddish amber/light brown. Foamed like nuts for me, but I've had few already, so my pour might be off...still think it's the beer though! Pretty, but dirty-lookin, I guess.
S - smells like a sour to me...no one told me about this..."belgian strong dark ale" my ass. Belgian, yes; strong, yes; dark, not really. Oaky funk is all I get, and mostly funk. Tart cherries?
T & M - oh yeah, sour. Funky as hell. I wanna say brett, of course, but the whole sake cask think makes me think maybe it's whatever yeast they use for that or maybe the koji. Whatever it is, it's good! Slight woodiness, but the funk dominates. I dig it. Smooth for all that, but light bodied, with a tingling carbonation.
D - hey, I love me some sour/funky ales...and I could drink this one all night.

xxthepatientxx, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of tanarm
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soft white head, meringue-like at first. Persistent. Reddish body, clarity is good.

Sharp, earthy, notes of ripe fruit on the nose right away. Something about it screams sour. Grapefruity. Some overtones of wood and spice. Some sweet malt aroma.

Taste is fruity, overripe mangoes and grapefruit rinds. Notes of wood and spice. Quite sour. Overwhelmingly at first, but then the sourness subsides as it warms. Some sweet malt in the backbone, maybe a touch of caramel. Hops are there to balance but don't take the stage. Slight alcohol warmth.

I didn't realize this was going to be a sour ale, and I am not sure if that's what they had planned, but this is very enjoyable. This would probably age well for many new years to come.

tanarm, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As soon as the cap was off, the bottle started gushing foam. Once it was in the glass, light reddish brown in color with an immense tan head that I was glad to see stuck around for the whole beer.

S: Really nice. Oak, sake, cinnamon, a little nuttiness and some more spice. A lot going on here.

T: I was surprised to find that this beer was pretty sour. I got a lot of apple cider vinegar with hints of brett and tart green apples in the taste along with some nice sake dryness. Pretty solid.

notchucknorris, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a bit of crisp white head that dissipates quickly. smells hoppy and sweet. very odd combination with the sake smells. Tastes a bit sweet. mostly dry with very unusual Sake flavours. Definitely unique. Decent mouthfeel but the strange flavours definitely hinder the drinkability

Urbancaver, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner-like glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with towering cream colored head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Tart apples, vinegar, oak and pepper.

Taste: Nice tartness derived from apple and citrus. The oak aging adds a nice level of complexity, as does the brett. Ends with pepper, clove and spicy hops. Great balance overall and the tartness remains at a manageable level.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body with a tart, dry finish. As the carbonation recedes, it becomes very smooth.

Drinkability: Love the complex layers within this beer, while remaining compulsively drinkable.

bsp77, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of TheTippler
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color. Medium to fuller body mouth feel. Slight funk - sourish yeasty taste. Wood is on both the nose and palate. Sake flavors are very subtle. Green apple flavors. This beer is very approachable and one of my favorite cask aged beers.

TheTippler, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured amber brown in color with pale brownish yellow highlights when held up to the light that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront on the aroma a was able to notice some vinous character alongside bretty funk, oaky, and sake notes. It did however have faint vinegar notes as well.

T: the bretty barrel funk is more apparent on the palate with oaky, sake, and vinous accents but had a touch of underlying vinegar in the background; quite tasty. After a few sip it seemed to have slight citrusy grapefruit notes.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a very nice amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citrusy, oaky, bretty, sake, and mild fruity finish.

D: it actually drank quite well and kinda reminded me of a wild ale with the bretty character and intresting choice of barrels to age in.

Gobzilla, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this after a few winter warmers and it fit right in with its nuanced mix of hops and malt and a dark caramel note on the finish. I detected more British than Belgian in the flavour profile but thought it a very well done beer that would stand some cellaring

canucklehead, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of dogfishandi
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a bulb style glass. xh.10.08. stamped on the bottom of the back label. listed as 7% on neck of bottle.

pours out a really nice murky reddish/ orange brown color with a huge 4 fingers of billowy, soapy off white head. amazing rocky retention and lots of furry sticky lace.

off the initial smell i got lots of sour, tart, musty funk. behind that there some spice, ripe fruits, a bit of dark fruits and a bit metallic with just a hint of wood.

lots of sharp tart musty funk, ripe fruits, leafy herbs, aluminum like metallic flavor which is not too desirable. a bit of dark fruit like malt sweetness and a bit of a spicy bitterness with a touch of wood in the background.

the funk and tart is there, but not enough to pucker you mouth. light and fluffy on the palate, medium bodied. lots of carbonation.

one and done, but i would drink this again. this to me is exactly like a belgian flanders red/ oud bruin. a nice beginners sour. the funk is definatly there, but nothing overpowering. worth one bottle.

dogfishandi, Dec 27, 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 eric5bellies
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice.

A - Pours a deep amber red colour with an ivory off white head that retains well and laces.

S - Smells perfumic and very yeasty.

T - nice balance of some piney notes with caramel and toffee and boiled sweets, lots of bitterness at the end almost saki like.

M - fullish mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

D - An unusula take on the style then again i'm not suprised from the brewery. Thoroughly recommended.

eric5bellies, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of gamwich
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Way over-carbonated, beer spews out when opened. I pour what is left into a St. Bernardus chalice.

The aroma is funky and sour, expected as this is a belgian-style beer aged in wood casks. What isn't expected is the predominant aroma I'm getting is urea - not appealing.

The flavor is pretty good, considering the aroma. Slightly tart and sour, the wood flavor comes through, as well as some hops and what I assume is the sake. Aroma is more appealing when combined with tasting the beer.

It is very carbonated and has a dry finish. As it warms the aroma has tamed considerably and now resembles that of many funky-barnyard farmhouse/ saison type nose.

Not a bad beer, but it does not seem to come together.

gamwich, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Tifore
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Unibroue Tulip.

A - Pours a murky muddy color. Orangeish brown. Pours almost no head. Maybe 1/2 a finger but holds for quite a bit and leaves behind some good lacing.

S - Smells very very yeasty and bready. Almost carmel and rye like. Perhaps even sweet? I guess thats the sake coming through.

T - Tastes of carmel at first and yeast second. The yeast / bread flavor hangs around for a while. Makes my mouth water, not sure why. The very last flavor I get is sake which comes through very nice. I'd be intrigued to see how this ages for a while to see if the malt / yeast leaves and the other flavors come through. I wish there was more complexity to this.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty heavy. Some carbonation but not much.

D - A pretty good beer but I wish the taste was more on the sake side. A overall good belgian that I want to revisit again.

Tifore, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from State Line; purchased a few years back.

A: The strong ale is a ddark amber color, coppery and brown. The rich color is full enough to render it opaque. A half a finger of off-white head arrived with the pour and left almost as quickly; only a thin band remains.

S: The ale has a strong oaken aroma, woody with vanilla notes. The aroma is much more American oak than the unique scent of sake. The wooden scent has a bit of a cherry finish. I'm really looking forward to a sip. This is a high 4, almost a 4.5 but not quire.

T: I'm really impressed, or maybe surprised. I expected something sake-like, not realizing that sake is generally a neutral spirit. The barrels, having offered up their angel's share of sake, impart a rich oaken wood flavor that highlights vanilla and cherry. Underneath the barrel, the ale seems malty and rather light. The barrel generally fades quickly, although tingles of flavor do hang around.

M: The mouthfeel, dominated as it is by the barrel, doesn't pack a punch. The oak comes and goes with very little left behind. I do like the barrel aspect though, an interesting flavor twist that I wasn't expecting.

D: The higher potency of the sake doesn't register in the ale (under 8%, really?). The lack of depth beyond the barrel is the biggest complaint.

akorsak, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Ambiorix
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, poured into large tulip.

A: Copper, slightly cloudy pour, with a light tan persistent head.

S: Fruity, estery, a little bit of a horse blanket, brett-like nose.

T: Fruity, barnyard, bitter, spicy. Tangy, bitter finish with some lingering fruitiness.

M: Medium-thin.

An interesting brew. I'd never tried Hitachino Nest before, and I was impressed.

Ambiorix, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of dgilks
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear dark amber colour with a creamy light tan head.

Sweet and spicy aroma. Almost bready, sickly sweet malt notes.

The flavour falls flat for me. There is plenty of malt with a nice dryness but there is way too much bitterness for the beer without any hop character to make it work.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. It's okay.

This beer is just a little odd and fails to work for me. WHile I can see elements of what they were aiming for it doesn't hit any real high notes for me.

dgilks, Nov 07, 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 tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeously dark caramel pour with an illuminescent dark orange cast surrounding it. Eventually it thickens up to a wonderful tone of teek wood orange with browning center. Very murky, perhaps a bit muddy with chunks of yeast suspended within. Capped mightily with a huge crown of tawny tanned rocky foam that never moves from its seat. Lacing coats the glass with a heavy frosting.

Aroma is all yeasty and peppered with dryish wood and herbal-esque leafyness with a souring stand thats musty with large pinches of orange and lime peel tanging it up.

Nice taste that's well handled in a overall tamed down tone of sourness and tang. Dark Saison meets sour ale. Peppy, yet dull, peppery, yet light enough in its spices and tang to flow into one easy going brew. Indecipherable woody characteristics from the sake casks which grabs lime and orange peel with tiny bits of leafyness. Brett-like yeasty sourness and more orangey things peek and retreat as it stays firm with a moderately tame and calm soured tangy tone. Not much in the finish, lightly drying, with small but evident bittering citrus and medicinal notes remain behind.

Body is under a medium boldness and tone for the style. Carbonation level is fairly high but mellows out as it sits. There really isn't an established stability as it sweeps in with its souring tang and kind of just sits there without much action beyond what the flavors and spices pull thru.

Totally Hitachino. A nice twist of sour and tang thrown together well enough for a fun experience.

tavernjef, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a hazy brown color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a tart fruity nose

T - Follows the nose with tart fruits up front and a spicy finish

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a good interesting beer I enjoyed the tartness in the flavor very enjoyable worth hunting down to give it a try sometime

armock, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of headlessclown
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into Gouden Carolus glass
Date on bottle: 05/12

A: Pours a clear amber/red with a moderate head that soon dissipates.

S: First thing that hit me was the wood from the sake barrels. Some hops too. Alcohol.

T: The wood is definitely in there somewhere. Ends with a subtle hop bitterness. Nicely balanced. A good hybrid of beer and sake flavours.

M: Medium body and carbonation. You get a bit of the alcohol in there.

D: A unique beer thanks the the ageing process. Full of flavour and at 8%, it's ideally a slow sipping beer but I found myself going through it rather quickly (perhaps a bad idea). I really like it.

headlessclown, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of DoppleJock
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

.33L bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Overcarbonated? Sure seemed that way when it poured. Solid amber with a tan, foamy 2-inch head. Looks like a standard strong ale (sans the crazy carbonation).

S: Barnyard funk of a Saison. Woody casks. Sweet and sugary shōchū with some coriander spice. Very complex.

T: Shōchū tinge up front. Hints of slight oakiness. Smell really plays into the taste. Goes from sweet to bitter. Not too shabby.

M: Mouthfeel is like the taste: moves from sweet to bitter. Medium-bodied.

D: Unique combination of elements feels like a mash-up between a Farmhouse Ale and a Strong Ale. Will try again.

DoppleJock, Oct 11, 2010
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 hdofu
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a kick, the taste of sake is very noticable with a wheat finish. It pours dark red and smells kind of like sake. Has alot of burn alchol burn in the mouthfeel. Certainly wasn't what I was expecting (normally in my experience with japanese beers they use alot of gimmicks to appeal, this beer really does have a sake taste though). Despite this though I'd say it is a very enjoyable bitter beer.

hdofu, Sep 22, 2010
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 597 ratings.