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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

580 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 580
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 22
Gots: 27 | 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: 580 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of matjack85


2.48/5  rDev -34.2%

I found this squatty 330ml brown bottle at the Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $2.99 if you have a Binny's card - $3.99 without one.

Be careful when you open this. Mine started bubbling over the top the moment I removed the cap. Despite a slow pour I got a head so large it easily filled up 80% of the glass. It made an incredible fluffy white head that seemed to last forever. When it finally settled down, the beer ended up being a cloudy color somewhere between dark gold and light brown and it left tons of lacing.

The beer has a somewhat unpleasant funky barnyard smell with some fruit in the background.

I did not care for this at all. The beer is stored in sake barrels for 3 months and it shows. I never care for a beer when the alcohol is the dominating flavor, and that, unfortunately, is the case with this beer. Under the alcohol there are some nice flavors of malt, a touch of fruit, and even a slight chocolate flavor, but I wish they were more dominant instead of the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is OK - smooth and creamy with only moderate carbonation spritz, which sort of surprised me considering the beer bubbled over upon opening.

I guess I'm not a fan of sake casked beers because I had a hard time finishing this one.

06-23-2010 06:28:46 | More by matjack85
Photo of jjanega08


3.48/5  rDev -7.7%

A= pours an extremely hazy dark amber color with a lot of floaties in it and a lot of bubbles. The head only gets to about a finger high but stays there for a good amount of time with the bubbles replenishing it. The lacing is pretty decent.

S= The smell is pretty interesting. It smells pretty bready and I feel like I wanna say I get some hops. I get a little cinnimon sort of smell to it. The bottle says it is matured in sake casks and I've never had sake so I'm sure I'm picking up some of that but I haven't registered that in the ol noggin. There is also a distinct yeasty smell.

T= The taste is just as unique as the smell. I get some good bready yeasty notes in it as well as a nice sweet malt to it. There is for sure a little hop bitterness in it as well. The finish is totally different from anything I've ever had before however and I assume that's sake. I can't explain this taste. I wanna say it tastes like your basement smells but it's not quite like that. A little different. Totally new to me.

M= Super dry finish. Light beer for a Strong ale.

D= I'm not too sure what category this beer would fit into. American Strong Ale is a catch all but I don't think this fits into that category. Decent brew but nothing spectacular. I wish I had more sake cask beers to stack up against this.

06-14-2010 21:44:35 | More by jjanega08
Photo of DIM


3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

a: This was a clear, shiny, ruby tinted coppery color. It poured with a thick, sticky, frothy cap.

s: Srange is the first word that comes to mind. This was more appealing than the following description might lead yoy to believe. I found rubbing alcohol, oak, plastic, floral spiciness, and something cola-like.

t: Kind of bland, not what I was expecting based on the smell. The rubbing alcohol is pretty strong, in fact it was the dominant flavor. There was some muted spiciness and something medicinal.

m: Medium bodied with very active, foamy carbonation.

d: I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was excited to try something so exotic sounding. I was let down though, this just wasn't for me.

06-04-2010 15:54:12 | More by DIM
Photo of speter

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%

A: Explosive pour (yes, I'm crying over spilled beer) a cloudy dark amber wiht a huge tan head that slowly dies to a ring around the edge with lacing overall.

S: The sake is very present in the nose, as is roasted malt and belgian-type yeast smell. Japanese Belgian?

T: Unbelievably complex. It starts with a burst of malty sweetness in the front, along with spice and rice-like sake overtones. The center has a brett-like cask tannin bite to it. The finish is bracingly dry, with a lingering sake aftertaste.

M: The heavy carbonation offsets the tannins and sake sweetness. Difficult to tell if the alcohol perception was in the mouth or in the nose.

D: This was an amazing beer, but ultimately it bordered on being just a bit too complex. One serving was great, but I feel it'd be pushing it with two.

06-01-2010 23:11:47 | More by speter
Photo of alpineclimber

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Tried this beer before but was not impressed. Back for round #2.

The beer is poured from 330ml bottle. The beer is a dark brown with a two finger tan head which recedes to a tiny layer of bubbles, some lacing on the glass.

The smell consists of yeast with a sour note and some citrus.

Just like the smell you can taste the yeast with the sour, the citrus is there as well and a pleasant bitter after taste.

Mouth feel is really good with about a medium carbonation.

This is a really good beer. I am glad I gave it a second shot. I would definitely go for round #3.

05-29-2010 00:04:51 | More by alpineclimber
Photo of BARFLYB


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%

American Strong Ale eh, Uh whatever you say beer website. 12oz bottle procured in dirty jersey and poured into the snifter with Oglmcdgl.

Basketball orange with some light reddish intertwined and some golden trim towwards the side. I could use some golden trim right about now. A healthy 1/2 inch of ivory white foam lives and than dies but is brought back with da swirl. A skim of bubbles, small streaks of lace.

This smells innoculated with the funky stuff. It comes off bretty in the nose reminding me of Avery 15th when it was fresh and aged for that matter. Sake blasts off with a small amount of ginger and a light pale malt. A nice amount of yeast gives off some juicy fruit. Some light perfume, smells like a bretted saison.

I was not expecting this much flavor and it's oh so different and tasty. I've been kind of shying away from beer because I run into the same tastes for many styles, I mean how many rizzez can you have and not run into a recipe that closely resembles many others from the past. This Hitachino restores my faith. A funky saison in taste but a bit maltier with a weird seweetness. The taste is not as crazy as the nose leads on. Small malt in the beginning going into a sake taste with light ginger(although I may be just thinking that) a spicy finish. A nice amount of rice and just a bit of the wood, which is great, to much wood would of killed this. Funky.

A slick and kinda oily ride when going down the hatch. The carb is there but it is minimal but kinda stingy. Just a hit of bitterness and more of a earthy hay ride with brett or funk or sake, either way works. With some swishes in the mouth the oak tannins come out just a bit more with a spicy finish.

Well I'm getting more of this stuff, this is good enough for a case purchase IMO. I cant believe I held out this long. Great stuff with great drinkability with a light alcohol level considering the barrel aging. If your into weird beer, this will be right up your alley with weird being a good thing.

05-13-2010 05:37:57 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

12 oz bottle split with the byrd. Poured into the ever so popular duvel snifter.

A- a gush from the bottle when opening. Pours a ruddy dark orange with golden edges. Nice big billowy two fingers of head with spots of lace.

S- clove studded orange peel with cinnamon and wild rice. Touches of banana bread.

T- Nice big malty sweetness,and wild rice. Wood and a bit of the sake. Spices galore, nutmeg, cloves, hints of cinnamon, cardimon. I'm getting some bretty quality is it from the cask or did they add the yeast I don't know.

M- medium body and bit more in carb. Super dry and long linger.

D- we got some very interesting stuff here. Extremely complex but very drinkable. Ill have to try some more of hitachinos offerings.

05-12-2010 01:29:26 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Drazzamatazz


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%

I had heard a rumor that this one had some funk, but I never really thought much about it, I figured it was just a strong ale in sake casks, boy was I wrong.
I'm assuming this was purposely inoculated? Or maybe it just became infected but in a very good manner.

A: Again, I was not expecting this, big time gusher. Lost at least 1/6th if not a quarter of the bottle. Very large bubbly head. Nice amber hue.

S: Definitely something going on here. I get the definite notes of a very dry sake, almost to the point of souring though like a rice wine vinegar. At the same time there was some fruit, definitely apples, present. Finishing aroma was almost like a mirin that had been spilled on some hay.

T: Lots of funk. Starts off a little sweet and sour but then an almost astringent taste is present. There seems to be some brett in this thing giving off its typical funky flavors. I was not expecting this, but I like it.

M: Very carbonated and medium full on the palate.

D: The astringency/bitterness in the funky flavor is too much to drink multiple of these. Still, very surprising and quite different from what I expected, definitely one I will revisit.

05-07-2010 22:03:24 | More by Drazzamatazz
Photo of WOTO97


3.65/5  rDev -3.2%

Based on other posts, my insane carbonation on this little guy seems par for the course. As a result, a huge frothy head sits on top a hazy, cider-like color, accompanied by some sticky lacing. Surprising barn-yard nose afronts pear and grass notes. Grape and faint citrus notes on the front and mid palate, along with some soft vanilla and very faint smokiness. Nice smooth mouthfeel despite high carbonation accompanied by a nice warming finish.

05-06-2010 19:35:21 | More by WOTO97
Photo of fropones


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%

A - Golden brown with about a finger and a half of ecru head with some nice lace.

S - Very interesting aroma. Somewhat funky, somewhat spicy. Some oak and sweetness as well.

T - Quite different. Some oak and malt in here, sweetness, and at the same time quite light and airy. Caramel, tobacco, funk, delicious. Not sure if this is inoculated with brett, but I wouldn't be surprised.

M - Light body, nice carbonation, some creaminess.

D - Drinks very nicely. Somewhat light, very enjoyable.

04-18-2010 04:07:15 | More by fropones
Photo of Rippeddisc


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

Puhi Cigar/Wine Shop, Kauai, Hawaii

A - dark amber. very sticky 3 finger head. surprising :P

S - hints of fruit, apple? cherry?

T/M - Well that's rather lovely. Starts off with some good malty sweetness and finishes impressively tart. I would be curious to taste the sake that was in the casks to see how much of the flavor was imparted. Good mouth presence with lots of lingering bitterness. Recommend a bit warmer than just out the fridge.

D - Dont see why one couldnt have a few of these. Would want it at the end as the bite could kill the pallet for later.

04-16-2010 06:11:22 | More by Rippeddisc
Photo of brendan13


3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

A - Very dark copper colour with 2cm of off white head that slowly dissipates.
S - Quite a fruity citrus aroma with some oak and spice hints. Bit of sweetish caramel malt.
T - Some fruitiness also in the taste but dominated by oak & spice flavours with some sweet caramel malt also coming through.
M - Medium bodied, suprisingly high carbonation.
D - A nice enough beer worth trying.

04-12-2010 12:06:38 | More by brendan13
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.35/5  rDev +15.4%

My disclaimer: I love Sake. Even the lowly hot Sake. And especially the unfiltered stuff,

My disclaimer, part II: I am quite fond of Nest beers.

A - Pours a deep chestnut-amber hue, very rich looking, with an off-white head that settles into random whisps and little sheets of lace.

S - The aroma is very faint, but it is of Sake and a vaguely floral element. Delicate.

T - Tastes delicious; notes of tobacco, wood, and bran, with rich nutty and floral impressions too.

M - Very light for the richness inherent. Well-carbonated, but so smooth and creamy. Great Sake aftertaste after a while.

D - Pairs exceptionally with spicy food.

04-11-2010 19:58:26 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of cwc

New York

3.73/5  rDev -1.1%

I've recently become more interested in trying stronger beers and I came across this bottle of Hitachino 8% at a shop here in Tokyo so I thought I'd give it a go.

Basically, for someone who isn't necessarily a fan of strong beers, this one was very drinkable and the taste or smell of alcohol wasn't too overwhelming.

04-10-2010 03:10:09 | More by cwc
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.58/5  rDev -5%

A little disclaimer -- I have no idea what sake tastes like. I don't think that discredits me from reviewing this, but I'll admit that maybe I don't have the full context. That said...

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep orange-ish brown (chestnut?) with three fingers of lumpy beige head. Falls to one finger but retains well. Splotches of lacing all over.

Smells of oranges & grapes. A little on the malty side, with just a hint of caramel peeking through. A little pepper, too.

Starts with sharp, dark fruit flavors & quickly turns dry. Sugary sweetness around the edge that reminds me of a lot of Belgian darks, but not defined by that at all. Ends with a decent combination of sweet, dark syrup, & bitterness like grape skins. Booze is fairly prominent for a beer on the light side of strong.

Mouthfeel is nice & full, velvety with carbonation. Dries out & makes me salivate a little.

Not bad, but I doubt I'd go for it again. Possibly if I became more familiar with sake my appreciation of it would grow. Can't say I love the interplay of sugary & dry, but definitely had something to offer.

04-09-2010 16:05:19 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of dirtylou


4.18/5  rDev +10.9%

11.2oz stubby Owl bottle - single at Star

appearance: poured into an unbranded chalice - murky amber-apricot body, light white ring

smell: interesting nose - very woody, especially oak and cedar, nice tartness, funky, vanilla

taste: Very interesting beer - sake notes are more distinguishable in the flavor profile...great sourness, wet cedar, oak, clove, tobacco. Difficult to describe as this is very original - tart cherry, sour melon, funky and distinct

mouthfeel: dry, high tartness

drinkability: finish makes it a little challenging, but this is a beer worth seeking out for sure

04-09-2010 02:19:10 | More by dirtylou
Photo of superdedooperboy


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%

I was tempted to serve this in choko, but decided against it, seeing as how the serving size would be so miniscule and the opacity of the ceramic drinkware would prevent me from gauging the beer's appearance. So, I settled on an egg-shaped liqueur glass instead.

Poured from an 11.2 oz. brown bottle. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish-copper hue with a thick creamy off-white head. Head retention is quite nice, falling away slowly and leaving behind a little stick on the walls of the glass before settling into a fat collar.

The nose is a little restrained. Mild notes of sour cherry and raisin appear, with just a faint bit of caramel and a little hint of spice. A little reminiscent of something like a Belgian-style Dubbel.

Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. The overall sensations on the palate once again harken to a Belgian-style ale: sweet caramel up front with a hint of candi sugar; the middle meets with peppery spice and bitter hops, with a little bit of alcohol combining with those to dry things mightily; carries on into a bit of oakiness with some caramel and dark fruit appearing around the edges and at the very back, all before finishing with a hint of caramel popping in before a heavy dryness that lingers for a while, with a little bit of sake-like character showing through in the aftertaste.

Not very drinkable overall, with the flavors seeming all a little out of balance. I was hoping for a bit more sake character, but being aged in casks that held distilled sake, that could explain things a little. Still, a pleasantry if only a once-in-a-lifetime quaff. The concept of aging in sake casks sounds interesting, though, and I'd certainly like to see some brewers (Japanese or otherwise) take up the practice, perhaps with lighter base beers that will allow the character to show through better. Some interesting brews would undoubtedly result.

04-03-2010 03:33:10 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of weatherdog


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Served on tap in a 13oz Hitachino stubby tulip shaped pint glass at Bavarian Lodge in Lisle Il

It pours a lively reddish brown with a 2 finger head. The beer was pretty cloudy and lots carbonation bubbles were surfacing.

The aroma was pretty muted for what I would expect from the description. It had some wood and cherry type fruit notes mixed in with some nice Brett funk.

The taste was nice and tart with some fruit notes. It reminded me of a flanders style beer at first. Some wood came through as well. I'm sad to say that I've never partook in drinking sake so I cannot report on any influence in this beer. Overall it had a decent funky brett flavor profile but everything seemed muddled and sloppy. The carbonation was on the high side and became distracting forcing me to take smaller sips in order to savor the beer properly. An interesting beer for sure and glad to find it on tap.

03-26-2010 17:17:32 | More by weatherdog
Photo of BeerNemesis

New York

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%

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!

03-20-2010 20:15:36 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of ADZA


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%

Im starting to really appreciate this brewery after their first few brews that i tasted as they have definately been different and tasty whcih is a good thing in my books anyways this brew pours a deep mahohany hue with nice carbonation that leaves a one finger creamy,cloudy head and a subtle ring of lacing which clings to the glass after every sip,the aroma is sweet but not with toffee,caramel notes first up followed by an underlying piney hop aroma,it has a full mouthfeel almost like a fine whiskey with carbonation and has tastes of cherries,toffee,caramel and finishes with a citrus,bitter piney finish and suprisingly the 8% ABV is very well hidden,overall not bad and will buy again.

03-19-2010 12:42:30 | More by ADZA
Photo of Mora2000


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%

Thanks to Travita for sharing this beer.

The beer pours an orangish-amber color with a tan head. The aroma is basic caramel malt with some fruit and yeast. The flavor is completely different, with brett funk, citrus fruit and a good amount of tartness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

03-05-2010 22:29:39 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zoso1967


3.48/5  rDev -7.7%

Served orangish amber with tons of head and carbonation. According to the bartender at Monk's, I had one of the first pints off the keg, so not sure if that was the reason for the crazy carbonation or what. Whatever the reason I ended up getting more beer as she topped it off when I was half done. Hooray! This beer had a definite cedar smell. Aroma was a of brett funkiness and then plenty of wood, no doubt from the sake barrels. Taste is very earthy with more wood. It is initially sweet, but with a sour bite in the finish. Some caramel notes but it seems like this is one of those beers that is dominated by the aging vessel. The alcoholic strength is definitely well hidden and integrated. I found this beer to be on the heavier side of medium, but with a surprising smoothness that gave way to a slightly sticky finish. A tasty and interesting beer, but not terribly drinkable. To be honest I had also hoped it would be weirder.

02-21-2010 01:39:04 | More by zoso1967
Photo of VWBuggirl

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

This has a cloudy dark amber color. There was very little foam, but the foam that was present was thick and off white.

It has a sweeter smell to it that I enjoy. I get a little bit of toffee and coffee in the smell with a hint of citrus.

The taste reminds me of their Celebration Ale, but not as sweet and a little dryer. I get more citrus in the taste.

Definitely enjoyable and I will have it again.

02-20-2010 08:38:17 | More by VWBuggirl
Photo of woodychandler


4.18/5  rDev +10.9%

I was curious (yellow or blue) to try this when I saw it on a store's shelf recently and today being New Beer Sunday's anniversary, I decided to open up my bottle.

Shazam! It could not wait to get out, like my neighbor's dog or a genie and began foaming up through the neck even before I finished popping the cap. Wow, was the nose fun-kay! Brett? Definitely something wild going on there. I did an emergency pour to keep from losing any and it resulted in two-plus fingers' worth of rocky, ecru head that slowly fell away, leaving some beautiful lacing in its wake. Color was a cloudy orangish-amber and I could even see some floaties which may have been stirred up by my anxious pour. I still have half-a-bottle, so I may allow it to settle and gently decant the remainder. Leaning into the glass, it definitely had some tart brett-like smell going on. My mouth actually puckered briefly. Mouthfeel was big, full, and zipping with CO2 bubbles. It tasted not gueuze-like, as the nose seemed to suggest, but more sour fruit-like. I tasted cherry, oak wood, and lemon tart. Wow, what a way to begin a Sunday! Finish was tart up front but the oakiness lingered after the finish. I was glad that my curiosity paid off, but one was plenty for me.

02-14-2010 17:06:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.58/5  rDev -5%

Pours a nice, slightly hazy golden amber with a decent, fine-bubbled off-white head. Aroma is yeasty and malty with just a hint of fruit, not anything special but still appetizing. Flavor has a strong alcohol bite, perhaps a result of maturing in sake barrels. Otherwise it is fairly malty, a little fruity, a little yeasty and slightly sweet. Texture is smooth, edgy and quite lively.

02-08-2010 01:24:39 | More by Cyberkedi
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.