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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

587 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 587
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 22
Gots: 29 | 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: 587 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SargeC
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy copper colored brew with minimal carbonation. Minimal off-white head. Some yeast floaties.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, malt alcohol and piney hops.

Taste: Tangy citrus and smoky malt, with a hint of yeast. Has an old ale quality to it and a good alcohol bite. The wood aging is apparent.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a strong ale/ barleywine consistency. Dry finish.

Drinkablity: A decent brew, but not the standout that I had hoped for.

SargeC, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into pint glass dec7 2009

A hazy as can be orange/maroon with tonnes of carbonation and a heap of suspended particles. A fast falling thumbs width of head leaves no lace

S sweet oak, well I'm not sure if it's oak but wood nonetheless and a little hops

T very unique, I pick up on a fair amount of sweetness and some mint of all things along with a little earthy spice. I also get some fruit and just a tad of booze, this one's fairly complex and I must admit I didn't know what to expect so it was a pleasant surprise when all was said and done

M very creamy from the high carbonation and thick enough to hold its own, also it was a tad bitter and I knew I drank a beer because I was tasting it well after the glass was empty

D the booze was ever so faint and I found myself taking another sip before the last sip reached my stomach. I couldn't help trying to place the flavors and before I knew it the glass was empty

yet another intriguing Japanese micro brew, I'm so stoked that there's several more hitting the shelves here in Alberta that I've yet to try. not sure why I gave Japan so little credit when it comes to craft beer cause from what I've seen so far I would say I got a lot of drinking ahead of me, quality drinking

wordemupg, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark red-brown, with a gushing full soapy head, very pillowy.

S: Strong dark caramel malt, light barrel character, woody hops.

T: Quite similar to the smell. Sweetness comes initially with toffee, treacle. Not really sure where the sake barrels are coming from though, there is a boozy/spiritious quality overall. Definite hops but straight bitterness on the back end.

M: The excess carbonation doesn't help, but once it's coaxed out it's really quite smooth and warming.

D: An interesting beer, not a must go out and buy, but worth a chance for something different.

Halcyondays, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of Travlr
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The solution to gushing bottles is to drink the beer on tap. It passes the buck to the barkeep.
Appearance was cloudy deep orange with a medium white head that stays for quite a while and leaves reasonable lacing.
Smell had an unusual mixture of peach and apricot.
Taste was sour, lots of malt. Slight bitter edge. Not sue what the sake barrels donated to the effort. Finish reminded me of Lemon Pledge.
Surprisingly good body.
An interesting idea. I haven't tried it in a bottle, but those who did might want to give it a try on tap.

Travlr, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of TheEremite
1.95/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Gushed out of the bottle and poured murkey and over carbonated. Smells of oxidized alcohols and acetic taint. On first wiff I thought it might be a wild/sour ale, but I think it was just a contaminated attempt of a cool concept. It tastes of oxidized malt, bitterness and sour contamination. The sourness really clashes with the bitterness and nothing about the beer comes off well. I like the sake flavor in there but I can't get past all the flaws. I'm bummed. I was really looking forward to this beer. I think a sake beer could be done really well, but this one is a dumper.

TheEremite, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of drpimento
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

sake sake sake. bit funky birdsnesty flavor. Poured uber extra foamy with an off white head and a load of lace. Color is medium dark amber. Aroma is heavy yeasty malty vineous. Flavor is a bit boozy, heavy on mustiness, yeast, funk, earthy, Maybe some of this is from the sake. Never had sake out of the cask, can only imagine. Big beer. Good body and great carbonation. Strong finish.

drpimento, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Major gusher alert on this one as the cap popped and foam immediately started streaming out of the bottle. The body is a hazy caramel brown which shows bright orange when held up to light. There's a massive bubbly off-white head that shows excellent retention and lacing.

The aroma is very sweet with tons of light fruits, apricots and pears especially, but there's also plenty of Belgian yeast sweetness which also brings in a hint of spices. On top of that is the big oak presence and the boozy sake aromas. Big nose on this one.

The taste is really interesting and I can definitely get the sake character which pervades the taste and leaves an especially strong aftertaste. The Belgian yeast and candi sugar form a solid backbone underneath the light sweet fruit and big oak presence, which leaves a dry finish.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and creamy but with a very dry finish from the sake and oak.

This is a very unique beer from Hitachino and one that I'm quite impressed with. It's a solid Belgian style beer with the added complexity of a sake barrel character that brings something original to the table.

gford217, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of dpnelson1978
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. (330ml) bottle into Duvel tulip.

$4.99 / ea.

S: Sweet ripe fruit with a little licorice. Very nice!

A: Medium beige with nice lacing and cover. Cloudy brown body.

T: The fruit is much more subdued than in the scent. Can definitely detect the sake cask. Ok taste, but not very nuanced.

M: Light to medium body with medium to high carbonation. Carbonation is a bit higher than I like to see in this style.

D: Well hidden -OH and light body make this pretty drinkable, but old ales aren't something I do in excess.

O: Good, but not great. Worth a try.

dpnelson1978, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Takahiro
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

Takahiro, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some sort of freshness code of X.8.8 on this 12oz bottle. This one had a delayed gushing effect, so beware. Pours a hazy copper color with a large cap of fluffy tan foam. Excellent retention and superb lacing.

Nose is absolutely huge on this beer, smells like sweet brettomyces, is it wild? I get a bit of unfiltered sweet sake on the nose, but the burnt caramel malts are the most powerful along with a berry-like fruitiness. A few earthy wood notes come out to play as well. This is a fantastic smelling beer.

Oaky barrel wood is pretty pronounced in the flavor, as well as some rotting logs from what seems to me to be brett. Burnt, crusty malts provide a nice backdrop for the heavy dose of alcohol and citric bittering hops. Tastes like a bit of the floral, tangy sake residue has found it's way into the beer along with some brown sugared figs. This is one of the most unique beers I have ever had and the first Hitichino 12 ounce bottle that I dont mind shelling out the 5 bucks for. I feel like this could age quite well and I will be picking up a couple for the cellar next time I see it.

twiggamortis420, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brownish redish... Nice head soft and white.

S: Sweet, with just a hint of hops.. Almost has the fruit profile found in some Belgians.. Almost a sticky malty sweet scent to it, almost like a barley wine.

T: Sweetish sour backed up with bitter hop taste. At the very end there is a really nice roasted wood quality and a little bite from alcohol..

M: a little sticky sweet, good carbonation, and it has a bit of a bite to it.

D: Over all I think this is a very pleasant beer. A good change of pace and a great beer to explore. There is a lot going on in this one, and it's one of a kind.

Beejay, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Poured with a generous, creamy light tan head; deep coppery-brown orange color

S - Sweetish maltiness; passion fruits; pears; pretty sweet overall, tiny whiff of booze

T - Pears; candied sugar; dry bit of woodiness; bit of a sour twang at the end

M - Medium, a little creamy, very subtle carbonation

D - Not bad, but a touch sweet and got to be a little tougher midway through

Overall, a nice and interesting brew, but this would be a rarity in terms of flavor for me in the future.

Nickls, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of SlowDownGhandi
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured reddish brown barely transparent with tons of bubbles rising to the top and a huge head of foam. Took at least a minute or two for most of the foam to come down and a lot of lacing as it descended.

S- Tons of funk! I got some sweet as well as sour and a good amount of citrus(reminded me of preserved lemons). The smell was reminiscent of farmhouse and sour ales.

T- At first sip I got a good amount of sweet and a lightly roasted flavor, maybe the malt as well as the sake casks. I got a good amount of alcohol as well. Good amount of funk and sour. The same citrus was present as well but not as prevalent. This beer lingers for quite a while so you can continue to enjoy after each sip.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Great beer, the high alcohol and beer style probably wouldn't make for a session, but I would definitely have a second! American strong does not do this beer justice.

SlowDownGhandi, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown with a moderate head, half of which stays.

Smells of sweet malt and a bit acetic--like a wild brew--with a slight wet horseblanket. Must be the yeast.

Taste is sweet roasted malt balanced nicely by a hop bitterness, and sake wine flavor from being aged in sake casks.

Mouthfeel is full with creamy carbonation. The acid really cleanses the palate, with a nice mildly bitter hop finish.

This is a nicely balanced beer, providing a unique addition to the craft beer scene. I find it a very pleasant beer, even to one who is not a keen sake drinker. I will definitely consider this in food pairings. Seems higher in alcohol than the 7 percent advertised, but maybe that is due to the association of sake and higher alcohol.

Beerenauslese, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of skrib09
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

dark brown, super cloudy, and really foamy. the head exploded into the glass.

smells really malty, a bit roasty, and woody.

taste is malt-bombed. a little sweetness, some roasty notes, and a little wood. maybe a hint of alcohol as well.

mouthfeel is fullbodied. drinkability is below average.

skrib09, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of bruachan
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

man, was this foamy. brownish reddish amberish hue. with good lacing

fusels shine brightly and i get some wild funk going on. herbal and vegetal hop aromas. funk is the winner here

sweet. dry. funky. not heavy but a cloying

this one is funky...is it supposed to be? robust and strong with roasted malt developments. ultimately hops are minimally impactful

now i must admit that my sake expertise is very limited. in fact, to refer to it as such is downright dishonest. my experience with sake was nasty and this is tasty so i suspect that there is no sake here. there is a sharpness that i am used to attributing to brett, which i suppose could have an entirely different source--sake?

bruachan, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of capra12
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed solo on 8/12/09 from notes.

Appearance: Amber with 1 finger head.

Smell: Floral hops and alcohol.

Taste: Opens piney and hop which is there throughout the sip. The middle consist of a spicy, malty and alcohol which lingers to the end which finishes rather earthy and grainy, leaving a subtle malty and hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and dry with a warming effect.

Drinkability: I would have this again but only one.

capra12, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, I have no idea what to make of this one - I just know that I'm excited to try it. What to pour it into....OK, I'll go with the Chimay goblet. Thin cap of head, reddish-amber body.

I was excited to smell this one, but I'm not sure I expected what I got. Upon catching a couple whiffs, my first thoughts were "Orval" and "Flanders Red." It has the woodsy aroma of a Flanders Red without the anticipatory pucker, and it has some of the cured leather of Orval, in my opinion - so I guess some Brettanomyces got a hold of this.

Crap, this is my kind of beer. Dry, but not completely so - there's a little sweetness that ultimately gets overwhelmed by some real medicinal hop. Leathery Brett farmhouse character pervades throughout. It really is Orval, in my opinion....albeit Orval that's been thrown into some funky sake casks. Sake casks? Who *does* that? The sake character is dormant while this beer is cold, but as it warms up, watch out - the sake is coming out to play with your palate....that rice wine taste combined with some oak-barrel tannins. Do you like wild ales, and the occasional shot of sake? If the answer is "yes" on both counts, give this one a go.

Though there isn't a ton of visible carbonation, this beer is very crisp. I'd almost prefer it be a little flatter....maybe it's my imagination, but it seems like the carbonation cleans things up quicker than I'd like.

Clearly not an everyday beer, here's another beer for sipping, contemplating, sharing. Highly flavorful, unique and strong, I can't imagine wanting another soon after throwing one down.

Patrick999, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of Nesued
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Lively head with a bit of lacing (not much) being present as the head fades. Amber/caramel in color with a bit of haze present. Carbonation is mild, which feeds the retention of a small head.

Smell - A very mild nose, with a majority of the presence being a woody presentation. A bit of a malty aroma is here as well, with a bit of a phenolic "Belgian" flair from the yeast (I'm guessing here).

Taste - Opens with a mild malt body. Sweet middle, but not overpowering, and finishes with a mild hop bite. Smooth from start to finish. What do I taste? Damn yo Hitachno, I've had three of your brews and I'm still unable to classify you! I blame the owl. Candy, tobacco (someone else said this, I'll agree, perhaps this is the sake casks come in...), even a bit of funk. Is there Brett in here??? Wow...so much complexity. A nice crisp finish as well.

Mouthfeel - I let this warm a bit before getting to the mouthfeel. Perhaps it was because I was trying to spend the time identifying the many flavors/tates. Be that as it may, I found this a very dense offering. The carbonation was an added feature and not the main contributing factor to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Classifying this as an "American Strong Ale" leaves a lot of room for variety and also HUGE competition. Think about the others in this category: Angel's Share, SA Utopia, Stone Brewing offerings. In my opinion, this is the "hidden gem" in this vast category. As mentioned above, this is my third Hitachio offering, and I have YET to be able to understand the construction of these beers. What I do know, is that they are outstanding, well-constructed and defy style classification. This one is a nice sipper, the white is a great "summer beer" with great complexity, and the "classic" is an outstanding standard by by which to measure them all. Well done all around.

Nesued, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330mL bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter.

Dark rust body with bronze highlights, and good clarity excepting the dark color and sediment. Bottle was a gusher*, but the suds I was able to capture created a cream colored head which quickly dissipates to a thin ring with a wide island in the center of the glass. Legs and lacing recede together.

Distinctive aroma that I've found in recent bottlings of Hitachino Nest white as well - a potent sour funk*. Alcohol, plum-wine, brine, orange-peel, buckwheat, and oak compete for your attention as well.

Tart and bitter like Japanese citrus, candied sweetness, and an odd yeast funk (again) on the palate followed by a long earthy finish.

Slightly thin-bodied with some astringency from the oak. An unusual brew.

*EDIT: I have since come to believe that this bottle was suffering from oxidation; however, since I've had several newly purchased bottles throughout the year from Hitachino and found all of them to have this problem to varying degrees. I've deleted my review of their witbier in the hopes of one day obtaining a fresh bottle, but I'm leaving this one up as the oxidized notes are not easily distinguished from the essential (barrel aged) character.

Be cautious when obtaining their beers in Los Angeles.

augustgarage, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

While it seems like I like this beer better than some other reviewers, it still wasnt my favorite. I've never tried a beer from this brewery before and this one finally intrigued me enough to get it. Pours a hazy amber with off-white head. Good retention and little lacing. A pretty good looking beer. Smell was very sweet and sugary, some caramel and noticable alochol. A bit of "cask" smell to it (some old wood, musty). Taste was of a caramel sweet malt with some straw and grain. A lot of "earth" tastes I thought. Not your typical bitter or citrusy hops. I thought there was defintely a saki presence in the taste though I should say I havent drank a lot of saki. The alcohol was noticeable. Mouthfeel was light, somewhat warming as it goes down...relatively crisp. Overall a good beer. I'm reviewing this around the average range because I cant really tell how much I liked it. There are certain qualities I liked, certain ones I didnt.

bunnyhustle, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a cloudy consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head and excellent lacing.

S: A lot of malt and some hops in the aroma.

T: A decent amount of malt up front, along with some hops and a hint of fruit. Not as hoppy as some wild ales you find in the U.S.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a kind of slick, oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, a drinkable beer, though it doesn't necessarily match up with the style 100%.

avalon07, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of Pencible
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This poured a hazy copper with lots of tan head. It smelled like chardonnay, lemon and tart apricot hops, and sour yeast, with a bit of oak and spices. It tasted like white wine, lemon, and apples with sour yeast and spices. It was watery with lots of carbonation, and had a tart aftertaste. Overall this was a very strange tasting beer with lots of subtle spices that I couldn't decipher. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't really a flavor that I enjoyed either. It didn't have a very good body either, and the sourness / tartness made it not really easy to drink. This was interesting to try once, but I wasn't a big fan.

Pencible, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely an interesting sipper. The main source of taste and scent in this beer is the sake, very well rounded, seemingly more alcohol present than the abv. Delicate floral notes mix well with some oak and alcohol. Initial pour is pretty, the head faded a bit too quickly. Overall, an incredibly interesting beer, worth a try without doubt. This brewery has impressed me twice thus far.

grayburn, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours light amber with a medium/small tan head.

S - Faint ripe fruits and a brownish Belgian type of yeasty smell.

T - Definitely has a starchy sugary finish that hearkens to the sake barrels.

M - Medium bodied, decent carbonation, nothing special.

HeyItsChili, Jun 10, 2009
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 587 ratings.