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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 belgbeerdrinker


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

a: copper/amber color, some bubbles evident, bubbly lacing remains
s: highly tart with slight alcohol hints
t: acidic to start with tart fruits in the middle and finish
m: medium body with plenty of carbonation
d: interesting and easily approachable beer i'd like to try again

04-27-2009 01:58:03 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of weazal


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%

S: Bright, super sweet, and funky sour. I get mostly funky yeast backed by a fruitiness and all tempered by sake's mellowness.

T: Tastes like it smells. Dominated by warm, dry, funky flavor that is accentuated by tongue-tingling carbonation. Sweetness does work its way out, which is good. There's a juicy fruitness that really pulls out at the end, too.

A bit strange with the funkiness, but an interesting experience.

04-23-2009 06:33:55 | More by weazal
Photo of prototypic


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Chock full of haze and amber in color with a red/orange hue. Carbonation is very active and produces a vanilla colored head that easily stands three fingers tall. This is a really nice looking beer. Much more impressive than anticipated.

The nose is intriguing. It features the strongest wood or oak aroma that I've ever encountered in a beer. It's so strong that it's...kind of weird. Nice, but not excellent. Once you get past that, it features some very nice spicy notes. Clove is prominent, but there's a little pepper and other varieties I can't identify. It's a little malty and sweet smelling. Alcohol goes unnoticed. It's slightly yeasty on the tail. Nice smelling beer overall.

The flavor profile is better, but not enough to warrant a bump in score. Where in the hell is the tenths button on here? Once again, oak is very strong in flavor, but it doesn't come across as weird here. It adds a lot of flavor and a ton of charcter. Clove, pepper, and other spices ramp up the flavor a great deal and play very nicely with the strong oak flavor. There's some light fruit flavors and a slight musky, earthy element. Alcohol is lightly noticeable, but doesn't offend. A little yeast and biscuit-like flavors creep in on the finish. It has a nice flavor and it's tempting to award the next highest score, but I just can't do it. It's not quite that good.

The body is a little too light and a little too carbonated. It's not smooth and carbonation is distracting. It goes down easy and is far from bad, but could be better here. Drinkability is good. I like it, but the intense wood-like flavor limits it a little.

Hitachino Nest XH is surprisingly good beer. A little odd, but I like it. The strong oak flavor gives it a little bit of a weird flavor that keeps it from reaching the elite level, but the flavor is overall nice and well-done. Dialing down the carbonation a little would be beneficial. Other than that, it's a solid, impressive beer. Definitely recommended.

04-07-2009 02:32:24 | More by prototypic
Photo of bluejacket74


3.65/5  rDev -3.2%

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours (after a slight gushing after popping the cap) a cloudy orange/copper color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention is good, lacing is decent. It smells like sour/tart fruit along with some brown sugar, funk and oak. However, the taste isn't sour at all which is a bit disappointing. It tastes like grain, fruit, yeast, brown sugar and some oak. Mouthfeel/body is medium with high carbonation. Drinkability is decent, but it has a bit too much carbonation for my liking. I think it's a decent enough brew, but it's something I wouldn't pick up very often. With that being said, it's definitely worth a try.

04-04-2009 00:25:47 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Fatduck


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a deep copper, lots of haze. Big rocky head that just wont fade.

Smells like cascade hops, some more American citrus hops...

Nice big malt backbone, some good hops, american types not sure what, but its got a fruity taste to it, a little drier than I had expected, but overall very good.

Mouth is a little thin and dry, some definite woodiness going on. This one would be better on a hot afternoon I think.

03-29-2009 18:07:50 | More by Fatduck
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

A violent gusher follows the decrowning of the cellar-cool stubby, with a bit of very expensive spillage the result. The remainder is poured into a shaker pint glass, where Hitachino Nest XH is hazy and red-hearted amber in color with a huge, rocky, pale tan head. The wallop of creamy foam recedes very slowly, sticking fluffy 3-D blobs of lacing onto the sides of the tumbler.

The aroma is dry and woody with floral, liquory sake and hint of wild ale funkiness. An unidentified aromatic spice works well with a smoky malt note that darkens the profile just a bit. A cereally, starchy, watered-down caramel note lingers in the background, providing a touch more depth and sweetness.

The taste is softly malty with notes of toasted white bread, dilute caramel and a palpable alcohol presence that manifests itself first as vanilla, then as fermenting apple laced with a twist of the tart, lightly astringent flavor of wild cherry. The booze provides aromatic, palate cleansing effect that leaves the finish dry, mildly bitter, but otherwise quite neutral. A bit of warming in the belly acknowledges the potency of the drink, and a growing note of minerally steeliness marks its passing.

The drink is fullish in body, smooth, rich, and creamy, with a sizzle of fine carbonation that helps keep it light and pretty drinkable.

03-14-2009 18:35:26 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of endincolorado


3.08/5  rDev -18.3%

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.

03-12-2009 23:26:31 | More by endincolorado
Photo of knightred


3.15/5  rDev -16.4%

11 Oz bottle poured into a goblet.

appearance: It has a nice looking head. There's a fair amount of carbonation that quickly escaped. Thick lacing coating the sides of the glass. I sat the bottle down for about ten minutes to settle the sediment and I poured very carefully, but there was a lot of sediment floating throughout the beer. Sediment probably causes the reinforcement of the head as the glass is tipped to drink.

smell: It smells nicely of burnt oak with a sweet sake scent behind it.

taste: It has no taste of alcohol, malt or hops. There's a slight hint of fruit, maybe cherry. The oak is tasteable as well. It has an unpleasant after taste and the carbonation has a slight chance of kick the acrid smell of poor rice wine into the nasal cavity as it's going down your throat.

mouthfeel: It has a lightness to it as if it's just foamy head. The carbonation prickles the tongue pleasantly. Some grittiness from the sediment.

drinkability: One was enough. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't recommend it. I bought it simply for the little owl guy on the bottle cap and it seemed the most interesting of the brewery's offering at the store.


03-04-2009 05:22:46 | More by knightred
Photo of DarthClayder


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%

Looks beautiful, huge lingering white head, lovely amber color, bottle conditioned.

Smells completely like a sour ale which I wasn't expecting.

Tastes slightly sour, enough to be pleasant to someone who isn't entirely fond of such a style, definitely get the rice and the smooth sake-like mouthfeel, well hidden alcohol, very little oak if any, very light on the typical beer (barley & hop) flavors. Final thoughts are, sour and smooth and somehow well balanced on the atypical qualities it does have.

02-25-2009 06:50:58 | More by DarthClayder
Photo of Overlord


2.28/5  rDev -39.5%

Why is it that when a beer store proprietor who I'm unfamiliar with recommends a beer I've never heard of, it's almost always awful? It's like they're trying to clear their shelves of unmoveable product.

I'm looking at these 4+ reviews, and I'm baffled. Oh well.

Pours a dark, bubbling brown. Actually looks pretty decent. Smells like ... what the hell is that? Like a rancid rice wine (sake?) with oak. No malt or hops in the aroma. None in the flavor, either. There's a pungent, almost salty sourness, maybe a dapple of bitterness, and a definite oak componen ... and not much else. Frankly, if not for the oak, I would have drain poured it.

Completely forgettable. Even if I was desperate for a sour, I'd avoid this.

02-14-2009 08:57:58 | More by Overlord
Photo of SShelly


4.08/5  rDev +8.2%

The hills are alive with giant mountains of white foam.

cloudy,cloudy coppery gold color with a mountain of white effervescence on top. Fruity aroma with a little bit of a bite to it.

The flavor has a nice malty profile with a nice medium bitter quality, There is also a little bit of funk to this beer, the cask aging maybe?

Overall, interesting is a good description, leaves a vague bitter/sourness on the pallet, as with most hitachino it leaves me needing to buy another bottle and try it again.

02-14-2009 01:37:04 | More by SShelly
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4.38/5  rDev +16.2%

Had at vintage and rare beer tasting at the Funky Buddha Lounge.

Pours a deep copper/brown color. With a large head.

Smell is very spicy sweet, a bit woody.

Taste is again sweet and spicy. Hint of apple in there as well. Malty and delicious.

Overall, a fantastic beer. Very familiar yet unique if that makes any sense. One of my favorites from the tasting.

02-10-2009 20:04:31 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of brushtachio


3.78/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a dark, murky, rusty, orange with a thin creamy off-white head and quite a bit of dark sediment. The smell is a bit one dimensional. Brett.

Taste is much more interesting. Tart cherries that fall short of what I would call sour. Funky horse blanket. Little bready yeast. What I don't taste is any hint of sake. The description on BA says it's aged in shouchou casks. The bottle says sake casks. The two are very different things. I love good shouchou and do pick up a slight bite that hints at shouchou.

I would find this very drinkable if it wasn't so damn expensive (4.75 for a 12 oz bottle)

02-10-2009 01:04:59 | More by brushtachio
Photo of SeanRedd

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Its alive!...A spooky beer. Thick retaining head; the yeast topping off the pillow is amber brown, creating lil Mars mountains. Dark, blood orange body with microscopic carbonation cutting through the cloud. Smells like horseshoe, with the horse's foot still nailed to it. The acidity cuts through the senses. Complex on the taste; an array of flavors, hitting note after note. Dark cherry, plum, raisin, sharp tangy tangerine, bitter funky orange. Tastes much better after it breathes. Streaky lacing and a trip to the petting zoo, what more could I ask for?

02-07-2009 04:48:05 | More by SeanRedd
Photo of Richardberg

New York

3.2/5  rDev -15.1%

A: poured from a small bottle into a white wine glass. Copper color with minimal head & a bit of sediment.

S: light perfume of hops and jasmine

T: somewhat bitter, lingering aftertaste. can tell there's extra complexity in the background but I'm not sure it's particularly tasty. previous experiences with better barrel-aged varieties were better.

M: moderate to thin body. less malty and yeasty than I expected from the appearance and the style.

D: Goes down pretty easy; hard part is mustering the desire for any more. ABV actually feels stronger than 7%. Not a bad beer, but not at all worth the price either. Sake aging was worth a try, just not a repeat (from me anyway).

02-06-2009 02:02:05 | More by Richardberg
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

Saw it was matured in sake casks and I had to try it.

Appearance: pours a light brown with a redish tint. No real head or lacing in my glass. Looks great.

Smell: smells of some funky bret and tart cherries. Some citrusy (spelling?) Smells pretty good.

Taste: some bret funkyness and tart cherries. There is some sourness for sure. Taste is ok. Wish there was a little more maltiness. The sourness is not as pleasent as I wish.

Mouthfeel: a little thin. Wish it was a little maltier to bring up the thickness on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I might buy it again sometime but wouldn't drink it often.

02-04-2009 23:01:26 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of mdm46410


4.13/5  rDev +9.5%

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle and served in a tulip. This beer poured a dark, glowing orange/amber with a solid haze and a thick head of foamy, light tan bubbles. Excellent retention and lacing. The aroma included crisp fresh citrus, sour cherries, lightly toasted oak, and a moderate amount of funkiness. Very inviting. The flavor didn't quite pop like the aroma, but it was still very nice. Notes of subdued caramel, citrus, sour pited fruits, followed up by an unexpectedly hoppy finish. Slightly woody and quite dry. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and had crisp, assertive carbonation. This was a pleasent surprise. Very enjoyable.

01-29-2009 03:27:33 | More by mdm46410
Photo of abfraser


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Opens like a gusher. Be sure to have a glass handy. Some floaties detract from what is otherwise a fantastic looking beer. Beautiful dark amber, reddish-orange with a big dense head.

S: Pineapple and tropical fruit, definitely sugary, nice caramel malt aromas. Smells pretty tasty. I have no idea what aromas a sake cask imparts but nothing smells incredibly different here.

T/M: Much lighter bodied than I was expecting given its appearance and aromas. Great carbonation levels keep this one tasting nice and light. The flavor profile is malty with a lingering bitterness. Not a lot of fruit that was on the nose, but it's still there slightly.

D: Pretty drinkable.

01-16-2009 02:23:56 | More by abfraser
Photo of paco1029384756


3.43/5  rDev -9%

Pours a cloudy brown color with one finger of white head.

Scent of sugars, fruit and vinegar. Nothing really impressive, but it is good, and different.

Taste is grainy with some sugars, yeast, and some fruitiness. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but it was kind of nice to try something different.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bite form the carbonation.

12-21-2008 01:17:15 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of glid02


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Picked this up at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta. I've seen Hitachino around for a while but for one reason or another this is the first one I've picked up.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a very foamy two-finger off-white head. The head sticks around for the life of the beer, finally settling into a thin pancake on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

I really didn't know what to expect here, but I liked what I smelled. A slightly tart aroma joins light fruits - citrus and cherries, and there's also a very slight hint of vanilla.

Tastes good. Tart fruits with a kind of grainy sweetness that's very unique. This flavor sticks around after the sip is gone. There's also a mild earthy hint which I assume is imparted by the barrels.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness and good carbonation join a slickness to make this one go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. It's very unique, and the flavors work well together. I could have one more of these, but that might be it.

Overall this was a good introduction to this brewery. This beer is very interesting, and I'm looking forward to delving further into their lineup. Try this one if you see it around.

12-19-2008 02:56:33 | More by glid02
Photo of thryn


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%

This beer is liquid in the bottle, but turns to foam when poured gently into a goblet. Whoa, calm down there, Mr. Beer! Eventually setttles to a cloudy brown with cream-colored foam on top.

Aroma is pungent, a bit piney, maybe? raisiny, with prominent alcohol.

I can't quite break this down, but let me tell you it is DELICIOUS. I get piney hops on the palate, and some raisiny sweetness, and bready notes. Sourness, which I love. A dry finish. I drink sake and wouldn't really say that this tastes of sake, but I don't know what exactly it is that I'm picking up on. This beer is really hard to pick apart, but I am very much enjoying it.

Mouthfeel is optimal. Good weight, enough carbonation to keep it buoyant.

Drinkability's medium. It's a sipper for sure. But I wouldn't turn down another ...

12-02-2008 06:55:28 | More by thryn
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%

I've always liked this brewer's beers partly because so many of them are so unusual and well made. This is no exception, at least as far as interesting goes. The one problem I have with this beer is that it was a gusher upon opening and had a slight sourness to it as well. Now, this is often the sign of an infection, but in this case I'm just not sure. This beer was aged in Shochu casks after all, and I think that the beer picked up some bugs from the cask instead, and in this case it isn't a bad thing- the taste is mild and goes with the overall flavor, so I'll assume the best. After the gushing this beer pours a hazy orange with some suspended sediment and a nice head that settles to a finely beaded thin cap. Smells a bit sour with cedar notes and some plummy fruitiness. The taste is complex with some of that sourness up front, then some of that same fruitiness, and a long, funky cedary flavor. Definitely a bit phenolic. Long, spicy mouthfeel with a bit of phenolic tang in the mouth. It's interesting, but a bit hard to drink. I keep wondering if this is intentional or not.

11-22-2008 22:58:48 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +6.1%

I'm reminde of the reeses commercials of yesterday - you got chocolate in my peanut butter.... you got sake in my old ale.

A - slightly hazy golden brown colored brew with a nice off white head.
S - vinous caramel old ale and a white wine and oak note.
T - oak, sake, caramel, toffee, oak, white wine notes.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, residual oak and wine notes
D - a sipper, but a fascinating sipper with multiple levels of wow that was tasty!

first from this brewery for me. My brother is a big fan of their and if this is any indication I need to try some more of their offerings.

11-17-2008 02:10:21 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +18%

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a foamy beige head that maintains a multi-finger retention a leaves a few splashes of lace

Smell: Rice pudding, vanilla, sarsaparilla and a bit of booziness

Taste: Oak, caramel and tart green apples up front, with a developing rice pudding and rum flavor by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is an interesting fruity flavor (lychee) that adds complexity, with the rice pudding and oaky flavors returning only to be dominated by a rather sour after-taste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Definitely one of the more interesting beers I have tried, with a flavor profile that is all over the palate; a little more carbonation would be a plus but this is an otherwise extraordinary beer

11-15-2008 00:22:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of Drew966


3.58/5  rDev -5%

Hitachino Nest XH (Matured in Shocyu Sake Casks) pours a hazy dark orange-brown color with a tan head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is interesting, a bit of clove, some funk, some wood. The mouthfeel is on the thin side. The flavor is, well, different. Wood strikes me first, a good dose of funk comes next and there is a bit of caramel mixed in too. Unique and interesting. It didn't blow me away, but it's quite decent.

11-07-2008 00:22:12 | More by Drew966
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.