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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

595 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 595
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: 595 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of JamesS
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle from BA JKrout.
Pours a nice dark copper color with huge amounts of foamy head, and a bit of nice lacing. Very strong cask aroma, huge overtones of sweet sake and sweet malt make for a very sweet scent. Interesting flavor, very sweet with a slight tinge of alcohol from the cask; noticable malt and hop characteristics, well blended to the point of not making much out over the sake. Goes down fine, except for a slight burn on the tongue and alcohol kick. Huge sake aftertaste as well.

JamesS, May 27, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks wonderful. The color very much evokes a barleywine, with a burnt/candy-apple red. The super-frothy and creamy thick head leaves lots of lace as it diminishes. The head remains firm and full for a long while. XH screams: "Taste me, I'm great!"

Aroma is intense and unusual. The Sake casks very much influence what's happening in the nose. It's got a raw, earthy vibe, somewhere between a Berliner Weissbier and a Gueuze. A very Belgian yeast funk, a la sweaty socks and horse blanket, works its way in, as does a citrus-rind character. Even the sickly sweetness of cotton candy is detected, minus the sickly.

Oh darn. XH is definitely not as good as it looks and smells. Where the sake element merely adds to the aroma, in the flavor it overtakes and overwhelms. There is still a stinky/farmhouse yeast character coming through (think gueuze) and a tartness like grapefruit rind, but mostly it's a shrieking power-fermented sake madness that I come away with. I can't even detect the wood of the casks--the sake must have embedded itself so fully into the wood that it overtakes the casks, and it does the same with this beer. With warming, exotic spicing swirls around the tongue and tempts interpretations that cannot be nailed down. Unique as hell, and it grew on me in time, although I never reached a point of loving it (as I thought I might from the appearance and smell).

A bit too over-carbonated, which doesn't match the personality of the flavor. A creamier texture would've helped out a bit, although the body is medium and dances on the tongue with a grace that seems fitting. And it's not a stinging carbonation, just way too up-front in its almost champagne-like bubbliness.

XH is not that bad, but you have to love sake to love this beer. And I don't love sake, so there you go. Aw hell, I couldn't come to a conclusion as to whether I liked it or not, but I do know I like elements of it, and I greatly respect its complexity. Most definitely worth a shot, as there's no other beer like it on the planet, to my knowledge.

Metalmonk, May 26, 2009
Photo of checkfeet
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely copper with tight carbonation that quickly dissipates. Leaves a lovely orange peel colored head.

The nose is pineappley, with some floral notes. A little citrus and sweet malt in the background.

Taste is big and full, with the chewiness of the crystal malts giving way to the alcohol, which settles on the back of the tongue. Nice, hoppy bitterness pulls it together.

Probably only one bottle per sitting for this strong, but really well crafted beer.

checkfeet, May 26, 2009
Photo of joe1510
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33cl Stubby
Whole Foods

This has been in the cellar for about a year and in the fridge for 3-4 months. This bottle was a slow gusher; I had plenty of time to grab a glass before it overflowed. This strange concoction sports a ruby body and a good amount of haziness. I was a little careless on the pour and small yeasties ended up in the bottom of my glass. The dirty white head thickens to one finger in height but falls back to a thick collar. Drink lines get left behind after each drink.

The nose is very fruity and Belgian-esque. The yeast used sends off a musty note along the lines of damp cellar; cobwebs and all. Plum and plump raisins lay down a dark, fruity base and a touch of barley jumps up as well. There's some caramel sweetness here and there but the fruitiness takes the lead. There is a definite barnyard presence that I didn't expect at all. Interesting.

The flavor takes on a different role. The funkiness isn't near as noticeable on the tongue but the fruit explodes in a musty sort of way. Raisins and plum this time in that order. Caramel sweetness jumps in mid palate and lingers long into the finish. The sake is noticeable toward the finish and undefined spiciness weaves through the body. This is a unique brew and one to sip to catch the complexities.

The body has a medium feel with a slight slickness up front that quickly vanishes when the tongue sapping dryness comes along. The carbonation feels a bit spritzy mid-palate but again, that disappears quickly with the astringent dryness.

Drinkability suffers slightly from the dryness and robust, unique flavors. The 33cl offering is just enough for one sitting and it's taking me awhile to finish the glass but it's enjoyable as I sip. This one starts to drag on as I get to the bottom of the glass.

XH is one crazy unique brew from Hitachino. This is obviously my first sake aged beer and it made a good impression. I'd recommend this to friends. Pick it up if you see it around people, it's worth a try.

joe1510, May 23, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2009
This foams up slowly as soon as I pop the cap. A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a dense, two-finger thick, amber tinged, light tan colored head. As the head slowly subsides it leaves some nice lacing patterns on the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, plum color that shows an almost opaque, golden cherry-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite interesting, not at all what I expected, even given that I didn't know what to expect. The nose has a light tartness to it, a ripe fruitiness that reminds me a bit of a desert wine and some definite plum; there is an earthy maltiness that is something like raisins, perhaps a touch of musty damp cellar like notes and, as I dig deeper, a bright cinnamon note that mixes with the rich fruity aromatics. There seems a back note to the spiciness that reminds me a bit of cedar somehow, though this is quite subtle and difficult to grasp at times.

The taste has a certain sweetness to it, but really is more rich and complex than simply sweet. The body is fairly full, and is viscous enough to weigh down what would otherwise be a very effervescent level of carbonation. The finish has a touch of astringency to it as well as a distinct, though soft, note that definitely reminds me of the after-taste of sake. This has flavors from the sake that remind me of a flint-like, white wine, and when combined with some of the other sweet fruity notes from the beer can remind me of raisins at times. The finish has a note of brown sugar, as well as a touch of rum that lingers. Cedar like flavors add a spiciness to this beer that is a mix of pepper, ginger, allspice and cinnamon, though not really any of these things exactly.

When I come back to the nose I get a much stronger presence of cedar, though it is still fairly soft; I really wonder where this is coming from, is a traditional Sake cask made of cedar? A quick google search shows that this is indeed the wood that is traditionally used for Sake and could explain its flavor presence in this beer. Some further research though suggests that this was aged in oak barrels. Either way there is an interesting wood-influenced character to this beer that is a bit different from anything I have experienced before in beer.

This is a very interesting beer, the sake cask aging definitely adds a distinct, interesting signature to this beer. The base beer easily stands up to this though, and the two combine to form a pretty well integrated, interesting whole that is likely greater than the just the sum of the two spirits.

Gueuzedude, May 03, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes at Catskeller's Internationally Inspired Beer Tasting: Thanks Adam and Brandon!

Pours a brownish color with a red hue center. Some beige head here.
Smells of dark rind, malt and alcohol.'
Very complex taste, which is why I rate it ok. The sake taste is a little too bitey for me. The after taste is weird and I don't personally enjoy it, but it is a nice finish.
Again, I wouldn't say it's drinkable. Had a rough time getting down the 4 oz. pour I had.
I definitely think that sake barrel aging is cool though.

ThaBobfather, May 01, 2009
Photo of degerbah
2/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Had a sampling of this at Catskellar at a tasting hosted Brandon from Cavalier.

Poured slightly heady with a very cloudly light brown color. The smell is not good at all. liquor with yeast. Reading other reviews that claim to get oak flavors, I'm getting nothing like that. The closest example I have of this is when I tried to drink a room temperature brooklyn monster ale. Has way more of an alcohol taste than I prefer, likely as a result of the sake casks. All I have to say is that for most beers, tasting of rice and liquor isn't a ringing endorsement. I'll take a scotch or bourbon aged beer anyday. Sake casks are a mistake.

degerbah, May 01, 2009
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

belgbeerdrinker, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of weazal
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

weazal, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of prototypic
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

prototypic, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of bluejacket74
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

bluejacket74, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Fatduck
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Fatduck, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

cvstrickland, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

endincolorado, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of knightred
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.


knightred, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of DarthClayder
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

DarthClayder, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Overlord
2.28/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Overlord, Feb 14, 2009
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 595 ratings.