Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto)Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto)

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 07-01-2002

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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 374
Photo of GRG1313
1.83/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Hitochino Nest - 21oz format

Pour a thin black/brown with a thin tan head.

Nose is light plum with hints of light black coffee. Pleasant plum character.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with little character.

Flavors are watered plum sugared black tea with a hint of citrus. Flavor are weak and watered and with little character. This one has a "sour" character but it's not a bad bottle; it seems to be part of the "sweet/lacto" profile.

Finish is a watery plum soda character.

No need to try again. More soda pop character than beer. Little to define it as stout, other than perhaps the color which is giving it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.82/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottled 5/2012. 4% ABV per the label.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with roasted malt, cocoa, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with sour roast, cocoa, char, metallic, and funk flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty horrible beer with sour and funky characteristics in both the smell and taste that basically make this one undrinkable.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours out as traditional black colored brew with a thin tan head on it that faded quickly. The smell was a little funky but had some decent smokey roasted aromas going on in there. The taste of this was sweet and roasted upfront that went into a subtle nuttiness in the end. The mouthfeel was ok, could have been creamier. This was an average stout at best.

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Photo of metter98
3.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin and dense tan head that quickly died down, leaving a bit of wispy lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of chocolate malts and lactose are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of lactose along with notes of chocolate and dark roasted malts. It has a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Some hints of smoothness are noticeable.
O: This beer was easy to drink but could use a fuller body and stronger flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love this brewery, taunting owl and all. I think it's because they make far better beer than anyone expects comming out of Japan. This Lacto-Sweet Stout is very good for it's style, but the style is a bit whacked. There are lots of sweet malts, roasted grain, creaminess and smoothness rising out of this beer. However, the lactose sugars are very strong, making the beer overly sweet and a little oily. I often get a grape Kool-Aid flavor from milk stouts when over done. The carbonation seems to make the beer prickly and too efforvescent on the toung, distracting from the creamy, smooth texture. But, an easy drinking stout regardless.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.94/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml stubby bottle, with the usual hypno-owl staring straight out from the label, right into my soul. Made with lactose, and coming in pretty low on the ol' booze-o-meter, eh?

This beer pours a solid black, with the barest of basal amber edges, and one zaftig finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves a low ring of Swiss cheese lace around the glass in its hasty departure.

It smells of faintly roasted caramel malt, prominent sour milk notes, and some bittersweet cocoa powder. The taste is medium chocolate, day-old coffee, bready caramel malt, a hint of gritty brown sugar, and a thankfully toned-down version of that spoiled milk essence.

The carbonation is quite tame in its meek as the day is long frothiness, the body on the light side of middleweight, and kind of thin, yet still coming up smooth and creamy - huh. It finishes off-dry, and rather plainly, with that tainted milk chocolate thing lingering on.

Overall, after first whiff, I was obviously expecting the worst. However, the sourness, presumably from the lactose, eventually settles the hell down, for the most part. What remains is indeed sweet and milky, but without a whole lot else in terms of actual flavour. Not exactly worth seeking out, I'm afraid.

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Photo of emerge077
3.31/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle sampled at cellar temperature. It pours a dark mahogany with fizzy cola-like carbonation that very quickly disappears. Looks more like an aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Smell is not worth mentioning, metallic and sort of off-putting. No roastiness, which comes as a surprise.

Taste is unusual, much more like a Belgian Dark with some dark fruit and vague nuttiness going on. Lactic quality suggests an Oud Bruin, but that link is far from solid. Very thin and bland after crossing the palate, however there's a nice roasty aftertaste that redeems it.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout has more in common with dark Belgians such as Vondel, Troubadour Obscura, and De Dolle Export Stout. However it's balance and drinkability fall below these examples. It's unique as others have said, but not especially palatable. Worth a try if you're comparing oddball Stouts.

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Photo of zeff80
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, off-white head of sudsy foam. It receded to leave soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled somewhat of chocolate and floral hops. Both aromas were mild at best.

T - Taste was mostly milk chocolate with some grassy hops. Neither flavor was great or strong.

M - It was fairly crisp and smooth. A light bodied ale.

O - Looked pretty good but failed to deliver on anything else.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost completely opaque black with minimal hazy brown highlights at the rim. A short but creamy dark tan head soon drops to a collar. It does, howwever, last throughout the glass. The nose is somewhat limited but offers a thin roastiness and a mildly tart fruitiness. The body is light with a very fine and mild carbonation (from bottle conditioning) that's silky smooth and lightly creamy in the mouth. The flavor is quite intriguing, and not at all what's normally expected of a sweet stout. It starts lightly fruity - turning gently tart - and warms to reveal some dark toffee and baker's chocolate followed by the promised sweetness before finishing with a lightly dry and mildly roasty finish. It's quite unique, as are all of the Hitachino Nest beers, with an interesting twist on the style. Refreshing, fairly complex and interesting, and quite enjoyable. Certainly worth trying for those who seek unusual beers!

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Photo of chinchill
3.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml stubby bottle served in a pint glass. Some dark sediment remaining in the bottom of the glass added mid-tasting.

Pours an opaque near-black with a creamy tan head. Head dies down soon but leaves a lasting ring and partial top coat.

The aroma is not as expected, being a bit weak, not particularly sweet, and with a quality suggestive of teriyaki sauce and certainly not that of a typical stout. Aroma suggests a higher ABV than 4%.

The taste too was different than expected, wither based on style or aroma. Most notably, although not bitter this "Sweet Stout" is not sweet. In fact, it has a nice hop balance that is unusual for style and suggestive of a West Coast stout. Some chocolate initially followed by some coffee and teriyaki sauce in the finish. Rating leans towards 3.5.

The mouthfeel is a little bit thin and astringent for style (detriments), as well as crisper and more lively (not a detriment IMO). Semi-dry finish.

O - an enjoyable and modestly distinctive stout that is neither heavy nor sweet.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.22/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and hints of dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts, lactose sweetness, and chocolate.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with a moderate amount of lactose sweetness. That is followed by lighter flavors of dark + milk chocolate. Light to moderate amounts of roasty bitterness lingers through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively smooth but slightly thin.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable though a touch thin in mouthfeel. Nice lactose flavors without too much associated sweetness.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.88/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a black, cola-like body with a bubbly, quickly dissipating tan head.

Smell: Weak aroma of watered down old milk. This does not bode well at all.

Taste: A very odd junction of random flavors here. Sour apples, lime juice, and a near virulent metallic taste, with a lactic acid finish suggestive of a lambic, or even spoiled Worchestershire sauce. No real malts or hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Extremely thin-bodied. Neither full or creamy and totally lacking in body. How very upsetting.

Drinkability: This one was a complete bust, unfortunately. There are far better examples of this style, and I'd wager most could be had for far cheaper than this one. If you must insist on trying this one get the smaller size.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Barely opaque (only because it's an overcast day) dark walnut with magnanimous red-amber highlights. The wheat toast brown head looks good right after the pour, but can't maintain its size or structure for long. I'm left looking at one finger of nearly featureless foam that has left the glass untouched in its hurry to depart.

Sweet Stout smells like a sweet stout, although not an especially good one. There's a modest degree of roastedness with some milk chocolate, but little else to keep my nose interested. A 'chocolate milk' sweetness is evident as well, thanks to the adjunct (lactose) that was used. No badness, just not much goodness.

The flavor is, in a word, odd. The beer is sweet, although not cloyingly so, with one of the leanest stout bodies that I've ever experienced. It's obvious that the sweetness comes from an outsider and not from the roasting of the grain. It's too artificial-tasting and seems a thing apart, completely separate from the rest of the flavor profile. There's also a sourness/acidity that is at least as prominent, if not more so, and is as annoying as the lactose.

I can also appreciate a very mild hop presence (Kent Goldings as it turns out) that I'm unable to enjoy because I find it impossible to filter out the rest of the flavor contributors. The unquestionably light mouthfeel, especially for a stout, makes a bid for medium thanks to the addition of the milk sugar.

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) is a peculiar beer to be sure. That peculiarity, rather than making it good or interesting, makes it not so good and not that interesting. The major culprit, I believe, is the addition of the lactose. It has more than enough other faults, but losing that artificial sweetness would at least clear the decks so that the malt, hops and yeast could be appreciated on their own merits.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at Goebbels in Wichita, 1st from this brewery, review based on notes

Pours chestnut with 3+ fingers of mocha head. No head retention or lacing

S: Chocolate, some coffee & roasty malt

T: Lactic acid notes, coffee, & iron up front. Roasted malt, more coffee & a hint of molasses as this warms. Finishes dry, roasty & with lactose; almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks good, a nice sweet stout, a bit pricey, paid about $5.50 for 12 ounces

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Photo of smcolw
2.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very light head for a stout without any lace whatsoever. Accurate in the color (black with a beige head).

Am I imagining this? I smell soy sauce behind the traditional stout aromas (ie. salty and fishy). OK, I've smelled it five times at this point and I'm still detecting this, so I don't think I'm crazy.

The flavor is an improvement--the saltiness is present, but muted. Not much in terms of roasted flavors. The body is very thin for the style. This is like a beginner's stout for those who are not ready for the big boys from Ireland.

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Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A shade or two from total black in colour, nice looking foamy tan lace holds to the side of the glass in the beginning.

Smells slightly astringent with a light tartness from the roasted malts … hint of dark caramel and lacto sugar also.

Crisp with a viscous smoothness from the full body and sturdy carbonation. A little tartness from the roasted malts, acrid in a way with some astringency. Some creamy sweetness from the lacto sugar in not enough to balance and the astringent roasted maltiness encroaches on the palate even more. Finishes with the residual lacto sugar sweetness and a fading roasted character.

If it was not for the addition of lacto sugar this brew would be nearly undrinkable. This is a beer to sip with a hearty meal and perhaps too full of a brew that you would want as a session style beer. Not a bad stab at the style.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.37/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It poured with a finger of deep-tan head with good retention. Nose was dank with notes of molasses, prunes, and dark chocolate. Color was a deep, dark brown with only cola highlights at the edges. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly sour dark chocolate flavor. Finish was slightly bitter, like bittersweet chocolate and coffee. For a milk/sweet stout, this was pretty sour. Oof.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.13/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep ruby brown almost opaque, with a moccha highly carbonated fizzy two fingered head, and from my pour is leaving no lace at all. The aroma is a sharp slightly acidic sweetness, this is my first time grappling with a milk or cream stout so here it goes. Underneath of the harsh sourness are light coffe tones and dark chocolate from the dark roasted barley malt. The flavor at first seems a bit offensive from the rush of acidity, but I think it's growing on me after my fourth sip a little. The light flavors in the background from the dark roasted malts are definitely overshadowed from the sourness in the flavor creating an unbalance that doesn't form a happy experience with me. Nice to try a stout from a Japan micro, but I will try the Hitachino Nest wit and wheat before I count them off as bad brewers. The overall mouthfeel is a bit thin for this lucious style of a stout, and I just can't get down with this beer on any level. Drinkability is low due to the fact that the sourness overbears the rest of the characteristics of the beer therefore ruining the pleasures this beer has to offer.

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Photo of jwc215
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown/black with a fizzy/bubbly brown head. It looked good at first glance, but it soon (loudly) fizzled to a small, shortly-lived patch. No lacing stuck.

The smell is of sour, berry-like fruitiness at first - almost vinegary. Subsequent smells reveal some chocolate - sweet, unroasted coffee, and milk. The initial aroma almost put me off completely.

The taste is sour, but with chocolate and (unroasted) coffee. Lactose certainly present. There is an acidic astringency in the finish.

Fizzy carbonation settles about mid-way through, improving it. Light-bodied, but not too watery.

It makes something of a comeback as it progresses, but has a sour undertow that doesn't help.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big 24.3 oz bottle, not tops in volume, but it just feels big in the hand.
I've only had their wheats before, so I anticipate this one eagerly...
fully opaque appearance, dark brown color, with light creeping in the edges, revealing reddish tinges,and blessed with a huge, zesty, light tan head, bubbling and popping as it chaotically collapses down to it crackle, too...oh, it's a buzzing, aural cacophony, when it set it up to your ear.
Aroma: definite shades of coca-cola, but after that creamy, cocoa, some bitter espresso notes, as well, bitter-sweet, I should say, for it's an even-tempered smell. I can detect a bit pitch and tar, a hint of mollasses and spice, but that may be a stretch.
Taste: has a heft, but feels mellow in the mouth, very cool, and not too sweet at all. Ah, but that changes further in, and the bright, fruity character that comes close to cola emerges more full on the palate. The "lacto" is detected a bit, as well, and only adds to the smoothness of the brew. Body is medium, finish is soft, and pleasant, a nice, sweet treat.
Though not my favorite style of stout by any means, this is not such a bad bottle of beer. Goes done well, and could possibly make a case for itself as a "session stout", if it weren't for the price. ($8.19's what I paid)
Still, I'm interested to see what they would do with an Imperial Stout, even an Oatmeal.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.16/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Share a bottle with my wife the other night. This beer was a HUGE disappointment. Beer is black and still, no carbonation no head no lacing, nothing. Bummer.

Aroma is a roasty, sweetness. Smells fine.

Beer is way too thin, almost no flavor, the primary flavor is ashy and dirty. There is a minimal sweetness up front but I really dislike this beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Lucifer snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Thin light brown head dissipates quickly to a ring around the glass. Mild, malty aroma with roast and biscuit malt and hints of chocolate and dry grass. Light flavor of malt, slight roasted malt, light chocolate and a hint of coffee. Light bodied. Light and attenuated flavor, which is expected from this light ABV stout. A pleasant, lightly flavored stout. I've probably moved on past this light a flavor in beer, but this seems nicely made for its intent. Closer to a light porter than a stout.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.05/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer started out fine: Good dark ruby red/black pour, nice off-brown head built up to about 2 fingers. Aroma of chocolate and coffee dominate, with prune and molasses coming up behind.
then the taste: Stale chocolate and weak coffee. The malt seems to have been stale. Coffee is weak, like a watered down version of week-old Taster's Choice. Sweetness of a milk stout is almost sour, I mean bad sour. The prune flavor is a bit funky, not a good blend.
Feels thin and inconsistent, hops tries to give a bite at the end, but doesn't. Perhaps a sour-milk porter is a better description. Drain pour. But would like to try a fresher version.

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Photo of WesWes
3.69/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a weird black malt scent that is a bit tart smelling. There may be some chocolate malts in here as well. The taste is good. It has a tangy crystal and black malt flavor that is sweet with lactose, creamy on the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This was an interesting take on a sweet stout. I liked the taste although it was a bit tangy instead of retaining a true stout -like flavor.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.94/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is heavy on the cream, with some lactose, chocolate and roasted malt mixed in. There is also a slight medicinal aroma which I am not really caring for. The flavor is more straightforward, with the basic characteristics of cream, lactose and chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) from Kiuchi Brewery
3.04 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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