Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) | Kiuchi Brewery

221 Reviews
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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 Bitterbill
3.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pitch black with a 1 finger head of tan foam with plenty of sticky lacing.

It smells milky, a bit on the sweet side, not a lot of firmness to the aromas.

The taste starts off sweetish, has that Milk Stout flavour though it IS subdued because of the low abv. It finishes neutral taste wise and watery body wise.

A true session ale here but I'm not leaning towards buying a lot more and sessioning.

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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 jsh420
2.28/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

pours dark dark brown with a 2 finger tan head that fades to nothing and left no lacing on the glass

smell is sour and off putting -little dark fruit cherries chocolate

taste is bad - sour/sweet watered down milk chocolate flavors

mouthfeel is thin very little carbonation

overall this beer would have been a drain pour but at almost $5 a bottle i could not bring my self to do that

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Photo of doktorhops
3.09/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I always get über excited when I review a new beer from Japan (I even need to put the umlaut over the ‘u’ when spelling über). Why do you get so excited Doc? Because Japanese brewers almost always manage to give their brews a unique twist, and Hitachino Nest is one of the uniquest (not a word, I know, cram it) of the unique Japanese brewers. So much so that I feel like using my angry samurai voice when I say “Hitachino!”. Lacto Stouts, as you well know informed reader, are brewed with lactose, which is basically milk sugar (and unfermentable), this imparts smoothness and sweetness. I wish more brewers brewed this style, I love a good Milk Stout!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Black as the night is dark, as they say, with a nice khaki lace ring around the glass. I’m not going to lie - I’m looking forward to this. 7/10.

S: Woah, funky, roasty and toasty. Smells a touch like off milk, and the BB date on the label says: 07 2013 - better let Plonk know about that. A second whiff reveals a milk chocolate slant, but I still can’t shake away that milk funk. 4/10.

T: Sweet roasted malt with smoke notes upfront. There is undertones of chocolate as well. Finish has a miniscule amount of bitterness, just enough to counter the sweetness a touch. Aftertaste has an interesting amount of acidity (normally you would get this from the hops) that makes the tongue salivate a little. Delicate and well-rounded for a Stout. Thankfully the milk funk is just an aroma thing. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a flat carbonation, the body is decent given the 4% ABV, feels like a heavier beer. 6/10.

D: Not bad HITACHINO!* not bad at all. Whilst this doesn’t come close to beating their fantastic Red Rice Ale it is a nice quiet, slightly bashful, evening sipper. That’s it. You want more? Well, ok then - Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout Lacto is overpriced, there I said it, and if you’re looking for Doc’s favourite Milk Stout: bad news, I’m still searching for it... Though I had a superb Australian Milk Stout years, nay a decade, ago but I can’t remember who brewed it or where to get it (I’ll find you one day Milk Stout!). 7/10.

Food match: Chocolate pie, or something else chocolate related, like chocolate cats (I made that one up fool!).

*said in my angry samurai voice

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.44/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(purchased at NoLibs Foodery(?), chilled - bottle code SS.12.04 - poured into a balloon)

A: impenetrably dark brown liquid... compact foam forms, about a finger width high, then dies down, leaving a spongy-bubbly collar but no lace

S: coffee and creme, the chocolate coating for a Ho-Ho, faint smoky ash, hint of black candy licorice, hint of lactic funk... later, it takes on a wet lawn and soil note, with a drop of chocolate-coated hard caramel candy underneath... the combo of ash and acids seem to dominate, with sub-medium intensity

T: it's held up pretty decent... dark cacao and roasted barley tea up front... light-moderately tart and acidic up front as well, leaving a mellow bitter bite in the finish... not much sweetness like sugar, maybe a thin thread of it left... mildly roasty and pretty dry... hints of turning

M: sub-medium viscosity up front... attenuates out somewhat thin and flat in the finish... a little residual roast matter left, mild scraping, but, again, pretty dry

O: decent for a dry stout... can't endorse it for a sweet stout, though Kiuchi has some fringe approaches to their products... it certainly did hold up alright after 2 years, maybe not so surprising

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle marked SS.12.05 at 50 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of sour milk fading to a wet cardboard
Head large (5 cm), light brown, creamy with some rocks, mostly diminishing to a 2 mm layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of lactose with some coffee notes; sweet, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, carbonation soft

Looks OK, smells bad, tastes – meh. Worth trying once while sharing the bottle among 4-6 people; share the pain. If someone offers you one, plead lactose intolerance.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.09/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweet Stout has the black and visibly bubbly appearance of Coca-Cola, as it fizzes vigorously on the initial pour, and its head vanishes only a moment later. For the aroma, I pick up caramel and only an inkling of coffee and chocolate...Unfortunately there's what can be described as a metallic off-scent present. The taste however, is quite a bit better. It has a light, milky chocolate flavor, similar to a 'Three Musketeers' candy bar, but it comes with a slightly chalky finish. I don't really mind how it is thin, because I knew that by the ABV % and I happen to like sessionable stouts & porters. Overall though, I expected more from the Kiuchi brewery. I am going to try their Espresso Stout next, as the reviews are much more favorable. In regards to this one, reach for a Guinness instead!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.51/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown with just a hint of ruby highlight when held up to the light. There appears to be a bit of a light haze to the beer as well; head is a thin layer of tan foam which dissipates to nothing pretty quickly. Not bad color, but the head formation is pretty unfortunate.

Smell: sweet malt with a light roastiness and a pretty nice chocolate aroma. The volume could be turned up a bit, but in general the composition is nice.

Taste: light and sweet, with a chocolatey character and a hint of acidity. There's a bit of a fruitiness here, too, probably due to the sweetness. It's not particularly stout, but it is a tasty enough beer.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with a decent level of carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: tasty enough and quite drinkable at less than 4%. I might not put this at the top of my list, but for a dark, sessionable beer, this is pretty good (if a little on the sweet side).

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into tulip at hitachino tasting 2013. Deep black color with a bit of tan head. Nice roasty sweet malty aroma with a hint of chocolate. Taste is roasty sweet malt...but somewhat chalky and super dry. Its just way to dry for me but flavor is trying to make an appearance just not quite there...meh

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Photo of Amalak
2.64/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A, It has a dark brown color, with very little head and basically no lace. Only a bit of light shining through.

S. A bit of a nut scent.

T/M/O. It has a very lame stout taste. There isn't much of a taste there. It is metallic and a bit burnt. Chalky and dry. It is medium bodied, if not a bit less. It just tastes low quality and the after taste really is unappealing.

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Photo of bmwats
3.11/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Pours about 1 finger, bubbly, brown head. Settles very quickly. Very spotty lacing quickly retreats back into the brew.

S: Dark roasted malt with a very prominent sweet cream smell.

T: Char roasted malt with just a touch of unsweetened dark chocolate, and just a rumor of black licorice.

M: Really earthy, and almost mealy feeling. Kind of light and shallow. Lightly sweet aftertaste. Something of a carbonated feel.

D: You can power through this.

Atmosphere is decent. Dark hue, not much of a head, and no lacing though. Nose is roasted malt with a really strong sweetness. Charred malt, with very little else. Overall, this is an okay quaff.

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Photo of KFBR392
2.01/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Appearance: Silky pour texture. Appears very dark in the glass, on the side of a heavy brown over a pitch blackness. Thin lacing throughout. Very low carbonation.

Smell: I thought the lacto sugar added in this brew came off very abrasive. Incredibly tart and bitter, made me hesitate taking a drink. Some decent malt and dark fruit, but the offensive sugar accents make this very undesirable.

Taste: The sugar accents are better here but still not great. A decent malt caramel front of this beer gets quickly taken over by a heavy creamy, milk, daily, and cheap sugar. But despite what is in this beer the body is way too light. The lingering tacky sugar presence creates a less then enjoyable aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light with a artificial sugar feeling. Not great.

Overall: I was really disappointed with this brew. I didn't really have high expectations and those were definitely not close to being met. But I've enjoyed the other Kiuchi beers so I won't hold this miss against them.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
2.66/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed on 2/9/2013 out of a standard short brown bottle with no discernible freshness date. Poured into a stein mug.

Appearance - Pours a dark drip coffee color with a tan one-finger head. The head dissipates very quickly, leaving just a rim of foam around the edge. There was a lot more sediment in the bottom of the bottle than I would have expected for a milk stout.

Aroma - Probably the most enjoyable part of the beer, intensive smell of cocoa nibs, roastiness and a very strong--almost unbalanced--undertone of brown rice. The rice smell would be interesting if it wasn't so strong. Really overpowers the much more pleasant cocoa.

Taste - Just not that appealing, unfortunately. The entire taste is almost watery, like it's diluted or partial strength or really old. Something isn't quite right. There is a sweetness throughout, but it's an artificial-tasting sweetness, like when you add sweetener to bad coffee. If it wasn't for the aroma and color, this one wouldn't scream "stout" to me. It just isn't that stout, to make a bad pun.

Mouthfeel - very negatively affected by the diluted-tasting nature of the beer. It just doesn't seem to have any heft or body to it. The aftertaste isn't bad--notes of fresh biscuits.

Overall, the Kiuchi Brewery makes other beers that are much, much better than this one. Unfortunately, none of them are stouts, if that is what you're looking for.

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Photo of redhatmatt
3.03/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thought it would be way better. Bottle is super cool, more so than the one shown here. I was kind of a sucker, I lived in Japan, dig owls, like stouts and the milk infusion sounded interesting. Was fine but not worth $11.00 for a 22oz. Even taste, not as creamy as a Guinness. I'd pick it if it had an average price... on an average night.

Black, very little bubbles, lightly sweet.

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Photo of hustlesworth
1.92/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

A- deep dark ebony with rosewood highlights. Foamy fizzly khaki colored head is lively as it settles and holds at a thick disk with some minor spotty lace.

S- mild aroma with coffee, cocoa, and a tart lactic strawberries and balsamic vinegar edge. Almost lemony in a way. Not bad tho. Not very complex either.

T- sweet stout my ass. This is like coffee with a shot of vinegar in it. Not working for me at all. Finishes with the same odd combination of flavor.

MF- on the light end of medium and fizzy. Like a dry Irish stout. Scratchy feeling.

D- the opposite of what I expected, not at all like a milk stout. The sourness with the roasted grains is a bad combination in my opinion. I don't think I can finish this one.

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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 acevenom
3.58/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours very dark brown (almost black) with a thick tan head that dissipates rather quickly. The aroma is of mild coffee with some chocolate and dark roasted malts. It smells slightly sweet. The flavor of this beer follows the nose. The coffee notes are a little more prominent with the chocolate notes receding into the background. The malt notes add to the slight roastiness of this beer. There's some slight sweetness here too. The body is light with moderate carbonation. The beer is smooth and very drinkable. It's a bit thin for the style, coming across as more of a porter. It seems like this beer accomplishes what it sets out to do. It's a good beer that's worth trying if you don't mind the price tag.

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Photo of SteveMi
2.3/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle.

A - Dark brown that combines into black in the glass. Looks very thin. Mocha colored two finger head that dissipates quickly.

S - Roasty malt and chocolate with another something else intermixed I can't put my finger on.

T - Watery burnt coffee.

M - Super thin.

O - This is not on of Kiuchi's finest ales which is a shame since I'm a fan of sweet/milk stouts and many of Kiuchi's other brews.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a tan foam head. OK retention, no lace.

Coffee and some sugar sweetness, like a sweetened coffee beverage. The roasted aromas take a step back from the milk sugar.

Medium coffee up front, with some sugared sweetness. I like milk stout, and this lacks the balance needed to succeed. The bitterness that fights thru is not quite enough, and it is a bit astringent. Finish is a touch sweet, a touch bitter.

Some ok carbonation, not enough body in this one.

Not as horrible as others feel it is, just really tough if comparing to other beers. Just misses enough in some areas, and over-compensates in others. I've had much worse.

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Photo of Hjammer
3.24/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Stubby 11.2 fl oz bottle poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass.

A: Probably the closest this beer gets to a true stout. The color is a very deep brown, which makes it quite impossible to see through the glass. Minimal head from the initial pour, not much to work with as far as retention goes.

S: A little bit of sweetness, but something else is really dominating scent. There is a bit of booziness too, which I'm a bit surprised at 4% alc.

T: Not too bad. A nice bit of chocolatey sweetness in the front, crappy McDonald's coffee bitterness at the end. Very dry finish. Just a bit of bitterness lingering in at the end.

M: Not terrible, but it is lacking for the style. Not watery by any definition, but not as rich and creamy as a stout should be.

O: Meh. It's not bad, but it is not that good. I wasn't expecting a great stout from a Japanese brewery. If this is all I could buy and drink in the land of the rising sun, I would not complain though. Interesting to try at least.

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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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Photo of flyingpig
3.08/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in appearance with a fairly thick looking, light brown head that has a foamy look to it and holds well.

Light on the nose with some roasted malts, milk, chocolate and general sweetness.

Light roasted malts and some lactose kick things off, with some light chocolate and a bitter finish.

Light medium bodied with a smooth, mildly bitter feel and low carbonation (despite appearances). The beer was nice on the palate, if a little basic.

An alright tasting beer but not great if truth be told. It had all the characteristics of an English bitter and not a very exciting one at that. It was a little flat and as a result this made for slow drinking.

1001 Beers Blog:

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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 Kromes
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a thin line of brown soapy bubbles on top.

S: Sweet roasted malt with some milk chocolate and stale coffee aromas.

T: Initial flavors are pretty good....roasted malt and a sweet chocolate flavor. The finish fades out with a rather tame and watery roasted malt and chocolate flavor that is very sweet.

M: Light feel and a little thin. Good carbonation helps to fill it out but doesn't keep it from being beer soda in feel.

O: A pretty decent milk stout. Good flavors to it, however there are a few of things, like lack of flavor in the finish, that hold this beer back. If you're a fan of milk stouts it's still worth a try.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 330ml bottle into pint glass

A-dark chestnut brown with less than a finger of head that fades to a partial cap rather quickly

S-mostly milk chocolate as the smell with a little licorice type finish

T-pretty straight forward chocolate milk again not a lot of complexity but no off flavors either

M-a little thinner than I would like. I seems like maybe they watered down a good stout that brought the body and alcohol down

O-not bad, I would like a little more flavor and body lots of complaints about the price but I can't go to Japan for $5, but if I ever do go I will probably give this another try

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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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