Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) | Kiuchi Brewery

377 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 377 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of capra12
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/31/09 served out of a weyervacher pint glass solo,

Appearance: Dark Mohagundy, with two finger head.

Smell: There is a distinct hint of sour roasted coffee.

Taste: Opens slightly malty. There is a hint of roasted coffee/ chocolate from the middle to the end with the typical milk stout sour notes, leaving a mildy bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied considering it is a milk stout with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: I personally like milk stouts but this is a milk stout I wouldn't have again. I'd rather have a Mackeson or a Lancasters Milk stout.

 579 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.57/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma - Definite sweetness over a roasted malted aroma.

Appearance - Not much carbonation or head. Beer was pretty dark.

Taste - Wow. Pretty much a sweetened stout. Sweet flavor than roasted malts and coffee. What's not to like?

Notes - Might wear on you over the course of a night. The light carbonation could be improved but this beer still ain't bad.

 356 characters

Photo of Richardberg
3.89/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a bottle into a pint glass. mahogany liquid, moderate cream foam that didn't last. Within the realm of acceptability for a stout but not a very assertive look comparatively speaking.

S - lactose, vanilla, and cherry. Unusual (in a good way) but the smells remain rooted in malts. So it's almost like a new brand of cherry vanilla soda, but gently reminds you it's still a beer.

T - distinctively sweet, though not via the "sharp" / "tart" / "crisp" sensation I get from many milk stouts. Prominent syrupy malts. The more unusual aromas are kind of drowned, but it's ok for this style to be one sided. Smooth but unremarkable finish.

Note: do not let this beer sit out! I left a dL or two in the bottom of the glass while I was distracted with something, just for an hour, and came back to find some sort of off-brand diet cola. The flavor assaulted you with a sweetness that reminded me of saccharine, but even more bitter & metallic (and turned into said aftertaste almost instantly). Gave it to my GF to make sure I wasn't crazy -- sure enough we both had to chase the taste away with another drink after pouring out the remaining Hitachino.

M - It avoided being thin or watery, but didn't do anything for me.

D - Interesting and worth remembering. Still, it's far enough off the beaten path to remain a specialty beer. Especially at its price. There are occasions where it'll be the perfect choice, but they are rare. Until then there are better deals if I just want a "normal" milk stout.

 1,513 characters

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

Boy this was a big disappointment. I like some of what Kiuchi does, but this beer is a one-note wonder. Pours dark ruby with an effervescent head that foreshadows the overly carbonated mouthfeel. The lactose sweetness definitely comes through, but it has amost no roasted malt backbone to provide balance. Without any roasted bitterness or coffee qualities, the lactose dominates with an unpleasant soy / metallic quality. There just isn't enough here to make this worth your while.

 482 characters

Photo of katan
3.11/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a not completely opaque dark brown to black color. Upon seeing through the light, it has some amber hues to it. Head formation is light, with only a mocha colored film.

S - An interesting scent here - very muted, but what I do detect is almost a cinnamon sweetness. Some yeast notes are hanging around as well.

T - Starts off rather empty in flavor, with only the lightest malt flavors there. Little bitterness appears mid-stream, only some light sweetness. Finishes with a combination of roasted barley and some malty sweetness. Aftertaste is oddly sour.

M - The carbonation bite is deceivingly strong as compared to the appearance. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin for a stout, as is the aftertaste.

D - ABV is close to wholesome milk than a milk stout. Easy drinking from that point of view. Flavors are just odd enough that it would slow you down.

Interesting beer. Weird, but interesting.

 934 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. It looks a moderate brown and becomes essentially opaque when held to the light. A light 1 inch tan head from a reduces fairly quickly to minimal lacing.

The smell is a unique combination which to me comes across as almost apple cider. There is a sweetness and somewhat bitter component. I do not pick up a whole lot of coffee or chocolate from the malts.

The taste also seems to have a cider (sour) like part. The coffee/roasted malts were a little more present than in the smell as were the the dark fruits. A very interesting sweetness in the belch.

The mouthfeel revealed a medium bodied stout. It seems a bit too carbonated for my liking and definitely more when I compare to others. A nice bitter dryness sits on the back of your tongue. A combination of too light and lacking some of the creaminess, as well as the carbonation moves it down.

Overall, this is an okay beer. It has the benefit of not being overly potent which helps make it tolerable to have more than one but the taste and smell make it seem like something I would only have once.

 1,095 characters

Photo of dfillius
4.07/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger tan head that dissipates fgairly fast. Dark, dark brown - almost opaque, but red highlights exist along the bottom edge.
S: Malted milkball (whoppers), teriyaki sauce, black cherry, surprising combination, but good!
T: Fruit, milk, sweetness. Very interesting, like a blackberry malt. That flavor gives way to a dark bread flavor, then pleasant hookah tobacco smoke at the end. Some tart, wild almost Brett-like notes exist in here as well.
M: Light and a bit fizzy. Very light for a stout. A tad heavier than Guinness, but I'd like more body in a stout, especially a milk stout.
D: High drinkability due to good ratings on the above. Low alcohol makes this almost a session beer. Slightly odd taste brings down overall drinkability.

 791 characters

Photo of spointon
3.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This stout poured a near total black in color with a 1" fluffy tan head. The head dropped fast and left only a couple spots of lace.

S= Aroma was full of heavy dark sweetness, with a lot of vinous and raisin notes. Some faint roasted malts in there too.

T= Started with creamy and caramelly malt sweetness with a bit of roast bitterness. Lots of that wierd raisin character too. Finish was all lingering sweetness.

MF= Heavy body with a decidedly crisp carbonation feel. Felt almost oily on the tongue despite the carbonation level.

D= Not a terrible beer, just not a very good tasting example of the style.

 687 characters

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.

 693 characters

Photo of erz316
2.35/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

330ml bottle poured into old speckled hen pint glass.

A - sure looks good. the bottle pours a deep black, completely opaque bod; on top rests a light brown head with good retention. nothing I can complain about.

S - smells like malted milk: you've got sweet roasted malts, combining with the obvious milk scent... I dont quite know, just really smells like a box of whoopers. there is also a bit of caramel in there as well.

T - ugh. now I see what every one was talking about! I've never had a beer that had a such an undesirable sour flavour before, and not a good sour. the sour is not quite like a sour cream, more it is like if you leave (I know this from experience sadly) a package of Fage greek strained yogurt in your fridge for several months, go to college and come back and try to eat it. yeah, it was a weird sensation. there is some sweet roasted malt flavour, at the back of the tongue, as well as some chocolate flavour int eh mouth at the back of the tongue. but good god the spoiled milk flavour hits the tip of the tongue hard! the finish is a bit smoother, with the malts making a resurgence, while the aftertaste is clean and a bit sour.

MF&D - I think I may have finally found a beer with a more unapealing consistency than guinness draught! but seriously this beer could man up, and get some body to match its midnight black color. I would certainly not want another one of these beers.

 1,413 characters

Photo of TMB0424
2.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep black body, with tiny hints of brown edges when held to the light. Tan head disappears fairly quickly but ended up leaving pretty good lacing.

Aromas of sugars, sweet milk are up front. Roasted malts and what seems to be a sour element are in the background. Nothing too good, nothing too bad here.

Taste is of really funky, sour milk. Roasted malts linger around with hints of chocolate. The sweetness in the aroma is pretty much nowhere to be found - it's completely masked by this sour flavor. Like milk gone bad. Not very good... not very good at all.

Mouthfeel is decent, creamy and smooth - but somewhat light, especially for a stout. I personally like sour ales, funky brews - but this just missed its mark, in my opinion. It was just too much, or maybe just not what I was expecting, but either way I didn't enjoy this very much. I guess it's worth a shot as it is a pretty original and interesting brew, however.

 937 characters

Photo of jmalex
2.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I've seen these for a long time but finally decided to take the plunge and buy one. We'll see how this works out...

APPEARANCE: Pours a dark brown with a loose-bubbled off-white head. It shrinks immediately to a thin collar with a still surface.

SMELL: Not terribly intense but has a good combination of roastiness and lactose sweetness. Otherwise there's a bit of caramel and dark fruits with a moderate alcohol heat.

TASTE: Whoa, not good. A very empty-tasting beer with little roast or chocolate flavor. The lactic sweetness takes on a sour tartness, albeit not a strong one. Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on in this beer at all.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied but waaay to thin for the style. The carbonation is very low, even for this type of beer.

DRINKABILITY: This is not a good beer. I'm struggling through and already planning my next choice.

Ah well, you can't win 'em all. At least I can say I tried it.

 932 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
2.91/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a deep dark black with just a thin sliver of tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts, red berries, and sour milk. Yep, sour milk.

Taste is fairly weak. Some roasted malts, coffee, and that sour milk again. Sourness lingers through the finish.

Thin mouthfeel and lightly carbonated.

Hitachino Nest has always been a homerun hitter in my book...until this one. It does nothing for me. Watery and sour are two descriptors I don't enjoy in a milk stout.

 469 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
2.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fudge-like black, which is wonderful, but that head just looks weird: some of the biggest bubbles I've seen on any beer's cap, kind of like sea-foam. Really interesting.

Aroma is quite sweet, reminds me of chocolate/peanut butter cupcake frosting. Anise pushes through in the background. Also pretty yeast-laden. As with the look, it's certainly a bit different.

Tastes like watery chocolate milk, with caramel and toffee limping up to the front for attention. Cheap chocolate lingers in the finish. Kind of plastic-y overall. Something about it I liked, probably the sweetness, which was obviously a little more upfront than your usual stout, but generally it's a little weird, and that "texture"...

The mouthfeel is revolting--for a stout. Carbonation is crisp to the point of having an almost numbing effect on the tongue, while the body itself is watery. I can't imagine wanting this texture in any kind of beer style, but especially not a stout of any sort.

Not good. I'm amazed this is by the same brewery responsible for the completely wonderful Celebration ale. I'll keep trying Hitachino stuff--so far they've got one truly great beer, one so-so beer (Red Rice ale) and this thing.

 1,203 characters

Photo of KeefD
3.66/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black color with a massive three finger creamed coffee head with good retention and some sticky lacing. Awfully thick on the pour, like spent motor oil. Aroma of roasted malts, some burnt caramel and hints of sweet lactic acid. Flavor is a bit watered down, and the slightest hint of sourness. Chocolate flavors permeate the brew, some nice roastiness, and a biting bitterness on the finish. Some sweet cola flavors appear as it warms. Mouthfeel seems kind of thin, considering the look upon the pour. Carbonation is light and it goes down awfully smooth. Not a bad brew, but would like a little more flavor.

 625 characters

Photo of SargeC
3.47/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brown-black brew with a limited, tan head.

Smell: Toffee, coffee and subdued smoke undertones.

Taste: Sweet flavor throughout that resemble refined sugar. Mild bitterness with a medium malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Creamy texture, very smooth.

Drinkablity: Different interpretation of the style but very drinkable and intense.

 359 characters

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

kind of a weird one and not my favorite hitachino offering, but far from bad. the lactose or something gave it a strange, but for some reason pleasing, soured milk scent and taste. a bit of smoke and tobacco in there as well, it kind of reminded me of guiness in the can with a spoiled milk funk. i know that sounds terrible, but it wasn't half bad. i'll stick to the classic, espresso, white and ginger. oh yeah, and celebration and xh. one of my favorite breweries, this one just lacks a bit.

 494 characters

Photo of gangofmorlocks
2.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm...a different brew. Dark cola colour with a thin head and some lazy lacing. Couldn't get much from the aroma. Which is strange because every beer that I've had from Kiuchi has had a wonderful and arresting aroma. A little smokiness and something sweet. Couldn't decipher it.

Taste. Zowee! Tobacco? VERY smoky. If it wasn't for the lacto I would've felt like I was drinking from an ashtray. It wasn't the most unpleasant taste. It just wasn't something that I was accustomed to. The roasted malts also imparted some coffee and subtle chocolate flavours. But these were definitely in the background.

Mouthfeel was on the thin side. I like a little more volume in my stouts. This had more of a porter feel.

A strange beer. I would have it again just to compare to my first one. But overall it was a little confusing and my least favourite of the Hitachino lineup.

 869 characters

Photo of Nowhereman529
3.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice coffee color with about a half inch head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell is pretty malty with a definite overtone of chocolate and perhaps an undertone of coffee.

Taste is a chocolately, malty affair. The beer is sweet, but about as sweet as I generally like a sweet stout to be, which is to say that they didn't go overboard with the sugar. Aftertaste does have a hint of milk which is delightful.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for stout. I'd prefer a richer, thicker feel from this style of beer, so fairly lacking in that arena.

As far as drinkability goes this is just slightly above average. For the price I'd rather find something with a little bit more flavor and classic stout characteristics. That said, it's worth at least one try.

 759 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark coffee color with a moderate 1 finger tan head.

S: Big sweet chocolate malt and coffee dominate the aroma.

T: Flavor is sweet chocolate malt, some citrus, with a very smooth sweet caramel presence along with some cocoa and coffee. Overall a very sweet stout with a milky like texture and palate. Theres a slight sweet and sour finish from the lacto upon warming.

M: creamy light from the lacto.

D: A tad sweet but good drinkability and unique. At only 4% abv it comes off sweet with lots of flavor but is limited in multiples.

 549 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.31/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich black color with a small caramel head that maintains. Sparse, spotty, lacing.

Aroma is mildly sweet with a roasted malt smell. There is a definite hint of tobacco in the aroma.

Cloyingly sweet upfront, it gives up a bit and lets some roasted malt flavors come through. I also get a bit of tobacco flavor and "twang" just as it finishes cloyingly sweet.

Thin body, mild carbonation.

Overall, I think that this beer is a mess. Too much lactose. Tobacco flavor and twang. Avoid this.

 512 characters

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

 492 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3.53/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a light brown head, very nice lacing and retention. Pretty dark in color, its basically black with brown at the top and bottom of the glass.

Smells of milk chocolate bars, faint sourness accompanied by a mild roasted malt scent.

Milk chocolate is apparent on the palate but not as strong as the nose. Also tastes of some sort of roasted malt bitterness and sourness.

 379 characters

Photo of mhewes
2.53/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A : Poured a nice dark brown with a good head

S : Grainy, sweet, some malts and chocolate

T : Really sweet but it was off. Definitely sour lactic acid in it. Not that great and I'm really glad that I didn't let it warm up too much

M : Thinner than expecting

D : I'll pass on this one.

 288 characters

Photo of FMetzger
4.07/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark body. Head is light khaki and thin. Not quite as heady as some.
S: Sweet and slightly grainy. Smells good.
T: Sweetness comes through on middle and back of tongue. Interesting dryness to the tip of the tongue. Not overdone, which I think adds to the drinkability.
M: A little thin, which I was not prepared for with the added lactose. A little fuller of a feel on the tongue would add to this beer.
D: Easy drinker. I definitely could have more than one. Thankfully it is low in alcohol, so that won't be a problem.

 528 characters

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Lacto) from Kiuchi Brewery
3.04 out of 5 based on 377 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.