Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleHitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #299
Ranked #35,757
3.73 | pDev: 14.21%
Kiuchi Brewery
Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleHitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 782 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed dirty orange color with a small head of white colored foam. The head fades rather fast leaving just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is rather strong of a bready malt smell mixed with lots of caramel and a bit of herb. Along with these aromas comes a touch of dark fruit and a bit of heat from an alcohol smell. Overall it's rather bready and warming.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet malty flavor with lots of lightly toasted bready and doughy tastes as well as a sweetness of orange. At the same time there is a moderately strong caramel flavor mixed with some dark fruit flavors as well as a little bit of a light apricot and peach taste. As the taste advances the breadiness and sweet remain strong, but are joined by some flavors of herb and earthy hop. Toward the end a touch of the booziness that was detected in the nose is felt on the tongue, and when mixed with the rest of the tastes, leaving one with a nice and robust warming taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is medium. For the big breadiness, sweetness, and light alcohol hit of the brew the feel is good and makes for a nice sipper.

Overall – A very tasty and quite flavorful brew. Bold, but balanced!!

Aug 27, 2020
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VoxRationis from New York

3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from an 12 oz (355 ml) can into a muffin top pint glass; no production information.
A: Pours a somewhat more than slightly hazy, rose color with no more than a finger of pale pink head formation, rim retention, and essentially no lacing. Production information would have helped in assessing the reasonableness of this.
S: Tart side of tangy. Subtie banana, cranberry, and clove aromas throughout.
T: More semisweet than semidry. Fruity with berry (raspberry, cranberry) superseding the banana or cloves. Does have a somewhat sake-like note that I have a hard time putting my fingers on. Very, very refreshing while chilled; less so when not. Bitterness light but sufficient to lead to crisp, clean finish.
M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.
O: Really didn't know what to expect, so was pleasantly surprised, although it hardly drinks like a Belgian Strong Ale. that said, I would be hard pressed to classify it.

Aug 04, 2020
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StJamesGate from New York

3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dusky pink with ribbons of white froth; sweet, earthy nose like goji berries; some crackers, strawberry notes, fuschia, rooibos tea, pear esters + spicy phenols; dry, tingly linger.

3.75 3.75 4 4 4

Odd one. Some interesting fruity notes, crisp + lagery, contrasting quirks more than real complexity, flavours clean up after themselves + not insignificantly boozy.
Tough to know how to rate it because I don't know what it's trying to be. I'd love to know how much of this is just the rice, or if the yeast is doing some of the work.
Can’t see wanting to drink it much, though I can picture it as a great food beer.

May 17, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Richly fruity but also fruit leathery with tobacco-like notes... Is "red rice" a thing? Dunno, but has a nice ricey sweetness underscoring the fruits, presenting notes akin to cherry and maybe papaya? It's actually a solid take on the style - got some body to it - medium-weight feel - tacky/shellacky, but fruity with suggestions of festive spice and seasonings - but nothing is too overwhelming - it's a very mild, easy-drinking beer with a modest abv for a BSPA...

May 01, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a strange beer. Reminded me of a cross between a Belgian wheat, lighter sake and a lager. No date printed on bottle. Pours a somewhat rust-pink color with just a little fluffy white head and minimal spotty lingering lacing. Smells of some light Belgian wheat and yeast, no real banana or clove. Some grain, malt, faint hops, bread and caramel. Taste follows the nose, decently flavorful but a little too indistinct for me and it seemed to lack depth or character. Smooth, somewhat thin mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Not bad but I wouldn't buy it again.

Apr 30, 2020
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henrikb from Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Orange-ish red, dense white head that dissipates quickly. Slight haziness and a little bit of carbonation visable.

Smell: Smells like rice, so not much. Nothing offensive, but nothing great either.

Taste: Smoky, carmely, slightly fruity flavor. The finish tastes alcoholic, with a light sweetness.

Feel: It is a little bit on the light side to my liking, but the amount of carbonation is excellent.

Overall: A tasty beer, I would drink this again.

Feb 14, 2020
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jjamadorphd from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up because of the label art alone, glad I did as this was an okay experience...

Coloration is an orange-tinged, reddish colored brew, the foam is thin and short-lived. Smell is wheaty, which translates to the taste along with a distant sweet flavor that I surprisingly tasted. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and has an almost spicy twitch to the tongue. Not a bad brew, not the best thing I've had but it was a nice surprise to experience.

Nov 03, 2019
Photo of Nofoba

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 330ml bottle. It has a cloudy, rust colored body, with a little bit of visible carbonation. Thick, off-white head with low retention.

It has a light aroma. Sweet, slightly sour, with notes of redcurrant.

It has a light, smoky flavor, with hops, caramel, redcurrant, marmelad and alcohol. The aftertaste has a watery, alcoholic taste to it.

A unique taste, but overall it feels underwhelming due to its wateriness.

Oct 26, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

£3.95/330ml from Harvey Nichols dept store in London SW1 - let's hope it proves worth it!
L- I'm not sure about 'red', though it is to the orange-side of chestnut. Pours with very slight haze and 1Cm ultra-fine white head.
S- There's something of a woody/leather smell to this.
T- Balance comes first, then some power. The flavour is solid but clean. 0.00% out of line or objectionable. The lable suggests 'A hint of fruit in the nose and palate'; I don't get that, others might well, but I like it. There is no lingering after-taste on the palate, another positive.
F- It feels every bit of 7%. Carbonation is also good in the mouth (the head is holding very well too). You might not be reaching for this on a blazing August day in Kyoto, but elsewhere less madly balmy I could drink this year-round.
O- Lovely, intriguing, slightly different style but the Japanese search for perfection shines through. Still, hugely expensive, £12/litre, as much as I like it I'm not pursuaded it's THAT good to warrant paying such again.
BBE: 04/2020

Oct 04, 2019
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle (Purchased and drank at PF Changs, Scottsdale, AZ):

Pours orange amber with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of white rice, caramel, sourbread, grass, some vague general fruitiness.

The taste is of white rice, restrained caramel, melon and some grass.

It is light and smooth. Alcohol very well-covered.

A decent to good brew that works well with light Asian food. (Not seeing the "BPSA" style in it.)

Sep 03, 2019
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dave_ackbar from Hawaii

4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this beer is amazing. Went to my local beer store and the label caught my eye. Then the title Red Rice Ale, I had never heard of that before.
Look is that of a typical red ale, Auburn with thin head.
Smell was so so crisp and with the hint of spices that I can’t really identify, but smelled great.
Taste is so darn good, definitely like a great red ale with a slight spiciness.
Feel is crisp crisp crisp.
Overall I love this beer.

Jun 19, 2019
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy orange with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of yeast, grain and some vegetables. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of grassy hops, some caramel, spices, ripe fruit and bready malt. Finish is long and dry. Very good brew.

May 24, 2019
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: slightly hazy dark amber color with some light red notes. 2 finger frothy tan head

S: caramel, lemongrass, bubblegum, and vanilla. Some rice as well, and over-ripe strawberries

T: caramel and grassy grains. A little cardboard in there as well. A mild alcohol taste as well. Light strawberry

M: medium mouthfeel with low-mid carbonation - too low for the style

O: aroma was promising, but the taste is a bit of a let down caramel and alcohol, not much beyond that

Nov 18, 2018
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

De Estucerveza. En copa Teku. 5 meses tras bbf. Jugando a Avernum 5. Original y agradable, con un sabor dulce como a chuche de fresa y buena sensacion en boca, con cierta efervescencia y amargor bien ajustado

Oct 10, 2018
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bark from Sweden

3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is amber-brown, the liquid is hazy. The two fingers off-white head sinks quickly down leaving no lacing.

The smell is light with strawberries, bitter almonds, Japanese cherries and some green tea.

The taste is dry with light notes of strawberry jam, beef stock, oolong tea and banana skids. Light to medium body. The aftertaste got growing notes of hot alcohol, cheese doodles, red fruits and black cherry tea. The finish got lots of alcohol with dry fruity flavours and strawberry/raspberry bubble gum.

The carbonation is strong, the many mid-sized bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is somewhat light.

Aug 04, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.32/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber hued with an inch of tightly knit off white. There’s not much aroma, just of faint rice. I’m tasting the sweet bready malt. The mouth is light and smooth.

Jun 25, 2018
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber/copper color, carbonation and yeast sediment visible throughout . A billowy thumblength head rises to the top. Good retention that yields a creamy film and lacing.
The rice adjuncts are the dominant aroma throughout, its sweetness seemingly out of place for the style. Yeasty and with fruity esters, apples and beer. A faint alcohol spice makes a fleeting cameo.
The taste is dry at first, however, the rice adjuncts and wheat like malts soon bring a sweetness. Yeasty flavors that bring forth fruity esters, apple, pear, even a fleeting hint of orange peel. A light alcohol spice is present throughout. The finish is sweet, rice like, has a touch of alcohol, and slightly sticky and dry towards the end of the drink.
Medium bodied and with a lower carbonation than I’m accustomed to for the style.
This one is all about the rice adjuncts, which certainly add a unique twist. Not particularly true to style, but tasty nevertheless.

Jun 07, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this is super weird but also really good and very drinkable for how unique it is, i always enjoy the beers these guys make. its oddly pink from the bottle, the rice coloring it perhaps more than i expected, a little cloudiness but no visible sediment, and an average looking off white head with some lace left behind when i am finished. the nose is striking and so is the taste, to me it reminds me of one of those ludens cough drops, cherry flavored, that i used to eat as candy instead of medicine as a kid, definite red berry and cherry candy character in here, that cant all be from the rice can it? i have noticed these sorts of fruity flavors in sake yeast beers before, so perhaps some of that is at play, i wish they have me more information here, i immediately want to know what it is i am tasting, if its all from red rice, its awfully unique rice they are using here, but it cant be! i get some raspberry jam in here too, and a nice earthiness and starchy texture from the rice, sort of white wheaty to me in feel, nice and bubbly, a little sweetness at the end and a tea-like herbaceousness as well, very interesting and complex beer, great with raw tuna, but probably also valuable in a thousand other culinary contexts. i sure would like to know more about this one, but safe to say its one of a kind!

Mar 12, 2018
Photo of Dawon
Dawon from Korea (South)

3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

향부터 알콜부즈가 쫌 느껴지고 어떤 특색있는 향도 아님 맛도 특색없고 그닥 맛있는지 모르겠음 팥느낌도 있는 맛임. 탄산감도 조금있는 편

Feb 10, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Red Rice is so interesting that this is close to something like "I've never had an ale like this."
How does Hitachino do that?
Since I don't drink much sake, I'm not used to rice making the malt. That's a minor part of the answer.
But, these flavors are more than a different, sweeter grain. It is a well-crafted ale. Lots of yeasty flavors. Subtle use of spice.

This is my 7th ale from Hitachino. A few were quite good and I put Red Rice in that group. I'm guessing it is because of Hitachino cultivates its yeasts so well. So, the question is: " Can the Japanese copy Belgians well, also?"
Answer: Think of Hitachino as a brilliant adaptor.

Sep 11, 2017
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Just-the-sip from California

4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had in Japan with red sauce pasta and shrimp. Yes, I had Italian in Japan but they do it way differently. Looking for Hitachino since I arrived and finally found a place that didn't carry the big 5. Great beer. Super smooth on the pallet. Nice red color. Goes well with red sauce dishes. Had to have it in its origin country cause it's a bit pricey in the U. S.

May 06, 2017
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MoohMooh from France

3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown, one finger immaculate white head. Hazy.

Smell is sweet, there's caramel and some citrusy hops. Kinda grainy too. Oh, it smells like strawberries! Weird, but on the interesting side. It does smell a little like cooked rice, I think. Or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Tastes of strawberries too; Rice is mostly present in the aftertaste. Banana, slight pepper. Apple? Citrusy hops, like in the smell. Alcohol is there, but not overpowering -- it actually feels very "sharp" in the aftertaste, much stronger than 7% ABV, but at the same time very subdued. And vaguely reminiscent of sake? Maybe it's the rice.

Body is medium, and the carbonation is pretty lively. Drinks really easily.

It may be just a little too sweet, but it's a very interesting and unique brew. Really puzzling to drink something so close to a belgian pale ale and at the same time so different.

Mar 16, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 12/01/16:

Appearance is gelatinous, semi-opaque, a lovely butterscotch in color with barest hues of pink, with fleks of various sizes in suspension and clinging to sides. Head is nearly pure white, fine bubbled, of lower retention but film-forming in patches. Lace and legs are a delicate sheet of alabaster. Extremely medicinal aroma at first, like menthol and Band-Aids. Gives away in large part to tart fruity and creamy caramel suggestions. Loads of menthol and Band-Aid to palate, but just enough sugar and light apple- and white grape-like tartness to balance this out. Moderately dry and clean finish, apart from mentholated and peppery afterbreath. Full-bodied but thin for what it is. Fine but sparse effervescence, somewhat prickly. Alcoholic warmth with retro-olfaction.

Dec 02, 2016
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safaricook from Netherlands

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This strawbeery aroma and taste is surprising and intriguing. Makes this ale insteresting instead of just solid. Will try to explore more from this brewery

Sep 17, 2016
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JonCorbett from Canada (BC)

4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy ruby red, with a loose and bubbly head, pretty quick dissipation and just speckles of lace here and there.

Aromatics: Fairly fruity combination of berry and pome fruits - almost a fragrant as a fruit punch, with sweet and mildly toasted malts.

Taste: Sweet and fruity, mild raspberry, pear, and apricot with touches of spice - maybe cinnamon and cardamom. I do have a reach a bit for that rice flavour that is there, just not as upfront as you might think it would be. A somewhat eclectic and complex array of flavours.

Feel: Not quite light but not quite medium body either - somewhere in the middle. Some finer carbonation bubbles still present to tickle the palate, and the 7%ABV is not entirely hidden, I do get a slight whisper of alcohol vapour during the finish.

Overall: A very interesting and pleasurable beer. I enjoyed its aroma a lot, and if the alcohol wasn’t as apparent to me at the end I could easily drink this daily.

Pairing : I’m going aesthetics here - from a Japanese brewer I’m going to go with a couple sushi suggestions. Though I believe most sushi will go great with this beer, I particularly enjoy tomago (sweet egg) and of course ebi ebi (shrimp), with a light tempura sauce for dipping. I could also easily just have a small bag of shrimp or cuttlefish chip snacks from the local asian supermarket.

Sep 16, 2016
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 782 ratings