Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

330 Reviews
Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleHitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2002

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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 699
Photo of ordybill
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma- Has a nice strong rice and grain aroma with a nice backdrop of sweetness Appearance – This is a yellow slightly foggy body with a full head. Taste- – Excellent rice flavored beer. One of the best I have had Palate-– Medium bodied brew with a thin texture and an average carbonation Overall- One of the best beers I have ever had. this is a great find if you can get it.

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Photo of Daemose
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Orangish red, with slightly pinkish tinted white foam head. Very fine bubbles, not like the sudsy looking Saison and IPA heads.

Smell: Similar to taste.

Taste: This beer is awesome. It tastes like meringue, strawberry meringue. Especially those meringue "cookies" that are really just dehydrated meringue. That or astronaut ice cream. Its sweet, with a rice/marshmallow flavor profile that's out of this world. There is a little sake character to it as well, from the rice, which goes hand in hand with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation.

Overall: This beer was so good I went out and bought a case from D&Q in Houston.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.73/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hitachino Nest Red Rice has a very thick, off-white, crackly head, a hazy, red-gold appearance, and minimal lacing left on the glass. The aroma is an odd combination of smoke, strawberry juice, bread, sweetness, and boiled rice. Taste is of fairly heavy smoke (rauchbier?), some strawberry, white bread, semi-burned popcorn kernel, head shop incense, and low bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale finishes not so dry and highly gulp-able.


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Photo of Swedgin_Wu
4.66/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the most unique beers i've ever had. Even at $5 a bottle for 12 oz, it's a beer i have still drank with semi regularity.

Poured in a tulip glass

Appearance - Nice foamy head with a unique color. mix of orange/yellow with a pinkish hue. Beautiful to look at

Smell - There is no beer that smells like it. Perhaps it's the red rice, but it's hard to put a finger on it. There is defintely a ricey/sake smell to it. Little bit of sweet fruit and malt

Taste - You can not at all tell this is a 7% ABV. Can't recall a beer that hides the alcohol more than this. The rice is certainly prominent. In general, this is just a difficult beer to describe. There's some berries mixed in possibly. Finish is very smooth. No real bitterness present and a beer that is equally good after each sip.

Mouthfeel - not too watery. a medium mouthfeel...just right

Overall - Again, this is unlike any beer i've had. I actually was not a huge fan of the White Ale from Hitachino nest despite it being the highest rated Japanese beer period...(too spicy for my liking) but this little gem is a keeper. It's perhaps the most difficult beer to describe and break down in terms of smell and flavor, but it is quite amazing. Even at it's price point, it's worth having when you can. one of my favs

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Photo of Maudite
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of these from the City Beer Store (SF). I had seen it at Whole Foods before, thought I'd give it a shot. Not much a fan of rice beers...

A= Surprisingly pink, bubbly, almost like a rose champagne. Got me excited
S= Sweet smelling, very earthy and hard to pinpoint any specifics. I think I was just too jazzed.
T= tastes like the appearance would make you think... almost geuze-like... champagney, slightly citrusy, mildly floral, an organic soda, perhaps... definitely a dessert or aperitif beer.
M=Very bubbly, slightly biting, crisp, fills the gills and then washes away, leaves the mouth dry and refreshed feeling. Try it with a cheese plate.
D= If you luck out and get a small bottle like me, I'd say have a second, perhaps a third if you're dining with friends or something. Stick with one if you get the big Whole Foods bottle.

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Photo of UPtheHAMMERS
4.52/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The owner at Vineyards Elite suggested I try this, and thank you man. You hit the target with this brew!

Complex flavors reminiscent of sake, intermingle with malt sweet notes. Hints of strawberries in the nose and palate. An intriguing mix of rice, malt and bitter notes in the finish.

World class, have to try the other Hitachino they have in thier cooler box!

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Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from small bottle. A nice hazy golden color.

This beer has a pleasant and mild aroma,like banannas and toffee.

More toffee and fruitiness in the flavor and it is very well balanced and easy to drink.

This has everything I love in a belgian beer. I am not good with adjectives but this beer has what I like.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one odd and very unique drink-in a deliciously good way. As the finish from my last sip lingers on and on an on, I have to ruminate rather deeply about what to say here. The color is much that of a framboise-hazy blonde ale color, yet with a raspberry tinge. The head is sushi rice color and sticks to the glass rather well. The aromatics are lovely, clean and fresh with the delicate fruitines one finds in fine sake. The rice gives off an almost tapioca like odor with some vanilla, melon, faint strawberry and definate sake flavors. The alcohol is at once warming, yet the beer is wonderfully refreshing at the same time. Again, like the white ale this beer screams out for food, and I'm talking Japanese food. The beer actually reminds me of the flavors redolent of sushi. I can taste clean rice flavors and even a meaty/fishy flavor, almost tuna like. This is really fun to drink and I'm now planning my meal to accompany this fine beverage. Bravo!!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was purchased at the Dilly Deli for $7.99 for a bomber. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer has a very murky hazy orange copper coloration. The head was short lived with a white coloration. Streaks of lacing remained on the glass. The second pour I let the beer have the yeast.

Smell: The beer has a very interesting spicy combo. There are sakeesque smells. There is all spice, cloves, coriander and some other goodies. There was a pleasing wheat smell to the beer. Oddly enough this has a lot of farm house ale qualities.

Taste: This beer has a sort of wierd taste. I am defianately picking up farm house yeastyness. The beer has a pleasing spicy combo similar to the taste. I can only begin describing the taste present here.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is just fantastic! The beer has a funky yeasty sort of kick. The beer has a light body. This beer is very thrist quenching. This is a very nicely balanced beer.

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Photo of cleverbeername
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

have to recall, no notes.

a- faintly stawberry color, off white lace.

n- beautiful nose, very feminine flavors of rhubarb, strawberry.

m-nice weight, med. body with good acid

t- fantastic all around. very balanced and complex with great length. hints of ripe red fruit with balanced hop and soft malt.

d- i could bath in this stuff.

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Photo of ElCerverzero
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber color and has about an inch an a half of head. I just love this color. It has a "dirty" quality to it. An excellent mixture of flavors. First you get that orangey zest, which is just perfect, and then you taste the wheat. Although a little pricey ($5-6 I believe), it is well worth it. Once you snap off the cap the smell alone will intrigue you. There is so much going on in that smell. The red rice, the orangey smell, the wheat--it's damn enticing. I will definitely purchase more of these in the near future.

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Photo of weller1js
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a orange-red with a slight pink hue, clear with dense sediment floating throughout, foam is 1-2 fingers thick, white with pinkish tinge, settling to slight ring and film of lacing.

smell: bold malt/rice base, with overlying floral hop notes that is a faintly-spicy but more tangy-sweet in character.

taste: begins with a slight spiciness which remains throughout, sweet rice/malt notes are bold and sweet, enhanced by the characteristics of floral, tangy hops, finishes with a balance everything, with a spicy-bittersweet lingering.

mouthfeel: medium bodied with maltiness of the red rice strikingly unique.

overall: unique with some complex attributes, decent abv, very pleasant to drink.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sweet Sake, vanilla, strawberry, maple syrup, and a little corn-silk tea. Ok, corn-silk tea is an obscure reference, but if you've had it you'll know what I mean - like somewhat floral and fruity grain. There is a slight tartness that I can't pin a descriptor to. Hop aroma not prominent at all, just balancing.
Pleasant and freshly organic.

Lightly hazy, the color is like rosé wine with a touch of gold. Minimal and very fine bubble head, dissipates quickly and leaves light lacing. I don't mind a little haze, especially when there are unusual ingredients as in this one.

Blends characters both from a Belgian style pale, and quality sake. Fresh and plummy, hints of strawberry, smoothly boozy. Bittering from the hops is the right amount for balance - without competing with the fresh and smooth grain characters.

Medium bodied with a smoothness more like velvet than silk. Finishes clean and slightly dry with a lingering sweetness.

Overall Impression:
Anyone with an introduction to good sake and a taste for good beer should appreciate this beer. I can see where some of the lower marks for this beer come from, it has an overall character that puts it a notch away from the beers most people have tried. It has a tartness, organic character, and floral quality that is unique - and to me, very enjoyable.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.39/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 11.2oz purchased at Holiday Market in Canton and poured into a tulip.

Dark, hazy peach under a finger of white that falls to a ringed veil with some blotches of lace left in it's wake.

Has an interesting mix of aromas including earth, flowers, grains(rice), and sweet malts. It also has a suggestion of wood that is close to the cedar aromas from their cedar aged IPA. At first it seemed a bit odd, yet it grew on me rather quickly. Very unique and enjoyable nose on this one.

Tastes very flowery with some of the grains and a pleasant sweet/sour flavor. The wood and earth notes are there again as well. Nice bite from the hops and a juicy citric flavor leads into the dry and bitter finish. Almost tannic. Again, very unique and enjoyable.

The mouth is rather dry and somewhat tart to prickly due to the abundance of carbonation. It really works for this beer. Solid drinkability if only for its unique yet pleasing character.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, pours Hazy pink grapefruit big off-white not so firm head. Aroma sweet caramel, strawberry yogurt. Taste sweet strawberry, caramel candy-fruity, low bitterness. Medium- bodied and carbonation very different but very nice.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.37/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly hazed pink-orange with a frothed white head that leaves some near solid sheets of lace. Nose is fairly clean with notes of cotton candy, apples, herbs, and eucalyptis. Flavor starts off with a sugariness akin to, as already mentioned, cotton candy or even doughnut glaze. Towards the middle, I get some apple, a big hit of strawberry, and some underlying mint. Finish is interestingly grainy (almost reminds me of steamed buckwheat groats) and drying. Extremely interesting, but there is the slightest cough medicine background note that bugs me just a bit. This kind of tastes like Strawberry & Cream Mad Dog (in the best way possible). Mouthfeel is light to moderate with a carbonation that is arousing but never becomes bothersome. Drinkability is really great, but there is a sweetness that lasts about the middle that wears on me. Very impressive. I've had the chance to drink this on and off for a few years now and it's always interesting.

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Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Short, stubby 11.2oz brown bottle with that cute little owl on it. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a crazy cloudy golden with peach hues and a massive white lace that has a wierd pink hue to it. Head is creamy, foamy, sticky, clingy and retains pretty well too.

Smell: Smells of starch, bean, light strawberries, but no real hop or malt characters. Sake characters in the nose. Aroma is strange, but in a nice/wierd way.

Taste: Thin flavours of strawberries, large dose of a spicy medicinal alcohol that can be likened to sake (typical of rice brews). Slight bitterness around the edges; like kiwi fruit. Malt flavour is high, but the rice / starch flavours seem to take the foreground, and rightly so. Nice strong malt sweetness provides a smooth medium to full-body and nice balance. Loads of fruitiness in this beer too ... that all seems to mix with a flat Sprite-like flavour. Finish goes bitty on the palate and a bit dry. Alcohol fumes fill the mouth and nasal passage (sake all the way).

Notes: What an odd little beer. I love it! Who would have thunk to brew such an unusual little gem of a beer? The flavours are very unusual, to say the least. I also want more. Now.

Note: be respectful of this beer. It'll kick your ass with its unique type of alcohol and its content.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino Nest's Red Rice Ale is certainly one of the most unique beers available. It pours a hazy deep gold body that streams with effervescent carbonation beneath a 3/4" cap of fluffy, bright-white foam. The head retention is very good and it leaves some nice spots and thins splashes of transient lace throughout the glass. The nose is quite unusual with an aroma that expresses wheat, but is also similar to that of a dry white wine combined with a touch of play-doh. It's light-medium bodied with a very delicate, effervescent carbonation that lends a mild zest to the tongue before it warms in the mouth becoming airy and slightly creamy. There's an odd, almost medicinal, lightly tart, and slightly candyish note in the flavor that's quite unique. It's kind of like delicate spice wrapped in soft, creamy candy - all tied together with a twine of dried flowers. It finishes with its sweetness rapidly fading as its tartness and bitterness rise; and a mild bitterness, spicy hop, light phenolic, and some astringency linger in the mouth. As odd as it is, it's also quite delicate; and in that way it becomes quite enticing. There are some harsh notes to it; but there are also harsh notes in the best Belgian gueuze. They're what gives it it's character, and this beer is nowhere near as intense as a gueuze. You may not love it, but it's certainly worth trying. I find it intriguing, and perhaps, one of the most interesting beers in the world. My highest praise to Mr. Toshiyuki Kiuchi!

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Photo of Tolnik
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a great beer of course I haven't tried that many rice beers but it definitely makes me want to find more. This reddish orange beer poured out with a decent amount a finger and half of foam and reduced to wisps of lacing. The floweral, hoppy, and malt beer is a good balance of characteristics. The taste is an amazing sensation of floweral, bit of colander peaking through and taste of rice.

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Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright, red-orange color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Some sediment at the end. Very good lacing.

S: A sweet aroma of rice, yeast, and some fruit.

T: A surprisingly different flavor. Yeast, esters, an unidentifiable fruit, and of course, rice. Definitely not your typical BSPA, but nonetheless very tasty and vibrant.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a slightly slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An unusual, yet totally drinkable take on the Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. Nubby with a red and white label. No freshness date, in english anyways. Pours a light red when held to the light. Bright copper when I put it down. Bright white picky head that settles to thin layer of white. Aroma is very different, sour, fresh cut strawberries, cherries, yeasty, some sake and a pinch of hay. Flavor is dilicious, crisp, resfreshimg and almost thirst quenching. Like lemon and strawberry steeped ice water. The fresh strawberry flavor finds a nice little resting spot on the center kid the palate. Some crisp tartness more than hop betterness, yeasty and dry, rather hi carbonation finishes this one like seltzer water. Really a nice beer that should have it's own category. Although it's different I really enjoy the interpretation of the style. This beer is extremely drinkable, I wish I had another bottle.


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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very unusual and delicious beer from an always reliable Japanese brewer. I don't think it really fits in the Belgian Strong Pale category, but then I guess it would have to have a category of its own. This is a unique melding of the sake and western beer brewing styles.

Pours a hazy, thick plum color with pink highlights. Short white head that quickly disappears.

Smell is yeasty and waxy with definite sake overtones. Red rice sake I've had in the past has that same waxy smell.

Taste is quite nice and complex- even better than expected. An earthy bitterness up front, followed by a red rice waxiness, and finally a lingering hop bitterness that blends with the delicious waxiness. Very complex- I can see now the Belgian connection. The same kind of yeasty funkiness with unusual flavors that are hard to pin down. A big beer, a little spicy, but not the same flavor component you usually see. Fascinating!

Mouthfeel is great- creamy and thick without any stickiness or cloying presence at all. Fairly highly carbonated, but that cuts through the thickness.

Very drinkable. For me, that waxy rich taste keeps leading me down this road. Very balanced and even though fairly high abv, no discernable alcohol.

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Photo of CPeterson
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- A hazy pinkish orange brew pours into a three finger head and settles into a thick skim and leaves patchy layers of lacing.

S -- Yeasty, almost lacto essence -- sour cherry and tartness, a slight hint of alcohol.

T -- Berry flavors, a mild sharpness from the alcohol, starchy bitterness which balances out the sweetness, earth tones and mineral on the finish. Well balanced.

M -- Full on the palate and dry without being terribly drying. Well carbonated and semi soft finish.

D -- So unusual and approachable that it makes you want more. Very nice offering, I'll be on the look out for other products from this brewery.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised to see how low the reviews are for this beer. I loved it.

My sample poured with a pillowy, off-white head that lingered all the way down the glass and left nice lacing.

The aroma was sweet and inviting, with a spicy, fruity yeast nose. There was also a very distinct sharpness to it.

The taste was awesome. Perhaps it was the red rice, but there was definitely a unique flavor that made an impression.

The mouthfeel was medium-bodied, and seemed to have a contribution from a sugar source other than barley.

A very drinkable brew, and I will definitely order one sometime with my sushi.

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Photo of Idigbeer
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hazy orange pinkish rosee. A tight 1/4 inch white dissipating head.

Aroma: Grainy, hay, mild clove and estery fruitieness resembling strawberries.

Taste: Dry but mildly sweet, more grain & hay with a more pronounced strawberry character

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with tight carbonation but surpisingly not highly carbonated.

Overall: We crafted subtley complex beer. Very drinkable at 7% but a lot going on.

*Style correction: This beer is not a Belgian Strong Pale it is a Rice beer (25%of grain bill) fermented with an Ale and Sake Yeast.

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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 699 ratings.
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