Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

331 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: 331 | Ratings: 701
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 7/2014.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, floral, fruit, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, fruit, yeast, and medicinal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast 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 an above average beer that has an odd medicinal quality in the taste that makes this one a bit difficult to drink much of.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out with a really cool looking red color. It almost looks artifical. The head is fizzy and with a pinkish color to it. The smell of the beer was decent, I wasn't really able to get much out of the aroma on this beer besides some light spicy notes. The taste of the beer was a bit on the spicy side with some sweet malts in the back end. The mouthfeel was light and drinkable. Overall I thought the beer looked really cool but the rest of the beer was kind of a let down. I would still drink it again though.

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Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish pink in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation along with lots of fine particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a thin off white head that died down, leaving some bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of cooked rice and yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of fruity yeast and notes of herbal hops along with a very slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer that uses adjuncts, this beer has an interesting taste and seems a bit like sake in some aspects.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought a single of this for about $4.50

Ive gotta admit, the interesting label is what caught my eye about this one and made me purchase it. Pours a pinkish/tan color.. one of the oddest colored beers I might have ever poured. Heavily carbonated, maybe a bit too much.. some fruity flavors are definitely tastes as well, raspberry/strawberry like to be specific. Has a tart taste as well and finishes very dry. Definitely unlike any beer I've had before. Hides the ABV pretty well too and is pretty drinkable. Glad I tried it, but I would never get this again especially for the price tag.. gotta love the different beers across the globe.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a special brew...not at all what I expected from a Japaneese brewery. Would describe better as a Flander's Red, this beer starts off with a very tart, sour, berry-like aroma and flavor. Decorated with tart cherry, raspberry, and cider-ey notes, the beer delivers a full flavor throughout. Beginning with a dense eggshell head that remained creamy, the full flavor shows strong wine-like qualities, and low lying sweet malts. The color is a hazy cherry or berry red color. The body falls a bit weak from the souring. Musky and earthy with yeasty and almost moldy, the beer stays crisp and clean. Approaching astringent levels, it is very good and thirst quinching. Perhaps a bit grainy in the finish and lightly hoppy. it could have a better sweet malt flavor and a heftier body, but nevertheless, this is a really good beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

720ml, very sturdy, contoured bomber, this one is. Cute/creepy Hitachino Nest owl insignia, for this 'RR' ale.

This beer pours a cloudy dark golden amber colour, with two fingers of weakly puffy, bubbly, and generally soapy dirty white head, which leaves a bit of random mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of wine yeast, that robust, starchy dark rice that my gf likes so much, grainy pale malt, some musty citrus, and earthy root vegetables. The taste is toasted rice, white sugar, pale malt, dry, sour yeast, an isolated herbal spiciness, and mildly floral, earthy hops. Very sake-like.

The carbonation is quite soft, and generally lilting, the body a decent medium weight, smooth and even a little creamy. It finishes well off-dry, a clean, yeasty non-store-brand rice-pudding essence persisting.

A very satisfying, well balanced, and interesting in its mirror world character strong yeasty ale. Another Hitachino offering that defies current BA classification - I suppose this would require the existence of a 'Japanese Rice Ale' category or the like, one better befitting this beer than any particular Belgian shoehorning that seems to be going on here.

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Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brilliant but hazy dark peach color with a nice white head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Fermented sweet rice smell with a vague hint of cherry

Taste: Starts out with a vague sweet sake flavor; after the swallow some dryness kicks in that provides a nice mellow balance; vague almond and cherry tones emerge along with some slightly sour notes that add complexity

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: Why the description of this persists as a BSPA after so many comments to the contrary is a mystery; this beer defies categorization but is definitely worthy of consideration; I like it!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light reddish color ale with a medium white foamy head with OK retention and no lacing. Aroma of fruity ester and light sugar with dry malt base if somewhat unique. Taste is also a strange mix between ester with a balance sweet malt base. The grain bill is definitely unique as I had never tasted red rice before. Body is bit light with good carbonation and alcohol is really not apparent. Interesting experiment and definably something I would drink more then once.

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Photo of zeff80
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a strange, cloudy orange/brown color (reminded me of pond water). Had a nice foamy, two-finger head. Left good lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit, grains and malt.

T - It tasted of spices and malt. Also, a little dried fruit quality.

M - It was very crisp and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Very good beer. Much better than their white ale.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in July 2012. Pours fairly cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big apple, pear, peach, clove, pepper, citrus zest, honey, bready grain, floral, grass, herbal, and earthy yeast esters. Very nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity. Taste of pear, apple, peach, clove, pepper, lemon, cracker, bready grain, honey, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Fair amount of peppery spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, cracker, bready grain, honey, floral, grass, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance with good complexity; nice malt and yeast spiciness balance; and zero cloying flavors present on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian style golden ale! Very nice complexity and balance of fruity and spicy esters with malt balance; and extremely smooth and crisp to sip on. This was a very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of white head on a hazy, golden body. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Spicy yeast and pilsner malt. Some minor fruity notes and spicy alcohol.

T - Musty european hops and some peppery yeast up front. More hop flavor with apple notes in the middle. The finish displays some malt character along with more musty hops and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Kind of weak. The flavors are muddy and there is nothing that jumps out to make the beer interesting. Not an awful beer, just kind of bland and certainly not up to Kiuchi Brewery's normal standards.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange color with a light head that leaves some light lacing,aroma is of grain alcohol and some green apple.I have had saki only a few times but I pick up a big saki flavor to this brew in the finish along with a light smokiness and like a few others a light olive juice flavor as well.A real odd and perplexing beer but it kinda grown on ya after a few drinks,glad I gave it a try.

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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 TheManiacalOne
2.36/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 21oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of pungent and contains Belgian yeast & strong spices along with fruit and rice.

T: The taste is sweet, spicy and bready with flavors of rice, fruit and yeast. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there’s a mild hops presence to provide a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style while keeping the rice element prevalent. While this is one of the better rice ales that I’ve had, I’m really starting to get turned off by these beers as they typically just don’t seem to taste right even though I keeping trying to give them a fair chance.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Very nice! Poured into a nondescript tulip glass, a slightly hazy orange-peach color with a golden-hued, fluffy head that retained well throughout the session. Aroma was pretty much what I'd expect sweet rice to smell like, notes of citrus zest, a bit grassy. Nice crisp taste, somewhat reminiscent of sake up front, with tones of lemon zest, apple skin, peach, and white grapes; just a touch of sourness. Bready and grassy, very light and enjoyable. Light-bodied and very drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy reddish golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some orange highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a couple of small patches of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate flavors of pale malts, rice, and some light fruits (apple and pear) along with some spicy yeast.

T: Light to moderate flavors of pale malts and rice along with some slightly sour notes of light fruits (apple and pear). There are definite notes of spicy yeast and a very light amount of bitterness which fades quickly near the finish.

M: Slightly less than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Pretty easy to drink and the alcohol in this beer is well hidden - not the best example of the style but it is interesting that it is made with red rice.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep pink body with a bubbly white head. Definitely looks like pink champagne!

Smell: A compelling aroma of grains, strawberries, and perfumy jasmine blossoms. Slighty medicinal.

Taste: Seemingly sweet at first, the taste abruptly shifts to tart and sour. Flavors of strawberries, watermelon Jolly Rancers, and ginger. It does indeed share some characteristics with sake. And yes, there's more hair-raising medicinal properties.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: A unique, if slightly unsettling beer experience. It's medicinal, lactic qualities aren't too endearing to me, either. I'll stick to their Celebration Ale instead.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heavily dusted amber. I was led to believe there would be a light pinkish blush, but... nada. The big-bubbled, bone white head has a surface that resembles a cheese grater. Languidly popping bubbles lead to a languid descent despite the near absence of visible carbonation. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lotta lace (in my best Robert Plant voice).

The nose is disappointing. I'm not sure what I was expecting from a BSPA brewed in Japan from red rice, but this isn't it. There's a hint of spicy yeast that has the suggestion of a hint of a shadow of Belgian yeastiness about it. It's too muted to appreciate much, so the above (pathetic) description will have to do.

Okay, given the flavor profile, we can now throw all aspirations toward the stated style right out the window. Whatever HNRRA is, it isn't a BSPA. It's pale malty, slightly sweet, earthily hopped, undercarbonated... and ultimately uninteresting. I didn't have a clue what red rice tasted like prior to drinking this beer and I still don't. There's nothing exotic or different on the palate that would lead me to believe that it's brewed with anything other than the usual four ingredients.

Whereas a true BSPA, at least a good one, zips and zings around the mouth, colliding with taste buds left and right, this one just sort of lies there flavorwise. A mildly sweet fruitiness emerges on the finish, but the strawberry flavor that is claimed by the brewery (like the pink color), is nowhere to be found. Perhaps I got the strawberry-free version.

I don't have too many complaints about the mouthfeel, although it isn't a standout. It's closer to light than to medium. The fine-gauged carbonation exhausts itself before the beer leaves the mouth, lending a somewhat flat feeling to the finish.

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale doesn't impress me. I love Kiuchi's White Ale. Sweet Stout (Lacto) and this one leave a lot to be desired. According to my three minutes of Google research, red rice lowers cholesterol, so at least I can take something positive away from this experience. At $3.49 per 12 oz. bottle, however, Lipitor is considerably more cost effective.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle at Myers and Chang in Boston.

A: Poured a pink/red color with a light pink head on top, very sudsy, about one inch in height. The head faded rather quickly leaving behind little bits of side lace.

S: Fruity for sure, some sort of red fruit, almost like fruit punch (but not in a sugary way), as well as a little bit of apple. Can pick out the rice a little bit.

T: The berries are a bit subdued in the flavor profile, but there is some strawberry and raspberry as well as a little bit of apple and tangerine. Lots of sweetness from the malt and rice.

M: On the light side of medium bodied with nice carbonation. Slightly dry finish. No sign of this being 7% either.

O: An interesting beer, pretty tasty. Didn't know it was a BSPA until I logged onto BA when I got home, kind of surprised me, but wasn't sure what style I thought it would be anyway. A nice change of pace beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one very kindly from Mr. Ding. I had only had one thing from them previously, so I was very excited to be able to try another to be honest. I Belgian Strong Pale Rice lager we shall see how that one turns out. Anyway, nice little stubby bottle with a cool looking own on the front, I poured this one right out of the fridge into a nice pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was very nice, with a pinkish, peach colored liquid coming out of the bottle and hitting the glass very lightly. A nice smooth white pillow then came over the top, about a half an inch thick and quickly faded away, leaving behind a thin crown and a token of side glass lace. Nice carbonation could be seen bubbling up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - The aroma was light and fruity, you could almost smell the carbonation. Nice light fruits, apples, pears, and naturally a bit of rice coming off of it. Very light, pleasing and refreshing aroma. A touch of sour to it as well, but still very light and nice.

Taste - The flavor was rather interesting. Started out with a light rice and sour apple combination of a flavor. Weird combo to be honest, but we shall trudge on. As it warmed it became more fruity, hints of pears, peaches, and light apricot were starting to come out, but still with that touch of sour twang. The whole thing was offset though by a weird rice like taste, it just did not come off right. Long lasting finish really zapped the mouth of any moisture and left you looking for the next sip right away.

Mouthfeel - A very light bodied ale, with a very nice carbonation profile. It was actually a touch crisp and refreshing, which was interesting for something that was this strong. Decent enough, it went well dinner.

Drinkability - No idea this was 7%, I was easily able to throw down the little bottle without much of a problem. There was a nice light body to it, and I could see myself having more then one of these any day.

Overall I thought this was pretty good, a little different but still pretty good. I could see myself having it again one day, it has its time and place I am sure.

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Photo of Jason
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odd golden beige hue with evident haze, real nice off white lace that stays for a while due to the active carbonation.

Smells of cooked wild rice, mild tartness, spicy sweet alcohol and earthy yeast.

Slightly viscous carbonation has bit of body to roll through. Tad slick in the mouth, crispness build as the spicy alcohol and sharp bitterness hit. Mild tartness middle to end, yeast tones soften the palate a little. Wild rice flavours throughout meld with the yeast and go both earthy and nutty. Alcoholic esters are only faintly fruity but quite warming. Finishes on the dry side.

This is one of those off the wall yet extremely interesting brews. Not something I’d buy all the time but for more of a treat or a conversational brew. Paired well with my tuna sushi roll.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a pink tinted amber with a moderate amount of haze. Head is ultra white and a little below average in size, but fortunately has a nice retention for the short layer of foam. Aroma is sweet, almost sugary sweet, with just a touch of spice. Taste is interesting and for some reason reminds me a little bit of New Belgium's Biere De Mars. A moderate tartness begins a sip and is joined by a light sweetness. The sweetness has a fruity quality. but of exactly what fruit I do not know. The interplay between the tart and sweet elements is interesting. Tartness seems to diminate at first, however after the brew warms up more sweet character is apparent. Just a bit of spice is noted towards the middle of the sip. Finish is milder and has an interesting grainy, yet wine-like quality which I guess is the rice. Red Rice is definently an interesting concoction, but not something I think I'd want very often. Though this is usually expensive, it is well worth a try.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It was at this point in the afternoon that I began to hear the Vapors' "Turning Japanese" in my head. Sake, sushi and Hitachino Nest beers were the theme of the afternoon and I was nowhere near S.F.'s Japantown! What's a guy to do?!?

This was a visual beer. Poets speak of drinking in her loveliness with their eyes. I was drinking this beer with mine eyes, that way it was less physically intoxicating. The finger of head with good retention had a pinkish cast to it. Very different in my experience. The beer's color was a hazy reddish-pink, which suddenly put me in mind of the disaster area that is Chelada. The nose was cotton candy-like in its sweetness, like strawberries and sugar. Perhaps a bit too sweet for this guy. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a definite strawberry presence on the tongue. MUCH more drinkable than the nose had led me to expect. Finish had the same cotton candy quality that I had noted on the nose. Not bad, but a little too sweet overall for my taste.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pinkish with an off white head with pink tones. Nose is mild with a slight alcohol presence. Very slight touch of yeast as well. Flavor is fruity with an odd ricey edge. Pretty odd really. Very earthy and plant like palate on it. Very unusual. Feel is good with a nice bubble to it. Borders on syrupy, but isn't quite there yet. Drinkable, sure. It's definitely a unique brew. But yet again, not sure if this one is worth going back to for the coin.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color, pale crimson, nearly peach,slight haze, under a full, fresh, white head that settles down to a tight ring with a quickness.
Aroma is hoppy and citric, a small bit sour, yielding more grassy/herbal tones than it does fruit.
Brisk, tangy initial impression on the palate, tickles for a moment, then fades. Fruit that hid from the nose shows up in the flavor, light and subtle, though, strawberries, cherries.
Body is lightish, finish is less than I like.
Oddly, my impression of this brew changed halfway through...when once i was bored and disappointed, later on it perked up and I appreciated it's uniqueness more than I had.
Still not great, but quite an interesting approach, smooth, yet still spicy and lively, but very drinkable. Quite a quencher, with a kick.

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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 701 ratings.
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