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 Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(bottle code RR.13.07 - poured into a balloon)

A: super (smog) cloudy, strawberry juice hue... initial whipped egg-white foam recedes quickly into a sticky surface film, thin, bubbly collar

S: powdery, baseball-card bubble gum... Turkish Delight, candied/crystallized watermelon... rice paper candy... perhaps a faint pink grapefruit fragrance... as far as beers go, quite unique! - un-beerlike, for sure...

T: very much like the aromas - I've had this a few times, though, where it's not all nearly as starchy as it seems here... close to but maybe not quite a cross between passion fruit and papaya, though without any sweetness - not a ton of bitterness either - a weakly acidic showing in the finish...

M: sort of a frothy, airy, finely-whipped texture - vaguely reminiscent of the whipped foam atop cappuccino... bit of a nectar-like pull beneath the sudsy wash... pretty damn dry... touch of gummy, citrus juice lip-smacky-ness in the aftertaste

O: this is it! - excellent accompaniment for sushi... this was an outlier - this is usually a bit more sparkling and crisp, but still nectary - more vibrant fruitiness... always a treat though - definitely worth checking out if you've never had it

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice orange red amber with a nice white head. Has a great aroma. Lots of dark sediment (which I assume is the red rice). This is a living beer! What is so great is that the bubbles continuously move the rice particles around. Cool! Nice slightly sweet smell. Good taste with the slightest of sweetness at the backend due to the rice. Very easy beer to drink and lots of substance.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A slighty browned rose pink, not unlike Shloer. Pretty good un-uniform off-white head.

S: Strawberry and fudge with yeasty peppiness. Again, Shloer.

T: Yup, Shloer. But more strawberry than rasberry. Actually there's a weird oily flavour that you find in cheap wine but it's only apparent in the first sip. While dry and a bit Alka-Seltzer like, it does have quite a nice fruitiness. There's also a slight touch of pepper. Not quite as piquant as it could probably be.

M: Light and delicate. Could perhaps use a little more fizz to boost the flavour profile.

O: I was anticipating a sake tasting beer but this is nothing of the sort. It is, however, quite interesting and I think it's quirky beers like this that are going to put Japan on the craft beer map instead of their middle of the road faux American stuff.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.14/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle marked RR.13.09 at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of phenolic compounds
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing poor, occasional small island
Body orange, cloudy with visible particles and floaters, sediment in bottle
Flavor unremarkable, lightly sweet with phenolics from yeast. Ends slightly sweet, no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl.
Body medium, creamy, soft carbonation.

Very mundane version of Belgium pale ale. Meets the basic description but nothing special, unless you consider that it’s made with red rice.

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Photo of levineju
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 12oz. single stub bottle from Whole Foods for a guilty $6.50. Worth it? Let's see...

A - deep, tangerine colored cider. Very opaque. Initially yielded quite a bit of cream colored head that collapsed quickly and never returned. No lacing retained as it goes down.

S - sweet and bright, with notes of citrus candy; grapefruit; quite a bit of malt that intensifies as it sits.

T - comes across very Belgian, which this Japanese brewery is known for employing, but there is a uniqueness that I can't quite place; light, zippy, with good malt and citrus brightness throughout. Pure rice grain is noticeable on the exhale.

M - a little sharp at first, with some decent carbonation. It mellows out a bit once the volatiles escape. There's a bit of carb-y film that retains in the mouth throughout the sampling.

O - Very unique; a curious beer for the curiously minded.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Neat find on tap at Beer Revolution, one of the most unique brews I've had to date and could almost be its own style ... If oatmeal stout is sufficiently different to qualify as distinct, a beer made with red rice and sake yeast damn straight qualifies as well. Don't get me wrong, it does have some Belgian character. This brew is an unusual color that I can best describe as red apple juice, not quite as sparkly as the darker pale ales and IPAs, with a decent quantity of noticeably large white bubbles. Smells like nutty malt, rich sweet yeast, and fermented honey, along with some banana and spice esters. The taste diverges from Belgian though, butterscotch and strawberry vanilla custard (again with a hint of banana) with a pungent nuttiness like wild rice. The unique grist is really adding something distinct to the flavor. Although not aggressively boozy, the latter does reveal itself over time. I can also detect some floral, grassy hops in the middle. Fairly aggressive carbonation. The finish is crisp and there is a sake-like graininess that scrubs the palate clean after each sip. Wow. Fruity and yet still quite dry, with the wild rice nuttiness persisting right up until the finish. This one is a keeper and ignore the price point: Try it at least once.

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Photo of scootny
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The head is just fabulous. Copious amounts and decent lacing. Hazy light golden fluid with a few specks here and there. Aroma is light bodied and grainy with a touch of yeast. Sweet honey notes flow in bring out the light malt. Taste is flat out great. Red rice malt gives the flavors of light pilsner malt and it's sweet grain character. Subtle amounts of light fruits from apples to a hint of strawberry and bubblegum . Trace honey and mild pepper lead into a dry finish with a mild Saaz hop signature. Super mellow Belgian yeast presence that ties it all together. The Belgo-fruit notes are here but in mild form as with the funk. I mentioned the dry finish. It is hard to do it justice as it is perfect and delicately done. A super quenching and refreshing beer that begs you to quaff as much as you like while packing a respectable alcohol wallop. Feel is light and creamy in the carbonation with a just right weight to the liquid, light and supple. Incredibly drinkable this beer is one of the best session ale I've had period. Flat Out Great Beer! I may not fir they typical BSPA profile but wow is to good.

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Photo of pkalix
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

zero head, just a non-carbonated juice-looking drink sitting there. except for the fizzy, coke-like fizz right on the pour, it's very flat...
smells kind of sour, a little bit of vinegar, a little bit of malt....
taste is the same. tangy metallic taste, almost. some tartness in the back. a Japanese version of a sour, maybe? very thin compared to most sours, specific gravity-wise and taste-wise. hope it doesn't ruin the taste for my next beer....
overall, it's okay. nothing I think i'd buy again, but nothing I regretted trying. 7% is an admirable level of alcohol.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The smell is best described as funkalicious. If you smell it, you'll know what I mean. It's a strange, sour, fruity smell that is unlike any beer smell I've ever smelled.
The taste continues the theme of bizarre and intriguing. It is absolutely on the sour side with a fungusy yeast tone, but an oddly familiar flavour right behind it. It tastes like you're chewing on a flower....I want to say honeysuckle. It has an obvious sweetness to it, while not seeming all that sugary. It has a very smooth, thin mouthfeel, which unfortunately means no fun, but the thin, smoothness goes well with the sweet, flowery flavour. Despite this, the alcohol is oddly not present. It's 7% and has just a bit of citrusy hops to hide behind along with a very present funky yeast flavour. I'm not sure why it doesn't taste hotter. As a fan of alcohol flavour, I'm a little disappointed, but it's hard to be when this beer is such an all-around treat. It is very out there, very different from what I've had before, and very out-of-the-box experience.

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Photo of wl0307
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Coming in a 330ml short brown bottle, bottled date: 04/2013, served mildly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a lightly translucent, dark orangey golden to light amber colour, coming with a creamy and frothy off-white head with good retention and mild carbonation.
S: so aromatic comes the fragrant purple rice (as I know it) and gristy quality pale malts, paired with a mild grapey fruit aroma and citric hops, as well as an intriguing edge of acidity probably from the Sake yeasts. Given a good swirl, more gristy pale malt aroma comes to the fore, along with a lightly spicy-bitter edge. Overall, aromatic and distinctive; very nice.
T: lightly effervescent, the foretaste is initially estery sour, dry-ish and yet also grainy sweet, with a sweetness more than that of malted barleys and venturing into the region of purple rice. In the aftertaste, a unique tinge of esters really quite like good quality Sake prevails, lending a gristy but dry-ish mouthfeel lingering at the end of the palate, where the lightly spicy bitterness also contributes to the complexity. Unavoidably for a 7%abv. ale utilising Sake yeasts and Red Rice, the finish also shows quite obvious overtones of alc.
M&O: refreshing on the mouthfeel, medium-bodied, the flavour profile is quite simple yet fragrant and nice, while the alc. content is definitely there to assert its presence without any pretentiousness. All in all, a very fragrant and distinctive beer worth tasting once in a life time, really.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 11.2fl oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a snifter in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger white head with static carbonation. Cloudy orange color with drips of reddish yeast on top. Attractive.

S- Floral and spicy. A slight funk, but a really unremarkable aroma to be honest.

T- Some Belgian yeasts and floral hops. Has a pale ale quality along with a little spiciness from the Belgian quality.

M- "Fluffy," and smooth. Airy with minimal carbonation.

O- Pretty weak smell, but all-around a decent beer.

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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 impending
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75


33cl into a tulip. Pours a dull heavily hazed orange gold, minimal head, no lacing of merit.

The aroma is bright, yeasty, fruity with a touch of sweet citrus and a tiny mustyness that is on the cusp of being imagined.

A surprising level of candy sweetness bursts. Undefined pulpy light fruits and a nice hop bittering in the finish to keep it in check. Between light & medium bodied mouthfeel.

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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 KFBR392
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A unique hue to this brew. Looks like a combination of orange, red, and pink. Merky body look here with some pleasant carbonation. The head was present but not a major factor.

Smell: Metallic almost artifical booze aroma at the front. But undernearth that is a smokey exotic smell that is tough to put my finger on. Malt, fruits, wild rice, and creamy dairy.

Taste: Bright fruits and very earthy tones provide a very powerful body for this brew. The red rice character in this beer is also very tough to put my finger on, comes off as a marinara cream sauce. Really unique. Some fresh orange peel is very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: A nice mixture of creamy smooth and a slightly dry finish. Goes down easy!

Overall: A very easy drinking beer. Light, crisp, and very refreshing. I've been pleasantly surprised by these beers from Hitachino's Nest beers. Keep an eye out and give them a try.

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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 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 doktorhops
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino - the finest of Japanese brewers (from previous drinking experiences) have crafted many fine and intricate ales of variety from a Wit Bier that competes with the best of Belgian Wits [pun intended] to the lowest of lows; Ginger beer (yeah I'm obviously not a fan of Ginger beers). With Red Rice Ale we have what could be considered their most enticing sounding of brews, Kampai!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Presents with a cloudy tangelo body and off-white thin lacing for a head.

S: Interesting malty rice wine aromas mixed with sweet honey, sour yeast and bitter melon. It's quite a fusion you would expect from a Japanese ale (not the Lagers, they usually smell like other Asian Lagers).

T: It's a tangy nutty Sake flavoured roller-coaster ride we have here. Such is the difference to a Western style ale it could be off-setting for some. For me it's quite expected within the flavour-profile Japanese tend towards. We have a hint of sweet berries upfront, not as much as expected, followed by a tangy citric edge, dry rice malt centre, nut and earth flavours finish off with an almost umami aftertaste (I swear the Japanese always figure out a way to slip umami into everything). The end result, apart from an excellent flavour balance, is an ale that is quite unique and very, very Japanese.

M: Mid to light body with light carbonation.

D: Judged on the flavour alone I would have a section of the fridge portioned off for this along with Duvel, La Chouffe, Orval, Gueuze (which is a type of beer I know), Gulden Draak, and Little Creatures Pale Ale (had to have an Australian beer somewhere)... however the price! I'm not a millionaire, although I should be - I have millionaire tastes, however at this stage I can only dream of affording this quirky but tasty ale on a regular basis... those are some mighty fine dreams right there.

Food match: Japanese food + Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale = Brain Sensory Awesomeness Overload (or BSAO for short). Specifically a Yakiniku rice burger would be ace with this brew.

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Photo of Cugabuh
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer is quite attractive to say the least. With a foamy head that retains and bubbles right to the last drop, this beer will scream carbonation right from the get go!

Raise the beer to your lips and get a whiff of the beer. There’s a mild spiciness to it that is balanced by hints of berries.

This will hold true for the taste as well, however the berry/fruit flavors tend to jump out a little bit more. Along with this comes the distinctive rice taste that the beer gets its name for.

Furthermore, I feel the mouthfeel of this beer reflects the rice flavoring as well. Though the high carbonation jumps out at your tongue at first, a silky, smooth feeling follows - a feeling one would expect when imagining the flavor and taste of rice. I think this explains the little to no lacing this beer possesses. There is such a bubbly, foamy head, yet the silkiness of the beer allows it to roll down the glass cleanly.

Overall I am thoroughly impressed by this beer and will be trying other Hitachino brews very soon!

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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 Serge
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. It pours an off-white head over a hazy, dark golden body. The label says it should have a pink tint. The aroma is mostly fruity, but there’s also a little touch of cooked rice, in a pleasant way that is. the flavor is fruity with some berries, and some sweet pale malts as a base. Medium to full body, feeling a bit papery. The finish has a balancing bitterness. A nice one, unusual but nice, amazing with sushi.

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Photo of julian89
2.87/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle to pint glass

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a 1/2" head and hardly any retention.

Smell: A strong citrus smell and fresh hops. A flowery spring smell with a fair amount of rice.

Taste: Very light with am aftertaste of rice. Not much else, the citrus smell is dampened and doesn't come through much in the taste to me.

Mouthfeel: So incredibly light and not much carbonation.

Drinkability: Taste okay I guess, won't return to it though.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish pint glass. Label says idea.

A- Pours a light amber color with a 1/2 inch white head that doesn't retain very well before flittering away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half-sheet of soft surface foam. Unimpressive lacing.

S- Crisp adjunct smell, surely due to the rice. Light Belgian yeast aroma with some spice and faint fruit.

T- Light flavor of more rice but there's a sturdy malt backbone coupled with semi-fruity yeast notes. There's some apricot that's complimented well by the mild use of hops. Pleasantly surprised by the smoothness in relation to the ABV.

M- Kind of the only downfall, once again because of the rice. Watery and without much substance. Also could use more carbonation since it's medium-low.

O- I really enjoyed the flavor and drinkability of this beer, but it fell short in all other categories. Honestly not worth the $5 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

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Photo of seand
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light amber with a fair amount of dense white head. The head dissipates to a thin ring fairly quickly, leaving temporary spots of lacing.

S: Light sweet rice; definitely reminiscent of a crappy adjunct lager, but there's more going on here. Thick sweet malt background.

T: Malty, fruity, and lightly grainy sweetness, leading into a dry finish with a touch of sweetness and touch of hops.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, quite enjoyable. I'd have it again, but I won't spend time seeking it out.

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Photo of PeterM
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: slightly clouded warm tan with thin head that quickly dissipates leaving a slight ring on the top that persists.

S: fermented fruit that's hard to place (cherry?) with a sharp note

T/M: Slight effervescence that doesn't take away from the smooth character of this beer. There's a hint of bitterness that follows on behind the beautifully balanced, somewhat subtle flavors.

O: This doesn't try to hit you with ... well ... any of itself. It's very balanced and satisfying. It seems like a lighter kind of brew, but leaves a warmth that's very satisfying. Definitely drink again when a more subtle beer's called for.

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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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