Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

710 Ratings
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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Ratings: 710 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of litheum94
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle stamped "RR.11.03"

Red tinged, golden body, like a weakly brewed raspberry tea. Bubbly, pink tinged head that settles to a faint cover.

Aromas of spicy, glutanous rice and a sweet, rice milk essence. The nose is dominated by the red rice.

The exotic rice is the most evident flavor, following the nose very closely. There's a very starchy feel to the body, but also creamy like milk. The body is actually pretty good for a rice ale. Very light floral hopping on the finish, just enough to give it a bite.

This is the first rice based beer that I've actually enjoyed. Good flavors and the body actually holds up well. It's a little pricey, but worth it.

 674 characters

Photo of Grebdioz
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of OBIrish24
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of champ103
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice hazed golden/orange/red color. A two finger white/pinkish head forms with good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind. Very unique coloration going on here.
S: Minty, spicy, earthy. Lightly sweet with some citrus rind aromas lingering.
T: Big minty flavor with is slightly sweet and tart. Slick and oily hops. Light peppery notes.
M/D: Medium body with crisp carbonation. A slick and oily feel. Surprisingly hot, and add the slick/oily feel that I am not a fan of and this is a bit harder to drink than I would like.

Not bad, certainly worth a try. Interesting to say the least. Though probably not a repeat purchase.

 637 characters

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of damndirtyape
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle (RR 11 08 stamped on side) poured into a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Much as others have described, the beer is a cloudy red-orange with a hint of pink to it. The pink color is quite notable when you first pour it. The foam pours an off-white/faint pain rocky head that dies back to leave just a thin skin across the top. Some tiny strands of lacing here and there. I noted that some sediment came along despite a careful pour, so that may be coloring my review a bit.

Smell: Cooked rice, some fruity esters (grape mostly), very mild skunk, but that skunk goes away as it warms up. Definitely has some Belgian character to the smell, barest hint of herbal hops with the malt and sweetness among the dominant grain smell (rice).

Taste: Complex with lots of flavors blending together quickly. Hops - bitter/earthy, sweetness - fruit/grape/berry (raspberry?), grains - barest flavor of rice and some malt in there. The hops and sweet flavors dominate.

Mouthfeel: Just right carbonation - a tiny bit prickly on the tongue but then gone. Nothing sticking to the teeth. Slick and thicker than water, but just barely.

Overall / Drinkability: Neat to try out. At first when I had this I thought that putting into the category of a Belgian strong pale ale was incorrect, but as I drink more of it, I think that's a reasonable place for this beer which is distinctly Japanese and very unique in flavor and style. Glad to try, but not sure I would call this highly drinkable. It's an acquired taste - interesting, challenging to define, delicate and complex, and to that end good overall. But I can't see myself going out of my way to get it again. Still, as I look at the other ratings, I think this is a good beer and so despite my counter-arguments on only trying it once, I'll rate this as good overall.

 1,815 characters

Photo of brokentee
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a grapefruit juice like color with no head.
Smells sweet and floral with hints of citrus
Tastes a bit sweet, with subtle hints of strawberries, little alcohol, finishes very dry.
Mouth feel is a bit thin with medium carbonation.

Very interesting beer... I would drink this if I was out having sushi. Not something I would drink on a regular basis.

 355 characters

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Sarah515
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of bkoch81
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of weizenbob
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 500 ml bottle was purchased at Beertopia in Omaha, NE for $4.59. Hitachino Nest's website describes this as "an intriguing mix of sake, malt and bitter notes in the finish." Being culturally retarded, I have no idea what sake tastes like. This could be a new experience for me. I popped the cap and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A moderate pour yields about a finger of blush foamy head. Retention is decent. Moderate lacing holds steady. The brew is deep amber in hue. There is quite a lot of haze. The head is intriguing, but otherwise there is nothing to distinguish the visual aesthetic from any other amber ale.

The aroma comes on with a soft fruity character. It's the aroma of beer that has been brewed with actual fruit, rather than fruit aromas that manifest as a result of malt complexity. Mild cardboard and soy sauce characters appear but are oddly pleasant. The scent is unusual, and in writing it doesn't sound all that appealing, but it works.

The first sip reveals one of the most exotic ales that I have encountered. The initial impression is of berries, again, the taste of a beer brewed with actual berries (Short's Soft Parade is the closest approximation that comes to mind). After that, the beer is a strange concoction of tobacco and spearmint. The faintest creamy impression of marshmallow acts as the glue that ties everything together in a way that is somewhat similar to fruit chewing gum, or fruit gelato. Those descriptors are still completely inadequate in describing the flavor on my tongue. It feels like fruit beer and tastes like nothing else I've encountered. Despite claiming 7% ABV, the alcohol is nowhere to be found in the taste. Hop bitterness is nonexistent. I'm loving this.

The beer is medium bodied, but feels light and refreshing due somewhat to the mildly stinging carbonation and fruity profile. This is my first Hitachino Nest brew, and though I was hoping my first would be Hitachino White, this is a very pleasant surprise. It's a good thing that this is not readily available to me because I would buy this all of the time. Cost be damned!


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz for this awesomely unique ale from Japan!

 2,228 characters

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Neorebel
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at an Asian restaurant in Boston. Pours a reddish brown tint with little to no head. In the nose I was picking up some malt sweetness and dried fruit aromas. The taste was very 'floral' with a little tartness as well. Pleasantly light. Can't tell this is a 7% ABV beer. The rice really comes through in the finish - as an avid sake drinker - I really enjoyed this.

 373 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of kevo237
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of shadynasty
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a reddish, copper color with about a finger and a half of very white, foamy head.

S: Smells sweet with some lighter malt, honey, some trace hop bitterness and faint lemon zest.

T/M: It’s strongly carbonated and sweet again up front, like straight sugar flavored with red berry syrup followed by a mild, lingering bitterness. The experience is very much reminiscent of a soda, but not quite as sweet. The excessive carbonation, the gratuitous sugar sweetness and almost artificial fruitiness combine to form something more akin to a Fanta than a Hitachino.

It wouldn’t be that bad on a warmer day and the 7% is masked quite well, but if you want something that tastes like beer, you might want to look for something else.

 787 characters

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of tonyf55
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Rifugium
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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.

 525 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an appetizing hazy reddish copper with a fairly thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Aroma is somewhat malty and a teeny bit fruity, if not strong. Flavor is - hmmm, this is interesting. Not malty, really, rather fruity, quite different from other beers I have tried, not sweet and not bitter, just tasty. Some yeasty hints. Texture is smooth and fizzy, above-average body. An interesting beer.

 400 characters

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 710 ratings.
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