Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

706 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: 706 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of cbarrett4
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Get over the creepy/cute owl and start trying this beer! I have yet to be less than amazed by anything I've poured from them.

Poured into Unibroue tulip. Pours with a 2 1/2 inch head that stays persistently, never really dissipates all the way, but settles to about 1/2 inch head with good, frosty, off white lace. Nice opaque copper/amber hue. Very pretty.

Very complex and well defined nose. Lots of sake like aromatics, that fermented rice note. Really nicely framed with a hint of yeast, some apple and other red fruit, and very mellow spice.

Flavors settle around the sake like note with a great malty note, some more spice, and that apple.

Texture is lovely, with the slight coarse feel from brewing with rice. Alcohol is there but is well integrated. Finish is medium to long with decent balance of alcohol, acids, and tannins.

Overall this is a fantastic little gem of an ale. The rice really adds a lot without masking or detracting from the inherent quality of the base beer. It tastes authentically Japanese (since it is) and not artificial like many of the American attempts at this (or similar Japanese) style(s). A must try, if nothing else so you can say you had a red rice ale!

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Photo of bluHatter
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has long been my favorite Hitachino Nest variety, but rarely in stock anywhere in my area. When I saw my shop had been restocked, I jumped at the opportunity. Upon tasting this again after so long, my opinions have changed slightly, but it is still an exceptional ale.

A: Dark, muddy red, almost apple-cider in color. Poured with almost no head. The lacing looks like soap suds.

S: floral, deep musky scent.

T: Refreshing, rich, complex and ultimately tart - the red rice adds a unique flavor, which I personally love.

M: Smooth, nice carbonation

O: I'm not sure if my taste buds changed over time, or if the freshly imported batch tastes different than what I'd had previously, but I was stricken how different it was from what I remembered. However, I still love this ale. I relish any opportunity to taste this fine complex ale as often as I am able. It is just superb.

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4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served into a Tulip glass.Enjoyed on aprĀ“11.
Orangish light amber in color.Foggy.Yellowish white head.Foam layer is dense but quite brief with medium size bubbles.Fresh fruit -apricot & peaches- aroma.Yeasty & bready notes.Spicy,bready & gentle fruity flavors.Smooth sour mouthfeel, light carbonation,light body too.Coriander & apricot aftertaste.What a nice refreshing experience!Very well balanced flavors & aromas.Very good drinkability.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, this is a moderately hazy brown-amber beer with a very small head. The nose is somewhat vinous, very fruity, with some sweet malt. Flavor is not terrible, but not very interesting either: strong, sweet malt, with moderately high bitterness (not even a hint of hop flavor, though). Alcohol is lightly hot, but it doesn't detract from the taste. Highly fruity yeast character, as the aroma indicated. I've had sekihan, but this doesn't resemble the flavor, far as I remember. Do they mean purple rice? It doesn't taste like that either. I don't think the rice contributes much to the flavor, but I'm not sure. Absent the label, I would have guessed this is just a strong, undistinguished ale.

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Photo of weller1js
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
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 mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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 chefelf
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, my first from Kiuchi Brewery. It was far lighter than I'd imagine a beer at 7% ABV would be. I guess that could be dangerous but I only had one so it wasn't an issue.

Oh, and it features a cartoon owl on the label so that immediately boosts the score right there.

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Photo of t420o
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when pouring it looks like no beer I've ever seen. It's a beautiful rose color. A semi aggressive pour produces a 1 finger white head that rests atop the that wonderful rose color and makes for a very interesting look. Leaves very nice lacing.

S- Very floral. There are some hops, rose pedals, rice, and a nice malt backbone. Smells tasty.

T- The taste is very subtle. I usually like a more pronounced flavor, but this is done excellent. Floral hops that almost taste like flowers, malt, a rice type taste, slight bitterness. Not a hint of alcohol whatsoever.Very subtle and hard to identify all the flavors but its pretty good.

M- Nice mouthfeel. Very smooth and nice carbonation feel

O- A very good beer. Unlike anything I have every had. Very drinkable, almost sessionable, which is remarkable given the abv.

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into snifter

Color: This beer pours a very pale red and unfiltered. It creates a white one inch head that disappears slowly.

Nose: some tartness up front... most likely from the citrus in this beer. Also evident are some bread like scents and sweet malt.

Palate: soft,crisp, and light. very tasteful and complex. goes down easy and can't say enough how great it taste.

Finish: short but full of burst. sweetness and some light hops at he end. truly an achievement.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good red rice ale from hitachino, had this for the first time at WOB clematis and have since bought a bunch at TW.

The reddish/pinkish hue right off the back is pretty unique to this beer. Nice lite sweet smell and very pleasent taste make this a good session beer. Def must try if this is available in your area

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Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a translucent, semi-glowing pale amber color with a somewhat strange overall pinkish hue. My first thought on the pour was grapefruit juice, but that seems a bit off after sitting in the glass. A medium finger of tight bubbled, foamy head with decent staying power. Initially it drops in the center but basically remains around the edges like a thick whipped cream collar on top of a hot chocolate. Thick webs of lacing down the glass as the beer heads for the bottom of the glass.

S - Bread, earth, slightly herbal, a bit sour and astringent, very yeasty, sugar, a bit of bubblegum and toffee in the background. Individually, the aroma components are nothing unusual, but they blend together in an odd combination that I can't really place in a single style or other example of beer I've had. Not unpleasant, just a bit incomparable to any other beer I've stored in my memory banks.

T - Flavors are a bit on the subtle side. Fairly dry but some mild candy sugar and cotton candy sweetness does come thru. The malt is soft and a bit bready. Getting some bubblegum, fruity and floral hops, rose petals, a bit of currants. Very subtle, complex and interesting. Not really sure what to make of it, but I do like it.

M - Lightish in body, carbonation is on the light side and pretty creamy. Has a very soft feel - flavors are all subtle and come on in random layers. I seem to get something different in every sip - some more enjoyable than others, but this makes for an interesting drinking experience.

O - I'm not sure this beer really knows what it is or wants to be. So many things going on here without any one thing taking the lead in the flavors. I feel like I could come up with new descriptors for the flavors in here all night long. I give this high scores for uniqueness and and a fun and different drinking experience. Belgian Strong Pale Ale...I suppose it is a bit of a catch-all sort of category, and I don't really have a better idea what to call it, but it isn't like any other one I've ever had. Tasty and a bit confounding...worth a try.

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Photo of blakereik
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nothing great to say about this beer. Nothing bad either, it just did not make an impact either way for me. Pretty light flavor with an odd undertone. Would drink just fine very cold, so maybe a good one to have after doing some yard work. My wife thought the bottle was cute.

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Photo of aepb1
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Beige/yellow body with an off-white head

S- Some yeast and honestly some rice. Doesn't sound good but it is certainly inviting

T- Earthy rice from the beginning to the end. Some yeastiness in some of the sips I take.

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation and crisp

O- Very interesting and will stick out in my mind and I'm likely to return to the novelty.

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Photo of colts9016
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Adams glass at 45 degrees.

Apperance: A one finge light tan head that has good retention, it is creamy and foamy. The color of the beer is medium copper red with reddish orange hues. The clarity of the beer is hazy. The head did leave a little lacing on the glass, nothing signifigant.

Nose: A bright floral, toasty malt, rice, toast, phenols, grapefruit, hint of wood, and that funky barnyard aroma.

Taste: A good backbone for a malt base that is toasty, and slightly roasted. There are note of hops( floral bouquet, grapefruit, and hint of wood)There is a phenols, a touch of solvent, a peppery note, and a tad bit of the funky barnyard flavor.

The mouthfeel is carbonated, a touch astringent, and crisp.

Overall: The body of the beer si meduim light, and the finish is a little long. This is a good beer wonderful flavors and well balanced. I really enjoyed the crispness of the beer at the end.

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Photo of cleverbeername
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
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 OWSLEY069
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, salty, sake, and rice. In the taste, sweet rice, malty, almost like a really sweet red ale. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a hint of dry rice malt in the aftertaste. OK, sweet taste, hides the 7%.

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Photo of MaggieReed
2.11/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

OK I dont know if I got a bad bottle or this is just not a beer for me...

pours a lovely ruby red with a very thin head.
smells pretty good- hint of sour
taste- this might be the first beer ive dumped. Unbearably cloying. Like pickle brine mixed with cherry juice. Very bad wine-y taste.
mouthfeel was average and what I expected- soft on the palette and fine until the taste hit you...

I sincerely hope this was a bad bottle, as it seems most others have really liked it...but this was just not good. Looking for something else!

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden beige pour with a light head. Plenty of lacing left on the glass with an ever present if not minuscule head.

Smell: At first I get a hint of starch with strawberry. The smell smells nice and balanced between the strawberry and starch but the smell starts sweeter and more strawberry. As the beer warmed up, the starch starts to dominate the smell, which does not smell as nice but not bad either since the strawberry has a less dominate role. Almost no hops smell to note but I'm not complaining. In other weird but in a nice way.

Taste: At first, the starch dominates the palate but as it warms up the strawberries begin to cover the starch. I can taste some hops but they're virtually nonexistent in terms of taste and covered over by the strawberries and starch. I can taste a little bit of the alcohol but the alcohol acts as a spicy supplement to the fruity strawberry flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp although it feels a little bit viscous.. Light carbonation. Goes down fairly easily.

Overall: I have to admit this is my Kiuchi beer and I'm very impressed. Most of the European and American beers that I've had have a similar taste or feel with their own unique spin. Not Hitachino Red Rice Ale. The unique taste and even more unique smell is worth the price alone.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased online from the Adelaide Bier Shop, and shipped to Sydney, quite amazingly (with a reasonably large order) for less than I can buy it locally.

What's to say about this beer? This is a weird brew, and there's no getting around it. It pours a bright reddish pink colour, hazed from the sediment that seems to form through the bottom third of the bottle, with a fine and delicate head of pinkish white, that leaves sheets of tiny-bubbled lacing. Body looks light, and there are frantic streams of small-bubbled carbonation cutting through to the top. It's a very unique and rather impressive looking beer.

Nose is weirdly balanced between pungent and lightly organic Belgian esters, and a light almost berry-like fruitiness. Skews weirdly towards sweetness, but with a raw, robust, almost meaty sweat to it. Very, very unusual.

Taste is unsurprisingly flat from the rice addition, but with a big upturn in odd smoky meat characters on the finish. Light body, almost the crispness of a lager, but without the crispness of flavour. Booze is very noticeable in the rather under-nuanced palate, giving a sharp heat on the mid palate when everything else has dropped out.

Yes indeed. What is to say? This is a fantastically unique beer, that really has some interesting points. I can't say it's something I'd enjoy regularly, but Kiuchi have come up with something yet again (as they did with their cedar-aged Japanese Classic Ale) that is unique and memorable.

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Photo of ptykozoon
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lovely ruby red. Thin layer of head.

Dry oak, grape candy, dark fruits mostly.

Aforementioned with some grape, raisin. This is a particularly interesting and unique tasting beer; different than anything I've ever had. Similar to a wine in my opinion, in fact this kind of tastes like a watered down wine.

Mellow mouthfeel, I was guessing around 5% but was a bit off. Surprised by the 7%.

Not my thing, but starts to grow on you. Probably won't be revisiting though.

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Photo of broken22
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So I'm making my way through this breweries offerings. This will be my third beer from this brewery. I don't really know what to expect when you read that this thing is brewed with red rice.

I pop the top and pour this thing into a glass. The beer has taken the pigment of the red rice I'm guessing because the overall color is red-orange actually lets say blood orange. That sound a lot cooler. A pretty thick head formed which seems to be the norm for this style of beer. What is not the norm is for the said head to be sort of a pinkish color that is a first for me. Taking a whiff of this beer and their is nothing really noteworthy. It smells like a very subtle spicy Belgian with a little hop character. So the taste is good and for me reflects that of the smell. It is very subtle. I had a friend taste and smell it that does't really drink beer and he says it smelled very unique. For me the flavor is not really fruity, hoppy, or spicy like you would expect from a Belgian strong. The mouth feel is light and clean.

I would have to say this is by far the mellowest Belgian Strong Pale Ale I have ever had. I like the beer because it doesn't taste bad but it really doesn't have much flavor going on. Maybe I have been drinking too many beers with a big kick in your mouth flavor. Maybe this is one of those good normal beers that the latest Beer Advocate magazine is talking about; where you don't need to have these extreme flavors. So overall I like the beer and I really have not faults at all with it. I would like to buy this again after a while and see if I have the same results.

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Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up on a whim at Julio's thanks to that crazy mocking owl. A red rice beer? Sure, why not!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a big bright crystal clear golden amber colour. Atop this was a nice two finger white fluffy head that slowly faded and left soem sticky side lacing.

S - Hmmm....some usual belgian strong pale ale type aromas. Normal yeast strains and some light malt sweetness along with some kind of fruit I cant figure out. Light rice aroma too.

T - Same as the aroma with the usual belgian strong pale ale flavours along with an unnameable fruit flavour and some earthy rice. Theres a light sake type flavor too at the end.

M - Just great here. Medium carbonation here really makes this very light and crisp and refreshing.

D - Stuff is pretty solid. The ABV is not noticeable at all here. There is a very unique flavor profile going on here with the rice and some fun, crazy semidark fruit flavours. Great mouthfeel on this stuff. I'd try it again.

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Photo of cskollmann
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, the beer had a nice puffy off white head, which had an interesting pink tint to it. Retention was mediocre, with some lacing. The pink carried over to the body color of the beer where it blended with the predominant orange. Color was pretty unique actually.

The beer was a bit hazed, with a few dark particulates at the bottom of the glass, and high apparent carbonation. The nose was muted, but had some definite Belgian fruity esters and also some sake aroma. Taste was very interesting, again with the Belgian esters present as an unidentifiable fruit, but I thought I could also taste the rice in the background.

The high carbonation not only lifted the ale off the palate nicely, but aided drinkability and kept the mouthfeel very light. This did not taste like 7% ABV! The drinkability reminded me a lot of Duvel although the hop character is very different between the two beers. Overall, I quite enjoyed it, and I am really glad I got to try this unique beer.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Strange looking beer. Lightish brown with a pink hue to it and some pink in the off-white head. Black sediment floating around in the beer.

S: Some rice, a light citrus scent and a little sake.

T: The rice is definitely there. Comes through with an almost sake-like flavor. Slight earthiness and a bit of a sour aftertaste. For some reason, I got the idea in my head that it tasted like Budweiser and that kind of killed the experience for me. It's still a good beer and undoubtedly better than Bud.

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Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
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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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 706 ratings.
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