Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleHitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
725 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: 725 |  Reviews: 335
Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours red-orange with a light soapy/frothy white head, spotty lace.

S: Notes of sweet orange, tangerine, and citrus. Sweet malt.

T: Caramel/sweet malt with orange and pear esters. Coriander/white pepper. Notes of red berries. A hard flavour to describe, but it's good.

M: Medium-bodied, light hint of ethanol, smooth, soft carbonation, elegant.

D: Clearly a unique brew. Whatever the red rice is, I think it is giving it that. Expensive, but a solid effort and well worth a try.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
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 Macca
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a strange red/pink colour with orange highlights. Thick bright white head. Cloudy.

Not sure how to describe the aromas. There is a bit of strawberry in there but it's not the dominant smell. Can't quite pick it. A bit of cooked rice.

The alcohol is the first thing that strikes me on the palate. Quite evident. Some yeasty spiciness.

Not sure what to make of this one. It's interesting but I doubt I'd go it again.

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Photo of basica
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an orange-brown color with reddish hues into my De Struise glass; the unintended violent pour yielded a beautiful three-finger thick foamy-bubbly head, evenly rounded at the top with medium to good retention; it finally settles down to a half-finger thick foamy layer. (4.5)

S - Slightly sweet and floral nose with notes of malts and fruits as well as very interesting and noteworthy aromas of red beans (azuki beans) which I believe may be a result of the rice character on the nose. (4)

T - Light sweetness with nutty, biscuity malt flavors upfront with the red bean notes filling in the middle along with light cherry and plum fruitiness; slightly tart and bitter on the finish with malts, red beans and some fruits lasting into the after taste (4)

M - Thin on the body with a watery texture, going down with fairly light carbonation (3.5)

D - Interesting flavors and very easy drinking but the watery mouthfeel could use some improvements. I like the red bean character which I believe, should be from the "red rice" component of this beer. (4)

The Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale does not taste or feel anywhere near to a being a Belgian Strong Pale Ale as stated on the beer style of this beer in It seemed more reminiscent of an English ale with a tad of slightly funky Saison-like character; very interesting.

Bottle solicited from Medi-ya Japanese Supermarket, Liang Court at Clarke Quay, Singapore.

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Photo of bsp77
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner-like glass.

Appearance: Cloudy fiery-orange with large initial head, but recedes fairly quickly.

Smell: Okay, this is weird. There is an earthy sweetness that makes me think of millipedes, which give off a distinct odor.

Taste: The earthy sweetness dominates the taste as well, so now I know what millipedes taste like. However, it's not that bad, as there are also some raisin and plum characteristics. The finish reminds me of sake.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation, as it could have been a little more lively. Somewhat light body.

Drinkability: Just a weird beer, although I did warm up to it after a little while. Plus, it did go well with the sushi I was having.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky red with a red tinged small head.
Nose shows a big funky barnyard lambic-like character with a bit of raspberry and sour gooseberry in there. Very similar to a fruit lambic.
The flavours are dominated by cardboardy malt and that funky barnyard character. A little bit of fruit still comes through, mainly red apples and gooseberry.
The light flavours could really use higher carbonation.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: cloudy amber hue with a finger of frothy white foam. The color of red rice really shows in this beer, although that doesn't necessarily make its appearance great. Head has very little staying power.

Smell: rich malt aroma with a bit of a biscuity character. There's a light fruity sweetness here which, to me, is reminiscent of an altbier.

Taste: smooth maltiness with biscuity flavor and a bit of an alcohol kick. The light fruitiness is still here, but there's also a light watery astringency which doesn't really work for me. This is not a bad beer, and it is certainly interesting, but I don't love it.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with big carbonation. Despite the relatively watery consistency, the carbonation lends a real creaminess which is good here.

Drinkability: well, this beer is far from perfect, but it has enough interesting characteristics to keep it refreshing (though I won't be pounding it all night). Pretty decent.

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Photo of shodrod
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(served in a snifter)

This beer pours a burnt amber color with very little head. At first glance you might mistake this brew for a barleywine. The aroma is very floral with a hint of fruit. The front of the palate is met with a slight hop note followed by a touch of caramel. The finish has notes of hibiscus flowers. This beverage goes down so smooth, especially for having a slightly higher ABV. One of the more unique beers I've tried.

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Photo of jampics2
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz-ish bottle generously shared by Arp. Enjoyed at Paulie's place.

Orange colored beer fills my glass. This looks like it's glowing, with a bright disposition and some gold and red highlights peeking through the cloudy body. Some nice head and lace is noted.

The smell is odd but not unpleasant. It's sweet with some Belgian smelling malts and a ton of fruit - strawberries, cherry, snozberries. And some vanilla and spices. And let's not forget the rice!

The taste starts off well enough with fruit and basic malt that reminds me of strawberry and elderberries mixed with sake rice. There are some has some medicinal qualities, almost like pepto bismol. Weird. That's the spicy part but there's also some more depths of flavor going on. Some notes of wood, mint and vanilla. Strange but not unpleasant, unless someone you're drinking it with says it tastes like Pepto. Then, that's all you'll taste.

Medium bodied with low but effective carbonation. This was unique and decent, but nothing I'd flock back to.

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Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear amber color that has a slight amount of a pink hue. Capping it off is a half-finger slightly off-white head that recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of muted medium malts with slight amounts of red fruit - strawberries mostly with hints of tart raspberries. Also present is a slightly stale aroma that's not disagreeable that I attribute to the rice.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Slightly dry medium malt flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are strawberry flavors that are equally sweet and tart. The fruit flavors fade out near the end of the sip, allowing the malts to carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with very fine carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was an interesting beer that didn't really seem to fit in a specific category. Both the fruit and the malts were subtle and it would have been entirely forgettable if not for the fine carbonation. Not worth seeking out but it's not worth turning down either.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
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 Homebrew35
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$5 12 oz bottle.
Upon opening I smelled some vanilla, cherry/fruitiness, oak.
Pours a one finger head that quickly disapates to nothing but some clingy bubbles. In the glass I smell fruit strawberry and sne other tart fruit, bubble gum, lager yeast character, sweet oak, apple. Tastes like tart strawberry, lager grainy notes. Drys out on the finish. Medium carbing, light body quite drinkable for this abv, not for this $..

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Photo of rarbring
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is red/pink/orange clouded, somewhat pinkish head, lacing is left!

The smell is sweet fruits, rosehips and forest fruits.

The taste is sweetish, lingonberries and rhubarbs, and slightly smoked sausage.

Medium high carbonation, small soft bubbles.

A really nice and rather uncommon beer, the fruity tones mixed very well with sushi at RAW in Stockholm.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hitachino Nest Red Rice

Appearance: Reddish-orange, cloudy, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: Floral hops and citrus.

Taste: Subdued floral hops, rice, spice, and some citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

This slightly reminds me of a regular Budweiser, but with real flavor. I never agreed with them using rice in their beer, but this example is better. I think Budweiser lovers may enjoy this beer as a transition to better beers . The flavor is up front and fades quickly to almost no aftertaste.

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Photo of BierFan
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Small fizzy off-white head. hazy pinkish red body.

Smell: I've never smelled a beer like this before. Vaguely fruity and tart. Mostly rice.

Taste: Rice and starch dominate. Crisp, fruity, and moderate bitterness. Kind of a chalky and herbal taste, very unusual.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a red/orange/brown color with a white head. The aroma is smoke, toffee, tobacco, leather and toasted malt. The flavor is similar. I still get a lot of tobacco and smoke, but I also get some meaty notes. There is also some rice, grass and fruit notes in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of lavellen
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I wish this wasn't 5 dollars a bottle where I live, I would gladly switch hit between this and Noble pils all the time. This beer had a great color. Clear and Red. The rice flavor was present and reminded me of saki. The Carbonation was foamy and good and I could easily sit back all summer and drink this by the fireside.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
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 carpezytha
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Murky ruby color- unlike any beer I have ever had. Very wimpy foam, to be expected.
S: Very little here. Wisps of seaweed, sap, and grassy sawdust.
T: All sorts of interesting tastes here. Should not be surprising that there is no maltyness. Instead A combo of pomegranate, driftwood, sour berries,
M: Well carbonated despite lack of head, which helps keep the elusive flavors present.
D: Very drinkable. I will definitely try again.

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Photo of juju7
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique beer to say the least. Pale rose-lovely colour with a light head and delicate lacing. Aromas are sweet, yeasty and sligtly candied, in a soft raspberry gummy lolly kind of way. The rice adds an almost sake dimension. Not much in the way of bitterness and alcohol is virtually undetectable. Still for it's light-medium body there is plenty of sweet malt and sake phenolic flavour alongside light fruit flavours while managing to finish dry. An adventurous beer that succeeds.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Split with Frank at Papago Brewing Co in Scottsdale AZ.
Smells of noble hops and bread/toasty malt.
Tastes as it smells, with noble hop flavors, reminds me of Sawtooth Ale.
Light in body with nice hop finish.
Drinkable but seems more like a light English Pale Ale.

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Photo of tzieser
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very faint red color. Hazy. People say its pink but I don't see that.

Fruity ricey aroma. Not much hops noticible, but Belgian yeast is somewhat present.

rich rice flavor, slightly sweet and fruity in character. More compex than your average wheat ale.


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Photo of wordemupg
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip aug3 2010

A a cloudy dark pink with a faint pink head that falls quickly and leaves a few parches of lace

S yeast, strawberries and something I just can't place, nothing bad just unfamiliar

T almost has a kool aid or strawberry candy flavor going for it, perhaps I even pick up on some mint. very strange but it tastes pretty good. booze is pretty well concealed but I'm not sure how this is Belgian Strong Pale Ale but whatever

M thin but the bubbles give it a creamy feel and its pretty smooth

D this went down fast, every sip I took I was trying to figure out just what I was drinking. I didn't figure it out before the bottom of the glass

this is a interesting beer to say the least there's no reason not to try it and quite a few reasons why you should. very unique beer and it's a little confusing at times but enjoyable nonetheless

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Photo of deapokid
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sweet berry red with thin head and only the slightest lacing. Liquid is so cherry red that I'd think it was some sort of fruit beer if I didn't know better.

Aroma is quite faint, but I can pick up a rich sweetness mixed in with grain, heavy cream and malt. Although these are big aromas, they seem rather subdued and nothing makes its way into the forefront.

Flavor profile stays in the dessert realm, offering up pie crust, butter and rice (obviously). However, the rice flavor contains equal parts sugar and bitter dryness, differing it from the flavor often found in a domestic beer like Budweiser. There are also faint notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper.

Mouthfeel is quite balanced, wavering between the sweet and savory aspects of Asian cuisine and the dry and complex characteristics of a Belgian ale.

This is most certainly a unique and inventive ale. It's also not too hard to put back, even if that dryness goes a long way.

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Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours an interesting pink/red color with a medium sized and medium bodied pink colored head that fades fast and leaves some lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet rice, a hint of toasted malt, some interesting fruit aromas that I cannot put my finger on along with some yeasty and spicy aromas at the end.
T: Nice spicy flavors upfront followed by some fruity flavors yielding to some sake-like rice wine flavors, then a touch of hops at the end.
M: Medium bodied, bold flavored, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, this is certainly an outside the box sort of beer that I really enjoyed.

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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 725 ratings