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 MrHassellYaHurd
3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours into a tulip glass a hazy straw yellow with a rosey tinge to it. A thin head forms on the pour but diminishes rather quickly into a tiny ring around the edge of the liquid. Tons of sediment throughout, even with a careful pour.

The smell of spices is the first I pick out, followed by a little citrus tang as well as cloves.

Tastes a bit musty with thick yeast flavors and a fusel alcohol vapor. A slight champagne quality, with a little grape juice sweetness as well as a sparkling effervescence.

A much thinner mouthfeel than I'd expect from this brew labeled as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale style.

I don't believe I will be buying any more of this brew. It's not terrible, but both this as well as a couple others have now left me pretty "blah" about Hitachino Nest in general.

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Photo of DoppleJock
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a peachy/red with a pinkish head. Don't see that often. Head dissipated a little quicker than I hoped. Such a crazy color you could mistake this for a rosé if it was in a different glass.

S: Lots of musty/earthy scents. Some sake undertones but I kept on picking up some sort of smokiness, almost something I'd expect from a rauchbier. Pretty unique.

T: Some grains, then some sort of sweet/sour thing going on...

M: Slightly syrupy, with a dry aftertaste.

D: This is one of my go-to beers that I often bring to BYOB Asian places. Pairs great with food, but not something I usually drink by itself.

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Photo of Domingo
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this at the Fleur de Lys Las Vegas as a pairing with some steak tartare. I don't regularly see this in stores and the pairing sounded ideal.
Pours a pinkish red color with a white head. It looks to be unfiltered as it's cloudy with yeast.
The smell is very vinous and sweet. Reminds me a little of a lambic as there's a sweet/sour counter-balance going on, although you can pick up a cooked grain hint that shows that it's definitely a beer.
The taste is different than the nose. Immediately I got hit with a grain-huskiness followed with a faint sweet and sour flavor that lingers for a bit and then finishes with an earthy dryness. Interesting for sure, and the pairing with the meat worked quite well.
Not an everyday item, but it's definitely something worth trying. I can imagine people who don't enjoy beer potentially liking this.
Ignore the whole "Belgian Strong Pale Ale" listing as this beer isn't trying to be one. This beer is a style all to itself.

It might be worth noting that this beer might be better than my score reflects, too. For me it was great at first, but I got bored of it. Plus, I'm not sure that it would be worthwhile as a stand-alone brew outside of a food pairing.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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 asabreed
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. stubby bottle into a wine glass. Had this bottle in the cellar for a while, so I hope it holds up. No freshness date that I can see.

Appearance: Pale wheat golden color with nice bubbles and a nice white head that gives some good rings and raindrops room to stick.

Smell: Interesting fruit and white wine aromas. Maybe some Sake in the mix too? Definitely some citrus also. There seems to be some sourness somewhere too. Something that I can't put my finger one also, maybe it's the Sake or the fermentation of the rice. Interesting and pretty aromatic overall.

Taste: Fruit esters and sourness is what I get mostly, but I'm not sure if there's anything else that I can really describe. Sourness from the red rice and white wine characteristics are here the most. Finish is almost like rock candy sugar with some woody sourness. Still a bit bland in some ways, or should I probably say that I was expecting a bit more overall.

Mouthfeel: Fairly good and creamy for a bigger bodied brew. There's a good smoothness and carbonation from the sip to the finish that seems to work really well.

Drinkability: Hitachino brews are always so damn expensive, and unfortunately this doesn't cut it for me. It's interesting and easy drinking, but I feel like the complexity is lacking. Again, maybe this isn't meant to be cellared, though it was by accident in some ways. I'd like to try a fresh bottle, but am I going to pay $5 to see what the deal is? I'm not sure.

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Photo of BasementBrewerSF
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting label. Cool owl.
As I poured I noticed a pink tone in the beer. The head is impressive but fades quickly and there is very minimal lacing on the glass. The pink in the pour turned to a pink copper color in the glass. There is a creamyness on the tongue that is very pleasant. The alcohol does not show through as I thought it might in a light beer. The red rice really comes through well. The rice adds a distinct body when used as the primary ingredient. All around a very nice beer.

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Photo of Brad007
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mild reddish-amber color with a one-finger head into my glass. At first glance, it may seem like a fruit beer but I digress.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with an unmistakable rice aroma and what appears to be creaminess in the nose.

Taste is sweet, mildly spicy and chewy. Interesting flavors mingle here. A bit of smokiness shows through as well.

Mouthfeel is alright but carbonation seems high at first. The creaminess in the aroma doesn't carry over well.

Interesting beer that certainly doesn't feel like a belgian ale. Definitely worth a shot if you want a different take on a rice beer.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow, really mixed feelings on this beer. Pours a hazy light gold, almost yellow, with massive white head...I mean massive. Good retention and lacing. Smell was very tart and sour I thought. Some tangy fruit and some yeast as well. Taste was somewhat bland. It was sweet, a little tart, and slightly fruity but I thought nothing really took over. And I scored it low because for a Belgian Pale this was far too sour I thought. Wasn't sweet enough. Mouthfeel was good, light and crisp. Overall it wasn't terrible just don't know how well it fit the style. I'm all for taking liberties but there seemed to be a bit too many here.

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Photo of DannyS
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A - pours a slightly pinkish red-brown with a head that dissipates quick but leaves a foam collar and lots of wavy strands of lacing.

S - A subtle sweet malt and rice meeting a sort of confectionery aroma, like licorice or mint. Very unique.

T - The same confection-like feel comes into play here, with slight astringency but little to no bitterness. Finishes very clean.

M - decent body and mouthfeel. Not a wash of velvet on the tongue, but not offensive. Carbonation is active but fine.

D - the ABV is a titch high, but the flavor is just right for a session drinker.

Overall - I wouldn't be disappointed if I couldn't acquire any more of this one, but I enjoyed it nontheless. A unique taste and feel for us Americans.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
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 callmescraps
2.37/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Lady friend grabbed this on a whim. Color me intrigued.

Appearance - Light brown with a real pinkish hue. A very unique color. More pink as it poured than in the glass. An inch or so of stark white head. Minimal lacing. Looks interesting.

Smell - Oh, just off to me. A light floral but then a sticky fermented rice smell. Not pleasant at all. Something vegetable.

Taste - Very clean, with a nice hop balance, of all things. But the aftertaste is sticky sweet. Lots of rice. Very, very sweet. Downright sugary. Weird.

Mouthfeel - Nice and crisp. Light.

Drinkability - Kind of tough. The sweetness is overwhelming. It hides the abv well, but then it sneaks up.

This was an interesting beverage, but simply too sweet. Something new that I won't be trying again.

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Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Word of warning - there's a lot of sludge at the bottom of the bottle. Be careful when pouring! The beer was reddish with an amber tint. The off-white cap produced some fine lacing and showed good head retention. The aroma was interesting, a bit nutty with cereal notes, a bit of dried rice character and sweet malt. More of the same in the flavour, but with a bit of caramel. It was quite sweet and reminded me of Japanese candy. Light to medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. Very dry. Quite an interesting brew. It seriously reminded me of Japanese candy.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a red gold that is cloudy, almost pink or peach in color, little white head, not much lacing.

The aroma is light and floral, notes of rice are there.

The taste is so-so its light and simple doesn't really have much flavor. There are notes of rice, honey, and spice,

Not much mouthfeel basically goes right down.

Its fairly drinkable.

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Photo of SargeC
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy gold brew with a touch of pink that resembles a sunset. Minimal white colored head.

Smell: Floral aroma paired with sweet malt and a touch of hops.

Taste: Complex. The initial tart flavors evolve into a wave of sweetness. Cherry flavors blend with the malt and finish out with a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Tart and acidic, yet still comes across sticky

Drinkablity: Interesting brew that is full of contradictions. Hearty and refreshing with some qualities of a sour ale. One of a kind.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured in a DFH pint glass. Thanks to theghost3 for this extra!

Pours a cloudy red color. with almost no head or lacing. Smells like Salami... very interesting.

Taste is not too pleasant, kind of harsh and leaves a deli meat after taste. I'm not really sure what's going on here but It's not a great taste. It's a bit over carbonated. Interesting to drink but I'd go with their white one over this.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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 willjschmidt
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 720ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a reddish color with even a pink hue to it. Never seen a color like it for a beer.

S: Cooked rice, some light fruit.

T: One of the most unique beers I've ever had. Starchy red rice flavors dominate. Some light fruit. Some yeast. A bit nutty.

M: Full bodied, a bit viscous.

D: A very unique beer. Give it a try with sushi.

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Photo of Tolnik
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a great beer of course I haven't tried that many rice beers but it definitely makes me want to find more. This reddish orange beer poured out with a decent amount a finger and half of foam and reduced to wisps of lacing. The floweral, hoppy, and malt beer is a good balance of characteristics. The taste is an amazing sensation of floweral, bit of colander peaking through and taste of rice.

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Photo of BeerDreadz
2.41/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 onz amber bottle with 7%

A: Bone white head and a mix between orange and amber color

S: Kind of cooked vegetables and soy sauce

T: Bitter sweet taste,not crisp , the taste of red rice is like veggies

M: Carbonated, bitter and not smooth

Drinkability: Different beer, good to try something new

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

Poured into a goblet

A - Poured a hazy dark copper color. With a 1 in head that was pretty dense and retained well. Lots of lacing.

S - Fruit hints immediately with some citrusy aspects to it. Berries of different kinds mostly raspberries and strawberries as well. Sweet, fruity and appealing. Alcohol is also present in the nose.

T - Wow! very different taste. Strawberries up front then hints of citrusy grapefruit and some grape/sparkling wine hints. Alcohol is noticeable but well balanced with the sweetness. Almost no hints of grainy mats that I could tell but a crisp dry hop finish at the end.

M - Oily and creamy feels very full in the mouth. Crisp. Carbonation is very present but its well balanced.

D - Refreshing and drinkable but definitely a different tasting beer in my book. Personally I wouldnt have more than 2, just because I enjoy more traditional tasting beers.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

belgian strong what?

a: grapefruit color, little cloudy, little head or lacing, some bubblies
s: different -- light bread and herbal aromas mixed with sweet candy
t: starts with fruity sweetness followed quickly/oddly with metallic / medicinal taste, faint alcohol finish
m: light to medium body, fizzy
d: this was a very different beer with some interesting appearance and flavor, but the metallic flavor was too much; still worth a try

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale-ish yellow-orange with light frothy head. Next to no lacing, tiny bubbles.

Smells sweet, but a slightly savory sweet, like really sugary ketchup. Sharp fruit smells, intense banana, some spice. Curiously, the more it warms the more prominent the ketchup smell becomes.

It's got a bite in the taste, feels sharp on the tongue. The same sugary presence is in the taste, but the finish reveals a sour note that gives it a little more depth. For some reason I'm getting a taste of sweet onions, too. Interesting, there's some stuff in here that I'm not used to, & I kind of enjoy it. Gets more sour with each sip.

The alcohol is pretty well hidden, & there are a lot of "light" tastes in here. That sharpness on the tongue, plus the novely of flavors & high sugar presence makes me think I couldn't down too many of these. This is an interesting & complex brew, with something new to offer.

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Photo of theghost3
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Appearance is orange-red with a 2-finger foamy white head. Moderate lacing.

The smell is earthy with yeast, sticky rice, spicy tropical fruits, and bubblegum. The taste is rather subdued--alcohol esters with faint tropical fruits, earthy spices & sweet malts. Mouthfeel is carbonated, as it should be but doesn't burn.

This is an interesting beer. The color is off for a belgian strong pale, but it's unique composition explains that. Very drinkable, but watch the ABV.

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Photo of Amalak
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat this beer hits you with a unique taste that I wasn't necessarily fond of to begin with, but really grew to enjoy. I had a bottle of this at Samurai Restaurant in Brooklyn. It was an opaque orange with a somewhat pink tint to it...very unique. Good head. Fruity scent to it, but mild.

It has a strawberry and peach flavor to it that I've never really had before. Quite unique and well worth a try.

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Photo of ATPete
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a transparent and slightly hazed pale golden orange yellow color with a small white head that leaves some soapy sticking. Slightly sour in the nose, a little bit of grapefruit, musty melon, peaches and possibly some funk. Fruity with a pretty unique malt structure due in fact, im sure, to the rice used in the brewing process. Interesting beer nonetheless, just enough bitterness, a little bit of sour/acidity, lemon and grapefruit skin and tart hard candy. Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. This ones complex enough to keep me very interested.

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