Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #241
ABV:
8%
Score:
86
Ranked #21,129
Avg:
3.82 | pDev: 12.04%
Reviews:
372
Ratings:
755
From:
Kiuchi Brewery
 
Japan
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  35
Gots
  71
SCORE
86
Very Good
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
Notes: From Japan's most prestigious brewery, Hitachino Nest XH (Extra High) is a strong Belgian Brown Ale, matured in shochu (distilled sake) barrels. Chinook & Styrian Goldings hops are use
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Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 755
Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not the freshest bottle but refrigerated over time.
Dark amber/tawny pour, slightly hazy; cream to caramel coloured head of about one finger - dense bubbles up side of glass.
Aroma of dark fruit, caramel malt, sweet bread, a bit of spice, fruit cake.
Taste bright spicy to tangy caramel malt, dark fruit, dates, brown sugar, sherry with some spicy tangy hops.
Smooth full bubbly mouthfeel - carbonation tingles the palate to a slightly hoppy tangy finish.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a lightly hazy, medium to dark reddish orange with a thin, off-white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, plums, raisins and a little light sake. Flavor is dry caramel malt with a little biscuit, dates, dried plums, dry sake; earthy and tart from the sake barrel. Woody, dry sake finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. The Belgian ale character is detectable, but has been dried out and soured somewhat by the shochu barreling. I've had sake many times, but not sure I've tried shochu, although the sake flavor is clear hear and must stay strong during distilling. Although this is interesting and there is some nice wood and a unique flavor from the barrel, I'm not sure the sake tartness fits my palette. The earthy, woody finish is nice, but it's a bit to dry and tart for me.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Murky, rich orange rust color.

White head; nice, if spotty, lacing.

Nose of strawberry, grass & muted caramel. Inviting.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Sake cask asserts itself in the taste; I shit you not, it tastes like well preserved LP jackets from the late '60's/early '70's smell. Add the muted strawberries & light caramel (which is what I wish Barleywines' tasted like) plus a hop bite & you have a winner tailor made for, well, me.

I'd love to taste the fresh Belgian Brown without the cask aging; bet it's world class.

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Photo of Nass
4.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Classy looking bottle label artwork. I do notice a month & year date on the back of the bottle label Belgian style beers are usually hit or miss with me so let's see how this one goes. On to the beer, the pour is dark copper / medium brown into the snifter & the aroma is of dark candied fruits. Oh wow, I must say that both the aroma & taste is reminiscent of Trappistes Rochefort 8. I'm getting sweet dark candied fruits in the taste, slight roasted malt, some black cherry, slight cocoa, some toffee, & slight coffee & earth spice to round out the finish. There is a little sour taste in this beer as well but nothing too off putting. The booze is well hidden for an %8 beer. This beer is reminiscent of Trappistes Rochefort 8 but it drinks smoother. This is very well made, I am impressed with this beer folks. It's not an incredibly tasty beer but it's better than I expected. If you can get your hands on this beer you ought to give it a try. I don't know much about sake so I would imagine that it's presence is in here somewhere alright enough rambling, cheers! A-

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Photo of robotic_being
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a rusty brown color with a ½” white foam cap, mild retention. Aromas of caramel malt, toffee, sweet rice, hint of clove spice, mild tart cherry and floral note. The flavor profile is smooth, with dark fruits, Belgian yeast esters, sake, oak, and clove working to form a fantastic twist on a Belgian Strong Dark ale flavor profile. The mouthfeel is smooth, filling, with a medium to thin thickness. Overall, a great example of a unique twist on the Belgian Strong Dark ale.

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Photo of BeanBump
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Strange beer. Cant say that Ive ever had anything quite like it. Its sort of sour and has a low key vinegar flavor going on. Not gross just....different. Maybe its just me but I kept getting an ketchup aftertaste.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours dark brown with virtually no head. The aroma is very suggestive of sake and it has a slightly boozy aspect to it. The taste however is taken over completely by Brett. This is a bottle that was aged for some time (perhaps too long one would say) so it may have allowed for the Brett to overexpress. Sweet finish with a fairly full mouthfeel.

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Photo of Shanex
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured the 33cl bottle into a mug, appearance is amber, dark. 8%abv.

This is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, slightly lighter than other in the style, yet very complex. I am reminded of many other Belgian in the same style or otherwise like dubble. Aromas of chocolate, citrus, some berries. Yes this is also reminding me of the legend Duchesse de Bourgogne and the store clerk did mention it too.

I am fairly impressed, I am aware that in this day and age, sure, everybody is capable of brewing great beers but props to the Japanese for this. I looked it up here, and rated it 12% above the BA average at 4,

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Photo of Buck89
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. A rusty brown color with a modest white head. Caramel malt on the nose, with a tart cherry and floral aroma. The taste was not at all tart, thankfully, with a basic caramel malty flavor with toffee, some citrus, and a floral, fruity finish with definite sake notes. Slightly dry and boozy. Overall an interesting beer.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Brownish Amber color with a big creamy head. A real malt bomb, heavy on notes of caramel and toffee, a slight dry notes on the finish probably cause from the sake barrels.

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Photo of GregorioMagno
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Rich, dark amber. Disappointingly short lived foam with no lacing.

Aroma: Toffee, Malt, sweet rice, esters

Taste: Very much like the aroma, but amplified. Smooth toffee notes, an almost creaminess. Full and malty. The Hitachino Nest house yeast flavour is more pronounced (or perhaps just works exceptionally well in this format) than usual. Finishes with a warm aftertaste from the high ABV, otherwise difficult to notice it's 8%. Very, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than most Belgian Strong ales it's styled after. Silky, soft, medium/heavy body, low carbonation.

Overall: A delicious standalone beer that's unlike any other beer I've had. Less thick and less sweet than Belgian Dark ales and Dubbels - approach it without this comparison in mind. I would fully recommend trying this beer if you come across it.

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Photo of Legend_of_Troybrau
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stamped: XH.16.09
(Poured into a 12oz stein)
Sourish aroma rising from bottle and glass immediately.
A: Reddish amber with a hint of caramel/toffee hue with a 1.5 in. head that stands proudly, long after pouring.
S: Tart cherry, toasty , light citrus, pomegranate , cranberry, sourdough?
T: Cherry, caramel, grainy, an alkaline note, flanders' sourness with some oak and alcohol in the finish.
M: Piny feeling and somewhat metallic, nice acidity up front with a lingering acetic coating.
Overall: It's very rich with complex flavor layering, has an interesting level of of acidity for the style and smooths out as one imbibes it. ****

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Photo of Harrison8
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a opaque burnished copper with a finger of khaki-caramel, oily head. Head foams up well, with moderate retention. Lacing doesn't linger very long after a swig of XH. Aroma has dark fruits, and Belgian yeast esters up front. Some sake and cask shows up a little later, giving it a slight burn on the finish. Flavor profile is smooth, with dark fruits, Belgian yeast esters, sake, oak, and clove working to form a fantastic twist on a Belgian Strong Dark ale flavor profile. Mouth feel is smooth, filling, with a medium-thin thickness. The thickness is lacking in the feel, but otherwise it's well-rounded. Overall, a great example of a unique twist on the Belgian Strong Dark ale. Having sat in casks for a while, the beer does loose a little in the look and feel, but is otherwise very well balanced.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Boto
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle: This one pours a hazy darker amber color. There was just a touch of an off white head that leaves no lacing. Interesting nose. Dark fruits, toffee and a hint of the sake. The taste is good, if a touch different. Caramel malts, faint dark fruits, a touch of sake. It has a faint sourness to it. This is good!

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was appealed at first with the early notes of toffee and pine that reminded me of a barleywine. Then it's a lot of green apple in the nose and the taste with a bit of booze. There are also some woody and fruitcake notes

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 330ml bottle, pours a hazey copper colour with an off white coloured head.
Aroma toffee, caramel, malt, fruity.
Taste pretty much follows the nose, very nice.

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 0.33 l bottle into chalice.
L: Turbid brown with a weak foam head.
S: Plums, caramel.
T: Spicy and sweet, dark fruits.
F: Medium body and soft carbonation.
O: Very good try for a belgian.

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Photo of teromous
2.28/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I don't see an import or bottle date listed.

Appearance: The body is opaque with a medium brown color mixed with a dark shade of orange. The head is a tobacco stained yellow color that is both short and short lived. Low head retention and no lacing.

Aroma: I'm not picking up much aroma at all. There is this light spicy hop character but no Belgian yeast character and no aroma from the sake casks mentioned on the label.

Taste: It has quite a bit of alcohol flavor but no burn or heat from the alcohol. Other than that all I get is a watered down malty flavor. No finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied without much texture, decent carbonation, no bitterness, and no discernible finish.

Overall: A lackluster beer that doesn't work well as a Belgian anything. Maturing the beer in sake casks didn't seem to add anything. It is a very watered down, mostly flavorless, beer. I wouldn't drink it again and I don't recommend it.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a very unusual ale. When it is done more traditionally it is kind of out there, and this is even more so, yet pretty easy drinking. This bottle was dated 13,12 - two and a half years ago.

It opens light brown but if you aren't careful, a bunch of brown sludge will make its way into your glass - I got a little - making it deeper colored. The aroma is subdued for the style - barely any of the yeasty fruity overtones. The taste is somewhat dry and subdued too. It is easy drinking for the style. There is a bizarre woody character, obviously the cask aging.

This is an inventive brew, and unique, but I can't really recommend it. Maybe for half the price.

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle given to me by a supplier poured into a 350ml beer glass.

Poured a very nice ale-coloured dark brown with a decent head which died quickly b ut left a thin film.

Nose is very pleasant and quite expressive - toffee and coffee dominate with brown sugar caramel and a mild bitter finish.

Palate is very nice. The finish is surprisngly bitter. Toffee, molasses and dark fruit flavours balance very well.

Great beer. Complex and flavourful./

Highly recommended.

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Photo of tone77
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a copper/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, sake. Taste is fruity, grapes and dates stand out, sake is present, as are malts, alcohol is not. Feels medium/light bodied in the mouth and overall, one is enough, but this is an interesting beer worth trying.

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Photo of Flickerdart
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 330ml bottle into 16oz pint glass. Pours cloudy dark amber, with a tall white head that slowly settles. Lacing is limited.

Smell is sweet - malts, cloves, slightly roasted. Taste is slightly bitter, grapefruity. Body is medium with noticeable carbonation. No sake taste noticeable.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought from Don Quiojte $5.45 11oz bottle
Cloudy orange amber color
Thick mouth feel
Medium-high carbonation
Taste reminds me of bourbon. Malty, complex taste.
Overall an interesting beer to try. You need to drink it like wine.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Introduction : This one intrigued me. A shiny black label with gold lettering? Count me in!

Appearance.
Body : Orange Juice/Iced Tea, 90% opacity
Head : 3 fingers, popcorn colored
Stability : 1/2 finger of head all the way through this trial, mountainous lace.

Smell.
Initial : Sweet with raisins/dates/figs.
With Agitation : Molasses, dark malts, orange surface as well.

Taste.
Palate : Alive with citrus, caramel, oats, mashed dates and raisins.
Finish : Heavy booze burn, slight cask flavor, more stale malt surfaces. Breaths of boozy dark fruits.

Feel.
Start : Very carbonated, connected and alive.
End : Dry and raspy, hot with booze. Stomach burns with intensity.

Overall : This is a nice Belgian-inspired dark ale. This is the last Hitachino beer I have in my tasting corner, and I have every reason to speak highly of these guys because they know what they're doing over there in Japan.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times over the last five and noticed a variation in either how I stored it or they made it. But the difference does not take away from this becoming a classic.
The sweet, port-like finish closes the deal for me.

I note when a beer is listed in one of three books comprising my classical beer education.
Michael Jackson 1999 "Pocket Edition" gave this 2.5 of 4 stars and declared it "creamy and almost tropical fruit ."
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 149.

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 755 ratings