Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
Liked This Beer
3.79 w/ 735 ratings
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by UncleJimbo on 12-29-2002

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Ratings: 735 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of VWBuggirl
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a cloudy dark amber color. There was very little foam, but the foam that was present was thick and off white.

It has a sweeter smell to it that I enjoy. I get a little bit of toffee and coffee in the smell with a hint of citrus.

The taste reminds me of their Celebration Ale, but not as sweet and a little dryer. I get more citrus in the taste.

Definitely enjoyable and I will have it again.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10.10.

A - Gusher. Dark brown pour with ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. Carbonation is not in short supply.

S - Dark fruits (plums, raisins) meld well with the earthiness (almost a mushroom aroma) of the brett. Sweet candy scents married with oaky vanilla. Very promising.

T - Dark malts and sweet brown sugar. Earthiness of brett is very forward and lingers on the palate. Some sharp tannins from the oak and a bit of alcohol heat.

M - Lighter side of medium.

O - I'm a big fan of this beer and always happy to find a bottle. Delicious.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A very uniform and foamy off tan head is presented, perhaps about three fingers and quite large, sitting on a great brown reddish amber body. Cloudy and dense looking, head has great retention and a real nice appearance, and picks up some of the red color of the body it seems. Real nice looking here.

Bouquet is just great. Plums, dark fruits, hints of powdery dryness like a classic dubbel. Really enjoy this nose.

Taste is unfortunately kind of disappointing. Mild an strongly alcohol tasting. Sake sense does come through though which is nice but overpowers the beer. Has a good feel and palate, but feels a bit strong for what it is even if it is only about 8 percent.

Overall I am not too crazy about this one, much of the excitement generated from the smell doesn't come off in the taste. It's a great looking beer though I must say.

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Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy dark brown with a thick tan colored head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: A nice caramel malt aroma with some peat and earthy aromas and booze.

T: A caramel malt flavor that is immediately taken over by a sake and cedar wood flavor. It is sweet and slightly acrid. The finish is slightly dry with a cedar flavor remaining.

M: A little bit thin feeling with low carbonation, but it is smooth.

O: Not too bad for a strong ale. It is unique in the fact that it is aged in something besides an oak or bourbon barrel.

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Photo of broken22
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So after having such a good experience with this breweries espresso stout I could not wait to try this other beer I picked up at the same time.

So I pop this beer and pour it into a glass. Wow, this thing foams up like crazy. The little bit of beer I can see that is not foam is a dark orangey color. Like an apple cider. So now I must wait before I can pour any more in...still waiting...ah pour a little more and wait...OK there all the beer has been poured. The foamy head looks like the surface of a martian landscape, but it has finally died down so I can take my first sip. But wait I need to tell you about how it smells first. It smells really good. It has a nice spicy smell to it like many other belgians I have had. The only difference is the subtle sharpness that I can only imagine is coming from the sake barrels this thing was aged in. I can wait no longer and take my first sip. Wow a little more aggressive than I was expecting. This thing really attacked the sides of my tongue. After a few more sips my mouth is now acclimatized so I can begin to really taste this thing. I would have to say that I am really getting the flavor of sake. This beer has the a subtle sweetness of a plum while managing to get a little citrus like flavor all blending together without ever really standing out.

This is another good beer. I'm kind of curious about the heavy foam up. Makes me think that this could have been over sugared when it was time for bottling. I guess that means more testing is in order, dang :P So to wrap it up I think this is a good beer and it had a very interesting flavor from the sake barrels, which has to be unique to this brewery. After now trying two beers from this brewery I really want to try all of their offerings. If you like belgians then try this one out. My local beer store is selling these for $5.99 for a 12oz single.

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Photo of stewart124
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with a slight white lacy head.
Strong plum and raisin notes are present in the smell.

The taste is very sweet and the fruits are even stronger on the taste buds. Alcohol isn't too overpowering but is still noticeable. There is a warming feeling as this goes down. Hop presence is not very strong. Spicy notes of cinnamon hit the palate at the beginning and then leave a slight aftertaste that mesh well with the sweetness of raisins.

I'm not exactly sure what aging this beer in sake casks gave to the overall flavors but it is a nice strong ale. I think the initial taste and the aftertaste are quite nice.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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 danieelol
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is that of a barleywine. Toffee/caramel colours with nice head and lacing.

Smell is gingerbread and the subtle toffee and biscuit malt I associate with a good barleywine. Yer, lots of ginger here.

Taste is more ginger and caramel. Subtle sweetness is well balanced with hop and alcohol presence.

Medium body with somewhat fizzy carb detectable.

Overall a nice beer which seems miscategorised as a BSDA. Seems far more appropriate to call it a Barleywine.

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Photo of Fatduck
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper, lots of haze. Big rocky head that just wont fade.

Smells like cascade hops, some more American citrus hops...

Nice big malt backbone, some good hops, american types not sure what, but its got a fruity taste to it, a little drier than I had expected, but overall very good.

Mouth is a little thin and dry, some definite woodiness going on. This one would be better on a hot afternoon I think.

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Photo of explosivebeer
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep, slightly hazy amber with a thick, lasting, creamy head. It has a nice sour aroma and flavor that is balanced with a little underlying sweetness in the body of the beer. There are some woody notes followed by a balanced finish. Tasty. I'll definitely get this one again.

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Photo of Legend_of_Troybrau
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
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 JMS1512
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brdc
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle, poured into a snifter, it is a reddish brown, opaque brew even leaving the yeast on the bottle, topped by a creamy but short lasting off-white head.
Peculiar aroma, sweet malt, caramel, floral, some oakiness and a light alcohol whiff with something else that is probably the shocyu, since I never had it to be sure.
Medium to full bodied, it is a lot dryer than I expected; the same caramel maltiness and oakiness are there, but the spicy alcohol and hoppy bitterness take over.
Quite interesting.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle

A: Pours a murky copper red, dark caramel color under a half inch worth of white head. Some lace and a ring of head left over.

S: Smells a little funky. Apples, a bit sour, slightly floral, earthy, a little bit of hay.

T: Tastes of much the same. However, there is a slight rubbery twang to it. A bit more fruity, with apples standing out the most, slight funk (maybe this is the sake character?), a hint of caramel malt, warming alcohol on the way down, mostly dry but with some hints of toasted and sweet malt lingering ever so slightly. A little tart.

M/D: Full bodied, lightly creamy body, medium carbonation. Drinkability is OK on this one. Definitely not what I expected, really a unique beer. It really starts to grow on you after a few sips.

Even thought I've been to Japan and have a bottle in the fridge, I have never had sake before, so I can't really comment on the aspects in this brew. But this one has some very interesting qualities. During the first few sips, I thought I was going to give it slightly lower marks. The funky, tartness of it were unexpected but it really started to become more pleasing the more I had.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Maltyduo
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of schmoopsbeer
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served into a snifter chilled.

Color: A blend of Autumn colors: burnt orange, light red, and brown. Very nice off white head and with little to no lacing.

Nose: Vinegar,plenty of cherry, and dried fruits(think trail mix). Also very present is an assortment of wild and spicy spices.

Palate: It floats on the tongue. A nice soft body with no trace of alcohol. Plenty of sweet and gentle fruit. Definitely plenty of sake influence here.

Finish: Clean ,tasty and of medium length. The taste of Cinnamon and Coriander come through, even some really ripe orange and cherry explode on the finish.

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Photo of thadbme
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beer pours a reddish brown with about a half finger of head. A light film of head remains on the beer, and some of the hops / yeast is lively in the beer. It also has a cloudy appearance and isn't transparent.

S: Has a very pleasant smell to it. Smells like a typical strong dark ale, except with a sweet smell to it. This must be the sake barrels that its aged in. This is an awesome smell to a beer. Very pleasant.

T: It has a sweet taste to it thats similar to how it smells, but just a hint of bitterness and hops, but in the end it feels a little empty. Its a nice taste, but doesn't have much finish or lasting power to it.

M: Medium body and light carbonation. It finishes just like it tastes.

O: High hopes for this one after the smell, but the taste of it just doesn't hold up to it. Its just missing a finish and some complexity, and it would be an easy A. But until then, its in the B range for me.

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Photo of CPeterson
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A -- A reddish amber murky brew pours to a one finger eggshell white head which settles to a thin skim, leaving spindles of lacing.

S -- Smells of sour cherry, molasses, spices, wood and earth, slightly herbal.

T -- Strong wood notes and a sharpness from the cask aging, soju has a similar quality to vodka so it imparts some minerality and acerbic tones to this brew. Also picking up some molasses and dark fruit -- raisin, sour cherry, and cassis. A lingering bitterness hangs around for a good while.

M -- Sharp, drying, medium-full body, low-moderate carbonation.

D -- I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect and this wasn't even on the radar. Well executed and novel, but I'm not sure if this would appeal to many. I definitely appreciate it, but wouldn't see having it on the regular.

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Photo of spoony
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (dated XH.13.05) into a tulip. Reviewed from notes dated September 7, 2015.

A-The beer is honey colored with ruby-red highlights. A one-finger-tall head of grayish foam sits on top but doesn't last long. No lacing. Pretty murky in there but I can see a bubble or two of carbonation.

S-The aroma is fruity with plum, prune, and raisin smells. I also get some caramel sweetness. The sake is there if you sniff for it...interesting. Hops are mostly absent, but there is some citrus twang.

T-The taste is pretty similar to the smell. Dark, malty fruit flavors with significant sweetness fade into subtle sake notes on the finish. The barrels are interesting for sure. I also get a little bit of tart cherry and more Belgian yeast flavor as the beer nears room temperature. Alcohol is well-hidden.

M-The body is robust and slightly syrupy at times. A little hit of chunky carbonation breaks things up.

O-A unique beer and one with lots of layered flavors. Belgian styles can be very difficult to get right, but this beer mostly does the trick

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has one of the most unusual aroma profiles I've encountered in a very long time. Tons of fruits...mostly apricot and tangerine. Some cooking spices as well.
And yes some of that soft fruit smell can be attributed to the sake barrels it is aged in. As I continue to smell, I pick up more and more of the sake fruitness you get from fermented rice.

Taste is also unusual. Lots of the apricot and tangerine fruit flavors mixed in with strong alcohol and a lot of oak woodiness. Sake influence is intense.

Very warm, hot beer.
Very unique...very unusual.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. 'Long Maturation Period'? In what? More info, please and domo arigoto.

This beer pours a clear dark bronzed amber hue, with one skinny finger of weakly foamy, and somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a bit of loose ocean spray lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of muddled, but still damned fruity citrus hops, tart red grapes, musty toffee/caramel malt, and a softly bristling booziness. The taste is rather nutty - chestnuts, really - slick caramel malt, resinous pine and citrus rind hops, concentrated honey, a soft grainy vinous woodiness, and a bit of rice wine alcohol warming.

The carbonation is fairly soft, and mostly just pleasantly frothy, the body medium-light in weight for the style, generally smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still hoppy on the citrus and pine front lines, with the attending bready caramel lackey sweetness. The 8 points of booze do well by this one's homage in that they are not overtly noticeable.

I wasn't expecting this to taste so much like a Japanese barrel-aged DIPA, but it surely does. If we're seizing that thread, then maybe this is a little restrained on the overall hop and malt profile in comparison to the NA versions, but enjoyable nonetheless. As a BSDA, however, this is as confused, but still as determined, as a first-time condom purchaser.

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Photo of applestash
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark caramel with moderate beige head that lasted all the way down. Nice lacing. The nose has a pronounced fresh green apple, fortified sake sweetness, and a really great funky presence. Reminded me instantly of oerbier reserva. Flavor is bright with a balanced backbone, but hits a bit hard with the acidity and finishes syrupy sweet. The flavor imparted by the shochu casks is a great marriage with the style, although it would be much more quaff-able if it were more attenuated. Worth checking out, though I recommend splitting a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice rocky beige head that leaves good ring lace. Pours a cloudy light brown with lots of yeasty beasties.

Sweeet malty smell (brown sugary). Slight hop spice to the nose.

The flavor starts with the sweetness that comes through in the nose. There is a strong bite of yeast. The finish is quite bitter. I like the balance. I can not taste any sake or oak. The body is rich, like a hot chocolate.

I couldn't drink this regularly, but I would say this is one of the superior versions of strong ale.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 7-4-10
H.10.03 printed on the bottle.

Pours a very cloudy amber/orange color with a filmy white head and big rings of lacing that quickly settle.

Smell is very sweet and fruity, but at the same time malty and complex. If I knew what sake smelled like, I would probably pick that up too. Very nice.

Taste is just like the smell, lots of light fruit and spices. The taste is almost like an imperial wit. Very sweet, the malt is right up front followed by a surprising hoppy kick.

Mouthfeel is good, very creamy and slick to complement the sweetness.

Drinkability is good, but the flavors are on the heavy side.

Overall, a little pricey, but still a well made beer.

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Photo of k3ve
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 63% out of 100 with 735 ratings
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