Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
BA SCORE
3.79/5
736 Ratings
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery
Japan
kodawari.cc

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,856
Reviews:
365
Ratings:
736
pDev:
12.14%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
67
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 736 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange colour and bubbly head, floral aromas. A different culture and a different measure of what bitterness is. A definite woodiness, without too much of supporting flavours other than alcohol and a bitterness from the ale itself. I do not believe it was greatly drinkable, by different standards it is a successful ageing/barreling.

 334 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and slightly sour dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors but I am not getting any sake influence on the final product.

 645 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was very interested in trying the beer when I saw that it was left over on tap at the Bethlehem Speakeasy after a Hitachino dinner they had put on a while ago. I read up on the brew and it sounded like it would be pretty cool to try.

I ordered up a glass and it was brought to me as a hazy orange color with a pretty nice looking head on it. The retention laced the glass with every sip. Had the look of a really good brew. The smell was a little different then expected. The smells of some hops and some wood came through along with some light fruit aromas. The taste wasn't really what I was expecting. I thought that it'd have some dominant Sake flavors throughout, but it didn't. The flavors were a little bit herbed and a little bit bitter. The mouthfeel was decent, overall I would drink it again to give it another shot.

 830 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy dark orange in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose is slightly sour and has light aromas of citrus and sake.
T: There is sourness in the initial taste, although this weakens as the beer warms up and the underlying malty flavors become a bit stronger, which also have notes of oak and sake from the barrel aging. There is a slight amount of malty sweetness in the initial taste and this is followed by a mild amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of alcohol warming is present in the finish.
D: Although the alcohol is well masked from the taste, the beer needs to warm up before it becomes drinkable. There's no way that I could drink more than one of these in a sitting.

 928 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With the barrel-aged craze at full throttle, I'm surprised to only now see shocyu casks being used. It takes a mighty base beer to absorb these boozy flavors in balance and not to be dwarfed by them.

XH pours with a diffused amber-brown color. Haze allows for a soft glow for a masculine and refined appearance. A delicate sheet of creme coats the surface of the beer with intermitten pockets of foam and lace. Good retention despite such alcohol dominance and wood aging.

Thin and spicy alcohols meet the nose with a tanic, woody scent of cedar, ginger, and light must. Caramel scents seem to be the bridge between the oak aroma and malty base. Lightly peppery and vinous with berry-like esters with light vanilla and almond. The beer seems to give new scents with each visit to the glass.

Sweet caramel flavor meets the front of the tongue but quickly develop into burnt caramel, bread crust, and graham crackers. Fruity esters of grapes, plumbs, dates, and figs develop from the caramel maltiness and morph towards the woody elements of spice, maple, and raw cedar or ginger. Piney hops also help to round out the tanins from oak and balance the sweetness.

Timidly robust early, the beer releases a mild creamy notation before the spice and alcohol usher in a warm and moderately astringent finish. Quite harsh with fusal alcohols for a beer topping out at 7%-8% abv.

The complexity of the beer reaches very high marks although the base beer claims more unresolved sweetness than dry maltiness. But the harshness of alcohol and tanin seem to be unnecessary and provide the only real detractions.

 1,603 characters

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.

 1,361 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

7% ABV according to my label. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in Los Angeles, California. Acquired at the Whole Foods in Glendale. I've had a couple beers from this brewery and I remember liking them in a general sense but none stuck out. I chose this one because I don't know that I've had a beer aged in sake casks afore. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and good retention considering the relatively high ABV. Pours a nontransparent chestnut. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Clean malts dominate. An oak tone. Hints of sake. Raisin, fig. Light fruit esters. Hints of light oily hops. A light strength aroma.

T: Oak and hints of bright fruit esters over a clean malt foundation. Subtle. I get sake only in the third act, and it isn't particularly special. A bit out of place actually. Some yeast comes through, along with oily hops (also especially in the third act, which is too bitter). Hints of cherry. Some light caramelized malt. Not horribly complex, but interesting. No real layering.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thick. Some coarseness throughout. I wouldn't call it slick. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't have it again, but I'm glad I tried it. I like that it's experimental, but it's strange for the alleged style. Sake just doesn't go well alongside beer in this case. The third act is bad.

C+

 1,660 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a foamy beige head that maintains a multi-finger retention a leaves a few splashes of lace

Smell: Rice pudding, vanilla, sarsaparilla and a bit of booziness

Taste: Oak, caramel and tart green apples up front, with a developing rice pudding and rum flavor by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is an interesting fruity flavor (lychee) that adds complexity, with the rice pudding and oaky flavors returning only to be dominated by a rather sour after-taste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Definitely one of the more interesting beers I have tried, with a flavor profile that is all over the palate; a little more carbonation would be a plus but this is an otherwise extraordinary beer

 758 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy dirty beige color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of a sweet barley malt base with some distinctive notes of light sake. Taste is also dominated by a barley wine type taste of sweet malt with some distinctive notes of rice and sake, which I must admit are quite pleasant. Full body with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Another winner beer from a great brewery.

 458 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, 11.03 bottle code. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, apple, pear, prune, pepper, caramel, molasses, clove, earth, toast, chocolate, oak, and yeast spiciness. Damn nice and very unique aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, prune, molasses, grape, toast, chocolate, caramel, pepper, clove, earth, oak, wheat, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, molasses, clove, pepper, oak, earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Excellent balance and complexity of flavors; zero cloying flavors after the finish. I have no idea what sake tastes like alone, but I would imagine the unique fruitiness in this beer is that character. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, creamy, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian dark ale! Very unique with the sake cask aging, and it seems to work out great. Nicely complex and balanced. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,246 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour from the bottle delivers a good sized head of creamy tan froth that slowly erodes over a few minutes into a short solid cap atop its reddish-brown body. I doubt that a careful pour would bring up the same head, but then you'd have a clearer beer as the yeast could be left behind in the bottle.

The nose is unusual, and offers bright notes of oak and wet cedar over a sugar candy sweetness and delicate malt base. It's floral as well, and there's a bit of some alcohol that's along the lines of a bourbon but much lighter... perhaps that's from a combination of the residual shocyu in the cask and the delicately caramelish malt. Shocyu is usually made out of roots (often sweet potatoes), whereas sake is made from rice wine. Regardless of where the alcohol is coming from, the aroma is quite intriguing and enticing.

The body is medium with a very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning.

The flavor is as you might expect, but with the malt having a more prominent role amidst the oak and candy sweetness. The alcohol is more obvious, and it gains a bit as you progress through the glass and it warms a bit. It starts sweet on the palate, then reveals its floral and candyish side, becomes a bit bitter across the middle, and then finishes dry and a touch spicy with a wash of alcohol and lingering dry oak.

Interesting to say the least! This is probably one of the most unique beers on earth, and probably worth trying for that reason alone, although I enjoyed it immensely when consumed slowly, one sip at a time. I think it wouldd make a great beer to enjoy while reading a good book, or watching a movie, but I'd avoid it at the bar. Take a bottle home and savor it slowly.

 1,718 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%

Pour is hazy dark amber with a good, durable, creamy head, vg lacing
Sake barrel treatment comes out clearly about mid-taste, and is also present in the aroma.
Aroma has decent complexity, as does the flavor, which has both bready and fruity notes too.
Medium-full body; medium+ carbonation; smooth.
O interesting Japanese beer.

 330 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden orange to ruby red in color with a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation at the edges of the glass and near the surface. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark beige head that slowly reduces to a large thin patch with a thin film covering the rest of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of malts with some citrus hops and a definite presence of sake. There is a light aroma of alcohol but that is likely contributed by the sake.

T: Similar to the smell, there is a fairly strong body of malts and a very light presence of sourness that disappears as the beer warms. There are some light notes from the citrus hops and some oak from the barrel aging. Also, there is a fairly strong flavor of sake.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly dry with some light alcohol warming in the finish.

O: While the ABV is not that high for this beer, it is very strong tasting and not the easiest to drink. Enjoyable but one you have to slowly sip on and not one that you could have multiple in a session.

 1,170 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber-brown, hazy, half finger white head, quick to a sticky lace.
Raisin pops in the smell, malts, some wood, faint caramel, a touch of sour grapes.
Fruity taste in the beginning, with plum, apricot, some raisin, mild sweet citrus, touch of pineapple and even some coconut. Malty, with caramel, faint cocoa powder and toasted grains. Belgian yeasts, some extra vanilla and cinnamon too. Starts dusty, gets even dustier. Close to the finish the sake barrels show up, with a bit of sourness, very very clear wood, faint nuttiness and a dry alcoholic feel, sort of like stronger dry white wine. Finishes crisp, a bit boozy, grassy bitterness, leaves a complex aftertaste (tobacco, sake, cocoa power, faint dark fruit).
Medium body, prickly carbonation.
This was new and sorta weird for me, but i liked it. Sake barrels dominate as it warms, so it gets a bit more boozy and quite dry. Really cool.

 900 characters

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 736 ratings
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