Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

very good
362 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 362 | Ratings: 725
Photo of zander4dawin
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 172 characters

Photo of GregorioMagno
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

 830 characters

Photo of Legend_of_Troybrau
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
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. ****

 637 characters

Photo of Harrison8
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 834 characters

Photo of Boto
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

 322 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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

 221 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.96/5  rDev +5%
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.

 165 characters

Photo of teromous
2.28/5  rDev -39.5%
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.

 924 characters

Photo of schoolboy
3.77/5  rDev 0%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of kitschiguy
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 474 characters

Photo of tone77
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

 320 characters

Photo of Flickerdart
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 294 characters

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 228 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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.

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

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.

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.

 902 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 489 characters

Photo of EEscobar
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Amber with a white head.
Smell: honey, plums, sake, floral
Feel: medium body
Taste: honey, sake, dark fruits
Overall: I think this is a very good change of pace beer for when you are looking for something different. Very nice beer. I think it would pair real well with sushi dinner.

 295 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Club del Gourmet of El Corte Ingles. In Duvel glass. After dinner. At the month of its BB date. Nice caramel sweetness, like in some DIPAs but nicer, less stinky and more drinkable. Maybe my palate is getting used to this taste instead of this beer having a better flavor

 276 characters

Photo of spoony
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
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

 1,063 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass. This murky amber colored beer has a very small white head. The flavor is a very strong almost bourbon scented beer. The flavor is strong with an almost smoky flavor. Not a bad beer.

 235 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deeply hazy brown with orange throughout. Suspended yeast is visible beneath a short-lived slightly off-white head.
Smell is a pleasing combination of malt, wood, light fruits and a touch of sourness. Very nicely done.
Taste is again a great blend of tangy and malty with the aforementioned wood and fruit notes. A bit less than your standard Belgian Dark but very nice.
Medium bodied, very light effervescence reminiscent of a cask conditioned ale. Faintly warming, not nearly as much as expected in an 8% ABV brew. Still, a really nice beer.

 551 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz Bottle into glass

Hazy amber color, thin head. Slightly acidic aroma, a touch sour. Great taste, complex yet easy to drink. Medium body, soft carbonation.

 164 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage, enjoyed at the Porter Beer Bar Atlanta, GA 7.11.15

Appearance: Amber with a solid head for a three year old barrel aged beer.

Aroma: Intense clover honey with some dark fruit in the background.

Flavor: Same as the aroma but with an extra later of earthy woodiness.

Mouthfeel: Touch of booze, medium bodied.

 324 characters

Photo of sammorito
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pors a nice hazy amber color small head that goes quickly. It has a rice smell and i get a little pine smells and faint smell of alcohol. i get dark fruit tastes a very faint sake taste and very little biscuit. mouth feel is nice a medium bodied. stay around on the tounge a bit. overall a great beer

 301 characters

Photo of janubio
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy amber colour, with a small head that fades soon. Aroma of chocolate, figs, notes of ginger, pepper, spices, wood and alcohol (sake I guess, if you read the description). Medium creamy and sticky body. Palate has chocolate, spices, a hot touch, maybe of pepper, brandy (sake) flavour. Really good.

 301 characters

Photo of Sirwootalot
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in an English pint glass, served alongside Budae-Jigae (spicy korean stew) halfway through reviewing.

Pours a deep, cloudy burnt orange. It's a color I don't think I've ever seen in a beer, and reminds me more of a strong Shaoxing rice wine than it does anything remotely like beer. The smell is deep, intoxicating, and rich, with powerful notes of molasses and rice husk.

This stuff tastes INCREDIBLE. I'm again reminded of the homestyle Chinese rice wines - sweet, thick, cloudy, and mouth-coating, it's a very unique flavor that I can't help but try and describe as "homebrew sake". The body is potent, and all beer - a zippy, well-carbonated one at that, with a surprisingly low amount of stickyness despite how unbelievably thick and heavy it tastes. The hops are only here for support - they round out the earthy, funky notes of the rice liqueur, giving a zesty bite and less funk/more vegetable to the aroma.

This is a savory, rich "umami" beer, unique and almost indescribable. It's also freaking delicious. Save it for a special dinner; much of its complexity is lost otherwise.

 1,098 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 725 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.