Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

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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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Reviews: 358 | Ratings: 719
Photo of tpd975
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JoeyR, this one really is a treat.

A: Pours a nice cloudy orangish brown hue with a nice small yet bubbly head.

S: Very suprised by the aromas in this one. This one is very funky. Reminds me of sweet tarts.

T: The sweet tart flavor really comes thru in the taste along with some acid and citrus. This is very funky and unique. I really like it.

M: Very crisp, zippy on the tongue.

D: Yeah, I would love to get my hands on a few more bottles.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short and stubby 11.2oz bottle. Pours a magnificent orangish amber color with an off-white head that leaves a solid coat of lacing all over the glass, even after consuming the entire beer. The sweet floral aroma is very aromatic with a good amount of oak, and sour cherries. The taste is slightly funky with some oak and a very dry and slightly spicy hopped finish. Wow, I am very surprised with this one. It is a very beautiful pours and is complex in both the aroma and taste with the flavors meshing extremely well. The mouthfeel has a really nice smooth feel to it with a perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, they really did it right with this brew. It is a little on the pricey side, but it is well worth it. I will have to pick up a couple more bottles of this. Recommended.

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Photo of Douglas14
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out an amber color with a nice, tan, fluffy head. The smell is heavily of citrus and bitter fruits and sake, with a touch of oak. The taste is strongly influenced by sake and the sake's actually a little overwhelming. Fruits also make an appearance. This brew has some very interesting qualities...some are good, but they are a bit too overpowering. Nice to try though.

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Photo of Crosling
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Complex nose of sweet fruits and funk. Awfully aromatic. Dark orange color, with a huge and lasting foam. Unique tartness with exotic fruits and interesting flavors. Really nice and delectable, bottle conditioned ale. Hitachino Nest is quite a brewery.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a funky little brew this was!!

This one pours out a dark amber color with a very effervescent head that mounds up and forms a rocky mountainous hill on top of the beer....

A sharp woodiness pervades this throughout on the aroma...this smells funky and I can definitely note the sake in this...

Taste just like it smells.. Its funky, wild, woody, earthy, and delicious...

This is surprisingly good.. Enjoyed this throughout..

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Photo of John_M
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Uber the other day.

The beer pours a beef bullion color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is incredible - it's just wild stuff. I get aromas of tea, sake, sweet malt and cherry cola. Incredibly, the flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose; my only complaint is that it's a bit on the sweet side. The beer comes across as surprisingly light and drinkable (though I can't imagine drinking more then a single glass), with the abv. well disguised.

One of the more interesting beers I've come across in some time. Very impressive.

Note: Had occasion to revisit this beer again at Pizza Paradiso in DC the other day. While every bit as wonderful, the stuff I had in DC had an interesting sour, funky component that I don't recall this beer had when I had it in Seattle. Regardless. This is an exceptional beer, though my guess is there probably is some variation from keg to keg.

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Photo of dill
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was excited that this beer made it's way to America and I picked up a bottle as soon as I could and tried it right away. I shared it with a friend who really likes shouchu so I was looking forward to her reaction to it as well. It poured a golden yellow with a thick white head. I noted some floral notes to it as well as some spice and a bit of the shouchu which I was really looking for. It's a bit dry with tight, gentle carbonation. A nice beer to savor.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Labeled a strong belgian brown.

A: Pours a dark cranberry red with some light reddish tan hues on the head. Matured in Shocyu Sake Casks and labeled as a strong ale.

S: There is a touch of citrus on the nose, some oranges and some spiciness as well. A strong woodiness and alcohol is also present.

T: For flavor there is a deep rich alcohol and woodiness from the casks providing a complexity of flavors, most noticeably some whiskey notes. Theres some dried fruit (grapes, plums), dry orange peels, and some sake hints from the cast is very evident. The beer is dry, with some very light roasted malt character but is very woody in nature with a noticeable alcohol presence that stand out. A very interesting flavor overall and seems unique.

M: warming, full bodied and smooth with a gentle carbonation.

D:Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of FloridaDude
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber, Interesting taste.. a bit bitter which I like, a bit sweet as well. I am not a sake drinker so I assume that is what the odd flavor is. Has strong carbination that was not expected.
I like trying diffrent/unique beers. Overall I would pick up another every now and again.

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Photo of hreb
1.83/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Small cold bottle poured into pint glass. Smells kind of like a very, very dry cider. Intriguing. Looks a bit like cider, too, except way too cloudy.

First sip is insensibly both sour and bitter. Slightly ammoniac (urine) aftertaste. Quite gross. Extremely over-carbonated and very thin in the mouth. Tastes neither of malt or hops. I'm not sure what flavor the sake casks were supposed to lend. Perhaps rancid chardonnay?

Overall: smells like urine and cider. Initial cider-like tartness and carbonation followed by strongly revolting finish and desire to wash my mouth out.

Was this bottle ruined? I may never know; the first one traumatized me too much to buy another (not to mention it's overpriced at >$5 for around 10oz).

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Photo of MtGoat
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: Bottle (11.2 ounces)

Glassware: Small sampler - Pint/Weizen shape

Appearance: Hazy amber with a white foamy head. Highly carbonated.

Smell: Fruity, old grapes and like. Hint of sourness.

Taste: Tart, warming, spicy wheat with a lingering harsh bite. Winey (or more appropriate would be notes of Sake). Slight sourness. Very interesting beer. There is a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel: Initial heaviness....syrupy/oily.

Drinkability: The bitter harshness pulls through too much for me. Not my favorite but worth a taste. Certainly seems stronger than 7.00% ABV!

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Photo of kurtissellen
3.07/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into an oversized wine glass producing a good two fingers worth of tan head with lots of lacing and looked mahogany in color. Peculiar smell to it almost like green olives. Tasted a little sour up front with hints of green olives and finished with a dry and bitter taste in the mouth. I thought this was a lot better than their milk stout but still a little too funky for me. I don't think I would try this one again.

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Photo of gregc
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at spuyten duyvil in brooklyn

Aroma was floral, hops, sake and oak

Flavor was citrus, sake, oak, lavender, with a slightly sour finish

Im a big fan of sake, so i really enjoyed this beer. Very unique flavors in this one. I will probably try and pick up a few bottles if i get the chance.

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

This one poured a hazy deep amber colour. The cream coloured head settled quickly to a long-lasting collar with a skim of fine bubbles, which produced some sticky and spotty lacing. Red wine and fruit in the aroma, along with wood, earthiness, and a hint of grass. Ripe fruit flavour, mild bitterness, with definite wood character and a bit of booze towards the finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly dry. Very nice. Quite an interesting flavour combination and the sake casks are a nice change of pace in the wood aging department.

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Photo of EPseja
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 11.2oz. bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Syrupy orange-amber pour with only a struggling head and a scattering of soapy bubbles. Hazy in color, but turning quite thick and translucent with the incorporation of the sediment, which is highly recommended. Head retention and lacing are both quite absent.

S - Caramel maltiness and run-soaked fruits with an unmistakable vinous character that is no doubt the product of the sake cask aging. Notes of dried, stale tobacco. Bright, green woody astringency that's not off putting, but intriguing.

T - Lightly toasted and only semi-sweet in the front (sweeter with the incorporation of the sediment), blossoming into aged wood, winy alcohol and eventually a dry-sherry type body. The finish remains semi-dry but gets a bit yeasty, and leaves a very forward warming in the belly as well as a modest fruity (plum?) tartness in the aftertaste.

M - Thick like a cordial on the way in, tingly both from the carbonation and the alcohol. Slightly tongue-numbing. Rolling froth slides easily down the gullet. Very substantial.

D - This is a very very interesting beer that I'm glad I had a chance to try. It's definitely not one to have multiples of, but it's enjoyable all the same due to it's uniqueness and high quality craftsmanship. This beer would be a fantastic paring to a huge plate of sushi and sashimi as well as a nice hot sake... just be sure you're not the one driving home.

Not sure why this is called an "American" Strong Ale since it's wholly a product of Japan.

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Photo of csmiley
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly amber in color. I see some brown as well. Head topped out at a hair over half inch and settled into a thin off-white cap. Retention was average. Lacing was good.

S - Aroma is on the mild side but what shows up is pretty complex and balanced. This is an approximate order of aromas: Caramel, bread, sweet and sour fruit (mostly sour), wood, tobacco, alcohol, and another touch of sourness on the end.

T - Taste starts out sweet with caramel and honey then quickly goes to sour with cherry flavors. Some bread and alcohol flavors battle it out in the middle with the alcohol winning in the end. Taste is simple compared to smell.

M - Medium to full bodied with good carbonation for this particular beer. Finish is dry and sour and sticks on the palate for a while.

D - Drinkability is good. This is different but Kiuchi was able to keep it quite interesting from start to finish. Once it warms the balance of sour and sweet only gets better. I would recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been eyeing this for quite awhile.

Pours ruby with a long lasting frothy tan head.

Smell: Weird, Oak, Bananas, Rock Candy, Bubblegum, Cookies, Wine, and Alcohol.

Taste: It starts kind of sweet with caramel and brown sugar, then goes kind of tart, and finishes with a dry woody alcohol taste. It's good but a little too odd for me. Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

I don't think I'd pick this up again, but it's pretty interesting.

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Photo of wedge
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, maple syrup color, slightly hazed, with an inch of creamy yellowish foam on top. Wine-like aroma upfront...cedar, pineapple, flowers, cherries, and a powdery sweetness. Very interesting and funky - fun to sniff. Taste is similar...lots of wood, some fruity sourness, very yeasty with some spicy vanilla-like flavors. Chewy in the mouth, medium-plus body with light carbonation.

Pretty unique overall. Yeast, wood, first Hitachino beer and its a good one.

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Photo of Foxman
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a murky brownish amber with moderate floatification. A finger of tannish beige head drops away soon. Lashes of lacing flutter along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there comes a deep, fruity malt sweetness, sugary and earthy all at once. A touch of toffee is enhanced by slightly smoked wood. Sake peeks through with rice and warm alcohol.

Upon sipping, an initial kick of brown sugar malt sweetness carries currants and caramel. A very crisp curtain of airy yeast, earthy wood, and bitter spiciness truncate the grain train. A mildly tangy twist of sake presence leads into a toasty pool of alcohol. Crisp, fruity grain returns, less sweet this time, as the finish lingers with a comfy dry bitterness. It's very unique, and better for it.

Between medium and full bodied, it's syrupy ad slippery, with a crisp, glowing close.

The merging of fermented rice essence with a solid malt profile leads to a nicely blended, highly original presentation. This is why we try new things. The ABV is warmer and more open than expected, but then, it's not designed to be a session brew, so it doesn't suffer. Maybe it's not quite eXHilarating, but it is an eye-opener and well worth enjoying to the bottom of the glass.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a hazy ruby-brown with a two-fingered, frothy beige head.

Aroma is dark ripe fruit, yeast, ginger and bubblegum.

Initial taste is of an overwhelming sourness. Accompanying this is the dark fruitiness, the oakiness, and a funky yeastiness. Not being a sake drinker, I don't know how much of the taste is from the saki cask aging. Somewhat Belgian-like in flavor.

Medium mouthfeel, very drying, and well-carbonated.

This is a very unique tasting strong ale and definitely takes some getting used to. I definitely recommend this beer as a must-try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby hued brown. Crème head. Nose is thick with wood and it almost seems like cherries? There's definitely an odd fruit edge to it. Flavor is amazing, but mysterious. Clearly the cask aging has provided a depth of character that the western palate might not be able to fully comprehend and fully appreciate. Excellent carbonation and a smooth liquid feel. This is one of the most oddball beers I have ever had and I love it. Every beer lover needs to give this a shot at least once.

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Photo of asabreed
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle into a Thomas Hardy's snifter. This should be an interesting brew.

Appearance: Beautiful hazy orange copper color with hints of red. Just amazing color in the light. Huge billowing head that slowly dissipates, always leaving at the very least a bit of foam on the top of the body, and huge lacing all over the place in streaks and little blobs. Every time I sip the beer touching the glass leaves an amazing streak of lacing that slowly slides down and dissipates. I haven't seen a brew this pretty in a long time.

Smell: Definitely like a lambic at first without any strong hint of fruit. Wild yeast, maybe brett-like, earthy funk, heavy citrus and vinegar and vinous sourness. Effervescent and very appealing.

Taste: It probably goes without saying, or should, but this should be warmed up to room temperature. Even when it warms there's a faint metallic and pungent bitterness that I'm not sure is supposed to be here, but it ends up working somehow, then fading away. But at cooler temperatures it's much more prominent and funky. Taste is overall sourness, wild yeast, vinous characteristics, phenolic and barnyard funk (mixing well with the other flavors), some pungent citrus, and maybe some sourness from the hops, and if it's not the hops it's coming from somewhere else. I wonder if this is a bit too green, because though I like it a lot, like I said there's an odd bitterness that finishes and I'm not sure it should be this pronounced. The other wild flavors still shine overall, and there's a long Belgian and lambic-like sour finish, letting in some fruit, wild yeast, and earthiness. But where does the Sake come in? I'm not sure. Maybe with the wood and sourness, because there's certainly a lot of complexity there. This is not for the faint of heart, and your palate really has to be ready to take all of the insanity, so keep that in mind also.

Mouthfeel: Champagne-like with lots of smoothness and coating, blanket-like carbonation. Like a BSPA, but even creamier in some ways.

Drinkability: I paid $5 for the bottle, but Hitachino stuff's always worth it to me. They seem to be one of the most underrated breweries doing great experiments. I imagine if DFH did a beer like this (and please do, DFH) everyone would be all over it, but Hitachino doesn't get the hype. Still, an amazing and crazy brewery that doesn't skimp in the experimentation (or the price, clearly). I may pick another one of these up and see how it ages, because I imagine the yeast and bottle conditioning could do some great things. But an overall singular beer and a great experience, one I'd recommend highly, especially if this really is a one-time thing...

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Photo of brdc
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body bordered by a thin ring of white bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is woody from the get-go (heck, before you even get it up to your nose) with notes of what you'd imagine to be sake along with fruit and yeast.

Taste: Strongly wooden with a distinctly sour yeastiness. Expired malts delivered in coffins bearing the initials XH. Ground peppercorn medley. One spoonful of rice pudding. Tons of tannins running loose. There's never much in the way of sweetness or bitterness. Dry, yeasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I can assure you that it is interesting, but I keep going back and forth on whether or not I actually enjoyed it...

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hitachino brews are always innovative and very fun. I was excited to try this brew for this simple fact that a mix of ale and sake should be interesting. This sure was. I really enjoyed this one. Plus, at $3.00, how could I go wrong?

A- The liquid appears as an orange/red/brown translucent color in my glass. Thin bubbly head on top and some lace.

S- Smell was very fruity. I was getting a nose of belgian yeast as well and could be described as funky and sour, but in a really good way.

T- I cant help but notice that this beer tastes very belgian. There was a grape/wine taste that was very evident. I am getting malty sweetnes, maybe caramel. Faint hops- belgian yeast. The taste is somewhat similar to a lambic.

M- Tingly and very bubbly like a champagne.

D- I loved this beer. I could drink a few of these. Enjoyed this with my dinner and could not help but want another one.

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 719 ratings.
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