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 TurdFurgison
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a squat fattie ($3.50 at Whole Foods) into a tumbler. The beer was dark copper colored and murky, with tons of yeastie floaters. The smell is robust with alcohol and a little sourness, not really the sake flavor I half expected (and I've tried a crapload of sake in my several short visits to Japan). The taste is very rich, malty and bitter and a little unique in the beer world. Almost Belgian-esque, a little sour with hints of cherries or plums. The mouthfeel is full even though there isn't a great deal of carbonation. A little too strongly bitter aftertaste for me to rate drinkability too high.

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Photo of merlin48
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dirty auburn brown body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap. Some rings of lace aound the snifter. Aroma of wood, sake, and fried rice. Mouthfeel is nice, medium body and crisp carbonation. Taste is better than the aroma with prominent oak wood tones and a faint note of berries. As it warms, the sake becomes dominant imparting some harsh alcohol which lasts into the finish. Not my favorite Hitachino Nest but one of the most interesting.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on two occasions, 14 & 15 July, 2007. Poured each time from a 33cl bottle to a small, tall-sided cup. Aged in Shochu sake casks and labeled with a bold, golden 'XH' on a black background. Served at PIB 2007.

A: Slightly hazed amber/garnet with hints of ruby (wow - all 'jewel'-themed...). 1/2-finger of creamy, ivory-colored heady, a little soapy then tightening rapidly to a slim ring.

S: Big pungent woody aroma, acerbic. A hint of yeast with tart cherries.
Strong orange/citrus hops but mellowed with somewhat dominated by the vinous woodiness, vanilla and cherry imparted by the wood aging.

T: Tart like apples and cherries, smoke and wood tannins, vinous grapes, herbs including mint. Some sugars and caramel bring sweetness and turn over the flavors toward maltiness midway. A bourbon or scotch-like layered texture, with flavors rippling over the tongue, then clinging and warming. Finishes mostly dry. Really a nice, nice beer...

M: Quite smooth, velvety even. Some alcohol warming in that creaminess and some astringency from that sour/tannic wood. Medium body, low carbonation.

D: A sipping beer and one you would not have more than one of at a sitting. Warm and mellow in the mouth, evolving flavors, an intriguing and enticing aroma - this is one to sit with and savor. 'Strong Ale' or barrel-aged 'Barleywine' not sure exactly how this one was categorized...all I know is it's very good and I'd love to have it again.

DISCLAIMER: It's not often that I'll review a beer tasted at a Festival, but I'll make a handful of exceptions from the past weekend's Portland International Beerfest. This came from a 33cl bottle, chilled on ice and poured to a clear (plastic) 4 oz. tasting glass. As this was my wife's first pour on Saturday (which I wound up drinking most of...) and my first on Sunday (from 1 of 2 bottles set aside by the event organizers and sampled well after the rest of the limited stock had run out - thank you very much, Chris!), I started with a clean glass and palate both times, so I have no problem writing a 'proper' review.

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Photo of mnapier
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Service Temp, 40 degrees. Service Glass 12 ounce German Balloon Glass

Raising the glass the dark orange fluid let's little light shine through and through. As I swirl the glass around preparing to approach my nose I observe a mild white head with light lace across the inside of the glass.

Aroma, is apparent in regards to the oak and plum.

Taking several sips, I hit some slight dryness, some subtle citrus, but a continuation of the oak theme is still there only mildly. The ales overall presence on my tongue is a constant reminder I need to come back again and again with its resiny medium body.

Overall, a wonderfully tastey barrel aged (sake) & definitely different.


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Photo of soulgrowl
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, burnt cranberry ruby with a cherry juice-stained beige-tan head of fair size and poor retention.

Smell: A lovely cocktail of old world and new world hops, with lots of spicy resin notes, the sharp zest of grapefruit, all tied together with a nutty caramel malt base a bit of spicy yeast. Autumnal overall, with a warming vibe and an earthy, sweet-and-spicy tone. Alcohol hits the back of the nose with a deep whiff, but it is very clean and not overpowering at all.

Taste: Sweet and slick, not exactly imbalanced but the malts are definitely center stage. This might actually be better qualified as an English Barleywine than an American Strong Ale, because the malts carry a lot of caramel, honey, brown sugar, rum, and dark fruit notes with a finish of bitter cocoa, while the hops are comparatively subdued. Reminiscent of Crystal Pepsi with its mix of caramel, citrus, yeasty spice, and vanilla. But while this is sweet coming in, going out it is bitter and lush with hops, floral and herbal and lightly spicy with a lingering dry tang.

Mouthfeel: A tad thin but creamy and smooth. Carbonation develops along with the flavor, making the beer seem fuller and frothier as you chew.

Drinkability: Easy to drink and pleasant to savor despite its sweetness and ABV. Another winsome ale from Kiuchi.

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Photo of nouseforotacon
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out with a strong aroma, noticeable throughout the pour, with a cola-like bottom containing a touch of red when held up to the light. The head was puffy, thick and tan, and slow to fall.

Sweet, extremely malty smell, with traces of alcohol. Floral/citrus profile present, decent balance.

Nice hop profile in the taste, very bitter, with a strong, powdery bittersweet chocolate character. Warm and dark, with a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel, and the citrus resurfacing as mild grapefruit.

ABV can creep up on you in this one, easy to drink with its medium body and well masked alcohol. Overall drinkability good, though the strong bitterness might throw some off. Definitely recommended for a try.

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

330 mL brown glass bottle, capped. Date stamped on label was 03.06.14. This bottle was purchased in Hitachino's home prefecture (Ibaraki) on June 18, 2003. A Japanese friend translated the label for me: bottled on June 14, 2003, and for best freshness drink within 2 months, but it will still be good to drink for 9 months.

This ale poured a hazy golden amber color with white foam that settled and left a coat. The smell was a strong, "chewy", citrusy floral hops aroma - very nice. The taste was dominated by floral hops but with a good bit of malt sweetness to balance, and with some grapefruit (hops), caramel, and molasses in the mix. There was a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was dominated by the hops, with a little sharpness and dryness on the tongue. The body was medium full and the carbonation moderate. This was quite a suprisingly good ale bursting with hops.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Ingredients: Malts, Hops.
Aged from 6 months to 1 year (according to brewer's web site)

Initial tasting: 29 Dec 02
Amazing sweet aroma which I just cant put my finger on, not maple, like currant or cranberry. Deep ruddy brown color. Strong burnt fruit palate. Tame but always present bitterness. Good acidity.

Second tasting: 07 Feb 03
Same as above, but the alcohol is just overpowering. Can bearly drink it.

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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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