Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
Very Good
737 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: 737 |  Reviews: 366
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a muddled, hazy, amber-copper coloring with a very thin, small bubbled ring of white around the surface. Aromas of strong sake overtones with a subtle blend of fig and date in the background. Some cherry and bread in the nose, as well. Smells very rich and boozey at the same time. Flavors are very well blended, almost to the point of neutralizing on the tongue. The sake does give a very wine-like and boozey forward flavor, with a bready backbone and tart cherry and white grape end flavor. The beer loses a lot of the dark, old world fruits on the nose under the influence of the sake characteristics. Tangy and sharp aftertaste, with an earthy, tannin, and boozey blend. Clean, slightly drying finish. Interesting idea for a beer, and I do enjoy the influences imparted from the sake barrels. Would be interesting with a more powerful base beer.

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Photo of NYSPHophead
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ranger60
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap at Buckeye Beer Engine.

A- beautiful dark brown, very little head.

S- interestingly, picking up malt notes, some caramel sweetness, and something hard to identify...maybe it is the sake'?

T- very's not bad, but not my cup of tea...don't love sour ales, and that is the first impression. but the oak and sake' flavors do come through in a very nice way.

M- actually very pleasant initial mouth feel, but the sourness lingers

O- I'm sure some people would say this is great, and I know the sourness is intentional, but I can't get past it.

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Photo of kylegillick
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: hazy . murky brown

Aroma: little aroma. dark fruirs

Taste: Tart. Oak. cherry/ dark fruits. The oak/ sake barels give it a great taste. more tart than i would have expected

Mouth feel: Thick. solid carbonation

Overall: $4.69 a bottle. Great beer, very interesting. Would buy again. Sake barrels gave it a unique taste

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Photo of majcher33
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of enelson
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of JellyJacket
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 11.2 oz (noting that it has changed slightly from the picture posted here) into a Delirium tulip at low altitude in NY. Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm a bit over the course of consumption.

A: Pours a thin, creamy milk-colored head with a nearly opaque deep amber body. Hundreds of small carbonation bubbles float slowly up the sides of the glass as larger ones occasionally dart past them. Great retention as the head on this one lasts for the entire session. Plenty of lacing as well.

S: The sake barrel aging really stands out as this smells unlike any beer I've had before -- fermented rice qualities are prominent. Some dark fruits, oak and clean malts. Intriguing.

T: Opens with dark fruit notes -- specifically cherry -- followed by oak and rounded out by some definite sake flavors. The finish is quite bitter, a bit too much so in my opinion. Overall, a very interesting combination of flavors.

M: Full-bodied with a round mouthfeel that fills the whole mouth. Definitely the most exceptional aspect of this beer -- very nice.

O: Another unique offering from Hitachino Nest. Probably not a beer I would buy again given the price point, but definitely highlights the sake influences present in all of Hitachino's offerings.

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Photo of MaxOhle
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BeerNotes
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a tall pilsner glass.

A: Pours an amber-orangish hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Sweet and tart citrus aroma with a hoppy and malty backbone.

T: Similar to the smell this beer’s flavor comes off very sweet and tart – almost wine like. Fruity mix and finishes on the sweet side.

M: Very strong and boozy with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.

O: Interesting brew from Japan. Nice sipping beer at 8.3% abv.

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Photo of cocojoe
3.07/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Bottle that I am drinking says that it clocks in at 7.0% ABV

A: Hazy Amber color, thin tan head

S: Sweet caramel, oaky, bright (some belgian yeast notes), smoothe, floral, rice milk?

T: vanilla, caramel, definite oak notes, toasty, floral

M: medium body

O: Fine beer. Nose is a little stuffy at the moment, so my nose and palate are probably missing out on some stuff. A bit confused. I was doing some research, and other people who reviewed this beer said that it had many qualities similar to a flanders red or an oud bruin, and had a definite sour note, but I am getting little to none of those notes. Also, the bottle that I have is different than others (including a different ABV). I am wondering if they released a non belgian version of this beer. I am confused. Fine beer though.

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Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of FLima
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color, a bit murky, with a beige head with a good retention.
Smell of sweet malt with some piney hops, and touches of condiments.
Complex flavor of sweet toasted malts and oak with spicy, citric, piney and fruity from its hops. Hints of plum and predominant oak with sake liquor that lingers until its finish, along with a bitterness and dryness.
Full body with a medium carbonation and small bubbles. The 8% ABV is fairly hidden.
Really interesting beer, I was not expecting such complexity from a Japanese beer. Although a Belgian Brown Ale, it reminded me of a Barley wine, too.

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Photo of 2neardead
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of chakadrum
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of SmashPants
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: squat little 330mL brown bottle with an interesting label. Cute owl too.

Appearance: hazy - almost murky - deep copper-brown. Dense but thin head that disappears with the first mouthful.

Aroma: definite heavy characters here - brown sugar, prunes, pepper and earth. Enticing.

Taste: not the most brilliant Belgian heavy I have had. It is certainly thick, but the rich molasses, brown sugar and plum flavours are overpowered by an odd alcohol fug.

Aftertaste: more of the same, with a touch of bitterness shining through.

Mouth feel: definitely suits the style. Thick and heavy with lower carbonation.

Overall: not a bad attempt at a Belgian heavy, but at AU$10 a bottle, it is far, far too expensive - more expensive than most of the highest quality Belgians I have had. Add the awkward flavour combination to that, and it's a Lexus for Rolls Royce-and-a-half price. Not bad, but not good enough to warrant the exhorbitant cost.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 11.2-ounce bottle. A batch code is printed on the back label but there is no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is murky caramel/amber. There is quite a bit of hovering sedimentation. Two fingers of off-white head dissipated to leave a ring around the edge and a thin lacing.

Smell: There is a lot going on. It is sharp and pungent, sweet and sour. There is pepper and woody spice almost reminiscent of pine. Perhaps, though, it is the oak from the aging process. Basically, it imparts that boozy, aged aroma. It also smells like clove and cinnamon, or something Christmasy. Caramel, sake, plum, raisins, and prunes.

Taste: It has a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. The flavors are not as potent as the aromas; there is a lot more balance compared to the craziness of the smell. The woodiness is very prominent, as well as the spice and sake. Caramel, plum, and molasses stand out. As it warms, a little citrus begins to emerge as well. It leaves a warm, spicy aftertaste lingering on the roof of my mouth.

Drinkability: This is a unique and strange little beast. Loads of complexity and I like the fact it is aged in sake casks. Tasty and powerful, this is well-made stuff.

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Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Murky brown body under a massive head that fills the tulip (and then some) with ultra fine tan foam. Terrific, rocky retention and spotty lace. Great.

S: What?! Craziness, that's what. Oak, pepper, fruity sake, and some more raw oak. A little sour, a little spicy, and just great.

T: Follows the nose, with even more emphasis on teh oak. Vanilla and coconut up front, followed by some robust, slightly sour fruitiness, and closed out by spiritous oak. Dry, spicy finish. Wonderful.

M: Supple, creamy, frothy carbonation. Nice.

O: Wow, I was not prepared for this. It was unlike any other beer I've had, and in a fascinatingly delicious way. I really need to try some shochu, as the barrel presence in this beer was delightful.


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Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting a long time to try this one after missing out on it at a fest. Julio's finally got this sucker in after over a year. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a slightly hazy deep copper hue with a one finger head that faded quickly to leave light wisps and a light thin halo.

S - Light malty sweetness and caramel comes out as this warms. Definitely some wood notes as well as clear and true sake. Lightly boozy and fruity (more pineapple and dark fruits, but barely).

T - Hrm, well, this is different. More of that caramel malty sweetness With more faint, faint sweeter fruits (kinda sorta light pineapple). That sake really comes out as it warms. Quite distinct flavour indeed. Sake really lingers on the aftertaste.

M - Mouthfeel is solid. Nicely carbonated, not too boozy. Not syrupy or heavy. Quite pleasant.

O - Overall this was worth the wait for me. The sake really compliments this beer. Very interesting and unique flavour profile. I dig it.

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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.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy brown body with one finger head. good amount of lacing.

S: Malt, brown sugar, caramel. Nice.

T: Quite unique. It tastes like your standard Belgian quad or strong ale (caramel malt, dark fruits) and as the alcohol taste opens up, the beer changes to something a bit funkier. You certainly don't taste the sake or shochu (I am Korean and I call it Soju), but soju barrel aging added some complexity in a good way. I can taste the alcohol but it's not too boozy.

M: Good amount of carbonation, medium thickness for the style.

O: Surprisingly awesome! It just may be my personal taste though, but I thought this beer was unique and tasty.

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Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 737 ratings
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