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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Ratings: 728 |  Reviews: 363
Photo of flyingpig
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky reddish brown colour with a pinky sized, bubbly white head that settles to thin lacing. Muted aroma and fairly weak for such a high alcohol content. There is some apricot, some sweetness and touches of plum with some burnt sugar and some yeast.

Warm alcohol taste starts to dominate along with some sweet plum and burnt sugar. There is a faint, dark fruits taste to this one as well and it is rounded off with a strong alcohol bitterness.

Smooth and with a huge alcohol kick and lots of warmth. There is almost no carbonation in this one either and the high alcohol content makes it a hard swallow.

Not what I would call a great beer or one that I particularly enjoyed, I'd far prefer to have an actual Belgian brewed one in future.

 778 characters

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of gafferjohn
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of PG2G
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of acevenom
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. Pours dark caramel brown with lots of bubbles and a half-finger length biege head that dissipates, leaving a cap of lace on the surface. The aroma is of toffee, dark roasted malts, dark fruits, and yeast. There is some sake in the aroma as well. Flavors of sweet fruits hit the mouth on the first sip. The sake is detectable in the taste. There is some bitterness on the back end as well. The alcohol also detectable in the taste. This is a very unique tasting beer. This beer has a medium to full body and the lively carbonation makes this very easy to drink. Overall, this is a solid beer and an interesting take on the style.

 651 characters

Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Epic head. Body is hazy reddish brown, very interesting.
S: Wow that is good. Hits me with apricot, sweet, maybe some melon in there. Pineapple. Some very interesting smells here!
T: A very unique taste here. The fruit sweetness comes through but isn't overpowering. Some yeast and alcohol in there.
M: Sits really nice. Not too heavy, not too bubbly. Some flavor comes through but isn't overpowering.

Overall a pretty good beer. While some aspects were really great like the smell, the taste was good. I wish there had been a little bit more distinctness in the taste but still a really nice drink.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark gold color with one finger of a slight off white head which retains well. The head leaves nice lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a sweet dark fruit smell up front along with a slight oakiness and then a sake aroma to finish off the beer. The taste is very intense at parts. Up front there is a sweet dark fruit and slight citrus taste, that taste gives way to a big sake bomb in the middle and back end. The sake flavor comes in intense and dominates. The mouthfeel was low to mod carbonation. Overall this is a very interesting beer, the taste is big and bold, but it is rather unbalanced. I really liked the taste but it needs some smoothing out.

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

Served from bottle, bought at Whole Foods (San Ramon), into a snifter. Drank on 3/27/2012.

A: Light brown, medium head.

S: Pleasant plum and apricot notes.

T: Some hot alcohol, but fruity and delicious. Not feeling the barrel flavors, but maybe they co-mingle with the fruity ones. Some caramel sweetness, but not overly present.

M: Creamy and enjoyable mouthfeel.

O: Very good. Would buy again once in a blue moon.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
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.


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Photo of Vylo
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sobapan
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of GuidedByVoices
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a squat 11.2 oz (333 ml) bottle into a goblet. Pours a silty, iced-tea brown, with a 1/2" frothy white head that redues to a thin skim.

Has a sweet, yeasty aroma, with tangy banana, biscuity malt, maple, and burnt sugar. There's an underlying oakiness, likley from the sake casking.

Starts with a decent amount of tanginess and faint alcohol, mellowing into a maple/sugar sweet taste, finishing slightly bitter. Hints of grapes present as it warms.

Has a dry mouthfeel, with a bit of astringency to finish.

A decent brew, which gets better as it warms. The sake casking it quite evident in its aroma and somewhat in the taste. Pleasant enough, but not one I'd rush out to have again at $4 a bottle.

 714 characters

Photo of mercyfulfate
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich copper/deep brown, with about a quarter inch of head that sticks around. Good amount of lacing.

S: Dark fruits and oak. Faint hint of Sake.

T: Packs a pretty hefty punch. Get the dark fruits up front with a hint of the sake as it goes down. Crisp finish to it.

M: Well carbonated, flavors dance around on the palette before a smooth finish.

O: Overall this beer seems heavier than it's ABV. Good well done Dark Ale from Hitachino. Another great beer from this brewery.

 536 characters

Photo of bona2vada
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of rangerred
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance is a hazy, murky dark brown with a very tiny head that quickly disappears. Pretty good lacing, though.

Smells woody and yeasty. A mixture of dark fruit is present along with a tiny bit of funk.

There is a lot going on in terms of flavor. A lot of dark fruit is there up front but there is also wood and the sake is apparent. Clove and yeast is quite prominent as well along with cinnamon and other spices. There is an ever increasing dryness throughout that lingers on the back of the throat long after the finish.

Overall this is a pretty interesting beer. The variety of flavors is quite interesting but the intense dryness can get to be a bit too much. If that was tuned down I could score this a few points higher.

 769 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml to a tulip:

Pours a murky brown/ruby with massive, healthy carbonation that produces dollops of tan froth, probably two fingers worth. The smell is complex - an array of fruits from light to dark and most noticeably plum. A touch of funky yeast bits but it's primarily a dark and well-balanced sweetness. The taste is deceivingly soft and delicate. The bits of Shocyu come through in a tart burning bitterness on the far back of the tongue. A bit of sweet grains and soft fruit. The creamy dense cap on this makes it fun to drink, adding a velvety drinkability. Overall, this is a very unique beer that I'll likely seek out again in the future.

 665 characters

Photo of stevefinny
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of paulginva
3.34/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a bottle into a snifter, produced an off-white frothy 1" head that dissipated quickly leaving good head lacing. Carbonation was heavy in a murky medium-brown body.

AROMA: Aroma is somewhat bready with a light touch of caramel and sweetness. There is a light dark fruit hoppy scent with a slight bit of yeast. also present are a moderate spicy bouquet, light ginger and a moderate sourness (from the saki barrels).

TASTE: The smell is definitely present in the taste. Modest amount of sweet baked bread maltiness and dark fruity hops, a light bit of caramel, moderate ginger tartness and spices with a bit of alcohol, oak tannins and sourness from the aging process in saki barrels.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer has a light to medium body with a somewhat sticky texture, fizzy carbonation and good body lacing that dissipates quickly. The initial flavor is a lightly bitter sweetness with a lightly dry finish that lasted for a short length of time.

DRINKABILITY: This beer took forever to pour due to its heavy carbonation -- too much in my opinion. Other than that, it was an interesting brew. A bit on the high alcohol side for repeating too much, two would probably be my limit on this sipping beer. I have to say that I've had many strong dark Belgian ales and this one didn't particularly stand out. Probably would choose something else next time but certainly wouldn't turn one down if it was offered to me.

 1,445 characters

Photo of jrohrbacher
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of hustlesworth
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- being cask conditioned and bottled on lees, this one has an extremely murky, rusty burnt red appearance. The foam is between cream and ecru colored, airy and full of bubbles, and sticky enough to leave menagerie of drippy lace critters. I think one of them is an owl.

S- indeed a very interesting aroma. When cold, the first thing I notice is a strong mineral water aroma. Next comes a nutty earthy and almost floral shochu like character with a coppery metallic edge. A bit of fruity berry tartness emerges as it begins to rise in temp with some cherry soda type vapor, brown sugar, toffee, fruit cake and pralines. There's just a touch of vanilla aroma that is typical of oak aged beers, along with some cinnamon and pepper spice and a definite major dose of dried, cured and freshly split hardwood.

T- Dry, very woodsy, and acidic. Although classified as a BSDA, it tastes nothing like one. It is however, one of the most uniquely flavored beers I've ever had, and I join other reviewers in stating the fact that I can't decide whether I actually like it or not. It's almost too woodsy with too many tannins. Old wood, new wood, morning wood, and assertive British and earthy hop bitterness. Barely noticeable muted fruity yeast flavors lay dying somewhere in the background. The yeast notes that still stand are a mix of peppery spice and earthy fungus. Finally, let's address this sake flavor issue: the flavor of the sake completely impacts this brew, but it's tough for me to say whether the impact is positive. Since different sakes have such different flavor profiles, and having never tasted this particular sake, I can only describe it as "that general fermented rice flavor". Overall it tastes more like an oak aged stock ale. Finishes spicy, woodsy, dry and bitter.

MF- dry and tannic, hoppy feeling, and not very pleasant, although the bottle conditioned carbonation is immaculate.

D- what a tough call. This beer is obviously made with integrity and quality care, but the mix of flavors just don't agree with me. I like sake and I like barrel aged things and hoppy things but I feel that to better suit my tastes, a fruitier strain of yeast would better compliment the woodsy oak flavor and keep this one from being so scratchy and rough.

 2,264 characters

Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Archemedies
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Beer4MyBrajs
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of justinm4bama
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 728 ratings.
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