Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) | Kiuchi Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH)
Very Good
741 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 741 |  Reviews: 366
Photo of Urbancaver
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a bit of crisp white head that dissipates quickly. smells hoppy and sweet. very odd combination with the sake smells. Tastes a bit sweet. mostly dry with very unusual Sake flavours. Definitely unique. Decent mouthfeel but the strange flavours definitely hinder the drinkability

 303 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner-like glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with towering cream colored head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Tart apples, vinegar, oak and pepper.

Taste: Nice tartness derived from apple and citrus. The oak aging adds a nice level of complexity, as does the brett. Ends with pepper, clove and spicy hops. Great balance overall and the tartness remains at a manageable level.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body with a tart, dry finish. As the carbonation recedes, it becomes very smooth.

Drinkability: Love the complex layers within this beer, while remaining compulsively drinkable.

 637 characters

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

Pours an amber color. Medium to fuller body mouth feel. Slight funk - sourish yeasty taste. Wood is on both the nose and palate. Sake flavors are very subtle. Green apple flavors. This beer is very approachable and one of my favorite cask aged beers.

 250 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured amber brown in color with pale brownish yellow highlights when held up to the light that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront on the aroma a was able to notice some vinous character alongside bretty funk, oaky, and sake notes. It did however have faint vinegar notes as well.

T: the bretty barrel funk is more apparent on the palate with oaky, sake, and vinous accents but had a touch of underlying vinegar in the background; quite tasty. After a few sip it seemed to have slight citrusy grapefruit notes.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a very nice amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citrusy, oaky, bretty, sake, and mild fruity finish.

D: it actually drank quite well and kinda reminded me of a wild ale with the bretty character and intresting choice of barrels to age in.

 852 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this after a few winter warmers and it fit right in with its nuanced mix of hops and malt and a dark caramel note on the finish. I detected more British than Belgian in the flavour profile but thought it a very well done beer that would stand some cellaring

 261 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a bulb style glass. xh.10.08. stamped on the bottom of the back label. listed as 7% on neck of bottle.

pours out a really nice murky reddish/ orange brown color with a huge 4 fingers of billowy, soapy off white head. amazing rocky retention and lots of furry sticky lace.

off the initial smell i got lots of sour, tart, musty funk. behind that there some spice, ripe fruits, a bit of dark fruits and a bit metallic with just a hint of wood.

lots of sharp tart musty funk, ripe fruits, leafy herbs, aluminum like metallic flavor which is not too desirable. a bit of dark fruit like malt sweetness and a bit of a spicy bitterness with a touch of wood in the background.

the funk and tart is there, but not enough to pucker you mouth. light and fluffy on the palate, medium bodied. lots of carbonation.

one and done, but i would drink this again. this to me is exactly like a belgian flanders red/ oud bruin. a nice beginners sour. the funk is definatly there, but nothing overpowering. worth one bottle.

 1,036 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky with a lot of yeast floaties. Should have been a little more careful on the pour, I suppose. Moderate white head.

S: Funky and sour. Some hops in there.

T: Pretty tart throughout. Funky and sour just like the nose. Spicy hop quality.

M: Big time carbonation. Has a little bite to it.

D: The bite makes this one a sipper.

Not a bad beer, but not sure if I would seek this out again considering the price per 12oz.

 428 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice.

A - Pours a deep amber red colour with an ivory off white head that retains well and laces.

S - Smells perfumic and very yeasty.

T - nice balance of some piney notes with caramel and toffee and boiled sweets, lots of bitterness at the end almost saki like.

M - fullish mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

D - An unusula take on the style then again i'm not suprised from the brewery. Thoroughly recommended.

 446 characters

Photo of gamwich
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Way over-carbonated, beer spews out when opened. I pour what is left into a St. Bernardus chalice.

The aroma is funky and sour, expected as this is a belgian-style beer aged in wood casks. What isn't expected is the predominant aroma I'm getting is urea - not appealing.

The flavor is pretty good, considering the aroma. Slightly tart and sour, the wood flavor comes through, as well as some hops and what I assume is the sake. Aroma is more appealing when combined with tasting the beer.

It is very carbonated and has a dry finish. As it warms the aroma has tamed considerably and now resembles that of many funky-barnyard farmhouse/ saison type nose.

Not a bad beer, but it does not seem to come together.

 711 characters

Photo of Tifore
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Unibroue Tulip.

A - Pours a murky muddy color. Orangeish brown. Pours almost no head. Maybe 1/2 a finger but holds for quite a bit and leaves behind some good lacing.

S - Smells very very yeasty and bready. Almost carmel and rye like. Perhaps even sweet? I guess thats the sake coming through.

T - Tastes of carmel at first and yeast second. The yeast / bread flavor hangs around for a while. Makes my mouth water, not sure why. The very last flavor I get is sake which comes through very nice. I'd be intrigued to see how this ages for a while to see if the malt / yeast leaves and the other flavors come through. I wish there was more complexity to this.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty heavy. Some carbonation but not much.

D - A pretty good beer but I wish the taste was more on the sake side. A overall good belgian that I want to revisit again.

 879 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from State Line; purchased a few years back.

A: The strong ale is a ddark amber color, coppery and brown. The rich color is full enough to render it opaque. A half a finger of off-white head arrived with the pour and left almost as quickly; only a thin band remains.

S: The ale has a strong oaken aroma, woody with vanilla notes. The aroma is much more American oak than the unique scent of sake. The wooden scent has a bit of a cherry finish. I'm really looking forward to a sip. This is a high 4, almost a 4.5 but not quire.

T: I'm really impressed, or maybe surprised. I expected something sake-like, not realizing that sake is generally a neutral spirit. The barrels, having offered up their angel's share of sake, impart a rich oaken wood flavor that highlights vanilla and cherry. Underneath the barrel, the ale seems malty and rather light. The barrel generally fades quickly, although tingles of flavor do hang around.

M: The mouthfeel, dominated as it is by the barrel, doesn't pack a punch. The oak comes and goes with very little left behind. I do like the barrel aspect though, an interesting flavor twist that I wasn't expecting.

D: The higher potency of the sake doesn't register in the ale (under 8%, really?). The lack of depth beyond the barrel is the biggest complaint.

 1,307 characters

Photo of Ambiorix
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, poured into large tulip.

A: Copper, slightly cloudy pour, with a light tan persistent head.

S: Fruity, estery, a little bit of a horse blanket, brett-like nose.

T: Fruity, barnyard, bitter, spicy. Tangy, bitter finish with some lingering fruitiness.

M: Medium-thin.

An interesting brew. I'd never tried Hitachino Nest before, and I was impressed.

 360 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear dark amber colour with a creamy light tan head.

Sweet and spicy aroma. Almost bready, sickly sweet malt notes.

The flavour falls flat for me. There is plenty of malt with a nice dryness but there is way too much bitterness for the beer without any hop character to make it work.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. It's okay.

This beer is just a little odd and fails to work for me. WHile I can see elements of what they were aiming for it doesn't hit any real high notes for me.

 507 characters

Photo of cwguy5
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike from The Brown Liquor Pickers for this gifted bottle. It was poured into a Maudite tulip.

deep copper color with slight haze; I may have been a little on the aggressive side but it poured with a huge 2-3 finger head that kept growing slowly over the top of the rim of the glass; settled to thick off white cap; crazy lacing with intact bubbles

aromas of some distant dark fruit, yeast, and mild sweet floral finish in nose

semi-sweet start with some mild booze, raisin, then dries to a bittering finish with slight sake throughout but more apparent in the moderate linger

busy, rich, coating mouthfeel with med-high foamy carbonation with some larger bubbles floating from bottom

fairly high drinkability; almost wished the sake were a bit more forward; however I did enjoy the subtle and nuanced flavors; will seek out another bottle...

 854 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeously dark caramel pour with an illuminescent dark orange cast surrounding it. Eventually it thickens up to a wonderful tone of teek wood orange with browning center. Very murky, perhaps a bit muddy with chunks of yeast suspended within. Capped mightily with a huge crown of tawny tanned rocky foam that never moves from its seat. Lacing coats the glass with a heavy frosting.

Aroma is all yeasty and peppered with dryish wood and herbal-esque leafyness with a souring stand thats musty with large pinches of orange and lime peel tanging it up.

Nice taste that's well handled in a overall tamed down tone of sourness and tang. Dark Saison meets sour ale. Peppy, yet dull, peppery, yet light enough in its spices and tang to flow into one easy going brew. Indecipherable woody characteristics from the sake casks which grabs lime and orange peel with tiny bits of leafyness. Brett-like yeasty sourness and more orangey things peek and retreat as it stays firm with a moderately tame and calm soured tangy tone. Not much in the finish, lightly drying, with small but evident bittering citrus and medicinal notes remain behind.

Body is under a medium boldness and tone for the style. Carbonation level is fairly high but mellows out as it sits. There really isn't an established stability as it sweeps in with its souring tang and kind of just sits there without much action beyond what the flavors and spices pull thru.

Totally Hitachino. A nice twist of sour and tang thrown together well enough for a fun experience.

 1,525 characters

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

A - Poured a hazy brown color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a tart fruity nose

T - Follows the nose with tart fruits up front and a spicy finish

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a good interesting beer I enjoyed the tartness in the flavor very enjoyable worth hunting down to give it a try sometime

 367 characters

Photo of headlessclown
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into Gouden Carolus glass
Date on bottle: 05/12

A: Pours a clear amber/red with a moderate head that soon dissipates.

S: First thing that hit me was the wood from the sake barrels. Some hops too. Alcohol.

T: The wood is definitely in there somewhere. Ends with a subtle hop bitterness. Nicely balanced. A good hybrid of beer and sake flavours.

M: Medium body and carbonation. You get a bit of the alcohol in there.

D: A unique beer thanks the the ageing process. Full of flavour and at 8%, it's ideally a slow sipping beer but I found myself going through it rather quickly (perhaps a bad idea). I really like it.

 638 characters

Photo of DoppleJock
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

.33L bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Overcarbonated? Sure seemed that way when it poured. Solid amber with a tan, foamy 2-inch head. Looks like a standard strong ale (sans the crazy carbonation).

S: Barnyard funk of a Saison. Woody casks. Sweet and sugary shōchū with some coriander spice. Very complex.

T: Shōchū tinge up front. Hints of slight oakiness. Smell really plays into the taste. Goes from sweet to bitter. Not too shabby.

M: Mouthfeel is like the taste: moves from sweet to bitter. Medium-bodied.

D: Unique combination of elements feels like a mash-up between a Farmhouse Ale and a Strong Ale. Will try again.

 659 characters

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a super-cloudy orange amber. Heavily carbonated, and pours a creamy two-finger head that is persistent. Leaves excellent lacing. Aroma packed with funk, cherries, some mustiness. Maybe even a little pine nut. Flavor is bizarre and carries a lot of the aforementioned mustiness. Super tangy upfront, too. Very unique. Some barnyard-ish qualities fill up the middle, and the finish is very long, dry and bitter in sort of a good way, sort of a bad way. I'm guessing rice is used in the brewing process, as it has some malt-liquor like qualities. Very unique, as I stated, all the way around. Pricey at $5.49/11.2 oz. bottle, bringing down the drinkability. Not terrible, not great...somewhere in the middle ground between unique in both a bad and good way.

 760 characters

Photo of hdofu
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a kick, the taste of sake is very noticable with a wheat finish. It pours dark red and smells kind of like sake. Has alot of burn alchol burn in the mouthfeel. Certainly wasn't what I was expecting (normally in my experience with japanese beers they use alot of gimmicks to appeal, this beer really does have a sake taste though). Despite this though I'd say it is a very enjoyable bitter beer.

 408 characters

Photo of popery
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very interesting beer. It has a lot of barrel flavor. Caramel, oak and sake are all strong. It also has a vinous, cidery note. The beer tastes somewhat sweet. The fruitiness is more apparent. The mouthfeel is smooth and full. It suits the beer well. It's a very enjoyable beer with big full flavor.

 308 characters

Photo of Reaper16
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a sinopia colored body; shades of brownish red, hints of orange. Two and a half fingers of fawn colored head stack up on tiny bubbles. Large swaths of lace kiss the glass. A very impressive looking strong ale.

Oh, my. For the first time in a long time I am smelling a truly unique beer. Very dry, lots of phenols. Rubbing alcohol. A flutter of Brettonamyces-like funk. Peppermint oil, lots of it. Seaweed. I've never smelled nor drank Shochu - the Japanese distilled spirit of whose casks this beer was aged in - but it is definitely a major presence in the aroma of this beer. A gentle touch of lemon as the beer warms. This is so strange and so enticing.

The flavor is pretty much as unique as the nose. Leafy hops, a flavor reminiscent of sake, drying phenols everywhere, old stonefruit, a bitter, hoppy flavor that mixes completely with the trace funk. Certainly some woody barrel flavors, with that tiny amount of vanilla that indicates oak. SO ASTRINGENT yet I can't stop sipping. This is fucked up. In a good way.

I don't think much about the mouthfeel. It seem pretty solid. It thins out a bit too much if you let the beer sit on your tongue. Drinkability is also very solid; the ABV of 7% is very doable, but there's only so much you can take of a beer this astringent.

The store in Tuscaloosa, AL that I purchased this bottle of Hitachino Nest XH from has essentially an entire case of it left. I am pretty sure that no one else will buy any. I am pretty glad that I can go an pick up a bottle whenever I want to. This is one of the rare beers that I come across that is completely unique. You must try this if you haven't already.

 1,694 characters

Photo of daledeee
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says matured in sake casks. This year's version is 7% alcohol.

Poured this into a large snifter. The head is about as incredible as you will ever see. BIG, clinging, staying and white. The body is slightly cloudy auburn.

Nose has the signature Japanese smell. I can't tell you what it is. At first I thought it was band aid, but no.

Taste is mostly hops and citrus. This taste is very characteristic of an American IPA. I don't pick up much malt; fairly one dimensional

Mouth feel is good. The beginning is quite carbonated but that clears up and goes to very smooth mouth feel. Overall, this is an appealing and easy to drink beer.

 650 characters

Photo of afksports
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Looks great, nice dark amber. Like other strong ales I've seen.

S: Aroma much like sake, which would be pretty great if that's what I were into. But I'm not.

T: Tastes like sake, not like beer. It's a complex taste, and I give it points for that, but I just can't do much with it because I'm not into sake. That's what you get for letting an amateur review beers, haha.

M: Smooth, nothing special going out, but still a decent body.

D: Can't do more than sip this.

 472 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Didn't realize this was a once brewed beer. Glad I was able to snag one at my local Binny's in Plainfield.

Poured into a Beer Hunter tasting glass.

Pours a hazy light copper color with a huge three-fingered head, that really stands up. Good mix of large and small bubbles in carbonation. leaves an off-white/tannish head.

Aromas can be picked up from a few feet away. Licorice (?), mint, a little medicinal. Deceptive label, not matured in sake casks, but distilled sake casks, big difference.

First sip - initial taste and mouthfeel is like a saison, then the tannins, licorice, and mint hit, way late in the sip. Almost like a Sambucco (sp?) bomb in a beer. Absence of true bitterness perceived.

Mouthfeel is very drying at the end of the sip, the beers pulls the moisture out of your mouth and lips. Not astringent, but a little tannic as well.

Good drinkability for a bottle-full, but would not want to seesion this beer. Feels like it would actually make you more thirsty. glad I got to try it, not sure if I'll pick up more. Maybe to cellar a few, though.

 1,067 characters

Hitachino Nest Extra High (XH) from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 741 ratings