Hitachino Nest XH by Kiuchi Brewery
I think I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese…I really think so. Remember that song? You just might if you are in your 40s. With that said…off to Japan we go for beer #249, Hitachino Nest XH by Kiuchi Brewery from Ibaraki, Japan. 7% is the ABV of this American Strong Ale. Of note here is that on the label it mentions this beer was aged in sake casks. Lets give it a taste…shall we?
The first thing I noticed on this iced-tea colored brew was the head. Off-white and thick and overflowing the glass it was poured into. It looked like a mountain (Mt. Fuji?) sticking up above the rim of the glass. The nose was…interesting. It smelled sour with a strong aroma of apples and alcohol. There was a bit of wood in there also. It started off with sweet caramel malt flavors and then it got fruity, but not the apples I smelled in the nose but a tart cherry like flavor. At times I picked up a bit of vanilla towards the end of the sip. It finishes up a bit dry and kind of falls off the cliff taste wise at the very end with no aftertaste whatsoever. It had a medium body, was smooth, and had decent carbonation. The alcohol I picked up in the nose was really nowhere to be found in the taste.
To be honest, I didn’t quite like it at first. But as I drank it and it warmed up slightly, it grew on me. In the end I thought it was pretty yummy and damn cool this came from some 7000 plus miles away. Kanpai! That means drain the glass in Japanese…of which I had no problems doing!
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Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale by Kiuchi Brewery
Another lousy gray winter day here on the East Coast. It started with snow, then ice and finally rain. Spring can’t get here soon enough for me. I wonder how many days until pitchers and catchers report? Lets go Yanks!!!
Beer #51 is my first from the Far East, Japan that is. Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale by Kiuchi Brewery, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with an ABV of 7%, seemed like a nice choice when I picked it up. Was it? Lets find out.
I know, I need some different glassware, so I pulled out my Cape Cod Beer pint glass. For the time being, the Starr Hill glass will go back on the shelf. Hitachino Nest poured a cloudy reddish brown color with a nice big head. It had lots of those tiny little bubbles rising to the top. All of that carbon dioxide trying to escape brings a tear to my eye…not really…it just looks really cool. Dipping my nose into the glass I picked up a very sweet fruity aroma, it reminded my a bit of strawberry soda. I also got some nice raspberry aromas. All of this was a bit odd to me. I haven’t smelled a beer quite like it. Down the hatch it went and I tasted a spicy, malty, fruity concoction that finished of a bit bitter and dry. There was an odd aftertaste that I could not identify. A light bodied brew in the mouthfeel department, nice carbonation and fairly smooth overall. If this has 7% alcohol in it, you would never be able to tell, at least I couldn’t. One thing about this brew, it got better as the drink warmed up.
First off, I wouldn’t really consider this a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I’m not really sure what style this should be considered. It was an odd beer unlike anything I have ever had before. It really wasn’t that bad, just different. Would I get this again? I think so. If you ever see it, give it a go. You just might like it…like Mikey!
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