Monday, April 25, 2011

Hitachino Nest XH Ale

Type: Belgian Strong Ale
Origin: Ibaraki, Japan
Price: $6.29 330mL
7.0% ABV

Let's start by noting that this fucker was a burster when opened! It started foaming like mad and I probably lost 1/5th of the beer to the drain. That's the first time it has ever happened to me, so I didn't react much except with a "WTF". Clearly this beer was overcarbonated, and it produced a mad yellow foaming head after pouring. As a homebrewer, that is a rookie mistake in my book.

Besides that, this was a relatively tasty beer. Very much in the style of a Flemish oud bruin, it had the typical slightly sour qualities and herbal like bitterness. The sake cask aging is slightly noticeable, and any of you sake lovers out there will be able to pick up on some subtle flavors in the background. I love sake, but I'm no expert in the matter. Unfortunately, while drinking, the beer fizzes like crazy on the tongue, just like drinking soda with a straw out of a can. I doubt that was intentional, and it takes away from the overall quality of an otherwise solid beer. I will be reviewing more from this brewery in the coming weeks.

On a side note, this is the first Japanese microbrew we have reviewed on our site. I am sure all of you know about the recent havoc in Japan from a massive earthquake. This microbrewery actually took on damage. They began bottling water instead of beer to help their peeps out. So do your part and donate to a relief group. Don't be a cheap beer drinker, we don't like you if you are.

I like this particular relief effort since it distributes donations to different aid groups. There is still time to help:


  1. I've had the same issue of foam running mad in a couple of Belgian ales. Maybe the refermentation process in the bottle got out of hand.

  2. Yeah, its because the brewer underestimates the amount of fermentable sugars still available for the yeast to consume, or they add too much sugar when bottling.