Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale (2010 original review)


Henry joins me and provides the beer: a Japanese "red rice ale" made with saki yeast. Haven't had too many Japanese beer, certainly anything as crafty as this. It was a nice change of pace.

I didn't write a text review of it at the time, but here's my 2014 review:


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1154) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 17, 2014
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a goblet. It appears to have been bottled in September of 2013 and cost $5.04 ($0.45 per ounce).

Appearance: A washed out pinkish-red hue over an opaque body. Pours to an average-sized, white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Light fruit notes, especially berries. Nothing particularly distinctive.

Taste: Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale is a rather unique brew by the Kiuchi Brewery of Japan. It seems to have a simple recipe of just two-row with red rice and flaked barley used as adjuncts. The only hop is Chinook. This of course makes it difficult to classify, style-wise, though it’s also a challenge to describe and critique the flavor since it’s not something I or more beer drinkers are used to. I do enjoy the originality for sure. There’s a light fruit flavor throughout this palette, similar to strawberry or pomegranate, though I would not consider it “juicy” per se. I’ve no idea what red rice tastes like, and my only frame of reference for rice in beer would be Budweiser. Thankfully, this tastes nothing like that. It’s an interesting brew to say the least, and I find absolutely no off-flavors nor technical flaws even though this bottle may be about a year old. The hops are nowhere to be found, but since the overall palette is still plenty delectable, it’s forgivable.

Drinkability: I was rather surprised to see the 7% ABV on the bottle label, as this beer doesn’t have the robustness nor the body of such a strong brew (seems more like 5% to me). However, the deliver is pleasant: the mouthfeel is well-carbonated, but not fizzy, with a smooth texture and easy quaffability. Not much in the aftertaste, either, which is also fine by me. 
Grade: 7/10