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,
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.