Kiuchi Brewery’s Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale originally crossed my radar last Christmas. It had been recommended to me, but sat in the basement for six months afterwards; “red rice” didn’t really set my world on fire. When I finally got around to trying it however, I realized I should have given it a chance a lot sooner.
There really is no other beer I’ve tried quite like this one. It pours a cloudy reddish amber with a one finger head which dissipated so quickly I couldn’t even get the camera set up in time to capture it. The nose is fairly subtle, but I picked up citrus, peppers, red berries, and tea.
The taste is very difficult to describe precisely. It’s moderately carbonated but the bubbles feel smaller than most. It has a thin mouthfeel. Citrus, berries, sake, tea, honey and peppers are the notes I can pick out. A delicate malt and mineral finish. This is a case where the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Much like the Rauchbier I tried earlier this week, this is a very unusual beer, but unlike the Rauchbier, this one is very approachable. I’m looking forward to trying others by Kiuchi. If you’re looking to mix it up a little, put this one at the top of your list.
Vitals: ABV: 7.0, Served from an 11.2 (???) oz bottle at 49F.