348. Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

348. Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

I purchased an 11.2 oz. bottle at Downtown Wine & Spirits. The clerk asked me if I'd had any other Hitachino Nest beers. The bottle says "Ale brewed with red rice". I let this warm to around 50ยบ F and served it in one of my Duvel Tulips.

I'm not sure exactly how to classify this beer. Beer Advocate lists it as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Rate Beer assigns it to the catch-all category "Traditional Ale". It definitely doesn't fit into the Belgian Strong Pale category.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy deep red color with hints of orange. The white foamy head dissipates to a thin layer, but reemerges readily upon swirling.

Smell (3.5): The nose is primarily tart like a sour ale. There are slight hints of phenols, yeast and alcohol.

Taste (3.5): The beer is sweet upfront and moves into a fruity and acidic tartness in the center. The finish is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel (2.5): Prickly carbonation, smooth, light-bodied with a dry finish. I thought this beer was a little too watery.

Drinkability (3.5): Pretty easy to drink, but the hidden alcohol might get you.

Overall (3.5): This beer reminded me a lot of a toned down Flanders Red Ale. It was interesting, and fairly enjoyable. This was a really hard beer to pin down. I wavered a bit on the scores, but in the end I think the overall score comes out about right.

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