BEER: Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale 7%, $11 per 330ml!
I spotted this in the bottleshop on a fruitless quest for White Rabbit Dark Ale tonight. I didn't actually look at the price, such was my commitment, but shit it was a shock at cash handover time. Still, I pushed on, absolutely intrigued by an $11 Japanese ale. At the very least it would be interesting, right?
On that count at least I can confirm it's unique. Brewed in a strong Belgian ale style - Delirium Tremens-ish in a way - with a side of red rice thrown into the brew, it actually pours pinkish. It's reddy pink in colour, looking freaky-deaky in the glass, sitting sort of halfway between a modern 'pale, dry and savoury' salmon rosé colour and a Bellevue Kriek style Belgian fruit lambic. Regardless, it's wacky and I like a bit of wacky beer action now and again.
It smells reasonably normal given the colour, with a boozy, malted nose that carries a sneaky hint of strawberries (or maybe that's just my auto suggestion bouncing off the colour). I quite like the nose actually, it smells generous and interesting, floral even. Happily, it's pretty tasty on the palate too, with a rich, if even slightly restrained (for a Belgian strong ale) palate. Heck, there's a palpatable hint of rice in there too.
Like this alot. I can't imagine drinking much of it, but I did rather enjoy this solitary ($11) bottle.
2009/10 WCA Wine Journalism 'Young Gun; Wine Judge; National Liquor News tasting panellist; LattéLife Wine Columnist; The Retiree wine expert; Gourmet Traveller WINE and Breathe Hunter Valley magazine contributor who fell into the liquor industry chiefly to buy cheap beer.
Nearing 15 years later and I'm still here, now finishing off a Masters of Wine Technology and Viticulture, and still spending all my money on beer and wine...
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