Hitachino Nest are one of the handful of Japanese brands that are regularly seen in the UK, although they tend to be on the pricey side of craft beer given the huge distances involved!
This is their XH, named for an ‘extra high’ 8% ABV. It’s an attractive Golden Syrup colour, with a well formed, fine bubbled head.
The nose is unremarkable, with a sweet, unrefined malt and a touch of wet dog – I have to say it makes me think more of Special Brew than Craft Beer.
The taste is a little more complex, an initial honey sweetness on the tip of the tongue, a champagne fizz slowly building and a subtle bitterness coming through with a noticeable but not overwhelming alcohol heat.
It’s a pleasant enough beer, but it lacks the depth of complexity that a monster beer really deserves. 2 stars.