A series where I try to drink my way through a fridge full of beer. Currently three-fourths of my shelves have been overtaken with 6-packs and 22 ouncers. I need room for my groceries! I’ll pick a new beer each week and give it a taste. I’ll provide the specs and review my choice based on how many “miles” I think it can go. The more miles…the better the beer. Brews can range from simple 5k (3.2 Mile) beers to more advanced half-marathoners (13.1 Miles). And if I find a marathon (26.2 Mile) beer…well, I’ll pledge to run my own marathon. I’m thirsty. Let’s drink and see how many miles these beers from my fridge can log!
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
Purchased at: Whole Foods Lincoln Park
Style: Specialty Grain
“Miles” (aka Rate): 3.0
Pour out of the bottle. Cloudy, almost dark pink peppercorn in appearance. Immediate aromas like Champagne. Bubbles explode through the head of the beer packing intense flavors of dragonberry, marionberry, and raspberry. The experience reminds me of a kid in a candy store dipping his hands and nose into bin after bin of fruity sucker sweets.
The most interesting quality of this beer might be the sounds it makes. You can literally hear the snap, crackle, and pop coming from the carbonation in the fizz and foam.
The flavors of this Red Rice Ale brewed with a special red rice cultured in Ancient Japan (as it says on the label) do not leave my tongue wanting for words. Having said that the flavor combination can be a bit weird at times. Deep purple plum and apple butter notes interlock like tectonic plates with funky almost sour fermented mash territories. I’m reminded of corn husks, huitalacoche or masa tortillas on the Spanish spectrum. Then I remember it is an Asian beer and ingredients like sticky rice and red bean paste come to mind. This ale is an earthquake of sometimes competing and yet sometimes oddly complementing tastes.
Fruit…then rice…fruit…then starch…fruit than dough.
I can best describe it as like taking a bite of jam and then a mouthful of rice pudding.
This beer is worth trying simply to experience the odd flavors. The beer doesn’t quite come together, but does prove for a flavor-provoking pint.