Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPABaird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,341 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,341
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.76%
Wants: 101
Gots: 275 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 07-10-2011

Our style of brewing has always been about taking chances. It’s an extension of our “what-if” mentality, wherein we ask ourselves what would happen if we did things differently in the brewhouse, such as fermenting with a different strain of yeast or, in the case of this beer, incorporating whole-leaf green tea imported from Japan. The answer, embodied in this IPA when we first released it in 2011, was something truly magnificent, delicious and, as proven by the reissued edition you hold in your hand in 2015, worth brewing again. But what if we changed it? Yes, it’s riskier to change something most people thought to be liquid perfection, including our two-time collaborators Bryan Baird of Japan’s Baird Brewing Company and Toshi Ishii, a former Stone brewer and the founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co., but we’ve found that, when approached with cautious curiosity and logic-driven creativity, reward often follows such risk. So, in bringing this IPA back to life, we followed the same recipe developed four years ago, but exchanged Pacifica hops from New Zealand, a hop-growing region that was becoming popular in 2011, for Helga hops from Australia, an area with a burgeoning botanical scene right now. The result is an IPA that’s as bright, herbaceous and bitingly hoppy as the one that’s had our fans requesting its return ever since its depletion from store shelves, but with a modern, hop-driven twist that makes this second draft unique and tasty in its own right.

2011 version is 9.2%
2015 version is 10.1%

2011 used NZ pacifica hops
2015 used AU helga hops
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,341 | Reviews: 515
Photo of Red34
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting collaboration. Pours a hazy light copper. Not much green tea on the nose, more in the mouth feel. Overall pretty ambitious and creative. Wouldn't go out of my way to get another, but wouldn't turn it down either.

Photo of CraigP83
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was hesitant to try this but it's really good. Grapefruit and green tea all the way. It drinks a little hot though.

Photo of Nicked
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Draught into chalice

A: Hazy gold, thin layer of white lacing

S: The nose is subdued. Some sweet notes and distinctive scents of green tea and floral hops.

T: the malt sweetness and delicious green tea notes seem to bury the hops, though notes of hops linger through the finish. Warming and further sampling yields a more noticeable hop bitterness. Taste is largely malt sweetness, bitter hops, and wonderful green tea flavors. Ever had green tea ice cream? Taste is reminiscent of that dish. Alcohol is well-hidden, save for a light, pleasant burn at the end. My god, I could drink this endlessly.

M: light-bodied, but creamy. Coats the mouth well. A tingle of booze in the nose

O: wow, I liked this far more than I anticipated. This beer really highlights the green tea, but showcases the hops well. A fun drink, and one I'll be seeking out again.

Photo of secondtooth
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy golden amber, with a massive head of off-white (actually kind of yellowish) carbonation. Settles down to a lovely fence-row lace.

Aroma: Rich floral aromas abound here, with some tropical fruit around the edges. Highly unusual but very tempting and lovely.

Taste: Crazy good — tropical fruit like mango and pineapple mingle with a bitter, grassy, herbaceous note that seems to be the green tea accent making itself known amongst the fruity Australian hops. This is a complex, unusual, and absolutely delicious brew that I would purchase in 6-packs if made available one day (unsubtle hint).

Photo of Rivcabeerlover
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Yard House and it had much higher more green tea taste. Smooth beer but nothing exciting. On tap was much better.

Photo of FLima
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber orange color with a thick thin head with medium retention, but leaving a constant plate.
Aroma with predominant notes of green tea with hints of peaches and pine.
Unique flavor with predominant notes of green tea, spices, some alcohol, mango, mild Sorachi type of orange-lemon, pineapple and caramels. Dry aftertaste with a quite hoppy lingering note.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation. It feels lower than its 10.1% abv.
Interesting beer, the green tea floats on its prominent herbal and citrus hops.

Photo of TheWordlyDrinker
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle in chilled glass. Pours a clear gold with a decent head and plenty of carbonation. Smells of piney hops, light citrus fruits and a hint of green tea. Hops are the first flavors to hit your mouth, but not overwhelmingly, and the bitterness is evened out with a light sweetness of fruit and malts, followed by a dry green tea finish. Overall a very drinkable IPA with an interesting range of flavors that doesn't kick you in the face with bitterness.

Photo of jaydoc
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I feel like I have to qualify my rating as I never had the 2011 version. The 2015 version is an amazing almagamation of flavors. Green tea has never been a friend of mine until now. This is a unique beer in a class of its own.

Photo of unclejazz
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. draught at Alto Cinco. Bright looking very aromatic with notes of lemon peel, grass, and pine resin, full bodied and just over carbonated, similar flavors to the nose but a very acrid note in the finish. The bite and dryness of the green tea doesn't work for me, but it's a good effort and may eventually inspire a better executed version.

Photo of MrBeige
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I hope this tasted better in 2011

Photo of PushThePlate
4.76/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This comes from someone who thoroughly enjoys Double/Imperial IPAs as well as green tea: I did not have the edition from 2011 but I will be sure to have it the next time it comes along in 20XX (I hope). I had it on tap at a local bar and was blown away by the taste and drinkability of this 10.1% ABV brew. Light color for an Imperial IPA, almost yellowish, probably a result of the green tea. Hops were flavorful but not overwhelming, and the taste of green tea is not just an accent, but truly a large part of the makeup of the flavor in this beer. Way to go on the collaboration, Stone. I'll be awaiting the next one anxiously!

Photo of terence
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

An interesting IPA, but the mouthfeel and aftertaste was a bit off. Very nice aroma, the green tea scent was very pleasant. The mouthfeel felt syrupy as the beer warmed up in the glass. The aftertaste was bitter, similar to a lower quality green teas.

An okay experience, a little disappointing one from Stone.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a standard pint glass. A honey amber color with four fingers of bright white frothy, bubbly, creamy head that recalls a vanilla milkshake. Leaves rich lacing on the glass. One gets the distinct impression that this is going to be a special brew.

The Helga hops yield big tropical fruit on the nose, lychee, kiwi, and starfruit with some co-occurring grapefruit and navel orange. Wonderful. Big floral perfume, herbal, spicy, and earthy. Somehow delicate yet powerful at the same time.

As expected, totally unique flavor. I am getting tons of fresh orange, mango, even a hint of banana (?), and a sublime matcha green tea-like earthy bitterness. Rather tannic and even a tad hot and smoky. Fresh herbal note like grass, carrot, or parsley. Minimal alcohol flavor despite the hefty 10.10% ABV and a clear and present warmth. A slight honey-like sweetness. Not particularly thick, perhaps dangerously drinkable but not thin or watery. Finishes with some pungent pine resins and more strong earthy tea leaves. The latter become more robust as one proceeds through a pint. Makes the mouth tingle.

Beers like this serve as a solid reminder of why our "hobby" is so great, if expensive at times. Some truly creative and unique flavors arise, so long as a deft hand is there to carefully titrate the impact of a special ingredient. Bravo!

Photo of Furlinator
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pine, tropical fruit and green tea aromas of this are world class. The flavors follow suit and are just a notch behind. The more 'standard' IPAs I try, the more I realize how overrated the Plinys, Headys, etc. of the world really are. This is bomb and widely distributed.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Ayottes
Slightly hazy orange/amber color with a white head. Spicy earthy herbal aromas. The tea strikes me as a harsh bitter, decent brew but not one of my favorites.

Photo of hreb
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle capped with Stone's fancy new logo cap. This is the 2015 edition, though it's a new beer to me either way. Beer pours pale, even yellowish, with a moderate, pillowy white head. Aroma is sweet and tropical/citrus: orange peel, papaya. This is my first (known) experience with Helga hops, and so far so good. Smells really good actually, though there's no hint of sencha so far.

Of course, that sencha flavor is obvious the first sip. I would have guessed green tea was being used to add bitterness and astringency to the IPA, in place of the natural bitterness of hops (think using cocoa powder to bitter a stout). Quite the contrary, the tea here gives it an herby, distinct flavor. Yet, this is still quite hoppy. If you're going to showcase the delicate flavors of Japanese green tea, I'd think you'd want to start with a low gravity, low IBU solution to do that. But this beer tips this scales at over 10% ABV and, apparently 75 IBUs (I would have guessed no less than 80).

Some, but not all, of the aromas promised by the hops are delivered in the flavor. There's a little bit of a tangy/fruity note in there, and the whole thing is quite juicy. Also worth mentioning is that this beer doesn't taste a bit of 10%. Yes, it's heady, but there's no other hint of the alcohol content. Still not my favorite, but I'm definitely coming down on the side of this beer being a raging success.

Photo of LeeMoore
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Good effort by Stone but there is a reason green tea and beer arent normally thought of together.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A - 3.5 - Poured a very murky and hazy orange tinged gold. Formed about a finger of quickly dissipating, ivory white head. Medium head potential, low head retention. Decent whispy lacing.
S - 3.5 - Pineapple, hops, grapefruit citrus and green tea.
T - 4.75 - Really impressed at how well this works. Upfront there is a light citrus sweetness which immediately fades into a green / black tea leaf flavor. This flavor is very distinct and present and on the bitter side of things.Finally, the tea fades back into IPA territory, finishing on a hoppy bitter note. Really tasty, but be warned, this is a bitter biased IPA, not much sweetness going on with this brew.
F - 4.5 - Good mouthfeel. What one would expect from an IPA, not water thin, but not thick either. medium/light bodied.
O - 4.25 - I think this is one of the best experimental brews I have had in a long time. I wont lie, I thought this was a little gimmicky at first purchase, but I was proven wrong at how harmoniously the tea leaf flavors blend with the hop bitterness and the citrus sweetness. Really impressive IPA and an adventurous change of pace off the beat path for seasoned IPA drinkers. Highly recommended experience!

Photo of HardTarget
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Mild haze in a golden blond glass. Starts with a finger of white foam that drops to a thin cover that leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: What it says on the tin; west coast hops with a green tea finish. The hops are citric, grapefruit with a sugary malt base.

Taste: An intense almost grassy green tea flavor, strong brew, condensed, with the slightly burning bitter hop oils and alcohol giving it an almost medicinal herb woody greenery aspect. Some tannins in the tea linger in the finish giving a slow puckering dryness that encourages the next adventurous sip.

Feel: Dry, hot, medium light body, heavy oily sap that slowly burns away.

Overall: Arigatō. A bit of a tonic, instead of being aged in a whiskey barrel this has been aged in an ancient tea pot used for centuries to brew locally grown green tea. Not for long, the hops are bright and fresh, but long enough to have a wonderful patina of silent contemplation. I'll get more, I hope they make more.

Photo of rockernino
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Don't know if I got a bad bottle or something, but the this beer was just too astringent for me. I don't know if that came from the tea or something else. Maybe I'll give it another try. But in the meantime, I can't get that astringent tea flavor out of my mind.

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a one-finger foamy white head. Heavy amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is green tea, orange, and grapefruit.

T - The flavor starts with a huge amount of green tea. The green tea fades and there is a good amount of earthy hops, citrus, and malty sweetness. The finish and some herbal notes and a light hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbnation. Very crisp mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - Definetly an interesting beer. The flavors are bright and lively. Definetly worth checking out.

Photo of gotweid
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very light golden in color. Small, thin head & lacing down the glass. Aroma is straight forward tea & citrus. Taste is that of tea, with a medium hop, citrus taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth & refreshing. I actually really like this beer. The alcohol isn't noticeable until well after finishing. Seems like a good one for the warm months.

Photo of gillagorilla
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bomber poured into a Burley Oak snifter (From notes when I had it on 2/18/15, bottled on 1/2/15 and enjoy by 4/915)

A: Golden copper color that is a gorgeous hue. Nice collar.
S: Crazy earthy with this intenseness to it. Some tannins in there, but mostly just really hoppy with a tinge of fruit to it.
T: Deliciously hoppy. Not a lot of green tea though. The green tea probably just smooths it all out and adds a bit of earthines. Just really damn good. Lingers like a green tea on the back of the throat.
M: Smooth and just a bit frothy.
O: So gosh darn good, but expensive at $8.99. I was really surprised that they brought this back out of nowhere with no warning. They had brewed this before I got into beer and this was one that I was sad to have missed.

Photo of CraigTravor
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The first few sips of this beer were delicious. As the beer warmed, it felt like I was drinking soap. The TASTE ranged from a 4 to a 3.25...

Photo of McStagger
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy orange with a finger of white head. Looks to be unfiltered, which I don't recall stone doing very often.

S: First thing is that you do get the green tea in this. It is very prevalent. Malt sweetness in there, along with some residual tropical notes.

T: Green tea up front. Huge notes of it. The sweetness of the malt works with the tea, almost like sugar in one's personal tea. Hops take over just as the green tea fades, giving an herbal leafy component tinged with citrus and still spiked with the malt sweetness. Tea carries through into the finish, where it continues to intermingle with the hops, making it difficult to determine who is contributing more flavor. The malt sweetness also carries through into the finish, adding that touch of sweetness to the tea.

M: It's a big IPA. The malts stretch out more as it warms up, giving it a fuller bodied mouthfeel. This

O: Check this one out. The maltiness does become more pronounced as this one warms, but it only adds dimensions to the green tea within the beer. One of Stone's best collaborations (and beers).

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.