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The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

very good
18 Reviews
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The CarpenterÂ’s Mikan AleThe CarpenterÂ’s Mikan Ale

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Japan | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This year (2006) marks the sixth annual release of The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale. As the name suggests, it is an ale made with fresh mikans (a tangerine-like Japanese fruit). We receive the mikans as a gift from the Heda orchard of our carpenter friend, partner and mentor – Mitsuo Nagakura. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the complete embodiment of the dedicated, uncompromising and passionate Japanese craftsmen whom we so respect and whom we strive to emulate. The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is our modest attempt to pay tribute to Nagakura-san as well as to all great Japanese craftsmen.

The 2006 Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is both piquantly tart and satiatingly sweet. Loads of freshly peeled and crushed mikans (70 Kg in this 500 liter batch) are added to the wort at the completion of boiling. The beer is dry-hopped in the conditioning tank with additions of the citrusy American hop Cascade. The beer has a fairly high original gravity (15.7 Plato) and thus sports a sneakingly potent alcohol punch (approximately 6.1% by volume).

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 36
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of virinow
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of augustgarage
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Drie de Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy, active, lees (or maybe zest?) filled tangerine liquid with a papaya whip head of slick lasting cream. Thick yet sandy lacing, superior retention.

Citrus aromatics are unique, with the mikan's signature unmistakable and not to be confused (though it could be compared) with forms of citrus more readily consumed in the U.S. A slight caramel malt note seems to emerge as well.

Mild but persistent bitterness seems to come from the fruit itself rather than from hops, though I'm not sure. The mikan is much like a milder version of a tangelo or grapefruit to my tastes. A light malt base supports the fruit perfectly and the synergy elevates the beer as a whole. Juicy, dry, tart, but not-quite-puckering flavor profile overall.

Light-bodied, slightly creamy, well carbonated...

Baird prides itself on the brewery's attention to craft and detail - these qualities are readily apparent in the balance and purity achieved with this unique offering. Absolutely perfect for a Summer (or since it is almost 80ºF here in Los Angeles, Winter) pick-me-up.

 1,123 characters

Photo of Hardcore
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of philipquarles
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from the 2009 release. Pours a hazy, ruddy dark gold with a nice off-white head that lasts. Really pleasant sweet grains on the nose, along with the expected citrus. Quite floral. Tastes of sweet malt that gives it a grainy character again, balanced by the perfect amount of hop bitterness. The mikans are understated, but contribute definite orangey notes. Dry finish. Full bodied and with lively carbonation. Exceptionally drinkable. A standout in the already incredible Baird portfolio.

 502 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy amber with a large white head.
Nose shows soft sweet malt and banana. Very subtle.
Flavours include a soft tangy note, some grainy malt and cardboard characters.

 172 characters

Photo of ivyman
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ThisSeasonsWaifu
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of atigerlife
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a yellow-orange with small carbonation rising. 2-finger creamy white fluffy head on top that has good lasting power.

Aroma of hops, tangerine & grapefruit.

Taste of tangerine, honey, orange and some nice malt backbone. Tons of yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, a very drinkable, sessionable beer. Really enjoyed this one. Highly recommended.

 403 characters

Photo of aasher
3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've been seeing this beer for awhile and finally decided to give it a look. After reading "Please drink contemplatively" how could I not?

This beer pours a bright and relatively clear orange in color with a one finger bright white head. There are a few specks of sediment floating around. It smells of fresh tangerines and has a tea/leafy spice to it that is intriguing. The flavors are sweet and consist of oranges, tangerines, wit like spices, and tea leaves. It's also a little vinous. They just aren't as prominent as I'd wish. The flavor just doesn't demand your attention. It drinks light in body and is pretty smooth. It's very drinkable. It's an easy drink but nothing overly special. It's a solid beer but I probably wouldn't revisit it.

 748 characters

Photo of TasteTester
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of robbyc1
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours into my Sam Adams glass, a slight cloudy light orange with a little white head, no lace, inviting.

The Mikans (an orange-like fruit) here smell nice, probably mostly the peels, and a light sweet, fruity orange smell. A bit of hops and malt there too, very nice for a fruit beer.

The fruit is solid on the tongue, but does not dominate the malt, decent hop backbone so it finishes nicely dry and refreshing, want more for sure. Really nice balance here. Kind of like a nice APA with good fruit in it.

Just right in the mouth, not heavy nor too light, goes down very easy as well, no abv waft. Carbonation is fizzy, as it should be for this type, makes the fruit come out more. I will be seeking this out for a great summer keeper - very refreshing and a good gateway fruit beer for those who don't like there fruit beers too sweet.

 848 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. Lots of sediment floating around. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: An incredibly sweet, fruity aroma with this beer. The mikan fruit seems to dominate everything.

T: Tasted mainly of fruit (the mikan) with a little bit of hops and traces of malt in the finish. This is a very vibrant flavor that's easy to like.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an interesting well made beer. If you like sweet beers, give this one a try.

 598 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It happens every so often when a beer transcends the mere effect of alcohol and their taste, but becomes an education as well. An introduction to culture, history, and lifestyle come to life with a single pop of a bottle.

The Carpenter's Mikan Ale opens with a caramel-stained hue that's decorated with shades of peach, orange, and a mild pectin haze. The tumbler allows permits just enough light to cast a magnificent glow that simply tells a fruit-filled story to the eyes. Capped stubbornly by a creamy white froth, the beer laces with intricate lace and accompanies the palate to the end of the glass.

Zesty aromas fill the olfactories with juicy and vibrant fruits of sweet oranges, peaches, and the light acidity of green apples and lemons. Backed by the supple sweetness of floral honey, caramel malt, biscuit and wheat. The scent is both ripe with fruit juice and modestly pungent with earthen or dried fruits.

Rich flavors seem a direct reflection from scent. Fruit flavor and acidic sprite bounce off of the tongue with combinations of tangerines and orange peel, slightly bruised peaches and peach skins, and then awakening the palate with the acidic taste of freshly zested lemons, sassafras herbs, and granny smith apples. Where the balance of the beer tilts heavily toward the mikan fruit flavor, it's not without the firm support of wheat malt, biscuit, and caramel- this slight sweetness gives the mikan fruit a sense of candied coat or dashed with powdered sugar. Low in bitterness, the beer achieves much of it's balance from peppery yeast and fruit acidity.

The beer continues to tease the mouth with rich malt and fruit residual sweetness, starch, and carbonated creaminess. But then there's the peppery acidic textures that prickle to tongue with pin-point champagne dryness and bite. Lightly astringent with fruit pectin and tannin, but these off-bitter sensations weave seamlessly into the fruit acidity and alcohol warmth. A finish of semi-dry fruits and an aftertaste of marmalade keeps the mouth reminded of the flavors in hand.

With simply an introduction to the mikan fruit, I get a lot of musty-rich tangerine and kumquat rich citrus character that stands beyond the base wheat-ish base beer. Barids Brewery effortlessly captures the essence of fruit in much the same manner as Dubbison's Scaldis Peche.

 2,338 characters

Photo of esdeebrew
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of jklecko2
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of whatsajessica
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brotherloco
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a 633ml brown bomber into a Duvel glass.

A: Peachy, frothy w/ a clingy white head shows solid retention.

S: Honey & orange pith aromas w/ background notes of sweet toasted malt, mikan zest, and honeydew melon.

T: Soft, expansive carbs. Bottle conditioned. Nicely mineralic, initially, though notably soft and flavorsome with hops which lend restrained orange pith and floral accents. A little malt exudes lightly and cleanly, displaying flashes of crackers, honeyed bread, and some toasted-hay grittiness.

M: Finishes somewhat tackily with yeast and trace honeyed-malt sweetness, though curiously bare and hollow, with scant mikan remnants lingering.

D: Supremely drinkable. High orig gravity leading to a 6.5% abv, but you'd never know. I'd have 3 of these right now, if I could...

 801 characters

Photo of mrjez
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of laituegonflable
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty orange colour with gritty suspension of yeast particles. Head is off-white, not beige, generous but sunk quite quickly with a hint of lace. Looks interesting, to say the least.

Smells fruity with a nice tang of citric notes, hint of pomegranate seed and waxy sherbet. Leafy as well, nice and fresh but quite unique.

Taste bursts with flavour, loads of fruit upfront with citrus and stone fruit, including guava and peach, developing. Little yeasty on the back, with a slight cloying sweetness, though a hint of tang remains to keep it clean enough. Quite intriguing; goodly amount of fruit, and pretty well balanced.

Full-ish body with slight pull at the back, slight acidity. Not bad.

Yeah, I like that. Interesting fruity characters overall but nice grounding to it.

 786 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.02/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Three finger white head with a minute long retention. Fluffy on top with some frothy lacing. Pale orange-gold color with some cloudiness. Some particles floating around. Not a bad looking beer.

S- Wheat and tangerine/satsuma nectarine smell. Orange-citrusy, with some tartness in the back end of the scent. Definite yeast to the smell, unfiltered beer.

T- Funky wheat and distinct yeast character. Somewhat tart and orange citrus flavors are buried down behind the biscuity malts and yeast. Not very complex or layered.

M- Thicker in body with a dry finish, some particle linger. Strange.

O- A big meh on this one. The taste leaves much to be desired, but the smell had me wanting more.

 750 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Slowbeer, on the second attempt

Pours a lovely bright, burnished orange colour, with an exceptionally fine, but partially filmy head of pure white. Som patchy lacing forms around the edges of the glass. Body is solid enough, and forms extremely fine carbonation. Looks pretty good.

Ooh, nose is wonderful. If only it came exclusively from hops I'd be clamouring for some of those hope right now. Big citrussy bite, with fragrant overtones of lychee, all laced liberally with the floral aroma of rosewater. It's so bright, so fragrant, so crisp and so excitingly unique. Yes, yes, yes!

Taste is a lot milder, but in some ways, this is rather good. Clean citrus zest bite with a touch of pithy kumquat bitterness on the finish. Touches of mandarin and marmalade through towards the back, all working wonderfully well with a smooth, but unobtrusive malt basis. Feel is smooth, but light, with enough depth to showcase the unique and interesting citrus characters.

Ooh yes, what a wonderful and wonderfully unique beer. I had some sort of conception of this beer before I bought it, and it delivered on my expectations beautifully. It's crisp, drinkable and refreshing, but twisted with unexpected quirks.

I'm so pleased I was successful in obtaining it second time around.

 1,286 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great to see this line of beer in BC. This is a fruit beer with tons of flavour in both the hops area but also the subtle citrus notes that come through with the Mikan fruit. Looks like a orange tinged Wit and smells like a cross between orange and lemon with the hops also coming through in the nose. I really liked how this beer tastes like a cross between a Wit and a Saison with its own distinctive taste. Very drinkable and also complex , I need to buy more of these before the good weather ends

 500 characters

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The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.