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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA - Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Not Rated.
Suruga Bay Imperial IPASuruga Bay Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DRTBrewster
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

Photo of pixieskid
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 355ml. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. Brown glass. Has an appealing label design. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Reviewed live as an imperial IPA per the label and name, though just below the label art the label deos call this merely an "India Pale Ale."

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Expectations are average; this is my first beer from this brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Nicely frothy and full, with a fluffy airy consistency. Could be creamier and softer looking, as well as more even. Leaves inconsistent messy lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Head retention is nice for the ABV - easily 4-5 minutes.

BODY: Has a slight haze indicative of a lack of filtration. Colour is a translucent transparent orange-copper with honey hues. Average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, but the haze gives it a more lively look than most imperial IPAs.

Appears well carbonated. It's nice to see an unfiltered IPA, though this isn't a unique or special appearance. There are no egregious flaws.

AROMA: Faint lime. Pale malts. Pink sea salt. There's some fruit, but I can't quite put my finger on it - tangerine, maybe? There's a faint juicy quality to it, and part of me worries this will feature that stale orange juice note I often find in the worst examples of the style (or unintentionally aged bottles). As it comes to temperature, I finally identify the fruit - it's mandarin orange. There's a sweetness here that doesn't come merely from the pale malts; I think maybe some unrefined sugar was used as well - maybe sugarcane? When I start looking for rum-like sugarcane notes, I find a hint of toasted coconut - but it's so fleeting it might just be in my head.

Aromatic intensity is average.

To style, there's no detectable yeast character, booze, or off-notes.

TASTE: More tropical than the aroma suggested. I find mandarin orange, lime, passion fruit, papaya, and maybe even guava. It has a cool refreshing taste uncommon in imperial IPAs, and while it has a robust pale malt backbone and ample sweetness, it isn't overtly boozy. The stale orange juice note I feared is absent. As it comes to temperature, I get still more fruit - grapefruit, tangerine, maybe mango. I'm not a fan of the heavy caramalt in this flavour profile, which brings the sweetness into imbalanced territory and throws off the mellow tropical schema of the brew.

But I like the raw, almost pithy quality of the fruit, and I like that it's different from most imperial IPAs you'd find in the U.S. It has good elements, and feels like a cohesive whole, but the bitterness/sweetness balance is constantly uneven throughout the beer, and this never tastes like a gestalt whole as a result. I'd like more fruit, far less caramalt, and maybe something zany like sea salt to set it off.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Above average.
Flavour intensity: Average.

It's adequately complex for an imperial IPA, and some of the fruity notes are subtly executed. But this is by no means one of the more intricate or nuanced beers in the style. I do like it.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, slightly syrupy, a bit too thick and hefty on the palate, and somewhat refreshing. It's clean yet overcarbonated, and does generally complement the taste. But this texture ultimately fails to elevate the beer. There's also some slight alcohol warmth, which just plain shouldn't be noticeable at a scant 7.5% ABV.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: This odd hodgepodge of interesting fruit notes makes the beer worth trying, if only to experience a rare fresh take on the imperial IPA style, but ultimately its fundamental imbalance holds it back. The hop bitterness that drags on the palate in the late second act is the worst aspect of this brew, but it has a decent mouthfeel. While it's far from the most drinkable imperial IPA at (or even above) this ABV, I'll enjoy finishing the glass and I'm glad I tried it once. But it's not worth nabbing again, at least not at import (especially Shelton Bastards') prices. There's potential here, but it needs work.

Low C+

Photo of patre_tim
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Light peach juice with fair cloudiness, hard to see any carbonation. Topped with a 4 finger off white head with small and large bubbles. Fair head retention, random spots of lacing.


S: Nothing at first. After a few sniffs, I get more concrete scents of tropical fruits much like fruit punch. Some spicy pine in there. I’m thinking more of a light American IPA on the nose.


T: Again, thinking more of an APA or American IPA. I get the tropical fruits, though nothing distinct, more of a Hawaii Punch. A bit of peach, maybe some papaya. The lower carbonation does remind me of the style this is supposed to be, it’s just not very well done. I get a good solid bitterness, some grapefruit pith. Very light sweetness.


M: Medium thick syrupy body with resinous tones, low carbonation.


O: Again, at 7.5% ABV, it borders on an American IPA. Surprised and glad that Japan is attempting this style, and I don’t want to discourage their attempts. More of a happy find for an American living in Asia than a solid challenger to others in the style. Got on Wishbeer, drank in Kunming, Jan 31st, 2015.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of apbaj
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of mulder1010
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

360 ML bottle poured into a tulip glass
Thanks to Triple5 for providing the beer in trade. Very nice bonus

A-- Poured a dark honey color. Head started off at two fingers and finally settled down to a little under one finger. Off white colored head. Lots of sticky web like lacing. Good head retention and a well put together head for the beer. Just a little bit of carbonation bubbles at the base of the beer.

S-- Honey, grapefruit, citrus, carmel, and some pine. Honey, grapefruit and the carmel stand out the most.

T-- Once again honey, grapefruit and carmel are the dominant tastes. Pretty decently balanced between the grapefruit and carmel. Both are fairly reserved though. Not an in your face Imperial IPA.

M-- Finishes very dry. The flavor does not last too long in the mouth. That would be the honey. Does not stay in your mouth and leave a real impression like others in this style. Missing that pine feel in the mouth when finishing. Medium to lower end of carbonation

D-- For the money in Australia this is a good version of a DIPA. A little too much honey as it is missing a lot of the pine and aggressive feel that DIPA's have and finishes too dry. Still a good beer and the ABV at 7.5% does creep up at the end but could have 2 easily

Photo of BDTyre
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting take on an Imperial IPA. Cloudy orange with a thin white head.

Lemon-y, sour grassy smell from the hops. Weak bready malts. Weird, sweet-sour malt and hops taste. Not very IPA like - too bitter, and the malts are off. Good hoppiness enough, but the balance is wrong.

Decent carbonation, but a weird taste.

Photo of MarkLeberer
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Balanced iPA. The serving glass was branded and appropriate for an IPA of this caliber and very attractive ....as was the blonde at the bar...but that is another story for another IPA. Suruga bay imperial is about 7.8% alcohol by volume. very much worth going to Japan to drink...

The beer was just slightly cloudy but appropriately so

Photo of SmashPants
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Format: a very solid dark brown 360mL bottle with a fancy label - looks like a piece of art.

Appearance: pours a hazy mid amber-orange in colour with a decent, creamy half-finger of head that drops fairly quickly to a thin cap. Okay lacing around the glass.

Aroma: the aroma is definitely dominated by a citrus peel / zest and tropical fruit hops, though they are not quite as distinct nor as pronounced as many DIPAs. A touch of obscure malts behind.

Taste: pretty much follows the nose - the fairly unique citrus zest and tropical fruits, with honey and sweet malts. The taste is a bit flat, but what flavour there is is fantastic.

Aftertaste: some bitterness whilst still having those hop flavours around. Some brown sugars also.

Mouth feel: moderate in feel with a pretty lacklustre carbonation that causes a lot of the problems to taste. I got the impression that this may be close to its used by date, though there is nothing to suggest so on the bottle itself.

Overall: not a bad Double IPA, but I have definitely come across better examples. It isn't cheap either, at AU$8 per 360mL bottle. I'd like to try a fresher one.

Photo of hoser
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is of a beer with a chill haze and a rather thin head. This has a hop forward nose of pink grapefruits pine nuts. The mouthfeel a little thin. This is more hops than malt could and I could drink more of this hell ya!

I like Bryan Baird's beers and thanks John for bringing them to Alberta and TimE for introducing me to the brewery.

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: Dull copper body with a mountain of a white head that you could rest a coin on.

S: Nothing Japanese about it, it's every bit American – a bit of a tropical fruit bomb.

T: Woah, completely dry. Like puritanically dry. Not even a hint of sweetness. Otherwise it's what the nose promised – a regular American IPA, although the bitterness has been toned down somewhat. It's loaded with orange peel and tea leaves. It's earthy and slightly herbal.

M: I like that it's halfway flat. If it were fizzy it would taste like Alca-Seltzer.

O: Even a smidgen of sugar would breathe some life into this peculiar tonic. Way too dry for this style of beer.

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of earlholman
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Mattias
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of mrjez
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of KimenTshom
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of IronDjinn
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 360 ml brown bottle. Pours out a hazed marmalade hue, 2 fingers of frothy loose-bubbled white head that casually remains.

Bright citrus hops on the nose, musty toasted malt.

Clean light malt up front in the flavour, then it's time for a building avalanche of American hops, tangerine and grapefruit with some spicy pine, and a dry astringent aftertaste.

Medium-full bodied mouthfeel, slick yet grainy texture, good zippy carbonation, a bit soapy on the finish.

A decent contender, if a bit one-dimensional at the same time. A very drinkable IPA, although I question the Imperial listing, it's somewhat tame for that category.

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.