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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

115 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 7
Gots: 8 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 49
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Presario. 360 ml., yellow with one quarter inch white foamy head, lace rings. Pungent hop aromas. A bit of a tongue number, shredder, big IBU. Decently drinkable, a bit of sourness in finish, a tanginess that was fun too.Worth trying. I liked it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Package date: 9/4/14. 8.5% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thick swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of brown sugar, candied citrus zest, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar and candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that seems more sweet and sugary than hoppy in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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 nmann08
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 kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exotic fruit flavor and a high level of ingenuity collide as Barid Brewing bridges the gap between Japan and the Pacific Northwest, at least in taste.

Suruga Bay pours with a honey-orange hue that looks strikingly like a mix of grapefruit and orange juices. Equipped with a hoppy haze, the beer releases a creamy dense froth to top the beer until its final sip. Long lasting, the ale sheets the snifter with an abundance of lace.

Juicy and tart aromas of citrus and tropical fruits flood the olfactory senses. Tangerine, apricots, mangoes, pineapple, passion fruit, blood oranges and even papaya all weave into a vibrant scent that's striking of "Hawaiian Punch". With just enough of a malt presence to give the fruity scent a sense of sturdiness and to provide a plumper and riper fruit character, its honey-like aromas support the beer without trying to balance it.

And all that comes even more to life in taste. Its thin sweetness is stuck between honey and caramel and only plays out on the early palate. That's because the hop onslaught to come happens in wave after wave. Citrusy red grapefruit, nectarine, tangerine and apples rise from both the hop and ester contributions for a soft marmalade taste. Then come the tropical taste of pineapple, mango, apricot, papaya and pawpaw. As the fruit flavors tilt toward a dry and bitter finish, the ale remains smooth and mostly clean- only a mild grassy phenol taste washes over the finish with a little extra gusto.

Medium-light in body, this Imperial IPA pulls back on the malt to prefer the dryness that's usually reserved for Standard American IPA. Its light structure of malt and embedded carbonation hold firm while receding evenly and slowly, en route to a dry, warm, and pleasantly acidic finish.

Suruga Bay's fruit character seem as if exotic fruit juices were poured into the glass along side of beer. Its a highly vibrant and juicy ale that evokes mouthwatering tendencies upon its scent alone.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

360ml bottle. Besides the name and brewer (albeit in very large type) the majority of the label information is rendered in Kanji. Mmmmm, authenticity.

This beer pours a fairly cloudy medium golden apricot colour, with two fingers of thickly foamy, and eventually soapy off-white head, which leaves some nice mountainous lace around the glass as it melts away.

It smells strongly of musty grapefruit and mandarin orange citrus pith, bready caramel/toffee malt, and a weird spiciness that somehow reminds me of Italian restaurants. The taste is consistent with the aroma, with some strong creamy Yankee-ish grapefruit/orange citrus, singed drupe fruit, all only slightly tweaked by that particular mirror-world treatment, a hefty caramel malt backbone, a touch of rather foreign-feeling yeast, and further muted tropical fruit notes. Any extra booze is well and duly obfuscated.

The carbonation is just a tad stronger than the norm for yer average bear, uh, I mean DIPA, the body a sturdy enough medium weight, generally smooth, and with a bit of alcohol dryness messing with any sort of nascent creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the usual suspects (if you're Japanese, with a North American predilection, that is) battling it out to the end, sans any robots.

An American in Japan, pushing the West Coast way, is what this seems like, and most certainly is. Sure works for me, for a sidestep version of the real deal, except for the unnecessary cost and the carbon footprint, and, oh, who am I freaking kidding - Imma gonna indulge in this particular venture, no matter the indecipherable script on the label.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

360 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Big thanks go to HopDerek for bringing this one back for me from a recent trip to Japan.

Pours an unfiltered looking copper, topped with a finger of eggshell-white head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger, leaving back a rich cascade and tons of heavy spotty froth down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells grassy and bit dank, with a good amount of fresh bitter fruit character being present. Some tight grainy sweetness sits underneath, which a light touch of warmth seems to latch onto.

Those hops bring all of the bitterness here in the taste, with a fresh citric bite and some underlying herbal flavors that weave in and out as well. The sweetness here is all from the grains that are present and while there is enough to balance this, it never comes off as overly sugary either. A gritty pithiness finishes this off with a moderate amount of dryness. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a mostly slickness creaminess to the carbonation but there is just a bit of light crispness present as well. Alcohol provides some minimal warmth.

I don’t know if I’d quite call this an Imperial IPA per se, but this had enough of a well balanced bitter crispness and a decent drinking body to call this a pretty solid feeling take on an American IPA. This was more of a bitter and dry take on the style but I still enjoyed it. Thanks again for the hook-up Derek!

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 DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased for me from Slowbeer in Melbourne by @epiclurk. Nice work =)

Pours a hazed and rather still orange colour, with a hint of floating sediment and some languidly forming carbonation. Head is fine, but puffs of pancake bubbles form on the off-white top. Lacing is sudsy but solid. Nice.

Smell takes me back to California. Really pleasant and genuine fresh West Coast hop characters coming through with lovely American freshness. Big citrussy rubbed lemon skin notes, with sweet marmalade and sharp leafy aromas. More subdued than the best examples, but really fresh, bright and stylistic all the same. Top nose.

Palate is also good, stylistically and absolutely. Sharp citric bitterness on the front, which rounds nicely before it crescendoes itself into harshness, mellowing to turned notes of nut and leaf. Barley sugar sweetness on the back. Very nicely balanced, but with a very robust hop bitterness to remind you what it is.

Mouthfeel is smooth and supple, with only minimal carbonation. Sits very pleasantly and softens the palate yet more.

An absolutely cracking IPA. One of the best I've had outside America, and I'd say a good match for most of those as well. Some may argue where the line between IPA and Imperial IPA is drawn, but I don't really care--this is a great beer.

Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a 360ml slim brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; BB 31/03/14, served mildly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

Appearance: pours a fairly clear, bright amber hue, coming with a slowly dissipating creamy off-white head and semi-lively but fine carbonation.
Smell: the aroma seems to be dominated by American citric&flowery hops (like Cascade) and mildly acidic esters, underlined by semi-gristy pale malts with a mild touch of caramel; given a very good swirl, the citric bitter-sourness melts in the dense cluster of malt sweetness, while the soothing lychee-ish aroma and resins emerge elegantly to add more to the overall complexity. Like a standard IPA, balanced and nicely hoppy, definitely not as bold as many Double IPAs I’ve tried, but very nicely executed indeed.
Taste: the mildly resinous and lightly acidic foretaste yields a moderate layer of semi-sweet maltiness underneath the slowly-developing aromatic flavour of Cascade-like hoppiness, full of resinous lychees, citrus fragrance, tea stems, etc., followed closely by tremendous and wonderfully lingering bitterness with moderate tannins, bitter yeastiness, and a wee touch of phenol. Chewy, only faintly alcoholic, in the finish.
Mouthfeel & Overall: medium-plus bodied, softly-carbonated, soothing and mildly chewy on the palate at the same time; this “Imperial IPA” is more like one’s IPA good friend, easy to approach, well balanced, and even quaffable, with a decent depth and complexity to keep one’s palate interested for a long while. Definitely recommended.

Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the color of unfiltered apple cider with fairly decent head retention and minimal lacing. Happily, the beer smells better than it looks, with an impressive IPA nose of sandlewood, white pepper, light pine and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly dry IPA. The beer is well balanced, fairly light on the palate, and very easy to appreciate. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and drinkability is quite good. I wish it had a bit more flavor, but over all, I thought this a pretty enjoyable IPA (can't really buy this as a DIPA, even in Japan).

Nice beer...

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a fine two finger white head with great retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of citrus and light tropical fruit, light bready malt. Flavor of citrus hops, pine resin, mild caramel malt, orange and grapefruit rind. Finish is astringent citrus rind hop bitterness. Nice medium body with some creaminess accentuated by the whipped cream-like head. A well made IIPA with an interesting hop complement and good supporting malt that stays in the background. The finish is unexpectedly intensely bitter without supporting hop flavors. As with any imported IPA, this could be a result of age rather than intent. Still a nice, creamy, hoppy ale from a great brewery.

Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw-brown, some yeast haze; white head, ring of retention, light lace.

S: Lemon rind, apricot, candied pineapple and hints of underlying sponge toffee.

T: The hopping is really interesting, with plenty of depth: Lemon rind, steelie grass, apricot, mango, light pepper. There's a pleasant maltiness (biscuit with hints of sponge toffee) without the crystal sweetness. Modest fruity esters (tropical) and a solid bitterness make this a great IPA (though I wouldn't call it an Imperial).

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a quality (biscuity) malt feel, with a crisp, dry finish.

D/O: Well crafted and and incredibly easy drinker. Hard to believe the abv is as high as 7.5%. I think this is a really great brew (and I'd mark it significantly higher if it were presented as a single IPA).

Big thanks to Boney for this rarity!

Photo of wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12oz bottle into chalice july30 2010

A hazy peachy orange with two fingers of head that had decent retention and left some patches of lace

S big on the grapefruit and caramel some mild pine and it smells sweet for a DIPA

T a little more malt and a little booze I couldn't smell but other then that not far from the smell but toned down just a tad

M pretty thick and a little syrupy and the flavors linger for a while, quite nice

D this was a bit of a surprise for me, I had no idea what to expect from a brewer I'd never had before but this worked quite well for me and I would drink it again with no issues

I've had the chance to try several micro's from Japan and have been surprised by most of them in a good way. I hope these brews keep making it on to the shelves here in Alberta

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

Big malt aroma with caramel notes. Good earthy hop profile with just a touch of citrus. Moderate pine.

Hazy, amber colour with a big, fluffy off-white head.

Good, balanced hop and malt flavour. For me, the malt is actually a bit too high as I like it to tilt to the hops. I get the honey, grapefruit and pine character expected.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation.

A decent DIPA but it lacks the full-on crazy hop character I expect (and like) in a DIPA.

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.