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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.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 135
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 135
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.

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

Hazy golden amber to orange with a foamy. Off-white head that is about a thumbs width tall and reduces to about one centimetre tall.

Lots of hops although not as strong as I have come to expect from DIPA's. Some pine is interlaced through the hops and this is followed by some fruity orange and lemon aromas followed by some light grapefruit notes and a bitter citrus finish.

Pine hops and citrus mixed with some orange and grapefruit. I could also detect some mango in there and the finish is very bitter and full of pine hops again.

Medium, smooth and moderately carbonated with a huge amount of bitterness, although it is a DIPA so that is to be expected. It is a sort of sweet citrus feel to it with some sugar to boot.

A good beer and a nice one for my first Japanese IPA of any sort, it was pleasant to drink although still has to improve considerably to match some of the American IPA's that are out there.


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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. No dates or codes that I can see, which makes me nervous for a Japanese import.

Pours fairly cloudy orange amber with a medium-small pale head, medium amount of fine slow carbonation. Smell is a little orangey, a little floral, a little bready or yeasty.

Taste is a splash of orangey citrus and a bitter finish that maintains orange characteristic throughout somehow. Actually pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick, a little sticky. Overall, pretty good beer. I wish it was as readily available as Aooni in Japan -- maybe if they're exporting now, it will be more readily available.

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Photo of Beervana
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a vibrant burnt orange with frothy off-white head. Nose is fairly subdued, mostly floral notes, a bit of light stone fruit there too, peaches and nectarines. Taste is much more bold, the beer takes on a distinct herbal characteristic, almost a lemongrass type flavour, a touch of lemonade/limeade with a sugary sweetness. A very complex hop-profile. There's a nice spicy bitter hop-kick to round out the beer. Feel is right on, medium body, good carbonation.

Overall, a really enjoyable beer. Definitely a different approach than most of the North American IPA's I've had recently. Would really pair well with food.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Japanese Double IPA. Notable advice on label: "Please drink contemplatively, Beer Drinker-san."

A - Pour is a darkish shade of orange with some haze to it. An off-white head retains very nicely as a full+bubbly cap for the entirety. Bits of lace left behind.

S - Citrus, herbal and grassy hops in the nose. Some light caramel and bready malts coming through as well. Though slightly unremarkable in the grand scheme of IPAs, solid and pleasant with decent strength.

T - Nice mix of citrus+herbal hop with some resiny tones too. Medium-high bitterness, but well-balanced overall with a good dose caramel+toasted malt backing. Could probably pass for a single IPA intensity-wise.

M - Just a touch on the hefty/malty side with ample bitterness, and low-medium carbonation. Smooth with no noticeable booze, drinks easy.

O - Somewhat standard but nice, this is probably a great choice for those looking for a good American-style IPA in Japan. Went really well with lunch.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey in DC, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice hazy golden orange color, topped with a finger of white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Big fruity citrus aroma, lots of grapefruit and orange, some caramel malt also noticeable in the back.

T- Follows the aroma, the best part of the beer is the incredible juiciness of the citrus flavors, it's packed with juicy, fresh grapefruit and orange flavors. Bitterness is moderate, with pine and grass and a nicely balanced amount of sweet caramel malt.

M- Medium-bodied, creamy feel with a dry, bitter finish.

O- A really nice IPA, easily the finest non-American/English IPA I've tried, and even within the realm of American West Coast IPAs this beer can hold it's own, very tasty stuff.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wonderful gf for bringing this back from her trip to Japan.

Pours murky orange with a small white head that settles into a small pillow with pretty good lacing down the glass.

Aroma features citrus fruits (especially grapefruit) along with some bready caramel malt. Could use a bit more here as the smells are a bit weak.

Lots of juicy citrus up front in the flavor. A considerable bready malt balances the hops. Finishes with a little pine and earthy bitterness. Moderately balanced. Hoppy yet not very bitter.

Medium bodied and smooth carbonation.

Pretty impressive beer. Definitely well balanced, but still has enough of a hop kick to satisfy hopheads.

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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.

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Photo of brendan13
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy amber coloured beer with a few centimetres of fluffy white head that slowly falls away leaving a bit of lace.
S - Citrus peel & piney hops with some sweet malt character.
T - Like the smell citrus peel and pine hops are up front followed by a sweet maltiness.
M - Medium bodied, slightly cloying and low carbonation.
D - A nice beer but a touch on the sweet side.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased bottle at Osakaya in Shinjuku station for 500 yen.

Ingredient label reads: Malt, wheat, sugar, hops, sugar

I am very glad that Baird has added this to their year round line up.

A - brownish honey body, white head.
S - bold honey flavor, really spicy hop aroma show off the 90 BUs of hops in the boil and double dry-hopping.
T- grapefruit and caramel in dominate the flavor of this beer. I love the spice hop notes.
M - the bottle conditioning really shows in this smooth nicely bodied brew.
D - This a great beer. I'd love to have this on a daily basis, but at 500 at pop, I guess, I'll only get one on special occasions.

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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.

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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

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Photo of doktorhops
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Last of the Baird beers I purchased is Suruga Bay Imperial IPA... we've come a long way Baird Brewing Co *insert pictures of me and some Japanese guy drinking Baird beers together and hugging puppies whilst slowly escalating into random life-endangering pranks*... Ahhh, memories.

Poured from a 360ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Pleasing hazy safety orange body with a firm 1cm white head. Statistics I just made up show that people feel safer when a beer has a safety orange colour.

S: Orange blossom aromas mix with sour apple candy and sweet caramelised pears. An intriguing mix we have here. Once again Baird gets extra points [not that the points mean anything] for experimentation, the good type of experimentation that doesn't involve puppies or bunnies.

T: Damn this is one easy drinking Imperial IPA! Flavours of apple, pear and orange mingle, each imparting their own slant on this brew; sweet caramelised pear, sour green apple peel and bitter blood orange combine so succinctly that I for one am quite impressed, and the 7.5% ABV content is wafer thin - I could drink this like it's 1999, or full-strength for novices.

M: Medium to heavy body, bit of hop resin slickness and a light carbonation.

D: This is so unbelievably well balanced that I'm starting to think the prince of darkness (aka Satan) is running things over at Baird Brewing. Such a delightfully, tasty, want-to-sacrifice-people easy beer. I'm so delirious, is she that serious? I'm a love fool, she shimmers like a California sunrise - now I'm listening to Jamiroquai, but this beer is awesome. Best out of the Baird Beers I've Tried (BBIT - the next acronym to sweep the net). Cram it in your gullet already.

Food match: People.

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Photo of spicelab
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been hanging on to this beer for a while, hope I'm not doing it an injustice. With thanks to Chris@Slowbeer.

Murky golden orange, with a finger and a half of sudsy white head. Falls very slowly depositing lace in a lattice network.

Lemon, grapefruit, melons and loads of candied citrus rind. Occasionally detect crazy sweet sherbet notes. Bready and biscuity malts poke through at times, but are largely a bit player. Very nice.

Taste has a good deal more bitterness, yet it doesn't eclipse the candied citrus notes at all, merely provides stark and interesting contrast. Big bitter grapefruit and pine resin face-off against lemon sherbet and candied orange peel. Works really well.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and metallic. Moderate bitterness on the mid-palate, but otherwise not much presence to speak of.

This is a tasty and intriguing IPA. West-Coast inspired, but with plenty of difference. Big fan of the bitter versus seriously sweet hop profile. Given a more ballsy mouthfeel, I'd easily rate this a lot higher.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from 12 oz bottle.

Color was a hazy light amber with a thin creamy head. Decent lacing.
Smells like caramel-glazed oranges with some floral notes.
Flavor is different than the nose, more pineapple and tropical fruit that gives way to some toasted malt . Finishes with a crisp bitterness that lingers for a bit.
Mouthfeel is medium to full with a dry finish.

Overall, my new favorite beer from Japan. I hope I'll be able to find it the next time I am there.

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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.

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Photo of chogm54
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've heard about baird brewing from a mate just back from japan, time to give it a go.

A - hazy, orange with a thick, frothy head up to 3cm thick. small sediment particles near bottom of glass

s - fruity (citrus, pineapple) aroma, but I'm also getting a herby (oregano) smell

t - citrus and malt taste upfront, slightly salty, not overtly sweet and with a hop bitterness that lets you know its there without taking over. tarty alcohol kick towards the end, with a lingering bitter (with slight malt) aftertaste. Entertaining

m - medium to full body and carbonation, dry texture.

nice, every mouthful tasted slightly different. worth a go for sure, wishing i had a second one to see how it tastes then.

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Photo of juju7
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They're making some decent beers over at Baird. Poured beautifully with great head retention and perfectly even lacing. While the nose doesn't scream hops it does let you know that there is some there. A tight well balanced mouthfeel with a good backbone of bitterness and malt kick. Maybe lacking that little something to make it truly special but it's not a competition is it? Good beer, will be happy to drink again.

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Photo of distantmantra
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Baird Harajuku Taproom, Tokyo. Review based on notes from April 2010.

A: Golden-amber with a good amount of white head and light lacing.

S: Big time citrus hop flavor. Grapefruit and lemon are the dominant aromas.

T: Grapefruit is the magic word with the Suruga Bay. However, this does not feel like an Imperial IPA.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is present, but not overwhelming.

O: Fulfilled my desire for hoppy beer in Japan. Fantastic flavor with just the right amount of IPA bitterness. Would definitely drink again, if Baird's North American distributor ever decides to return to Washington state! Yet another reason why a return trip to Japan is a must.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 360 mL bottle poured into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy amber gold with a tall head of pillowy head comprised of variously sized bubbles. A good cap off white foam remains on top and leaves rings of lace.

Smell: Mildly sweet, fresh baked bread. Orange, peach and pineapple, slight resinous pine.

Taste: Round but not too sweet caramel malt. Pine needles and herbal hops, slight earth and minerals, and a nicely crisp, lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation, with a very slightly oily smoothness.

Overall: A solid DIPA with some nice West Coast hop notes, but otherwise well balanced and restrained.

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Photo of GregJ
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy amber/orange. Smells of pine, weedy, earthy an some floral. Tastes weedy, earthy, some wheat, yeasty, citrus fruit and a hint of banana. Earthy and pine resin aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color, kinda looks like whisky! Chunky solid head typical of fresh Baird beers.

The smell is reallly nice, a slightly sweet fresh hop smell. It's like being in a hop garden.

The taste is a little bit of a let-down, as it seems sort of muddled compared to the smell. There's some obvious alcohol, but other than that, nothing really comes forward... but at the same time, it doesn't really give the impression of "well balanced," more "something's missing." The hop-garden impression given the smell is slightly detectable when swallowing, but ... very subdued.

This doesn't really yield the big flavors one wants from an Imperial IPA, and is too high in alcohol to really drink much of. I'd stick to other Baird beers.

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Photo of RockAZ
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Poured into DFH IPA glass from bottle.
Could not find a date code on bottle, maybe it was marked on the six pack carrier?
Great tasting IPA, dry, orange and grapefruit flavors that has a bit of bread/yeast overtone. The label says it is unfiltered and re-fermented in the bottle, I generally like most beers done this way but this one is exceptional. The alcohol is subtle, the dry finish covers the higher ABV well. Could not guess the hops used, but definitely American style with something drier - wood barrel? I wonder if they poured the batch through cedar vats for a day or two in the process?
Like it, really like it a lot and wish I knew whether it was fresh or not because I cannot bear the idea that it is even better at the source.

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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.

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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

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.