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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA - Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Not Rated.
Suruga Bay Imperial IPASuruga Bay Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 6
Gots: 3 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkLeberer
3.4/5  rDev -13%
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

MarkLeberer, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of Oakenator
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden brown in color. Good head and nice lacing on the glass throughout consumption. Mouth feel is solid with healthy carbonation. Aroma is floral hops and sweet. The taste is consistent with the smell with a citrus tang on the back end. For an imperial IPA it is not the strongest or over the top hop flavor but it is nicely balanced.

Oakenator, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 360ml bottle with a BB of March 2013 (in Italian). Purchased from the Brewdog webshop a while back and stored in my garage. The image on the label looks vaguely like chrysanthemums. Weird.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A hazy orange-amber hue with good carbonation; the fine yeast percolates through the liquid like smoke. Yields a decent head of creamy white foam that hangs around for a few minutes before subsiding to a surface layer. Aroma of intense hop notes: pine, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus. This is underpinned by a sweet, malty backbone with hints of caramel, subtle yeast notes and a hint of booze in the background.

Tastes of aromatic hops, accompanied by sweet malt and a powerful bitter finish. Notes of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, caramel, mild earthy yeast and a hint of stewed hops. A twinge of alcohol lurks in the background, and a spicy, astringent bitterness rounds things off. Mouthfeel is smooth, spicy, tingly and dry, with good body. A tad flat - could be more carbonated. Pretty astringent; dries the palate. Aftertaste of bitter aromatic hops with a hint of malt.

Tasty - an impressive Japanese craft beer. Plenty of aromatic hop character and a solid malt presence as well. Not sure if it's quite intense enough to qualify as a DIPA, but it certainly makes a good IPA. The only minor let-down is the lack of carbonation, which leaves it seeming a bit flaccid. Flavourwise, this is quality stuff - grab one if you have the chance.

jazzyjeff13, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of GuidedByVoices
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

GuidedByVoices, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of pixieskid
3/5  rDev -23.3%

pixieskid, May 30, 2012
Photo of flyingpig
3.9/5  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.

http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

flyingpig, May 06, 2012
Photo of virinow
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

virinow, May 05, 2012
Photo of shigg85
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, and i'm going to do reviews my way.
I have a Master's degree, and I know how to use my words!
However, I'm going to leave all of the bucolic transmogrification of hoppy liquids back into paintings of sceneries for the real sommeliers out there. I am typing this as I drink it so you get a play-by-play of my reactions.

I'm drinking this cloudy brew from the tap at Vivo's in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan, sitting at the counter with a building support column in front of me, hiding myself away from the rest of the patrons in the place, with BT's "Memories in a Sea of Forgetfulness" pulsating through my Audio Technica earbuds.

It's a bit thinner than I expect from an Imperial IPA, but Baird never lets down on taste. There is enough spiciness in this beer to make the fronts of my teeth tingle after a swallow... a sensation I quite enjoy. The 7.5% alcohol content instantly hits me in the back of my head in about a 5 o'clock direction. I have the aftertaste of bacon in my mouth, but I haven't had any for months.

I am more than halfway done now, and I can definitely feel the brew warming the upper half of my belly, a quality I appreciate in a beer during the cold Tokyo winter. I think the spiciness and thin texture of this beer combined with the relatively high alcohol content will nicely lead into a pint of Guinness, helping to add onto the roasted yet drinkable quality of that Irish masterpiece.

Two big thumbs up for this beer.

shigg85, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of jenray
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jenray, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +2.3%

chickenm, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark amber with a large, fading head.
Nose shows big fruity hops, with lemon, orange blossom, apricot and grapefruit quite noticeable, along with some pine. Underneath is lots of sweet caramel.
Flavours are very malty, lots of caramel and sweet clean malt. Also a lot of resinous pine, but with little of the aforementioned fruit transferring through.
Body is a little too syrupy.

CrazyDavros, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  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!

Kegatron, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of spicelab
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

spicelab, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of distantmantra
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

distantmantra, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Derek, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Rutager
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear amber-gold with a finger of thick white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Big citrus hops with lots of lemon, some roasted grain.

Taste. Tangy citrus, yellow grapefruit rind and a little toasted light grain.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with lower, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Nice hop fix. Tastes good and finishes with a clean bitterness.

Rutager, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange colour with lotza carbonation; heaps of bubbles around the glass. Beautiful reverse cascade when poured, head is anl off-whte colour and nicely dense. Quite frothy and webbed out in a spun sugar style as it sinks. Nice indeed.

Smells very tasty; lots of hops, very fruity in character with nice complex citrus - lemon, lime and grapefruit with a touch of under-ripe pineapple and good wood resin notes as well, piney and cedary. Nice toffee malt to balance as well, very good IPA aroma.

Taste is really rather sweet. Lots of that toffee malt on there; quite sweet with a bit of richness and then lots of earthy hop oils on the back. Not a sharp bitterness, but a swelling complexity of floral hopnotes with citrus rind and rosewater for good measure. Woody characters come through late, but it's not dry in that way wood can be, because it's so malty with some syrupy sweetness for balance. Notwithstanding the above it's also quite a mild beer, even though the flavours are big.

Nice and full with lots of texture. It's a bit dry on the back from hop oils but decent enough.

Enjoyable drop, not overblown at all; rather a very nicely constrained bigger beer.

laituegonflable, May 16, 2011
Photo of BDTyre
3.4/5  rDev -13%
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.

BDTyre, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of snogglethorpe
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

snogglethorpe, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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...

John_M, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Sammy, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a cloudy light apricot hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a one finger creamy head and a rim of lacing,the aroma is basically pine needles,mango,orange zest and some boiled candy,it has a full silky smooth mouthfeel which is nicely carbonated and allows flavours of honey,grapefruit,orange rind,mango and paw paw on the palette followed closely by a caramel,honey fudge bitterness and i dont really need to say it but i will this brew is very drinkable and could drink way more than the one i have here,overall if you have not sampled this fine brew yet i suggest you do cheers.

ADZA, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

biboergosum, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of IronDjinn
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

IronDjinn, Aug 08, 2010
Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.