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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
88
very good

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spicelab
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of distantmantra
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 Rutager
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of BDTyre
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
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 lacqueredmouse
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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 snogglethorpe
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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 ADZA
4.43/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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 IronDjinn
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of hoser
3.45/5  rDev -12%
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 brendan13
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Naerhu
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of mulder1010
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
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 dgilks
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of juju7
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
88 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.