Suruga Bay Imperial IPA - Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
British Columbia (Canada)
4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
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!
06-18-2011 03:40:32 | More by Derek
4.1/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
12-01-2012 22:43:50 | More by WillCarrera
United Kingdom (England)
4.08/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
07-07-2013 18:29:58 | More by wl0307
4.05/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
05-16-2011 04:51:27 | More by laituegonflable
4.01/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
01-10-2013 20:58:08 | More by jmarsh123
3.98/5 rDev +1.8%
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).
01-27-2011 21:40:06 | More by John_M
United Kingdom (England)
3.95/5 rDev +1%
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.
09-03-2012 00:03:33 | More by jazzyjeff13
3.95/5 rDev +1%
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.
07-09-2011 07:52:08 | More by spicelab
3.93/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
10-07-2011 10:03:28 | More by CrazyDavros
3.9/5 rDev -0.3%
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!
07-14-2011 19:16:42 | More by Kegatron
British Columbia (Canada)
3.9/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
06-01-2011 03:29:21 | More by Rutager
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.9/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
05-06-2012 18:16:46 | More by flyingpig
3.86/5 rDev -1.3%
Pours a light to medium orange gold color with a thick white head. The liquid is fairly cloudy, though I didn't really try to keep the sediment in the bottle and there's quite a bit of it. The head is medium sized and looks like a blanket of white cotton candy. It's a sturdy layer of fine bubbles that sticks around for quite awhile. The aroma is somewhat underwhelming. I fear that it's a result of shipping and age, but I bought the bottle soon after it hit my local store's shelf. At any rate, I'm getting too much pale malt. The hop aroma is certainly present but mild. There's orange, grass, pineapple, berry, lemon, mint. All good stuff, but I wish it was dialed up in intensity. On the other hand, the taste shows off more of the hop flavor than the aroma. It's full of juicy, tropical fruit flavor. Big on tangerine and pineapple. Bitterness is handled well, a crisp bite that doesn't overpower the hop flavors but still cleans up what little malt sweetness is present. The beer's pale malt backbone is well in the background, maintaining its supporting role. Light on the palate. Normal, unremarkable carbonation. This is a solid beer, and I think the aroma was once there. I'd love to try it fresher in the future. That said, I think reviewers should rate the beer as they find it, given reasonable circumstances. As a consumer, it doesn't really matter to me how the beer tastes under ideal conditions. It matters how it tastes when I drink it. And that's probably enough ranting for me.
04-28-2014 04:02:42 | More by popery
3.85/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
04-26-2014 18:34:16 | More by Chico1985
3.84/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
01-05-2014 05:21:23 | More by LiquidAmber
3.78/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
09-12-2010 04:20:05 | More by biboergosum
Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.