Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

What's with the bad reviews for Ichigo Highway?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by DovaliHops, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. DovaliHops

    DovaliHops Advocate (540) California Nov 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    I understand that people are going to have different views on certain beers, but any sour lover HAS TO love this beer. It is not as sour as your typical Cantillon, or as funky as your typical Fantome. Also may not have that Cascade flavor we all love. It is a DAMN GOOD SOUR though, IMO. But that's just...you know the rest. Cheers!
  2. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) California Nov 26, 2008

    Crazy thought, but what if it's not?
  3. vacax

    vacax Advocate (675) California Jun 3, 2008 Beer Trader

    It is
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  4. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Advocate (520) California Jan 7, 2013 Beer Trader

    First time having it I wasn't much of a fan.

    Second bottle opened, I appreciated it a lot better. No clue why.
    nanobrew likes this.
  5. 3rdto1st

    3rdto1st Savant (285) California Dec 1, 2011

    It doesnt tast plasticy to any of you? Ok, just me then.
    nanobrew likes this.
  6. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (675) Arizona Jun 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I really liked it. Probably the best Provisions beer I tried. Could've used more sour though.
  7. tyrsis

    tyrsis Savant (470) California Mar 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    Tastes like sour strawberry jam. I love it.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  8. CenCalMario

    CenCalMario Savant (335) California Jan 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I haven't read the reviews, but the bottle I had tasted like liquid plastic and band-aids.

    Pretty much hated it.
  9. I'm a lover and defender of the Bruery to the end. They rarely cease to amaze me. I think they are bar-none the best brewery in So Cal in in the discussion for best brewery in the country.

    But even the big guys are allowed a swing and a miss occasionally.

    Ichigo Highway is a pretty big swing and miss.

    It's 'The Pantom Menace' of Bruery beers.

    Go get an Otiose. It's 'The Empire Strikes Back' of Bruery beers.

  10. someone tell me how it feels to touch a boob.

  11. SHODriver

    SHODriver Advocate (600) Louisiana Aug 13, 2010 Beer Trader

    it's probably a bit too odd for some people. Strawberry is kind of an odd fruit to try and capture the essence of and add to a beer. I thought it was pretty interesting though and enjoyed the experience.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  12. Miruguy

    Miruguy Savant (275) California Nov 22, 2010 Beer Trader

    I really liked it as well and was surprised it wasn't better received by folks.
  13. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Advocate (715) Illinois Oct 15, 2008

    Yea thought it was one of the best strawberry sours I had ever had (Looking at you Upland / Cascade / Hanssens). Drink em sooner rather than later as strawberry fades quickly.

    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  14. I only had it on tap but thought that it was fantastic. Maybe there are some off flavors showing up in bottles.
  15. peteinSD

    peteinSD Savant (255) California Apr 25, 2010

    i don't believe i've had that one. the bruery has definitely upped their sour beer program in the last few years. however, they seem to have hit a wall with the overly acidic, near vinegar in your face approach to sours. i'd love to see them add some nuance and take it to the next level.
  16. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    I gave it a 3.58. It wasn't bad per se, but it isn't a sour I would go after again.
  17. I thought it was really good for what it was. I agree that strawberry is kind of an odd flavor to capture in a beer but I thought IH did it about as well as it could be done. I wasn't expecting to like it much but I came away pretty impressed by it.
  18. beerific

    beerific Aficionado (240) California Nov 8, 2010 Beer Trader

    This! I had it on tap and it had a horrible plastic/medicinal character to it. I tried it on tap after having purchased bottles so hopefully the bottles end up being better.
  19. I thought the intense phenolic character was unpleasant, but was able to look past it and, overall, enjoy the beer. I see where both sides are coming from on this one.
  20. Ichigo Highway, in the sunshine.
    Where the medicine stays longer, and the phenols are stronger than moonshine...
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  21. salzar

    salzar Aficionado (240) California Dec 27, 2008

    I really enjoyed it when it first came out, but I noticed a rapid decline in the strawberry flavor in the subsequent bottles I have had.
  22. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Agree. Cascade Strawberry has the band aid problem too.
  23. vacax

    vacax Advocate (675) California Jun 3, 2008 Beer Trader

    Maybe the bottles are wonky on the Ichigo Highway? I had it on tap multiple times and thought it was the best strawberry beer I've ever had from the USA.
  24. jtmartino

    jtmartino Advocate (535) California Dec 11, 2010 Beer Trader

    I've been told that Ichigo is getting funkier over time too. Opened a bottle recently and it was weird as hell - tons of astrigent band-aid and some stinky cheese with a bit of strawberry.

    Too bad since I didn't get to try it fresh...it's a weird beast now.
  25. tyrsis

    tyrsis Savant (470) California Mar 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    Quoting myself because I had some at a share last night and it totally tasted like band aids. The hell happened?
    KevSal and nanobrew like this.
  26. nogidrew86

    nogidrew86 Savant (260) Nevada Aug 16, 2010

    I think strawberry is a fruit that does not do very well over time in beers in general. To the Bruery and Cascade credit they have advocated drinking their strawberry beers sooner than later. I believe the ichigo bottles state to drink it fresh.
  27. nanobrew

    nanobrew Advocate (645) California Dec 31, 2008

    exact same situation for me. I didn't even finish my pour of it the first time I had it. Had another bottle last week and thought it was better. Still has an almost moldy strawberry nose and taste.
  28. Had it on tap in November, was kind of average to me.

    Had a bottle of it at a NYE party, damn, it was awesome.

    I think I'll bring a bottle to the Reno March Madness event and see "how's it drinking" then.

    I think since I still have two bottles left, I'm obligated to say its drinking well.
  29. stupac2

    stupac2 Advocate (565) California Feb 22, 2011

    I had my bottle about a month ago and thought it unremarkable. It's pretty bizarre that the scattershot here isn't just disagreement about whether a character of the beer is good, like normal for Bruery beers, but about whether or not it's even present. Bruery usually manages better QC than that.
  30. jtmartino

    jtmartino Advocate (535) California Dec 11, 2010 Beer Trader

    Yeah the weird band aid phenolic issue seems to be widespread. Not sure if it's due to weird by-products from the sake yeast, or some other kind of yeast-fruit interaction. But when I had it, there was much, much more to the beer that I didn't like. It was a weird funk - like rotten fruit, moldy cheese and then a touch of the band aid stuff. It's not aging well, and I'm afraid to open my other bottles.

    I'm not sure if it's a QC issue, but I don't think the Bruery controls their sours as much as they should. They are the only major sour producer I know of that allows huge amounts of acetic acid in all of their sour beers, and I think it's a flaw. I know oud buins and flanders red ales typically have some acetic character, but the Bruery seems to encourage it in all their beers. Reueze, Mother Funker, Otiose, Filmishmish and others all have vinegar notes that have been putting me off lately.
    Retsinis and Levitation like this.
  31. stupac2

    stupac2 Advocate (565) California Feb 22, 2011

    There's a reason I've taken to only buying one of the Provisions releases. I don't think there's been a single one that was worth buying more.
    I think that's what they're going for. The fact that everything they make is so unbalanced and acetic can't just be an accident. I wish they'd tone it down, because they'd have a great thing going if they could just reduce the acetic a bit.
    jtmartino likes this.
  32. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Advocate (565) California Jul 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    Have you ever had Premiere?
  33. stupac2

    stupac2 Advocate (565) California Feb 22, 2011

    Yes, several times, in fact. I'm not a fan.
  34. AndrewK

    AndrewK Savant (495) California Oct 20, 2006

    Didnt get any strong phenolics in the bottles that I have opened, but some variance in the amount of blue cheesy funk, which is something I have found to be prominent in lots of strawberry sours (esp Hanssens). Ive got one bottle left so Ill have to open it this week and see if I get any of the bandaid that people are talking about.
  35. Definitely noticed the bandaid/vinyl phenols. Also the acetic character is a bit much for me (surprise, surprise coming from a Bruery sour :rolleyes:).

    I think that the fruit flavor is also a bit weird. All in all, it tasted kinda like an unripened strawberry flavor, with a touch of vinaigrette.
  36. CAbeerCAbeerCA

    CAbeerCAbeerCA Savant (320) Maryland Mar 3, 2011 Beer Trader

    Tart of Darkness? First year's was awesome.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  37. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poobah (1,180) Colorado Aug 15, 2010 Beer Trader

    I'd stop far short of calling myself a Bruery "fan", but I enjoyed Ichigo Highway.
  38. stupac2

    stupac2 Advocate (565) California Feb 22, 2011

    I don't really like sour stouts (or dark sours in general), but that one is one of the better ones. I more meant that nothing in the Provisions series approaches the Anniversary beers, BT, CR, Melange #3, etc.
  39. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Savant (410) California Apr 5, 2006

    I've now opened two bottles, one quite yummy, one plastic-y. Got one left to try. I am wondering if something was messed up during bottling.
  40. kscaldef

    kscaldef Champion (855) Oregon Jun 11, 2010 Beer Trader

    There's definitely some variation in how much people perceive the phenols. We opened a bottle on Saturday and some people found it undrinkably plasticy, while others didn't get nearly as much of that and rather enjoyed it. Everyone agreed it was a little funky, though.
    mrkrispy likes this.