Japanese Green Tea IPA
Stone Brewing

Japanese Green Tea IPAJapanese Green Tea IPA
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,349
Ranked #9,505
3.95 | pDev: 12.66%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Very Good
Japanese Green Tea IPAJapanese Green Tea IPA
Notes: Collaboration with Baird Brewing Company & Ishii Brewing Co

Our style of brewing has always been about taking chances. It’s an extension of our “what-if” mentality, wherein we ask ourselves what would happen if we did things differently in the brewhouse, such as fermenting with a different strain of yeast or, in the case of this beer, incorporating whole-leaf green tea imported from Japan. The answer, embodied in this IPA when we first released it in 2011, was something truly magnificent, delicious and, as proven by the reissued edition you hold in your hand in 2015, worth brewing again. But what if we changed it? Yes, it’s riskier to change something most people thought to be liquid perfection, including our two-time collaborators Bryan Baird of Japan’s Baird Brewing Company and Toshi Ishii, a former Stone brewer and the founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co., but we’ve found that, when approached with cautious curiosity and logic-driven creativity, reward often follows such risk. So, in bringing this IPA back to life, we followed the same recipe developed four years ago, but exchanged Pacifica hops from New Zealand, a hop-growing region that was becoming popular in 2011, for Helga hops from Australia, an area with a burgeoning botanical scene right now. The result is an IPA that’s as bright, herbaceous and bitingly hoppy as the one that’s had our fans requesting its return ever since its depletion from store shelves, but with a modern, hop-driven twist that makes this second draft unique and tasty in its own right.

2011 version is 9.2%
2015 version is 10.1%

2011 used NZ pacifica hops
2015 used AU helga hops
Reviews: 465 | Ratings: 1,399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by angrybabboon:
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Consumed 5/10/15

A: Remarkably, memorably hazy - medium orange with some tangerine and honey highlights - small, white head that fades to a few wisps, leaves some nice spots of lacing

S: Bright citrus and an undercurrent of green tea - orange and grapefruit flesh, juice - tropical aromas, mostly melon - spicy, grassy, lightly herbal green tea, not potent (maybe even possible to miss if I weren't looking for it) but definitely there - some sweetness from the pale malt base

T: Citrus with a spot of tea - big, juicy orange, grapefruit juice, flesh, rind, and some pith - tropical notes come next, mostly melon, cantaloupe - moderate bitterness with some lingering pith and herbal bitterness - green tea is somewhat of an aftertaste, with some herbal, grassy, spicy tea flavors - adds the bitterness - moderate bitterness overall, with some lingering pith and herbal tea bitterness - pale malts, above-average sweetness (which would usually result in me giving this a mediocre score), but it works with the citrus and tea flavors - alcohol is not as obvious as it should be

M: Medium body, very smooth, low carbonation, decent finish with some lingering bitterness and booze

O: I want the apple drink. It's green!

I think Stone should continue experimenting with combining tea flavors with their beers. I actually liked the Chai IRS, and I'm glad I finally had a chance to try this after missing it in 2011. If you hate green tea, you're going to hate this, but otherwise it's an interesting experiment.

May 10, 2015
More User Reviews:
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MichPaul from Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Guess it didn't like the fact that I rated this so much higher than others and is forcing me to write a review...
Can't really knock the look, beautiful color and about a 1 inch head. 4.75
Smell is just as delicious as the taste! Get that leafy, grassy smell all up in that nose! 4.75
Taste? So good! Hop bite at first with that same leafy, green tea, herbal taste on the back end... SOLID 4.75!
Feel is nice, big carbonation which I love and could give a 5, but will do 4.75
So overall, I don't know why this only gets a 87 so far... It's just as good if not better than the 3 Toppling Goliath beers I just recently tried which are hyped beyond belief.
Wonderful beer here!

Jan 15, 2015
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1PT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in an oversized wine glass

L - It pours a crystal clear amber color with golden highlights. It is topped with a couple inches of beige head that leaves some lacing.

S - I am surprised by how much this smells like green tea. There is some citrus from the hops, but the aromas flow seamlessly together.

T - Again, I am surprised by how much this tastes like green tea. The hops are more noticeable in the flavor. It starts out like green tea. The citrus comes into the finish to compliment the tea flavor, and I am left with a slight pine taste at the very end. The alcohol is pretty well hidden. I get a little when it warms, but it didn't warm much because I like it so much.

F - Medium and smooth

O - I am still surprised with how much I like this beer. I picked it up on a whim. I am going to get another if it ever stops snowing.

Feb 01, 2015
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Justinbshelton from Alabama

3.14/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Not a green tea fan, apparently.

Jan 26, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As complex with the spices and herbal elements of IPAs as any to be found. Any IPA lover would nestle comfortably to the table of this grassy, lemony, and bready lupulin blend.

Orange in color, the hazy hue carries particulates of yeast and herbs that contribute richer flavor to the beer. An initial froathy foam stance reduces to a delicate creme before holding firm through the duration of the session while leaving behind random patches of lace.

Very floral and herbal with a plethora of scents that include fresh cut grasses, lemons, orange zest, grapefruit, corriander, woody, and mustard seed. Very raw and spicy, even the acetone-like alcohols seem to contribute a complementary spice to the nose. Supported by malty-rich aromas of caramel, biscotti, and cookie dough, the malt character doesn't quite rival that of hops and herbs in aroma.

Flavors settle into a more IPA-like spread: medium malty flavors of caramel and English biscuits with soft confectioner's sugar and yeast that entertain the taste buds until the mid palate that's abundant of grassy, earthy, grapefruity, orangy, lemony, mangoy, pineappley, and approcoty (yea, I'm taking some liberties with the English language) flavors that quickly dictate the taste. Marmalade, green tea, and citrus juices are all apparent in this largely complex IPA. The alcohol flavor of 9+ strength gives a little bitterness to complement the hops that transition from the herbal and citrusy mid palate and into a resiny bite in finish. Delicious throughout, this beer has a lot going on.

Medium-rich in body, the early impression of malty weight, suspended carbonation, and a thin coat of sweetness give a soft weight to the beer. But the mid palate of hop and tea break apart the creaminess and sweetness and push the beer into a dry and very alcoholic warmth that's oddly advanced for an Imperial IPA!

An herbal and citrusy linger is all that's left from the malty-sweet start. The strength of alcohol that lingers on the mouth and throat delivers just the right amount of power to keep you going back for an immediate sip. It's a delicious IPA that without the obvious notation of tea additions, I would have presumed that all the herbal flavors were hop derived, just with a tea-like impression.

It's an honor to have this beer, from both the perspective of my living room analysis and to the benefit of the Japan tsunami relief efforts.

Sep 07, 2011
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c00ller from Georgia

4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was really excited to try this after learning that it was made in the past (only once!) with good reception.

Refrigerated for about an hour prior to pouring into tulip glass.
Appearance: Honey colored with a beautiful, full frothy head
Aroma: Hmm.. not really smelling much, if any, tea. Just some strong, fresh hops
Taste: Matcha (green tea) is strong up front, followed by the hops. Afterwards my breath tastes like matcha... awesome
Mouthfeel: Smooth, almost creamy? Carbonation is medium
Overall: The "Green Tea" is not a gimmick; it is not subtle, it is really there and the drink indeed lives up to the name. It's a special IPA for sure. While not for everyone, no one who doesn't like green tea wouldn't try it anyway...

Jan 30, 2015
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Nicked from Maryland

4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Draught into chalice

A: Hazy gold, thin layer of white lacing

S: The nose is subdued. Some sweet notes and distinctive scents of green tea and floral hops.

T: the malt sweetness and delicious green tea notes seem to bury the hops, though notes of hops linger through the finish. Warming and further sampling yields a more noticeable hop bitterness. Taste is largely malt sweetness, bitter hops, and wonderful green tea flavors. Ever had green tea ice cream? Taste is reminiscent of that dish. Alcohol is well-hidden, save for a light, pleasant burn at the end. My god, I could drink this endlessly.

M: light-bodied, but creamy. Coats the mouth well. A tingle of booze in the nose

O: wow, I liked this far more than I anticipated. This beer really highlights the green tea, but showcases the hops well. A fun drink, and one I'll be seeking out again.

Mar 08, 2015
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Rfm4000 from Arizona

4.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

smells like green tea, with a hoppy but then green tea finish. one of my new favorite double ipas, its very smooth and refreshing

Mar 31, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly died down.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrus hops in the nose along with notes of green tea.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has light amount of accompanying bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Unlike other Stone beers, this isn’t quite as aggressive from a hop perspective. The beer is quite good considering its strength because it doesn’t have much sweetness; the alcohol is very well masked.

Aug 29, 2011
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BeerNDoggerel from Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The nose and then taste of this brew counsel a release from unhealthy earthly attachments and to ritualized imbibing establishing a link to the worthy past. Consumption of the beer leads to a sense of peace, until the dry aftertaste leads intuitively to a path of awareness. Hence, it honors the major spiritual influences in modern Japan (Zen, Shinto, and Tao) while satisfying the contemporary American palate.

Jan 23, 2015
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Vonerichs from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a shit ton of floaters in it. Decent head retention.

Loads of citrus and herbal hops with a touch of bready malt.

The citrus and herbal hops are tastey. I wouldn't have picked up the green tea if I didn't know it was in there, but because I do I can definitely pick it up. It adds another dimension to the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry. It's very puckering.

I enjoyed this beer very much. It was a nice little twist that complimented the hops.

Sep 15, 2011
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dannyancient from California

3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light orange color, which seems great until I notice a bunch of floaty gunk in it. This is weird because I"m always careful when pouring so as to not get yeast sediment. Possibly a side effect from the green tea, but I'm not a fan. Pours a nice head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving no lacing.

Lots of green tea in the aroma, with a slightly piney hop character

Herbs, tea, and bitterness. It has the telltale bittering profile of a Stone beer, but the tea does something that my palate just isn't into. It's a tiny bit sweet, with an orange chatacter which is pleasant. Additionally it has abit of an alcoholic burn to it.

Decent mouthfeel with nice carbonation

I didn't like this beer nearly as much as I thought I would. it seemed like a great idea and I couldn't wait to try it, but I feel like the idea was better than the execution. Regardless, it's for a good cause so I feel good about that anyway.

Serving type: 12 oz bottle

Jul 28, 2011
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NHSTEVE from New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Feb 23, 2015
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balinor from Connecticut

4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mar 07, 2015
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OGShotzy from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 04, 2015
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jakecattleco from California

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

May 21, 2013
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user785335 from Florida

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 01, 2015
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Bearman13 from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 16, 2015
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LancetherealLeader from South Carolina

2.76/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This just doesn't do it for me. Not being a green tea drinker, I guess I didn't know what to expect.

Feb 04, 2015
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4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 06, 2015
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liquorpig from Massachusetts

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 06, 2015
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a very hazy medium golden orange color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time and leaving a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heavy of a green tea smell mixed with some other fruity notes of a tropical fruit and melon. Along with these aromas comes some other smells of a light bready nature with a moderate level of lemon rounding it all out.

Taste – The taste begins with a thicker bready taste mixed with a sweeter tropical fruit flavor. Along with these flavors comes a decent sum of grapefruit hop as well as some more grassy hop flavors. While the green tea flavor is a bit lighter upfront it gains quite a bit more potency as the taste moves onto the end. Along with the green tea coming on, some light grainy tastes come as well. All the while a little bit of earth comes to the tongue at the end, and with a lightening of the fruit and a slight drying of the biscuit, one is left with somewhat hoppy and “green” (both grassy and tea) flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather average for a 10.1 % brew with the carbonation level being on the slightly higher side for its strength. For the “green” and hoppier taste of the brew, the feel is decent as it makes for a good base for the drier tastes, all while accentuating the other flavors enough, but not too much.

Overall – A rather tasty, more “green” tasting IPA with a slightly more easy drinking feel. While good, not quite worth the price tag. A great one to try but not really one I would go to on a frequent occasion (that is if it was offered at all times.)

Mar 20, 2015
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Oakenator from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Jul 25, 2012
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from bottle:
Pours a hazy yellow, a little more cloudiness and it would almost look like a hefe. Foamy white head is about a finger and a half. Head remains atop the beer, lacing the glass.

Nose up front is tropical fruit combined with damp bog-like wet leaf notes. I do get some notes of tea when I get a good whiff and am looking for it, and it becomes a little more notice ale in a warmer beer.

A proper temperature I think may be important with this beer as not only dies the nose open up, but the tea grows in the taste as well. Early on the beer seemed a bit on the sweet and fruity side. I notice orange peel, grapefruit, green tea, a bit of lemongrass, and a light bit of spice. The end taste has little leather in it. Overall this is balanced by a light sugary fruit sweetness.

Body is surprisingly full, with the carbonation playing a role throughout as well. This beer isn't as dry or mouth wrecking as most Stone IPAs.

This is my second try if this beer. I thought it only ok first time, but am appreciating this pour pretty well. It is still a tad strange with the green tea and mildly biting feel, but also is quite interesting.

Feb 21, 2015
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Bluetree from New York

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 29, 2015
Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1399 ratings