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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA | Stone Brewing

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460 Reviews
Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPABaird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by HopHead84 on 07-10-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 1,373
Photo of get_bentley
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Green tea taste is prominent. High ABV is yielded by the aftertaste and bitterness. Not overly bitter. Not overly earthy. A very well balanced beer; especially on tap.

14oz Pilsner on tap
Definitely recommended.

 217 characters

Photo of humuloner22
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I bought this beer as a curiosity because even though Stone makes a lot of unique beers most of them are pretty good. I like green tea alright and I love IPA's so I figured this one would be interesting. I will say this one does not really work but then it does.

Appearance: Looks like a nice golden red IPA, with a little bit of head and some clarity and floating matter going on. I guess its the tea? This beer is not the freshest in the world but its certainly not old either at this point, so I assume that is a desirable feature.

Aroma: Lots of the tea aroma comes through, as a matter of fact I get very little hop characteristic at all. Bergamot and earthy green tea like aroma is dominant. It really does remind me of a cold brewed green tea drink more than beer.

Taste: This is where this beer loses ground. Tea is dominant and in an off way, it overpowers the hops and you get this strange mishmash of hop and tea that does not meld in my opinion. There are odd off citrus notes and green tea tannic dryness that is off putting. Not a fan of this one. Sorry Stone!

Overall: It just did not work for me, its a yin yang of sorts, the aroma is great, but the taste is just bad. The flavors they were trying to combine are not suited to be amalgamated with one another. So, that is where my rankings come in. Smells good tastes bad!

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Photo of MorphineChild82
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stone's IPA's are never dull and this is no exception. The tea flavor really stands out, almost to the point of pushing away the hoppiness. Alcohol is well hidden as well. This isn't something I'd go back to time and again, but wouldn't turn it down either.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2015 - pours a cloudy yellow orange color with a small off white head. There is a little lacing that is soapy and good carbonation. The odor is powerful, green tea indeed, tropical fruits, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, apricot, herbal, grassy. The taste is also green tea, herbal, grassy, earthy, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, pine. Bitter dry throughout.

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Photo of Jackolope
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nothing too special here. I expected this beer to be more subtle than what I tasted and smelled. Green Tea isn't exactly a bold flavor and I wasn't sure how it would combine with the hopiness of an IPA coming in at 10.1% ABV. I thought they did a good job of balancing the strong malt and hop flavors in the beer, but I think the beer could have benefited from some stronger floral hoppy aromas. That being said the beer was very drinkable considering the ABV and I enjoyed it, but there was something missing that prevented this from being a great beer in my mind.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy orange in color, with a little transparency, a ring for a head at the top, nothing major. Little lacing around the glass as you drink this one.

S: Nice tropical notes coming through, and some hint of biscuit, but the green tea is definitely prominent on the nose. Not overpowering but subtle.

T: Great flavors on this brew, I dont know why I waited so long to try this beer, the green tea is definitely noticeable but super balanced with the other flavors, nice malt backbone.

M: Medium/full bodied, slight carbonation, and well balanced.

O: This beer from Stone is definitely worth a try, great flavors especially if you like Green Tea, this is the beer for you, Thank you stone for putting out another good colab.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a Stone pint glass

A: Pours hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces well.

S: Green tea, herbal and light floral hops, caramel malt sweetness, and a touch fruity.

T: Floral and herbal hops along with green tea hit big up front, the tea does come out all the way through and lingers on the after taste. There's also some fruity and maybe even melon notes, definitely some peach, a touch of light citrus, all backed with rich caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, a little warmth as it goes down.

O: File this one under "unique". I'm glad I got to try it, wish I had some sushi to go with it, but... Enjoyable, but not necessarily something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Light amber to dark gold in color with a hazy complexion. A quarter inch of off white head is present. Moderate Brussels lacing. The aroma is of the earthy hops. I barely detect any green tea aroma (and I have few variations on a regular basis). I taste the earthy hops which have a pineapple like sweetness. It seems initially tropically sweet and then finishes bitter but I think that is more hop related. Now as the beer warms a bit I can definite perceive the germ tea in the aroma and in the back of the palate. The mouth is fairly dry with a light stickiness. This does not seem like 10%!

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Photo of Zraly
2.66/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Smells lovely, like fresh brewed tea with citrus peel.But it tastes like soap and sweetened green tea. Very astringent and the green tea is overpowering. It's almost as if something was done to enhance the herbal, minty flavors of the tea without balancing it in relation to the the hops and malts.

I think I might like something like this (i.e., tea and beer combination) if it were on the lighter side (not trying to be a huge IPA). In Amsterdam, I had a pale ale blended with tea and it was refreshing.

This is just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Head over hazy Amber body. Very good retention and nice lacing

S - not very aromatic hops and green tea

T - Big citrus in the floral hops upfront with syrupy sugary fruits. Almost cloying sweetness but nice herbal and hoppy aftertaste. Alcohol masked well with thick flavors.

M - medium full body with moderate fine carbonation. Thick and syrupy

O - this was great but may be difficult to drink a whole lot of.

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Photo of Red34
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting collaboration. Pours a hazy light copper. Not much green tea on the nose, more in the mouth feel. Overall pretty ambitious and creative. Wouldn't go out of my way to get another, but wouldn't turn it down either.

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Photo of Nicked
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy golden amber, with a massive head of off-white (actually kind of yellowish) carbonation. Settles down to a lovely fence-row lace.

Aroma: Rich floral aromas abound here, with some tropical fruit around the edges. Highly unusual but very tempting and lovely.

Taste: Crazy good — tropical fruit like mango and pineapple mingle with a bitter, grassy, herbaceous note that seems to be the green tea accent making itself known amongst the fruity Australian hops. This is a complex, unusual, and absolutely delicious brew that I would purchase in 6-packs if made available one day (unsubtle hint).

 619 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/6/2015 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops, tea and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel. Then some herbal tea flavor comes along with a strong hops presence. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while when you want a 2IPA that is just a little bit different.

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Photo of FLima
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber orange color with a thick thin head with medium retention, but leaving a constant plate.
Aroma with predominant notes of green tea with hints of peaches and pine.
Unique flavor with predominant notes of green tea, spices, some alcohol, mango, mild Sorachi type of orange-lemon, pineapple and caramels. Dry aftertaste with a quite hoppy lingering note.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation. It feels lower than its 10.1% abv.
Interesting beer, the green tea floats on its prominent herbal and citrus hops.

 531 characters

Photo of TheWordlyDrinker
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle in chilled glass. Pours a clear gold with a decent head and plenty of carbonation. Smells of piney hops, light citrus fruits and a hint of green tea. Hops are the first flavors to hit your mouth, but not overwhelmingly, and the bitterness is evened out with a light sweetness of fruit and malts, followed by a dry green tea finish. Overall a very drinkable IPA with an interesting range of flavors that doesn't kick you in the face with bitterness.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I feel like I have to qualify my rating as I never had the 2011 version. The 2015 version is an amazing almagamation of flavors. Green tea has never been a friend of mine until now. This is a unique beer in a class of its own.

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Photo of unclejazz
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. draught at Alto Cinco. Bright looking very aromatic with notes of lemon peel, grass, and pine resin, full bodied and just over carbonated, similar flavors to the nose but a very acrid note in the finish. The bite and dryness of the green tea doesn't work for me, but it's a good effort and may eventually inspire a better executed version.

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Photo of PushThePlate
4.76/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This comes from someone who thoroughly enjoys Double/Imperial IPAs as well as green tea: I did not have the edition from 2011 but I will be sure to have it the next time it comes along in 20XX (I hope). I had it on tap at a local bar and was blown away by the taste and drinkability of this 10.1% ABV brew. Light color for an Imperial IPA, almost yellowish, probably a result of the green tea. Hops were flavorful but not overwhelming, and the taste of green tea is not just an accent, but truly a large part of the makeup of the flavor in this beer. Way to go on the collaboration, Stone. I'll be awaiting the next one anxiously!

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Photo of terence
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

An interesting IPA, but the mouthfeel and aftertaste was a bit off. Very nice aroma, the green tea scent was very pleasant. The mouthfeel felt syrupy as the beer warmed up in the glass. The aftertaste was bitter, similar to a lower quality green teas.

An okay experience, a little disappointing one from Stone.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a standard pint glass. A honey amber color with four fingers of bright white frothy, bubbly, creamy head that recalls a vanilla milkshake. Leaves rich lacing on the glass. One gets the distinct impression that this is going to be a special brew.

The Helga hops yield big tropical fruit on the nose, lychee, kiwi, and starfruit with some co-occurring grapefruit and navel orange. Wonderful. Big floral perfume, herbal, spicy, and earthy. Somehow delicate yet powerful at the same time.

As expected, totally unique flavor. I am getting tons of fresh orange, mango, even a hint of banana (?), and a sublime matcha green tea-like earthy bitterness. Rather tannic and even a tad hot and smoky. Fresh herbal note like grass, carrot, or parsley. Minimal alcohol flavor despite the hefty 10.10% ABV and a clear and present warmth. A slight honey-like sweetness. Not particularly thick, perhaps dangerously drinkable but not thin or watery. Finishes with some pungent pine resins and more strong earthy tea leaves. The latter become more robust as one proceeds through a pint. Makes the mouth tingle.

Beers like this serve as a solid reminder of why our "hobby" is so great, if expensive at times. Some truly creative and unique flavors arise, so long as a deft hand is there to carefully titrate the impact of a special ingredient. Bravo!

 1,354 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pine, tropical fruit and green tea aromas of this are world class. The flavors follow suit and are just a notch behind. The more 'standard' IPAs I try, the more I realize how overrated the Plinys, Headys, etc. of the world really are. This is bomb and widely distributed.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Ayottes
Slightly hazy orange/amber color with a white head. Spicy earthy herbal aromas. The tea strikes me as a harsh bitter, decent brew but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of hreb
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle capped with Stone's fancy new logo cap. This is the 2015 edition, though it's a new beer to me either way. Beer pours pale, even yellowish, with a moderate, pillowy white head. Aroma is sweet and tropical/citrus: orange peel, papaya. This is my first (known) experience with Helga hops, and so far so good. Smells really good actually, though there's no hint of sencha so far.

Of course, that sencha flavor is obvious the first sip. I would have guessed green tea was being used to add bitterness and astringency to the IPA, in place of the natural bitterness of hops (think using cocoa powder to bitter a stout). Quite the contrary, the tea here gives it an herby, distinct flavor. Yet, this is still quite hoppy. If you're going to showcase the delicate flavors of Japanese green tea, I'd think you'd want to start with a low gravity, low IBU solution to do that. But this beer tips this scales at over 10% ABV and, apparently 75 IBUs (I would have guessed no less than 80).

Some, but not all, of the aromas promised by the hops are delivered in the flavor. There's a little bit of a tangy/fruity note in there, and the whole thing is quite juicy. Also worth mentioning is that this beer doesn't taste a bit of 10%. Yes, it's heady, but there's no other hint of the alcohol content. Still not my favorite, but I'm definitely coming down on the side of this beer being a raging success.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A - 3.5 - Poured a very murky and hazy orange tinged gold. Formed about a finger of quickly dissipating, ivory white head. Medium head potential, low head retention. Decent whispy lacing.
S - 3.5 - Pineapple, hops, grapefruit citrus and green tea.
T - 4.75 - Really impressed at how well this works. Upfront there is a light citrus sweetness which immediately fades into a green / black tea leaf flavor. This flavor is very distinct and present and on the bitter side of things.Finally, the tea fades back into IPA territory, finishing on a hoppy bitter note. Really tasty, but be warned, this is a bitter biased IPA, not much sweetness going on with this brew.
F - 4.5 - Good mouthfeel. What one would expect from an IPA, not water thin, but not thick either. medium/light bodied.
O - 4.25 - I think this is one of the best experimental brews I have had in a long time. I wont lie, I thought this was a little gimmicky at first purchase, but I was proven wrong at how harmoniously the tea leaf flavors blend with the hop bitterness and the citrus sweetness. Really impressive IPA and an adventurous change of pace off the beat path for seasoned IPA drinkers. Highly recommended experience!

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,373 ratings.
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