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

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,395 Ratings
Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPABaird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,395
Reviews:
464
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
13.25%
 
 
Wants:
120
Gots:
295
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,395 |  Reviews: 464
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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 GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy honey orange color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that fades to a thin film. Thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of spicy herbal and citrus zest hops. I do not really get any green tea aromas from this beer. Taste is of fresh herbal and citrus zest hops, green tea leaves, alcohol, and slight malt breaking through. There is a medium hop bitterness after each sip and the green tea shows up moreso on the aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn is present too. Overall, I am very impressed with this collaboration beer from Stone/Baird/Iishi. Great hop and green tea flavors combine very well for something different you don't find every day in a beer.

 762 characters

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

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

green tea really seems to work with hops, something ive noticed lately, so its nice to see a big national release focus on that relationship. this is great beer, big ipa at its core, bitter as heck like so many stone beers, but the green tea does something really interesting here. its a sweet creamy tea flavor, young leaves, not bitter at all, and its dead center of the flavor journey. its right before the hops come in all intense, so its cool to have an almost zen middle, calm before the storm, and following the sweet fresh cereal pale grain profile, its a really unique and well timed transitional flavor. the tea is sweet a little, has an almost vanilla hint to it, and gets the palate ready for all the hops, which also have an unconventional flavor to them, among all the bitterness. you would never know this is as strong as it is, a treat to have on tap, but now i have to get a bottle to share around. this is so interesting, i like it a lot. great food beer too i think in the right context. well done, i love this series of collaborative beers.

 1,060 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 613 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 2,404 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, nice to see these collaborative efforts from Stone, et al making their way north on that account (even though we do get Baird, too).

This beer pours a somewhat hazy, medium golden amber hue, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some sticky and sudsy splattered lace around the glass as it evenly fades away.

It smells of strong, concentrated green tea, like the stuff you let steep way too long at your local Japanese restaurant waiting for the food to arrive, crackery caramel malt, a bit of lemon Pledge, white grapefruit, and herbal, weedy, and grassy hops. The taste is more heady green tea, in all its vegetal and pithy glory, grainy pale and caramel malts, lemongrass, orange and red grapefruit bitters, white pepper, a sort of musty yeastiness, and further herbal, weedy, and certainly perfumed floral hops.

The bubbles are pretty low-key overall, providing the barest of support services, the body a stout medium weight, and sort of smooth, the gritty tea character and swirling (if undervalued) hops making a dent nonetheless. It finishes off-dry, the underling malt starting to make waves, while the sticky green tea persists, and the hops keep on doing whatever it is that is so ably obscuring that big-ass ABV.

Yeah, tea is one of those adjuncts that usually comes across as vague or thin in the beer-making process (unless you're talking about Coors Light Iced Tea, and its ilk). Not here, oh not here - this tastes more or less like someone dumped an ounce or so of some big DIPA into a pot of cold, oversteeped green tea, and that's about it. Not bad, not particularly good, but interesting and challenging all the same.

 1,702 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Fantastic screen-print label. Branded black pry-off cap. Stone has the best marketing in the business, no doubt. Let's see if this time the beer is actually up to par...

10.1% ABV. 2015 vintage (i.e. "2nd Edition").

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Expectations are above average seeing as it's a collaboration Stone beer (Stone's collaborations tend to be better than their own offerings, which I think says a lot about Stone). Reviewed live as an IPA per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3 inches wide. Off-white colour. Creamy enough. Could be softer. Average thickness. Decent consistency and complexion. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is superb for the high ABV - ~8 minutes.

BODY: Hazy murky yellow-copper with orange hues. Rather dull, lacking vibrance. Not the clean filtered appearance you'd expect of a good IPA.

Appears well-carbonated. It's decent looking for a beer in its style, but lacks any unique or special attributes. I worry it'll be astringent...

AROMA: Has an assertive hop profile with notes of overripe fruit (including melon, mango, and tangerine), honeyed yogurt (especially on the back-end), floral hops, and basil herb. Low in hop oils, not resinous at all, and by no means piney. The yogurty aspect of the hop profile is somewhat unique. The pale malt sweetness seems near ideal for an IPA, never coming off cloying yet still managing to quell any hop bitterness.

To be honest, I have trouble finding the green tea notes, and would be surprised if anyone could readily find them in a blind tasting of this beer. I count this as a blessing, as there're no indicators of tea-like astringency, and the green tea is subtle if anything, blending in with the basil. As it warms, the green tea does emerge a bit more, but fits in with the melon fruit from the hops. Maybe this isn't going to be the gimmick beer one may have expected...

TASTE: Boy, the hop profile featured in the taste is far less artfully executed and subtle than the aroma suggested. The overripe fruit (mostly melon, with some vague tropical notes) delivers some bold hop bitterness that goes largely unbalanced by the pale malt sweetness, fundamentally throwing off the key hop/malt balance. The interesting yogurty character of the Helga hops is nicely showcased, but just doesn't feel seamlessly integrated or well-executed here. Some tea-like astringency is noticeable, quashing any subtly the basil might have offered but bringing little to the table in terms of flavour; this has none of the good aspects of green tea but most of the bad. Minor supplemental floral hops fill it out a bit.

There's no fresh citrus, juicy fruit, resins, oils, pine, etc. All things considered, the hop profile is a bit of a let-down, and it doesn't harmonize well with the green tea at all.

It's not as aggressive or hop-forward as most of Stone's IPAs, but the hop profile is still off the mark. At least it's not too caramalt-heavy; I'm glad pale malts provide the bulk of the sweetness. Alcohol is decently disguised, but the 10.1% is still somewhat noticeable. Why skew that high in terms of alcohol?

Average depth, duration, intensity, and amplitude of flavour. It has an okay balance overall, and a loose cohesion. Not a gestalt beer, but it boasts enough complexity to keep things interesting. I applaud the experimentation, but this just doesn't come together quite like it should.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied, with assertive overcarbonation and far too much heft & weight on the palate, lending it a heavy overbearing presence on the palate that keeps it from feeling refreshing, mellow, or light. It's smooth and wet, but doesn't go down real easy on account of its booziness. The light astringency of the tea is fairly disguised by the hints of hop oil running throughout.

Not a scratchy, harsh, gushed, or rough beer.

This texture doesn't elevate the beer as a whole. There's no harmony of mouthfeel to taste here, but the former doesn't sabotage the latter.

OVERALL: Not the gimmicky beer it could be, but nevertheless problematic. This IPA suffers from an unnecessarily high ABV coupled with an underwhelming hop profile and a surprising absence of green tea flavour. I do like the yogurt note, but otherwise this is a forgettable beer in its style with a fundamental imbalance. I wouldn't buy it again, and it will fail to impress the discerning drinker, but Stone has done worse. Not the most drinkable IPA out there, but I'll finish it with some effort.

High C (2.99)

 4,533 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing sunset orange, hanging sediment in suspension. A ring of delicate lacing forms inside the glass, on the opposite side.

Smells a little sweet and fruity, also herbal and floral. As it warms there's a slight hint of alcohol sharpness.

Sorachi Ace big time. Lemony with a woody hop character, definitely compliments the lemongrass and green tea leaf flavors. Sweet fruit flashes on the palate before the dry herbal notes set in. Smooth and medium bodied. Nice showcase of Sorachi Ace hops, pleasant and unique. Medium bitterness, lingering notes of lemon and tea in the aftertaste. Soft feel, medium bodied. Pretty tasty and worth a try... will get a few more of these.

 677 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color capped by a sturdy little head that leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Soriachi Ace hops and Sencha tea both make an impact, bringing a lemony, green tea character to the aroma

Taste: A bit of a graham cracker malt flavor and then the hops and green tea make their impact, adding a tropical fruit blend of lemon and pineapple; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness settles down and the green tea flavor, which is much more subtle, adds its unique character; rather herbal in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very interesting concoction; really enjoyed the fifference the green tea adds to the brew though I wouldn't expect that adding green tea will become anywhere near as common as adding coffee

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Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an extremely cloudy orangish amber, looks a bit florescent. There is a half finger of white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Very mild given the abv and the style. Some citrus hops along with an herbal note. Not a ton going on here.

Taste: Now we're talking. Bitter citrus peel hops dominate, but there is a lot more going on. I'm picking up the tea, which I assumed would get lost. Herbal hints along with a sweetness that reminds me of honey. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with strong carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The taste of this beer really works for me. I expected the hops to kill everything else, but that wasn't the case. The alcohol doesn't show up a whole lot. I would have another given the chance.

 814 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty beige color ale with a great large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of strong floral hops is dominant and very enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by strong floral hoppy notes with light bitterness level and a bready malt backbone that is quite solid. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Very well brewed and very interesting to drink though I can’t say the tea really made much of a difference atste-wise.

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,395 ratings.
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