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

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

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

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:
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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 1,372
Photo of billab914
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish glass. It poured a murky orange color with a thin white head filling the top half inch of the glass. Decent head retention as I drank it.

The aroma has a juicy, citrusy hop profile to it. I get some grapefruit flavors mixing with some more tropical and juicy pineapple and mango notes. The tea is pretty reserved in the aroma, I don't think I would have picked up on it if I didn't know it was there.

The taste is where more of the tea flavors show up. I get some juicier, bright hoppy notes at first. In the finish the hoppiness turns more towards a bitter, grapefruit, citrus rind flavor. The tea shows up midway and lasts through the finish. It gives it a kind of smooth, light herbal flavor. it actually works pretty well with the IPA flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a very good IPA. The tea brought some interesting flavors, but managed to not overpower the beer flavors. Very drinkable and flavorful beer overall.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an...unusual beer. It screams west coast ipa, but then, the green tea steps in. It quickly becomes a tug of war between very overt flavor patterns. The hops step up, but the green tea beats them back. The hops step up again, but the green tea wins again. Back and forth, back and forth. The green tea seems to win out, providing a very unique twist to a dipa. Doesn't quite mesh together here, but it's interesting. Glad to try it once. If it was on cask, I would probably try it again. But I doubt that will ever happen, so I think that's it for this beer as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Hazy and cloudy orange body with very little head. Some lacing for a while, but not really. What's really disturbing is the amazing amount of stuff floating about in the beer. It really doesn't look tasty.

Smell - But it does smell tasty. Nice pine hops and some citrus. Behind that is a nice green tea smell. It blends together nicely. I wish the green tea didn't drown out the hops, but it still smells very intriguing.

Taste - Well, I'm not digging it. Hops up front. Pine and some citrus, but mostly pine. The slightest hint of sweetness in the middle followed by green tea. It's readily apparent, which I guess is the point. I thought it would replace the hop bitterness, but that follows the green tea.

Mouthfeel - A little heavy. Slick body and nice carbonation. Drinkable, but it's a DIPA.

Overall - It's ok, but it's not something I'd pick up over regular Stone IPA. Actually, I think the IPA base of this beer is probably really good. The green tea just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of tdm168
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a faint copper with a yellow hue. There's 1/2" of thick, foamy head with decent retention. The nose is very herbal. The green tea is present as well as some mint and floral notes. Malt profile is mild; hop character is piny and earthy even a little floral; the green tea is evident and blends well with the hops. Just a little bitterness in the finish. The alcohol is also evident and warms the finish but does not detract from the overall flavor. Mouthfeel is very dry from the tea, but with decent carbonation.

This is a pretty solid beer. I'm still not a huge fan of tea in beer, but I like what these brewers tried to do. Overall, a decent DIPA with a nice twist.

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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 smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a tumbler at churchkey.

Lots of carbonation off the pour, fast rising with tiny bubbles. Pale amber body to almost perfect amber, with a simple white collar and good carbonation. Good circular but thin lacing sometimes while finishing.

Bouquet is a small lemon, mixed with a softness of mild hop bitter, muted with a little grass. Nose is a little closed.

Taste is a first dry mid palate with a soft hopped body. Grassy finish giving hint of Sorachi Ace lemongrass but also a malt chew on the swallow. Lime and small green tea presence and dried barley.

Overall, real nice with a mix of density and refreshing sense, and good IPA power.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was nervous to try this beer but I can't ever let a Stone IPA pass me by. Beer is dark yellow with a nice white head, small bubbles, nice lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, citrusy, mild pine hops, some tea.

Beer is medium in body and pretty bitter, strongly bitter with a nice semi-dry finish, tea is present only in the back half, the front of the beer is piny, mildly malty, good beer all around.

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Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info available.

Pours clouded orangy amber, moderate off white head, that quickly departs and leaves just a typical looking collar and some tongues of lace.

I get a heavy grapefruit juice and sweat tea infused nose.

Lots going on here, another load of grapefruit laden hops, more some what off putting tea notes and a fruity/sweat midsection. Complex, differant and interesting, but not all that pleasing to the senses in the grand scheme of things.

For a good cause, so glad I could help the effort-but not something I would likely seek out again.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Bright, orange gold. White head settles into a medium halo.

S –Light, floral hop character. Honey, orange blossom and a hint of sweet grapefruit. No green tea in the nose really.

T – Soft and mellow profile. Distinct, dry green tea opens the profile before hiding behind a honey and herbal center. The green tea returns on the backend and lingers through the finish.

M – Soft, medium body with low carbonation and a soft bitter finish.

O – A masterful execution of the brewer’s vision, with great green tea flavor. Stunningly quite booze for 9.2%.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is full of orange citrus, biscuit malt, bread and some dryness that I associate with the green tea.

The flavor is very nice. I get a lot of orange and pine, as well as some nice green tea flavors. There is some biscuit malt and the bitterness is low to medium. There is also some ginger notes as the beer warms.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Double IPA.

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

Appearance: hazy orange color with a one inch head. Some light lace develops.

Smell: caramel and floral bitterness are up front, some citrus is a bit softer.

Taste: caramel, orange, a hint of tea, a nice floral bitterness, and a hint of alcohol are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Atertaste is short lived.

Overall: an interesting beer that has a bit of herbal quality to it. Easy to quaff and enjoy.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember my very first Stone IPA being very tea-like and strong from the hops. I could have sworn tea was used in that brew. Yes, that was five years ago, when I just started to drink beer. Fast forward to today, where this idea of tea and beer become a reality. It's one more neat collaboration to come from Stone. On to the beer:

There's a large share of sediment floating even in the bottle, so pour this one slowly and carefully. In the chalice, the beer has a burnt orange color which disguises much of the floating sediment. Head retention is okay, eventually plashing a few lines to stick. From opening the bottle, a lot of tea-like aromas escaped, which was a good sign. Time goes by and what develops is a fruity and malt forward IPA with the green tea being very subtle. Lots of canteloupe in the nose.

There's some herbal green tea found in this unique IPA. It's not just the green tea, but also notes of tree sap, wood (seems odd doesn't it?), and smaller doses of canteloupe and honeydew. It's surprisingly bitter too, but not in a resiny hop bitterness, like tea leaf bitterness. Body is on the thicker side with a "gummy" texture. Quite astringent in the finish.

I came in thinking that a Double IPA with green tea would completely smuther the tea. Not quite; there's still enough of it to get you thinking, especially with the herbal character it brings. The 12 ounce bottle it came in was a wise choice, cuz a 22 ounce could turn into an all nighter.

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Photo of Duff27
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Thin white head into a tulip. Beer is a light orange. A swirl leave some alcohol legs, Minimal lacing.

S- Citrus mainly.

T- Nearly no sweetness, taste is predominately "green"/floral hops with the green tea aspect only rearing its head in the aftertaste. Well hidden alcohol.

M- Very well carbonated. Feels good on the tongue, Probably the best characteristic of this beer,

D/O- Kind of a novelty more than anything else. Hard to believe the collaborators were left with the exact flavor profile they were going for...not mention anyone buying this a second time at $5 a bottle.

Next day note: Just read that the proceeds went to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims and now I kind of feel bad for reviewing it harshly. BUY THIS BEER ONCE.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle into a pint glass.

Japanese Green Tea hass a very bright golden color with some hints of bronze in the cuts. Very clean looking beer. Nice bright white bubbles leaving a lasting thin cap, no stick.

Smell is very piney hopped with some 3-C action. Some citrus like scents with a smudge of pale malt barely. FRESH! The green tea gives off a earthy scent. Biscuit and more grass with warming.

A nice punch of hops right up front, brash yet not scorching palate wrecking. Citrus pineapple/grapefruit and an earthy pine. Green tea leaves it's marks towards the end and is more fresh leafy, from the ground, than actual tea. There is a touch of lemon. Some malt leaves a small bite of bread to keep things in check.

Feel is between light and medium and super dry after some swigs. It's bitter and hop forward with nice bubbles to liven it up, this is not dead in any way, at least out the bottle.

I would drink this again in a heartbeat, the alcohol is a bit big and only shows itself a bit in the aftertaste. Maybe after a two month nap the tea will even out, but I like what it brings now.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium orange amber with a thin white head and a hint of lacing. Great aroma of piney and herbal hops, a hint of tea. Nice malt body with complex pine, citrus and herbal hops. Light tea presence. Great herbal hop finish. I really liked the balance of malt and hops in this IPA and the slight tea flavor is a nice addition. This is a very nice IPA. I'm surprised by some of the low ratings on this. Sadly, it kept me awake from the caffeine, so probably not a repeater.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Had side by side Stone IPA

Pours a bit darker than the Stone IPA, but still a bright copper color. Over an inch of head forms and leaves behind alittle lace. Aroma is similar to the Stone IPA, bright citrusy west coast hops. Alittle herbal in the nose as well. The taste is more or less citrusy hops and a sweet herbal tone that has to be the tea, which is understated and almost a background flavor. This brew is 9.2%??? No alcohol noticed at all. The biggest difference between this beer and the regular IPA would be the mouthfeel, which is well carbonated but very smooth and almost silky on the palate. This makes for a very easy drinking brew. Hiding the alcohol is another great achievement of this brew, which I thought was quite mellow and pleasing. A well crafted IPA, and though the tea is understated, it goes to show that tea can have a place in the beer world.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazed golden copper. Chunkiest beer I've ever had, ridiculous amount of sediment. Thick, creamy head, nice retention and lacing. Grassy and leafy aroma, light lemon and citrus hops with a subtle amount of green tea. Medium thick, creamy body with a strong alcohol and medicinal finish. Body is sweet, with citrus hops throughout and a very dry and bitter finish. Tea contributes more in the finish, more in the dryness than flavor. Starts off like a nice Stone IPA, but then turns a little too medicinal and herbal in the finish.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a medium orange with a light white head, good retention, very light lace.

S: Lemon zest with a hint of grapefruit. Mainly a citrus nose, but there is a clear green tea aroma as well.

T: Has an etheral earthy quality I'm assuming is from the tea. Vegetal flavours with some romaine lettuce and a soupçon of asparagus. Still a lot of citrus, lemon heavy. Malt makes an appearance and stays in balance. Just a hint of booze in the finish.

M: Pretty full-bodied, with a light hint of acidity. Smooth, has a light aftertaste for the style.

O: Certainly not a hop bomb, the flavour is structured and has a good complexity. $2.99 for 12 oz. is nothing to sneeze at for DIPAs nowadays, certainly something to try to change it up.

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Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed burnt orange with next to no head formation.

Smell is sweet and hoppy even from a distance. Hops are mostly pine with a fainter sweet tea aroma. A little bit woody and grassy, still mostly pine scented.

Starts out semi-dry with a green tea taste and a woody finish. This is almost sweet but the hop load keeps it tamed. Decently woody with a strong oak twang to it almost has a vanilla taste. Alcohol can't be tasted but it REALLY warms your chest up.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall it is good but not spectacular. When you drink a stone beer you expect great beers, this is OK but I expected more from Stone.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: cloudy harvest-gold hue with a tenacious finger of creamy deep-ivory foam atop. Quite good.

Smell: very hop-centric aroma, although not overpoweringly strong. Lots of earthy character with some accentuating conifer and citrus notes. Pretty good.

Taste: sweet malt flavor with a light tartness and earthy hops. Plenty of bitterness, and, while the alcohol is not overpowering, you definitely know this is a strong beer. A little green tea can be discerned at the end but it is not a major player in the flavor -- green tea may just be too gentle for an IPA of this nature. Not bad, but not among my favorites.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a decent creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this beer just doesn't tickle me. It's not bad, but its flavors seem muddled and I can't really get behind it.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to Dan for sharing this. A collaboration between Baird, Ishi, and Stone.

A: Yellow gold in the glass with a small creamy white head that's fast fading. 

S: Orange flesh with light tangerine notes and a little caramel malt. Floral aromatics blend nicely with restrained herbal green tea characteristics.

T: A smooth moderate bitterness with a light caramel sweetness. Citrus notes are reminiscent of orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. The green tea isn't really noticeable up front but it kicks in midpalate and is pretty nice. It's well integrated and very mellow with none of the astringent notes I expected. The tea imparts herbal and spicy notes that blend nicely with the citrus. The finish is well balanced and the spiciness kicks in again really late after you think the flavor is done. The alcohol is very well hidden. I was shocked to find it at 9.2% after I finished my pour.

M: Medium in body with lower moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: An enjoyable beer. Green tea in an IPA is a lot better than I expected.

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Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy golden orange color with a one finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Earthy, herbal aroma with lots of piny, grassy hops and green tea along with a pale malt character. Slightly spicy hop presence but mostly soily/earthy with pine needle and grass. The green tea adds an herbal/vegetal presence but never overpowers the hops.

Chewy medium body with a blast of dry, bitter hops up front that linger over the green tea character and pale malt backbone into a slightly sweet, dry finish. Strong alcohol heat in the back end hurts drinkability. Slightly spicy with lots of sticky, dry hops that give of a strong soil/pine character. This is countered by subtle sweetness and a herbal/medicinal/vegetal presence from the tea. Again, I was expecting the green tea to overpower bu it provides balance without taking away from the hops. Pale malt backbone with hints of toffee and biscuit. But this beer is all about the hops.

I was excited to try this one but was a little skeptical going in. Thankfully it was well balanced and the hops remained the star. A bit too hot in the finish fir my liking but still enjoyable.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a golden orange color with good carbonation and a nice white cap

S: Citrus, floral notes, little bit of green tea and lends a little booze

T: Floral, grass, citrus notes upfront, green tea slides in as does a little booze sting.

M: Light to medium body

O: Nice beer. The booze is well masked, very tasty, easy to drink

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a bright aged copper body with a thin head that is soon gone and a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a planktonic swirling of micro-trub particles in the body.

S- The bright woody citrus hops is gentle but full with maybe a hint of green tea in the finish that quickly turns into a lemony sorachi ace aroma.

T- Green woody hops take on a grapefruit zest and then finishes with a bit more juicy fruity hop with some green herbal hop notes.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizz that coats the mouth with each sip and no alcohol heat even when it warms a good bit.

O- This is a nice IPA with a good blend of new and old varieties of hops. I don't get any green tea flavor which I'm a bit disappointing in but it doesn't hurt the flavor not having it.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A murky orange is dense with suspended yeasty matter. The head is washy, slight, with a grain yellow tint. Lacing was bare minimal. The only good aspect here is that I love all those floating goodies about inside, but again like their cherry chocolate stout, fails to impress me enough for garnish the obligated good rating here.

S: Pale citrus, the green tea is very evident here, especially for those fellow tea drinkers. Fresh wet greenery, spinach, perhaps fresh seaweed best sums things up. Alcohol is evident, mixing with some woodsy everygreen creating an pine-scotch like aroma with some dried butterscotch upon warmer temperatures. Unique, ill give them that, but perhaps not the best of marriages. The hop level is low to moderate per style and brewer.

T: The flavor is dried woodsy evergreen, pine-scotch, with a medicinal lacquer type of alcohol presence that just doesn’t seems like it belongs there. The alcohol seems a bit overpowering and not in a good sense. Im not cringe when it comes to big abv beers, but the flavor here is my biggest gripe and once again like their cherry-chocolate seems to overpower in terms of balance, drowning out the short stay of other flavors. The problem seems to follow through with much of the beer, with the woodsy medicinal alcohol lingering about and even long after the swallow. Piney hops are here, but the green tea much less evident in its role flavor wise as it was the aroma. Perhaps what im detecting are tannins from the tea. Some grassy notes and an insignificant malt base with a thin support of substance does little to balance.

M: light, fluid and slippery with a less then zero carbonation presence, read no zip, no crispness, not tight bubbly sensation. Instead we are treated to a lazy light mouthful with a dry grassy alcohol fade.

O: Overall another less then stellar collaboration from stone, not sure if they are trying to be the new west coast dogfish-head in terms of ingenuity, but their pairing of flavors just doesn’t seem to be working, at least for me. Lingering medicinal alcohol and wet grass plays spoiler to this beers flavor. Not what I would want to grab for on a nice summer day when I think ipa, hops, crispness, and refreshing. An experimental beer that is worthy of a try only for the curious indeed, nothing that I would re-vist, recommend, or have more then one of. Again drinkability was average at best, not enjoyable.

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.
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