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

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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 1,373
Photo of jdense
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle shared with beer homey in The Big, 8.22.11 poured into wine tumbler.

Half a finger white head, pretty quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Orange amber clear body multiple streams of visible carbonation. I thought the nose was very vegetal, while the tea aromas were present had a hard time deciphering much in the way of hops. Taste mirrors nose, green tea up front then a heavy, rather unpleasant vegetal body, some floral hops more present than in the nose. Mouthfeel pretty full, alcohol quite noticeable. I appreciate that proceeds are going to charity, but this beer isn't one I look forward to having again. Pass.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good orange and yellow color, ample head, just the right amount of carbonation. Loved the dry hop aroma, usual citrus, but now with the vegetal greenness, that I assume to be green tea (never had green tea) because I don't recognize such a thing even in wet hopped beers, but I liked it. So herbal. Dunno if theres summits in here, but I like the herb and garlic feel in the dry hop. Unique points.

Taste, holy shit, I expected this to be gross, so I only bought one bottle. Wrong. This is delightfully hoppy and tasty. What? 9.2%? That must be a mistake. . . I guessed 6%. Totally hides the alcohol so very well. Just so herbal, really just kept making me think 'wet hops' like the first time I had Harvest ale back on tap a decade or so ago.

Sometimes I think well distributed brews get dinged up in here. Troegs and Stone, you've done it again. Great beer. Will buy multiples of these if I can find them again in a reasonable time frame. I wonder if tea will preserve hops better?

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bed actually looks like green tea with some carbonation and a good amount of floaties in it. The smell is heavy with tea notes and fruity hops. The taste is extremely tea like with the hop flavor and bitter SSS almost being a back note there is very little if any malt present. Mouthfeel was low carbonation light bodied but not dry. Maybe the non dry feeling is a side effect of the tea. This beer is interesting but I would not buy another bottle.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep, cloudy orange, with a frothy one-finger head. With that cloudiness it could pass for a Hefe. The smell is not too impressive. It seems like this is going to be more on the malty side as I get some sweetness and only faint hops. Perhaps some alcohol fume also.

The taste has a very citrusy character with an almost minty spiciness. There is a grapefruit/melon tangy sweetness throughout with a modest bitterness in the finish. Alcohol is well disguised. The mouthfeel seems a bit watery, likely due to the carbonation being a bit too subtle.

This IPA has a unique flavor, though the addition of green tea is not readlily discernable to me. It's also too sweet for my liking. I suppose that is the tendency when it's over 8% ABV, perhaps this would have been more interesting as a single IPA. I imagine that would allow the green tea character to shine through better also. If the price tag were lower I would say it's worth a try...

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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 KickInTheChalice
1.96/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap in a short stange at the Stone Tap Takeover at Acre.

Appearance: This has a light hazy golden color with a small white head that laces the glass nicely.

Smell: The aroma has a green tea base, with a fair amount of lemon, some grapefruit hops, and some biscuity malt.

Taste: The flavor is terrible. Medicinal flavor, fusel alcohol, green tea, sweet biscuity malt, and some lemon zest are pretty much a mess.

Mouthfeel: Astringent and dry, with a light to medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: I could not really drink much of this at all. It is definitely the worst Stone beer I have ever had.

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Photo of jamescain
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA perfect pint.

Appearance: Orange-copper with an off white head about a finger thick that fades into a lacing over the top of the beer and clings to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Pine, citrus and a tough of fruit. I wasn't really able to pull any green tea from the aroma.

Taste: Astringent piney bitterness with a touch of citrus. Through all of the bitterness you can actually make out a green tea flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation, almost over carbonated, medium body and a dry finish with a long lingering bitterness.

Overall: I enjoyed it, but might have enjoyed it a little more if it was not so assertive, maybe a little more malt backing up all of the hopping, but that wouldn't be Stone's style.

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Photo of Treebs
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Picked up at the local Binny's right when the case was opened up.

A: Pours a very hazy orange with light yellow hues. There is a TON of sediment floating around in the bottle. The pour propagates a nice off white head that leaves some sticky lace behind.

S: The hops are there in the form of some nice citrus and light pine. I'm getting some faint green tea that brings in a nice bitterness to round it out.

T: There is light citrus hop at the beginning, but then the tea pushes its way to the front leaving a dried tea leaf bitterness. There is a very present alcohol taste at the backend, but there is no heat behind it.

M: Crisp and smooth. Light bodied with a light bitter tea left on the tongue. Decent carbonation.

O: I really don't think the tea blended well with this. This seemed like a bunch of ingredients side by side as opposed to blended together. Decent, but wouldn't revisit.

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Photo of seanpierceCEO
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a chance to try this on tap for the first, and probably ONLY, time this past Friday at the Stone 15th Anniversary Brewer's Reception.

Having already been a fan of this beer in bottle and being an avid tea drinker as well, I knew I had to sample this.

Compared to the bottle version:
- The appearance was nearly identical. A slightly hazy yellow, reminiscent of a good strong cup of green tea. The head was rather big on this pour and retained well. It had a very clean white look but sat thick atop the beer.
- Aroma wise the beer had lots of classic IPA notes but leaned more to the herbal side.
- Taste wise it was hard to compare the draft version to the bottle and say which was better. But regardless, the taste I was looking for was there. A friend of mine and I have been debating the bitterness of this IPA. Knowing Stone and their penchant for hops, this is bitter but there seems to be an increased bitterness which could possibly come from the green tea. For those of you who don't know teas do get bitter when they are over brewed, green tea especially. It's quite possible the added bitterness comes from the tea and not the hops.

Overall, I enjoyed being able to have this brew on tap. It is a definite winner in my book.

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

A- Hazy golden yellow ale. A creamy white head forms to a nice size and has decent retention. A nice pillow but not much lace.

S- Nice big hop presence. Has a big herbal, citrus and pine presence. Some good peach as well.

T- Heavily herbal again, also big on floral, tea, mango, citrus peel and generally big hops. Takes on a weird overall feel I have a hard time describing it.

MF- Creamy feel with a light body and high carbonation. Bitter overall finish.

Have a hard time describing it but I am not a huge fan of the overall hop presence. It is nice but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of Ninjabrew
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off anytime I can drink beer for a good cause I'm in. Overall a pretty good beer but nothing special either. The green tea added an additional amount of bitterness but did little to present another dimension to an IPA. The nose was pretty subdued, but the appearance made for what appeared to be a tasty beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours bright amber in color. Half finger head retains well. Leaves patchy lacing. An insane amount of floating sediment. Not necessarily a detractor.

S-Slight whiffs of citrus, ginger, a bit of pine, sweet tea and ginger. The nose is not overwhelming. It is slightly perfumey and aromatic.

T-The tea comes through in an odd way. The flavors seem to interact poorly with one another. The overall flavor is not awful but it does not make me really want to finish the glass. Same components as in the nose but they work together oddly on my palate.

M-Slick and smooth. Medium carbonation. Feel is a bit off like the flavor.

O/D-Happy this was not an overly expensive 12 oz. coming in at $3.29. Flavor was awkward. Not a big fan. Its okay though, because Stone's 15th Anniversary brew is excellent.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle shared between my wife and I

Appearance- hazy, golden, orange. Little head. What is there is stark white. Not a lot of lacing. 4/5

Smell- Orange and citrus hop aroma. This is a good aroma. 4.5/5

Taste- Orange and citrus hop bitterness. Hefeweizen-esque. More bitterness than I expected. For a 9.2 abv beer, I don't taste much alcohol. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- This is the most interesting part. I fully expected this to be super thin. Not at all. It has some legs to it. I also didn't know it was 9.2% abv. 4/5

Overall- I was prepared to have a non-interesting, thin, boring, green tea beer. That was not the case. It is a good, full bodied, Hefeweizen-esque beer. Great summer beer! 4.5/5.

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

A: Pours a glorious, almost glowing, honey gold. Hazy, and a bright white head on top. Leaves behind some decent lacing. The color itself is great.

S: Big citrus and pine scents bursting through, and a definite herbal quality from the tea.

T: As the nose leads on, a battle between pine and citrus, with the pine winning. Has a very floral taste to, pine cones meeting tea leaves. Slight malt sweetness, but quite hop forward. I don't think they used the Stone IPA as a base? Because this tastes much better.

M: Very clean, but well carbonated. Medium bodied, slight creaminess. A touch dry (which is the only reason why I'd think it's the Stone IPA base, but flavors don't match up).

O/D: Doesn't drink like a DIPA. Very easy, and sort of soothing going down. The hoppiness is great, and the herbal qualities are up front, but not overwhelming. An excellent collaboration.

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Photo of charliedvrs
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light orange, gold with a small white head that leaves just a bit of lacing. Smell is relatively strong, leaning heavily towards the herbal and green tea side with a bit of citrus hop in the background, most notably grapefruit. The bitterness hits surprisingly quickly and masks the taste at first. After it subsides there is a strong, earthy, lemon flavor that finishes with some slight alcohol and a nice dry finish. Mouthfeel is pretty spot on, just below medium bodied and a good amount of carbonation to soften the somewhat sharp taste and bitterness. There's a ton of different flavors going on here that do a good job of making this 9.2% beer drinkable, but at some points they seem to battle against one another. Glad I got to try this, definitely an interesting experience. I'll probably have to have it once or twice more though before I decide if it's my cup of tea...

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Photo of AdamBear
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-cloudy dark gold orange. thick cream colored head

S-herbal hops, definitely getting some green tea as well. smells good, smells strong

T-comes in and tastes like any other herbal IPA that seems to have lost its hops luster. it then transitions in to a taste of alcohol and green tea some what. tastes a bit like a mistake to me.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a good semi dry finish

O-where are the hops? the bitterness? this tastes like an outdated IPA with enough herbal character to be called "green tea". worth a try, but don't get your hopes up...this is a let down.

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Photo of enzocc
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Honey, clear color. A really good head. Gives you an excellent impression.
S - You can really tell that this is a different IPA at the moment you smell it. You feel this soft citrus smell. Herbal, leafy, floral essence.
T - The particular flavor that this IPA has i cant described. Sweet, citrus, but in a very soft way, with a heavy kick of the hops flavor with the essence and the mistery of the green tea leaves and a little bit of mint.
M - Average. not so watery.
O - Strong IPA, with a particular flavor that calls your attention with the differents ingredients that this beer have been brewed.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At first glance I notice a lot of setiment sitting at the bottom of the bottle, which is unexpected. I manage to keep any of it from getting into the pour and the result is a pleasant looking IIPA, clear with a yellow/gold color. Very slight white head comes up and goes away almost instantly. Lacing is evident but very light.

Smell is aggressive hops.... not a real strong citrus element there, or at least not one i'm picking up on. There is a little "something" else in the nose, but I can't quite define it.... the green tea element perhaps? (though it doesn't smell like green tea to me).

Taste is in line with a good IIPA, loads of bitterness and some citrus upfront but not astringently so....and then an odd almost mouthwash-like taste to the finish. The finish is not completely foul, but it is odd and not what I would call pleasant. I'm guessing this is the green tea element, but I can't say it reminds me of any green tea i've had.

Mouthfeel is good for the style. A nice sense of crispness and carbonation, making it easy to drink given the strength of the bittnerness and flavor.

In the end... this is kind of like drinking a Ruination with a little bit of mouthwash added in the finish. It's not as bad as that might sound, but I won't be drinking it again.

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Photo of distantmantra
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a straight Baird Brewing pint glass. August 19th, 2011.

A: The beer pours an orange amber color with what appears to be a matrix of chunks suspended in the beer. This was also seen in the bottle before opening. There was a nice one-finger head of white foam that quickly settled into a thin cap. The lacing was extremely light but noticeable on the sides of the glass.

S: The aroma of this beer has lots of grapefruit and pineapple along with a very light hint of caramel malt. In addition, I notice some black pepper as well as the green tea. The earthy sencha is hiding in the back, and it's really picked up by the nose when you tilt the glass about 45 degrees. It reminds me of cracking open a bottle of green tea from a vending machine in Japan.

T: Initial flavors are of grapefruit, pineapple and bitter pine needles. The green tea is there, almost as a replacement for the sweet malt that I come to expect as a balancing agent in an Imperial IPA. The booziness is very noticeable, especially as you get further into the glass.

M: The beer has medium carbonation and a nice creamy mouth feel. The green tea and hops leave a very pleasant bitter aftertaste. As it warms up, you can really feel the boozy heat on your tongue.

O: Given that I have a soft spot for Baird, I found this to be an exceptional beer. Very drinkable and the green tea brings another layer of complexity to this Imperial IPA. I purchased this bottle three weeks ago when it first showed up in Seattle, and now I'm wishing I had drank it earlier as it is now gone. I really hope this helps expose Baird to more American beer aficionados who might not have heard of them previously. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

While looking for some sort of freshness date, I noticed that this bottle had a TON of chunky sediment that was starting to get stirred up. I carefully poured and got a hazy pale honey colored beer with lots of suspended chunks. The haziness is odd looking. Its almost uneven and just doesn't look good. The head was short and there is no lacing.

This smell is nice, though. Some juicy citrus with a base of denser, fleshier hops and a big kick of spice and herb. The tea lays subtly underneath.

The green tea comes out in a big way in the flavor, dominating the aftertaste and finish. The actual IPA seems to be very rough around the edges. There is a lot of bitterness from very dense, piney hops. There are a few flashes of candied citrus. Alcohol is noticeable on the finish. As the beer warms the green tea comes out a little bit more. It tastes like vegetables and leaves.

This stuff is entirely too alcoholic and hot. It should be just a standard IPA. The carbonation is quite high and prickly and the beer is thick and resinous. These are all qualities that are the opposite of green tea.

This beer is too heavy handed for being an IPA that has green tea. I expected, and wanted, a lighter IPA with good drinkability; one that refreshes you. This one is just another brash, uncouth IIPA from Stone with some green tea that's mostly overpowered.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy orange/amber color with various "cotton-like" particles floating around. A nice white head appears but diminishes quickly as does a thin ring of lacing. Appearance gets better over time. The brew clears up a quite a bit.

S - Some nice scents of lemon sours along with some citrus malts and small doses of pine. The green tea hits you as well but none of these are overpowering. Its just a good blend.

T - there's the green tea. It adds a different complexity to the drink making it real nice. Not as much of a fruit taste in there as other IPAs that I've had but some small tastes of pine and lemon are there.

M - It's less sticky than other IPAs I've had. Which isn't a bad thing its just different. A nice difference IMO.

O - I like this one. Its a very nice twist for an IPA and I would definitely buy more.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Having brewed my own version of a tea-infused pale ale, I'm interested to see how this one compares. (My guess is at least slightly better.) It pours a clear light bronze topped by a finger of white foam. Plenty o' floaties hangin' 'round in there. Herbal tea is definitely the centerpiece of the smell, which also features mint, balsa, grapefruit zest, and mild caramel. The taste also centers on the tea, but this time a harsh bitterness is the result. Also dancing across my tongue are notes of pine, grapefruit rind, light lemon zest, light mint, and kinda light caramel. The bitterness just ain't my bag, man. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, I like the idea behind this beer, but I just don't think it was meant for reality, as the tea and the hops just don't jive all that well together. Instead, my 'buds are caught in their crossfire as they battle for dominance, the bitter hatred dripping from their teeth pooling on my tongue. Not too much of a fan.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at acre for the stone tap take over. Had today while taps were still on!

A-Orangish yellow.

S-Kind of smelled like fruity pebbles. Don't know if this is a good or a bad thing. Maybe a mix between the hops and the herbs?

T-OK. Was expecting more hops but the herbs and hops kind of blended together for a meh, taste

M-Medium body and smooth

O-Great to try but not to buy

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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 JizackFH
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a nice hazy orange amber color. It has a 2-finger white head on it. The head has decent retention and leaves some specs of lacing behind. There are a lot of floaties hanging around here.

S - The nose has a lot of fruit and citrus to it. There is a nice piney/citrusy bitter hop presence. There is a little bit of spice and a touch of sweetness as well. So far I'm not getting any green tea, but it smells like a solid DIPA.

T - The taste starts off with flavors of Grapefruit, Pineapple, and citrus. There are hints of green tea that poke through here and there, and I think it adds a really nice touch. There is a big bitter pine and citrus hop flavor. The malt presence is really light and hides in the background just enough to offer some balance. There is also some booziness here. The finish is lingering citrus and hoppy bitterness.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice creamy feel to it. There is a big hop bitterness that lingers on the mouth. Some minty herbal qualities as well. There is some boozy warmth near the finish.

O - This has really good drinkability. I could definitely have another glass of this, even considering the ABV. I really enjoyed this collaboration. It is a solid DIPA and has some interesting qualities that come through. I recommend trying this one. I'll probably go pick up some more tomorrow.

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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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