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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,395 |  Reviews: 464
Photo of Hootie159
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of garyloveman
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour was a tinted green gold. Smelled like a glass of iced green tea, a little sweetness in the flavor and mild green tea notes...not sure if the bitter finish was from the hops or overbrewed green tea. Good even carbonation

 226 characters

Photo of cherche
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of xacidx
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Josh_951
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 tubeyes
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of tedho21
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Taby
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zotzot
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Good
Green tea taste may distract
But excellent IPA

52 characters

Photo of ZachT
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ConradKenney
1.5/5  rDev -61%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Maybe it's just me, but the green tea flavors do not meld at all with the IPA. Was a mess of a beer, in my opinion.

116 characters

Photo of doc_logic
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KGerry711
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of adaman797
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Sweet, ripe banana, sweet orange, strong alcohol, medium body and carbonation.

78 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of leitmotif
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tuka
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Peter1977
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of goochpunch
4.79/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a hazy apricot body with a foamed head. Smells of tropical fruit, anise, pineapple hops with a vegetal, sweet underlying green tea element. Tastes of pale, lightly toasty malts and tropical fruit from the hops. Sweet Japanese tea leaf comes in stronger than I'd expected. Vegetal with notes of vanilla and algae. Tea goes toe to toe with the hops. Mouthfeel is creamy and full. Excellent.

 405 characters

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

Photo of bgold86
2.41/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

One of the worst beer I have ever tasted.

41 characters

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