IPA Samurai | Pivovar Kocour Varnsdorf

IPA SamuraiIPA Samurai
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 35

American IPA | 5.10% ABV

Pivovar Kocour Varnsdorf
Czech Republic

Notes: Rotating availibility. 
Very Good
IPA SamuraiIPA Samurai
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 35
Reviews by mandudoguyo:
Photo of mandudoguyo
2.06/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

i was really excited about trying this beer, and was so disappointed.
the sulfur smell is almost unbearable and made me think this beer was spoiled. i tried two separate bottles of it and both had sulfur notes waaay over what was described in the accompanying flavor review. i called the rare beer club and told them. they said others had also complained. this sulfur smell is exactly like what we smelled when a batch of our beer got infected at the brewery i work at. i think the beer club had already committed to buy so many, that even knowing the batch was infected, it was too much money for them to lose, so they went ahead and shipped it, betting that we consumers would attribute the funky flavors to the "new style".
the rare beer club is giving me a free month's shipment; i suggest any other disappointed members ask for the same.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RBorsato
1.5/5  rDev -57.5%

Photo of weeare138
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of rdickey
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Popping the cap produces a volcanic eruption of foam, notwithstanding that the beer had been sitting on the counter for at least 10 minutes. It pours a beautiful pale and cloudy gold into a tulip. Fine two-finger head lingers and leaves spectacular lacing.

Smell: The pilsner malts hit me first, and my first reaction is that it doesn't smell like an IPA. Some citrusy hops, however, begin to assert themselves as it warms. Intriguing.

Taste: The taste is almost flipped around from the nose. The first thing I get is a full-on American hop assault - more oranges and lemons. Almost immediately, however, the pilsner malt backbone fights back and balances things out. The pilsner characteristics continue in the finish, which is dry, bitter and very, very clean. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, with a relatively high carbonation level.

Drinkability: High, and the relatively low ABV makes this a nice sessionable beer.

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Photo of kkipple
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well well! A gushing IPA brewed in Chechz by a Japanese brewer, shared by KP at our biggun New Years tasting.

Waooh... Samurai IPA gushes forth upon cracking this weird green bottle, so was quickly poured.

Hazy, fat-headed yellow.

It smells... it smells... like a saison? A Fantome saison, specifically, with a dose of Jolly Pumpkin wild-funk, pedio and salty lemons. Wiffs of sulfur and hops remain; this is certainly infected. But it's really not BAD... just not as intended.

Flavor is quite dry, growing sour, lemony and salty and dingy, with some real funk and noble hops. Think JP Bam Biere and BFM Doze. Highly unusual, actually drinkable still - not understanding the complete hate from some of these reviews, but clearly the infection can vary in severity.

Full, fun mouthfeel. Slightly dry, sour finish.

This, beyond all reason, works - for right now. Would I buy it? Eh... I think this would be good with fish, or even some greasy 2am food. Not really recommended, but it ain't as bad as all that.

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Photo of Soto
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of metter98
3.29/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy light golden yellow in color and poured with a two finger high white head that has good retention properties; after dying down a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface..
S: There is a strong and very sour aroma of hops in the nose along with some hints of spices. Smells of grapefruit hops prominently stand out; there are also some notes of floral hops. The aroma is rather astringent.
T: Flavors of grapefruit stand out in the taste, but these aren't as strong as the smell and are balanced to some degree by the underlying malts. The finish is rather bitter.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is very unusual. It looks like a saison, smells like Flemish sour ale, but tastes more like an IPA. It's truly a unique drinking experience.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have deleted my old review and am writing a new one...because really, from when I last had this, this is not the same beer.

It does issue forth a bit upon popping the cap, so be ready. Poured into a Sam Adams glass with saison-like levels of carbonation. Lots of foam with a soft ice-cream-cone cap on it. Eventually settles to a radiant gold.

When I first had this fresh, it smelled like rotten eggs. It had a bad hydrogen sulfide problem in the aroma. This several-months-old bottle no longer has that problem. In fact, it smells...like a hoppy, funky farmhouse ale. Whoa. Is this an unintentional Brett infection that has improbably turned into something pretty nice? You hear about stuff like that working out occasionally, but I never thought I'd come across one. It smells of soapy, piney hops with fermented pineapple juice and freshly cut grass. Come on, did someone switch in a Jolly Pumpkin beer on me or something? This really smells like one of their beers. I like!

It tastes like it smells - like any number of funky, hoppy American-style farmhouse ales. For all I know, this could be JP E.S. Bam, or the Bruery's Saison De Lente. Dry throughout with slightly tart pineapple and guava midway through with some white pepper. Bitter soapy hop finish. Pretty tasty if you like hoppy saisons.

In the feel, the considerable carbonation kinda off-gases itself on the pour and leaves a very smooth texture, almost like a freakin' Belgian ale.

I'm glad I didn't give up on this one. Yes, I understand rating to brewer's intent, and in that respect, this fails utterly as an IPA. Absolutely no question about that. However, if I threw this into the saison/farmhouse ale category, I'd have to rate it much higher. In this case, I've decided to let my enjoyment of the beer, *at this time*, rule the rating. If you drink this bottle now, expect a hoppy, slightly funky saison. No guarantee as to what this will be a year from now, but I'm liking it right now. Saison lovers rejoice. I can't believe I've come across an infected beer that is working well. Whatever was going on with this beer initially with the nasty rotten egg smell seems to have worked itself out.

Amazing. I still can't believe it. This is the beer equivalent of having a pile of crap turn into a diamond.

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Photo of gushov
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a huge white head. The aroma is pretty wild. I get a strong cat piss aroma along with some citrus and bready malts. The flavor is more of the same with some funky cat piss, citrus, pine, bread and some low bitterness. This is one of the funkier, cattier IPAs that I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of mwilbur
1.61/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Opens with a loud hiss...and beer procedes to flow immediately out the top of the bottle (turn-off). Once I finally get the beer under control, this pours a dark hazy straw color with huge 4+ inch head (more head than beer...turn-off). Nice billowy white head with good retention and great lacing.
S: Earthy minerals, bitter caramel malt, sulfur (turn-off), and mild citrus hops.
T: Wow...this is not good. Sulfur, strongly bitter, like drinking from a Yellowstone pool. Hint of grapefruit.
M: Light body, smooth with bitter finish.
D: I really did not like this one. Disappointed in RBC for this awful brew. I suppose I may not be appreciating this Czech IPA, but I just can't drink this. One of the worst beers I've had in a long, long time.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had an IPA by this brewery in Prague. I guess it was this beer, Dont remeber Samaurai in the name.

Well this was a delight for a IPA in europe. it was very balanced and all the hops were on the back end. But hey, I was happy to find it and it was really fresh and a good break from lagers.

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Photo of Schmittymack
2.63/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Ken for sharing this one the other night. Poured from a 750 into a trusty shaker glass. A little bit of a gusher when opened, then settled down. Poured a lighter, cloudier golden color with a nice head with lingering bubbles after the creamy head disapated. Aroma of hops with a little bit of spice. Taste was definitely citrusy: grapefruit with a little bready malt. Finish was the standard IPA bitterness. Drinkability would be good for the most part due to the lower alcohol content but it's nt for me. I'd say this one was ok but won't be going out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared thanks to starrdogg, thanks Matt!

This beer is the wrong style category on the website and on the label, this looks, smells and tastes like a saison. And tastes great as a saison!

The beer pours a nice orange hue with a gold tint on the sides and has a bubbly body of head with some lacing.

The smell has a wild yeast character to it with some spices like a saison. Some stone fruits, light malts and again a bit of funk. Taste follows almost exactly. Some light dry citrus in the taste as well, has a bit of a taffy like flavor too.

The feel is nice and dry, but with a little sweetness and hops.

Overall, a great saison, and that's what it is, not an ipa in any way.

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Photo of Takahiro
2.82/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: poured with a thick head, which reduced to 5mm, uneven head after few min. not clear beer, and the color is golden/tan
S: a whiff reminded me of bretted saison. little bit minerally, strong CO2? some sea-breeze, not a typical ipa i was expecting. interesting, but not to the style.
T: bitter tangerine, grape fruits, hop bitterness that clings to the side of my tonge. i think this beer lacks hop flavor and leans towards just plain bitterness. i noticed this trend (towards pure bitterness) with several of "eastern Euro" ipas. i feel some alcohol on my throat...
M: it finishes dry
O: OK, but have tasted much better ipas from other european countries.

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Photo of ElGallo
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool shaped 750 ml bottle from the Rare Beer Club. Having read the notes on this one I, like many others, chuckled at the notion of a Czech IPA, and assumed this was just a pilsener with a flashy title from some would-be marketing guru.

Poured into an Allagash cervoise. Definitely some sulfur in the nose, along with fruity notes, but unlike other reviews my bottle did not seem infected. Big fluffy white head with good lacing that stayed.

The taste of this one was bitter up front, like a hoppy pilsener, but as it warmed it came around to reveal its true identity: I'm drinking a Belgian-style white ale. Maybe it was the image of the beer in this particular cervoise leading me astray, but I swear this tastes like a cross between Allagash White and Hitachino Nest, with a slightly different hop profile.

Overall I thought this beer was decent, but with Toshi Ishii brought on board to guest brew, I had higher expectations. C'est la vie.

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Photo of mdfb79
1.92/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From 12/04/10 notes.

a - Pours a pale golden color with very light carbonation evident and three plus fingers of fluffy white head.

s - Smells of sulfur and rotten eggs. I think this beer has to be infected as it is truly awful, but it looks like most people are experiencing these smell as well. The worst beer I've ever smelled.

t - Tastes of light hops and light fruity malts. Not a lot going on here.

m - Light body and high carbonation.

d - The smell was so bad it was just hard to get over. You could smell the beer with your glass just sitting on the table. I would recommend not even opening this one up and trying to return it.

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Photo of GhostPants
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of starrdogg
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been sitting in my cellar for well over a year and we decided to drink it as part of a cellar-cleaning tasting. No idea what this is going to be like.

Pours a clear golden-yellow with a significant white head and tons of bubbles. Smells bretty, like a wine-barrel aged saison, what is happening here? This beer actually smells really damn good, like a Goose Island Sofie, I'm certainly confused for a beer labeled as an IPA. Flavor follows the nose - this beer tastes like a great bretted saison. Mouthfeel is light and full of carbonation. Overall, this is a bizarre experience. This beer is not an IPA by any stretch of the imagination. I wonder if brett got in here on purpose or what, but this actually comes off like a great saison. My review treats this as a saison and not an IPA.

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Photo of dirtyskunk
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Prague Beer Museum.

Darkish gold, beautiful creamy head and good retention of a half finger cap the whole way down. Minimal lacing crawling up the glass from this head.

Nose is hops, sesame cracker malt, and then more hops. Minty, herbal, and grassy hop aroma.

Very clean bitterness up front with some lingering herbal and earthy hops. The bitterness clings to your tongue.

Good mouthfeel, big and round in the middle with a perceptible alcohol. Solid body with a slick oily finish. You can feel the hop oils coat your palate.

This is a well executed IPA in an interesting style. European hops, American IBU level. A good Czech micro. Nice take on the style.

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Photo of PragueBeerGarden
4.82/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuraj has a cloudy, golden yellow color, and an strong, heavy aroma of citrus fruit and hops. The foam is rich, creamy, and stays nicely on your glass. This ale has a wholesome, medium body flavored slightly with a hint of fruit, and is well balanced with Pilsner malt, California brewer’s yeast, and American hops, giving it a nice bitter bite at the end.

We've had this beer at the brewery restaurant, which was great, as well as in some of the better pubs in Prague. You can also buy it in a few shops around town. A great ale!

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Photo of decay_of_mind
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of warpedrevolution
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jessicapreuss
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Iztok
4/5  rDev +13.3%

IPA Samurai from Pivovar Kocour Varnsdorf
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 35 ratings