A.J.I. Beer Inc

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,702
Ranked #22,849
3.88 | pDev: 15.72%
A.J.I. Beer Inc
Very Good
View: Beers
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig from Scotland

4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle from Yamaya Nagahoribashi, Osaka (¥410):
This one was an excellent & highly enjoyable double IPA that grabbed my attention almost immediately thanks to the strong hops & resinous pine notes that greeted me opening the bottle. There was a lot going on with this one thanks to a combination of tropical fruits balancing well with sweeter malts & citrus. The beer was fuller than expected & quite varied too with good carbonation & the alcohol content was hidden well too. Excellent stuff from the start & a beer that I'm every glad I managed to find, it was definitely the best beer I managed to try on my trip to Japan & probably the best from the country that I've ever tried; a must try if you can find.

Nov 02, 2017
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GrumD from Japan

4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a nice size head and quite dark for a DIPA. The smell is intoxicating, with a great balance of citrus and malt. The flavour builds and you are left with a bitter finish but it is full bodied and well balanced by the malty sweetness. There is also sourness, which lifts this beer up a notch. The finish is long-lasting and leaves me wanting more.

Dec 29, 2016
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AgentMunky from New York

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Craftman in Kyoto.
Dark, clear hay yellow. It smells excellent. Welcome American hops. Lots of citrus.
It tastes hugely and unexpectedly sweet. And then incredibly and overwhelmingly bitter. A DIPA in two movements.
Really nice. Highly recommended.

Jun 16, 2015
Photo of esrubyg
esrubyg from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite Minoh Beer by far, and the best IPA available in Japan (spent 4 months there trying all major breweries in Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Kobe, Nara, Nagoya, and Fukuoka)

Also, their brewery, though somewhat hard to access, is a MUST visit! Super friendly staff and a great tasting room.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of edkorganisation
edkorganisation from Japan

4.92/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pretty rare beer in terms of getting one, most likely you'll get a hold of it in Osaka.
I really enjoy it's strong smell and taste, although that said taste doesn't last as long as you'd expect it to... Otherwise it's a very worthy one, be sure to pay a visit to brewery if you'll get a chance!

Feb 22, 2015
Photo of potion
potion from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a - dark walnut color, frothy bone-colored head, and medium amount of lacing.

s - pungent hops at first pour, piney and some grapefruit. hops quickly dissipate, leaving only sweet caramel malts.

t - medium/weak amount of hops, only pine shines through and no grapefruit detectable. sweet malts gave a good body though.

m - medium carbonation, sticky mouthfeel, pretty high bitterness.

o - the label mentions a heavy amount of cascade hops so the lack of flavor and complexity in hops was pretty disappointing. the caramel malt makes up for this but even moreso is the fact that it hides its 9% abv very well making it very drinkable. haven't had many double IPAs from japan, but have had some lackluster IPAs and pale ales and this one didn't disappoint compared to them.

Jan 03, 2014
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark amber ruby with tight off white head.

The aroma has lots of orange, citrus, pine, sweetness, earthiness. Very American DIPA.

The flavor follows with a big amount of pine bitterness, a bit of caramel sweetness in the middle. Lots of sweetness, then tons of earthy pine. There's a bit of booziness in the back.

This definitely reminds me of those really big DIPAs that the US has to offer like Hercules or Maharaja. Quite a good brew.

Aug 13, 2013
Photo of pettis
pettis from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a hand-pump at Transit Craft Beer and Whisky Bar in Tokyo. Dark amber with thin white lacing. A nice bouquet of resinous hops emerges, growing stronger as the beer warms.

Even when served from a bottle this beer is a bit thin in the mouth, and this sensation is amplified in the cask version. While almost watery thin, it serves as a nice vehicle for the hops and brings out a sort of "juicy" quality in them. Well balanced, with the malt base keeping the hops in check.

As should be evident from my ratings, this beer is greater than the sum of its parts. While a bit watery, it's a very enjoyable pint and far too easy-drinking for something at 9% abv. Probably not worth paying a premium for when served outside Japan, but within the country it is a solid IPA/DIPA offering for those looking to satisfy a hops craving.

Jul 11, 2012
Photo of shigg85
shigg85 from Japan

4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle of this from Tanakaya in Mejiro, Tokyo. Poured into a Baird pint glass. Small white head which left a bit of lacing around the edges, but not much. Cloudy appearance with a strange brown hue... not ugly, but mysterious. Beautiful bouquet of scents such as hops, caramel, and banana. Strong impact from the 9% ABV that warms the throat quickly. Sits well, too, without much excess gas although there is some. Overall, this is a great strong beer to go with a meaty dinner. Get one if you can!

Mar 29, 2012
Photo of evlu1441
evlu1441 from Canada (AB)

3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

picked this one up for cheap the other day. It looked interesting, but I hope it's still good. 9% ABV.

It pours a VERY hazy, almost murky reddish amber colour. There is lots of sediment floating around, which I didn't expect! The head is minimal, but looks slightly creamy. I'd say the extreme murky-ness is slightly off-putting in my opinion.

The aroma is strong caramel malt and some faint spicy citrus. There is also some surprising yeasty character that is not very typical for an IIPA. I like it.

This is a very unusual tasting IIPA (I should have guessed from the appearance and sediment). It has quite low carbonation lending to a slightly watery mouthfeel. The flavour is quite sweet, with some rich biscuity malt flavour to start. Alcohol is quite noticeable throughout, and especially in the finish, but is subdued by some biting hops. It almost reminds me of a cross between An IPA and a Belgian quad or something.

Overall, this is an unusual beer. It's kind of grown on me since my first sip, but I'm not sure if I'd get it again. On that note, it was cheap, and probably one of the more interesting and surprising beers I've had in a while.

Sep 01, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline from Canada (ON)

2.79/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a murky swamp water colour, lots of floating sediment, finger of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Very earthy with cedar and pine hops coming through off the top and a solid caramel malt backbone on the finish.

T - The earthy hops dominate and the bitterness is abundant and almost sour. A smokey, wooden caramel malt comes through on the finish and lingers alongside some sour citrus hops. ABV is well hidden, but I can honestly say that I'm a bit disappointed.

M - A tad thin and watery with a wet finish. Not the best given the style.

O - I wouldn't recommend this to any DIPA fan. It's poorly executed and not a good example of the style. It's by no means a drain pour, but it was rather disappointing.

Jul 24, 2011
Photo of snogglethorpe
snogglethorpe from Japan

3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark copper color and decent head.

The taste is very malty, with a strong bitter hop hit, but the sweetness sort of fades after a while, and the alcohol comes forward. There's no obvious hop character except for the bitterness.

The end impression is a slightly bland beer with a bitter aftertaste and a slight alcohol burn. The result is a bit hard to drink and not really very satisfying.

Feb 03, 2011
Photo of basica
basica from California

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at ThrashZone in Yokohama, Japan - http://www.beerdrinkinginternational.com/
This review written on a post tasting basis but will be revisited/edited when the chance comes by

A - Tapped to the brim of the pint glass, which was what they call, the signature ThrashZone pour with just a paper thin layer of a head. Usually the head would contribute to the appearance rating but I shall give credit for this signature pour (4)

S - Hops, citrus and fruits on the nose (4)

T - Grapefruits and other fruity flavors; slightly sweet (4)

M - Light to medium bodied; goes down refreshingly easy (4)

D - Delectable fruit flavors were the outstanding features in this one though it is not as hoppy as most Double IPAs; very drinkable either ways (4.5)

Shared half a glass of this with Tim. 1200 Yen for a full glass at ThrashZone; good stuff from a Japanese Brewer!

Feb 02, 2011
Photo of railcaider
railcaider from Japan

3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a dark amber color a few shades darker than what you'd expect from an IPA. It's opaque in the glass, with a slight orange tint at the edges. The head is off-white and quickly dissipates, leaving only some lacing around the inside walls of the glass.

At first, this beer's smell has the bitterness characteristic of the IPA style. After letting it breathe a bit the fruity sweetness becomes much more intense, with the aroma of raspberries, blueberries, and oranges.

Simiarl to the smell, the first taste is hop bitterness characteristic of this style that's quickly overpowered a syrupy sweet berry taste. The mouthfeel is heavy and oily. More than anything else this is what gives away the high alcohol content. Finally, the taste transitions to a bitter aftertaste similar to the initial one. Bracketing the sweetness with bitterness in this way makes this beer much more drinkable than it seems.

The decision to reverse the balance of the hop bitterness and fruity sweetness makes this an interesting take on the double IPA style. I don't think I'd go out of my way to get this beer because the sweetness was too overpowering, but I might try it again if I saw it on tap somewhere.

May 31, 2010
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus from Washington

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at the Griffon near Shibuya station in Tokyo

Carbonation has a slow, cloudy nitro look to it which settles upward lazily. Slightly cloudy with a good sized creamy pale head. Lacing turns into a sheet coating the sides of the glass. Smell is grassy, lots of pine.

Taste is very crisp, lots of grapefruit hops in the flavor. Aftertaste is a strong tasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth and dry, leaves the my mouth feeling almost gritty or sandy. Very drinkable.

Perhaps my scores are skewed upward a bit, this being the first IPA I've had in a while.

Apr 09, 2010
Photo of juju7
juju7 from Australia

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On hand pump at the Minoh-owned Beer Belly bar in Osaka. Plenty of citrussy, pine hop aromas coming through. Maltiness is there very much in a supporting role. Bitterness is good and solid put maybe not as much upfront as some would like. Overall a pretty good IPA, maybe a little lacking in the body and hop bitterness to make it DIPA, but that's just me. Having it on cask makes it all worthwhile.

Apr 01, 2010
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 330 ml brown bottle, abv listed as 9%. Short loose foamy off-white head on the pour, the body is a cloudy amber.

Dry toasted malt in the aroma, some earthy, piney, spicy hops.

Toasted, nutty malt, pine, spice, earth on the finish, astringent bitterness and alcohol warmth lingers in the aftertaste.

Low carbonation, thin in spots yet medium-bodied for the most part.

Not much pep or life to this DIPA, seems flat and not very cohesive in the flavour character, I had to encourage myself to finish the last half of the glass because I had lost interest by that point.

Jan 22, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle I have is labelled "W-IPA", at 9% ABV, with a mangled, yet perfectly understandable, English description of a prototypical IIPA...

This beer pours an orangish-amber hue, with lots of suspended sediment, and two fingers of foamy light beige head, which leaves some decent painted-on lace as it recedes. It smells of strong caramel malt, and grapefruit/pine forward hops. The taste is resinous citrus/pine hops, and sweet caramel malt. The carbonation is mild, the body oily, round, and full, and it finishes sweet and malty.

A good IIPA, much less in your face than the American standard, and the 9% ABV is superbly masked. Given the other Japanese beers that I've sampled recently, the "W" in the name could stand for "Weapons' grade", but in the overall global sense, would have to settle for "We're that other Pacific NW"...

Jan 01, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into pint glass dec7 2009

A brownish orange with tonnes of suspended particles with only a film of head after a angry pour and no lace

S lots of bread and caramel

T as it smells but lots of malt and not a whole lot of hops that I would expect from a IIPA. I'm not sure if the 9%alc is a typo because booze is nowhere to be found and I pick up on a tiny bit of pine

M pretty flat if you ask me, and the bite I expect from this style isn't really there, not necessarily a bad thing this smooth drinking

D I gotta give it credit for being high test, and I would have given it an in between grade for mouth feel if I could so that reflects here

to me it tastes more like a pale ale then a dipa but not bad overall. I'm just getting to know Japanese micros and I can't wait to try the next one I've got waiting for me (in my fridge right now)

Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Mondial 2009. Servicable IPA though under-average mouthfeel despite caramel, malting. Bitterness OK, oily,citrus orange tangerine, though not exceptional noteworthy, with vegetable herbally notes. Orange colour.This brewery is OK, bt was not the most interesting Japanese participant at the festival by any stretch.

Jun 10, 2009
Photo of bobsy
bobsy from Canada (ON)

3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint at some Irish bar on the 8th floor of a tower in downtown Kyoto...Mc Something or other (not that that tells you much).

Most excellent appearance, and about as optimal as you would wish for the style. A slightly hazy gold with a large off-white head that left huge sheets of lace. Light caramel aroma and a slight hint of pine. Very prominent malt body, and I feel less pronounced hop character in comparison with their pale (which the missus had). Lots of caramel, piney hops and a bit of citrus, although perhaps not enough bitterness to perfectly balance the malts. Thick chewy body with restrained carbonation.

I'd drink this again, though it was more of a malt bomb than a hop bomb.

Oct 17, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
hoegaardenhero from Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at great japanese beer festival 2008:

a: brown/amber clear body with about a finger of off-white head

s: mostly caramel malts not too fragrant

t: very strong caramel malts with hints of floral hops and cereal; not at all as hoppy as would be expected in the USA; more of a euro PA taste

m: smooth with maybe a bit too much carb

d: an ok beer but strange for the stye; although they are japanese so this could be what they meant by IIPA. the english word 'snack' does mean strip club after all

May 11, 2008
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets from Illinois

2.99/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

had this on tap at club popeye, and as our server advised me, it was mediocre. pours a deep dark amber. aroma was almost non-existent-very strange for a dipa. taste is mostly sweet malts. very viscous, thick, and minimally carbonated. not a good example of the style.

May 09, 2008
W-IPA from A.J.I. Beer Inc
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 40 ratings