The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

The CarpenterÂ’s Mikan AleThe CarpenterÂ’s Mikan Ale
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Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Fruit and Field Beer
3.87 | pDev: 12.14%
Nov 15, 2018
Mar 01, 2005
Very Good
The CarpenterÂ’s Mikan AleThe CarpenterÂ’s Mikan Ale
Notes: This year (2006) marks the sixth annual release of The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale. As the name suggests, it is an ale made with fresh mikans (a tangerine-like Japanese fruit). We receive the mikans as a gift from the Heda orchard of our carpenter friend, partner and mentor – Mitsuo Nagakura. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the complete embodiment of the dedicated, uncompromising and passionate Japanese craftsmen whom we so respect and whom we strive to emulate. The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is our modest attempt to pay tribute to Nagakura-san as well as to all great Japanese craftsmen.

The 2006 Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is both piquantly tart and satiatingly sweet. Loads of freshly peeled and crushed mikans (70 Kg in this 500 liter batch) are added to the wort at the completion of boiling. The beer is dry-hopped in the conditioning tank with additions of the citrusy American hop Cascade. The beer has a fairly high original gravity (15.7 Plato) and thus sports a sneakingly potent alcohol punch (approximately 6.1% by volume).
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3.5 by mpenske from California on Nov 15, 2018
3.88 by shelby415 from Oregon on Sep 03, 2018
Photo of metter98
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is hazy dark yellowish amber in color and has large clumps of yeast visible near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that only slightly died down, consistently leaving a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, but has added notes of pale and caramel malts and hints of tangerines (which I presume must be the mikans).
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I'm not sure this beer changes as it ages in transit, but it reminds me a lot like an English Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 19, 2017
Photo of biboergosum
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

330ml bottle - another fruited-up ale, this time with an exotic (but just local to the actual brewer) form of citrus.

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some streaky and sudsy lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, musty yeast, faint tangerine and generic stone fruit notes, a bit of earthy honey, some tame estery florals, and a suggestion of acetone-leaning booziness. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy and bready caramel malt, laid-back muddled citrus flesh, a further overripe apple and pair fruitiness, well-steeped herbal and black tea, and a still lurking, but yet to show itself alcohol warming.

The carbonation is quite thorough in its palate-coating frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a small creaminess arising as things warm up a tad. It finishes well off-dry, the complex-seeming malt not seeing much lingering activity from any of the fruity characters.

Overall, the mikan additions more or less get lost in the fruity mire, and then in the general weakness of said mire. Perhaps that this one was packaged almost 10 months ago, and we only got it this week, might explain some of it, but as it stands, this is just a plain pale ale (notwithstanding the ably integrated 7 points of wowee sauce).

Aug 16, 2016
Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach nectar color with a very impressive head that sticks nicely and leaves a few strands behind

Smell: Bread and caramel, a blend of stone fruit and citrus tones, with an herbal tea character underneath

Taste: Wheat bread and a touch of caramel to build the base; through the middle, the interplay between the stone fruit and citrus flavors build; the finish is primarily fruity, but the herbal tea element lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: To my knowledge, I have never encountered a mikan but I am glad so many of the previous reviewers appear to have some familiarity with the fruit; I just realized that this bottle contains beer that was brewed in late 2014 so I would be very interested to taste a fresher version down the road; despite the age, I rather enjoyed it

Aug 08, 2016
3.33 by Evil_Pidde from Sweden on Mar 31, 2016
4 by whatsajessica from California on Feb 27, 2016
2.5 by ThisSeasonsWaifu from Sweden on Feb 26, 2016
Photo of CrazyDavros
2.84/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by CrazyDavros from Australia

Pours hazy amber with a large white head.
Nose shows soft sweet malt and banana. Very subtle.
Flavours include a soft tangy note, some grainy malt and cardboard characters.

Aug 07, 2015
3.63 by brotherloco from California on Aug 04, 2015
3.84 by gspeer711 from California on Jul 02, 2015
4 by ivyman from Massachusetts on Sep 17, 2014
4.25 by afsdan from Colorado on Jun 15, 2014
3.25 by GarthT from Hong Kong on Apr 18, 2014
3.75 by Hardcore from Hawaii on Aug 20, 2013
3.75 by virinow from New York on Jul 23, 2013
4.25 by YamagamiTravis from Canada (BC) on Feb 10, 2013
Photo of atigerlife
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by atigerlife from Hawaii

Pours a yellow-orange with small carbonation rising. 2-finger creamy white fluffy head on top that has good lasting power.

Aroma of hops, tangerine & grapefruit.

Taste of tangerine, honey, orange and some nice malt backbone. Tons of yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, a very drinkable, sessionable beer. Really enjoyed this one. Highly recommended.

Jan 13, 2013
3.5 by jklecko2 from California on Oct 30, 2012
4.25 by esdeebrew from Kentucky on Oct 25, 2012
4 by RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania on Oct 21, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by BEERchitect from Kentucky

It happens every so often when a beer transcends the mere effect of alcohol and their taste, but becomes an education as well. An introduction to culture, history, and lifestyle come to life with a single pop of a bottle.

The Carpenter's Mikan Ale opens with a caramel-stained hue that's decorated with shades of peach, orange, and a mild pectin haze. The tumbler allows permits just enough light to cast a magnificent glow that simply tells a fruit-filled story to the eyes. Capped stubbornly by a creamy white froth, the beer laces with intricate lace and accompanies the palate to the end of the glass.

Zesty aromas fill the olfactories with juicy and vibrant fruits of sweet oranges, peaches, and the light acidity of green apples and lemons. Backed by the supple sweetness of floral honey, caramel malt, biscuit and wheat. The scent is both ripe with fruit juice and modestly pungent with earthen or dried fruits.

Rich flavors seem a direct reflection from scent. Fruit flavor and acidic sprite bounce off of the tongue with combinations of tangerines and orange peel, slightly bruised peaches and peach skins, and then awakening the palate with the acidic taste of freshly zested lemons, sassafras herbs, and granny smith apples. Where the balance of the beer tilts heavily toward the mikan fruit flavor, it's not without the firm support of wheat malt, biscuit, and caramel- this slight sweetness gives the mikan fruit a sense of candied coat or dashed with powdered sugar. Low in bitterness, the beer achieves much of it's balance from peppery yeast and fruit acidity.

The beer continues to tease the mouth with rich malt and fruit residual sweetness, starch, and carbonated creaminess. But then there's the peppery acidic textures that prickle to tongue with pin-point champagne dryness and bite. Lightly astringent with fruit pectin and tannin, but these off-bitter sensations weave seamlessly into the fruit acidity and alcohol warmth. A finish of semi-dry fruits and an aftertaste of marmalade keeps the mouth reminded of the flavors in hand.

With simply an introduction to the mikan fruit, I get a lot of musty-rich tangerine and kumquat rich citrus character that stands beyond the base wheat-ish base beer. Barids Brewery effortlessly captures the essence of fruit in much the same manner as Dubbison's Scaldis Peche.

May 24, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
3.02/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
by Murrhey from Washington

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Three finger white head with a minute long retention. Fluffy on top with some frothy lacing. Pale orange-gold color with some cloudiness. Some particles floating around. Not a bad looking beer.

S- Wheat and tangerine/satsuma nectarine smell. Orange-citrusy, with some tartness in the back end of the scent. Definite yeast to the smell, unfiltered beer.

T- Funky wheat and distinct yeast character. Somewhat tart and orange citrus flavors are buried down behind the biscuity malts and yeast. Not very complex or layered.

M- Thicker in body with a dry finish, some particle linger. Strange.

O- A big meh on this one. The taste leaves much to be desired, but the smell had me wanting more.

May 04, 2012
3.75 by polishkaz from Connecticut on May 02, 2012
3.5 by TasteTester from Ohio on Apr 01, 2012
Photo of augustgarage
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by augustgarage from California

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Drie de Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy, active, lees (or maybe zest?) filled tangerine liquid with a papaya whip head of slick lasting cream. Thick yet sandy lacing, superior retention.

Citrus aromatics are unique, with the mikan's signature unmistakable and not to be confused (though it could be compared) with forms of citrus more readily consumed in the U.S. A slight caramel malt note seems to emerge as well.

Mild but persistent bitterness seems to come from the fruit itself rather than from hops, though I'm not sure. The mikan is much like a milder version of a tangelo or grapefruit to my tastes. A light malt base supports the fruit perfectly and the synergy elevates the beer as a whole. Juicy, dry, tart, but not-quite-puckering flavor profile overall.

Light-bodied, slightly creamy, well carbonated...

Baird prides itself on the brewery's attention to craft and detail - these qualities are readily apparent in the balance and purity achieved with this unique offering. Absolutely perfect for a Summer (or since it is almost 80ºF here in Los Angeles, Winter) pick-me-up.

Jan 30, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by laituegonflable from Australia

Pours a dirty orange colour with gritty suspension of yeast particles. Head is off-white, not beige, generous but sunk quite quickly with a hint of lace. Looks interesting, to say the least.

Smells fruity with a nice tang of citric notes, hint of pomegranate seed and waxy sherbet. Leafy as well, nice and fresh but quite unique.

Taste bursts with flavour, loads of fruit upfront with citrus and stone fruit, including guava and peach, developing. Little yeasty on the back, with a slight cloying sweetness, though a hint of tang remains to keep it clean enough. Quite intriguing; goodly amount of fruit, and pretty well balanced.

Full-ish body with slight pull at the back, slight acidity. Not bad.

Yeah, I like that. Interesting fruity characters overall but nice grounding to it.

Jan 05, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

633ml bottle - $9.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clouded (from some suspended yeast mini-morsels), orange-copper body with a goodly sized, frothed, near white head.

Smell: Fresh, juicy, inviting nose of citrus fruits from the mikans as well as the c-hops floated by biscuit toned malts, a trace of yeastiness, and a hint of dry honey.

Taste: A biscuity malt base with a faint toastiness at the edges and some honeyed sweetness upfront. Citrusy, floral hops with ample bitterness throughout. There's a very, very mild tartness to that mikan fruitiness. Has some hint of lemon, grapefruit, and mandarin orange. Superbly fruity finish, still faintly tart and a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Pleasant tasting, crisp, and very refreshing, though a lessened ABV% would certainly help in that department.

Dec 18, 2011
4 by tbeq00 from California on Dec 12, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by lacqueredmouse from Australia

Bottle from Slowbeer, on the second attempt

Pours a lovely bright, burnished orange colour, with an exceptionally fine, but partially filmy head of pure white. Som patchy lacing forms around the edges of the glass. Body is solid enough, and forms extremely fine carbonation. Looks pretty good.

Ooh, nose is wonderful. If only it came exclusively from hops I'd be clamouring for some of those hope right now. Big citrussy bite, with fragrant overtones of lychee, all laced liberally with the floral aroma of rosewater. It's so bright, so fragrant, so crisp and so excitingly unique. Yes, yes, yes!

Taste is a lot milder, but in some ways, this is rather good. Clean citrus zest bite with a touch of pithy kumquat bitterness on the finish. Touches of mandarin and marmalade through towards the back, all working wonderfully well with a smooth, but unobtrusive malt basis. Feel is smooth, but light, with enough depth to showcase the unique and interesting citrus characters.

Ooh yes, what a wonderful and wonderfully unique beer. I had some sort of conception of this beer before I bought it, and it delivered on my expectations beautifully. It's crisp, drinkable and refreshing, but twisted with unexpected quirks.

I'm so pleased I was successful in obtaining it second time around.

Nov 09, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by avalon07 from South Carolina

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. Lots of sediment floating around. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: An incredibly sweet, fruity aroma with this beer. The mikan fruit seems to dominate everything.

T: Tasted mainly of fruit (the mikan) with a little bit of hops and traces of malt in the finish. This is a very vibrant flavor that's easy to like.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an interesting well made beer. If you like sweet beers, give this one a try.

Aug 31, 2011
Photo of koopa
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by koopa from New Jersey

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a most generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy burnt sienna with a frappy 2 finger crown that is light khaki, shows some retention, and good billowy lace.

Smell: Can you say Mikans? Wow I love it when a brew that features a special ingredient actually showcases the ingredient!

Taste: A little closer to a blood orange at first with a bit more bitter pith from the orange in the finish.

Mouthfeel: No complaints...especially for a fruit beer. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Pretty drinkable and I'd score it higher here if the flavor profile was a bit better.

Jul 22, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by ADZA from Australia

What a pleasantly suprising brew that pours a murky light copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is beautiful with aromas very similar to a nice IPA with hints of tangerine,orange zest,piney hops and boiled candy,it has a light-medium bodied mouthfeel and has tastes of tangerine,mandarin,boiled candy and finishes with a piney hoppy citrus bitterness and overall this brew is very nice and very much the suprise packet in my eyes and will buy again without doubt.

Jun 25, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
by aasher from Indiana

I've been seeing this beer for awhile and finally decided to give it a look. After reading "Please drink contemplatively" how could I not?

This beer pours a bright and relatively clear orange in color with a one finger bright white head. There are a few specks of sediment floating around. It smells of fresh tangerines and has a tea/leafy spice to it that is intriguing. The flavors are sweet and consist of oranges, tangerines, wit like spices, and tea leaves. It's also a little vinous. They just aren't as prominent as I'd wish. The flavor just doesn't demand your attention. It drinks light in body and is pretty smooth. It's very drinkable. It's an easy drink but nothing overly special. It's a solid beer but I probably wouldn't revisit it.

May 24, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by rudzud from Massachusetts

Picked up on a whim from KJ Baaron's. Wasnt quite what I was expecting.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a light orange colour with your typical unfiltered bits suspended in the otherwise crystal clear brew. There was a one and a half finger creamy white head that faded at the usual rate leacing nice thick white clouds and minimal side lacing.

S - Not as juicey as I was expecting or hoping for. Does emll good though. There is a little bit of malt and hops (bitterness) mixed in with a light orange/citrus aroma.

T - Pretty good. You've got some very light malt sweetness to start and some bitterness a teh end. Whether this bitterness is from hops, or the citrus rind I'm not sure. Smack in the middle is a rather good citrus witbier like brew.

M - Nice carbonation here. Just high enough to keep that very good crisp and refreshing quality.

D - Yeah, this is definately something I could put back multiple 22oz's of. the only knock is how much damn sediment there is towards the end of the bottle. Have to be careful, otherwise one practicly needs a strainer to drink this stuff.

Mar 12, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by canucklehead from Canada (BC)

Great to see this line of beer in BC. This is a fruit beer with tons of flavour in both the hops area but also the subtle citrus notes that come through with the Mikan fruit. Looks like a orange tinged Wit and smells like a cross between orange and lemon with the hops also coming through in the nose. I really liked how this beer tastes like a cross between a Wit and a Saison with its own distinctive taste. Very drinkable and also complex , I need to buy more of these before the good weather ends

Sep 02, 2010
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by ILikeGoodCider from New Jersey

Poured out of a 633ml brown bomber into a Duvel glass.

A: Peachy, frothy w/ a clingy white head shows solid retention.

S: Honey & orange pith aromas w/ background notes of sweet toasted malt, mikan zest, and honeydew melon.

T: Soft, expansive carbs. Bottle conditioned. Nicely mineralic, initially, though notably soft and flavorsome with hops which lend restrained orange pith and floral accents. A little malt exudes lightly and cleanly, displaying flashes of crackers, honeyed bread, and some toasted-hay grittiness.

M: Finishes somewhat tackily with yeast and trace honeyed-malt sweetness, though curiously bare and hollow, with scant mikan remnants lingering.

D: Supremely drinkable. High orig gravity leading to a 6.5% abv, but you'd never know. I'd have 3 of these right now, if I could...

Nov 23, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by philipquarles from Connecticut

500ml bottle from the 2009 release. Pours a hazy, ruddy dark gold with a nice off-white head that lasts. Really pleasant sweet grains on the nose, along with the expected citrus. Quite floral. Tastes of sweet malt that gives it a grainy character again, balanced by the perfect amount of hop bitterness. The mikans are understated, but contribute definite orangey notes. Dry finish. Full bodied and with lively carbonation. Exceptionally drinkable. A standout in the already incredible Baird portfolio.

Jul 27, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by photomike from California

I share this bottle with two non-BA Japanese friends, simply because they were interested in a new beer from their country.

Koki: "Mikan is like...cranberries...nonono"
Koki to Miyuki: *incomprehensible Japanese*
Miyuki: "Orange!"
Koki: "nononono"
Me: "I think it's like a tangerine"
Koki: "Hmmm"
Matt: "Like a Clementine!!"
Koki & Miyuki: "Clementine!!!! This doesn't taste like that at all though..."

That conversation happened right after this beer was poured into several New Belgium globe glasses. A cloudy, unfiltered orange with a pure white head developed. Minimal lacing. Huge chunks of yeast and whatever else is in those chunks sat in every glass, even though the bottle wasn't really disturbed before pouring.

The smell is very nice...sweet malts are actually more prominent than the mikan fruit, surprisingly, but there is a solid citrusy background to it all. Spot on.

Taste is also really malty, with that interesting mikan fruit complementing it perfectly. I was worried this would be overly sweet or bitter as it is a fruit beer made with rinds, but it was neither. Nice slight bitterness (I think this is more from the rind than hops) and sweet, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. This is somewhat lightly carbonated, but it works nicely. Extremely refreshing.

Drinkability is VERY high. Light and tasty, with an ABV that is within the realm of sessionability, the only thing keeping me from drinking this all day is the pricetag. 10 bucks for a 22oz.

...and even my Japanese friends dug it!

Apr 17, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by robbyc1 from Illinois

The beer pours into my Sam Adams glass, a slight cloudy light orange with a little white head, no lace, inviting.

The Mikans (an orange-like fruit) here smell nice, probably mostly the peels, and a light sweet, fruity orange smell. A bit of hops and malt there too, very nice for a fruit beer.

The fruit is solid on the tongue, but does not dominate the malt, decent hop backbone so it finishes nicely dry and refreshing, want more for sure. Really nice balance here. Kind of like a nice APA with good fruit in it.

Just right in the mouth, not heavy nor too light, goes down very easy as well, no abv waft. Carbonation is fizzy, as it should be for this type, makes the fruit come out more. I will be seeking this out for a great summer keeper - very refreshing and a good gateway fruit beer for those who don't like there fruit beers too sweet.

Jan 19, 2009
The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 40 ratings