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

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The CarpenterÂ’s Mikan AleThe CarpenterÂ’s Mikan Ale
Very Good
38 Ratings
The CarpenterÂ’s Mikan AleThe CarpenterÂ’s Mikan Ale

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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).

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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...

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Photo of philipquarles
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of atigerlife
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of photomike
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

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Photo of augustgarage
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ADZA
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of esdeebrew
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of YamagamiTravis
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of koopa
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of ivyman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 786 characters

Photo of gspeer711
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of virinow
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Hardcore
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

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The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 38 ratings