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 metter98
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of biboergosum
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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).

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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 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 Evil_Pidde
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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 CrazyDavros
2.84/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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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.

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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 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 brotherloco
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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 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 virinow
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of jklecko2
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of TasteTester
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

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

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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