Suruga Bay Imperial IPA | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

BA SCORE
87
very good
154 Ratings
THE BROS
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Suruga Bay Imperial IPASuruga Bay Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Japan
bairdbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
154
Reviews:
57
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
9%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of Magery
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ASirahSyrah
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of shelby415
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beervana
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a vibrant burnt orange with frothy off-white head. Nose is fairly subdued, mostly floral notes, a bit of light stone fruit there too, peaches and nectarines. Taste is much more bold, the beer takes on a distinct herbal characteristic, almost a lemongrass type flavour, a touch of lemonade/limeade with a sugary sweetness. A very complex hop-profile. There's a nice spicy bitter hop-kick to round out the beer. Feel is right on, medium body, good carbonation.

Overall, a really enjoyable beer. Definitely a different approach than most of the North American IPA's I've had recently. Would really pair well with food.

 622 characters

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beer21
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BastardFromABasket
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tjumfrid
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mpenske
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kwjd
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Matt141
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of hunteraw
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chris1979
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tkrane
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Two40addict
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Doublechar0517
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Roybert
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CakeTruck
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ben7773
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of William_Thephasdin
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just an above-average IPA in my opinion. Great tasting and enjoyable, just nothing unique to set it apart from the rest.

121 characters

Photo of donspublic
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GregJ
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy amber/orange. Smells of pine, weedy, earthy an some floral. Tastes weedy, earthy, some wheat, yeasty, citrus fruit and a hint of banana. Earthy and pine resin aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation.

 212 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of patre_tim
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Light peach juice with fair cloudiness, hard to see any carbonation. Topped with a 4 finger off white head with small and large bubbles. Fair head retention, random spots of lacing.


S: Nothing at first. After a few sniffs, I get more concrete scents of tropical fruits much like fruit punch. Some spicy pine in there. I’m thinking more of a light American IPA on the nose.


T: Again, thinking more of an APA or American IPA. I get the tropical fruits, though nothing distinct, more of a Hawaii Punch. A bit of peach, maybe some papaya. The lower carbonation does remind me of the style this is supposed to be, it’s just not very well done. I get a good solid bitterness, some grapefruit pith. Very light sweetness.


M: Medium thick syrupy body with resinous tones, low carbonation.


O: Again, at 7.5% ABV, it borders on an American IPA. Surprised and glad that Japan is attempting this style, and I don’t want to discourage their attempts. More of a happy find for an American living in Asia than a solid challenger to others in the style. Got on Wishbeer, drank in Kunming, Jan 31st, 2015.

 1,117 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 355ml. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. Brown glass. Has an appealing label design. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Reviewed live as an imperial IPA per the label and name, though just below the label art the label deos call this merely an "India Pale Ale."

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Expectations are average; this is my first beer from this brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Nicely frothy and full, with a fluffy airy consistency. Could be creamier and softer looking, as well as more even. Leaves inconsistent messy lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Head retention is nice for the ABV - easily 4-5 minutes.

BODY: Has a slight haze indicative of a lack of filtration. Colour is a translucent transparent orange-copper with honey hues. Average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, but the haze gives it a more lively look than most imperial IPAs.

Appears well carbonated. It's nice to see an unfiltered IPA, though this isn't a unique or special appearance. There are no egregious flaws.

AROMA: Faint lime. Pale malts. Pink sea salt. There's some fruit, but I can't quite put my finger on it - tangerine, maybe? There's a faint juicy quality to it, and part of me worries this will feature that stale orange juice note I often find in the worst examples of the style (or unintentionally aged bottles). As it comes to temperature, I finally identify the fruit - it's mandarin orange. There's a sweetness here that doesn't come merely from the pale malts; I think maybe some unrefined sugar was used as well - maybe sugarcane? When I start looking for rum-like sugarcane notes, I find a hint of toasted coconut - but it's so fleeting it might just be in my head.

Aromatic intensity is average.

To style, there's no detectable yeast character, booze, or off-notes.

TASTE: More tropical than the aroma suggested. I find mandarin orange, lime, passion fruit, papaya, and maybe even guava. It has a cool refreshing taste uncommon in imperial IPAs, and while it has a robust pale malt backbone and ample sweetness, it isn't overtly boozy. The stale orange juice note I feared is absent. As it comes to temperature, I get still more fruit - grapefruit, tangerine, maybe mango. I'm not a fan of the heavy caramalt in this flavour profile, which brings the sweetness into imbalanced territory and throws off the mellow tropical schema of the brew.

But I like the raw, almost pithy quality of the fruit, and I like that it's different from most imperial IPAs you'd find in the U.S. It has good elements, and feels like a cohesive whole, but the bitterness/sweetness balance is constantly uneven throughout the beer, and this never tastes like a gestalt whole as a result. I'd like more fruit, far less caramalt, and maybe something zany like sea salt to set it off.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Above average.
Flavour intensity: Average.

It's adequately complex for an imperial IPA, and some of the fruity notes are subtly executed. But this is by no means one of the more intricate or nuanced beers in the style. I do like it.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, slightly syrupy, a bit too thick and hefty on the palate, and somewhat refreshing. It's clean yet overcarbonated, and does generally complement the taste. But this texture ultimately fails to elevate the beer. There's also some slight alcohol warmth, which just plain shouldn't be noticeable at a scant 7.5% ABV.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: This odd hodgepodge of interesting fruit notes makes the beer worth trying, if only to experience a rare fresh take on the imperial IPA style, but ultimately its fundamental imbalance holds it back. The hop bitterness that drags on the palate in the late second act is the worst aspect of this brew, but it has a decent mouthfeel. While it's far from the most drinkable imperial IPA at (or even above) this ABV, I'll enjoy finishing the glass and I'm glad I tried it once. But it's not worth nabbing again, at least not at import (especially Shelton Bastards') prices. There's potential here, but it needs work.

Low C+

 4,199 characters

Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
3.89 out of 5 based on 154 ratings.
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