Suruga Bay Imperial IPA | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Suruga Bay Imperial IPASuruga Bay Imperial IPA
BA SCORE
3.9/5
156 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#8,698
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
156
pDev:
8.97%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 156 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Presario. 360 ml., yellow with one quarter inch white foamy head, lace rings. Pungent hop aromas. A bit of a tongue number, shredder, big IBU. Decently drinkable, a bit of sourness in finish, a tanginess that was fun too.Worth trying. I liked it.

 253 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Package date: 9/4/14. 8.5% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thick swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of brown sugar, candied citrus zest, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar and candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that seems more sweet and sugary than hoppy in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

 719 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exotic fruit flavor and a high level of ingenuity collide as Barid Brewing bridges the gap between Japan and the Pacific Northwest, at least in taste.

Suruga Bay pours with a honey-orange hue that looks strikingly like a mix of grapefruit and orange juices. Equipped with a hoppy haze, the beer releases a creamy dense froth to top the beer until its final sip. Long lasting, the ale sheets the snifter with an abundance of lace.

Juicy and tart aromas of citrus and tropical fruits flood the olfactory senses. Tangerine, apricots, mangoes, pineapple, passion fruit, blood oranges and even papaya all weave into a vibrant scent that's striking of "Hawaiian Punch". With just enough of a malt presence to give the fruity scent a sense of sturdiness and to provide a plumper and riper fruit character, its honey-like aromas support the beer without trying to balance it.

And all that comes even more to life in taste. Its thin sweetness is stuck between honey and caramel and only plays out on the early palate. That's because the hop onslaught to come happens in wave after wave. Citrusy red grapefruit, nectarine, tangerine and apples rise from both the hop and ester contributions for a soft marmalade taste. Then come the tropical taste of pineapple, mango, apricot, papaya and pawpaw. As the fruit flavors tilt toward a dry and bitter finish, the ale remains smooth and mostly clean- only a mild grassy phenol taste washes over the finish with a little extra gusto.

Medium-light in body, this Imperial IPA pulls back on the malt to prefer the dryness that's usually reserved for Standard American IPA. Its light structure of malt and embedded carbonation hold firm while receding evenly and slowly, en route to a dry, warm, and pleasantly acidic finish.

Suruga Bay's fruit character seem as if exotic fruit juices were poured into the glass along side of beer. Its a highly vibrant and juicy ale that evokes mouthwatering tendencies upon its scent alone.

 1,961 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

360ml bottle. Besides the name and brewer (albeit in very large type) the majority of the label information is rendered in Kanji. Mmmmm, authenticity.

This beer pours a fairly cloudy medium golden apricot colour, with two fingers of thickly foamy, and eventually soapy off-white head, which leaves some nice mountainous lace around the glass as it melts away.

It smells strongly of musty grapefruit and mandarin orange citrus pith, bready caramel/toffee malt, and a weird spiciness that somehow reminds me of Italian restaurants. The taste is consistent with the aroma, with some strong creamy Yankee-ish grapefruit/orange citrus, singed drupe fruit, all only slightly tweaked by that particular mirror-world treatment, a hefty caramel malt backbone, a touch of rather foreign-feeling yeast, and further muted tropical fruit notes. Any extra booze is well and duly obfuscated.

The carbonation is just a tad stronger than the norm for yer average bear, uh, I mean DIPA, the body a sturdy enough medium weight, generally smooth, and with a bit of alcohol dryness messing with any sort of nascent creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the usual suspects (if you're Japanese, with a North American predilection, that is) battling it out to the end, sans any robots.

An American in Japan, pushing the West Coast way, is what this seems like, and most certainly is. Sure works for me, for a sidestep version of the real deal, except for the unnecessary cost and the carbon footprint, and, oh, who am I freaking kidding - Imma gonna indulge in this particular venture, no matter the indecipherable script on the label.

 1,612 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
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

Photo of dmorgan310
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/13/2015. Pours moderate hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apple, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apple, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, lemon/orange peel, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, complexity, and balance of citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Fair amount of dryness from bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice DIPA style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,705 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

360 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Big thanks go to HopDerek for bringing this one back for me from a recent trip to Japan.

Pours an unfiltered looking copper, topped with a finger of eggshell-white head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger, leaving back a rich cascade and tons of heavy spotty froth down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells grassy and bit dank, with a good amount of fresh bitter fruit character being present. Some tight grainy sweetness sits underneath, which a light touch of warmth seems to latch onto.

Those hops bring all of the bitterness here in the taste, with a fresh citric bite and some underlying herbal flavors that weave in and out as well. The sweetness here is all from the grains that are present and while there is enough to balance this, it never comes off as overly sugary either. A gritty pithiness finishes this off with a moderate amount of dryness. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a mostly slickness creaminess to the carbonation but there is just a bit of light crispness present as well. Alcohol provides some minimal warmth.

I don’t know if I’d quite call this an Imperial IPA per se, but this had enough of a well balanced bitter crispness and a decent drinking body to call this a pretty solid feeling take on an American IPA. This was more of a bitter and dry take on the style but I still enjoyed it. Thanks again for the hook-up Derek!

 1,416 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a fine two finger white head with great retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of citrus and light tropical fruit, light bready malt. Flavor of citrus hops, pine resin, mild caramel malt, orange and grapefruit rind. Finish is astringent citrus rind hop bitterness. Nice medium body with some creaminess accentuated by the whipped cream-like head. A well made IIPA with an interesting hop complement and good supporting malt that stays in the background. The finish is unexpectedly intensely bitter without supporting hop flavors. As with any imported IPA, this could be a result of age rather than intent. Still a nice, creamy, hoppy ale from a great brewery.

 727 characters

Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy orange color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of pine, some lemons. Taste is pine, citrus, honey, a bit of malts, light bitterness, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a fine beer.

 267 characters

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stevoj
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extremely light and mellow for an IIPA. Gentle aromas of honey, floral essence, grass, hay. Hops are far removed from the aroma. Taste reminiscent of a golden ale ( pretty light, eh?). Mild bitterness and hop bite at the finish. Complex and compelling.

 252 characters

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 156 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.