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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

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BA SCORE
87
very good
55 Reviews
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
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
148
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
14.62%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 148
Photo of SmashPants
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Format: a very solid dark brown 360mL bottle with a fancy label - looks like a piece of art.

Appearance: pours a hazy mid amber-orange in colour with a decent, creamy half-finger of head that drops fairly quickly to a thin cap. Okay lacing around the glass.

Aroma: the aroma is definitely dominated by a citrus peel / zest and tropical fruit hops, though they are not quite as distinct nor as pronounced as many DIPAs. A touch of obscure malts behind.

Taste: pretty much follows the nose - the fairly unique citrus zest and tropical fruits, with honey and sweet malts. The taste is a bit flat, but what flavour there is is fantastic.

Aftertaste: some bitterness whilst still having those hop flavours around. Some brown sugars also.

Mouth feel: moderate in feel with a pretty lacklustre carbonation that causes a lot of the problems to taste. I got the impression that this may be close to its used by date, though there is nothing to suggest so on the bottle itself.

Overall: not a bad Double IPA, but I have definitely come across better examples. It isn't cheap either, at AU$8 per 360mL bottle. I'd like to try a fresher one.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 360 mL bottle poured into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy amber gold with a tall head of pillowy head comprised of variously sized bubbles. A good cap off white foam remains on top and leaves rings of lace.

Smell: Mildly sweet, fresh baked bread. Orange, peach and pineapple, slight resinous pine.

Taste: Round but not too sweet caramel malt. Pine needles and herbal hops, slight earth and minerals, and a nicely crisp, lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation, with a very slightly oily smoothness.

Overall: A solid DIPA with some nice West Coast hop notes, but otherwise well balanced and restrained.

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Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very tropical aroma, with papaya and passionfruit dominating. Smells wonderful.

Flavor reveals mango, papaya, and tangerine at the base, with a fairly bitter, delayed finish. Malt is crackery and crisp. Very interesting hop flavor profile.

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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.

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Photo of RockAZ
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Poured into DFH IPA glass from bottle.
Could not find a date code on bottle, maybe it was marked on the six pack carrier?
Great tasting IPA, dry, orange and grapefruit flavors that has a bit of bread/yeast overtone. The label says it is unfiltered and re-fermented in the bottle, I generally like most beers done this way but this one is exceptional. The alcohol is subtle, the dry finish covers the higher ABV well. Could not guess the hops used, but definitely American style with something drier - wood barrel? I wonder if they poured the batch through cedar vats for a day or two in the process?
Like it, really like it a lot and wish I knew whether it was fresh or not because I cannot bear the idea that it is even better at the source.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from 12 oz bottle.

Color was a hazy light amber with a thin creamy head. Decent lacing.
Smells like caramel-glazed oranges with some floral notes.
Flavor is different than the nose, more pineapple and tropical fruit that gives way to some toasted malt . Finishes with a crisp bitterness that lingers for a bit.
Mouthfeel is medium to full with a dry finish.

Overall, my new favorite beer from Japan. I hope I'll be able to find it the next time I am there.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. No dates or codes that I can see, which makes me nervous for a Japanese import.

Pours fairly cloudy orange amber with a medium-small pale head, medium amount of fine slow carbonation. Smell is a little orangey, a little floral, a little bready or yeasty.

Taste is a splash of orangey citrus and a bitter finish that maintains orange characteristic throughout somehow. Actually pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick, a little sticky. Overall, pretty good beer. I wish it was as readily available as Aooni in Japan -- maybe if they're exporting now, it will be more readily available.

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Photo of popery
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light to medium orange gold color with a thick white head. The liquid is fairly cloudy, though I didn't really try to keep the sediment in the bottle and there's quite a bit of it. The head is medium sized and looks like a blanket of white cotton candy. It's a sturdy layer of fine bubbles that sticks around for quite awhile. The aroma is somewhat underwhelming. I fear that it's a result of shipping and age, but I bought the bottle soon after it hit my local store's shelf. At any rate, I'm getting too much pale malt. The hop aroma is certainly present but mild. There's orange, grass, pineapple, berry, lemon, mint. All good stuff, but I wish it was dialed up in intensity. On the other hand, the taste shows off more of the hop flavor than the aroma. It's full of juicy, tropical fruit flavor. Big on tangerine and pineapple. Bitterness is handled well, a crisp bite that doesn't overpower the hop flavors but still cleans up what little malt sweetness is present. The beer's pale malt backbone is well in the background, maintaining its supporting role. Light on the palate. Normal, unremarkable carbonation. This is a solid beer, and I think the aroma was once there. I'd love to try it fresher in the future. That said, I think reviewers should rate the beer as they find it, given reasonable circumstances. As a consumer, it doesn't really matter to me how the beer tastes under ideal conditions. It matters how it tastes when I drink it. And that's probably enough ranting for me.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Japanese Double IPA. Notable advice on label: "Please drink contemplatively, Beer Drinker-san."

A - Pour is a darkish shade of orange with some haze to it. An off-white head retains very nicely as a full+bubbly cap for the entirety. Bits of lace left behind.

S - Citrus, herbal and grassy hops in the nose. Some light caramel and bready malts coming through as well. Though slightly unremarkable in the grand scheme of IPAs, solid and pleasant with decent strength.

T - Nice mix of citrus+herbal hop with some resiny tones too. Medium-high bitterness, but well-balanced overall with a good dose caramel+toasted malt backing. Could probably pass for a single IPA intensity-wise.

M - Just a touch on the hefty/malty side with ample bitterness, and low-medium carbonation. Smooth with no noticeable booze, drinks easy.

O - Somewhat standard but nice, this is probably a great choice for those looking for a good American-style IPA in Japan. Went really well with lunch.

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Photo of chogm54
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've heard about baird brewing from a mate just back from japan, time to give it a go.

A - hazy, orange with a thick, frothy head up to 3cm thick. small sediment particles near bottom of glass

s - fruity (citrus, pineapple) aroma, but I'm also getting a herby (oregano) smell

t - citrus and malt taste upfront, slightly salty, not overtly sweet and with a hop bitterness that lets you know its there without taking over. tarty alcohol kick towards the end, with a lingering bitter (with slight malt) aftertaste. Entertaining

m - medium to full body and carbonation, dry texture.

nice, every mouthful tasted slightly different. worth a go for sure, wishing i had a second one to see how it tastes then.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Last of the Baird beers I purchased is Suruga Bay Imperial IPA... we've come a long way Baird Brewing Co *insert pictures of me and some Japanese guy drinking Baird beers together and hugging puppies whilst slowly escalating into random life-endangering pranks*... Ahhh, memories.

Poured from a 360ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Pleasing hazy safety orange body with a firm 1cm white head. Statistics I just made up show that people feel safer when a beer has a safety orange colour.

S: Orange blossom aromas mix with sour apple candy and sweet caramelised pears. An intriguing mix we have here. Once again Baird gets extra points [not that the points mean anything] for experimentation, the good type of experimentation that doesn't involve puppies or bunnies.

T: Damn this is one easy drinking Imperial IPA! Flavours of apple, pear and orange mingle, each imparting their own slant on this brew; sweet caramelised pear, sour green apple peel and bitter blood orange combine so succinctly that I for one am quite impressed, and the 7.5% ABV content is wafer thin - I could drink this like it's 1999, or full-strength for novices.

M: Medium to heavy body, bit of hop resin slickness and a light carbonation.

D: This is so unbelievably well balanced that I'm starting to think the prince of darkness (aka Satan) is running things over at Baird Brewing. Such a delightfully, tasty, want-to-sacrifice-people easy beer. I'm so delirious, is she that serious? I'm a love fool, she shimmers like a California sunrise - now I'm listening to Jamiroquai, but this beer is awesome. Best out of the Baird Beers I've Tried (BBIT - the next acronym to sweep the net). Cram it in your gullet already.

Food match: People.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: Dull copper body with a mountain of a white head that you could rest a coin on.

S: Nothing Japanese about it, it's every bit American – a bit of a tropical fruit bomb.

T: Woah, completely dry. Like puritanically dry. Not even a hint of sweetness. Otherwise it's what the nose promised – a regular American IPA, although the bitterness has been toned down somewhat. It's loaded with orange peel and tea leaves. It's earthy and slightly herbal.

M: I like that it's halfway flat. If it were fizzy it would taste like Alca-Seltzer.

O: Even a smidgen of sugar would breathe some life into this peculiar tonic. Way too dry for this style of beer.

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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.

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Photo of Kauai_Boy
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very light and refreshing beer. The first thing you notice is the fruity, citrus aroma. It pours out cleanly without any residues. This darken bronze color beer is served cold. The taste is remarkably well balance favor of hops, citrus, and spices. This beer has a sweet citrus taste, reminding me of ripen lychee fruit with no bitter after taste. I would definitely drink this beer again. Very enjoyable beer to drink. The only down side to this beer is that it is a specialty beer from Japan and is not widely sold on the market.

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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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a 360ml slim brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; BB 31/03/14, served mildly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

Appearance: pours a fairly clear, bright amber hue, coming with a slowly dissipating creamy off-white head and semi-lively but fine carbonation.
Smell: the aroma seems to be dominated by American citric&flowery hops (like Cascade) and mildly acidic esters, underlined by semi-gristy pale malts with a mild touch of caramel; given a very good swirl, the citric bitter-sourness melts in the dense cluster of malt sweetness, while the soothing lychee-ish aroma and resins emerge elegantly to add more to the overall complexity. Like a standard IPA, balanced and nicely hoppy, definitely not as bold as many Double IPAs I’ve tried, but very nicely executed indeed.
Taste: the mildly resinous and lightly acidic foretaste yields a moderate layer of semi-sweet maltiness underneath the slowly-developing aromatic flavour of Cascade-like hoppiness, full of resinous lychees, citrus fragrance, tea stems, etc., followed closely by tremendous and wonderfully lingering bitterness with moderate tannins, bitter yeastiness, and a wee touch of phenol. Chewy, only faintly alcoholic, in the finish.
Mouthfeel & Overall: medium-plus bodied, softly-carbonated, soothing and mildly chewy on the palate at the same time; this “Imperial IPA” is more like one’s IPA good friend, easy to approach, well balanced, and even quaffable, with a decent depth and complexity to keep one’s palate interested for a long while. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wonderful gf for bringing this back from her trip to Japan.

Pours murky orange with a small white head that settles into a small pillow with pretty good lacing down the glass.

Aroma features citrus fruits (especially grapefruit) along with some bready caramel malt. Could use a bit more here as the smells are a bit weak.

Lots of juicy citrus up front in the flavor. A considerable bready malt balances the hops. Finishes with a little pine and earthy bitterness. Moderately balanced. Hoppy yet not very bitter.

Medium bodied and smooth carbonation.

Pretty impressive beer. Definitely well balanced, but still has enough of a hop kick to satisfy hopheads.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey in DC, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice hazy golden orange color, topped with a finger of white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Big fruity citrus aroma, lots of grapefruit and orange, some caramel malt also noticeable in the back.

T- Follows the aroma, the best part of the beer is the incredible juiciness of the citrus flavors, it's packed with juicy, fresh grapefruit and orange flavors. Bitterness is moderate, with pine and grass and a nicely balanced amount of sweet caramel malt.

M- Medium-bodied, creamy feel with a dry, bitter finish.

O- A really nice IPA, easily the finest non-American/English IPA I've tried, and even within the realm of American West Coast IPAs this beer can hold it's own, very tasty stuff.

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Photo of MarkLeberer
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Balanced iPA. The serving glass was branded and appropriate for an IPA of this caliber and very attractive ....as was the blonde at the bar...but that is another story for another IPA. Suruga bay imperial is about 7.8% alcohol by volume. very much worth going to Japan to drink...

The beer was just slightly cloudy but appropriately so

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Photo of Oakenator
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden brown in color. Good head and nice lacing on the glass throughout consumption. Mouth feel is solid with healthy carbonation. Aroma is floral hops and sweet. The taste is consistent with the smell with a citrus tang on the back end. For an imperial IPA it is not the strongest or over the top hop flavor but it is nicely balanced.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 360ml bottle with a BB of March 2013 (in Italian). Purchased from the Brewdog webshop a while back and stored in my garage. The image on the label looks vaguely like chrysanthemums. Weird.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A hazy orange-amber hue with good carbonation; the fine yeast percolates through the liquid like smoke. Yields a decent head of creamy white foam that hangs around for a few minutes before subsiding to a surface layer. Aroma of intense hop notes: pine, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus. This is underpinned by a sweet, malty backbone with hints of caramel, subtle yeast notes and a hint of booze in the background.

Tastes of aromatic hops, accompanied by sweet malt and a powerful bitter finish. Notes of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, caramel, mild earthy yeast and a hint of stewed hops. A twinge of alcohol lurks in the background, and a spicy, astringent bitterness rounds things off. Mouthfeel is smooth, spicy, tingly and dry, with good body. A tad flat - could be more carbonated. Pretty astringent; dries the palate. Aftertaste of bitter aromatic hops with a hint of malt.

Tasty - an impressive Japanese craft beer. Plenty of aromatic hop character and a solid malt presence as well. Not sure if it's quite intense enough to qualify as a DIPA, but it certainly makes a good IPA. The only minor let-down is the lack of carbonation, which leaves it seeming a bit flaccid. Flavourwise, this is quality stuff - grab one if you have the chance.

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

Hazy golden amber to orange with a foamy. Off-white head that is about a thumbs width tall and reduces to about one centimetre tall.

Lots of hops although not as strong as I have come to expect from DIPA's. Some pine is interlaced through the hops and this is followed by some fruity orange and lemon aromas followed by some light grapefruit notes and a bitter citrus finish.

Pine hops and citrus mixed with some orange and grapefruit. I could also detect some mango in there and the finish is very bitter and full of pine hops again.

Medium, smooth and moderately carbonated with a huge amount of bitterness, although it is a DIPA so that is to be expected. It is a sort of sweet citrus feel to it with some sugar to boot.

A good beer and a nice one for my first Japanese IPA of any sort, it was pleasant to drink although still has to improve considerably to match some of the American IPA's that are out there.

http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

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Photo of shigg85
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, and i'm going to do reviews my way. I have a Master's degree, and I know how to use my words! However, I'm going to leave all of the bucolic transmogrification of hoppy liquids back into paintings of sceneries for the real sommeliers out there. I am typing this as I drink it so you get a play-by-play of my reactions. I'm drinking this cloudy brew from the tap at Vivo's in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan, sitting at the counter with a building support column in front of me, hiding myself away from the rest of the patrons in the place, with BT's "Memories in a Sea of Forgetfulness" pulsating through my Audio Technica earbuds. It's a bit thinner than I expect from an Imperial IPA, but Baird never lets down on taste. There is enough spiciness in this beer to make the fronts of my teeth tingle after a swallow... a sensation I quite enjoy. The 7.5% alcohol content instantly hits me in the back of my head in about a 5 o'clock direction. I have the aftertaste of bacon in my mouth, but I haven't had any for months. I am more than halfway done now, and I can definitely feel the brew warming the upper half of my belly, a quality I appreciate in a beer during the cold Tokyo winter. I think the spiciness and thin texture of this beer combined with the relatively high alcohol content will nicely lead into a pint of Guinness, helping to add onto the roasted yet drinkable quality of that Irish masterpiece. Two big thumbs up for this beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark amber with a large, fading head.
Nose shows big fruity hops, with lemon, orange blossom, apricot and grapefruit quite noticeable, along with some pine. Underneath is lots of sweet caramel.
Flavours are very malty, lots of caramel and sweet clean malt. Also a lot of resinous pine, but with little of the aforementioned fruit transferring through.
Body is a little too syrupy.

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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!

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
3.9 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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