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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPASuruga Bay Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 146
Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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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Photo of Rutager
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear amber-gold with a finger of thick white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Big citrus hops with lots of lemon, some roasted grain.

Taste. Tangy citrus, yellow grapefruit rind and a little toasted light grain.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with lower, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Nice hop fix. Tastes good and finishes with a clean bitterness.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.


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Photo of stevoj
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.93/5  rDev +1%
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 jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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 spicelab
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been hanging on to this beer for a while, hope I'm not doing it an injustice. With thanks to [email protected]

Murky golden orange, with a finger and a half of sudsy white head. Falls very slowly depositing lace in a lattice network.

Lemon, grapefruit, melons and loads of candied citrus rind. Occasionally detect crazy sweet sherbet notes. Bready and biscuity malts poke through at times, but are largely a bit player. Very nice.

Taste has a good deal more bitterness, yet it doesn't eclipse the candied citrus notes at all, merely provides stark and interesting contrast. Big bitter grapefruit and pine resin face-off against lemon sherbet and candied orange peel. Works really well.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and metallic. Moderate bitterness on the mid-palate, but otherwise not much presence to speak of.

This is a tasty and intriguing IPA. West-Coast inspired, but with plenty of difference. Big fan of the bitter versus seriously sweet hop profile. Given a more ballsy mouthfeel, I'd easily rate this a lot higher.

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Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the color of unfiltered apple cider with fairly decent head retention and minimal lacing. Happily, the beer smells better than it looks, with an impressive IPA nose of sandlewood, white pepper, light pine and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly dry IPA. The beer is well balanced, fairly light on the palate, and very easy to appreciate. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and drinkability is quite good. I wish it had a bit more flavor, but over all, I thought this a pretty enjoyable IPA (can't really buy this as a DIPA, even in Japan).

Nice beer...

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Photo of Poplar
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured at good beer faucets in Shibuya on 5/31/16 into a pint glass. Poured a slightly hazy but bright orange with a beautiful bright white head. I can only get a light citrus smell from this beer, has very little scent at all. Mouthfeel isn't incredibly smooth, but isn't awful either. Pretty bitter with very little citrus or pine, but overall enjoyable. Doesn't quite match up to a good American IPA, but is very good for Japan.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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 barczar
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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 superspak
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange colour with lotza carbonation; heaps of bubbles around the glass. Beautiful reverse cascade when poured, head is anl off-whte colour and nicely dense. Quite frothy and webbed out in a spun sugar style as it sinks. Nice indeed.

Smells very tasty; lots of hops, very fruity in character with nice complex citrus - lemon, lime and grapefruit with a touch of under-ripe pineapple and good wood resin notes as well, piney and cedary. Nice toffee malt to balance as well, very good IPA aroma.

Taste is really rather sweet. Lots of that toffee malt on there; quite sweet with a bit of richness and then lots of earthy hop oils on the back. Not a sharp bitterness, but a swelling complexity of floral hopnotes with citrus rind and rosewater for good measure. Woody characters come through late, but it's not dry in that way wood can be, because it's so malty with some syrupy sweetness for balance. Notwithstanding the above it's also quite a mild beer, even though the flavours are big.

Nice and full with lots of texture. It's a bit dry on the back from hop oils but decent enough.

Enjoyable drop, not overblown at all; rather a very nicely constrained bigger beer.

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Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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 WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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 HipCzech
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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 Derek
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw-brown, some yeast haze; white head, ring of retention, light lace.

S: Lemon rind, apricot, candied pineapple and hints of underlying sponge toffee.

T: The hopping is really interesting, with plenty of depth: Lemon rind, steelie grass, apricot, mango, light pepper. There's a pleasant maltiness (biscuit with hints of sponge toffee) without the crystal sweetness. Modest fruity esters (tropical) and a solid bitterness make this a great IPA (though I wouldn't call it an Imperial).

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a quality (biscuity) malt feel, with a crisp, dry finish.

D/O: Well crafted and and incredibly easy drinker. Hard to believe the abv is as high as 7.5%. I think this is a really great brew (and I'd mark it significantly higher if it were presented as a single IPA).

Big thanks to Boney for this rarity!

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Photo of distantmantra
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Baird Harajuku Taproom, Tokyo. Review based on notes from April 2010.

A: Golden-amber with a good amount of white head and light lacing.

S: Big time citrus hop flavor. Grapefruit and lemon are the dominant aromas.

T: Grapefruit is the magic word with the Suruga Bay. However, this does not feel like an Imperial IPA.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is present, but not overwhelming.

O: Fulfilled my desire for hoppy beer in Japan. Fantastic flavor with just the right amount of IPA bitterness. Would definitely drink again, if Baird's North American distributor ever decides to return to Washington state! Yet another reason why a return trip to Japan is a must.

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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.

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Photo of chogm54
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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 Kauai_Boy
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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 doktorhops
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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 wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12oz bottle into chalice july30 2010

A hazy peachy orange with two fingers of head that had decent retention and left some patches of lace

S big on the grapefruit and caramel some mild pine and it smells sweet for a DIPA

T a little more malt and a little booze I couldn't smell but other then that not far from the smell but toned down just a tad

M pretty thick and a little syrupy and the flavors linger for a while, quite nice

D this was a bit of a surprise for me, I had no idea what to expect from a brewer I'd never had before but this worked quite well for me and I would drink it again with no issues

I've had the chance to try several micro's from Japan and have been surprised by most of them in a good way. I hope these brews keep making it on to the shelves here in Alberta

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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 lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased for me from Slowbeer in Melbourne by @epiclurk. Nice work =)

Pours a hazed and rather still orange colour, with a hint of floating sediment and some languidly forming carbonation. Head is fine, but puffs of pancake bubbles form on the off-white top. Lacing is sudsy but solid. Nice.

Smell takes me back to California. Really pleasant and genuine fresh West Coast hop characters coming through with lovely American freshness. Big citrussy rubbed lemon skin notes, with sweet marmalade and sharp leafy aromas. More subdued than the best examples, but really fresh, bright and stylistic all the same. Top nose.

Palate is also good, stylistically and absolutely. Sharp citric bitterness on the front, which rounds nicely before it crescendoes itself into harshness, mellowing to turned notes of nut and leaf. Barley sugar sweetness on the back. Very nicely balanced, but with a very robust hop bitterness to remind you what it is.

Mouthfeel is smooth and supple, with only minimal carbonation. Sits very pleasantly and softens the palate yet more.

An absolutely cracking IPA. One of the best I've had outside America, and I'd say a good match for most of those as well. Some may argue where the line between IPA and Imperial IPA is drawn, but I don't really care--this is a great beer.

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Suruga Bay Imperial IPA from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
3.89 out of 5 based on 146 ratings.
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