Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA
The color was a hazy orange/yellow color. It looks a lot like light apple cider. The head disappeared quickly! It was off white, and there was almost no lacing. The head was gone halfway through drinking.
At first, it smelled very hoppy. It had the American citrus notes that you would expect from an AIPA. The alcohol comes through, but isn’t unpleasant. I personally enjoy a little alcohol smell with the hoppy smell. After burying my nose in the glass for awhile, the green tea finally made an appearance. It wasn’t overpowering in the least bit, but definitely present. It blended well with the other smells coming out of the glass.
The first few sips tasted like a typical IIPA – lots of sweetness and citrus, with a little pine coming through. The bitterness is fairly low in this beer, so there wasn’t the hop “sting” at all. After a few more sips, the green tea makes its second appearance. I don’t think I could have placed it as green tea if I didn’t know that there was green tea in the beer. The tea adds substantial earthiness, which makes it remind me of an English-style IPA. The flavors blend very well, and the beer is incredibly balanced. The green tea is, once again, present but in no way overpowering. In fact, it’s almost underwhelming. I have a feeling that the fresher the bottle, the more tea flavor comes through. There is also no alcohol flavor whatsoever – so be careful when tasting this beer!
Very little carbonation. It’s almost flat, but in this beer’s case it’s a good thing. The lack of carbonation lets the taste linger in your mouth as you sip. The beer has a decent amount of perceived body – just as the beer feels like its going to finish dry, the green tea comes in and leaves you with a pleasant sweetness.
This beer is very good stuff! I was worried the tea would make it herbal-tasting, but it blends very well in the beer. It’s not the greatest IIPA I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely worth a buy if you can find it.
SCORE: ★★★★ 4/5
For more info about this beer, please check out Stone’s Blog.