Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BAIRD/ISHII/STONE “JAPANESE GREEN TEA IPA”

Can’t say I was anticipating this one as beer of the year or anything – a green tea IPA. Puh-leeze. And yet this collaboration ale between a Japanese craft brewer (BAIRD), a brewer from Guam (ISHII) and San Diego heavyweights STONE BREWING leapfrogged my expectations by more than a few meters. It’s part of a lengthening series of one-off collaborations by Stone with brewers around the US and World, all packaged in 12-ounce bottles and sold as one-offs. (This is somewhat unusual, because most 12-ounce bottles aside from Belgians are usually taken from broken six-packs. It’s a trend I heartily encourage).

JAPANESE GREEN TEA IPA has one big thing going for it – if there’s truly green tea in there, and I’ve no reason to believe there isn’t, it’s sitting on the backbone & in the aftertaste, and it’s so mixed up with the hops that guess who wins this epic battle? The hops, in a full knockout. There’s an herbal sort of quality to it that I guess I’ll call “green tea”. It’s a creamy beer – you can even see that from my iPhone snap here – but also quite dry on the finish. Sediment was duly observed at the twilight of the bottle. It’s a 9.2% alcohol by volume for you alcohol lovers out there as well. A huge success and the best of the Stone collaborations to pass my lips thus far. 8/10.

4 comments:

Derrick said...

You really liked this? It seemed more like a brewing excercise to see how green tea would work in an IPA. An interesting excercise to be sure, but that's about as far as I'd push it. To each his own.

Jay H. said...

Derrick, yeah, I don't quite get it either but I found myself really impressed and wanting another.

Chris said...

I had my second of two bottles last night (the first was closer to the release). Inspired by your post, I paid closer attention than normal. I did not get any green tea, unless its presence came in the form of muting the hops (very slightly). Not bad. I agree it is Stone's best collaboration. But I can't say I prefer it to Ruination or Stone IPA.

Jay H. said...

Chris, I'd say you're right. Best collaboration so far, but not quite there with the core Stone IPAs. But close.