Monday, August 15, 2011


Japanese Green Tea IPA, an India Pale Ale by Stone Brewing Company, in collaboration with Baird Brewing Company and Ishii Brewing Company.

12 ounce bottle served in a mini snifter.


I really enjoy a good cup of green tea. I also really enjoy a good IPA. Therefore, as soon as I saw the name of this beer, I was hooked.

I assumed that it was going to either be a great ale or a disaster. Considering that it came from Stone Brewing, I was fairly certain it would be the former.

It was.


The body was a clear orange with no discernible head on the pour. Carbonation was almost non-existent. Some large flexible and flaky particulates were floating around in the bottom of the bottle.

The initial smells were of pine resin and orange rind. The initial flavors were light pine needles, green tea, and a spicy finish. The green tea emerged again to linger for a long time. I could easily catch faint hints of it on my tongue ten minutes later.

The mouthfeel was medium.


As it warmed, more green tea made itself present and blended even better with the standard bitterness of the IPA. Caramel creeped in on both nose and tongue. A mild alcohol burn appeared, which made sense since the alcohol by volume is 9.2% (or three to four times that of most macrobrews). In other words, it got better and more complex and more intense. In some sense, it also got conversely more subtle. It became yin to its own yang (or in to its own yo, since we are talking a Japanese ale rather than Chinese).

Toward the end, the flavor would waffle between green tea leaves and hop leaves, as though alternate universes threatened to engulf their siblings, and then stabilize again, as though no waffling had occurred. Very peculiar and yet welcome.


At the beginning, I wrote it my notes that it was "very good." By the end of the bottle, I scratched that out and replaced it with "excellent." This is a must-have IPA.


And, as the bottle states: "Profits benefit Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund." Amen.

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