Baird Suruga Bay Imperial Belgian IPA


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Brewed by Baird Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial IPA
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Serve in Shaker, Snifter

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on tap
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RATINGS: 4   MEAN: 3.53/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Yes, this is another in our series of year-round beers fermented with a non-typical yeast strain. In this case, we have brewed a batch of Suruga Bay but have fermented it not with our house Scottish ale yeast but with our Belgian witbier strain. The Belgian yeast strain working at higher temperatures has yielded a slightly more attenuated and stronger alcohol version of Suruga Bay Imperial IPA. Taste the two versions side-by-side and experience for yourself the clear but nuanced difference.

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3.6
Alengrin (5334) - BELGIUM - JUN 17, 2017
DIPA fermented with a Belgian witbier yeast strain, from this heavily Scottish-influenced brewery in Japan, bottle bought online. Tightly ’papery’ lacing, egg-white, moussy, dense and stable head, remaining closed for a long time, over an immediately clouded, ochre-hued deep orangey peach blonde beer. Aroma of freshly cut celery, moist white pepper, unripe peach, soggy bread, potato starch, dried orange peel, raw horseradish, cloves (too many phenols actually), straw, old ginger powder, dried peppermint leaves, moist toast, ’jenever’, cucumber, fresh wormwood leaves, tonic water, old grapefruits, camomile, green olive, old apple peel, hints of fried egg, smoked paprika powder and vague fennel seed. Fruity onset, estery with notes of peach, light banana and green plum, faintly sweetish with sourish undertones and a background green olive-like umami touch, medium carbonated with a soft, fluffy, ’full’ but also rather soapy mouthfeel. Bready and cereally maltiness ensues, soft, covered under this estery ’chaos’ as well as a lot of happy spicy Belgian phenols (cloves, even a touch of aniseed somewhere), leading to a leafy, spicy and earthy hop bitter finish, long and drying, bit resiny and wormwood-like, grapefruity to a certain extent but not by far as expressive aromatically as it should have been within DIPA context; earthy, almost vaguely starchy yeastiness lingers at the back alongside a dash of warming, gin-like alcohol and persisting earthy and spicy yeastiness. I was hoping for a modern, Anglo-Saxon DIPA but what I got, is a hopped-up Belgian tripel. This is ’Belgian IPA’ indeed, in the ranks of Van Eecke’s Hommelbier Nieuwe Oogst, Ranke’s Hop Harvest series or Plukker’s All Inclusive IPAs - in other words, putting a lot of emphasis on hop bitterness, while still maintaining strong Belgian yeast characteristics (phenolic and estery) that may interfere with the qualities of the hops. This is an approach you either like or hate, but in any case this beer is the umpteenth argument for acknowledging something like ’Belgian IPA’ (intermediate between blonde or tripel on the one hand and international IPA on the other hand) as a separate new style. Within that style, this one is actually very accomplished, though I can imagine many educated consumers being disappointed that they don’t get the wave of lush citrusy, piney or tropical hop aromas they may have expected from a beer identifying itself as a DIPA - and I am one of those.

3.7
TimE (5808) - Tokyo, JAPAN - OCT 24, 2012
light amber color. Funky hay, earthy nose with a touch of citrus. Mouth is med body, dry with lots of oranges, blanket,

3.4
shoulderbroken (4255) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JUN 16, 2012
Keg at Harajuku taproom. Pale orange colour with slightly cloudy beige frothy head. Aroma is grapefruit and b.o., lots of bitterness. Taste is less bitter, just a hint of the aroma’s bitterness at the end. Biscuity maltiness and some lemon there too, but overall, not a massive taste. Nice but not mind-blowing.

3.4
jonno (2761) - JAPAN - MAY 26, 2012
Suraga Bay with Belgian Yeast. A bit dulled initially, but a nice coating hop blast resides on the tongue after swallowing. Very, very lightly phenolic. I don’t think this yeast is quite up to the style, but certainly an enjoyable aside.


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