Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick Sips: Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Japanese Green Tea IPA. By the name alone it's probably easy to tell whether or not you'll like this, because it is exactly what it sounds like. An IPA -- a huge double IPA, actually, clocking in at 9.2% ABV -- dosed heavily with green tea.

Stone, brewers of the well known Arrogant Bastard, brewed this in conjunction with Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam and Baird Brewing Co. in Japan as a collaboration beer.

But with its giant malt profile, big hopes, and overall largeness, it's all Stone.

Despite its name, this beer doesn't overwhelm you with the taste of green tea -- which would be hard, since green tea tastes pretty mild. But it's present and detectable if you're a green tea drinker (which I am). The more it warms the more noticeable the green tea is, but even when it reaches room temperature -- at 9.2% ABV it's a sipper, so it will eventually reach room temp if you're drinking slow -- it never takes over. It's an accent that makes it just different than your usual double IPA.

This beer's high alcohol content is fairly well masked, getting a bit "hot" as it warms but otherwise not stepping all over the taste. If the alcohol content is noticeable it's in the lack of a head. Even poured down the middle into a tulip glass, this beer generates very little head that quickly dissipates. What's left is a beer that looks like a light-colored syrup or cooking oil.

Yeah, I know, not doing a good job selling this, am I?

But it's worth trying if you can find it. (Quantities are limited, especially here on the East Coast.) It's got a fresh, "green" taste that is a nice change from your usual double IPA, well balanced and drinkable despite being potent enough to knock you on your ass. Give it a whirl if you see it.

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