Baird Dark Sky Imperial Stout

I’ve been making an attempt to branch out and drink more beers from overseas. One of the downsides of this is the price of the beers. They tend to be a bit more expensive than their American counterparts. So, I still end up with mostly American craft beers, but hopefully, you’ll see more imports in the coming weeks. This is a beer that I read about years ago that hails from Japan and was supposedly very good.


ABV: 9.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This foreboding Stout unleashes a torrential downpour of hop character within a maelstrom of roasted malt flavor.”

Random: I love the detail on their labels. I’m a sucker for good graphic design.

This beer poured with less than a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of dark chocolate, cocoa and smoke. It had a certain mustiness to it. The taste had dark chocolate, but then this berry note came through. It was very odd, and honestly, not very pleasant. The smoke and mustiness came through next, which didn’t play well with the berry note. It also had some caramel malt and roastiness. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The alcohol provided a bit of warming and wasn’t very well-integrated. It had a quick finish with smoke and dark chocolate. A single bottle was $6.99 ($.58 per ounce), which was really expensive, in my opinion. Even without considering the price, this was a bit disappointing and could have been better executed. I would not have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Baird Wabi-Sabi IPA

This is another beer that I picked up from Half Time. It also uses green tea and wasabi. I haven’t had a beer this year with wasabi, so I was quite excited to try it. Let’s see how it panned out.


ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Wabi-Sabi is a uniquely Japanese and hybrid version of the craft beer world’s two most popular styles: Pale Ale and IPA. Local Japanese wasabi and green tea are combined deftly with several varieties of herbal-character hops. The flavor is bold, yet underpinned by a ‘quiet simplicity and subdued refinement.’”

Random: I am ready for Fall. The humidity today is awful.

This beer poured with a three finger, off white head that was very slow to dissipate and left a lot of lacing. The body was a very dusky brown color with lots of floaties in the body. It was so cloudy that I couldn’t see any lacing. The nose was musty with yeast and green tea. Earthy hops were present too. The taste was even more yeasty and took away from the hops. It had some green tea, but I couldn’t pick up any wasabi. It also had some earthy, old hops. It could have used some citrus to brighten it up. The body was thick with very light carbonation. The finish was long and very yeasty. This bottle was $5.89 ($.49 per ounce), which is expensive for what it was. This beer was a bit of a letdown and one that I wouldn’t have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale

Here’s the second review of the night. I haven’t had any brews from Baird, but I have seen them around in my local beer shop. They also almost always end up in the beer books that I have. Add to that, the label is pretty cool and I’m always a sucker for a good pale ale. Onto the review…

ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Rising Sun is a 1992 internationally best-selling novel by Michael Crichton about a murder in the Los Angeles headquarters of Nakamoto, a fictional Japanese corporation. The book was published by Alfred A. Knopf. Although a detective/murder mystery novel at first glance, Rising Sun deals with the controversial subject of Japanese-American relations, and questions the premise that foreign direct investment in the high-technology sectors of the United States is beneficial. Throughout the book, the differences between the Japanese and Western mindsets are highlighted, especially in the areas of business strategy and corporate culture.”

Random: I picked this beer up because it was in one of the beer books I got last Christmas, 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that took forever to dissipate. Once it did, it didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy burnt orange with low carbonation. The nose of the brew was pretty much mango and lemon with a hint of toffee. This was definitely different than what I was expecting. The taste started with the mango that was apparent in the nose and then move a bit towards the malty sweet side with a hint of caramel. This was probably more of the complex pale ales that I’ve had. After a few sips, I also got some hints of tangerine and pine. The body was thin with lower than expected carbonation. The finish was pretty quick with low booze. This was a very interesting pale ale. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0