Contradictions. Green Tea and Beer. An American beer described in Japanese. Stone and Being Nice. And yet, this most recent Stone collaboration has all three. The most shocking of the trio, Stone being nice, comes in the form of profits from this particular beer being shared with Japan, in an effort to continue aid as the country recovers from the earthquake and tsunami of March, 2011. Besides just being generally intrigued with any Stone brew, this one seemed particularly out there and with the added benefit of profits to a worthy cause, it made my casual interest into a must-buy.

Fortunately, this IPA poured more like an IPA than a green tea. It was a faint orange, approaching golden in some places and the nice ivory head settled and stuck around for a while. It truly was a good looking beer. It felt gentle and smooth even before I took a single drop into my mouth. The scent was bursting with hops. Distinctively citrus, hints of floral. Honestly, I am seeking the green tea, desperately so, but finding none on the nose.

The taste, however, gives a slightly more obvious presence of the Japanese influenced addition to this brew. It helps give a very dry, earthy finish and most definitely is reminiscent of a hot cup of the healthy, warm, drink. With the odd addition identified, I feel like I can take note of some of the other flavors. There is a surprising alcoholic layer, both at the beginning and just before the green-tea-dry finish. It is definitely the 9.2% showing off. The warming sensation is more reminiscent of a big stout than your typical IPA, much less one supposed to be toned down by the calming influence of green tea. Its a big beer, for a great cause, with a lot of typical Stone flair. Both surprising and enjoyable, I would recommend it for a sample, but won’t revisit it again, simply because of it’s incredible distinctiveness.