Shonan W-IPA is a 7.5% Imperial IPA from Kumazawa Shuzo, based in Kanagawa, Japan. Joe couldn’t review this beer as he was unable to get over the pronunciation (It’s a called “double ipa” not “wipa”). It’s part of their annual winter seasonal lineup of draft beers though at the time of writing, there are no plans for it to be released in bottles. Shonan W-IPA is brewed with imported American hops, though which ones used are unknown as we’ve been unable to find any information about them.
Shonan W-IPA Aroma and Taste
Shonan W-IPA came up a slightly hazy golden colour – not exactly what I was expecting from a supposedly double IPA. The fluffy white head lingered throughout drinking, leaving a small puddle of white bubbles at the bottom of the glass. The aroma coming through was very hop forward – lashings of piney resin tones, followed by a backbone of some citrus and grapefruit, followed by just the merest of hints of caramel. Not much mind, but enough of a contrast to the hoppy tones.
I was a bit off put by it being “only” 7.5% – I was expecting a much stronger IPA but then I have been kind of spoilt by imported IPAs from the USA, with some “regular” IPAs having an ABV of 7% to 8%. The bitterness hit me from the get go, and the sticky piney flavours lingered throughout drinking. This isn’t a beer for the feint of heart, though that’s not to say it’s OTT bitterness. It’s enough to get your attention but then it eases off quickly. Hints of pineapple and grapefruit came through as well, before finishing off with a little bit of sweetness from the malts. The only problem with Shonan W-IPA is that the body was a bit too thin for my liking to carry all the hop flavour through.
Shonan W-IPA The Bottom Line
I really liked Shonan W-IPA – apparently I’ve drunk it before too – and would happily recommend it to hop-heads alike.