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Review of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

16 Jan
Thanks for checking in on another craft beer review guys.  For today’s review I’m going to be trying the Sorachi Ace produced by the Brooklyn Brewery located in Brooklyn, New York.

I’ve heard many good things about this beer, so I figured it was about time for me to find out for myself.

The website, brooklynbrewery.com, has this to say about the Sorachi Ace.

Most Brooklyn beers are made with a blend of hop varietals. As a chef does with spices, we look to get the best qualities of each hop and create a harmony of flavors and aromas. However, a few years ago, our brewmaster ran into a hop unique enough to deserve its own moment in the sun. A large Japanese brewery first developed the hop variety “Sorachi Ace” in 1988. A cross between the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” varieties, it exhibited a quality that was unexpected – it smelled really lemony.

The unique flavor of Sorachi Ace was bypassed by the big brewers, but we thought it was pretty cool. So we made a special beer with it, and added the beer to our Brewmaster’s Reserve special draft beer program last year. Most Brewmaster’s Reserve beers are only available for a short time, and then they’re gone. But we liked this one so much, we decided to bring it back and give it the star treatment. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but made entirely with now-rare Sorachi Ace hops grown by a single farm in Oregon. We ferment it with our special Belgian ale strain, and then add more Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After the dry-hopping, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemongrass / lemon zest aroma backed by a wonderfully clean malt flavor.

It tastes like sunshine in a glass, and that suits us just fine, especially with seafood dishes and fresh cheeses. It’s just the thing on nice summer days and beyond.

A bit lengthy, but well said.


This brew had an ABV of 7.6% and it came in a 25.4 oz., caged and corked bottle.

It poured a hazy, golden to yellow color.  A bright white head was formed from a relatively easy pour.  It was smooth, rocky and somewhat soapy in texture.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing was very satisfying.  Once it did settle, a smooth, thin film was left on top for the remainder of the drink.  Just a beautiful looking beer.

The aroma brought forth hints of lemon zest and lemongrass.  It was floral and bright with just a very, very slight note of fresh cut red cedar.  Very appealing.  A little bit of “funkiness” was noticed, but it wasn’t overpowering or anything.  It sat right in the middle and melded well with the other aromas.  It also presented tones of spice and enough bready and yeasty characteristics to “round off” and balance the overall bouquet.  It smelled great.

The taste conceded a touch more of the funk than did the aroma.  Additional hints of lemon grass, but also a tiny savor of fruity pear.  A light tartness coupled with a nice hop character and a slight bitterness added even more complexity.  A spiciness of freshly cracked pepper intertwined with a toasted biscuit taste, which in turn brought forth an herbal flavor that couldn’t be denied.  Very tasty I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with the carbonation leaning toward the “bright” side.  It was dry, snappy, clean, crisp and refreshing.  It was relatively smooth too.  As the brew crossed the palate plenty of flavor was splashed on the tongue and roof of the mouth to indulge me for a great long while.

Man, this is a great beer.  I loved it.  I found it to be exceptional in all categories.  It looked great, had a great smell, wonderful taste and a more than suitable mouthfeel.  It only got better as I continued to drink it.  As a matter of fact I was a bit sad when it was all gone.  To top it all off, the drinkability was outstanding.  I would definitely recommend that you give the Sorachi Ace a try if you haven’t done so.  I know I will be picking up another bottle sometime very soon.  I think it goes well with just about anytime of the year too and not just Summer.  Even though it would go great during those warmer months around the BBQ that’s for sure.  The Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a winner in my book and it’s a beer that I won’t soon forget.    

If you’ve had the Sorachi Ace before, what did you think of it?  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me about it.

Thanks for reading folks.  Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  4.5 out of 5
Grade:  A   

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4 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Brooklyn, Country: USA

 

4 responses to “Review of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

  1. clueless_brewer

    January 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    This is one of my favorite saisons. After tasting this beer, I loved the flavor of the Sorachi Ace hop so much that I decided to brew up a small batch saison with late-boil additions of this hop instead of the usual Hersbrucker. It's in secondary fermentation now and will be bottled Sunday.

    Can't wait! Cheers!

     
  2. clueless_brewer

    January 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    This is one of my favorite saisons. After tasting this beer, I loved the flavor of the Sorachi Ace hop so much that I decided to brew up a small batch saison with late-boil additions of this hop instead of the usual Hersbrucker. It's in secondary fermentation now and will be bottled Sunday.

    Can't wait! Cheers!

     
  3. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Clueless_brewer,

    I was totally taken aback by this beer. I had heard good things, but I still wasn't quite sure. Needless to say…. I loved it. I'm interested to hear how yours turns out too. Keep me posted. Thanks for reading and commenting on the post too.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  4. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Clueless_brewer,

    I was totally taken aback by this beer. I had heard good things, but I still wasn't quite sure. Needless to say…. I loved it. I'm interested to hear how yours turns out too. Keep me posted. Thanks for reading and commenting on the post too.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     

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