Sunday, June 20, 2010

355. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Another little something from Brooklyn Brewing—this is our fourth beer, including Black Ops 2010, East India Pale Ale and Pennant Ale ’55. Sorachi Ace pours a soft hazy straw with a white pillow-y head; the nose is tart, dry, creamy, and slightly earthy with some yeast esters dancing around to complicate things. Flavors are crisp and dry across the palate; the front is soft and cracker-y, moving into a slight bit of sweetness in the middle combined with yeast ester flavors (perceived mostly via a light fruitiness) and bitterness from the hops. The finish is slightly paper-y with some lingering bitterness. Sorachi Ace has a medium body; as saisons go, it is dry, but not as highly attenuated as some of the other ones that we’ve had—some of the dryness here may be attributable to the malt and hops. There is also some creaminess in the flavor and mouthfeel, along with dryness and softness. The carbonation is medium with a decent bite in the middle that does set up the bitterness nicely; it helps to clear the palate and round the beer. The balance and the body are good; it could be lighter in the body, and the carbonation could be a bit more effervescent to brighten and lighten the beer. A good beer overall; we’d be happy to drink more, and would like to try it on tap to see how it compares.

From the bottle: “Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but featuring the rare Sorachi Ace hop. Fermented with our special Belgian ale strain, we add more Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After 100% bottle re-fermentation with Champagne yeast, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemon zest aroma. It tastes like sunshine in a glass, and that suits us just fine, especially with seafood dishes and fresh cheeses.”

From the Brooklyn website: “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, we 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 British Brewers 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 hte big breweries, but we think it is pretty cool. ”

ABV: 7.6%
Malts: German 2-row Pilsner
Hops: Oregon grown Sorachi Ace
Initial release date: 7/23/2009


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