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Sorachi Ace (Brooklyn Brewery)

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Sorachi Ace (Brooklyn Brewery)

Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:00

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Written by 

Sorachi Ace

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn, NY

 

The Buzz:

        This 7.6% ABV Saison from Brooklyn Brewery, described on the bottle as "a cracklingly dry, hoppy, unfiltered golden farmhouse ale" is named for the Japanese Sorachi Ace hop with which it is made. Nothing terribly original on the nomenclature front but when you have an ingredient as awesomely named as 'Sorachi Ace' you don't need a clever title. I've been consistently able to find a 1 pint, 9.4 fl. oz. bottle at a Washington, DC Harris Teeter for about $8. I'd guiltlessly pay much more.

 

 

Life of the Party:

        I've always been a fan of Brooklyn Brewery (especially after touring their brewery and sampling their smaller batch local beers - their tour guide described their brewery as 'classy as fuck' and I vehemently agree) and when I saw a Brooklyn Saison, I had to try it. 

 

        According to BeerAdvocate, the eponymous hop is noted for it's lemongrass aroma, and while that's the aroma's dominant characteristic, it's much more complex. I noted a vaguely butterscotch sweetness to the aroma that (at least in my experience) isn't common to Saisons but, like all beers in it's style, it still has that floral, springy smell.

 

        The Sorachi Ace is hazy with a rich, muted gold color, pours with a moderately foamy head and does not leave much lacing. It's fermented with a Belgian ale strain and re-hopped post-fermentation and subsequently bottle re-fermented with Champagne yeast. Thus, it's got a deceptively creamy mouth-feel followed by a zing of floral, grassy flavor and a long, complex, soft but tangy finish. This is not a beer that lets you forget what you're drinking, and it's all the better for it as this is no ordinary hop. It's got an exotic twinge of sweet that turns almost immediately to rich, mellow sour when swallowed. As far as the "cracklingly dry" description on the bottle, I'd agree but only to an extent because my beer experience has taught me that "dry" usually means "quick, crisp finish" and this beer has the long, lingering, ponderous finish that I've always wanted from a Saison.

 

Potential Hangovers:

        If you're as yet unaware, this is a favorite beer of mine. It's greatest asset might be it's greatest hindrance to wide appeal: it's a truly unique Saison and thus it's not a taste for everyone. The floral punch and the hoppy, zingy, long tangy finish might linger too potently for some. However, if I'm being honest, that's OK. More for us aspiring cicerones.

 

The Vibe:

        Drink this beer calmly in a laid-back setting and take your time with it so you can truly appreciate the complex flavor characteristics. As per the bottle, enjoy this with seafood and fresh cheese. Risking bottle-wrath, I'd recommend enjoying all by its damn self. It's delicious and substantial enough. Do understand, a party beer this is not. A great beer to share with friends looking to expand their beer palette this IS. If you are the most brew-knowledgable among your social group, I'd recommend this beer as an exotic yet accessible choice for expanding the perception of malleable beer drinkers. Cheers.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Complex, enticing aroma

+ Unique taste for it's style

+ Not overwhelmingly 'barnyard' as many saisons are

+ Long, enigmatic finish (seriously, it leaves you plenty of time to think about it)

- not for everyone

- not available everywhere

Read 884 times Last modified on Thursday, 03 July 2014 16:46

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Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

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