Monday, January 23, 2012

Brooklyn Brewing Sorachi Ace Review

Summer has its dog days, but I don't know what you call winter's worst.  It's been brutal here lately with strong winds, bone crushing cold, and a snowstorm last Friday that came upon us so quickly it paralyzed traffic for hours. It took me two hours to get home 9 miles on Friday.  It was a good thing the weekend came around on time to erase some of the blahs.  Brooklyn Sorachi Ace pitched in as well.  This bottle, a 750 ML, was a Christmas or birthday gift (I'm never sure anymore) from a pal here who's crazy about all things Brooklyn Brewing.  He once sent me a photo he took of Garrett Oliver.  Well, he loves Sorachi Ace and I can see why.

I had only tried a sip of this beer before and it didn't come close to representing its offerings.  Prepare yourself for a complex beer in disguise.  You hear the words "saison" and Japanese hop" tossed about regarding this beer,and you think you're due for a sitting with a dainty, delicate ale with a silky mouthfeel. Not this one.  Right from the outset you can smell a serious amount of herbs and savory spices. I got a lot of coriander in the smell and the flavor.  It's got a pretty decent-sized floral nose. It pours a pale yellow. The head is monstrous and it takes forever to quiet.  It seemed like eons before it realized enough beer to finally dive into it, and even then I had trouble locating the still liquid.  On first sip I had foam up to my nose.

I loved the mouthfeel.  It was quite sharp with carbonation and reminded me of Lagunitas Sucks in that respect.  But while that beer is hoppy, this beer is dominated by a hop but you wouldn't describe it as hoppy.  Many people describe the dominant flavor of this beer as lemon or lemongrass. It's there, but I didn't get as much of that as I did savory spices, a bit of Belgian yeast, and a strong acid presence that counteracted spicy chorizo chili quite nicely.  This beer is extremely herbal. The citrus flavor reveals itself more as the beer warms.  It finishes with a tight bite of acid and carbonation, kind of like a cava.

I was exceedingly impressed with this.  I would undoubtedly drink this again and consider it one of the most interesting beers I've tried.  You can have it with food but I'd just as well indulge yourself with it on its own.  I don't want to call this a summer beer.  It's complex enough for year round consumption but is perfect for summer.  Actually, it's the opposite.  Summer is perfect for this beer.  Too bad it didn't come with the bottle.

4.4 of 5 stars. 

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