Thursday, July 1, 2010

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Sorachi Ace

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn,  New York

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

7.60% ABV

Commercial Description:
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a saison (or farmhouse ale) featuring a new hop from Japan, developed just a few years ago, from which the beer takes its name.

General Pricing:
750ml bottle, ~ $10.00

This was a total impulse buy. I actually went into beer store looking to buy a bag of ice and auto-pilot took me down the craft beer isle. (Funny how that happens) So I picked up a couple of bottles. We opened one that night at a dinner party and I saved one to review. I thought it was fantastic at dinner. Although it is hard to judge a beer while it is paired with food. At any rate I am looking forward to giving this a full review.

Review:The beer pours a hazy pale straw with gold or almost orange hues with a bright white head.

A unique floral hop aroma hits you as soon as you start pouring. This is the most unique nose on a beer that I’ve had is quite some time. Along with the flowering hop aroma there are also some classic Belgian Saison aromas of yeast and spice. This is extremely inviting. Let’s dive in.

We are starting this around 51 degrees. It was colder than that but it has been setting out for a little while I do the picture thing and set up the laptop.

Wow, that is a unique saison and I really mean WOW! This is nice; there is some sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue but then that immediately changes to a yeasty and earthy taste followed by a highly effervescent mid-sip. The back-end is smooth and easy to swallow. There is not much flavor on the back end since this is so highly carbonated the effervescence during the swallow masks some of the flavors. The finish is exquisite. There is an exceptional subtle complexity to this masterpiece that comes out in the finish. Nice yeasty notes with some spice, that unique hop note and that wonderful Belgian earthy saison-ness? Sorry I don’t know how else to describe that earthy flavor of a Belgian Saison.  The final aftertaste is subtle but lingering with some peppery spice and that wonderful hop flavor. There is also a slight yeastiness to the final aftertaste as well. It sounds like a lot of aftertaste but it’s really not. These flavors are very subtle. And the unique hop flavor even in the aftertaste is not bitter at all, Just a nice unique flavor.

This is another great masterpiece by Garrett Oliver.

As it warms I’m starting to pick up more spice and hops; still, nothing overpowering, just an extremely easy drinking and enjoyable saison. The end of this first glass is now at 65 degrees. Again, picking up more spice and hop notes but nothing bitter or offensive whatsoever. This is one great beer. I can’t wait to pour another glass.

The second glass was much like the first with that wonderful hop aroma tickling your nose right from the pour. This nose is the most unique; zesty citrus, floral and yeasty.

This is just fantastic. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this beer.

Well, the second glass quickly turned into the third. The citrus notes are really becoming more pronounced as this beer warms.

I just love that hoppy flavor without the hop bitterness.

The only concern I have about this beer it that it is going to get overlooked. This will sadly get lost between all the extreme brews and those fruity summer beers. This may actually be the best beer in America right now and most people will not even know it exist. 

I didn’t check it but the end of that glass had to be a room temperature and it was delicious to the last warm drop.

I’m going to have a hard time rating this one. It is a little too unique for the Saison/Farmhouse Ale style. It deviates from the style but at the some time accentuates all that is good about the style and brings it all up to a whole new level. Although I have not reviewed it I would have the same conflict with their Hopfen-Weisse.
This beer is unique even to the style. It is also clearly an Artisan beer that is heads and shoulders above anything else in that style. So I am going to give this an A+, That is until I decide to come up with another rating like an “O” Outstanding.

This is a fantastic beer, a true masterpiece. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that appreciates the subtle complexities of a Belgian. This is one exquisite beer. If you are a hop head or extreme beer lover this may slip by and not be appreciated.

So if like Saisons and you are interested in a great summer beer, then treat yourself to this one you will not be disappointed.

In my humble opinion, this may be the best beer in American right now. It certainly is the best Summer Beer that I’ve had this year, a real artisan masterpiece.

Thank you Garrett Oliver for another exquisite beer.

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