July 6, 2011

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Sorachi Ace is a relatively new hop variety, originally developed and grown by Sapporo in 1988 for use in its beers. It is a cross between the British Brewer's Gold and Czech Saaz varieties and is distinguished by its strong, lemony smell. The hop gained popularity during the "hops crisis" of 2007-2008 when it was available in small quantities to homebrewers in need of high alpha hops. Today, it is a little more readily available, allowing several major craft brewers to begin using Sorachi Ace for special releases. It seems to be particularly popular in "single hop" settings.

Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace is a Belgian-style saison, although not entirely traditional... in a good way. It's definitely more hoppy, which is fine considering it is meant to show off a single type of hop. The lemon is prominent in the aroma, plus breadiness from the yeast and a very slight hint of alcohol, but there was also something more complex happening that I can't describe. Flavors are of fresh pear, orange, green grapes, spicy lemongrass, and lightly bitter hops. It has a thick head and lively carbonation that continues to the last sip. Finish is crisp and dry. Overall, a tasty and rather interesting take on a saison, and a good showcase of the Sorachi Ace hop.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

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