13 November 2015

Downsizing to trade up

Saisons; single-hopped beers; 750ml bottles: all things that give me pause when I'm out shopping for beer. I've no direct issue with any of those factors, but each one has a certain risk attached which makes me a little more inclined to pick something else. The combination of all three is the reason I had not hitherto got round to trying Brooklyn Sorachi Ace even though it's been knocking about for ages. But now the brewery has elected to send it out in more manageable 355ml bottles so that left me fresh out of excuses.

It presents a pale lemony colour with a mild aroma of lemon rind and bathsalts. The lemon quality for which the Sorachi Ace hop is (in)famous really makes its presence felt from the first sip: a powerful oily citrus effect, like a scented candle. Behind this there's a strong bitter bite and a definite mineral chalkiness -- those bathsalts again. It took a few mouthfuls to get used to, but once I did I really enjoyed it, finding it perfectly refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. It was very easy to forget that the ABV is a whopping 7.2%.

Once you get past the initial shock, this is a charming and well-integrated beer, maybe lacking a little in saison fruit or spices but making excellent use of Sorachi Ace hops. A 750ml bottle would be no hardship at all.