Me and the Sorachi Ace hop have a chequered history, I hated it when I first tried it in BrewDog’s first set of IPA is Dead beers and since then have never got on with it. It’s that odd bubblegum, synthetic strawberry and mint ice cream flavour I get from that I just don’t like.
But when I discovered Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace everything changed. I first tried this at a special event that the Roosters Brewery laid on for a select group last year. This beer is a perfect example of brewing expertise at its highest, selecting the correct grains, hops and yeast to compliment each other and work in precise unison.
Poured from the beautiful custom made German bottles adorned with Milton Glaser’s fantastic graphic design this beer settled in my glass a very hazy yellow just like lemon curd topped with a pure white head. It resembles a slice of lemon meringue pie in a glass.
The Sorachi Ace hop is a strange one and I think you do get some of those signature characteristics but in the best possible way. It’s certainly big on the lemon front, fresh juice, lemon thyme and sweet lemon curd. Along side this I did get some of the bubblegum I’ve noticed before with this hop but also star anise and loads of fresh dill. Very herbaceous and full of lemony goodness.
As great as this beer smells once you raise a glass to your lips that’s where the flavour-party begins. The main thread to the flavour profile is earthy lemon peel, sugary-sweet lemon curd and fragrant lemongrass. Any potential tartness and acidity is kept in check with a backbone of soft pale malts. Another delightfully well place component of this beer is a resounding herbal and spiced edge that comes in the shape of a good handful of Dill and a mild aniseed or fennel. The yeast character doesn’t overpower but plays a supporting role. The re-fermentation with Champaign yeast keeps it lively and keeps flavours zipping along.
This is absolutely world-class, a perfectly refined beer that nods towards the traditional siason style but gives it an extra dimension that makes in such a special beer…fit for the Brewmaster’s Table.