This was a very special beer for me, my wife bought me it as part of my birthday present and it’s a beer I’ve been keen to try for a while now having heard only good things about it. The bottle has a special feel to it to. I love the playing card label, its also decent quality with a golden touch which adds to the effect. I also love the caged cork which again is champagne esq which makes it feel like a celebratory beer to drink.
Now this was meant to be my Christmas day beer, but illness meant that I didn’t get to crack it on Christmas day so I chose to take it along to a friend’s house as we were invited round for tea. That meant that I could share the bottle with him and get his thoughts on the beer too. I’ll be honest, the one thing better than enjoying a beer is enjoying a beer with some good company.
To the beer, cork released with a very satisfying ‘pop’, you half expect a gush of foam to follow but it didn’t. What did follow was a gush of aroma from that unmistakable sorachi hop and a yeasty edge. It’s a lively beer to pour mind, it came racing out the bottle and the head was threatening to overtake beer in the proportions in the glass race. But it settles soon enough and that carbonation gives it a lovely mouthfeel. Nice and light, crisp and dry, its initially lively too on the tongue which settles down so you can get the flavours through. Its classic saison in texture and taste, but the sorachi addition makes it wonderfully flavourful. I would think that is what makes it balanced so that the yeast flavour isn’t overly dominant.
Im abit split in my views of the US imports at the minute. I think there are some beers with reputations that don’t really stack up. The anticipation from the cache of their name is far greater than the experience of actually drinking the beers when they reach these shores. That can be greatly disappointing, especially when you’re paying a premium for them. The trick is to know which ones are going to be good when they get here or have been brewed to the same high standards as they were when they first made a name for themselves. This is a big point for US hop forward IPA’s and the fact that the deterioration clock starts as soon as the beer is produced. I’m glad to say though that this beer was as good as I could have hoped for. I would imagine a saison style will last the journey across the pond better as its not simply relying on the hops for flavour.
My friend was in full agreement on this beer. As a man he’s usually a drinker of lager styles but in recent years he’s trying more kegged IPA’s and he really liked the saison style. I do think whilst it can be a very dry style, if that dry finish is balanced with good flavour, it can be a very refreshing style of beer. Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace is exactly that, very well balanced and I thoroughly enjoyed it.