Mikkeler Single Hop Sorachi Ace IPA

Single_Hop_IPA_Sorachi_Ace_Low_ResBrewer: Mikkeler Brewery, Copenhagen, Danemark
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.7%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: This beer is one of Mikkeler’s Single Hop collection, a special lineup of India Pale Ales bittered with only a single variety of hops. Brewed at their plant in D’Proef,  Belgium, the Sorachi Ace IPA uses only this Japanese variety of hops and combines it will a rich, pale malt base.

Tasting Notes: This is only the second time I’ve sampled a Mikkeler beer, and the first time I’ve reviewed one. And naturally, I’m wondering why I’ve held back this long. Without a doubt, it’s one of the better beers I’ve had this year, and definitely takes precedence over the only other beer I’ve had that used Sorachi hops (P49’s Crane Kick). Not only does the beer excel in the way it isolates the complex, lemony notes of Sorachi, a lovely, unfiltered pale malt base provides some fruitiness and a robust backing that really makes for a winning combination.

Appearance: Deep ruby/amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, strong notes of lemon, hint of pine, fruity esters
Taste: Crisp malt, dry, robust fruit, yeast, hint of sour cherry, oak, lemon, hop bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering lemon, yeast, oakiness, hop bitterness
Overall: 9.5/10

P49 Sun of Hop Belgian Summer Ale

P49_sonofhopBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver BC
Style: Belgian-style Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.1%
IBUs: 26

Description: Another Parallel 49 seasonal release, this summer ale brings together Belgian Pilsner and Aromatic malts along with a combination of Willamette, Styrian Goldings and Sorachi Ace hops. It is then fermented using a Belgian strain of top fermenting yeast to achieve a summery, smooth flavor with a mixed hop palate.

Tasting Notes: Very little that Parallel 49 does manages to surprise me anymore. In fact, I feel like I’m beginning to become familiar with some of their niches. These include doing crossovers that merge Belgian, English/American and German styles, and the inclusion of hop varieties that normally aren’t associated with the style in question. And this is certainly no exception, employing a Belgian malt base, Belgian yeast, and a combination of American, English and Japanese hops. The end result, as expected, is a smooth, crisp ale that has a yeasty backbone and subtle but complex hop flavor.

Appearance: Light golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Grainy malt, Belgian yeast, hint of lemon and herbs
Taste: Crisp, Pilsner-like malt, mild tang, Belgian yeast, mild herbal and lemony hops
Aftertaste: Lingering tang, Pilsner malt, yeasts and mild hop finish
Overall: 8/10