Total Score: 7.8/10
So Mountain Goat recently did the thing that most decent craft brewers appear to be doing and got bought out by one of those nasty macro brewers… though this one is IMO one of the less evil macro brewers – Asahi. In order to commemorate the future watering down of their beers for extra profit they decided to release this Rare Breed Japanese Cowboy IPA – a 7% American IPA with the much vaunted and famed Japanese hop: Sorachi Ace, which I’ve found in the past to have a particularly strong (and pleasing) lemon character with notes of coriander and tea as well, kampai!
Poured from a 640ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazed amber body with reasonably dense 1 cm bone coloured head, which soon drops back to a thin blanket. Pretty decent, and I do enjoy a nicely hazed IPA so it quite fits the bill without being anything spectacular. 8/10.
S: Piney/earthy hops bold and upfront, followed by some sweet toasted biscuit malts and a thin veneer of lemon and coriander spice in the background. I’ve noted Chinook and Simcoe on the hop bill and I’m hoping they dry-hopped enough Sorachi Ace to cover those heavy-hitters, however the aroma does not bode well for the Japanese hop. Overall aroma is of an above average AIPA. 7/10.
T: Candied lemon and strained tea in the fore, even a touch of dill too! Well at least the Sorachi came out in front on the flavour side. Background notes of piney/earthy hops and that expected biscuit malt middle are there as well. Balance is slightly on the sweeter side, that said I am enjoying the sweeter AIPAs these days so good golly miss molly. Finish is a medium dirty hop bitterness. Not bad Mountain Goat, not bad at all. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation – less hop oils noted than other IPAs but who cares really when the flavour is good? [me… maybe]. 8/10.
D: Another decent brew from Mountain Goat which leaves me with hope that they won’t go the way of Matilda Bay and water down their beers, however this is only the beginning of a takeover from a macro brewer – it takes time to slowly diminish ingredients and drop the ABV of a core range of beers so the punters don’t notice. The pessimist in me says that this is exactly what will happen. The optimist in me looks over and notices that my tulip glass is still half full of Japanese Cowboy and smiles. The pessimist in me drinks the remainder of the glass, that bastard. 8/10.
Food match: Sashimi with Cherrywood-smoked slow cooked beef and tsukemono.