Dec 4, 2013

DuClaw Brewing X-5 Sorachi Ace IPA

I’ve had a few DuClaw Brewing products over the past couple of years and, while I particularly enjoy their darker, heavier brews, the company does make a tasty IPA. This particular bottle, their X-5 Sorachi Ace IPA, is a 6% ABV brew that, you guessed it, focuses solely on the Sorachi Ace hop variety. Now, I’ve also had a few beers that utilize this particular hop, but only one other that utilized it as the sole bittering unit and that would be Brooklyn’s saison.

Comparing the two company’s use of the hop is pointless since their products are in completely different styles, but both do a pretty darn good job in their own right. I may prefer Brooklyn’s beer in general, but X-5 Sorachi Ace IPA still does well to accentuate the lemongrass character that the hop variety brings to the table.


A large stack of fluffy, off-white foam sits atop the bright, golden amber brew.

DuClaw Brewing X-5 Sorachi Ace IPA photo


That tell-tale lemongrass trait of the Sorachi Ace hop leads the way as grapefruit, subtle orange, grain and lightly toasted bread follow.


Loads of grassy, lemony hop flavors arrive immediately along with light caramel, grain and a touch of pine resin. There’s a soft malt sweetness present that balances the moderate bitterness well. The bottle describes the mouthfeel as “effervescent,” but it feels a bit sharp on the tongue, but that’s just me being picky.


DuClaw Brewing have themselves a tasty beer in X-5 Sorachi Ace IPA. I like the hop character that the beer carries and it’s refreshing, balanced nature. I may still prefer Brooklyn’s saison, but that’s not a knock against this Maryland brewery’s effort. I just wish I had found this beer in smaller bottles — I would have loved a couple of more of them waiting for me in the fridge.

Rating: 3.5/5

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