750 ml bottle thanks to apocalypsezombie. Cheers Tom!
It pours a hazy orange..apricot colour with a huge head of billowy foam. The tip of the foam looked so inviting so I tongued it. Hehe...sour apricot. Who'd have thunk. Oh, and there's some good lacing left behind as the foam shrinks slowly.
The smell: fruity tartness, big, oakiness medium, vanilla, hints. I can't wait to take my first "official" sip.
Ahh...sour apricot is so delicious up front and in the finish. Just the right amount of oak and light vanilla notes rounding off this most excellent brew.
The second pour done and it's a more than hazy. The foam was also easier to deal with, about a finger's worth. The sourness never goes over the top so this, I think, would be a great beer to share with someone newish to the style. I also like how the abv is approachable; some slight warming but it doesn't hurt the drinkability at all.
I wish this came in smaller packages so I wouldn't have to finish it in one go. I'll be sad when it's gone.
Medium bodied, medium carbonation, excellent mouthfeel.
Clearly, another great offering from the gang at Cascade!
2008 750 ml bottle sent to me by the great Reino. Been looking forward to trying some Cascade stuff and he told me to get on this as quickly as possible. So here we are. Served up in my large Free the Hops tulip.
A: Caged and corked bottle. Cage was incredibly tight, but that was probably due to shipping reasons now that I think about it. Smart move. HUGE pop off the cork with a foggy gun smoke on the open. Pours a light, golden brown. Held to the light, the color doesn't change much. Just lightens a bit. The body is a bit murky. Not clear, but not crazy cloudy either. The head that built off this was a good two fingers for sho, falls in due time to a solid finger. The head is a really nice and brilliant white and has some really nice stick to it. Nice and creamy, it sits on the glass nicely with a good sticky lace. Lazy carbonation activity. Doesn't get much better in the appearance category.
S: Nice aroma. Getting some fresh and dried apricot aromas kickin around in here. The apricot aroma is so clear and clean, just blatant apricot and I am lovin on it. It has that flanders sour and tart aroma, very tannic at times. Any malt is taking a back seat to the sour and yeasty quality. Fruit reigns here. The great thing is that the aromas are all fruit, but they still have subtlty. It may not sound complex, but it is great.
T: One word: delightful. The first thing that hits you is that flanders sour and tartness. Probably a bit more tart than sour. As you swallow, the apricot flavor is perfect. Seriously. It is perfectly clean, ripe apricot meat. Just so easily found and enjoyed. Fruity and floral at times. Lightly sweet but sour and tart are the main profile. Slight touch of wood on the back end, that may be where the sweetness is coming from. Some Belgian yeast is hanging around in the background along with the malts. Lingering tannins give a touch of bite.
M: Light side of medium in body. has some weight to it, but still nice and light. Almost fluffy. Just has a nice pillowy texture that then is replaced by a little bit of carbonation bite and tartness. Slightly puckering but not out of hand. ABV is . . . does this have alcohol in it? Not getting any heat at all from this. Aftertaste is apricot meat and tannins.
D: This is going to be no problem to kill. If you like Apricots, this is your beer. So . . . it is my beer. The apricot is just so well translated in aroma and flavor. Its crazy. ABV and feel doesn't hurt at all. Just so easy to drink and just fantastic. You can tell a lot of love went into this beer and it is much appreciated to this Alabama beer lover. Lives up to the Cascade hype and then some. Awesome. Simply awesome.
Sampled June 2009
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet glass produces a three finger thick, light tan colored head that slowly subsides in to a persistent, dense, creamy layer of foam that resides atop the beer. The beer is a bright copper hue that shows a brilliantly clear, beautiful, orange-gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of fresh, floral, ripe apricots, not quite as exuberant in volume as an actual rip apricot, but it definitely captures the essence quite well. The aroma has me picturing myself biting into a perfectly ripe apricot that is sweet and tart with a bit of tannic character in the skin. There is not a whole lot of other, more beery notes going on here, but the fleshy, skin scented apricot notes are so alive and fresh here that I am finding the nose quite interesting. The nice thing is that apricots are not a in your face fruit, so even though they are the dominant note here in the nose it is still not a loud, in-your face apricot character. After the beer has warmed up for a bit there is perhaps a touch of dough-like malt in the nose, but it is still quite subtle if not down right fleeting.
The beer is lightly tart tasting and is infused with a floral, almost flower-nectar essence of apricots. The beer finishes with a touch of a tannic bit as well as a wisp of higher alcohols and some spiciness that seems to be influenced by spicy oak notes and a touch of wood-character. The finish doesn’t shake the infused apricot essence that perfumes the whole of this beer though. The lactic tartness, while present and noticeable, really serves to accentuate the fruit character here; it melds with the fresh fruit notes and intertwines with it in such a way that one really just imagines the tartness of a biting into a fresh, perfectly ripe, apricot. There is a bit of a bite to the finish here, a bitterness from the hops used in the Tripel. There are also some warming alcohol notes here in the finish, but they are quite mellow for a Tripel, more contributing to the general spiciness than anything. There is just enough residual sweetness here to boost the fruit flavor just that much more; I wouldn’t describe this as a sweet beer, though it isn’t bone dry either. The finish is quite dry, but still has a floral, flower-nectar note to it that lingers on in the palate along with a clean, peppery spice note.
The second pour has a bit more haziness to it, which corresponds with a touch of a yeast bite. I really like the balance between floral, fruity apricot flavors and the spicy, bitter, peppery finish, these notes balance together quite well and even lead into the next sip, thus continuing the cycle of flavors. The body is light enough to be dangerously quaffable, it is well within the Tripel range though (for instance it is not as light as something like a Duvel that is at the same strength). A hint of phenolics become noticeable and they subtly tie in with the spicy finish. I like how the oak plays a truly supporting role here, it adds to the tannic structure and the spiciness of the finish, but isn’t overtly noticeable.
This seems to have rounded & softened up a bit since I tasted this back in October. It is much more fruit focused, or at least some of the sharper phenolic notes seem to have aged out such that the fruit is much more noticeable. It is still not overly funky, in fact it is arguably not very complex (except that it does achieve a complex apricot character), but it is such a great use of this particular fruit; it is certainly the quintessential apricot beer that I have had. As a show case for the use of fruit in beer it easily out shines the sticky sweet New Glarus stuff by a long mile. If you like apricots and I mean you are a stickler for only enjoying fresh, abundantly ripe ones, then this is the beer for you.
Sampled October 2009
The beer pours with a pale gold color that is quite clear. It is topped by a pale, white colored ring of a head with a careful pour. The aroma is quite fruity, as expected, but also has as significant floral and even almost herbal edge to it in the finish. The apricot is noticeable, but not overly expressive. There is a light sourness to the aroma as well and the fruit notes remind me of a mix of apricot and Meyer lemon.
The beer is quite dry, pretty light bodied, definitely tart and has a nice aromatic-flavor of apricots; the apricot character is fleshy, almost juicy in quality. This finishes with some phenolic notes in the finish that adds a light, biting sharpness and there is also a bit of astringency. The phenolics contribute a mix of notes of curing plastic and a pale smokiness, though these are kept fairly muted. This is quite drinkable and really hides its alcohol quite well, I wouldn't have guessed that the base beer, before souring and fruit, was a Tripel. It could use a bit more complexity (whether in the form of more wild character or perhaps just malt and fruit complexity wouldn't matter too much) to be truly great, but it is quite drinkable and tasty.
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