alobar (2300) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Straw yellow color with minimal white soapy head. Aroma of yeast, fruit and a lot of sour. On the palate, sour-yeast with fruit and vanilla. Very nice beer!
egajdzis (4896) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 14, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a hazy golden color with a small, white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of apricot, vanilla, wood, toast, and light wild yeast. Taste of sweeter apricots, some citrus, faint tartness from the wild yeast, with more vanilla, and a lighter barrel presence in the finish. Thanks to Jon for the Cascade beers.
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Orange/gold pour with a thin white head. Bright apricot flavor, very nice, mild sourness and acidity. This was my favorite of the fruit beers, I thought the flavor just worked really well pairing the soft sweet apricot flavor against the sour finish.
GodOfThunder (1235) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2009 This beer rocked! Thanks to the people at Art Larrange’s Raccoon Lodge who brew this and got me some. Smell is strong fruit and the taste is an ultra-strong, and well balanced, mix of fruit, sour and alcohol. The sourness prevails, like taking a bite of a huge apricot Sour-Patch Kid. The fruit flavors are fresh and abundant. Then, the backbone is the Belgian Tripel, which brings an entire new element and alcohol kick and serious complexity. Yes, it is very sweet and very sour, but it is also complex, balanced and tasty. I loved this beer.
WeeHeavySD (3356) - San Diego (Hillcrest), California, USA - OCT 27, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2010 750ml bottle via trade with hannont. Thanks Todd. Shared with my girlfriend Cyn on a night when I packed many many trades. Pours orange with a tan head. Nose is tart and sweet with apricot, lots of it, probably the most apricotty bear I’ve ever smelled, if I’ve even smelled another one. Taste is sweet and tart with big apricot and a nice tart feeling. The nose is really pretty incredible, the taste is less there, but good overall.
FlacoAlto (3450) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 24, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2009 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 GABF 2008
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.
joergen (17353) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - OCT 19, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy amber coloured with a medium sized off white head.
Fruity aroma dominated by apricots with acidic notes.
Fruity flavour of apricots and dried apricots with acidic notes.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - OCT 18, 2008
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
bottle. Wow. lots and lots of apricot in the aroma and tart apricot sourness in the taste. Excellent. Yellow foamy head. One of my favorites.
bu11zeye (11113) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(750ml bottle) Pours a cloudy yellow body with a small off-white head. Aroma of apricot, biscuit, peach, and earthiness. Flavor of apricot, funkiness, and earth with a dry oak finish.
BeerandBlues2 (7418) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - OCT 15, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
GABF 2008. Pours hazy orange with an average, frothy, white head, mostly lasting with good lacing. Aroma is average malt (bread, hay, straw), average hops (grass), average yeast (earth) with notes of apricot. Medium bodied, sticky texture, average carbonation, and a sour finish. Long duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity and sourness.