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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update: Cascade Apricot Ale

You'll recall that I identified the first vintage of Cascade Apricot Ale as my Satori winner last year. This year's, however, I found slightly less buoyantly fruity:
Every year, Gansberg hand-selects the fruit, basing his selection on the quality available. He chose these apricots because they have a fuller, sweeter flavor, though he admits they're not as aromatic. I noticed this right away--that succulent scent was almost absent. But that's the nature with hand-made, artisanal ale--you are beholden to the offerings of mother nature.... This beer is perhaps one notch less beguiling than last year's, but that means it's still exceptional.
Well, yesterday I cracked open one of the current vintages, and I was pleasantly surprised. Mind, I thought this was a good beer. Whatever criticisms I had were informed by being blown away by last year's. What I discovered was an emergence of the fruit. The aroma is now quite evident, and grows as the beer warms. Again it is that lush, fresh-fruit scent. The beer has soured some since I first had it, but the flavor of the fruit comes through more clearly, too. It's really just an amazing beer. My Mom, who was in town visiting, found it a little intense, but she admired it nevertheless (she's a porter gal, so we had wandered some distance outside her comfort zone).

I would recommend stopping by the brewery and picking up a bottle or two--and definitely get the kriek while you're there. We're in the season when these beers are just magical. Nothing like sitting outside under a fading sun while sipping a little liquid gold. Makes you happy to live in Oregon...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are many (beer and non-beer) reasons I am happy to live in Oregon. I'm with you though, I would count this amongst those reasons.

-Slainte Mhaith

Patrick said...

We cracked open an '08 Apricot Ale last night for a birthday party - absolutely a fantastic beer. Twinged with sour, but still the fruit was the star. Aroma had dissipated, but a blend of sweet and sour well balanced.

I wish that I could get more of my group interested in his Kriek tho.

Anonymous said...

I cracked open my last bottle of the '08 Kriek over the weekend, and was also pleasantly surprised to find that the cherry was even more prominent than I remember it being fresh; also, the sour had really hit its stride - being relatively weak for the style when fresh, but pleasantly puckering now.

I still have one bottle of the '08 Apricot left; those aren't in ready supply - I think I'll sit on that for a while yet - but John's Market still has quite a few of the '08 Krieks… might just have to abscond with a couple more.

-anónimo

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