Located in Milton, Delaware, Dogfish Head has quickly become one of the most famous and recognizable craft brewers in the world. Noted for being on the “cutting edge” with ingredients and recipes, one never knows what to expect when trying a new beer from them.
Today, is a perfect example. I will be sampling the Dogfish Head Aprihop. It’s a Spring seasonal, of which I’ve never had, so I’m not sure what to expect.
From the website, dogfish.com, I found this description to give me an idea of what I’m in for.
Aprihop is our fruit beer for hopheads!
It is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts massively hopped in the continuous fashion. The flavor is complemented by the addition of Apricots.
After fermentation the beer is dry hopped with irresponsible amounts of Amarillo hops. The beer is hoppy in the aroma with the apricots playing a supporting complimentary role.
The flavor is rich with late hop flavors and its bitterness is tempered by just the right amount of malt sweetness and fruity undertones form the apricots.
This is one of our most popular seasonal beers and we’ve been brewing it each spring for quite a while now. We release the beer each March and you should find it on the shelves through May.
Let’s get it in a glass and see how it tastes.
The Aprihop has an ABV of 7.0% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.
This beer poured a hazy, amber/copper color. Burnt yellow and burnt orange highlights shimmered at the bottom of the glass when held toward the light. A nice, creamy, smooth, thick, cream colored head was produced from an easy pour. The cap was of good size with some real nice retention and lacing. The beer really started to clear up once it reached room temperature. It looked pretty good in the glass.
As I stuck my nose into the top to take a sniff I was greeted with a strong, upfront hop aroma. A bit floral, a bit citrusy and satisfyingly pleasant. A mix of tangerine and grapefruit (I seem to always find grapefruit, don’t I?) The apricot is there, of course, however I didn’t find it to be all that prominent. Even after it warmed significantly it was still more of a background fragrance, which let me enjoy the full brunt of the hops. I thought it smelled pretty darn good to be honest with you. Not an over-the-top aroma, but balanced rather well with a bit of complexity.
The taste was very similar to the smell in some facets. A nice, balanced hop bitterness and bite. The apricot seemed to come forth a little stronger in the flavor, however it never did define this beer in my opinion. The hops remained the focal point by bringing about bursts of tangerine and grapefruit citrus. A touch of caramel malt combined with an earthy tone helped pull some of the sharpness off the bitter aspects. A minute stir of alcohol was tasted right at the swallow to complete a well balanced, enjoyable taste.
The mouthfeel was medium, dry, crisp and refreshing. A smooth and welcome warmth was left behind along with plenty of savor. As the brew warmed, the mouthfeel became somewhat creamy and slick. A nice little touch to finish it off.
Dogfish Head is a great brewery. No doubt about it. They know how to produce a great beer, although sometimes I, personally, have a hard time drinking some of the more “exotic” concoctions that they derive. This was not one of those. The Aprihop is very easy to drink and good. It is a little more “straight forward”, and I consider myself to be more of a “straight forward” type of guy, so this was right up my alley. Even though apricot is not particularly a favorite fruit of mine, I found that when combined with an extensive hop character it became way more bearable and supportive. I would be more than happy to purchase this again next Spring. If you can still find this at the store, pick it up and try it. It’s a really good beer.
Do you enjoy the “avant garde” brews produced by Dogfish Head???
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Score: 4.0 out of 5