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Beer Review #193 Whitewater IPA

I was excited to try my last beer reviewed, but it left me wanted. Perhaps the most interesting beer in the Sam Adams Variety Pack is Whitewater IPA. The bottle says a “wheat ale brewed with apricots and spices.” According to Sam Adam’s website the idea behind this beer was to combine an IPA with a Belgian-style White Ale. Before I dive into this review I want to share a few quick thoughts on the Boston Beer Company with you. For such a big brewery they really seem to embrace the “homebrewer mentality.” They do not seem to be afraid to try something different and out there. While they don’t get the acclaim of a Dogfish Head I really feel like they do a great job of making different beers. They are also 100% American owned, have a beer buyback program, and encourage homebrewers to try new things, which, with all things considered, makes them pretty badass. Maybe I am alone in that feeling as they have grown out of the microbrewery category, but I really respect what they do. Your regularly scheduled beer review continues below.

Whitewater IPA pours a hazy yellow-orange color and have a fluffy white head. The nose is very much that of an IPA. The hops are on the citrus side of the hop world with lots of grapefruit coming through as well. I didn’t get any Belgian odors nor did I find any apricots in there either.

The first sip lead to some very solid hops. This IPA has a fruity character to it. The hop flavor really enhances some of the fruit vibes in this beer. I did get a slight bit of apricot mixed in before the hops hit, but it wasn’t very strong. There is a strange flavor about halfway through a gulp that made my tongue feel slightly numb. I’m not sure if it was the Belgian component to the beer, but it was noticeable enough to make note of. The hops come in right after the strange flavor and do a good job or cleaning up the beer. They are full of citrus with some piney notes at the very end.

This IPA is one of the creamiest IPAs that I have had in awhile. I’m assuming that it comes from the use of wheat malt which can help contribute to mouthfeel. I really liked the balance on this one. The apricots didn’t add anything to the beer, but we can let that slide. I liked this much more than Might Oak Ale, too bad it is only in the variety pack right now. (more…)

Beer Review #102 Aprihop

Aprihop is a spring seasonal beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery located in Milton, Delaware. This is one of the fest seasonal beers that they product that I have never had, so when I saw it in the store recently, I grabbed it up. Dogfish has this to say about their beer:

Aprihop is our fruit beer for hopheads!

It is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts massively hopped in 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.

It sounded like an interesting combination to me. Generally I’m not a fan of fruit beers, but I have never had an IPA version of a fruit beer. The bottle clearly says “an Indian Pale Ale brewed with real apricots.” I enjoy their Punkin Ale so I figure that this beer will also be a nice balance. The beer pours a ruby/amber color and comes with a slightly off-white head. The nose has a faint hoppy odor but it is very strong on the apricots.

On the first taste the apricots really hit home. They are then followed by a slight roasted malt flavor and then the hops kick in. It was actually a very nice progression. The hops and apricots mix wonderfully in the aftertaste as well. After drinking this beer for a bit of time, the apricots fade out of taste and the hops really start to come out. I thought this beer was pretty good but the apricots do get old quickly. Aprihop comes in at 7% ABV and it was a nice attempt at something that hasn’t really been done before. I’m not a huge fan of fruit beers but  I found this to be one of the more drinkable ones out there. (more…)