Style: American Fruited Mixed Fermentation Farmhouse Ale with Apricots
From: Seattle. WA
Brewery’s Note: “Farmhouse ale brewed with over 50 pounds per barrel of fresh apricots and fermented without indigenous cultures – Apricot Love is a natural manifestation of our love for beer and fruit.”
The beer pours a hazy, sunburst yellow with a small, tightly packed head of pearly white bubbles. The head leaves thicker strands of fluffy lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer’s body is cloudy and nearly opaque, seemingly thin with a little bit of turbidity from the apricot in the beer. On the nose, the beer smells of deep, minerally stone fruit flesh. There are touches of juicy richness, and perhaps a touch of sweet acorn squash, but really the apricot leads the nose. It does turn a little towards burnt rubber, which I get a lot with apricot fruited ales, but it’s not too potent here, and the minerally and sweet nature of the fruit really plays through. There’s also a light salinity, a touch of lime and lemon acidity, and even slight wheat toast. It’s a rich nose that unfurls more as you shove your nose in it. On the tongue, the beer tastes of deep, sweet apricot fruit. The fruity sweetness is the driving force here, and while it ekes to slightly overpowering at times, it never hits cloying. There is a minerality to the sip that plays throughout, coming forward most dominantly in the finish to suggest gose-like brine. Acidity is light and mostly fruit-driven, perhaps with a touch of lactic pop; it is most present in the start and back end, but drops away in the middle to allow rich sweetness and minerality. It’s juicy, yet balanced with mineral wash and perhaps a touch of fruit-tannin bitterness that seems to build on the tongue as I sip. The burnt rubber plays a background role, coming out most in the middle of the sip, but falling quickly away beside the battle of juicy apricot and rich minerally fruit. In the mouth, the beer is on the light side of medium, and quite attenuated, despite the extra girth and heft that the fruit brings. Carb is middling and fresh, providing a nice cream that tangoes around the subtle malt in the beer. Mouthfeel is creamy, and slightly oozing with juice, yet snappy, too. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left sticky and it feels like some of the fruit pulp remains as a cream on the tongue, slowly oozing away. The mouth is wet and slight, yet the sides of the mouth feel drier and fresh. Overall, this is a juicy apricot bomb. It handles the apricot better very well, building cream and the lovely minerality of the fruit into the sip. My one big complaint is the slight burnt rubber flavor, but that honestly drops away as you drink, leaving it more as a micro-flaw in a delicious beer. I personally want a little more bitterness or citrus interplay in the beer, just to liven the tongue a little more, but this is truly delicious. Juicy apricot in a lovely, balanced beer. A great intro to the Urban Family for me.