Cascade Apricot Ale - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Apricot AleCascade Apricot Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

263 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 263
Hads: 1,575
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 3.54%
Wants: 447
Gots: 370 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ccrida on 04-18-2008

This NW style sour blond ale was barrel aged for up to nine months, then aged on fresh apricot for an additional six months. Aromas of sweet apricot blossoms and tart fruit are present as you draw the glass near. Deep, rich apricot flesh, then tart apricot notes dance on the palate and lead to a sweet apricot flesh finish with a lingering fruit tartness.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 263 | Hads: 1,575
Photo of Halcyondays
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750 mL bottle, 2009 Edition,

A: Pours a hazy golden with a mild fizzy white head.

S: Apricot city, very fragrant with some lactic acid.

T: True apricot flavour, with a moderate lactic acid. There's no real funk here, I heard Cascade doesn't use Brett. That's fine, this is very tasty, apricots/acid/light wood.

M: Moderate acid, with an elegant easy carbonation which makes the beer light on the tongue and easy to drink.

D: The bottle said 9%, this feels nowhere near it. Dangerously drinkable for its ABV, a damn good fruit beer. (543 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an ice tea brown with a thin head and good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: I'm getting more of a acetic aroma with very faint apricots and oak notes in the mix. I kinda get a little vinegar as well after a couple whiffs.

T: mild tart acetic apricot backbone with oak accents like the nose but not really to sweet to throw off the balance in the beer.

M: Meduim body beer with good bubbly carbonation that adds tingles to the flavor.

D: I always enjoy cascade beers and this one is no exception. Glad that I've been able to try this brew a couple times. (565 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage, 9.0% ABV. Poured from a cork and caged 750ml bottle into my Allagash chalice like snifter glass. Pours a pale and creamy like golden color with a finger or 2 of frothy off-white head. Head has decent retention and spotty, yet sticky lacing. Appearance is slightly cloudy and fizzy.

Aroma is intense! What a great smell for this style of beer! Lots of funk and sharpness, tart and fruity...apricots are pleasantly noticable...not super strong, but there. Slight oak appeal with some dryness. My mouth is litterally watering!

Flavor is awesome! Apricot sweetness there but mild. A great tart and funk controls the majority of the taste. High carbonation but perfect and complimenting. Oak and small notes of vinegar...and dry finish. Light and extremely crisp mouthfeel/body. This is a great drinker! Final thought: an awesome beer from Cascade! (859 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 bottling, "ale brewed with apricots & aged in oak barrels," 9% ABV listed on label.

Typical of many a corked-n-caged bottled conditioned ale, this gushed a little upon popping the top, but not enough to make a huge mess. This beer has a tremendous look to it--a deep, coppery/reddish sunset color, with a thick dirty-white head that's incredibly firm. Tilting the glass this way and that, it leaves big rainbow-shaped lace patterns.

Aroma is very strong. I could smell it from a foot away, and bringing the nose in for a closer whiff, I have two immediate thoughts: 1) the yeast is phenomenally appealing--earthy, dirty, funky, mingling very well with the super-natural apricot character, and 2) alcohol is a little too prominent, seeming medicinal and bringing down the better elements of the nose. No matter, it's still a wonderful beer to sniff on.

Holy Extreme Sweet Tarts...this baby is sweet, and only the earthier vibe of the yeast pulls it down to earth. Very candy-like, with the apricot essence bursting like a supernova. Alcohol adds further brightness to its saccharine character. The yeast takes us from Candyland to Flanders-land, and it's right in the middle that this beer sits comfortably, from the sickly sweettoothrot of the fruit sugars to the barnyard vibe of Belgium's lambic-producing region. Of course, there's a tart/sour tandem beating up on the mouth all the while. A Sweet Tarts character lingers in the finish. Also remarkably acidic and dry.

It feels tremendous, being at once bubbly and tingly and also having the kind of heft, roundness and weight I like in big beers. The label reveals this is based on the brewery's Temptor Triple, and it's the mouthfeel that betrays the fact this is an Americanized, hybridized, gargantuan-ized sort of lambic.

I like it, but it's so incredibly bright and sweet that it's like drinking liquid candy, and at 750 ml., all to myself tonight, I can't rate drinkability that high. Doubt I'll even get through the bottle. But I love it big and extreme and alcoholic, so I do enjoy it, and can confidently say this lambic will never be mistaken as a "girly beer," as some lambics unfortunately are. (2,171 characters)

Photo of Onibubba
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 20 bones a bottle, I was not sure about buying this unknown beer. Glad I did. Nice pour with suitable creamy head, leaving slight lacing. Dark honey in color. Smell is tart apricots. Taste is magnificently mellowed. The funk of a wild beer, the lactic taste of a flanders, and the alcolhol is never noticeable. Balance is the key here. Sweetness, tartness, and funk are all present, but none are dominanat - none. That is amazing. Mouthfeel is great, and drinkablity follows suite. I will be stocking up on these next week, and trying their Kriek. Best new beer of the month for me. (585 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle (2008 vintage cork and caged, tasted on 11/25/09). Served at 48 deg. Pours a light clear orange/golden. Huge bubbly white head that fades quickly. Aroma of peach and citrus, touch of some floral hops and vanilla bread. Incredibly dry taste, with very little residual sugar. Just a touch of sweetness with a belgian yeast flavor, then a pleasant mild sourness, but not as tart as expected. Drinks incredibly well and I cannot believe this is 9% (as labeled on bottle) for such a nice light bodied brew. Yet another fantastic beer from Cascade. (556 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Bottling

A: The pour is a cloudy amber color with a thin cream colored head on top and plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles.

S: The nose is highly lactic and acidic with plenty of fruity apricot notes as well. There is a light oak character and a hint of sweetness.

T: The apricots in the flavor are a bit sweeter, but there's still a nice acidity to it. The oak and fruit provide a fair amount of tannins which dry out the beer quite a bit.

M: The carbonation is quite high and the beer is very dry, especially on the finish, which I like. There's also a bit of alcohol warmth, which was surprising.

D: The Cascade sours are delicious as a rule, and this one is no exception. A fantastic beer and I'm glad I have some more at home. (740 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL "2008 Bottling" shared with two friends. First in our Cascade testing.

Cloudy golden amber color with a thin fizzy off white head that has nice retention and spotty lacing. Aroma is exceptional punch of brett funk and apricot sweetness, lemon, fresh grass, etc. Medium bodied with strong, fine carbonation. Flavor is pleasant balance of earthy funkiness and sweet and tart apricot. Very unique and very drinkable. (422 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased at the brewpub in October... I sat on this for several months in hopes of bringing it to a tasting, but never managed.

A: Pours a hazy marigold body with two fingers of dense off-white head. Retention is fantastic; for more than 20 minutes there is a thick cap on top of the brew, with thick lacing during each sip.

S: Apricot, apricot, apricot. Very potent aroma that doesn't hide the character of this beer. Lactic sourness, surprisingly little (if any) vinegar. Light oak and a hint of leather. There's definitely something spicy in the nose -- I want to say clove, because it reminds me of Coca-Cola. I'm pretty sure it's clove. Can't quite tell.

T: The apricot is more sweet than tart, although it manages the latter flavor. Sourness is mostly sharp and lactic. The wood contributes mild tannins and light spice in the finish. There's an occasional underlying sweetness that reminds me of sugar. The showcase of the flavor is definitely apricot and sourness, with other flavors providing more complex (but subtle) adornment.

M: Light-bodied, with a semi-dry finish. It carries the apricot flavor (not sweetness) into the aftertaste, with a clean pepper bite to it.

D: I like this. I expected more vinegar from a Flanders style sour, and I'm glad that's not the case here (I'm getting less impressed with acetic flavors these days). This is a clean, pure sour that delivers the flavors well. At $20 it's a little steep, but it's not a ways off from Russian River stuff. I'd buy it again. (1,540 characters)

Photo of Lunch
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750ml bottle generously shared by ygtbsm94 at the Sexual Chocolate release in North Carolina (Thanks man!) into my Great Divide snifter (02/06/10).

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with some orange hues capped with a faint off-white head.

S: Potent and intense tart and sour aroma of sweet apricot.

T: The apricot theme continues and the palate is met with some sweet and sour apricot with some real bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is quite nice and medium-bodied. Well carbonated, quite bitter and some puckering from the sourness.

D: As I am new to the style, drinkability is not as high as I'm use to, but still fairly easy to drink.

This was certainly a flavorful beverage that stayed true to its name. This will surely please any fan of the style. Thanks again Brad! (791 characters)

Photo of Ghenna
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The wife bought this as part of her own personal cache on her way back South from a conference in Seattle. 2008 Bottling

Poured into a pint glass, decent sized though extremely quickly dissipating, hazy gold color. Smells of, initially, fruit punch fruit roll up. I mean, it smells like apricot, but it's actually fruit punch fruit roll up. Suffice to say, memories of elementary school rekindled, I was looking forward to fruit roll up flavored lambic. I had a major misconceptions though:
This is not a lambic (at least as I know them, i.e. Lindemans, Cherish). It is a Belgian Flanders style Ale with Apricot. I think what really separates this from the Lambics that I am used to is the sour. The Sour flavor from my usual lambics tend to be smooth, and almost creamy. It doesn't hit you all at once- I'd call it complex. The sour on this isn't drawn out- its all at once and (relatively) harsh.
All of that said, this isn't bad by a stretch. It doesn't fit my conception of what a lambic should be, but it isn't too bad as a slightly sour apricot flavored belgian. With the high alcohol content (bottle says 9%) it might age well, and I believe that the sour might grow a little more complex. If I ever come across it again I might give that a shot. (1,254 characters)

Photo of everetends
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle sent to me by the great Reino. Been looking forward to trying some Cascade stuff and he told me to get on this as quickly as possible. So here we are. Served up in my large Free the Hops tulip.

A: Caged and corked bottle. Cage was incredibly tight, but that was probably due to shipping reasons now that I think about it. Smart move. HUGE pop off the cork with a foggy gun smoke on the open. Pours a light, golden brown. Held to the light, the color doesn't change much. Just lightens a bit. The body is a bit murky. Not clear, but not crazy cloudy either. The head that built off this was a good two fingers for sho, falls in due time to a solid finger. The head is a really nice and brilliant white and has some really nice stick to it. Nice and creamy, it sits on the glass nicely with a good sticky lace. Lazy carbonation activity. Doesn't get much better in the appearance category.

S: Nice aroma. Getting some fresh and dried apricot aromas kickin around in here. The apricot aroma is so clear and clean, just blatant apricot and I am lovin on it. It has that flanders sour and tart aroma, very tannic at times. Any malt is taking a back seat to the sour and yeasty quality. Fruit reigns here. The great thing is that the aromas are all fruit, but they still have subtlty. It may not sound complex, but it is great.

T: One word: delightful. The first thing that hits you is that flanders sour and tartness. Probably a bit more tart than sour. As you swallow, the apricot flavor is perfect. Seriously. It is perfectly clean, ripe apricot meat. Just so easily found and enjoyed. Fruity and floral at times. Lightly sweet but sour and tart are the main profile. Slight touch of wood on the back end, that may be where the sweetness is coming from. Little bit of Belgian yeast hanging around in the background. Lingering tannins give a touch of bite.

M: Light side of medium in body. has some weight to it, but still nice and light. Almost fluffy. Just has a nice pillowy texture that then is replaced by a little bit of carbonation bite and tartness. Slightly puckering but not out of hand. ABV is . . . does this have alcohol in it? Not getting any heat at all from this. Aftertaste is apricot meat and tannins.

D: This is going to be no problem to kill. If you like Apricots, this is your beer. So . . . it is my beer. The apricot is just so well translated in aroma and flavor. Its crazy. ABV and feel doesn't hurt at all. Just so easy to drink and just fantastic. You can tell a lot of love went into this beer and it is much appreciated to this Alabama beer lover. Lives up to the Cascade hype and then some. Awesome. Simply awesome. (2,664 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, got to sample this at SC Day on 2/6/09.

a - A nice amber/copper color with a small amount of head.

s - Amazing how it smells like pure apricot. Very sweet smell, I really enjoyed it.

t - Taste is a bitter sweet apricot taste. It had a little funk and was a little more bitter than I was expecting, but it was still very good.

m - Light to medium body with small to moderate carbonation.

d - Overall this was a very interesting and enjoyable lambic. I thought the smell was amazinf and the taste pretty good. I thought it would be a little less bitter and am not sure if I could drink a whole one without sharing, but I was very glad I got to try it and enjoyed it. (681 characters)

Photo of satowns
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to ktolley for prividing this great beer

limited tasting notes from a post holiday party

Appetizing fruity, dusty aroma.

flavors of obvious apricot. hints of clove and ginger. slight citrusy hops. slight invigorating "sweet tart" tartness. minimal wood contribution...actually i wouldnt even know there was wood involved if the label didnt inform us...

delightful beer. this would be amazing for sitting on the porch in the dead of summer. extremely refreshing. (472 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer! This is the 2008 vintage at 9% abv. Slightly murky orngein color wih a very nice mousse-like head that leaves some lacing. Wonderful aromas of crushed ripe apricots with some tannic notes from the skins. Similar depth of flavor in the mouth, with vibrant ripe apricot,tnnin from the skins, a deep background bitternes, and a lactic tartness throuhout. Wonefuly balnced, quenching and evocative of a summers day. Fairly tart and lactic in the mouth, this is just deligtful all around. (505 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'08 Vintage 9.0%

Pours a woody brown with a silky beige head. Excellent lacing and retention.

Nose has apricot, oak, tart citrus, candy malts, white wine, manure and horse blanket.

Taste also has a nice apricot presence followed by sweet malts, sour tropical fruits, wood and barnyard funk.

Medium body has a crisp carbonation. Finish lacks some dryness.

Overall, an impressive offering from Cascade. (406 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Relatively quiet pop of the composite cork that was a pliers-size bitch to get out of the corked & caged 750 bottle. Hell, the cage was wicked tight, too - wire handle a little too small. Either way, it's going into a Duvel tulip.

There's not a lot of head here - just a few light bubbly wisps above a...well...apricot-colored...body (at least slightly). Slight honey and bourbon tones, too. A few extremely slow wisps of carbonation. The wisps stay for a while and leave a little decent lace.

Nice beastie smell layered and well-blended with huge apricot essence, with a little bit of added muscat notes. Huge yeast electricity and raw grains make this an enjoyable scent.

It's dry...of course it is...but not as dry as, say, something like Fou Fonne, which is Dust Bowl dry. A smidge of residual apricot sweetness melds with a dry balsa wood/oak complement, and the light Belgian malts provide the appropriate backbone.

Palate feel provides great acidity along with the oak/lacto combination. Apricot ripeness preclude the supreme pucker we would otherwise expect; hops? Not really part of the equation - perhaps a mild addition of Styrian Goldings but that's about it. Good Belgian pale malt character along with an extra dry sweet & sour notion.

This one works. It works slowly, but it works. Just what I was in the mood for...something less dry than Brute yet less beefy than the bottle of Consecration I have downstairs. (1,431 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from City Beer Store in SF. $20, wow this is expensive.

A - Pours orangish-copper with a small white head and average retention.

S - Aroma is tart apricot, mildly sweet pale malt, and oak.

S - Both tart and a little sweet with lots of apricot, peach, oak, pale malt, and sugar. I don't consider apricot one of the better fruits to make a beer with, but this is good. I like a little sweetness to balance sour ales.

M - Body is medium and palate has a nice acidic sharpness to it.

D - Pretty good for a sour beer. Kept wanting more. (543 characters)

Photo of mykie73
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A) Cloudy, brilliant orange with beautiful copper head.

S) sour apricots, sweet vinegar, Mandarin oranges,

T) Sweet on tongue to mild sourness on back end. minimal sourness and tartness, can taste the tripel as one of the base beers.

F) light w/ nice bite. dries mouth a bit. tingles mouth w/ tripel carbonation. This beer could cellar for a long time.

D) Could drink this all night even with high alch percentage, but a bit expensive. great gateway mild sour lambic. (471 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

" It is a wild ale and we have a wild ale tasting coming up right?"

A:Really clear amber color with one finger of white head. Visible carbonation. Nice lacing.

S: Fresh cut apricots. Very sweet smelling. Vibrant apricots. Amazing really.

T: Little bit of funk. Nice apricot taste. Not that complex but when the beer smells like an apricot tree who cares?

M:Very nice. Medium side of light. Well carbonated.

D: No hint of the 9% at all. I have drank a few of their beers now and either they are lying or masters of making super drinkable big beers. (552 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden orange. Big frothy white foam head. Gobs of carbonation left on the glass.

Smells faintly of apricots, but it's not really in your face, bursting with apricots. It's harmonized with a familiar funky, barnyard, and zesty lemony twang. This is going to be good, isn't it.

The apricots are much more bursting in the flavor, but again, the balance of the brew is quite remarkable. I've had three beers (so far) from this brewery, and two have been really good (Sang Royal and this one), and one was awful (The Vine). I'm beginning to suspect more and more that something was off about that bottle. The apricots taste really fresh, the funk is muted and harmonious, and the hint of vinous vinegar is mixed with a bit of lemony citrus and apricot really well.

The apricots can be a bit much after a while, but very good. Nice zesty mouthfeel. (862 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle, poured into a tulip glass... 9% Alc. as listed.

- Slightly cloudy on the second pour, white foamy head about an inch thick down to a steady 1/4" at all times.. copper/amber color.

- Great tart and ester smell.. little bit of vinegar, apricot, grape and peach.. little bit of candy sweetness, and oak.

- Warming but yet very sour and tasty.. the alcohol is well hidden and this has some of the best oak barrel notes I have tasted. Very good for its style.

- Tart sourness left on the lips, and a clean palate in the mouth.. overall very good, and leaves no dryness...

- Other than being a bit bubbly like a sparkling wine (as it should for the style) its very drinkable, and I downed the whole bottle... very good. (731 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to kersta and someone else for sending this one to me.

A: Pours a nice light orange hue with a small fizzy white head. No real retention or lace to speak of. Plenty of fizz though with a simple swirl of the glass.

S: Nice light dried apricot aromas. Hints of light vinegar and a touch of sweet tart.

T: Nice mild taste. Real enjoyable on a hot night. Real earthy apricot up front. A blast of acid in the middle. The end has a bit of tart under ripe peach, and some nice fresh oak.

M: Light, zippy, tasty.

D: Good, enjoyed sipping on this one while watching the NASCAR. Who says NASCAR and sour does not mix? (623 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased over the phone from the brewery about a year ago, had this along with the Kriek, Cuvee, and Blackberry with four friends a few nights ago, reviewed from notes, poured into a snifter, color is a deep golden orange, ¾ inch bubbly white head, good retention, some lacing at first, aroma consists of apricot, oranges, peaches, lacto, sweet malt, tartiness, oak, and sugar, flavor begins with a nice dry apricot flavor, sour and sweet in the middle, marmalade-like at times, finish has a big lacto character along with an astringent finish, warms up with more fruit coming to the surface, also a big citrus component here, sour and sweet mouthfeel, medium bodied, nice carbonation, could drink this whole bottle easily and actually have of the previous year's vintage a few months ago, smooth and no alcohol present even though it packs a pretty good punch for a sour, will drink again, recommended (935 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

October 2009
3/4/4/3/3.5
3.65

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 to be truly great, but it is quite drinkable and tasty. (4,926 characters)

Cascade Apricot Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.