Apis IV | Elevation Beer Co.

very good
40 Reviews
Apis IVApis IV

Brewed by:
Elevation Beer Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 05-22-2012

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 158
Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raising the bar for the trappist style dark strong ale, the Elevation brewers make no substitutes or shortcuts when delivering a malty, dry, fruity and spicy taste in true monastic fashion.

Apis IV pours a rusty plum color with garnet highlights and a tall off white column of creamy foam. Lacing to a tee, the juicy and spicy perfume wafts over the senses with a boost of dark fruit, pepper, wine and spice cake. Sweet on the tongue, a flavor of hard candy, grape and dark fruit splashes the tastebuds with pulled candy and saltwater taffy.

As the sweetness subsides, the complex balance between fruit and spice soon steals the show. Plum, date, fig, blackberry, blackcurrant all show an off raisin, off prune depth and darkness on the middle palate. A follow up of fresh cracked peppercorn, clove, hops and allspice offset the fruit impressions and lead into a robust taste of red wine and toasted spice cake once more.

Full on the palate, the beer shows tremendous brightness and malty dryness despite being a sweet and fruity beer. Bold effervescence bounces the malt off the tongue and ushers in a fast finish of arid wine and peppery spice that extend into a medium length afterglow.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - great looking beer. Dark thick with a good lasting tannish white head and sticky lacing
Smell - sweet honey dark plum Belgium scent
Taste - sweet dark plum but don't get to much honey
Feel - medium body and carb
Overall - fantastic!

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Photo of constantine_272
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a dark murkey brown with low head. Nothing to see here folks. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, rich leather and dark honey. The taste starts off sweet and chocolate syropy with some tangy cocoa nibs bittering through the middle. A deep woody musty aroma builds in the mouth reminiscent of forgotten library books and the dried fruityness of white grape raisins. A light bitterness at the end turns sharper that nicely combats the sweetness. A long building bitterness builds to the end reminding me of the leaves in the backyard that don't get picked up in winter. Needless to say, very deep and well developed earthy flavors. And the balance is spot on save for a touch too much sweetness at the end. Overall, I really like this beer. It doesn't scream Belgian, but it does so in all the right ways. It doesn't have to necessarily taste traditional belgian because this beer stands on its own as a modern new interpretation of the style. Well done guys.

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Photo of spoony
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle to a chalice. Reviewed from notes dated March 30, 2016.

A-The beer is dark amber and very murky. Almost opaque. A short tan-grey head sits on top and hangs around for a little while, but retention is nowhere near the best of the style. Some carbonation is visible in the glass.

S-The aroma is a sweet and pleasant mixture of raw honey, figs, macerated cherries and dark, earthy, bready malt flavors. It is not the same as the Belgian classics, but it smells better than many New World quads.

T-The taste is also quite sweet with suggestions of honey, caramel, figs, and a little zing of tart cherry on the finish. For some reason, the malts suggest rye bread to me. Not as complex as the examples of the style, but quite good nonetheless.

M-The feel is a little light for a quad with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O-This is a nice take on the style. You can really taste the honey, which is different than traditional quads or BSDAs, but I enjoyed it. I could use a little more body, but this is a nice option in 355 ml bottles.

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Photo of puck1225
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On draft into a tulip glass. Nice dark brown color with a good head and nice lacing. Sweet smell with some cinnamon. The cinnamon caries over to the taste. Also flavors of dark fruit and caramel. There is also the taste and feel of a cola. It is a nice beer.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Poured into a Propolis tulip. Very dark red, almost brown body. Minimal head, no visible carbonation.

Smell: Dark fruit, earth, honey, and notes of pear.

Taste: Dark fruit, earth, notes of honey, cloves, and chocolate.

Feel: Low carbonation, thick and syrupy body. Slight alcohol presence.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Body is a somewhat clear cola brown with very little head.

S: Sweet dark malts, spiced dark fruits like black cherry and plum, honey, and some booziness.

T: Followed the nose, but it was sweeter than I expected.

F: High carbonation, smooth, and a bit sticky.

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Photo of Chris_Huston
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Deep amber, brown, and garnet, with a light tan head that quickly dissipates. Smells of rich but restrained figs, raisin, molasses, and malt, giving a sophisticated and inviting aroma., though perhaps too heavy on the fruit.

The carbonation is a bit too lively, to me, for a quad, but creaminess does come in fairly soon. The sophistication seems to get lost on the taste, with mostly a sweet, candied molasses and honey profile. Nice, but needs more bitterness (and the fruit promised by the smell), belying the noted 41 IBUs on the label.

Body could be heavier and less fizzy; not unpleasant, but ultimately too distracting. If sweet beers are your sweet spot, this is a solid recommendation, but seems too much for the style.

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Photo of stevoj
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly muddy brown with small oily head. Molasses, honey, some floral notes in the aroma. Taste is sweet, some wood, brown sugar. Sweet and gritty finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 01244 from 2012

Appearance: I often complain that domestic craft examples of Belgian styles fail the "looks" test but this one has it down, at least at the outset; pours a cola color and is capped by an impressive three finger head; the stickage is not up to snuff nor is the lacing, but the failure is not significant

Smell: Plum, fig, caramel and honey tones abound, with hints of chocolate and molasses

Taste: The honey permeates the flavor and underpins a complex blend - plum, fig, date, caramel and, to a lesser extent, chocolate and molasses

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; close to but not quite at the exquisite Belgian level

Overall: Quite impressed by this beer and, after three years, it is drinking gracefully

Thanks, FlandersNed, for the opportunity

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured bottle into tulip glass
Pours an amber in color with an off white creamy head with good lacing. Wonderful typical quad aromas and taste but with the hint of honey. I'm gal I was able to try this beer while out in Colorado.

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Photo of KLHBB
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Oh my this is fabulous. Served on tap in a half-pint tulip. Smooth, rich, molasses and dark fruit, but not cloyingly sweet. Read someone else's post for the details, I don't have the palate but I know I loved this. Full bodied, drink slowly. Not for dinner, not for throwing back in a hurry. Elegant.

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Photo of ThomasC
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just what I expected out of a quadruple. Biscuit, malty, figs, honey, a slight bit of coriander after warming; however, there is a slight "canny" taste in the background. Who know? Maybe it was this batch, or my sinus, but there is an odd taste in the background that I cannot put my finger on. Maybe I'll give it a whirl again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a dark red-orange amber with a thin off-white head that slowly dissipated to patches and light lacing. Aroma of bready malt, fresh and dried dark stone fruit with plums and dates dominating, light suggestions of molasses and honey. Flavor is caramel and bready malt, brown bread, brown sugar, dark stone fruit, honey. Finishes somewhat drier with residual dark dried fruit and brown bread, light Belgian spicing. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A nice domestic take on a quadrupel with good honey flavor to supplement the traditional flavors. Nicely balanced and with a perfect sweetness level. ABV is remarkably covered, barely detectable. Warming but no hint of booziness. Very nicely done. I'm debating whether to get another bottle for ageing, the flavor are not overly intense and the ale is already nicely balanced. Could be interesting in a few years.

 899 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy deep amber. Head is virtually nonexistent. A few creamy bubbles on top is all.

Aroma is sweet honey, caramel malt, toffee and molasses. Raisin, dates, figs and plums.

Caramel and honey on the tongue. Heavy, sweet malt presence. Fresh bread. Some dark fruits including ripe cherry, plums, figs and black raisins. Mild alcohol on the back end.

Medium-thick body. No carbonation to speak of. Syrupy consistency leaving the tongue coated.

This is an excellent beer with rich sweetness. Might like to have a bit of mild carbonation rather than the total lack thereof. Easy drinking and smooth. Alcohol is well hidden for 10.7%

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #69 (October 2012):

A beer with more subtle nuances will win a weathered beer drinkers more than a palate wrecker, Apis IV is the later and peels back a new layer with each sip. Still trying to really notice the 10.7% abv, we still took our time with so it could tell the whole story. The biggest part of the story is that it lives up to being a Quad. An amazing brew.

STYLE: Quadrupel
ABV: 10.7%

LOOK: Flush burgundy hue, showy tan lacing

SMELL: Sweet, caramel, creamy, alcohol, raw honey, dried cherries, brown bread, faint green apple, wild flowers, toasty

TASTE: Milky smooth, full-ish body, kiss of alcohol, juicy, fig paste, buckwheat honey, subtle herbal hop, caramel, bread crust, a little grassy, sorghum syrup, ripe plums, slightly peppery, molasses cookies, semi-dry finish

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10-19-15 - On tap at the Terminal Bar in the Denver Union Train Station. Had a few of these late night as we closed down the bar. Very dark in color with little head.
3-5-16 - Back in Denver. On tap again at Terminal Bar. Picked one up to assist as I unpacked for a couple of days here in Denver. Great quad that I can't get back east. Dark brown, little head and just So tasty and smooth.

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Photo of tomordonez
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours into a medium head. Very dark but not black. Under the light it looks a dark brown with red. Smells like chocolate, caramel, wood, cigar a little banana. It has a smoky taste, medium body, high carbonation. Wood taste, although not sure if this is matured in wood. Drink slowly.

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Photo of champ103
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at D&T in Houston.

A: Pours a dark, slightly hazed garnet red color. A two finger beige head rises with excellent retention. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: A big malty aroma with the right amount of sugar and caramel sweetness and a nice fruity character. Some banana like fruity esters, and some darker fruits like cherries and plums. A phenolic spice in the finish as well. Very nice.
T: Again, very nice and enjoyable. Sugar and caramel sweetness, fruity esters of bananas. That Belgiany phenolic spice in the finish brings everything together.
M/D: A medium to full body. Crisp carbonation, but smooth at the same time. Just the right amount of warming alcohol that makes this an enjoyable sipper.

The best of the bunch that I had at D&T. So far, the one that I would purchase again. Something that I would recommend.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.27/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Confused this with the Cab barrel version, so reentering the correct rating.

On tap at Belmont Station

A: Dark brown without any head. Great legs, though. Looks better than the cab version.

N: Oak, prune, toffee, olives, and soy sauce. Fairly flawed still, but it starts to smell like the ’real’ thing.

T: Malty and bready. There’s a lot of dimension to this, and it’s reserved in its sweetness.

M: Round and full. Sticky and mealy.

O: A fairly decent representation of the style. It’s another American version that doesn’t hit all the right notes, but it’s a good approximation.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 848: This poured out as a hazy brown color. The head is tan in color with a solid retention and sticky lacing. The smell is sweet, plenty of honey and malt. The taste gives off lots of malt as well as more honey. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated, the bottle actually foamed out over the after removing the cork. It's medium bodied with a good drinkability. Overall it's an interesting Quad, it's more of a a Braggot in my opinion, which I love both style so this is pretty good in my opinion. Really nice brew here.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Bottle #05987. 5,987 BEES! Anyway, this stuff pours a deep ruby-brown topped by a finger of sandy khaki foam. The nose comprises fig, raisin, light molasses, light maple syrup, clove, pumpernickel, dark fruits, a pinch of brown sugar, and a light dip in a vat of chocolate. The taste brings in more of the same, with the chocolate and spices leading the charge and the fruits coming through a bit muted in comparison with the smell. The body is a lithe medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a relatively smooth feel. Overall, a very nice quad, one littered with nuance and character in every Thomas-brand nook and cranny (it matters to those who know...). Good times.

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Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 05035, bottled summer 2012

A: Pours a very dark reddish-brown. Good sized fluffy and fizzy tan head. Head fades slowly and sticks around nicely - great retention. Fluffy slashes of lacing everywhere.

S: Very fruity. Lots of grapes and cherries and raisins in fact. Honey is distinct and noticeable and combines nicely with some caramel. Maybe a touch of brown sugar?

T: Again, dark fruits up front as mentioned in the aroma. Honey comes up in the middle and is quite distinct. Combines with some earthiness in the middle. Decent bit of caramel with some toffee and toast into the finish. Fairly drying in the finish and aftertaste; hints of earth and dried fruits with just a touch of honey. Get just a touch alcohol in between sips; the only thing betraying its ABV.

M: Honestly, not nearly as thick or heavy as you'd expect for a 10.7% beer. Nice and smooth, drying in the finish.

O: A nice example of the style. Honey adds a nice layer of complexity. Typical belgian yeast earthiness with dark fruits layering over everything. Tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of Hex92
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second beer from elevation and I think I have found my new favorite brewery. Unfortunately my nose is stoppedup tonight, so i can't taste or smell as well as I would like.

From what I can tell this is a great beer. Smells great and tastes great. The honey comes through nicely in both the smell and taste. Very smooth flavor, nice mouth feel. This is an excellent beer. I will have to update my review when I open the next bottle..

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark, slightly hazed crimson red with a modest tannish cap

S: The nose is overcome with sweet honey notes and dark fruits

T: The taste buds are met with an initial wallop of dark fruits in the way of purple grapes, figs, raisins and dates. The honey plays second fiddle as it should and masked just underneath dark fruits. A bit of Earthiness on this beer with a subtle booze sting is noted. The finish is dry, some heat and a tad sweet

M: Medium body, well carbonated

O: Good. No major flaws found

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Apis IV from Elevation Beer Co.
4.04 out of 5 based on 158 ratings.
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