Beer Review 0131: Dogfish Head Aprihop

Ahh, Dogfish Head. They produce beer out of Milton, Delaware, and it’s no secret that I love this brewery. I’ve reviewed a ton of their beers, and I’ve even rated one an incredible 99 points. But I’ve sort of taken a break from them lately, because I kind of think they are getting too extreme.

One of the more recent beers I’ve had from Dogfish, Ta Henket, was brewed with dom-palm fruit and an herb called Za’atar. Yeah. If you need to Google that, you aren’t alone: I had to just to write the review. The result was something less than impressive, stuffed in a big bottle with an expensive price tag. Hmm…

Hey, I’m all for creativity and the usage of ingredients you gotta Google in order to see what the hell they are. But when the stuff you’re making just isn’t that good, maybe it’s time to stick to the basics for a bit.

Aprihop is Dogfish’s spring seasonal, and it is an India Pale Ale brewed with real apricots. The IPA is “massively hopped,” of course using Dogfish’s continuous hopping method; apricots are added, and this one is dry-hopped with Amarillo. The apricots are there to play a supporting role in this beverage. Immediately one wonders, “did they just add some apricots to 60 Minute IPA?” Well, let’s find out…

Pouring produced an average size head, creamy in texture and suds that hung around. The beer was a very pleasant deep amber color, with orange tints, clear in body with no particles or sediment. The lacing was quite excellent, coating the glass with a foamy but not sticky coat.

On the nose, this beer is very fruity and flowery. There’s a ton of sweet apricot up front, but not so much that it overwhelms typical hop aromas like citrus, specifically orange with a twist of grapefruit. Combine the apricots and hops and you end up with something that is very floral-like. And also very Windex (the window cleaner). Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a pleasant smell… but the aroma of this beer definitely made me think of the blue liquid best used to clean glass with. Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure; I awarded twelve points out of fifteen in this category. Maybe I happen to like the aroma of Windex?

Flavors presented a large apricot note in the front, with some orange and grapefruit sneaking in the middle. The grapefruit flavor provided a touch of bitterness, as this IPA isn’t very high on the International Bitterness Unit scale (50 IBU), which was a welcome contrast to the slightly sweet finish of apricot. The fruit tasted neither contrived or artificial; you could tell high quality ingredients went into this brew. There’s a slight alcohol warmth on the end, as this one is 7% ABV (alcohol by volume).

I thought Aprihop to be a solid beer that well represents what one might expect when quaffing a spring seasonal. And this is, hands down, the best beer brewed with apricots that I’ve ever had. There are a few out there, and they often fall on their faces. This one most assuredly does not.

And this is definitely NOT 60 Minute IPA with some apricots added.

Dogfish Head Aprihop, 87 points. Price: $8.99 for a four pack.

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