Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Dogfish Head's Aprihop

Some hail Dogfish Head as the kings of the craft brewing revolution. I count myself among that crowd. No other brewery has struck me with the sheer range of the beers they brew. From their standbys like 60 Minute IPA and Indian Brown Ale (easily the best brown ale I've ever had) to their seasonal releases to their powerful rarities like Chateau Jiahu and Fort, the people behind Dogfish Head are sheer geniuses with the number of concoctions they're able to put together.

Their spring seasonal release is the focus of this review, though. It's called Aprihop because it's an IPA brewed with apricots. What a great idea for a spring release: something fruity and flavorful, yet interesting enough to take the place of Bud Light Lime in your fridge as the days warm up. I tried this refreshing brew last night and had to give it a formal review because it was that good. I won't say it's above any other IPA I've ever had because it's just a different entity. But it is damn good, so let's examine just what makes it that good!

Appearance: 3/5
Aprihop has a nice color to it. It's a medium reddish amber. It sure looks like an IPA. The head isn't superb, but the lacing that lingers as you drink is very present.

Nose: 5/5
The hops don't exist in this IPA's aroma. I think that's an interesting move on Dogfish Head's part because it makes you feel like you're not about to sip an IPA at all, but rather a nice fruity ale. All I get in the nose, no matter how hard I try, is the smell of fresh apricots. It's a mouthwatering aroma.

Taste: 5/5
Here's where the hoppy nature of Aprihop breaks through, but not overwhelmingly so. Just as in the nose, the strongest thing about this beer is the apricot flavor. I taste the fruitiness, and it's rather sweet. The hops, I think, deliver a roundness to the beer so it's not just a run-of-the-mill fruity beer. It really has character. There are bitter notes that come in underneath the apricot taste.

Mouthfeel: 5/5
Aprihop sports a full body with a rather crisp mouthfeel. It makes itself present on the palate while being enjoyably fruity and bitter.

Finish: 4/5
There's nothing to really complain about in the finish. I get the nice, smooth flavor of apricots left behind and feel very refreshed and ready for another sip.

Total Score: 96/100

I'd say Dogfish Head have outdone themselves with Aprihop. Granted, the only other seasonal beer of theirs that I've tried is their fall brew, Punkin Ale, which is some rather weak sauce compared to all the good-to-great pumpkin beers I've had. Regardless, this is a fantastic beer that brings spring to mind and is so very flavorful and refreshing. Even those who don't like IPAs should try this beer because it's just that tasty.

Until next time, cheers!


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