Welcome back, everyone. Thanks for stopping by for another Daily Beard Beer Review. Today, I’ve got a beer that may be more than a bit out of season at this point, but hey, if you like beer, who cares about seasons, right? The beer in question is Ithica’s Apricot Wheat, a newcomer to my collection. Let’s see if it makes a good first impression.
Starting off, the bottle aroma is a malty cloud of sweet, mellow apricots. It’s a slightly floral profile with a bunch of sweet notes, bringing about a summer time vibe, as well as an almost tropical fruitiness that speaks of more than just the apricots. There’s also a gentle melon aroma at the edges, carrying a sweet hint of honey. The malts eventually take a back seat to the fruits, and allow even more sweetness to rise up. The aroma is not quite as fruity as a cider, or even a lambic beer, but there’s definitely quite a strong fruit presence here, with only a slight backbone of malts underneath to root the entire thing in beer land.
The first tastes are very similar. It washes smooth over the tongue with a slightly sour, mostly sweet wave of apricot. Bready malts show up next, making up the base of each flavor, but like the aroma, the apricot dominates without overpowering. The sweetness only stays for a brief instant before fading into a slightly dry finish. However, both the apricot notes and the bready vibe from the malts hang out for a while. At the back end of the taste, there’s a slight sourness, like what you would experience after eating an actual piece of fruit – quite nice and refreshing. The apricot is up front and powerful the entire time, but both it and the malts stay light and balanced with each other to provide a fruit flavored beer, rather than a hard juice flavor.
Poured out into a pint glass, the aromas are more dispersed, showing only a faint trace of apricots and melon. There are almost no malty notes, but there is a slight sprinkling of floral softness. After a few moments, the apricot comes back, rising out of the glass and dominating the aroma once more, though in a subdued capacity. It pours a moderately opaque apricot color, with a super fizzy white head that bubbles away quickly. A curtain bubbles rings the edge of the glass for quite a while after the pour.
The post-pour taste is much stronger than the bottle on every front. The apricot is still the major flavor, but there’s a slightly more powerful roasted malt profile, giving the taste of toasted bread crust. These malts contend with the apricots for top flavor spot, but ultimately subdue to the fruity overlords. However, this contrast darkens the overall taste of the beer in a tasty way, making each flavor a bit more clingy. The carbonation still bubbles most flavors away fairly quickly, but the aftertaste lingers on as a fruity bread mellowness, even after the bubbles have done their job. The more prominent bread flavor has another trick up its sleeve, chaning the beer into an acceptable early fall ale as well, now that it packs a heavier kick of flavors.
A beer that evolves over time, Ithica’s Apricot Wheat starts as a burst of tropical summer and ends as a bready fruit ale, fit for the first days of autumn. With a potent apricot profile loading both aroma and flavor, it is super refreshing and easily drinkable. Above average carbonation, plus a slight dryness on the tongue, pushes the flavor from the mouth faster than I would have liked, but the aftertaste is long enough to last until you’re ready to drink again. It looks gorgeous, with a bright apricot color matching its taste perfectly. It is a tad pricey, though not as much as other craft beers. And, it’s a bit out of season, but it should be back to usher in the return of warm temperatures.
I recommend this beer on a warmer day, maybe chillin’ out maxin’, relaxin’ all cool on a beach somewhere. It’d also be good with some spicy wings. Also, if you happen to be a fan of Coronado’s Orange Avenue Wit, give this one a try. It might be right down your alley. Whatever your choice, Ithica’s Apricot Wheat is easy to enjoy, and earns a B+ for it’s tastiness.
Lasting Strength: 7/10
Overall: 8.7/10 B+