brews always intrigue me, usually because they involve eccentric
recipes you wouldn’t normally see. That’s a good deScription of Vapricot
– a supposedly imperial IPA brewed by Terrapin and Cigar City that uses
ginger and apricot. The result is a rather odd beer as the mixture of
flavors is more interesting than good.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a wine glass. The freshness date was smeared.
Appearance: Murky/rusty orange/brown hue. No carbonation visible. Pours
to a small, off-white, foamy head which mostly evaporates and leaves no
lacing though alcohol legs are visible.
Smell: Huge ginger aroma, though much different than any kind of soda.
Intense sweetness with a slight medicinal quality. Apricot is
detectable, but not strong enough to offer balance.
Taste: When it comes to ginger, I think it should be used as a garnish
at most – it shouldn’t be the main course. And despite the name, apricot
really isn’t as prominent in the palette here as you’d think. Ginger
dominates from beginning to end; though it doesn’t taste like the dry
spice you’re used to in pumpkin and other S/H/V type brews; it’s almost
as if the ginger were some kind of juice or puree. The brewery’s website
does describe it as “ginger juice” but how can that be – ginger is just
a dry root; so where is the “juice” coming from? The apricot doesn’t
emerge until the back end and imparts some rich sweetness to attempt to
balance the ginger spice. It’s a nice flavor, actually; slightly juicy
and seems authentic. But for an IIPA, this beer doesn’t seem especially
bitter or hoppy. It’s a dank sensation to be sure, but doesn’t seem to
be anywhere near the 70 IBUs advertised. The alcohol is fairly prominent
and imparts an interesting taste that’s half medicinal and half
marmalade. There’s a fascinating concept being used in this recipe, but
the result isn’t especially great (but it’s not bad, either).
Drinkability: Vapricot weighs in at 9% ABV, which is pretty hefty by any
measurement. Alcohol does come through in the form of gentle warmth,
but it’s easily tolerable. The actual mouthfeel is fairly full bodied,
yet it just doesn’t feel nearly as heavy as it is. In fact, it’s
actually a little refreshing while in the mouth, though there is a dry,
lingering sensation on the tongue. I’m sure this would complement some
kind of ginger-flavor meal well, but ask a chef about that.