Saturday, December 12, 2015

Terrapin/Cigar City Vapricot

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1513) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 12, 2015
Collab 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.

RATING: 6/10

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