Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ithaca Apricot Wheat (review)

 For my latest review I'm enjoying a six pack of Ithaca Apricot Wheat Ale from Ithaca Beer Company, Ithaca NY in the heart of trail running country. Unlike the other beers I've reviewed on this blog (so far), this is not my first encounter with this particular brew. I've had Ithaca Apricot Wheat before, albeit long before I began to think more critically about the beers I choose.

Apricot Wheat is one of Ithaca Beer Company's more popular and better known beers, and with good reason. It is a more accessible beer than some of their other offerings, and as a wheat beer falls more into line with the typical mainstream American beer drinker's expectations.

I poured a bottle into my finisher's glass from this year's Catharine Valley Half Marathon, a race held just to the East of Ithaca. The beer pours golden, like a wheat beer should, and gives off a huge foamy head that doesn't hang out very long before dissolving. Numerous bubbles are apparent in the glass indicating rather heavy carbonation which is confirmed in the taste. On the nose the beer has an obvious, but not overpowering, fruity aroma.

Ithaca Apricot Wheat tastes like it looks and smells. There is a strong carbonated bite, and an upfront apricot flavor. So many craft beers claim subtle “fruit notes,” and “citrus notes,” that are indiscernible to most of us. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have mass market beers, such as Bud Light Lime where the fruit flavor is clearly an additive, likely artificial, thrown into the mix after the brewing is done. The apricot flavor in Ithaca Apricot Wheat comes from real apricot fruit in a "secondary fermentation,” and falls somewhere in between. There is enough Apricot flavor to justify the name of the beer, but not so much, and so overpowering to say ‘this is fruity piss for 90lb blonde chicks.

Overall the flavor pallet of Ithaca Apricot Wheat is well balanced, the “grassy” vibe of wheat, subtle hops. Its not a complex beer, by any means, and hardcore critics will find it dull, but I could easily drink a six pack of Ithaca Apricot Wheat by the poolside without any guilt.

 
What Ithaca Beer Company Says:
Our smooth wheat beer is light in color and body…perfect for those looking for a lighter taste. The combination of wheat and barley gives Apricot Wheat a different malt character than our other ales. The hint of apricot gives this beer a pleasant nose and fruity finish.

Availability
Year Round
ABV4.9%
Malt:2-Row Pale, White Wheat
Hops:Summit
Other:Natural apricot flavor
Suggested Food Pairing:Complements Summer Salads and Fruity Desserts, Excellent ingredient for pork accompaniments/sauces.
Recommended Cheese Pairing:Soft goat’s milks cheese like Chevre

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