Happy holidays everyone! I hope you were sufficiently spoiled, and if not, you sufficiently spoiled yourself.
I’m pretty easy to shop for come Christmastime, and my darling significant other knew that something beer-related was probably a safe bet. And so it was that I became an esteemed member of Strange Fellows’ Fellowship. Jealous? You should be.
The Fellowship is a very exclusive club that literally anyone can join, and thankfully, no cross-country jewelry escorting is required. (For real though, why didn’t Gandalf get his good buddies, the eagles, to give Frodo a lift to Mount Doom? Could have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble.)
It costs $180 to join ($150 for returning members) and you get eight 750 mL bottles of Strange Fellows’ exclusive 2019 quarterly barrel-aged releases (two each), a 15% discount on growler fills at the brewery for the next year, a spiffy t-shirt and branded glassware and free invites to two special tasting events (dates TBD). So if you drink at Strange Fellows often (and you should), the savings add up quick. Judging by the beers they put out for last year’s Fellowship, it’s totally worth it, in my opinion. Especially since I didn’t have to pay for it.
Most importantly, being a member means that you get to drink all of Strange Fellows’ super fancy barrel-aged beer that no one else gets access to, because you’re a super fancy big shot, and that feels nice. It means you’re just a little bit better than everyone else. But you already knew that.
Anyways, Aprikose is the first release for Fellowship III, and it’s fantastic. Obviously.
It’s billed as an “American Wild Ale with Apricots,” and while “American” is normally beer code for “way too much hops,” such is not the case with Aprikose. There’s basically no hop character at all, because it’s a barrel-aged sour and it doesn’t bloody need any.
There’s a bit of funk here, but not enough to overpower the delicate notes of apricot, marzipan and oak. The acidity is also appropriately balanced.
Strange Fellows recommends aging Aprikose for six to 12 months, so drink one now and save the other for later. Or if you’re not a Fellowship member, find someone who is, and beg them for sip of their precious.
Aprikose by Strange Fellows Brewing (6.0% ABV, 750 mL)
Appearance: Translucent deep gold with a thin, fleeting white head.
Nose: Brett funk, oak, apricot, balsamic vinegar, marzipan.
Flavour: Apricot, oak, balsamic vinegar, marzipan, balanced Brett funk, mild cracker-like malt character.
Body/finish: Light bodied with a dry, tart finish.
Pairs with: Almond cake, goat cheese, duck breast and an unearned sense of superiority.