Friday, June 8, 2012

Elevation Beer Apis IV Quadrupel review

Elevation Beer Company Apis IV QuadrupelWell before they were open, Elevation Beer Company was busy as a bee marketing themselves all over Colorado. By the time their Grand Opening occurred in May 2012, they had already had numerous tastings around Denver the the Front Range. Even the Governor of Colorado was there on opening day to welcome them into business. Now they are open and are offering up several styles of beer, including some barrel-aged ones. This beer review is focused on one of their Black Diamond Series of beers: Elevation Apis IV Quadrupel.

Apis IV Quadrupel is made with 5 kinds of malts and a generous amount of caramelized honey. The name Apis refers to a specific genus of the honey bee. This was meant to be a big flavorful beer. It weighs in at 10.7% ABV and it bittered with Northern Brewer and German Tettnang hops up to 41 IBUs. Apis IV came in a large 750ml corked and caged bottle. Each bottle is numbered and this one was number #04625. Elevation Beer Company suggests pairing this beer with smoked meats, game, or creamy cheeses.

The Black Diamond Series of beers they offer range from Belgian Quads to Double IPAs and meant for a more experienced palate. As big as this is, Apis IV is a beer that could easily be cellared and the complex flavors would tend to mellow out over time. But how would it taste now, just recently bottled earlier this year?

Appearance: Apis IV poured a very dark brown color with mahogany, nearly dark lavender edges. I could see though the beer only at the edges. The beer was well carbonated and gave off a large 2 to 3 finger light tan head. The head stuck around for a while. Swirling the glass created a gentle lacing that quickly slid off the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Apis IV had a lot going on in its nose. I could smell the rich honey and dark malts. Added to that was a scent of molasses, dark fruits and a bit of floral spice. For a Belgian-style ale, I didn't pick up the usual Belgian yeast aroma, rather, the malts, honey and the rest were dominant here. I had to breathe deep to get it all in, the aroma was slightly subdued and not powerful. Later in the sampling I thought I detected a hint of smoke in the brew.

Taste: Up front I got a big mouthful of sweet caramel malts and honey. The beer felt very creamy in my mouth and had a nice sticky and slightly bitter finish. This beer made my mouth water. This was a medium bodied brew, yet rich with flavor and held short of being too sweet. And yes, this did remind me a bit of some of those Trappist ales I've tasted in the past. It would be nice to compare this to a Chimay side by side to see just how comparable it was to that brew.

The honey in this beer also reminded me a bit of a braggot - a beverage which is a mix of beer and honey mead.

Overall: I believe Elevation Beer Company is going to be quite popular with the Colorado craft beer crowd. It wouldn't surprise me to see them win a medal for this beer in the very near future. I enjoyed this beer quite well after a couple of sips. I got used to the honey and yeast quite quickly and settled in for a nice slow sipping session. While I would have liked to finish the entire bottle, I thought I'd best save some for later. The power of this brew will sneak up on you very slowly, and at 10.7% ABV, it's big enough for 3 to 4 people to have enough to enjoy.

Grats to Elevation Beer Company on making a wonderful tasting Belgian Quad and welcome to the Colorado brewing community. Based on this beer alone, I think they'll be around for some time to come.

Disclosure: This beer was sent to me at no charge by Elevation Brewing Company. I stated that I would give this beer a review.

Video showing the pour of Elevation Apis IV Quadrupel:

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Related articles:
- Elevation touts rare beer to fight prostate cancer.
- Governor Hickenlooper to sign bill at Elevation Beer.
- Elevation Beer Company to bring Barrel Aged Craft Beer to Colorado.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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