June 13, 2012
Beer Thoughts: Elevation Beer Co. Apis IV
From Elevation: "Apis, the genus of the honeybee, is in homage to the hardworking honeybees of Colorado that provided the caramelized honey we use in making this fantastic beer. IV is a nod to the four people who came together to turn Elevation from a dream into a reality as well as to the beer style this Belgian Dark Strong Ale loosely adheres to." The bottle calls it a Quadrupel, which is a dark strong Belgian Ale, and it sits at a large 10.7% ABV. Elevation is a new brewery near Salida, CO, and have been open for only about a month.
Gorgeous artwork gives this bottle a sense of value and collectability. The beer pours a beautiful dark brown with ruby notes,
the head is tan, with nice lacing and medium retention. In terms of aroma this beer has a nice mix of raisins, figs, and dark fruit notes. Also there's something not to dissimilar to sweet teriyaki, there's notes of sweet candy, and a nice banana character from the yeast. Carbonation is a little lower than one would expect for this beer, which gives it a smoother and rounder mouthfeel. The taste is similar in many ways to the aroma, although we do get more chocolate and honey along with the highlighted dark fruits, figs, sweet malts, and some toffee notes. There's a really nice lingering honey taste after you swallow. The flavors are smoothly blended together in a really nice way, none pulling too hard in any direction so as to make more of a subtle complexity with a light dry finish. This leaves the beer dangerously easy drinking; while there is some alcohol weight to it, at 10.7%, it's so easy to drink you could find yourself doing more than just slowly sipping. This is a fun beer, I appreciate most the delicate balance and smooth blend of flavors as opposed to a jarring competition of flavors that we see in so many bigger beers.
The beer is definitely good to drink now but we estimate it could also be cellared for 1-3 years. In a years timing, those already subtle alcohol notes will drop out and we'll see even more of the darker fruits and toffee character. The beer will also be even smoother than it is now.
Anyone who enjoys Belgian beers, heavier beers, and beers with darker malt character will enjoy this well-balanced beer. The ease of drinkability will make this a good one for others that aren't used to such beers. An excellent first bottle release from Elevation. People need to keep their eyes on this brewery.
This would be good to split with another person due to the ABV. You could easily be tricked into drinking the whole thing but you'd be toasted by the end. Pour it into a round, tulip or goblet style glass.
Elevation Beer Co., Poncha Springs, CO
Elevation mailed us this beer at no cost.
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