Update: Cascade Apricot Ale

You'll recall that I identified the first vintage of Cascade Apricot Ale as my Satori winner last year. This year's, however, I found slightly less buoyantly fruity:
Every year, Gansberg hand-selects the fruit, basing his selection on the quality available. He chose these apricots because they have a fuller, sweeter flavor, though he admits they're not as aromatic. I noticed this right away--that succulent scent was almost absent. But that's the nature with hand-made, artisanal ale--you are beholden to the offerings of mother nature.... This beer is perhaps one notch less beguiling than last year's, but that means it's still exceptional.
Well, yesterday I cracked open one of the current vintages, and I was pleasantly surprised. Mind, I thought this was a good beer. Whatever criticisms I had were informed by being blown away by last year's. What I discovered was an emergence of the fruit. The aroma is now quite evident, and grows as the beer warms. Again it is that lush, fresh-fruit scent. The beer has soured some since I first had it, but the flavor of the fruit comes through more clearly, too. It's really just an amazing beer. My Mom, who was in town visiting, found it a little intense, but she admired it nevertheless (she's a porter gal, so we had wandered some distance outside her comfort zone).

I would recommend stopping by the brewery and picking up a bottle or two--and definitely get the kriek while you're there. We're in the season when these beers are just magical. Nothing like sitting outside under a fading sun while sipping a little liquid gold. Makes you happy to live in Oregon...