Kaapse Karel

Kaapse: Karel (Netherlands: American Pale Ale: 4.9% ABV)

Visual: Hazy peach flesh. Large white head with brown smudges.

Nose: Apricot and caramel. Crisp hops and moderate bitterness. Fresh and yet creamy.

Body: Dry bitterness. Robustly earthy. Lightly creamy and slight cloying sourness. Nutty. Light peach. Cardboard.

Finish: Earthy bitterness. Charred bits. Lightly milky character. Nutty. Subtle peach backing, Dry. Light gritty stone bitterness. Peppery.

Conclusion: Ok, this has surprised me twice so far and I’m only half way through. Good surprised or bad surprised? Well, give me a moment and I will tell you.

First expectations were set by the aroma – fresh apricot, fresh caramel – it was declaring itself as a slightly lower hop and abv take on a very IPA influenced beer.

Turns out this beer is not that beer.

Early sips called to a very English bitter influence take on the American pale style. Lots of earthy bitterness, a slight sourness to offset the creamy texture. Drier than a Brit bitter though, with subtle fruit notes below.

Turns out this beer is not, in fact, that beer.

The fruit rises, though never dominates, and the dry body cleaves close to the highly attenuated end of the APA character, though still backed by earthy bitterness. This seems to be the beer’s final form that it settles on.

So, it turns out this beer is that beer.

As this beer is is still suffering from that drying, almost cardboard feel that I take issue with for a lot of APAs. However, despite that the mix of other notes makes it actually ok, if not a favourite.

A beer of interesting progression and many good points that unfortunately ends as a beer I can only find ok. Ah well, take from that what you will.

Background: Don’t know much about this one, basically I saw a Netherlands brewery I hadn’t tried before at Independent Spirit so grabbed it. Yep, that was all the info. I went for this, the APA of the group as I don’t tend to drink much of the style – I try to keep experimenting. Drunk while listening to more of Bowie: Blackstar. Such a brilliant album.

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