Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple Is A Fruit Beer Dressed Up As A Crisp, Clean Amber Ale.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Armadillo Ale Works’s Dapper Apple.img_0486

Fast Facts on Armadillo Ale Works Dapper Apple.
Style: Spiced, Herb, Vegetable (SHV) / Fruit Beer.
ABV: 5.2 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): Not available.
Color: Amber.
Availability: Limited.

Overview.
The coolest brewing-related thing hailing from Denton these days is Armadillo Ale Works. I haven’t visited this place in person yet, but I’m definitely planning to soon. Armadillo began its story with an interesting partnership with Deep Ellum Brewing. Since Armadillo didn’t have its own dedicated space yet, DEBC provided some help to get it all cranking. Armadillo is probably most well-known for it’s weirdo blonde stout called Brunch Money. I’m not a fan, but some people absolutely lose their shit over this beer. So that’s a good thing! Another beer Armadillo is known for is Wundermelon, a watermelon kolsch. Needless to say, Armadillo is no stranger to adding fruit and spice to a brew.

Background on SHV beer.
For a primer on the SHV style, check out our review of Peticolas Brewing’s Ghost of Alfred Brown. The SHV style always starts out with a base beer. In the case of Dapper Apple, the beer starts with a base amber ale, and then it’s dressed up with apple juice and spices for an interesting combination.
img_0496Appearance.
Dapper Apple pours like a classic, clean amber ale. I see a thing layer of foam that clings to the glass. I am impressed with this beer so far based on its appearance. It’s clean-looking, brilliantly clear, and it has a beautiful amber color. I can’t wait to dig in!

Aroma.
The aroma is where the sensory experience begins to deviate from the base amber ale style. My brain is telling me that this beer will have a smooth profile, but then I am pleasantly surprised by the additions. The first note I get is that of a sweet beer. It’s not so much apple, per se, but rather a holiday sort of sweetness. What is this aroma? Nutmeg maybe? It’s definitely there, and it smells good.

Flavor.
Unlike the aroma, the first flavor I get in the taste is apple. It sort of reminds me of those fancier fruit rolls. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill Fruit Roll-Up. I’m talking about that next-level kind that the store sold one at a time. Fancy stuff here. So yeah, it’s apple first. The base beer is there, sure, but it’s sort of masked by this interesting flavor combination. After the swallow, a subtle sense of spicy, peppery sort of nutmeg hangs around. It’s not a spicy heartburn thing. Rather, it’s more like what you might taste after a few sips of holiday spiced cider. Dapple Apple drinks sort of like a holiday beer, but with a slightly larger amount of flavoring focused on apple. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually like this beer. I came in to this tasting with a sense of cautious dread, but I am surprised at how enjoyable this beer is.img_0495Mouthfeel.
For as sweet as my brain tells me that this beer is based on the aroma and flavor, I don’t end up with a ton of residual sweetness on the finish. It sort of has just the right amount of sweetness. Purists beware, this SHV beer (or fruit beer, depending on how you want to classify it) challenges you. It’s sweet, but clean on the finish. It’s spicy, but subtle enough to keep me coming back for another sip. It seems to walk a fine line between its wacky flavor additions and the clean base amber ale.

Overall Impression.
I am conflicted on this beer. I don’t want to sit here and pound Dapper Apple all night, but that’s not exactly what this beer is going for. Dapper Apple is sneaky – if you want a fruity beer but you’re overly concerned about what you’re judgy friends will think, this is absolutely the beer for you. Nobody has to know what’s really in your cup. It looks like a clean, crisp amber, but then then the beer takes a hard right turn in to flavor town.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Armadillo Ale Works Dapper Apple a 7.75.img_0489 img_0490What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 20. North Texas Beer Week.
• Friday, November 11. NTX Beer Week Kickoff Party at Dot’s Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard.
• Friday, November 11. Makin’ Bacon Pairings wtih Pouring Glory Texas Ale Project.
• Friday, November 11. The Hardline Live Remote at Wild Acre Brewing.
• Saturday, November 12. Untapped: Dallas at Fair Park.
• Monday, November 14. NTX Beer Week Trailblazers Panel at Lakewood Brewing Co.
• Monday, November 14. Women of Craft Beer Symposium at BrainDead Brewing.
• Friday, November 18. NTX Beer Week Brewer’s Ball at Omni Dallas.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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